Spotlight on the Honda Heritage Center and the Honda Collection Hall

Two sites showcase the interesting history of Honda in the U.S.

Display of Honda racing memorabilia and vehiclesHonda


When Honda decided to create the Honda Heritage Center, its first public museum in the U.S., it chose to do so in Marysville, Ohio. That might seem like an odd location for a Japanese company with U.S. headquarters in Southern California, but Ohio is home to Honda's original domestic manufacturing facility — a plant that opened in 1979.

"The Honda Heritage Center opened in 2015 with the goal of showing Honda's history in North America by highlighting our products, the philosophy of our founders, and the many milestones we have reached," said Carl Pulley, curator of the American Honda Collection Hall in Torrance, California.

The American Honda Collection Hall, an assembly of historically notable Honda products, was established more than 20 years ago but didn't open to the public until 2023.

Both the heritage museum and collection hall house a series of displays, most of which are dedicated to notable vehicles from Honda's past — and they're not just cars. Honda also makes motorcycles, powersports equipment, generators, robots, and even jets.

Display of historic Honda vehiclesHonda

Honda's History Is on Display at the Heritage Center

"We have a 1970 N600, which marked Honda's first step into the auto industry in the U.S.," Pulley said of the Heritage Center. "We also have a 1975 Civic with a CVCC engine, developed to meet stringent new tailpipe emissions standards created by the 1970 Clean Air Act, a 1980 Elsinore CR250R, which was the first Honda motorcycle built in the U.S., a 2009 Goldwing motorcycle, and a replica HondaJet fuselage."

Many of these vehicles came from Honda's own collection, Pulley said, as the company often reserves the first of each vehicle it produces for display.

Because of their historical relevance, many of the vehicles on site are installed permanently, though Pulley noted that new products also are featured when they're launched in the U.S., in order to place them in their historical context.

"For example," he said, "we have the latest 2023 Acura Integra as well as a first-generation Integra in our lobby so people can see how a product has evolved over the years."

In addition to displaying vehicles and information about Honda's history, the museum hosts occasional events, including Cars and Coffee gatherings, where people bring their vehicles out to show them off for other car lovers, and the annual Honda Meet, a car show specifically for Honda and Acura vehicles.

American Honda Collection HallHonda

Honda's Historic Collection in the Heart of Southern California

California's American Honda Collection Hall has been around for a couple of decades, but it wasn't officially open to the public until recently. Instead, Pulley said, this hoard of historic vehicles was used for "internal tours and meetings, with occasional activities such as Honda Powersports model launches, Honda Automobile media drive events, media tours, and industry group meetings."

In 2022, however, the company decided to move the AHCH into the lobby of the American Honda Motor Company's headquarters in Torrance and open it to the public. The new space — about 20,000 square feet in all — opened in September 2023. Its current display includes more than 60 Honda and Acura vehicles, along with Powersports and Power Equipment products and futuristic concepts.

"We have examples of the first motorcycles Honda sold in the U.S. — the Honda 50/Super Cub, Dream, Benly — plus many more iconic bikes, such as the 1969 CB750, CR250 Elsinore, GL1000, and CBX100," Pulley said. "We have the first cars — S600, N600, and first generations of the iconic Civic and Accord, plus others, like the first Civic Si, the first Insight hybrid, the first CR-V, and the first S2000CR."

The space also has cars from the company's upscale brand, Acura, including the first Legend and Integra, and the first NSX, MDX, and Integra Type R. And to further illuminate the brand's history, a quintet of screens plays videos about five of Honda's key models through the years.

In addition, there are areas dedicated to Honda's long racing history — in cars (CART, IndyCar, and IMSA) and in powersports and motorcycles. There's also a cafe and a gift shop that sells Honda- and Acura-branded merchandise.

As an educational component, the site will invite students from high schools, technical schools, and colleges to teach them about careers in the various industries in which Honda has a foothold. The events will feature subject matter experts from Honda, including designers, engineers, marketers, and technicians.

The space also hosts public Cars, Bikes, and Coffee events on the third Saturday of every other month.

"These events are to host the public and automobile and motorcycle enthusiasts of any brand, model, and era," Pulley said, "to bring and show off their own interesting cars and bikes, enjoy time together, and get to see the AHCH. "

Honda logo with wings on motorcycle tankHonda

How to Visit the Honda Museums

The Honda Heritage Center Museum is located at 24025 Honda Parkway in Marysville, Ohio. It's open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays. Admission is free. Information about the Honda Heritage Center can be found at Honda Heritage Center.

The American Honda Collection Hall is located at 1919 Torrance Blvd. in Torrance, California. It's open to the public during regular weekday business hours and on the third Saturday of every other month. There is no fee for entry. Information about the AHCH can be found at Honda Collection Hall.

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Brett Berk
Brett Berk is a New York City-based writer who covers the intersection of cars and culture: art, architecture, books, fashion, film, politics, television. His writing appears regularly in top-tier automotive and lifestyle publications.