For more than 30 years, Honda’s sprawling campus and headquarters building have been a Torrance landmark. Now, the company has assembled a gift to both employees and the public: the new American Honda Collection Hall.
“We celebrate our history and our future. Meaning, we celebrate all of you,” said Noriya Kaihara, CEO of American Honda Motor Company at the unveiling of the new space in front of a crowd of dignitaries, employees and retirees who worked for the company over the years.
Located on the ground floor of their huge office building, this museum of Honda’s history as a transportation empire shows the progress of not only the company, but mobility as a whole. From a scrappy importer of two-wheeled vehicles, to an automotive powerhouse with facilities spread all over the United States. Company officials decided it was time to let people see the brand’s progression.
“Honda’s always been such a progressive company that we never really dwelled on the past before. But then we realized that Honda enthusiasts out there that really love our products, historical products,” said Carl Pulley, a communications specialist at Honda who had a big hand in putting the collection together for display.
It all started in the late 1950s with small-displacement motorcycles. A selection of them is on display in a diorama featuring the company’s first U.S. headquarters on Pico Boulevard near downtown Los Angeles. Visitors are treated to an information-filled walking tour of Honda through the decades, including of course, the early automobiles.
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It was the Civic that really put Honda on the map during the 1970s amid the famous gas shortages. Here, there’s a timeline of the Civic, as well as other mainstay models. Also represented, the early days of premium brand Acura, racing cars and motorcycles from different decades. There are even things like an outboard motor and a lawn mower, both company products, of course.
Honda started putting this amazing collection together more than 20 years ago, but it was never open to the public. Even many employees never got to see the cars and motorcycles, as they were kept in a warehouse off campus. Now, they’d like everyone to come out and check out all the vehicles.
Employees and visitors to the building will certainly see it any time during business hours. But it’s also going to be a regular weekend gathering spot for car and motorcycle enthusiasts. Honda is calling it “Cars, Motorcycles, and Coffee.”
“The third Saturday of every other month, starting Oct. 21, we encourage the public to bring their own cool cars and motorcycles, no matter what brand or era,” said Pulley.
It’ll potentially be a double treat. Immaculate classic vehicles inside, and who knows what might show up in the parking lot, driven to these weekend events by enthusiasts? A slam-dunk social media photographic opportunity, for sure.