The Carchive: Honda Acty


Yesterday we looked at the Ford Aerostar, a machine extremely thin-on-the-ground over here. Today we look at a car which could very probably fit between the front seats of the Ford, and which is probably less often seen in the Land Of The Free. The Aerostar was more Van than Minivan, but what does that make the Acty? Microvan? Nah. Im going with Nanovan.

As the name implies, The Carchive tends to concentrate on Cars, with other forms of wheeled transportation only making occasional appearances. This little Honda is the first we’ve seen in a while, and there may be more, depending on how you all reacty.

“Honda Acty vans and pick-up trucks, unlike many lightweight vans, are not just conversions of existing vehicles”

Full points for stating the obvious. There is absolutely no way the Acty could be mistaken for having been based on anything, apart perhaps it from a particularly capacious sit ‘n ride lawnmower. A true forward-control vehicle, the front wheels sitting directly below the drivers butt, he at the helm found himself playing the roll of crumple-zone. In the event of an accident the Acty was designed so that the force of impact would be absorbed by the drivers body and dissipated, via his torso and legs, into the chassis. Thus the valuable cargo would go unscathed.


“Overall dimensions of this versatile load carrier are a congestion-beating 3195mm x 1395mm”

I’ve eaten bigger packed lunches. The fantastic compactness of the Acty made it incredibly useful in tight urban areas, delivering down those alleyways that a Transit would have to seriously breathe in to access. The Acty could reach parts hitherto inaccessible by certain fat men. It was also blessed with the gift of making even the most hirsute and eligible man look positively ridiculous behind the wheel.


“The new water-cooled 545cc engine pushes out enough power…”

….For fowards momentum to be achieved. The two cylinders whistled out 30 cute little Japanese horses at a sky-high 6000rpm. Moving around town at a pace competitive with other traffic required an absolute absence of mechanical sympathy. In fact, driven in the ruthless fashion that the Acty best suited, they would zip along quite nicely. I mean, the maximum speed could be easily achieved by a tortoise riding a unicycle, but nought to, say, 28mph could be achieved with some eagerness.


“The revised cab offers saloon-car comfort and fatigue-free driving”

I find it impossible to believe that this could be anything but a complete lie. A look at the shallow vinyl bench seat, the acres of painted metal, the fact that the engine is under your arse (which the front suspension springs are directly connected to), together with the ten-inch wheels (the same size as the casters underneath my coffee-table) which are the perfect diameter to drop clean into every urban pot-hole in the country, would tend to suggest comfort in the league of defloration by giraffe rather than saloon car comfort.

The fatigue-free claim is an interesting one, too, what with max power at 6000rpm and an exhaust which exits under the nose of the Acty, not a million miles from the ventilation ducts, all the better for gentle asphyxiation.

“Acty, the second generation of Honda cans and trucks; bigger heart, broader shoulders.”

It all seems like I’m giving the poor little Acty a hard time. To be honest, that’s what everybody gave it. It showed such a willingness to soak up abuse that every Acty was thus treated until the day it fell apart at the seams, usually from total bodywork neglect. The Acty was so personable you didn’t so much junk it as have it put down.

Today, I really fancy an Acty as a kind of ironic track-day car. I mean, a centrally-mounted engine and De Dion rear axle are right out of the supercar copybook, and an Acty is a lot closer to my likely budget.

(Disclaimer: All images are of original manufacturers publicity material, photographed by me. Please note my experience of Acty driving has been in an entirely non road-legal one with no doors and with gaping holes in the floor. Though I’ll bet an immaculate one wasn’t vastly more comfortable.)

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17 responses to “The Carchive: Honda Acty”

  1. wisc47 Avatar

    [youtube ACqghOqBlXY youtube]

  2. racer139 Avatar

    "Acty, the second generation of honda "cans" and trucks" this kinda sums up these little cans quite well.

    1. dead_elvis Avatar

      Little cans can still be quite enjoyable.
      Paging $kaycog (for an appropriate illustration, of course – nothing personal intended!)

    2. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      Darnit, I thought I caught that Typo on an edit. Never mind, it's kind of appropriate.

    3. monkey_tennis Avatar

      It is a reference to the wonders of recycling: The Honda Acty actually is a second generation can.

  3. smokyburnout Avatar

    You'll want a turbo one for track days.
    <img src=""/&gt;
    Maybe don't overdo the brake upgrades.
    [youtube Fb_Kbuql1q4 youtube]

    1. FЯeeMan Avatar

      Somebody applied the decals backwards.

  4. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    Must. Have.

  5. Aaron Avatar

    The engine is in the back (ish) not in the front, nor is the exhaust coming out the front of the car. The chassis picture has the back to e left.

    1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      Wow, this is the wrongest I've ever been in a Carchive article. I´m sorry and highly embarrassed.

        1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

          Some Awe!

        2. Vavon Avatar

          The right feets… Oh, the irony!!!

  6. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    I am completely envious of your coffee table's plush ride, and of your abundant luncheon options.

    1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

      [youtube FnaiIfu7c_U youtube]

  7. Preludacris Avatar

    "defloration by giraffe"

    1. monkey_tennis Avatar

      Only funny if you are the giraffe.

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