Soichiro Honda was born on 17 November 1906, in Komyo Village. He had an interest in automobiles from a very young age, so he tuned cars and entered them into races. Soichiro Honda founded the Honda Technical Research Institute in October 1946. In 1948, he started producing complete motorcycles as president of the Honda Motor Company. Honda turned the company into a billion-dollar multinational that produced the best-selling motorcycles in the world.In 1959 Honda Motorcycles opened its first dealership in the United States. His status was such that People magazine placed him on their "25 Most Intriguing People of the Year" list for 1980, dubbing him "the Japanese Henry Ford."
The first production automobile from Honda was the T360 mini pick-up truck, which went on sale in August 1963. In that year, a 1.5 litre V12, designed by Honda, was produced for Formula One. In 1966, Honda entered Formula Two (1.0 litre) racing and won 11 straight races, becoming the F2 champion. In 1966, Honda won the Constructor's Championships in all five motorcycle Grand Prix classes. In 1967, John Surtees won the Italian Grand Prix Formula One race, Honda's first 3.0 litre F1 victory. Honda had great successes in the mid to late 1980s and beginning of the 1990s.
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