Bring that Beat back... 1991 Honda Beat.

Bring that Beat back... 1991 Honda Beat.

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Discussion

Rocket.

Original Poster:

1,002 posts

194 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
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My search for pre 2000, roof down, cheap driving thrills is over. I've been lucky enough to have some fairly focussed drivers cars over the years and have been looking for a cheap small toy ever since selling my very temperamental Honda'd Elise.

Ideally I would love something classic like a Frogeye Sprite or a Westfield 11 but current funds just don't allow a classic toy in that price range. Also don't get me wrong I love faster exciting cars but like many I now hanker for a real back to basics driving experience that is involving and feels fast but actually isn't, I'm after the sensations without the license losing potential and something which will work well on small Essex B roads, I have other options if I want to get somewhere in a hurry or a speed fix.

A mk.1 MX5 is the obvious choice or maybe MR2 roadster but both just a tad predictable ? Sheddy MG midgets almost just in budget, but I wanted something different.

Whilst walking through Pimlico in my lunch break I spotted this tiny car parked up, it was as they say a bit of a eureka moment, next was back to the office and on to Google, Youtube, Autotrader and subsequently the UK Honda Beat forum for sale section, interestingly Pistonheads search shows up very little about them.

Like many on here I consider myself quite knowledgable on 90's sports cars but truth is I had all but forgotten about the Honda Beat, to me the Suzuki Cappuccino is the small Japanese kei sporty car that springs to mind and I am a fan. After some Youtubing, mostly of excited Americans thrashing the little 3 cylinder 660cc n/a Honda to 9,000 rpm I was getting further drawn in, then someone mentioned 'mini NSX' and at that point I had to have one !

So I have ended up with a very tired looking 1991 Honda Beat with 179,000 kilometers on the clock which has sat for 4 years outside and unloved, little or no history and apparently smoked like a trooper before being laid up. I paid £550 for the car and £200 for new hood which has never been fitted. At this point no doubt someone will point out I could have bought a half decent one for circa. £3-4k, well maybe soon I will wish I had !  But where's the fun in that ? As always with my man maths the initial low outlay won out plus I feel like I am saving it from the scrap heap.

I now have to hands up that I will not be doing the work, sadly I just do not have the room, the time or most importantly the talent, so enter a mate who among other things is just about to finish restoring a lovely little 70's Innocenti Mini and in need of another project, he may regret saying that last bit...

The car was picked up last week and sent to Peters place for thorough examination, intention is to check it for rot and then repair, engine out and rebuild with new valve stem seals and piston rings, suspension and brake refresh. I had toyed with chopping the windscreen off and going for aero screens to really enhance the experience but actually I'd like to try it as is first so that maybe a job for another day when I get bored.

The good news is Honda have started to make some spares again for the Beat which should help a lot, but in the meantime anyone on here speak or read japanese or know about buying 2nd spares off japanese auction sites ?

So here it is, the last car signed off by the late great Soichiro Honda.









Further updates coming soon...

Butter Face

19,174 posts

105 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
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£550. Amazing. What a cracker!

NorthernSky

458 posts

62 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
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Soichiro Honda would be extremely proud of you.

Looks like a lot of work to get the interior de-moulded, especially that steering wheel which looks coated in a thin layer of fungus!

Good luck with it, good to see rare hondas brought back onto the road.

Fermit and Sarah

7,030 posts

45 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
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Such a cool purchase. I remember having a soft spot for these in the 90's, and recall them being very highly regarded in the motoring press. I look forward to reading your progress updates.

One thing, please say you'll consider changing the Lilo Lil seat fabric?

Mike335i

2,502 posts

47 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
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I really like this, I am going hunting!

Spumfry

1,000 posts

107 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
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Fermit and Sarah said:
One thing, please say you'll consider changing the Lilo Lil seat fabric?
Wut? Those seats are original, you can't possibly lose the zebra stripe.

dromond

689 posts

165 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
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Hit that perfect beat boy!. Very cool little project, and for sweetie money. Not many Hondas I haven't had but this is one of them,
came close in 2010 but it was just too far gone. Keep us updated and best of luck.

paulyv

705 posts

68 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
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KEEP THE SEATS!

seefarr

645 posts

131 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
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Oooooh hell yeah. Love the seats too! Good luck. thumbup

Rocket. said:
The good news is Honda have started to make some spares again for the Beat which should help a lot, but in the meantime anyone on here speak or read japanese or know about buying 2nd spares off japanese auction sites ?
You need a Japanese address and bank account to buy off yahoo.jp so there are a load of agents that will pay for the item, have it shipped to them and then on-ship it. Some will combine many deliveries into one large one to save on shipping too. Not sure if there are size restrictions, but it's probably not a problem with Beat parts! I've not used any of the ones mentioned in the article below, but I've got a Seiko addiction so it's only a matter of time...

https://www.ghacks.net/2014/09/22/how-to-buy-items...


S100HP

9,975 posts

112 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
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Yes! Good purchase!

Kewy

1,279 posts

39 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
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Can't wait to see this project develop. The beat is also a car I've been curious about for a while, maybe this thread will push me into finding myself one also!?

Pericoloso

40,351 posts

108 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
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Always had a thing for a Honda Beat.
Wheels look like they should be on an Alfa.
I have a similar set,on a FIAT.

SonicShadow

2,423 posts

99 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
quotequote all
Rocket. said:
The good news is Honda have started to make some spares again for the Beat which should help a lot, but in the meantime anyone on here speak or read japanese or know about buying 2nd spares off japanese auction sites ?
RHDJapan for new aftermarket / modification parts, you can order OEM parts through them as well if available. BidJDM for ordering from Yahoo Auctions.

Mr E

18,702 posts

204 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
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Cool thing.

MissChief

5,108 posts

113 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
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Awesome little thing! Would love one of these wee Kei cars!

TheJimi

15,016 posts

188 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
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Cool. As. fk.

No Face

148 posts

134 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
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Excellent stuff, I have a soft spot for these - I remember them being featured in one of the first car magazines I ever bought in the 90s alongside skylines and supras, but I was more drawn to these.

I like the odd shape of the headlights and the way they meet the wheel arch, the odd profile of the wheel arches themselves, the line that runs from the front arch to the vent in front of the rear arch, and of course the interior. All very unique at the time.

I have an eBay alert set up and if I had more money, balls and space - and fewer kids - I’d probably buy one.

I also think prices and interest seem to have dipped a bit recently and now might be a good time to buy - for £550 though any time is a good time to buy!

I think you’d need 10x that for a clean one so you’ll be laughing whatever you do. Looking forward to seeing it up and running.

Pericoloso

40,351 posts

108 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
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2 on eBay,£6.5K or £5K.

Rocket.

Original Poster:

1,002 posts

194 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
quotequote all
Thanks for all the comments. Regarding the styling it was by Pininfarina I think.

The seats are staying they were part of what sold it to me, I mean come on 90's zebra/ tiger print ! Sadly they are in a bit of a state so will need some work.

Thanks for all advice on buying from Japan, I've found a few of the proxy websites to buy on my behalf so will give one a try.

UK Honda dealers can source parts too, I am led to believe that an exhaust is £165 but with a 3 month wait...

Prices vary a lot, a decent looking yellow Beat sold a few weeks ago on ebay for sub £3k, I prefer silver and wanted the pepperpot alloys.

Anyway back to some pics and what we have discovered so far...


In it's new home



Dread to think what's in here, hopefully brake fluid




New hood in dark blue



Boot is more of a glove box and a third of it is lost to battery !



Air filter off shows been breathing a bit of oil, 3 inlets for the MTREC individual throttle bodies





Up front under the spare wheel are rad and aircon condenser which I think we will ditch to save weight, oh and lots of snails...





First job is remove the boot lid and roof to make access a little easier



Edited by Rocket. on Wednesday 26th September 18:54

Chris Type R

4,398 posts

194 months

Wednesday 26th September 2018
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I'm pretty sure that there is/are owners club(s) for these. I certainly remember seeing a few at JAEs when I had my S2000 a few years back.

I reckon they're somewhere between an S800 and a S2000.