Smog-exempt and clean – 1975 Honda Civic

So you’re thinking, why are they featuring a car that led to the disappearance of a lot of the other nameplates discussed here? Well, Hondas are pretty interesting cars, and this was arguably their breakthrough model in a barrage of Accords, Preludes, and more. For those of you who don’t know, this car had some cool technology called CVCC that allowed them to not use catalytic converters when most other makers had to – details about that are readily available elsewhere on the net. They also came in lots of funky colors like Carolina yellow, and are increasingly rare in decent condition. Even rarer are the ones that escape California smog testing. With its light weight and small dimensions, this could be pretty fun and unusual on some of the local vintage car rallies.

So anyway, here’s a great example with only 78K miles in San Francisco, for $2400, also on craigslist. Oh, and it also needs some engine work – the owner suggests a rebuild. Outrageous, you say? Well, in some regard it is, but it’s a historically significant model, and this particular car has had much recent work that makes it worth saving. Let’s take a look:

1975 Honda Civic side

As you can see, the car is pretty clean, and really looks good in this color. What’s more is, being this bright might help avoid a couple of accidents here and there. Looking a bit more closely, you might see the paint needs some love, but nothing a few hours of elbow grease shouldn’t take care of, while maintaining (must…avoid…the….word….patina) that carefully-aged look you don’t get with new paint. Apparently the reason for rebuilding is “the plugs foul quickly so it burns a lot of oil and gas” – I’d want to investigate this some more before committing to a full rebuild, or at least measure the oil consumption and some other vitals. It’s not clear why the owner would spend so much time writing about his car and yet not take more than one exterior picture.

1975 Honda Civic rear

Thanks to the Motoring JStyle blog for this photo. Aside from being a great city car, picture this with a period suitcase on the roof rack and some period alloys – perhaps you can take advantage of the wheels made for Minis, etc. Negotiate and you might get down nearer $2000, figure out what’s the matter with the engine and then be the only one running around the mountains in an older car that refuses to break down but still has character.


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One Response to “Smog-exempt and clean – 1975 Honda Civic”

  1. aaron Says:

    I spent soooo many hours in one of these. In the late 70s my dad would ferry my sister and me in a red CVCC from my mom’s house in Sacramento to his house in Santa Cruz, usually including one stop at an A&W for a teen burger, root beer and fries. The rear window latches on his car had fallen off, so the windows would flap in the wind like dumbo ears. We sort of hated that car, but now of course I think they’re cool.

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