Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Car Pr0n #73

Ah. Now we're starting to get into the darkening.


1973 Honda Civic. Introduced in 1972 as a 1973 model, the first gen Civic was prescient. Gasoline shortages in 1973 started the process by which American cars would start to shrink, as gas prices climbed ever higher and MPG in the single digits began to be frowned upon. The Civic, with its 70 cubic inch engine (1169cc), could achieve 40 MPG on the highway, up to four times as economical as its V8-powered rivals.

The Civic wasn't a bad car, by any stretch of the imagination. It got excellent gas mileage, was simple to maintain, and had reliability at least on a par with its American counterparts. Some of the earlier models were plagued with rust problems in northern states, a problem that continued well into the 1980s for pretty much all Japanese cars. It wasn't uncommon, living in Massachusetts, to see a 2 or 3 year old Toyota with rot poking through the wheel wells.

Then again, I had a 1985 GMC Jimmy that was showing rust by 1990, so it wasn't exactly endemic to Japanese cars. One of the funny things for me, the first time I visited San Antonio, TX in the late 1990s, was seeing early '80s Celicas with intact bodies. Obviously, with no rust to speak of, the rot was kept at bay and the bodies lasted as long as the engines. Paint, OTOH, faded like you read about...

Fun factoid: The dealership where we bought our Accord in 2000 had a mint-condition '73 Civic in the showroom...

That is all.


8 comments:

Angus McThag said...

Some cars from this era come rusted from the factory!

Stretch said...

Last Wednesday I saw a Honda Accord with Antique Car plates.

drjim said...

Think Jap cars were bad, try owing a Fiat for a while.

They "Rust Never Sleeps", but it never even takes a nap on a Fiat!

Bradley said...

they only good GMC jimmy had typhoon on the side.

Anonymous said...

The '73 or '74 F150s were plagued with rust too. Our neighbour had his replaced by Ford at less than a year old. The rot was so bad that when he lowered the tailgate the sides of the box leaned outward.

The story of Honda is pretty amazing. The first product was a motor conversion kit that could be fitted to a bicycle to create a moped. Today they have a biz jet for sale.

Al_in_Ottawa

Old NFO said...

We bought one of those as a crew car in '77 in Japan. Paid $50... Four Americans in parkas FILL that car! Just sayin...

Anonymous said...

my parents wouldn't let me get a Honda, so I wound up w/ a 1970 VW bug.


Cargosquid said...

I LOVED my brother's Honda.

Came out after a movie and found it turned sideways in a parking spot.

Glad I came out late after the lot was empty.