Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Somebody made a deal with the rust gods

This car should not exist in 2016 Brooklyn. As far as cars go the body on this little grocery getter should have dissolved into rust like a Kleenex tossed into a fire. However there it was in Clinton Hill!
This is a 1982-1983 Honda Civic Wagon in the terrifically yawn-inducing Arctic Silver. By the way the reason I capitalized Wagon is that it's written on the back as a nameplate. I can't remember an instance where an automaker spelled out the body style on the car itself. I mean, isn't it obvious?
This faithful little steed has a 1500cc 4 cylinder engine good for 34mpg in the city and 47mpg on the highway. As great as these numbers are there was a special ultra-efficient model with a 1335cc engine that boasted 41mpg city and a whopping 55mpg on the highway! I always think of these 35 year old marvels when automaker bristle at being forced to coax 30mpg out of their vehicles in 2016.
This was known as the Quint in Japan due to its 5 doors.
The Wagon was front wheel drive while the other Civic body styles remained RWD like ALL Civics going all the way back to 1972*. Other than that this car is a hold over from olden days; the engine breathes through a carburetor, the rear brakes are drums, and there is no power steering.
*Shout out to Cyota Corolla for catching me on that one.
This is the base model, so side trim and a rear wiper are omitted. The price for the base Civic Wagon was just above $6,000 which was more than an average domestic pickup truck, more than the Ford Escort, and just a touch less than a Mustang. What your money got you was a whole lot of car though and legendary reliability.
The CIVIC emblem has always looked a touch evil to me due to it's larger V.
In the era of big American station wagons this car looked diminutive. These days there are smaller cars on the road, but this design can still hold a surprising amount of cargo.
The rear doors on these are larger than the fronts which allows for side loading when the rear seats are folded flat.
We've got local parking stickers going back to 1992 so the fact that there isn't much rust is amazing!
Just the basics; spare tire dumped in the back and a shovel. Check out that terrible aftermarket speaker from the '80s too!
The factory spare tire placement for the Wagon was under the trunk on the outside of the body. There were two small metal arms that held the tire up under the trunk just like if you put your arms out in front of you bent at the elbow palms up. Even on cars as well preserved as this one the metal bars and the screws holding them together would rust out almost immediately.
Nice CLUB bro.
I can't see a radio from this angle but there is a little cubby below the ashtray where I assume it would be. Then again there is that cheesy little speaker in the back. Maybe it's hidden?
The hood is hinged in the front so working on it requires leaning over the fenders. There is plenty of room though since the engine is so diminutive. 
That little bump above the drivers side window is the antenna so this must have had at least the AM.
Somewhere somebody's rocking the faux chrome H from the grill! That and the headlight surround are the only things missing that I can see.
I have a special place in my heart for '70s and '80s Japanese cars. I've owned several, including (very briefly) an '81 Prelude. These are fun when equipped with a manual shift even though they aren't exactly quick. Hats off to the frugal stranger out there still rocking the Civic! 


  1. Dude love your blog but Civics were never RWD...idk what gave you that idea.

    1. I stand corrected! I had a Corolla wagon from the early '80s and it probably went to my brain that the Honda was RWD too. I'll make the fix