EXCLUSIVE: Electric 1975 Honda Civic Wagon

Josh MortensenBy Josh Mortensen

Seller Description: My 1975 Honda Civic Wagon was converted to all electric in 1981. It’s a California car, with no rust outs and mostly original paint. I found this car under a tarp out in the country. It was converted by Bill Williams,who at the time was a leading authority on electric car conversion. It uses 18 lead acid 6 volt batteries. He logged 91k miles as a electric Civic.

In order to drive the car again it needs 18 new batteries and the controller needs to be rebuilt which is about $350 online, as it is a part from a forklift. This car would make a good project or could be in a museum. There is a web page with the specifications put out by Stanford University on this specific car. 

These little Civics are actually quite fun to drive. They aren’t by any means a fast car, but they are light and fun to toss around. While the electric conversion likely improves straight line performance, the thousand pound weight increase has to hurt handling. It would likely still be fun to zip around town in, just make sure trips aren’t longer than 65 miles or you might end up having to push it to the nearest 220 volt outlet.

It never ceases to amaze some of the interesting and fun things many of you have stashed away! These Civics are getting hard to come by, and while originality is always desirable, the electric conversion should make this a very interesting conversation piece. The question is, does it make it more desirable? Considering Brian’s asking price of just $1,200, it’s cheap enough to buy just as a fun project to tinker with. And if you are handy with electronics, you might even be able to get it back on the road, enjoy it for a couple summers and then sale it for at least what you have in it. Special thanks to Brian for listing his interesting little Honda with us! If you’d like to give it a home, be sure to message him via the form below.

Asking Price: $1,200
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Mileage: 57,000 as gas; 91,000 as electric
Title: Clean

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Sorry, this one has SOLD!

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Comments

  1. Windy Lawyer George

    Josh, Sounds like this is something you should buy.

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  2. Howard A Member

    For me, be a lot better if it was a gas job still. These are so rare, especially a wagon, to me, it seems a shame. This car was intended to move a small family cross country if need be, as cheaply as one could possibly travel ( save for a bus) and I’d love to have a Civic wagon as a DD. Sorry, electric vehicles just haven’t made the leap to the sticks yet. It’s the range that kills it. I suppose it would be a pain to switch it back to gas, where you going to find a ’75 Civic motor these days? Sure nice to see at least one of these survived, in some form.

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    • Mountainwoodie

      I agree completely. Howard. I had a hotrodded CVCC built by a local garage in San Diego back in ’78. Fun as hell to drive but it attracted way too much attention from the Chippies. It was Honda orange with a fat black stripe. Like driving a slot car. I’d look for a drivetrain and yank the conversion out.

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    • Loco Mikado

      The biggest POS I ever had was the same car(gas engine)as this that was my wife’s when we were first married in 1983. Her dad had bought it for her and had over $2500.00 in engine repairs to it. He would have been better off buying her a new car. I had to rescue her 3 times in 4 months before we got married. It smoked, burned oil, ran rough and got terrible mileage. It had a vacuum box with so many lines out of it it looked like Medusa’s head. Within a month I bought her a nice, low mileage ’69 Valiant for $400.00 and sold the Honda smoking like a banshee for an incredible $800.00 and the buyer looked like he had won the lottery. BTW we just celebrated our 33rd anniversary.

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  3. Royal

    This car needs to be preserved as it is a major part of EV History.

    What would be ideal if an EV Conversion Company, such as EV West or EVTV would buy this as a project and then revamp it completely to show what is capable by a modern EV conversion with lithium batteries. If done right you would have a fun little daily driver capable of having a 80 to 125 mile range.

    If I had the money, I would buy it ship it out east and do it myself.

    If anyone reading this wants a nifty EV Litium Conversion of this car, I can arrange to make it happen. Please contact me on FB Messager to discuss the details.

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  4. Gay Car Nut

    Lovely looking Civic. I remember this generation Honda Civic. I find it more attractive than later Civics up to today. It’s a damn shame that Honda didn’t offer an electric car, or even a hybrid/electric car at the time.

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  5. Brian Joseph

    I have all the bills for the car for the build,down to nuts and bolts. If Doc Brown from Back To The future had a honda, this would be it! The ultimate anolog electric car. Comes with a custom tow bar and a charger for all those batteries. I hope someone can re commission this car

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  6. American_Badaz

    I just looked at the Stanford page…. 0-30 mph is a tire blistering 9.5 sec!

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    • Howard A Member

      Ha! Did they even list a 0-60 time? Sorry, we have a long way to go in this adventure.

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  7. Jeffro

    Wow, and I thought my teenager had to many “gauges” in his car!

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  8. patrick

    Might be a good one to have updated through these guys.

    http://www.zelectricmotors.com/

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  9. Scotty Gilbertson Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Fantastic! I’ve missed so many great posts being on the road recently.

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  10. Randy

    Did this car sell already?

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  11. Brian Joseph

    Yes the car was sold Saturday. Thanks Barn finds

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  12. Mark-A

    Personally I’d want to fit a 2000 Honda/Acura Type-R 1.8ltr engine & gearbox & hubs to allow the more modern braking system (I’d have to change to 15 inch wheels so it also stops) and sort the suspension & use it as a canyon carver that might just surprise some folks!!

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  13. CJay

    Install the diesel engine out of the Kubota beside in it.

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