Small engines with high-output seems anymore to be a foreign tradition compared to their US counterparts. The Honda Cuby or “T10” engine was no exception. Especially when you consider the year was 1962 and it’s about the size of coca-cola bottle!
The “T10” was a unique engine that Honda exclusively developed for one reason, “Education”. It wasn’t made to be used for any real-life applications or as an add-on. It did however have add-on’s per-say like a generator & a dust blower! Regardless of it’s reasoning, it’s still an awesome little engine that only few people either own or have on display in their collections.
Offered like a set of Lego’s, the Honda Cuby was sold exclusively to Honda dealers in both the US & Europe for promotional or display purposes at a $15.00 US price tag. Honda released an official Bulletin (in our gallery below) noting that only 800 were available and dealers could order up too 10 maxi. Interesting Honda at the time states that roughly ‘1,800 qualified dealers’ could order, so it’s quite possible to do the math and figure only half of the dealers got the Cuby due to the 10 maxi placed.
Very little information is known about the specifics of the deal, but information from Honda themselves suggests all units were sold, there were two color options (red & silver), some units were found and sold in the early 1970’s and a small amount of them were used for vo-tech purposes at Tama-Tech in 1961. The engine was also believed to be extremely similar to Honda’s first portable generator (Honda E40), which was sold exclusively to power Sony’s portable TV’s at the time.
Pictured above is a shot of the recently closed Tama-Tech amusement park in 2009. Tama Tech was established in 1961 at Hino, Tokyo, to operate the Motopia Amusement Park as a facility at Suzuka Circuitland. It was Honda’s idea to not only help the support of the Suzuka Circuit but to get kids involved in mobile racing. Behind the scenes was a vocational program to help kids understand engine building and maintenance, which is where the use of the Honda Cuby came into play.
What’s interesting about the Cuby was not only it’s simplicity in engine design but the fact it was only a 19.7cc in it’s displacement. The piston size alone is ‘model sized’ in the palm of your hand or to a roll of scotch tape (pictured below).
It’s specifications are as follows:
- Type – 4 Cycle Side Valve Engine
- Bore & Stroke – 30mm x 28mm
- Displacement – 19.7cc
- Output – .15PS/3,000 RPM
- Fuel Type – Gasoline
- Oil – Mobil Oil (S.A.E. 20)
There even existed accessories for the Honda Cuby, which are rather odd in their functions to us here at Roots! You can see below from the Cuby Manual and in our gallery.
Today, only a handful of collectors own a Honda Cuby “T10”. Either in horrible, non-running conditions, to museum quality restorations…..each Cuby seems to have a history all to themselves of how they came to be. We’ve posted some links below to current owners who’ve posted online their Cuby’s. Here’s a LINK to a scheduled auction sale, from the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum, on Feb. 15, 2013. It’s estimate to sale between $1,000-2,000 US dollars.
Honda-tech Link – (http://honda-tech.com/showthread.php?t=1838374)
BHondas 800 Sport Car Club (http://bhondas800sportscarclubmessageboard.runboard.com/t537)
Smoke Stak – (http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10886)
*9/7/16 – Volker Wolff has released his 94-page book for the Honda Cuby, check out the article for more – (http://hondaroots.com/2016/09/07/the-honda-cuby-t10-book-1st-editions-are-now-available/) *
All photo’s of accessories were used by permission and only for educational purposes for this article. No copyright infringement is intended. All photo’s are properties of their respected owners.