Whenever I see a cool car around the neighborhood, I take pictures and send them to my pal Eric up in Portland who runs Other People’s Things, my favorite car blog. He responds with some knowledge and we post the results here and it’s called “Car Beat.” Here’s what Eric has to say about this sporty little Honda:
Looks like you found a pretty sweet first generation Honda Civic. This one looks like is a 78-79 and it seems to be in fairly good original condition. The JDM (car nerd speak for Japanese Domestic Market) fender mirrors are certainly not original as this is a US spec car, but they add a little eccentricity to it. I’ve always wanted to ride in car with the mirrors so far forward; apparently it eliminates the blind spot and you don’t have to take your eyes off the road as much, but it seems like it would be a little disorienting. Looks cool though.
Anyways I digress. This car, much like the similar BMW 2002 was really a case of having the right car at the right time for America. Introduced during the Oil Crisis in 1973 this “larger” Honda was a good fit for most people, got great mileage, and could run on leaded or unleaded gas, sort of like having a car today that can run on E85 or standard fuel, but actually useful.
One last strange thing I noticed is the hatchback of this little Civic doesn’t open like you think it would. Though they changed to the more traditional method we see on hatchbacks today, this one works similar to the the way the original Mini Cooper’s did, only more annoying because it doesn’t drop down like a truck tailgate, it opens up into your face so you can’t see what you’re doing. Strange.
Thanks, Eric! Now let’s take a look at this strange hatchback: