Civic Duty – 1981 Honda Civic 1300

Not all cars are pampered even here. Some stay in daily use for years and years, get fixed when necessary and get new patches of sheetmetal when necessary. This 1981 Civic has started its fourth decade in regular use, and it looks like every passing year has left a mark on it.

There are several shades of cherry-red paint on it, both of the bumpers look like they’ve been used for bumping and I’m sure the underbody has been welded together every five years. Still, the Honda remains in one piece and does what is asked of it.

The engine is the 1335cc 1300 CVCC one with 55 hp. It must provide adequate transport; the Civic weighs probably about as much as a telephone kiosk.

On the front, it’s received a couple of punches right in the kisser as the bumper is bent and the front fascia’s cracked and twisted.

I do admit, there is a certain contrast between the Civic’s sad clown face…

…and the “Happy With Honda” rear window sticker. Also, note the period-correct and extremely cheap seat covers that mustn’t have let sunlight on the seats since 1986.

But still, it’s 5 speed and all. Not a bad feat back in 1981, especially when the automatic option was still a couple years earlier the 2-speed Hondamatic. I’m thinking the two speeds were forwards and backwards.

The black plastic aerofoils on the trunklid must do wonders for the Honda’s directional stability.

But with the gas prices at an all time high, a cheap and reliable Civic can’t be a bad about-town choice. If it’s made it this far, it’ll keep working for a little while more. If Finnish winter and road salt can’t kill it, nothing short of an amok dump truck will.

Images: Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen

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