By Maz Woolley
Photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.
The new Atlas Deluxe Dinky subscription series in the UK has now shipped #1408 Honda S800 to me and several other model collectors whilst others had the Honda some while ago and have already had the Simca Break which follows it in the collection.
The Deluxe series appears to be likely to be almost entirely French Dinky toys as created for the French Series Dinky™ Toys de mon enfance, la saga des ouvrants. Luckily the 1960s and 1970s when the models with opening features were made were a period when Dinky in France generally made models to scale, and to a high standard not always seen on the UK models.
The Honda S800 Coupé produced by Atlas is in the original bright yellow shade and is a faithful replica of the original model. This model has only one opening feature, it’s bonnet. Once opened this reveals a simplified but generally correct depiction of the canted over 4 cylinder engine fed by four carburetors.
The original Dinky had a lot of modelled in detail which was not picked out such as the large Honda badges on the wings which are neatly replicated as well as indicators on the front and rear wings. The Dinky was only produced in one colour and only appeared in the catalogues in 1969 and 1970 making it a very short production run.
The S800 was a masterpiece of engineering featuring a four cylinder 791cc engine with four carburetors. Based on Honda’s motorcycle technology, this engine was capable of revving up to levels unheard of by its competitors like the MG Midget or Fiat 850 and could compete with sports cars with much higher engine sizes.
The front grille is nicely modelled and the model sports French number plates which I believe indicate that the car was registered in Paris. Just the place for a trendy foreign car. The bonnet correctly features the off centre bulge needed to clear the carburetors.
Inside the interior is in red and fairly simple but shows the dashboard and steering wheel, two seats and luggage area well.
The rear of the replica is neatly done showing lights and the hinged “hatchback” door with Honda lettering replicated but again not picked out in silver.
This is a nice replica of one of the excellent models from Dinky France in the 1960s
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