Civics Lesson: 1983 Honda Civic 1500 DX

This two-owner, incredible 1983 Honda Civic 1500 DX is almost like new. We’ve heard the low mileage story before but this one really only has 27,000 miles on it. It’s on Craigslist with a hefty asking price of $7,000, almost three times the NADA high value. This car is located in the city so nice they named it twice: New York, New York. Thanks to Chris D. for tracking down this nice Civic!

The original owner of this time machine was an older woman who taught school in Canada. The seller bought it to take up the slack on his BMW and used this for a daily driver for a couple of months and got a new position at work and has to travel so the car is just sitting. This is the last year of the second-generation Civic and is really the last of what I consider the “classic” Honda Civic design before the style was changed heavily for the 1984 model year.

Silver over red, it’s hard to beat that combination for me. The DX model had a 5-speed, carpet, partial-cloth seats, a rear window defroster, and a few other things that the base Civic didn’t offer. The seller mentions that they were going to change out the carpet to black because it’s faded a bit. Noooo! The rear compartment won’t hold a baby grand piano but it should hold enough luggage for your weekend trip. The seats look about as perfect as they can, especially after this many decades.

This is Honda’s 1.5L inline-four with around 70 hp. You can see the duct tape repairs under the hood but the next owner should be able to track down some parts to clean that up a bit. Or, not, just drive this little beauty and don’t worry about it. Although, then there’s that price! I could see it being priced this high if it were an early first-generation Civic in this condition. Thoughts?


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  1. Bill

    Im sorry, but a 1983 Honda civic is not a barn find…

    • Mike H. Mike H

      How is that a problem?

    • Yellowjax Member

      So go to a different site if you don’t like it here.

  2. Jeffro

    Nice car. Good clean lines. Rock solid reliable. I’d be curious if it sells for the asking price.

  3. Kevin

    My first car was an 82 Civic sedan. My SO has been put on notice that if I see one in the right condition at the right price, its coming home with me.

    It might not be a particularly interesting car, but it has a place in my heart.

  4. ccrvtt

    $7K for this generic appliance – or $1,500 for the orange Mustang?

    Mustang II – Honda 0.

  5. Luki

    The Price here is not relevant. Either you want it or you don’t.

    Like 2
  6. duke

    you can see the rust and rot forming around the hinges-these as in most japan products are rust/rot magnets anything north of arizona-

  7. Bill

    HAHA look at that gear shifter it is like 3 feet tall lol

  8. Len

    Take a look at the edges of the hood structure. It looks like someone put a bead of black sealer between the structure and hood skin. That wasn’t factory, was it?

    • Stang1968

      I think It’s adhesive used to join the support structure to the skin. It has aged and darkened and collected engine grime on it as well. Maybe with a toothbrush and degreaser it would come cleaner and be yellowish again.

      • grant

        Pretty sure it was just black like that from the factory.

  9. Mike H. Mike H

    Someone else commented recently about base model cars with low mileage claims, and I’d agree with the earlier comment. People who bought the base models tended to be thriftier as they bought what they could afford, and thus they tended to take better care of them. This car is a fine example of that: lowest spec possible on the least expensive car in the line. It looks to be well cared for, and as much I normally LOVE vintage J-Tin I’d likely pass on this one; I would prefer a much earlier Civic.

    This is a great find, though.

    • Mike H. Mike H

      I found the original comment From Bill McCoskey on the 1959 Buick from Friday.

  10. P


    I think you will see Paul Lynde and Adam Lambert fighting over Playboy magazine first.

  11. Larry K

    Great find. I don’t want it but great find. Better this than a Mazda 3!

    • redwagon

      as alluded to earlier if you buy it make sure you use it only on dry days. these things rust with a vengeance and once it starts it goes very quickly.

      fun little car – driving a slow car fast can be a lot of fun.

  12. rockribbedrushy

    Not sure where this car is at, but Manhattan it ain’t.

  13. Gus

    I Love this car. Had a half a dozen of these and loved all of them. I would buy this in a heartbeat if I had the money. Oh well.

  14. Brian

    My mom had an 81 Civic when my sister and I were kids. Same color as this one, and same red vinyl interior. The car was 100% reliable! She drove it pretty hard from time to time too. This was Phoenix so the paint eventually faded. The paint job was only a month old when a Lincoln Town Car ran a stop sign. She hit it going 45 mph. The front end crumpled like it was supposed to, shoving the engine under the car. My mom was unharmed. Great cars!

  15. Alan (Michigan)

    Before anyone purchases a car like this with any inkling that it might get driven a bit…. Might I recommend a search for basic wear items first?

    You know, silly things like brake pads, shoes, rotors, drums, calipers, a clutch maybe. There just might not be much to be found.

    Many of the great contributors to these discussions have mentioned why cars like this are so scarce. The general idea is that they were used up or rusted out and gone in a decade. With them went the reason for aftermarket manufacturers to continue even inventorying bits for the cars, and certainly for making more. And OEM’s were in the same boat.

  16. Alan

    This car was pretty revolutionary for its time–at least, it was in the Midwest. Compared to the dreck coming out of Detroit, its engine was a jewel, the interior materials were far better, and it drove really well. The first-generation Civic was okay, but this version brought obviously better quality and–for an econobox–sophistication. Competing against the K cars, X-cars, and Escorts that were available at the time, this was the car that should have woken up the domestic makers. Dealers in Indiana had no problem charging ridiculous premiums over the list price, and they had waiting lists that were months long. It’s no longer a modern car, but I’d love to have it anyway.

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