Yes, you don’t read it wrong. It’s Honda, and what it resurrects is a Chevrolet truck. Now before you’re further astonished, let’s examine what’s so special about this old Chevy restored by the Japanese auto giant which pays homage to the company’s heritage. There must be some important history behind it, right?
So in 1959, Honda started its business in America. At that time, the company didn’t have a truck, which was later needed to deliver its motorcycles to dealers across Southern California. Of course there was no such a thing called the Honda Ridgeline yet. It hadn’t even been mentioned as an idea. What came to Soichiro’s mind, though, was buying a fleet of 1961 Chevrolet Apache 10 pickups to transport the company’s two-wheelers.
Honda salesmen drove the Apaches to dealerships to deliver motorcycles sold on consignment. After using the trucks for several years, Honda began to propel itself as the best motorcycle brand in the US. By 1965, the automaker had an almost 72% market share.
Today Soichiro is no longer living, and it has been 60 years since that historical beginning. To commemorate those days, Honda fully restored one of those pickup trucks and will bring it to the 2019 SEMA Show that takes place from November 5 to 8 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Chevy Apache sports hand-painted Honda corporate livery and loads two of period-correct Honda bikes: the 50 and CB 160.
Properly brought back to life thanks to the automaker’s archives and former employees who gave input to it, this 1102-pound Apache is powered by a 283-cubic-inch V8 engine that puts out 160 hp and is paired to a three-speed manual gearbox and an eight-foot bed.
Before being displayed at SEMA, the Chevy truck will pay a visit to various auto shows and meets in and around Southern California. Once all events have been attended, the Apache will be part of Honda’s museum gallery – the American Honda Collection Hall in Torrance – and spend the rest of its life there, in front of a replica of the automaker’s first Los Angeles office.