A love called Honda CIVIC
My love affair with this little roller-skate of a car started even before Honda introduced it in 1984. I’ve been a Honda Girl since 1978. My dad had a Honda motorcycle franchise, and every car, save a very few have been Honda’s. I’ll admit we had a few lapses of reason, but very few overall.
My passion started with four wheels way back when I visited my Grandfather in Pennsylvania, and the barn full of dust covered English metal that was his passion. He had a garage that held 4 to 6 cars at a time, and I remember a Sunbeam Tiger, a Model A or a T I’m not sure, His Rolls Royce daily driver, another navy blue Corniche convertible with white interior, a couple of Jaguars, Lancias and countless others over the years.
The smell of the tire rubber, the motor oil and exhaust still does it to me, the throaty sounds of steel headers or high flow exhaust systems make me tingle.
My first car was a rust free 1978 Honda Civic 1200, a non-CVCC car, which my Dad traded a man from Texas for a scooter when he came into my dad’s Honda bike shop in Leominster Massachusetts. I think it had a blown head gasket or something, but I remember walking into my Dad’s shop after school one day and seeing the engine on his workbench in pieces. There was something that struck me that day. It was so little yet powerful enough to move a couple thousand pounds of metal and plastic down the road at a healthy clip. I was hooked. When they lifted it in their arms and put the motor back in, I don’t know, something told me this was a car that was accessible. I could make it cool, fast, even enviable, perhaps I was ahead of my time? How could a Honda Civic be “cool” and whoop the butt of the kid that has a Pinto, Corolla or Mom’s Mercury station wagon?
I went through my high school yearbook recently and realized ½ the dedication I had written was to “my blue Civic”…is this love or what? My senior picture is with my Civic…not my friends, my Civic. I bought a her front racing spoiler, a center console for an AM-FM cassette radio, and I kept trying to find parts for a 1200 Civic, during a non-internet age…do you have any idea how hard that was? I couldn’t even find racing turbine rims in a four bolt pattern? C’mon, I had plans dog gone it!
Well, that wasn’t going to happen especially in 1983, I was even yearning for my mom’s ’79 Accord that I learned to drive in, because I could find stuff for that, but then…my parents showed up one night in a brand new 1984 Civic hatchback “S”. Oh my, a clean white beauty, a 5 speed even, and now I really was hooked! I got to take that car to college by the way, after my Dad tricked it out a little with tinted windows, Hella driving lamps and Pirelli tires, (later the boys at college were eating me up). See, the thing is that Dad had brought home the brochures, so I knew of the love my Dad pined for, the 1985 Si version, but I pined for more, a little 2 seater cutie that had my name all over it. Then the research began, the HF the DX or the Si? Oh a girl can dream…a little black Hatchback or CRX Si, yes thank you Sir.
Well, Jeff the mechanic shows up one day in a black on black 1986 CRX Si, he had just started at my Dads shop…the consummate “bad boy”…I wasn’t even interested in him until that day. Am I a bad girl for wanting a guy for his car? I think that’s pretty typical of the female of the species…that’s why you hear of the stories from your Dad, about all the trials and tribulations he had to go through to get your Mom away from the guy with the ‘Vette. But it wasn’t a hot Corvette or even a classic Mustang, just a little Honda car that set my heart a pitter pat.
86 CRX Si
But even then, my senior year of college one of the guys showed up after summer interns, in a de-badged ‘91 black on black CRX Si, with Fittipaldi 17” rims and Pirelli low profile tires…oh, still my beating heart.
But let me get back to my little blue hot rod. It’s interesting to see these guys tearing down their current cars to what my Civic was -metal with a little vinyl inside. Bare bones car, that the heater was only in the dash, and your friend had to hold the doors shut on your way to school so they wouldn’t fly open since the locks were frozen…ahhhh yes. True luxury, there’s no other word for it, so let’s tear this Lexus down to…a 1978 Civic shall we?
Well, now it’s a few years later, and a few Civics as well, inclusive of a silver ‘81 Civic hatchback DX, my Mom’s ’84 Civic Hatchback S, a ’95 Civic DX hatchback , an ‘05 Mugen Racing Si (which I never should have sold, that’s a bad relationship for you), and an ’06 DX coupe’. Now I want to go back and build my dream car. What I’ve realized is I don’t have the budget I did before and I need to do it cheap and easy. I’ve also realized I’m not alone in my desires.
05 Civic Si
I’ve picked up HondaTuner magazine, which I love as well as all these, shall we say resto-mod, tuner, new age hot rod rags like S3, and Modified as well as DSSport…totally awesome. Where were you guys when I was 16? Now that you mention it, in a time before eBay and Craigslist.org, there was little hope finding parts of any kind outside of a rusted, rolling chassis parts car parked behind Ole’ Chester’s shed, especially in the wilds of western Massachusetts in the mid to late 80’s.
Oh, to be a teen in my first car with no expenses and a paycheck burning a hole in my pocket….Mmmm Hhhmmmm….yeah I can see it now. Some 14” turbine rims (4 lug, offset? whats that?) with some low profile tires…”You want what? For what?” Maybe a catback exhaust, AM/FM stereo cassette, and fiberglass front airdam…in canary yellow……wha whoa…sorry was I drooling? Well I can honestly say that with the advent of the internet any kid with a PayPal account can get whatever he or more importantly SHE wants for HER …whatever, especially a 1978 Persian blue metallic Honda Civic 1200.
So, wish me luck and patience as I search high and low for my daily driver CRX or Civic hatchback new or old, it doesn’t matter I’ll know her when I see her and we will have great adventures in eBay and online searches, money spending and performance upgrades, paint schemes and road trips for many years to come.
FYI since I first wrote this I have just acquired a 1994 Acura Legend GS…for a few hundred bucks, you gotta start somewhere right?