JDM WTF – 1991 Honda Civic Si

Given the common perception of Honda today, it may be a little surprising that Honda was late to the hot hatch party. While VW had had their GTI out since 1983, with significant improvements to horsepower and handling, Honda’s 1983 Civic S only got improved suspension and had to make do with a paltry 62hp. It was only by 1989 that Honda got its act together, by which time Toyota’s Corolla FX16 GT-S with the 16-valve 4AGE engine from the MR2 and AE86 Corolla fastback had come and gone, and VW had already released its 134hp 16-valve Mark 2 GTI. Honda’s first true entry in this market had a 16-valve 1.6-liter engine with 108hp and 100 lb.-ft. of torque to motivate a sub-2300 lb. car. You can find this 1991 Honda Civic Si for sale in Marysville, WA for $4000.

1991 Honda Civic Si left front

The trend of tuning Civics roughly started with this generation of car, allegedly due to the power discrepancies between North American and foreign-market cars. This particular car has not escaped the temptation to upgrade, but most of the changes have been restrained and tasteful. It has been lowered on coilover suspension and has a new set of wheels (with new tires) that mimics the wheels on a later generation of Civic. The paint has been polished and looks reasonably good, and while there are too many artsy pictures in the listing, they do show that the seller has resisted the siren song of giant spoilers and coffee can tail pipes. The car has been upgraded with an engine from a 2000 Civic, so will probably have more power than in its original iteration.

1991 Honda Civic Si left interior

The interior is in very good condition for a car of its age, with no visible cracks on the dash. The sports seats seem to be in good shape, although the driver’s seat is not visible in either picture of the interior. Civic Si models only came with a 5-speed manual in the US – for some reason, Canadians wanted an automatic in their sports hatch, so they got one. The only thing to do here is remove the tacky Honda wheel wrap and revert to a more elegant shift knob, or even a stock one.

1991 Honda Civic Si right rear

Looks nice and straight from the rear too – so many of these have been bent up by Friday night street racers competing with their shadows. It is said to have recent brakes and clutch, as well as an oil change. While you might initially scoff, this and the CRX are the cars that cemented Honda’s performance reputation for light cars with high-performance four-cylinders, so it should be worth a try!


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One Response to “JDM WTF – 1991 Honda Civic Si”

  1. Rich G Says:

    The EF Civic Si is the car of preference in some autocross classes. At the recent SCCA Solo Nationals, the Street Touring C class (STC) consisted solely of 1989 – 1991 Civic Si’s, 25 cars in all. In addition, a 1989 Civic Si won the Street Modified FWD class, a class designed for heavily modified FWD cars.

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