Tuesday, March 10, 2015

2k: In Good Company: 1986 Honda Civic hatchback

The showroom pictures in this ad surely must document a fairy tale story. Some penny pincher put up with an old three-door Japanese appliance for years, slavishly scrimping to save enough money for the 3 Series they had always dreamed of. But you would be in error to heap praise on the owner while neglecting the true hero of that story: the loyal four-pot Civic that faithfully reported for duty every day for the past 29 years. Find this 1986 Honda Civic hatchback for sale in Portland, OR for $1,999 via craigslist.

In 1987, Honda would make a giant leap forward into modernity with the fourth generation. Double-wishbone suspension, the D-series engine, and fuel injection across the line. But back in 1986, ordinary-trim Civics like this one were really ordinary. This one has manual windows, locks, and mirrors, and a 1.5-liter carbureted four sending 76 horsepower to the front wheels through a four-speed manual. The 2,000-lb car should scurry to 60 mph in just under 10 seconds.

Old Hondas came straight from the factory with stripped interiors. People pay extra for thin glass and a lack of sound deadening in race-oriented Porsches and Ferraris these days, but in 1986, it was free. After 145,000 miles, this car's interior looks presentable if not appealing. You can pretend that factory-fresh vinyl burgundy seats are hiding beneath the garish aftermarket seat covers. And I can pretend that this Civic drives like a 355 Challenge Stradale and we'll both be let down. Misery loves company.

The black steelies and well-oxidized paint make this like any other third-gen Civic in the employee parking spaces of your local McBurger grease pit. However, this old hatch is a maroon miracle for three reasons: no major damage, no modifications, and no rust. Will a well-heeled Mercedes shopper recognize its value? If they do, can someone take a picture of the salesman's face?

See another appliance that's a real slam dunk? Email us at tips@dailyturismo.com.

PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.


  1. I should have bought this (an SI) instead of my Fiero, at the time. It would have been much more comfortable to live in.

  2. I'm sure to many potential purchasers this is effectively a roller waiting for a B18.

  3. Anyone see the 1981 Honda Prelude the dealer also has for sale? When was the last time you saw one on those?


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