From 1970 to 1973, Honda was involved in manufacturing a jeep called the Honda Vamos. It was discontinued after 1973 but was reintroduced in 1999 as a trim level of the Honda Acty, a microvan. The word Vamos is taken from a Spanish language which means ‘let’s go’.
In the beginning, the Vamos was available as kei truck and hence a good substitute for the Honda T360. Initially, the Vamos features a 356cc 2-cylinder, mid mounted, air-cooled, gasoline engine similar to the one used in the Honda N360 and the Honda Z360. At that time, Vamos was in competition with the Suzuki Jinmy, Daihatsu Fellow, and the Isuzu Unicab. The rough estimated suggests that only 2500 units of Vamos were sold.
Availability of the rear seat in the Vamos was optional. You can either had it as standard or remove it from the vehicle. Also the seating plan of the Vamos suggested the name for it. For instance, the two-seat Vamos called the Vamos 2, and four-seat Vamos was Vamos 4. Lap only seat belts were also offered for all the passengers in the Vamos. The Vamos came with convertible top which could easily be removed when required. Almost all the instrumentation and switches were both water and dust proof keeping in view the open cab configuration of the Vamos. On front suspension Macpherson strut were used while back received a Dedion tube with half leaf springs.
Vamos & Vamos Hobio
In 1999, when the Honda Vamos was reappeared, its twin appeared on the scenes three years after as the Honda Vamos Hobio. Both the versions were in fact microvans with 659cc straight-3 SOHC E07Z gasoline engines along with upper trim level versions of the Honda Acty van. Four-wheel drive is optional (utilizes the Honda’s Full Time 4WD system) for both the versions. A turbocharger is also available so as to achieve the maximum performance in terms of horsepower.
Unlike Acty van and truck that are used more to perform commercial and industrial tasks, the Vamos is sold for domestic as well as personal use. This is the reason that there are many luxury items that are commonly available in the Vamos and lacking in Acty van. Suzuki Every van, the Subaru Sambar van and Daihatsu Atrai van are the major competitors of Vamos.
There are certain other trim packages and exclusive options that have been offered on both the versions along with many changes that appear on yearly basis in the grilles, taillights and colors etc. The interior is much more comfortable now than the previous versions offering spacious interior. The aftermarket appearance kits for both the Vamos and Vamos Hobio are available in Japanese automobile market.