Every once in a while my role at NoBraking offers the opportunity to do something exceptional. Visiting the Honda America museum is one of those days. Nestled deep in an unassuming industrial complex in Torrance, California, this warehouse is chock-full of significant road and race cars from the Japanese automaker’s past. There are approximately 60 vehicles in all and the collection is not open to the public and there are no plans to change that policy. Even most Honda employees have never been here.
Want to see a 2004 NSX, Honda has one, how about nearly brand-new N600s and Z600s? There are a few examples on display. It’s like walking into a real-life car dealership from the Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport video game franchises.
There are three generations of Preludes beginning with a 1979 example that sit opposite every generation of Civic. Like Acuras? There is a collection of Legends and Integras that includes the holy grail of Integras; the Type R. Aside from the aforementioned final year NSX, there is also a first year 1991 model that is still driven to this day. In the back of the display rests several car lifts that stack historic Honda race vehicles, two high.
Engines perch on stands along the museum’s perimeter, some with cutaway sections that expose polished exhaust valves and camshafts. Old magazine advertisements grace the walls and a trophy case sits in one corner, flanked by two Honda Racing motors. Large “Powered by Honda” lettering is mounted high above the race cars. Inside the museum is a replica of the first American Honda store at 4077 West Pico in Los Angeles.