The best-worst kept secret in the California automotive sector might be American Honda’s private museum. An unidentified warehouse close to American Honda’s headquarters in Torrance, California, has been home to a growing collection of Honda and Acura cars, motorbikes, outboard motors, generators, and other miscellaneous Hondaphernalia for the past twenty or so years.
Aside from the occasional media event, the Honda Collection was only accessible through personal connections.
Hondaphiles, rejoice: American Honda has at long last accepted the collection and given it pride of place. We recently attended the opening of the American Honda Collection Hall, which is now situated at Honda’s American headquarters’ main entrance.
While many automakers maintain a few vintage vehicles in the foyer, Honda has created a genuine museum-style exhibit that spans 20,000 square feet and features some of the brand’s most iconic vehicles. Even better, the general public can now access it.
The collection includes several vehicles with more than 100,000 miles on them that were acquired in and around Los Angeles and restored by the Collection’s intrepid staff, as well as a select few originals with nearly zero miles that were designated at birth for preservation.
We are well aware that the majority of the vehicles are in excellent condition because we have had the good fortune to drive several of them, including a 1975 Civic CVCC, 1978 Accord, 1985 CRX Si, 1999 Prelude SH, 2001 Civic Si, and, of course, that 1997 CR-V with 248,000 miles on it.
A 2003 Acura MDX, a 1986 Integra, and a 2001 Integra Type S that appeared in a comparative test versus a contemporary Civic Type R round out the Acuras we’ve tried over the years. Expect the automobiles on exhibit to change frequently because Honda has far more vehicles than can fit in the hall.
The new American Honda Collection Hall also includes displays of the company’s history and a number of Honda motorcycles, ATVs, racing vehicles, generators, outboard motors, and even a lawnmower in addition to the cars.
The MotorTrend Of The Year calipers are displayed beneath the Car & Driver 10Best trophies; Honda, we need to have a serious conversation about that. There is a trophy case full of honors Honda has received.
On the third Saturday of every even-numbered month (10/21/23, 12/16/23, 2/17/23, etc.), Honda will host a Cars, Bikes & Coffee event at its headquarters from 9 a.m. to noon, with the Collection Hall available for viewing.
However, the Hall is accessible whenever headquarters are, and visitors are welcome to browse. Although there is no entrance fee, there is a kiosk selling T-shirts, hats, and other merchandise.
We’re happy that American Honda has embraced its past and placed it on display because Honda is one of the most prominent automobile brands in the nation and has greatly influenced (and changed) American’s tastes in cars.
More than that, we’re happy that the tireless efforts of the Collection employees over the past 20 years are now receiving the attention they so rightfully deserve.
Locals in Southern California should definitely attend the Cars, Bikes & Coffee event, and if you’re an out-of-town Honda enthusiast visiting the Los Angeles region, the American Honda Collection Hall is well worth a visit, even though Torrance isn’t exactly a popular tourist destination.