Time-warp '70s Honda Civic with only 13,000ks on the clock
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Immaculate and completely original
The first-generation Honda Civic is a starting point for both Honda as a global motoring brand and the birth of the hot-hatch, and you may never find a better example of one than this Smart Elysee Brown four-door that’s up for auction in the UK. A Japanese classic that’s expected to sell for between $9,300 and $13,000.
This pristine 1.3-litre 1978 Honda Civic has been under the care of a single owner for the last 39 years, and in that time the vehicle has only traveled 8,600 miles (13,840km).
Understandable then that the body is in near-perfect condition, achieving a 109/135 in its evaluation report by sellers Classic Car Auctions.
All areas of this Civic have were scored four out of five, with the exception of the door-cards which received a perfect five out of five – a warranted mark as the factory plastic door card protection is still where the factory workers left it almost four decades ago.
The brown vinyl seats look as though they were made last week, and the dashboard looks as if it’s never met another hard surface in its life.
“This little Civic is spotless and comes with an extensive history file,” says consignor Nigel Gough, classic car specialist for Classic Car Auctions.
“It’s quirky and rare and a perfect example of a super little seventies Japanese hatchback.”
Classic Car Auctions believe that this example could be one of only three first-generation Civics left in the UK.
Back in 1978, the 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine was good for 37kW of power. Coupled to a four-speed manual transmission it was also able to achieve 5.9L/100km fuel economy – an impressive figure even by modern standards.
The first-generation Civic also has a special place in Japanese and New Zealand motoring history.
In 1976 the Civic became the first Honda model produced outside of Japan, right here in little old New Zealand, by the New Zealand Motor Corporation (NZMC) in their Petone plant.
Assembly would continue right up to 1998, when NZMC closed their factory for good. But unlike NZMC, this 1978 Honda has plenty of life left in it.