Monday, November 28, 2011

Honda Civic Wagon - Old School

I was reading a story on Japanese classic cars in the January 2012 issue of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car magazine and started thinking about Honda Civic wagons. The Japanese Classic Car Show (JCCS) is the big show, and the seventh annual event took place on September 10th in Long Beach, California. Pre-1985 Japanese cars are considered "old school," and there were plenty on display.

I'm looking for an expensive, fun-to-drive little hauler and I remembered that the early Civics came in a five-door version for a while in the U.S. in the late 1970s and 1980s. As an enthusiast of MINI Cooper Clubmans, it's a natural for me. The problem is, Clubmans are still pretty expensive--even the used ones are in the $20,000 range. I'm sure a Civic wagon in decent shape would be a fraction of that (if I can find one).

I Googled Honda Civic Wagon and found, unsurprisingly, HondaCivicWagon.com - a forum, which I joined. Apparently I'm not alone in my enthusiasm for these little cars. Many owners have done the Civic tuner thing--lowering, different wheels, special aftermarket modifications--but I'd like to find a nicely preserved model with a manual transmission and keep it around. It would combine the old car world with some daily practicality--as long as it didn't become a repair issue.

I remember friends who had one when it it was new in the 1980's and it stood tall on its short wheelbase. My 1986 Civic Si was a sweet car, so surely a wagon version would be, too. I have seen one in the parking lot at work--maybe it's time to do some research. Meanwhile, the JCCS is September 15, 2012, so I'll have to go. Other Old School Japanese car events take place, so there may be one near you.

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