Honda Canada History: Almost FIFTY YEARS.

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  • 21 Nov 2018 5:58 PM
    Message # 6927722

    Looking for some information on the Honda Canada website the other day, and read through their “Company History” presentation. The first page is attached. Not very slick, but interesting.They came to Canada in 1969 and initially sold power products and motorcycles. No cars until ‘73. I have a 1970 sales brochure for my CB750 and it’s quite surprising how many models they offered, all pictured on the back cover.

    I so well remember seeing their first bikes in Canada. At 16 years old, I was definitely just looking. My first S90 was a dream come true.... In a few months, that will be 50 YEARS AGO!

    The other day I ordered a complete points plate assembly and a few other obscure bits, for my 1970 Honda CB750. Guess what? In stock, and available. What a great Company! John D

    Last modified: 21 Nov 2018 6:58 PM | John
  • 22 Nov 2018 11:40 AM
    Reply # 6928852 on 6927722

    I think you meant 1959 not 1969 !  Basil Watson was selling Hondas in Eastview in 1960 !  I also recall the early 1960's chain drive sports cars on the road in Ottawa. 

    Last modified: 22 Nov 2018 1:30 PM | Anonymous member
  • 22 Nov 2018 2:35 PM
    Reply # 6928987 on 6927722

    Barry....... interesting comment. I remember seeing the little S600 sports car in Toronto, and a few step thru’ Hondas as well. Definitely before 1969. I wonder why Honda lists their start as 1969? Perhaps it was the first time they had a head office in Canada? Anyone else shed any light? Thanks, John D.

  • 22 Nov 2018 3:06 PM
    Reply # 6929037 on 6927722

    maybe a typo? Anyway ,there were thousands of Honda  bikes sold in the  mid 60's in Canada.  The other Jap manufactures had to play catch up. Simpsons Sears sold Yamaha and Canadian Tire sold Kawasaki in Ottawa in the mid sixties. There were Bridgestones around as well but I never saw a Tohatsu.

  • 22 Nov 2018 8:26 PM
    Reply # 6929244 on 6927722

    Honda was initially distributed in Ontario by F.Manley and Sons in Toronto until 1969 when Honda took over in Canada. I believe Tom Faulds was Honda Canada,s first employee.Ken

  • 22 Nov 2018 8:38 PM
    Reply # 6929260 on 6927722

    If you ask the question "when was Honda Canada formed?" the answer is indeed 1969.

    If you ask the question " when was the first Honda sold in Canada?" The answer is 1957. Trev Deeley of Vancouver was the importer of Honda motorcycles, becoming the first to import Hondas in the western world. He was the exclusive Canadian distributor well before Honda established  corporate headquarters in Canada. He also was the first to Import Yamaha motorcycles.

  • 23 Nov 2018 8:05 AM
    Reply # 6929536 on 6927722

    I wonder why Honda conveniently forgot  to mention their pre 1969 history in Canada on this 'official"  webpage ? 

    Last modified: 23 Nov 2018 8:07 AM | Anonymous member
  • 23 Nov 2018 10:11 AM
    Reply # 6929622 on 6927722

    Fascinating information, thanks all! Surely we have members that purchased Hondas in the 60’s? Hope to hear more, where and when? Thanks! John D.

  • 23 Nov 2018 3:36 PM
    Reply # 6930024 on 6929536
    Barry wrote:

    I wonder why Honda conveniently forgot  to mention their pre 1969 history in Canada on this 'official"  webpage ? 

    Almost certainly none of the current Honda Canada employees were around the motorcycle industry in Canada prior to the Honda company decision to establish a factory-owned sales organization (or a manufacturing operation such as the Alliston plant). A pity that they neglect their own history as they were a basic reason why motorcycles became popular in this country from about 1960 onwards.

    A college chum of mine bought a Honda CB77 Dream when he graduated in 1964 and then spent 2 years riding it around the world. He was not a mechanically-minded type but found that no matter where he rode he could always find a Honda motorcycle dealer to service the bike. In India, where all the Hondas seemed to be the small Cubs, the dealers thought he must be a very rich (and important) man to have such an immense motorcycle. Interestingly the dealers there had no problem in getting parts for the larger Hondas, so there must have been some of the larger ones somewhere in India.

    Another classmate went to work in East Africa in 1964 and bought an early (1963) Honda CL-72. I bought it from him here in Canada in 1972 in non-running condition. Parts were easily available, even though that model was an odd-ball here and I commuted to the Go-train on it for several years. In 1965-66, I had the first version of the CT-90 for transport back in the bush on the Algonquin Park logging road network while doing research on black fly populations.

    Later had a couple of Hondas (VT500C, CB450) when looking for a "local rides" bike but didn't take to them for some reason or other so went back to a BMW Airhead for "non-vintage riding" for a while.


  • 23 Nov 2018 5:39 PM
    Reply # 6930094 on 6927722

    I guess it’s “all about the cars”! I was good friends with their first PR Manager, Ralph Luciw. He created the Honda BFGoodrich Challenge, a hugely popular one make series for Honda Civics (that I won in Ontario 1980-83). He actually owned a couple of S800 Honda sports cars, and drove them to the races. The motorcycle guys lived out back, at Milner Road, and didn’t get a lot of press. I’ll never forget the first GL1000. What a monster it was. An amazing Canadian history, left by the wayside........ too bad.

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