E-Type The Early Days of the “Honda 4-Stroke” (1951)



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E-Type The Early Days of the “Honda 4-Stroke”

It was March 1951 when Honda summoned Kiyoshi Kawashima from Hamamatsu. “‘Kawashima, would you mind coming over for a moment?’ It was the beginning of a two-month stint in the capital as I worked on the design of the E-Type 4-stroke engine in a corner of the Tokyo Plant,” said Kawashima. “When the plans were at last ready the Old Man dashed in to see it, bringing Fujisawa, with him.”

Kawashima can remember clearly that day in May 1951.

“As he showed the plans to Fujisawa, Mr. Honda gave us an enthusiastic commentary: ‘Ah, I see. You have this kind of valve and the cam goes like that. This is what I call an engine, it isn’t just a 2-stroke machine that looks as though it’s been cut from a bamboo tube with holes drilled. This will sell. Honda will do well with this!’ Mr. Fujisawa didn’t have any understanding of the plans, he didn’t know anything about mechanical things at all, so he just said things like ‘Hm, yes, that’s great,’” said Kawashima, laughing.

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