(first posted 11/10/2016) How’s that for an outsized proclamation? Did Road and Track jump the shark this time? Well, like everything else, it’s all in the context. Or more specifically, the price of gas. In 1975, in response to the first energy crisis, the Civic was the great messiah. In 1981, it was the the Metro FXi. In 2005, it was the Prius. Humans have a very hard time not assuming that certain trends like oil prices are not going to continue indefinitely.
Having said that, there’s no question that the Civic CVCC was a genuine milestone car in the history of the American automobile industry. It convincingly showed that it was possible to meet three seemingly impossible criteria (super compact size, super efficient engine, low-emissions), right here and right now. And as perhaps the most important point of all, it was fun to drive. In the process the Civic instantly made the rest of the industry look about ten years behind. No wonder it vaulted Honda out of obscurity (as an automaker) into center stage, and set up a legacy unabated as of today (the Civic is a perennial in the best seller list).
A lot of people took the plunge with these cars NZMC or motor corp assembled them and they sold through Leyland dealers the Civic was an improvement all round on the Mini and Morris/Austin 1300 that were still current. I had the next model in five door well used in 03 as a work car it was awesome on gas drove well handled quite well not terrifcly comfortable but a really good reliable car it had been tectyl treated new and was only just starting to rust in the roof and front guards, I’d have another but there are nearly none left.Im not sure we had the CVCC motor as we had no emission regs back then and mine had a simple carby on it and no spaghetti vacuum lines all over the place.
Here in the Midwest, these early Honda’s would blow head gaskets and rust away to an early junkyard retirement. Fortunately for Honda they continually improved the car through the 80’s learning from their deficiencies.
A noteworthy point about the CVCC technology is that Toyota also used it (under a Honda license) in some markets, starting in 1976. Toyota called it TTC-L.
Thanks! It seems TTC was discontinued several yrs. later; this must be why it’s trivia.
Oops, correction: It was called TTC-V and first appeared in 1975. TTC-L was Toyota’s own lean-burn technology. (There was also a TTC-C designation, indicating a three-way catalyst. You can see my confusion!)
Well, yes and no. Most of our automotive problems would disappear, but they would disappear into little brown flakes of rust.
That being said, they were very satisfying to drive. I got only a few minutes of wheel time in one during my car park jockey days, and could tell it would be a blast on the road.
I also was a CPA
Car Parking Attendant
I was fancier. My title was Valet. Best. Job. For. A. High. School. Gearhead. Ever!
Besides being too small, I think these early Hondas had the distinction of being the car that actually out-rusted a Volare/Aspen!
At least they made a nice go-cart afterwards!
The Civic was a smash hit in CA; my parents in panic bought two of the ’75s from Pasadena Honda. One was a wagon for Dad. I learned shifting with the blue hatchback. My sister inherited it for college, & had an unusual accident: a cyclist T-boned it.
A fun feature: to change the accessory belt, one needed to dismount the engine! And Honda has a long tradition of locating the oil filter facing the firewall. But these didn’t detract from the Fahrvergnügen & economy.
My first car was a used ’78 Civic (bought in ’83). I used to spend $5 a week on gas going to and from University.
For the longest time Honda had wonderful designs. There are several generations of Civics that I really like. Thing is, I just don’t like the look of the current Civic. It looks like something Ultraman would fight (or Johnny Socko and Giant Robot?).
Maybe I’m just showing my age…
I believe this was the engine that, during a Congressional hearing where the Detroit 3 (4?) had all testified longly and loudly that the upcoming pollution standards were impossible to meet, disastrous for the industry, would destroy automobiles, etc., etc., etc. – only to have Honda wheel a copy of the motor in with the comment, “We’ve already done it. Here it is.”
The day the Detroit looked like fools, and proved they were more interested in fighting the environmental standards than meeting them.
If I recall correctly, Honda took a Chevrolet engine – either the Vega engine or a 350 V-8 – and modified it to meet the upcoming emissions standards with its own system, and sent the car back to GM. The car met the federal clean air standards and performed better. GM management was not amused.
We have to keep some things in mind. This was during the pre-catalytic converter era, when the performance and economy of vehicles was at a low point, due to early emissions controls equipment.
GM was already working on the catalytic converter, which would enable it to meet the upcoming emissions standards. GM would install it across the board beginning with the 1975 model year. Honda, meanwhile, claimed it didn’t need one to meet the emissions standards, and touted the ability of its engines to run on leaded gasoline as a result.
Of course, the elimination of leaded gasoline, necessitated by the use of the catalytic converter, was also a boon to the environment. So, in retrospect, Honda’s claim that its cars could still use leaded gasoline seems dubious from an environmental standpoint. And the adoption of the catalytic converter, along with GM’s very good high energy ignition system, did improve the performance and economy of GM’s cars, while meeting the stricter standards.
Today, every vehicle uses a catalytic converter to reduce emissions – including Hondas and Acuras. So GM wasn’t that out of touch.
GM didn’t want to invest in new cylinder head and engine tooling—Cats were able to be added on with minimum investment.
Even Ralph Nader praised Ed Cole for “getting the lead out” of gasoline, which came with the adoption of catalytic converters. And every new gasoline-powered passenger car and light truck sold in the country today still uses catalytic converters…even with the all-new engines that have been developed since that time.
Of course GM was instrumental in getting lead put in gasoline in the first place.
Aviation fuel still uses lead. I’d therefore wager that its initial use in gasoline wasn’t as unnecessary as Jamie Kitman, for example, would like us to believe.
The ability of the Civic CVCC to run on regular leaded gas was a huge selling point back then–It seems that many of our cheapskate dads (“No WAY am I gonna pay 4 cents a gallon more for unleaded!”) looked at the Civic, bought ’em , and discovered a simple, well-screwed-together car (rust resistance notwithstanding).
Honda built a set of CVCC cylinder heads for a 350 in a ’73 Chev Impala. Tables III and V of the report tell just about the whole story.
What amazes me is the sheer variety of engines Japan has developed over the years compared to Detroit, who stuck with ’60s technology for decades. If I’m misinformed please let me know, but I think the Japanese must have had more efficient engineering processes, instead of the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” Anglo-American mindset.
Google “Toyota Production System”, and you’ll get an idea of the different manufacturing approach the Japanese had compared to western producers. This has narrowed over the last 20 years, and now most large manufacturers use Lean and Six Sigma, which have their roots in TPS.
I’m aware of that, but the book “The Machine That Changed the World” on the TPS, while detailing their faster production process & model turnover, didn’t give specifics on engine development so I’ll have to assume the same methods apply there. Japanese carmaker budgets allocated to driveline research must be considerable given what they’ve come up with lately, but this work didn’t give relative figures for the time. But thanks.
Japanese engine technology has been driven very much by market-specific restrictions. Well into the ’80s, engines over 2 liters were just not viable except for high-end cars and the mainstream was still in the 1.3- to 1.6-liter range. Unlike European markets, Japan also had its own tough emissions standards beginning in the mid-70s, modeled on ours. So, the Japanese were obligated to make emissions controls work and they had to do it on small engines; they couldn’t just use de-tuned big engines and call it good.
These solved everything if you were a high school kid with few friends, a card carrying Sierra Club member and living in San Diego.
If you had to do more than take your kid to school in the rust belt where you have two seasons of harsh hot or cold weather, it was the car you would die in if you were involved in a fender bender on an icy day.
Park one of these next to almost any modern vehicle, and they are comically small.
“These solved everything if you were a high school kid with few friends, a card carrying Sierra Club member and living in San Diego.”
HaHaHa – isn’t this always the case? I’ve got the solution, so long as you have the right problem. 🙂
Actually that sounds like a good problem to have. Not sure I’d want to be a high school kid again. Maybe a 25 year old….
Interestingly, the second person I knew whose family actually owned one of these was a classmate from San Diego. His family was living in our town for a year while his career military father completed his assignment at a local military installation. We didn’t have our licenses yet, but his older sisters drove it. This was during the 1977-78 school year.
The first people I knew who owned one were friends of my parents. They had a blue Civic station wagon.
Here you go – The 1975 Civic WAGON next to the 2010 Honda Fit.
My family got some pretty early experience (for midwesterners) with these. The Pontiac dealer where Mom bought her 74 Luxury LeMans started handling Honda. Back in the days when you got a loaner during service, we got a series of Civics to drive for a day or over a weekend. Mom found them fun to drive and I could tell that they were very nicely assembled.
About 1977 (when I was 17), we spent a week with a Civic wagon (with a HondaMatic) after I ran the Pontiac sideways into a fire hydrant. Its lack of power allowed a stupid kid to explore the limits of its handling, and it took it all in stride. Those early experiences gave me a very favorable impression of Honda. I am driving its spiritual successor most days nearly 40 years later.
I had a similar experience, My friend’s dad had to put his Olds Ninety-Eight in the body shop at the Olds dealer that had picked up Honda. He was either loaned or rented a Civic.
My friend and I were fascinated by this tiny car, and it seemed like almost nothing was interlocked with the ignition. So, we sat in it a few times and worked every control that would do something – you know, like squirt the hose at the car and run the wipers with the radio on full blast.
I was too young to have a critical eye, but I sure don’t remember seeing the kind of awful interior quality I noticed at driving age in GM’s ’70s H body cars. And, it survived our abuse.
i absolutely love the first gen and even the 2nd gen civic. it was a time when cars really had different identities. today vert few cars are like that.
Great little cars. My best friends older sister had one when we were in high school and she loved it. And I think you mean ’91 on the Metro XFi 🙂
Although I’ve never owned an early generation Honda Civic, I have ridden as a passenger in a couple of them. I find this more attractive than today’s generation Civic. What I’ve never understood about this generation is why it was never available in 4 door liftback version. In certain markets, you could buy a 1975 Civic in 4 door hatchback form. For some reason, the North American market was never available.
Maybe market researchers found that most Americans expected a 4-door hatch to be a family car & therefore needed the capacity of a wagon.
It actually was available as a 5-door hatchback in the US in 1978, shortly before the second generation arrived.
I’m not so sure about that; neither the 1978 or 1979 US Civic brochures make mention of the 5 door.
Just looking at this car my mind starts playing the old ad jingle: Honda..We make it simple.
And I’d simply love to have one of these today. Just pure goodness in a tidy well-screwed-together package. As noted, they didn’t withstand the rigors of road salt or rugged terrain, but that shot of the dash makes me pine for the simplicity of knobs, etc. that just don’t seem to exist anymore. I had many friends in the mid 80’s who were driving Civics from model years ’79-’83ish, and while they were universally dotted with rust from the harsh NJ winters they’d endured, they ran like Swiss watches. A hell of a lot more than I can say for the Omnirizon and K variants I was driving at the time.
Back in IL.
I bought a used 4spd brown color Honda wagon from this period in the late 1980s for $200.00 The car looked good with no rust and it ran fine with good clean vinyl interior, the paint was faded somewhat. I rem. it even had non working AC. the compressor was half the size of the petite engine. Only problem was a warped right front rotor which I replaced for $35.00. I could shift it without using the clutch like I did with big trucks.
I bought it strictly for resale to make a few $$ and I sold it for $750.00, the buyer called me a week later to thank me and praise the car. After selling it I had several calls due to my Ad still running in the local news paper.
Thinking back, it may have been fairly rare with factory AC ?
U.S. Hondas didn’t do factory air until surprisingly late. The add-on kit was factory-developed, but on Civics, it was dealer-installed. (This wasn’t true in Japan, but it was here into at least the early ’90s.)
This was clever, and efficient, inventory and logistical management on Honda’s part. When my dad bought his 1982 Accord, they came in only 4 colours, and the only factory-installed option was the automatic transmission. So Honda was importing just 8 unique versions of the car, with the dealers installing all manner of kits to tailor the cars to customers tastes.
It made lots of sense for the manufacturer, less so for the customer — you paid dealer markup on the kit and then dealer markup for the labor. And honestly, especially with a Honda, I would much rather trust factory quality control than the attention to detail of dealer technicians, which can be an, er, uncertain quantity.
The exception is the Accord LX, which started having factory A/C in 1978. The cars were in strong demand at the time, and dealers were making considerably more money off the sale of new Hondas than Honda was through massive markups. The solution was to make A/C and power-steering standard on a higher trim level with a big MSRP bump.
In another CC effect, last night I saw a Wheeler Dealer (2016 episode) where they buy a ’77 CVCC for 2k with a leaky head gasket in SoCal. It has a few rust spots, and Ed pulls the head, carb, and intake manifold and does a good job explaining the systems operation. They put in vacuum and mixture gauges and manage 89 miles on 2 gallons of gas, (trying for 45 MPG) hypermiling.
It get an engine rebuild, paint and interior and at the end the Honda museum in LA buys it for 14K. It’s a good episode, worth a look. Their car had a cat installed, which I believe California models had in ’77, although Ed thinks it was added later to overcome a poorly adjusted carb for emission tests. Not sure about this. I would have gone for a fuel injected Rabbit in ’77, more room, better safety and rust resistance, much more durable engine although only a four speed stick (and 3 speed auto) was available that year. I believe in ’77 49 state fuel injected Rabbits had no cat, though California models did. Probably would use a little more gas, though.
Wheeler Dealer is almost always entertaining. Poor Edd never knows what Mike is going to show up with. The episode with the Messerschmidt KR200 was memorable.
My folks had both a ’76 Honda CVCC wagon and a 1st gen ’80 VW Rabbit with the FI. The Honda was more fun on the road and thru the curves, but the Rabbit was more durable. I once got the Rabbit to lift the rear tire on a curve (with a passenger on that side, too), which scared me as the Honda never did that, even though my driving style was the same with both. I learned later that that gen of VWs did have a rep for doing that.
While autocrossing I saw a few Civics also lifting a wheel. I’ve done it regularly in my old SAAB 96. It’s not as noticable as you might think and with good traction not a problem.
Rabbits really were the champions at it. On one course one of the VW drivers would actually lift the rear wheel over the cone, cutting the apex without getting the penalty.
I once went to a Rabbit Bilstein series race at the old Riverside raceway around 1980, and it was a real kick to see them all up on 3 wheels going around the bend. All it took as the lightest tap on the 1/4 panel from another car to get it spinning down the track, and that happened a lot.
Yeah, these cars were technologically interesting for the time but they rusted like crazy. As I recall the CVCC system used a small 3rd intake valve that led to an ignition pre-chamber, and the carb was a complex 3-barrel affair. Looked like a disaster waiting to happen but from what I gather the system didn’t have any major reliability problems. I never owned one though so cannot speak from personal experience. Maybe it was just that most of these cars rusted back into the earth before mechanical problems surfaced.
I had a white 1977 CVCC hatchback that I drove while in college. It was bought used in 1980. It was reliable. Rust was kept in check with frequent washings and regular wax jobs. It really wasn’t any worse than my parents’ 1973 AMC Gremlin or various Vegas in the neighborhood. It was inferior to the Delta 88s owned by parents in that regard.
What really sticks in my mind is the manual choke. Morning starts in freezing weather generally took about five minutes. That was how long it took the engine to warm up sufficiently so that I could completely push in the choke.
And look where we are at now. The Honda CR-V is their bread and butter, Civics are 3 times as big as the original. The Buff Book/Car Guy dream of “everyone driving subcompacts” from the idealistic 70s and 80s is dead.
And yes, as someone posted, these are unsafe in a wreck
The safety aspect has to be put into perspective.
When the Civic debuted in the U.S., VW’s bread-and-butter was still the old Beetle, which was hardly a paragon of safety, even by the lower standards of that time. The AMC Gremlin featured so little weight over the driving wheels that it was a handful even in rain, let alone snow and ice (I learned to drive on one).
The other popular Japanese cars – Datsun B-210, Toyota Corolla and Dodge/Mitsubishi Colt – certainly weren’t any stouter in their overall construction.
Cars close to the gen1 Civic in size, like the Mini & Fiat 500, also have a tight back seat. I think that was more tolerable back when these often served as 2nd cars.
Now that C-class models have wheelbases ≥103″ (vs. 86″ for the gen1 Civic), it’s no surprise they have rear legroom comparable to the old Detroit compacts, & thus can serve as serious family vehicles.
These first gen Civics just rusted away in Canada, rumor was if someone traded in a first gen Civic to a Honda dealer Honda corporate would pay to have the thing crushed. Please find a road test of the 1979 Civic to see all the leasons Honda learned.
Those cars showed that a cheap, small car didn’t have to be crude and shoddy.
In 2001, I bought an ’84 Accord 4-door, 5-speed ‘beater’ (a car smaller than today’s Civic) that was lot of fun to drive. And despite it’s size, it was a comfortable highway car too.
The rust proofing must also have been somewhat better than the early ’70s models, as aside from dents, the body survived to be over twenty years old. By then, the goofy 3-barrel Aisin carb screwed up, and took out the cat-converter, rendering the car unable to economically pass emissions inspection.
But I got four good years out of that Honda.
Happy Motoring, Mark
Eerily similar experiences. In early 1998 we bought an ’84 4-door, 5-speed Accord. Greek white with blue interior. It was originally going to be my college car, but I elected to keep the old Malibu so Dad took the Accord. Very roomy for the external dimensions and fun to drive. He kept it for 4 years, until it failed to pass emissions due to problems with the 3-barrel carb.
Was yours a white LX too? 🙂
Mine was a white 4-door with blue interior and a trunk-rack. It had the hub-caps and trim-rings, so maybe a DX. A true beater, with a big dent over the passenger-side roof from a fallen tree-limb. Later, I also discovered when I lifted the trunk carpet, that the right rear quarter had been crudely spliced with spot-welds and lots of Bondo.
Had to add a support bracket in the dash as someone had ripped-off (literally) a previous owner’s radio, leaving the dash cracked diagonally across the center and bouncing like a trampoline with every road-bump.
Eventually I installed a very nice factory Alpine cassette/radio from a late ’90s Accord or Civic – found at a local thrift-store for $8. It was marked Honda on the front so nobody wanted to steal it. Then I installed a pair of nice 2-way JBL speakers from a salvage-yard, but painted over the JBL badges to avoid hoodlums!
Despite all the flaws it lasted me 4 years, until the carb screwed up.
I’t got donated. I kept the radio.
Happy Motoring, Mark
Sounds like a DX as you describe it. Ours wasn’t in bad shape for a 14 year old Honda; think we paid something like $1800 for it though. Very little rust or body damage, and everything worked except the A/C.
As I’ve said before, I had both a Civic and Accord back in the late ’70s – early ’80s. They were well made, fun to drive in situations that didn’t require constant throttle variation, and rather attractive. In terms of overall design and equipment, they did point the way to the future. The Accord engine I had was the smoothest 4 cylinder I’ve ever had. But that’s all I can say that was good about them. From scissor jacks that would strip out the first time you would use it on the Accord, to blown headgaskets, cracked cylinder head, worn out auxiliary valve seals, worn out synchronizers, worn out radiator fan switches, on and on they went. Within 30K miles. These were my idea of a car that “isn’t finished yet”. Any microscopic piece of dirt in the fuel system would bring the fun to a halt. Terrible driveability, especially in my ’79 CA spec Accord 5 speed. Durability testing must have amounted to a few trips around the block. Also, these cars should of had a catalytic converter from the start, people I knew back then that had more conventional small cars all got better mileage than I did. You could have done no worse, durability wise, buying GM. Not quite as bad as my ex-wife’s Vega, but even my ’82 Camaro wasn’t this bad.
I did consider a Chevette, and certainly not a Chevelle, in 1976, but I would have been best served by going down the street and buying a Toyota like many other people did. Their cars were more conservative, with no media hype (remember, the media loved the Vega and the X cars, too), but at least a Toyota ran for a while with little or no grief.
My first ’79 Accord Had 115k on it when rust did it in about ’90. It had no significant mechanical issues. I think it lasted that long because it was a CO car for it’s first 7 years. If it wasn’t for the near constant low grade back pain that Honda seats still give me I might have gotten another when it succumbed to tin worm. As a Honda owner I was “invited” to drive an Integra when a local Acura dealer opened up. Liked the car, hated that it had the same damn seat architecture.
Honda, the mouse that roared. CVCC just the beginning of good things to follow. In 1975 their new engine technology caught my attention but not my wallet. Hey, I had my Vega GT, life was good.
In 1977 my then girlfriend moves to Vancouver Island and says its time for her to get a new car. She has a government job and is pulling in more income than me in broadcasting. I fly into Vancouver one weekend and we spend most of Saturday car shopping. No Vega for her or a Nova or the AMC Pacer. She wants something smaller. She buys nothing that weekend.
A month later I’m back and she’s got herself a new Honda Civic hatch with Hondamatic. No CVCC. She also pays a premium for the Civic. Few Japanese cars are being unloaded as a dock workers strike keeps anything from being unloaded in and around Vancouver for weeks.
That weekend we buzz up and down Vancouver Island and I spend most of the time driving. The car is a hoot to drive even with the slushbox. I gain a whole new respect for the Honda Civic. A few months later we’re no longer a couple. The next year she moves back to Ontario driving the Civic all the way. I’m sure it lasted a few more years before rusting to nothing in London. Still, seeing a picture of this generation of Civic reminds me of what a fun little car it was.
The ’76 my wife had when we first were married in ’83 was the biggest POS I have ever seen. Her dad had paid over $2,500.00 in repairs in 3 years. It regularly broke down, smoked a lot and was not very well put together. My ’69 Toyota Corolla 1100cc which I had owned a few years before was 10 times the car the Civic was. Got rid of it as soon as we could afford to and never even considered buying another Honda. By ’85 was back to driving American iron and have every since
I know the first generation Honda Civic lasted from 1973-1979. The 2nd gen Honda Civic lasted from 1980-83 and an improvement over it’s predecessor. And it introduced a 4-door notchback sedan to the lineup. In 1984, The Civic lineup was revamped and included the 2 seat CRX model, best known for setting MPG records. By the mid 80s, Honda was revamping its cars every four to years.
As Big Al posted to me above, Lean Production in Japan supported efficient, rapid model turnover as well.
I had a ’75 1.2L non CVCC. It had lot of good features, but durability wasn’t one of them. At 50K miles the engine was pretty much shot, burning a quart of oil with every tank of gas. Then it was just one thing after another, carb, alternator, brakes, electrical issues. I was actually glad when the thing got hit and my insurance company totaled it out and wrote me a check. The 12″ tires were dirt cheap though.
Between my 2 sisters I got to know 3 of these cars*. The only real issue was the rust. Related to the rust was the thinness of the door skins. My older sister was at a softball game and a fight broke out in the parking lot. One of the combatants was thrown face first into her door and dished it in. She moved to Colorado and her second one escaped being ravaged by MN salt. Instead it lost its oil pan, and a bearing, to a stray rock from a rock slide going over the berthoud pass one spring.
*Oddly at the same time between my brother and I we had 3 SAAB Sonetts, and my parents were cycling through Subarus. Do cars run in familys?
The third car I owned was a 10 year old used 1975 Honda Civic Wagon. I had all kinds of trouble with the car in the 2 1/2 years I owned it. It was broke down half the time. Once it had a bent camshaft. Another time the engine blew after it had been going through a lot of oil, so I had the engine replaced. I later sold the car. I was young and knew little about cars and didn’t have a lot of money. There was only one shop in the area which worked on these foreign cars and I couldn’t afford them. I bought a Chilton’s manual and a Hayne’s manual and between the two of them I was able to do repairs, besides the engine replacement, which was beyond my ability at the time. Years later I did remove an engine from a Renault Alliance and install it into my Renault Encore by myself.
The Honda Civic succeeded because it did not treat the car’s owners and occupants like they were cheap SOB’s in order to “up-sell” them on a bigger and more profitable model from Honda. That was completely opposite and antithetical to the thinking of the American MBA’s who controlled US automakers.
I concur. A very well engineered and manufactured car that put Honda automobiles on the map. My girlfriend had one that was around 15 years old. For a Minnesota car it had rusted wheel wells but only a couple little squeaks. That car drove through snow like it was nothing and handled quite well after new shocks and struts.
I noticed the positioning of the hazard activation button on the steering column. I have always thought that was the best location. I figure that putting it on the centre of the dash, as it is on both my cars, is for easy access by the passenger in case the driver encounters an unfortunate issue, but I find that passengers would usually be least aware of the hazard button, that it would be needed in an emergency, or where it is, and what it would do to help any situation. A mindful passenger would have their mind on the condition of the driver, or some crash that may have just occurred.
In 1982 I banged up my 1979 Corvette and was able to borrow a friend’s 1977 Civic while it was repaired. I hated giving that car back when the Vette was fixed.
I was an avid car magazine reader and I was quite impressed that Honda was able to meet current emission standards without a catalytic converter while using regular leaded gas. I bought a beat 10 year old CVCC Civic coupe with a four speed. I was impressed by the utility and compact size. Later I went on to buy a ’75 Civic wagon, which was immensely useful with the rear seats folded down. Unfortunately this was a Hondamatic model which left much to be desired in acceleration though it would cruise at 70 mph.
My last Civic was a ’90 SI model, bought new. It remains one of my favorite cars ever. Great fun to drive, great mileage, and great flexibilty. I used to carry my Daughter’s high school car pool which consisted of four kids. There was plenty of room and gas mileage always averaged at least 36 mpg. I felt that Honda lost their way after these models. Or maybe I did. Honda had been a car that could be enjoyed and appreciated by people at all income levels, and made the driver’s look smart.
My dad bought one of these new in 75. It served him well fot his long commute for years. As a kid the backseat was a penalty box. I drove it some when I got my licence. It was ok but even though it lived in southern California and dad was meticulous about keeping it waxed it rusted from the inside out. It was replaced with an 87 Civic which was a real toilet.
One of the absolutely best built,easy to drive, cars I have ever owned.At 84! I well remember my ’75 Brown Civic CVCC with fondness.But then too, I have always liked and found goodness in unusual cars like, as well, my ’72 Matador, my ’67 Coronet.