This week I present you: the Honda City! (city… city… hondahondahondahonda…)
I used to be a big fan of Madness in the 80s and owned about every record/cd they ever made, but I never knew their songs (and themselves) were actually used in commercials for the Honda City! The commercials itself were hilarious back then! Dated as they are now they look even more hilarious! Honda tried to attract young people to the Honda City and back then Madness was the band that attracted a lot of those youngsters, so it would have been a very obvious choice!
The 1981 Honda City was a subcompact car and was produced till 1986. The car sold in Europe under the name Honda Jazz. Due to Opel owning the rights to the name City on a car (Opel Kadett City for instance) Honda had to choose a different name. It was just a few centimeters too tall and wide to be a Kei car if the displacement would have been lower. Of course the European Jazz is in no way comparable with the Japanese City: apart from the Turbo and Turbo II editions it lacks the Motocompo companion in the trunk! The motowhat?
Motocompo minibike in Honda Jazz
The Motocompo is a small minibike with a small 49cc 2 stroke engine which fitted in the trunk of the Honda City. It was sold as an option till 1983 when the production reached 53369, so not every City did actually have one. The Motocompo manages to output 2,5HP and with its 42 kilograms it should actually a quite capable minibike for the City! (city… city… hondahondahondahonda…)
Here you can see how rediculously small that Motocompo actually is when someone rides it:
And during my search for info I also found out people are selling brand new Motocompos through Ebay for $3500! That’s more expensive than the City was when new! (thanks to Japanese Nostalgic Car for that info!)
I only learned of the Honda Motocompo during early 90s when I got involved into anime and discovered the You’re Under Arrest (Taiho Shichauzo) series. In this series Natsumi Tsujimoto and Miyuki Kobayakawa, two female police officers, patrolled Tokyo in their Honda Today. The Honda Today was partly the successor of the Honda City: Today was the smaller Kei sistermodel of the City while the higher spec (like more luxurious and the Turbo editions) remained the City. Back then I mistook the City for the Today.
You’re under arrest (Taiho Shichauzo) and their Honda Today
In the series you can see the Motocompo in action various times since Natsuki ownes one and always takes along on their patrols.
And to show you once again how small that Motocompo actually is, look at how big Madness is:
Motocompo minibike vs Madness
A bike that small? Madness!
IMO the Motocompo was a great invention from Honda! Just imagine: drive to the outskirts of central Tokyo, park your car and travel to work in central Tokyo with your Motocompo! It would even work here in the Netherlands and it’s puny capital Amsterdam! If they would only have sold the Motocompo along with the Jazz… Jazz? I should rather call it the City!
If you really like Madness you’d definitely love the City! city… city… hondahondahondahonda… Damn… That song is in my head now! 🙁