Low Mileage First Gen: 1978 Honda Civic

It’s not often that you see a forty year old vehicle with only 80,000 miles on the clock. And it’s really not often that you will find an imported economy car with this low of miles. This first generation 1978 Honda Civic in Andover, Kansas, found here on Craigslist appears to a potentially unrestored example. 

The seller doesn’t state if this is the original finish, but that wouldn’t be hard to believe looking at the general condition and seeing the faded paint on the roof. Outside of some minor surface rust this car looks to be pretty solid. 

A first generation Civic doesn’t seem to be on the bucket list of many car enthusiasts, but that might be why this one is more intriguing. There wouldn’t likely be another forty year old Honda at many local shows. This one is a two door instead of a four door, which might make it more desirable as well. 

This one seems to be in decent mechanical condition and the interior looks okay as well. The seller is asking very close to what these cars would have went for brand new, but that value may increase as these kind of examples become harder to find. Would this be a good candidate for preservation or restoration? Or would it be better suited as a modded custom like the seller suggests? 

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  1. glen

    Why would anyone modify this?, that’s nuts!

    Like 6
  2. Max

    In my book as a classic vehicle collector its a Crime to mod / hot rod any Original vehicle !

    Like 9
  3. Gene Parmesan

    A cheap, running, driving, 2-door, 4-speed, early Civic with no rust to speak of. That’s a lot of boxes checked! How has no one snapped this up already!? If it were in my neck of the woods it would be sitting in my driveway right now. What a sweet little car.

    Like 6
    • Danno

      With the manual this would’ve been good for about 40mpg avg back in the day, right? Tune it up, buff out what’s left of the paint and daily drive it!

      Like 2
  4. Andy

    Leave as is and keep away from salt! These are getting scarcer than Duesenbergs–obviously not as cool, but historic: you could call it Honda’s Model T. Maybe throw some paint on the roof, but for the most part, leave it alone.

    Like 3
  5. John

    This is an icon for honda 60mpg

  6. jeff leyba

    80.000 original miles!!! What a find…that car is perfect the way to it is. I have a 1990 Civic with 145.000 miles a few years ago had to change the original starter… Honda it’s a fun car to drive. Parking in small tight place.. no proble

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Sold my 1991 Civic last week. I paid $1750 for it 14 years ago, got $1500 cash. Great fun little car! I replaced it with a BMW Z3 and hope I get the same service out of the Z.

      Like 1
  7. Paul

    I always loved the 1st generation Honda Civics. They were such charming little cars and the CVCC engines were wonderful! Dad ordered one, and by the time his order was filled, the redesigned 1980 model had come out. That was a great car and we got 153,000 out of it before the body got to the Swiss cheese stage from rust. I always wished we had gotten the ’79 though. Had a lot more character IMHO.

    Like 2
  8. Rex Rice

    I had a ’78 Civic 1500S, much better than this with a 5 speed, tach & bigger engine. An Accord 1800 bolted right in & with a Weber carb, it was a sleeper. Great fun! Great car.

    Like 1
  9. David Miraglia

    As cute as a beetle in Japanese cloths.

    Like 1
  10. Andrew S Mace Member

    Love it! Brings back fond memories, as my girlfriend at the time bought an identical Civic brand new. Only difference is that she spent extra to get the optional 13″ wheels shod with Michelin radials (stock was 12″ wheels and, I think, Toyo bia-ply). Also, it appears that this is NOT a CVCC and only has the four-speed gearbox.

    No matter. It was a terrific car! The only that let it down was the same paint technology that caused every single red car of that period to fade to a chalky pink seemingly within minutes of initial exposure to sunlight. And that only got worse if you didn’t wash and polish the car at least twice a month!

    Like 1
  11. chrlsful

    very tunable carb w/about 6 swapable jets, a progressive 2v carb (Holley/Weber 5200, ‘pinto’ or Weber 32/36).
    Wish it wuz a hatch! (or waggy).
    Frnt discs’n 5 speed? then good ta go?
    Reasonable price…

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