Here is a classic from the archives. These humble and concise paragraphs summarize Mugen's origins (and is even written in first-person). The MF-318 was the first true Mugen engine. Designed in 1973 and based on the Civic 1200 block, this engine was extremely successful in both open and closed wheel catagories.
Here is the transcribed text:
In 1973 Hirotoshi Honda decided to start his own race engine manufacturing company with Masao Kimura. This sparked an interest in racing from a few people in Honda's Research & Development group. Working with Hirotoshi and without pay, we formed Mugen. We all had one thought in mind; to be involved in racing and to manufacture the best race car engines. Our first project was an engine based on a Honda 1200cc Civic engine. We either modified or completely remade everything on the engine, including casting the main bearing caps on the oilpan, in order to add stiffness to the engine, which is required for a Formula race car engine.
The engine was bored out to 1300cc and was entered in the Formula FJ 1300 Racing Series. The engine was very successful, the car won its first race. The success also sparked Honda to return to racing and new Mugen and Honda work side-by-side in many racing projects. Mugen has grown and is involved in manufacturing the highest quality racing and performance parts.
Engine Design Specifications:
Name: Mugen MF-318
Type of Engine: In-line 4 OHC 8-Valve
Bore x Stroke: 73 x 76 mm
Compression Ratio: 11.0 : 1
Horsepower: 135 ps/8000rpm
Carburetion: Keihin CR-35mm Carb
Ignition: From Honda Motorcycle