As early as June 1963, Honda had published a quiz in Japanese newspapers, in which readers were supposed to guess the sales price of the S500. However, this was never intended as a competition, but as a clever marketing trick to find out what potential customers expected and then react with a slightly lower price. Honda received more than 5.7 million responses in total, with the most frequently quoted price for the 40 hp two-seater roadster being 485,000 Yen. The company therefore set an entry price of 459,000 Yen. By the time series production started, the engine capacity had risen to 531 cc and the power output to 44 hp. Despite the steel bodywork, the kerb weight was only 725 kilograms and the topspeed was over 130 kph (80.7 mph). A factory team with two vehicles started at the 1963 Marathon de la Route. This long-distance rally led from Spa in Belgium via Sofia in Bulgaria back to Liège in Belgium. While one vehicle failed to finish due to an accident, the other one reached the finish line after six days.