During the 1970s, if you were sensible and had a fat bankroll, you did not buy an Eldorado or Mark IV or even a Toyota Crown. No, you bought a Honda Civic, and then you kept it while the pages flew off many decades of calendars. If you were really serious, you got the Gas mizer CVCC four-cylinder, as the original purchaser of this now-retired-at-age-43 - 44 Riverside, CA did.
Unlike many elderly cars in California, this one has some nasty body damage. If you live close to the ocean and by close we are talking a few blocks at most the salt spray and daily morning fog will cause top-down rust on outdoor-parked cars. This one is not all that bad compared to some examples of Pacific Ocean Body Rot we have seen, but this one appears worthy of restoration.
These Civics are now virtually extinct, both on the street and in the junkyard, because they were used up and summarily discarded. There isnt much enthusiast interest in restoring these cars, so backyards and driveways are not full of get-to-it-someday projects. Thus you will not see the steady trickle of 1973-80 Civics into wrecking yards the way you do Fiat 124 Sport Spiders or MGBs. The CVCC engine ran so clean that Honda was able to omit the use of the primitive early catalytic converters that strangled performance in Malaise Era cars, giving the early Civic a gigantic edge over its competition both in performance and fuel economy. As emissions standards became stricter, the CVCC engines were burdened with both catalytic converters and comically elaborate tangles of smog-related hardware.
In 1978, nothing could compete with the Civic on its own turf. The Corolla might have been more reliable, but it was less fun to drive and its rear-wheel-drive configuration made it more cramped. The Rabbit was fun, but it broke early and often. I owned a 5 of these things, loved them, and have driven Civics almost most of my life. Aggressively greedy California Honda dealers sold these cars for well over MSRP. Buyers were happy to pay the extra cash to avoid driving such horrors as the Chevrolet Chevette or shudder the Fiat Strada.
More junk yard finds found here