Weekend Edition: 1986 Honda Civic Hatchback

This ’86 Honda Civic is one of those cars you never really see anymore. They started showing rust badly somewhere in the mid-1990s, so two decades later it’s a joy to see one around. Mechanically they are unburstable, but the rockers could only take so much Bondo.

These SB3 body cars were called “Glassback” Civics over here for a good reason. This one, with region-correct plates, has a 1300cc, 80-horsepower engine, which should move the 850 kg car very nicely. I would keep it just as stock as it is, and the rose metallic colour is an excellent choice for it.


  1. I always wanted one of those. It’s such a clean, pure, fully resolved design. And a damn decent small car. The CRX edges it out, but only by a little.

    1. The next gen hatchback is still my favorite Civic, mostly due to very fond memories of a girlfriend who got a new ’89 in high school. Base model, no frills (the Civic, not the girl – her dad was frugal, and his daily driver in the late 80s was an ’80ish Dodge Colt with 400,000* miles). I doubt very much I’ll ever bother trying to find one – how many of the remaining ones aren’t badly molested, to say nothing of rust?
      *yes, a Colt with 400,000 miles. Rusty as hell, and loud as hell – he’d wear ear protectors while driving. I’d never seen anything but a NYC cab with that many miles, and didn’t know about Irv Gordon & his 1800S yet.

      1. My friend has a base model white one of about that era. Completely stock, looks pretty nice.

        He loved driving it, but IIRC it has a cracked blocked or something serious like that, and it caused it to continually overheat, so now it just sits at my local mechanics.

    1. Which is why, given the chance, I bought the shuttle/wagon version when one became available. Maybe I should try and make a ‘Rover’ version using the front of a 216. Since I have to have the front off to fix the rust. Which is the Achilles heel of Japanese cars of this era.(& newer?)My ’86 BX Citroen has worse paint, but no rust at all, and despite having spent more time sitting on ships. But both cars have the crisp-edged styling that I like.

  2. My folks bought one in the metallic maroon in ’85 with the 1500cc, 73hp lump and a 5-speed. Turned it into the “goatmobile” a few years later, used as basic farm transport for hay bales and sheep. Pops put 40K on it in its 1st year with a 50 miles to work commute. It sheared the camshaft at 186K in like ’98. Still, a fun, light joyride.

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