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American Honda Restores a Vintage Chevrolet Apache, a Pickup It Once Used to Deliver Bikes

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Andrew Wendler, Car & Driver  /  June 18, 2019

  • Restored 1961 Chevrolet Apache pickup faithfully recalls the fleet of similar Apaches that American Honda used as delivery vehicles in the company's early days.
  • The authentically reproduced hand-painted graphics complement the Apache's 283-cubic-inch V-8 and three-speed manual transmission.
  • Period-correct Honda 50 and CB160 motorcycles in the bed complete the effect.

It's no secret that the 10-Best Trucks and SUVs–winning Honda Ridgeline is one of C/D's favorite mid-size pickups, but long before Honda began making pickups, let alone importing four-wheeled vehicles of any type to the United States, it made its mark selling motorcycles in Southern California. Not just any motorcycles, but inexpensive, lightweight, and nonthreatening motorcycles that appealed to buyers of all socioeconomic backgrounds and basically reinvented the domestic motorcycle market. But with no Ridgeline to call on, the task of keeping Honda's fledgling dealer network stocked required some outside assistance, so Honda assembled a small fleet of 1961 Chevrolet Apache pickups. They were detailed in AHM livery, and the company's sales force used them to make deliveries to dealers on a consignment basis.

June 2019 marks American Honda's 60th anniversary, and to celebrate, the maker is revisiting those iconic Chevrolets and the role they played in launching the company here in the U.S. with a restored 1961 Chevrolet Apache 10 pickup presented in the classic AHM livery. So equipped, the trucks played a vital role in making Honda the number one selling motorcycle brand in the U.S in just a few short years.

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That's a nice truck. Neat history. My first bike was a 1976 Honda cb750. Still have it, don't ride anymore though. That whole new daddy thing, too many crazies texting on the roads.

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Even though it is ancient history, it seems so unusual that a company would put a spotlight on a competitor.

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That's part of why Honda is a class act, though while they're celebrating their history I hope they'll fess up to stealing Vetter's fairing design. But if Ford ever used a Honda there'd be no mention of it, and GM would just put a Chevy badge on it and rewrite the history to suit.

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