The official Honda history books make no attempt at sweeping the 1969 1300 under the carpet.
It is not skipped over or brushed aside, but almost lingered on as a noble failure, an example of how even the best of us can mess things up occasionally.
Never sold in the UK, the 1300 caused the resignation of Mr Honda himself and near mutiny among the firm’s engineers.
Soichiro Honda, having built his reputation on ’bikes, had a ‘thing’ about air cooling and had deployed it successfully in the tiny N360 and N600 small cars.
But when the time came, in the mid-’60s, to design a family-sized front-drive saloon, he was still pressing for air cooling, much against the better judgement of his engineering staff – led by Tadashi Kume – who were worried that the new engine might not meet future American emissions legislation.
Water cooling, they argued, was vital if they were to achieve the even combustion chamber temperatures needed for a clean exhaust.
But Mr Honda was having none of it: if air cooling was good enough for his ’bikes (and even his racing cars), then it was good enough for the new 1300.