A Very Civic Christmas

We don’t say Happy Holidays here at Riverside Green; it’s Merry Christmas, the holiday to celebrate the birth of our risen Savior, Jesus Christ. Before you fedora-tippers say anything, we’re perfectly aware that Christmas and Easter were both time-shifted to replace existing pagan celebrations. Celebrating Christmas around the winter solstice is no more illogical than espousing an evolutionary origin for pressurized organs. So there. (Yes, I read Stephen Jay Gould’s arguments for that, too.)

As we celebrate Christmas, the nice people at Honda are celebrating Civics. The Twin Ring Motegi track is currently hosting a Civic heritage display; some photos and a video are below, with various comments.

As with many other world-changing machines, the first Civic contained almost no original thinking but rather generated its impact from the unique way in which it put previously-established ideas together. Honda had already built transverse-engined FWD cars, inspired by the original Mini. The Civic was merely a combination of transverse FWD, water cooling, international compact-car dimensions, weight-conscious engineering, and elevated build quality. When the CVCC engine appeared, it was then uniquely positioned to make a splash in the United States.

The Civic was also designed to be cheap. As this photo shows, many of the early cars didn’t even have a hatchback, because the hatchback mechanism added cost. Many people remember Honda as the automaker that popularized five-speed transmissions, and that’s largely true, but it was also possible to buy four-speed Civics through the Eighties, long after the ’77 Cutlass could be had with a five-speed. Honda retained a carburetor in entry-level models long after the competition made fuel injection standard.

Not that the Civic was perfect. The early cars were as fragile as tissue boxes — this blog was almost pre-canceled in 1985 when my mother’s black ’82 Civic Si was struck by a mid-Seventies Cadillac in the back bumper at a stoplight and promptly collapsed its rear seatback into the front seats. As fate would have it, she’d dropped us off at our house just ten minutes before. Honda also struggled for years with rust issues, perhaps not as much as Toyota did in that same period but enough for plenty of first-generation Accords to lose their floorboards before the synchros got graunchy.

Almost always the right car at the right time — cheap and cheerful in America’s darkest era, BMW-esque during the yuppie Nineties, swoopy and futuristic just as the competition largely abandoned subcompacts — the Civic has always delivered outstanding value, meticulous reliability, and enough driving interest to keep young people from dismissing it out of hand. The Fast and Furious “import tuner” scene may have put Skylines and Supras on the front cover of magazines but it largely relied on Civics to fill the parking lots.

Your humble author campaigned a Civic briefly with Compass360 Racing in Grand-Am’s Koni Challenge during 2009, while also racing an ’89 DX hatch with Pakistan Express from 2009 through 2011. Eric Kutil’s Gridlife Touring Cup championship in 2020 makes the case for the continued viability of the “golden era” Civics in competition; double-wishbone Honda hatches are often the only legitimate competition offered to Miatas in smallbore club racing. If you’re interested in starting a trackday career, and you don’t want to drive the aforementioned Miata, it’s hard to go wrong with a manual-transmission Civic.

In the right hands, the current Civic Type R can be a giant-killer; when my brother and I ran SCCA’s Targa Southland together a few years ago, his Type-R press car was almost always faster than the expensively-upgraded C5 Corvette my wife had just bought from Matt Farah. I vividly remember being fully crossed-up in AMP’s final carousel turn while Mark’s Civic just steamed away like it had a massive rubber band attached to its front bumper.

Honda is also almost alone in continuing to offer a stick-shift low-price sporting compact, with its current Si, although if you want a coupe you’ll have to find a dealer with last year’s model in stock.

You’d have to go back to the 1963 Chevrolet to find another car that has been so many things to so many people, and competent besides — but the Civic has maintained that something-for-everyone virtue over almost fifty years now. It’s not the car you buy if you won the lottery, or the car you would buy if you wanted to impress the crowd at your high-school reunion. For millions of people around the world, however, the Civic has simply been the car they bought, again and again. That’s worth something.

51 Replies to “A Very Civic Christmas”

  1. Ronnie Schreiber

    I hope everyone in the Baruth household has a joyful and meaningful Christmas, along with a 2021 that’s better than 2020.

    As for Honda, now that the Civic and Accord have grown in size and weight, I think the Fit/Jazz checks off a lot of the boxes that the early Civics did, though it’s unquestionably a lot safer. I have a ’15 Fit Ex and every time I drive it I’m impressed with how sophisticated it is for an entry level model. Even so, like the early Civic it has some cost cutting, like not enough sound proofing and no remote hatch release.

      • Ronnie Schreiber

        For the US market, yes. The HR-V is built on the Jazz platform and outsells it here. It’s too bad they never offered the Fit/Jazz with AWD.

        • John C.

          It is probably for the best that only the HR-V remains. In one of my rare moments of agreement with Honda man, it is probably best for the single mom, the current locust of the youth market. The lease deals are such that they obviate the warranty advantage of the Koreans.

          I think the Fit was a poor fit for the USA market. The lack of two doors or Si chased off actual younger male drivers. Yet it tricked the susceptible to it mature male driver to buy one to try to recreate his youthful lusts generated by some of the Civics above. Once driving one, the harsh ride of no suspension travel, hard low rolling resistance tires, no proper cruising gear, and thin, hard seats were too rough for their mature back and ears. In traffic they were even more terrifying around crew cab pickups than old Civic drivers looking at Citations. Yes they were more space efficient than the old and not as maintenance intensive, but that old transaction price premium still grated.

          Speaking generically, for what the mature buyer paid for their Fit, the mature male buyer could have had a Verano, a Fusion S, or a Chrysler 200 that was more in keeping with their needs and the sensibilities of their own father. If more of them had made such a choice, such an option might have remained for their sons. We lose something when we abandon ancestor worship in favor of recreating lost youth.

          • Ronnie Schreiber

            Once driving one, the harsh ride of no suspension travel, hard low rolling resistance tires, no proper cruising gear, and thin, hard seats were too rough for their mature back and ears.

            I cross shopped the Fit with the Ford Fiesta. The Fiesta doesn’t have appreciably greater suspension travel.

            I have a chronic low back problem and hurt my neck in a fall and in some cars 150 miles is about the limit before my back starts to ache. I haven’t found that to be a problem with my Fit and I do a lot of long distance driving in it.

            The OEM tires were not very good. The Blizzaks I run in the winter have better dry grip than the all-seasons that came on the car.

            Yeah, the common complaint about the Fit with a stick is that instead of adding an intermediate 5th to make a 6 speed, Honda should have gone with a longer 6th. I’m not sure if a longer 6th would have made for better highway driving. At 80 mph, the engine is turning about 3,900 rpm. It’s a little four so things are getting a bit buzzy, but it’s also on the edge of where the naturally aspirated engine starts making more power and VTEC kicks in, yo, so there’s plenty of passing power at 80. Also, I personally find the gearing, overall, to be very useful, but then I do a lot of 3-5, 3-6, and 4-6 shift, perhaps because 3rd feels pretty long.

            In traffic they were even more terrifying around crew cab pickups than old Civic drivers looking at Citations. Yes they were more space efficient than the old and not as maintenance intensive, but that old transaction price premium still grated.

            Just how do you know how terrifying they are to drive in traffic?

            I’m used to driving small cars and in any case, the Fiesta would be no better around big vehicles. As for the transaction price, both of my Fits (I totaled the first one about 5 months in) cost me between $17K and $18K out the door, about the same as a similarly equipped Fiesta would have cost, though I doubt I would have found quite as good of a deal.

            Speaking generically, for what the mature buyer paid for their Fit, the mature male buyer could have had a Verano, a Fusion S, or a Chrysler 200 that was more in keeping with their needs and the sensibilities of their own father.

            Woudn’t it make more sense to buy something in keeping with my needs and sensibilities rather than those of my late father? The Fit is essentially a small Oddysey and is a lot more cargo friendly than any of those other cars you mentioned. I can fit my entire NAMM booth in the back of my Fit, and drive it down to Nashville, something I wouldn’t be able to do with those cars.

            I doubt very much that I could have gotten any of those cars for anywhere near $17K.

            As for my father, the last car that he bought was a 1984 Honda Accord. I checked, my Fit is very close to the size and weight of that Accord. It has more power and more modern tech, but the Fit does remind me of my that ’84 Honda, which I inherited after he died. My father loved big American cars, but he also liked little foreign cars as well. Besides the Honda, he also owned an Austin American and a VW Super Beetle. We’re Detroiters, we like cars in general.

            If more of them had made such a choice, such an option might have remained for their sons. We lose something when we abandon ancestor worship in favor of recreating lost youth.

            It’s middle aged American women buying SUVs and crossovers that killed the sedans you mentioned, not old farts buying compact imports.

            I’m Jewish, not Japanese. We Jews honor our forefathers but we don’t worship them.

          • John C.

            Obviously we are just two people sharing opinions so that is all this is. You were absolutely within your rights to buy gosh two Fits. A couple of the things you said above struck me. I understand what you are saying about VTEC kicking in above 80, though surprised the Fit wouldn’t have had VTEC-E like the old Civic HF. Do you really think a car is good for cruising all day at 3900 rpm. One day maybe but not cross country. Leaving the sad choice to kill traveling or kill your engine.

            I don’t doubt the Fit measures up to the Fiesta dynamically but remember that car was just an Obama/ Steve Ratner special forced on domestic Ford.

            My somewhat terrifying wheel time in Obama/Ratner minicars include Fiesta, Yaris, and Mirage. I wonder if the earlier appearance of the Fit on our market is what inspired Ratner to force all the domestics to offer an equivalent.

            Domestic entry level mid sizes when they existed were periodically the subject of 20% off list sales getting you your price. Heck 200s were frequent 14,995 specials, 18k might have got you a Pentastar one. You once told me in one of these threads you were the designated Detroit defender at old days TTAC. Given that you should have had that knowledge.

            I am sorry to hear Jews don’t worship your forefathers, I think it is one thing that our Oriental friends have right.

          • CJinSD

            I can’t see any basis in reality for a conclusion that Rattner and Obama were inspired by the Honda Fit to demand Ford Fiestas. Consider:

            1. Chevrolet was selling Aveos for years when the Fit showed up.
            2. Nissan introduced the Versa a few months before Honda brought the Fit to the US for the 2007 model year.
            3. Obama Rattner set the US on course to eliminate small, affordable cars. The whole point of ‘foot-print’ CAFE was to eliminate the need to sell small cars that working class people can buy. The bigger and more expensive the vehicle, the lower the CAFE target is. That’s why CAFE targets shot up on paper while the new vehicle fleet mostly consists of vehicles that use considerably more fuel than the small cars of a dozen years ago.
            4. Ford wasn’t reorganized by Obama and Rattner. It was GM they handed over to China and Chrysler they paid globalists to loot.

          • John C.

            Remember the early Aveos were almost all sedans like the Echos before the Yaris. If you read the early road tests of the Fiesta, it tells the story of a Euro hatch model forced on Ford USA, their politics not allowing mentioning Obama never mind Ratner behind him pulling his strings. The Versa hatch is a size up so not relevant. It was Ratner who decided that the Fit hatch was to be the approved style of the American family car. The real question I have, was Ratner enough of a car guy to even know what he was foisting on America, or did the automakers just congeal on the Fit shape and size because it was the only way they knew to meet his impossible specs rubberstamped by Obama?

          • CJinSD

            I’m not going to get in the weeds with you and argue what percentage of Aveos were 5-doors like every one I ever saw, or that most Fiestas sold here had trunks. Obama’s CAFE has all but eliminated small cars and you’re still clinging to straws to defend your incorrect conclusions. That’s not how one learns.

          • Compaq Deskpro

            A Fit Si absolutely should have happened, if you go to Lawrence MA you will see every generation of every Honda product in every possible combination of modification and condition, everything from new mundane loaded Accords and Acuras to both lowered and lifted CR-V’s to barely holding up Odyssey’s with 20 inch rims. There are plenty of home made Fit Si’s.

          • John C.

            CJ doesn’t want to get in the weeds about Aveo hatchs. I don’t blame him and he has probably by now remembered that the first generation were all sedans. Notice his main point though. His problem isn’t that some gadfly from Wall Street decided that the working class family car should be 160 inches long and have < =1.5 liter engines, with the only allowance for Americana being four doors, electric power steering, and lousy trick automatics. No it is that some adult in the room in 2009, Sherrod Brown? Dick Gephardt?, said you can't just kill the pickup. CJ, you spent too much time on Wall Street.

          • Jack Baruth Post author

            There are quite a few first-gen (even first-year) Aveo hatchbacks for sale out there. I think the hatchback thing was more due to Europhile engineers and product planners than it was to Barack’s Criminal Chicago Crew.

          • Jack Baruth Post author

            An interesting tidbit of information: For reasons I cannot begin to guess, both Ford and GM played all sorts of restrictive options/trim games with their B-class cars, often restricting the good stuff to the hatchbacks and making the sedans the cheapest variant.

          • John C.

            I have a more sinister view of that generation of hatchbacks, not particularly at the Fit as in my conspiracy theory, it served more as a model. My idea is that given 2009 tech that fairly universal hatch shape was deemed by government experts as the ideal family car. skipping CUV style because it was an austere future. It wasn’t fit for the highway, but was almost Issigonis in the big inside, small outside. Everything had been done though to make them easy to drive, PS, almost universal auto, backup camera. Openly foreign in style because the government, wall street sophisticates, and Niedermeyer style auto experts who pushed them big never thought American cars were any good. The really evil part of it is this. The family they were imagining for it was small, female lead, and foreign born so it was part of Democrat population replacement. This is just my conspiracy theory.

            I think the Spark and the Mirage are the last of these sold in the USA. Now I hope they stay around as a warning.

          • CJinSD

            Millions of white, Christian, relatively-free Americans bought the cars you’re describing forty years ago. You can see pictures of one influential example in the article above. Other popular hatchbacks that were used by families in the US included the Ford Escort, the Plymouth Horizon, and the Toyota Tercel. The idea that people would want affordable, efficient cars after the credit crisis was based on old fashioned thinking that people would have to live within their means and that they would think about their economic security when they purchased a car. It turns out that common sense was already dead.

          • Ronnie Schreiber

            I am sorry to hear Jews don’t worship your forefathers, I think it is one thing that our Oriental friends have right.

            I shouldn’t have to explain this, but Judaism is about worshipping God, not my great-grandfather. It teaches to honor and revere ones ancestors, but they’re not deities. My Hebrew name, Yaakov Reuven, is after my maternal great-grandfather and a great-great grandfather (I’m not sure who exactly, but its whoever my great-uncle Reuben was named after, likely his grandfather or great-grandfather). My son, my only son, Moshe Yoseph, whom I love, is named after both of my grandfahters.

          • John C.

            Ronnie, thanks for filling in one of the many gaps in my knowledge with your talk of the continuity of your Hebrew name. My talk above was more that my ancestors faced bigger obstacles and yet achieved more than I ever will. As a father then it is my hope that that those that are my eventual grandchildren will also know much and model themselves on those that came before me. So when I see something like tiny foreign designed cars replacing cars that my ancestors could have at least related to, I say hold on. William F Buckley said it was the duty of conservatives to stand athwart the arc of human progress yelling Stop! When the “progress” is actual deterioration, it seems to me the duty only becomes more profound.

        • John C.

          What a charming picture you paint CJ of Jimmy Carter and smiling divorcees pouring themselves a cup of ambition before they fire up their miserly Horizons and woody wagon Civics to drop their latch key kids off at daycare before working 9 to 5 and proving they don’t need no man. Don’t look too close at the picture, all to quickly you will spot Joan Claybrook and Hanoi Jane.

          • CJinSD

            Anecdotal evidence and all that, but I really didn’t know too many single mothers in 1980. I did know plenty of married women who drove their kids around in Rabbit Diesels and Civics. It wasn’t a great time economically. Inflation rates were high and the national debt wasn’t so high that the fed couldn’t respond by jacking interest rates to the stratosphere. My mother drove a Horizon for eight years, then traded it for a new Porsche 924S. She’s still married to my Dad, and they still live well within their means, which are very comfortable after being out of debt since they paid off their house in the early ’80s.

            I had a group of juvenile delinquent friends in the early ’80s. We were barely teenagers, but one of our favorite activities was borrowing our parents cars at night and racing them around the neighborhood. Almost all of our parents were still married, but nobody had any problem getting their hands on a suitable econobox to race. That’s what sensible people bought after a couple of fuel crunches and disillusioningly terrible PLCs. Reagan righted the economy and people started spending money on cars again, particularly cars that had electronic engine management that made them perform better than the wheezing garbage coming out of Detroit in the early days of emissions controls and CAFE.

            The econoboxes you credit Rattner with were probably being thought about the first time fuel prices spiked in 2008. I was shopping for a car in California for a woman at the time, and anything with four cylinders was worth more than retail. The Honda dealers in San Diego had nothing to sell except order sheets. The Saturn dealer next door was willing to discount a V6 Aura with everything to a price cheaper than one with a four cylinder, and GM was seizing defeat by not being able to produce the hybrid model when dealers could have charged anything they wanted.

            2006 Civic Si coupes were no-dicker-sticker priced by CARMAX for a couple grand more than I’d paid for my 2007 Civic Si sedan brand new. As econoboxes go, the 2006-2011 Civic Si doesn’t even get good mileage. Perceptions matter though, and $5/gallon gas meant price inversion of SUVs and economy cars. That’s how people acted before the bizarro world of debt forgiveness that happened under Bush and Obama.

            GM went full fascist, and they’ll make whatever the government tells them to. Who cares about buyers, especially working class buyers? Biden/Harris being a ChiCom production will make GM management’s job that much easier. They only have one customer, and they’ll be loving their Wiffle life right up until the ChiComs don’t see any purpose in them any longer. Ford has been selling out the American people ever since the word foundation first appeared after their name. They didn’t even need a bailout to sell out. The econoboxes were based on the idea that they needed to make products people who were facing some tough times would want products that they could afford to buy and operate. It turns out that those people should have been buying tents to live in instead, because the future of the auto industry is actually in making fewer cars for higher paid parasites.

            The last car I bought with my own money is now an old econobox. The last time a woman said anything genuinely nice about it was a decade ago. It doesn’t impress them, but the beach condo I paid cash for a couple of years ago after driving it for a decade does that just fine. I’ll admit that I’ve considered buying a big truck with a pushbar that can shrug off ‘deer strikes,’ but the current inventory levels make me think that I’ll wait for Biden to destroy the economy first.

          • John C.

            CJ, your talk of racing in 1980 had me thinking of my older brother racing his 77 X19 against his best friend’s 78 MGB. The MG always won as 77 X19s still had the 128 engine. My memory, I was 11, was that the divorced mothers in my neighborhood drove the small imports as part of their divorce austerity, they still had the expensive family home. Divorced fathers still had their paychecks and drove C3 Corvettes and wore chest medallions. I can understand as a single man you weigh your future as just the years you have left and make your money choices accordingly. The country might be better off though if decisions were made by those who have more a stake in the long future. I am not saying we have that now.

          • CJinSD

            I saw this future when Bill Clinton was elected only a dozen years after Jimmy Carter left in disgrace, and avoided having to think about anyone else’s future ever since. If I’d been a little bit smarter and older, I’d have figured out what was coming down the pipe when the GOP ran George Bush in 1988. Even Reagan bringing down the CCCP couldn’t keep our establishment politicians and their bureaucratic leeches from finding communists to capitulate to.

          • Carmine

            I don’t think we got the woody Civic wagon here interestingly enough, or that little 5 door with the trunk either. We had the 3 door and then a sedan and wagon, minus the wood.

            When the 1984 model was launched, which got us the 3 door, 4 door, 5 door wagon and CRX, but I don’t think we’ve actually have a 5 door non wagon Civic in the US until recently.

  2. toly arutunoff

    when we became the first Honda car dealer in oklahoma–no one wanted to sell the 600 but we sold every one we could get–we eventually realized Honda’s commitment to many good things…when a gasket manufacturer sold bad product to several manufacturers, as far as I know Honda was the only company to tell its dealers ‘if a car comes in with a blown head gasket, we’ll pay for the repairs even if it means giving them a new engine.’ full page ads in every magazine in america wouldn’t have given Honda the status this action did. believe me, customers told their friends about their free repairs, no questions asked.

    • Depressed Clutch

      Merry Christmas Toly; my first car was a well-used Ohio-built Accord that my parents had purchased new from “AI Honda”. As a young lad, I was intrigued after a service appointment when the credit card slip read “Automobile of Italy”.

      Was that your business, and is that because you were a Ferrari dealer first?

    • George Denzinger

      I dated a young lady in the early 1980’s whose family had a 1978 or 1979 Honda Accord. I had just purchased a 1980 Mercury Capri RS turbo which was no paragon of reliability, however this Accord had several issues during the time we dated. One was some sort of carb issue and the other I remember was the famous rusty front fender issue. I remember the girl’s father saying how impressed he was with the service department, but I remember thinking to myself what good is it if your new (or new-ish) car is in the shop frequently?

      Unfortunately for me, the Capri caught up to the Accord before long. Lucky me (sarcasm) I got to drive a series of used cars and other stinkers until I decided to offload that car. I don’t know whatever happened to that Accord after we ended our relationship in early 1982, but the Accord’s fenders were rusting through, again.

  3. -Nate

    _WHICH_ 1963 Chevy ? .

    I love that wagon .

    Sadly, all the many CVCC’s I bought for $150, replaced the engine and flipped for $eriou$ profit, I didn’t keep a single one, bad mistake as these were indeed cheap and cheerful and FUN TO DRIVE cars ! .

    Too bad Americans don’t like to ever change the oil, that’s what killed them .

    Almost every one was a 4 speed manual box, for an extra $75 I’d get the 5 speed with the good used low mileage engine .


  4. stingray65

    Merry Christmas all.

    Remembering the early Civics reminds me of the Detroit apologist criticisms of the car, which was that sure the build quality and day to day reliability of the American car was crap compared to a Honda (or Toyota or Datsun), but 5-7 years later or in an accident you would be happy to have the American car because of its superior rust proofing (Vega excepted) and structural integrity (Pinto excepted). There was some truth to those criticisms, but most original buyers of that era didn’t care about 5-7 years down the road because they were buying on a 2-4 year repayment schedule and then trading for the new version after never having a morning when their Civic didn’t start, or having to look at poorly aligned trim pieces, or listen to squeaks and rattles during those 2-4 years of ownership, which was a revelation.

  5. Panzer

    Mmm can’t wait for ‘John C.’ to read this and have an aneurysm. Maybe his head will even explode and shower his computer and surrounding room with brains and blood. One can only hope 😊

    • John C.

      No aneurysm, or any of your other needless gore. Someone not so enthralled with Honda will have spent his whole life listening to the fans gush. Gosh even lousy head gaskets are a virtue, once the virile and handsome Honda man arrives on the scene.

      In any case, among the pictures above, I was enamored with the early Civic dash with all the real looking wood done up in the British style, nice! I have spent more time in the second gen that seemed to more concentrate on interior exposed metal. Interesting that the cheapening wasn’t mentioned in the road tests. They were probably too excited that Honda’s 2sp auto didn’t make it into the 80s.

      Merry Christmas to all, even the Honda fans.

      • Panzer

        You know what John? I ‘reckon you and I agree on a few things actually. Thing is, you have the same problem as the cunts rampaging around the streets the last six months – You think you have the right to dictate to your fellow Americans how they’re supposed to think and what they’re allowed to buy. And I just can’t abide by that.

        • John C.

          Don’t assume I have any Guderian level power Panzer. If I offer any utility, and I am not sure I do, it is to remind that when everyone they know thinks one thing, that maybe that doesn’t mean everybody thinks that way. It is at least worth acknowledging the other view and not assume one truth, but instead offer friendly arguments. Notice Jack did so in his original article but several of the more lazy commenters decided to expand their love for 40 year ago Honda into insults to 40 year ago domestics. Why? Japan lust? Self loathing? Hating Daddy? I don’t claim to understand.

          • JMcG

            You do offer utility John. I’m always interested to hear your viewpoint. I don’t always agree, but the last thing I need is another echo chamber marching in lockstep. Sorry for the terrible mixed metaphor. Hope your Christmas was good and that your New Year is even better.

      • George Denzinger

        I’ll echo JMcG’s comment, I also appreciate your input even though I may not agree with all of it. I find that I agree with you more often than I disagree, however. I guess we may have a similar outlook on events past and present.

  6. LynnG

    Merry Christmas to all and best wishes for a near normal 2021… and Happy Motoring…

    On a motoring note, a customer drove a new BMW off the lot yesterday as I was driving by and it sounded just like a Honda motorcycle, as the new owner floored it to fly down the road. I did not see the model designation but I think they must be regressing because if they were going to make a car sound like a motorcycle they sound make it sound like a BMW motorcycle not a rice burner… 🙂 🙂

    • Depressed Clutch

      When I took delivery of my BMW motorcycle, the G310R, it reminded me of a Honda lawnmower. 🙂

      But it was a good memory because the mower was simple, reliable, and made me decent money as a teen. Too bad the bike has had more recalls than miles ridden 🙁

  7. Economist

    I leased a 2009 8th gen Si for a few years. Even though it nearly exactly the same size as my wife’s 2000 Accord coupe, it was extremely fun to drive and I would have bought it at the end of the lease, but baby seats have a way of making you change your perspective on coupes. It was such a good car, though. The rev-happy 2.0 and the six-speed made every drive fun. The Civic reminded me of my 1992 Integra which was another great car.
    My brother pointed out that the instruments on my 8th gen VFR look just like the dash display from that Civic. I had never noticed, but now I wonder if it was intentional.

  8. Scotm

    The Civic is the car of my life. My first new car out of college was a 90 Civic Si. Traded it in at 98000 mikes for a 94 EX because my father convinced me cars start to fall apart at 100K. Chrysler maybe. Like he drove. Traded that in on a 99 Civic Si. Got divorced and had to sell it. Biggest regret about the divorce. Drove a variety of Japanese cars over the intervening years with a couple of Grand Wagoneers thrown in for good measure. Spent 4 years in Korea for Boeing and ordered a Civic Type R when I found out they were bringing me back to St. Louis. Now my newly graduated Chemical Engineer son just bought a new Civic Si sedan. The world comes full circle and the cycle begins anew.

  9. hank chinaski

    Merry Christmas.

    I’ve been a Mazda owner for the most part, but the older clone is soon to inherit a low mile, early aught, family member owned (euro market) Accord. Wifey drove Hondas til I pushed her upmarket.

    /Seinfeld voice: ‘What’s the deal with Honda Civics and low income Hispanics?’

    We haven’t heard about DG’s 30AE in a while.

    • Jack Baruth Post author

      She still hasn’t put a thousand miles on it! Also she needs to install the color matched Blackbird rollbar I got her…


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