My post in the 'I need a lawnmower thread' spawned this. Post your stories. Obscure models will get you extra intertubes points. If you have an HR17, you win the internet.
Anyway, my short story: in 1983, my dad bought an HR214SX. He used it for 25 years before it died (with my childhood in between), and I was hooked on Hondas as well. 4 years later, he still regrets not getting the engine replaced instead of cheaping out and buying a POS husky mower.
Anyway, it finally came time for me to buy a mower. I decided that getting the commerical HRC216 was just a little too nuts for my smallish yard, so I first tried to find my dad's old HR214 model. I *almost* succeeded, but at the last minute the seller 'claimed' it had a busted starter recoil. I really think he just wanted to back out of the sale and keep it. So, I ended up getting the spirtual successor to the old HR214, an HRX217HYA. They're expensive for a home model ($699)...but considering that the HR214 cost $350 in 1983, it's really not out of line.
I used it for the first time yesterday - it was like riding a bike again. The controls are the same (although the blade brake bar going all the way across the length of the handle is kind of annoying), even the noises are the same. The auto choke is kind of odd getting used to, but that's okay.
"our" old HR214:
"My" new HR217HYA:
Some day I'll still get that HR214 back