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Ricoh Auto Half E favori envoyer Print
Photos by VB text by VB. From the collection of VB
France Version française

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Manufactured in Japon from (After) 1966 until 0.
Index of rarity in France : Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
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Inventory number: 4898

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Ricoh Auto Half E

This version of the Auto Half E seems to be a limited series, a Japanese book dedicated to Auto half giving it as very rare.
The pattern on the front face may suggest a checkered flag and the lower left corner features a Formula 1 from the 1960's.
I have not found any occasion, if special occasion exits, for this device to be placed on the market , the aforementioned book gives no indication about or publishing date.

However, we can try to approach the history of Formula 1 of the 1960's .
In October 1965 in Mexico Japan wins its first race of a Formula 1 championship , thanks to Honda which participates since 1964.
The 1966 season was not very good for Honda but in September 1967 Honda won his second Grand Prix at Monza.
At the end of the 1968 season , which saw the death of French driver Jo Schlesser on RA302 , Honda withdrew from the championship and will not return before 1983.

We can try to identify the car.
The two dark lateral stripes (red on real cars) and the No. 8 visible on the hood may refer to 1968, previous years the decoration has been different and the No. 8 not used by Honda.
The lack of fins on the front part of the car resembles a model RA300 from 1967 victorious at Monza , but also committed in 1968 , including once under No. 8
The RA301 that will replace, also will sometimes use the # 8 but it has fins.

Auto Half E was put on the market in November 1966, more than a year after the first victory and was produced for ten years, its replacement E2 being released in November 1976.
It should be noted that no Honda N°8 RA300 or RA301 has finished a Grand Prix in 1968 and thus able to justify a limited edition of the Auto Half.
It is not impossible that this version of the Ricoh have been published in late 1967 for the fifth season of Honda GP F1 while the attribution of No. 8, favorable figure for the Japanese people and the recent victory at Monza in autumn allowed all the hopes for the new season. The camera could present then the 1967's car with colors and No. 8 of 1968.
But this is only conjecture.