Honda restores an important part of its history: a 1961 Chevy Apache

Though they may be rivals in the car market and on race tracks today, there was a time when Honda leaned on Chevrolet for help getting started in the U.S. market in 1959, using a fleet of Chevy Apache pickup trucks to deliver motorcycles to dealers. After all, its not like Honda had the Ridgeline, let alone any passenger cars, back then to tote its bikes.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Honda’s American motorcycle sales, the company fully restored a 1961 Chevy Apache 10. It’s not one of the original delivery trucks, but it has been given an accurate and hand-painted livery down to Honda’s original American home office address. Powering the truck is a 283-cubic inch V8 with a three-speed manual transmission.

Not to give Chevy all of the spotlight, the truck carries a pair of Honda motorcycles. The smaller of the two is a 1965 Honda 50 Super Cub, which came with a 49-cc single-cylinder engine and 3-speed semi-automatic transmission. The larger one is a 1965 Honda CB160 that used a 161-cc 2-cylinder engine with a 4-speed manual transmission. These motorcycles, along with storage box in the back, make this truck nearly identical to the one seen in the archival photo above.

The finished Chevy pickup and Honda bikes will go on a nationwide tour this year. Exact locations and dates haven’t been released except for an appearance at the SEMA show this fall. After that, it will go to Honda’s collection in Torrance, Calif., and displayed in front of a replica of its original 1959 office.