This is an installment in a series of posts looking back on show cars that we feel deserved a little more attention than they got. If you have a suggestion for a Forgotten Concept topic, please shoot us a line or leave a comment below.
First Seen: 2017 Tokyo Auto Salon
Description: Kei pickup concept
Sales Pitch: “Taking a classic Honda truck to the next level”
Details: The Toyota Auto Salon is an aftermarket parts and tuner event not unlike the annual SEMA show here in the States. It was at the 2017 Salon that Honda rolled out the T880, A micro-truck concept based on the maker’s home-market ACTY pickup. Known in Japan as a “Kei” vehicle, the Acty is smaller than U.S.-market subcompact vehicles, and is powered by an engine of less than 660 cc. Because of their tidy dimensions and low fuel consumption, Kei vehicles qualify for a number of tax breaks and regulatory perks.
The T880 concept pays homage to the TN360, a small pickup produced by Honda between 1967 and 1977. The concept features a turbocharged 3-cylinder engine and 5-speed manual transmission. The practical rear tailgate opens to the sides, Dutch-door style, and also folds down in the conventional manner. The T880 was designed and built by the maker’s Honda Access division, which manufactures aftermarket body kits and performance parts.
A nifty recess in the back of the cab provides space for the wheel of a motorcycle. Additional features include a simple bench seat in the cabin, centrally located exhaust outlet, and spiffy Watanabe black-finish alloy wheels.
CG Says: This Anime-looking tribute truck deserved to see production, though it’s likely that a production version lifted to an appropriate (read: legal) ride height and shod with crash-worthy front and rear fasciae would lose much of the concept’s charm. Additionally, Kei-car fans seem to enjoy customizing their own rides, and might not be willing to shell out hard-earned Yen for an off-the-shelf “custom” car or truck.
Cool as this spunky micro concept is, it’s easy to forget that Chevrolet designed its own tribute trucklet, the HHR, and it actually saw production. The Heritage High Roof (we’re told that’s what HHR stood for) was designed in reference to Chevy vehicles of the Forties.