Hama Coniglio, The Forgotten Honda S800 Track Car

Hama Coniglio, The Forgotten Honda S800 Track Car

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Beautifully designed by famous industrial Japanese designer, Mr. Motoki Hama with his company “Hama Studio”,  the Hama Coniglio or RQE Coniglio was a frequent site in your rear view mirror on the track. Referenced to as the “Hare” or Rabbit upon translation, the Honda based kit-car was indeed a fast looking and well planned out breed that ultimately competed in the ’69 Jap Grand-Prix.

Designed around the Honda S800 chassis, the Coniglio (or Konirio via other sources) could have been yours for a price of roughly ¥350.000 or the equivalent of $3,515 US, with the friendly donation of a Honda S800 in 1967 amongst other options. It is still available for purchase from Hama Studio’s as Mr. Hama will personally build you one. We were unable to clarify this information, but if you find out more please comment. An estimated 10 versions were produced in the late 60’s for racing to privateers that expressed interest in the cars unique weight distribution and styling.

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Two versions of the clever rabbit were available for purchase during the late 60’s. Shown above is Mr. Hama alongside the Coniglio coupe, displayed to the public as a more practical, everyday sports car. The coupes styling certainly evokes the futuristic boxy shape with the cabin as the rear pillars share similarities with the S800 coupe styling. It’s not known if the S800 coupe or roadster were used for the coupe’s build or if any coupe versions were purchased.

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The more famous Coniglio open-top version were used solely for racing purposes as show above with Hama beside the #1 RQE “Racing Quarterly Equipment” Coniglio. This was one of many FRP MK1 versions that were raced in the late 60’s, competing amongst top Nissans, Toyotas & Porsche racers. The cars competed in numerous races including a close finish of 12th place during the 1969 Japan GP with the yellow #33 RQE version.

MK2 versions (later model Coniglio’s) including the blue Konirio were on display at the Honda Collection Hall last year via the “1950-70s History Exhibit”.

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Working on the already solid 791 cc straight-4 engine, which produced 70 hp (52 kW) at 8000 rpm, the Coniglio had a larger displacement of 845cc-1,000cc with a max 95-101 hp. Co-developed alongside engineers associated with the Mazda Le-Man’s series, the chain-driven architecture was kept intact while the engine was converted to a larger inter-cooled water setup. No information is known about the suspension or body weight distribution that made this car popular amongst the owners who raced them.

For more information regarding a recently manufactured Coniglio from Hama Studio’s in 2004, check out the link via the Honda Twin Cam Club in Japan HERE.

Here is also a short video of the featured Yellow Coniglio grabbing some track time at the 2011 JCCA TSUKUBA MEETING. If you can grasp a ear-full of the engine tone, it’s quite beautiful!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2LjQnElei8&w=560&h=315]