Nicest One Left? 1983 Honda Civic Wagon

I don’t know if a lot of people thought to preserve economy cars several decades ago. Not that they do that now, come to think of it. They’re cars to use as a tool or an appliance. They get good mileage, they’re easy to drive and park and that’s it. The seller has this incredible survivor 1983 Honda Civic wagon listed here on eBay in Lakewood, Washington, and the current bid price is $3,050 and there is no reserve.

I’m just as excited to see a car like this as I am to see a 1930 Packard or a 1970 Hemi Cuda, if not more so. No one, or almost no one, restores a 1983 Honda Civic wagon yet many people restore other cars, valuable cars. A Civic wagon may never be really that valuable, monetarily, but I’m happy that this car has lived for as long as it has in this unbelievable condition.

This is a second-generation Civic wagon and they were made from 1979 to 1983, debuting for the 1980 model year. They weren’t as round and maybe not as funky-fun as the original Civic was – Honda tweaked them a bit to be closer to the Accord in style. Some of the original, innocent charm went away but that’s often the case with redesigns. Have you seen an aging Hollywood star lately? The condition of this car is mindboggling, at least for any of us who live with road salt for six months out of every year. At around a ton, this thing would be 1,800-pounds of rust if it had lived where I’ve lived for the last 37 years.

The photo above shows the only two flaws in this entire car, at least for me. A 5-speed manual transmission would have put this one over the top, and with a no-reserve auction, I think it may have done pretty well. There are still four days left on the auction so we’ll have to see where it lands given that it has an automatic. And, you can see that the front seat fabric has deteriorated. The back seat looks great, though, as does the rear cargo area. The underside looks rock solid and they mean it when they say that this car has no rust!

The super clean engine and engine compartment look fantastic and a huge shoutout to the seller for giving so many great photos, and videos on the eBay link, too. This should be Honda’s 1.5L inline-four with 67 hp. This one has 82,000 miles and it runs like new and it would look like new if it wasn’t for the worn front seats. This time capsule is for someone who doesn’t care about a 5-speed but just wants an eye-catching somewhat vintage car. Have any of you owned a similar era Civic?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Another super find by the master, and California about the only place you’ll find one today. I feel, the Civic changed everything for Honda, and the wagon was the best. Like the Chrysler minivan, it was exactly what America needed, and they sold a couple,,,MILLION. Same old thing, they rusted faster than a battleship at sea, but one can’t deny, this car put a Honda in a bunch of driveways, and never looked back. I think the Civic is still the biggest seller for Honda. I never cared where Honda, or ANY modern car, for that matter went, but a car like this should be in a museum, a car, like the minivan, that changed the world, just for a different group.

    Like 10
  2. Matt G

    Too bad about the automatic, there is something about a manual shift in a wagon that is hard to resist… would it have had the Hondamatic in this year?

    Like 4
  3. DON

    Something about Washington state preserves cars better than anywhere in the U.S. . It should stay there too ; if it ends up here on the East Coast it will degrade quickly

    Like 3
    • alphasud Member

      I agree I found my 65 Corvair Corsa in Kirkland. Very little rust as compared to other areas.

      Like 3
    • The-Driver

      Not all the East Coast is harsh on cars. Though I live in Denver, I’m originally from Florida were cars only rust when they are seldom used or ill kept, in the Atlantic side.

      Like 2
    • Rob

      While it’s wet here, they don’t use salt on the roads as it rarely snows so unless bare metal is exposed somehow you won’t find rusty cars here.

  4. Luke Fitzgerald

    See – all cars could be like this – it’s not hard

    Like 2
  5. alphasud Member

    My dad purchased a Civic wagon with a 5-speed when we lived in San Antonio. He always bragged about getting the first one that came in. I believe it was a 77 model year. That was a good little car that was eventually traded for something larger when the car became too small for the family. I don’t think anything ever broke unlike the Volvo 265GL wagon that seemed to break on a monthly basis.

    Like 2
  6. mark wigg

    Ummm, but the 240 wagons never broke. It was that silly V6.

    Like 4
    • alphasud Member

      Correct you are!

      Like 2
  7. Bob_in_TN Member

    The seller should give lessons on how to present what is, at its core, a basic old Honda (though in good condition). The car is well-detailed, there is high-quality photography with lots of photos, it has a decent description. So the seller might have spent hundreds of dollars getting it ready…. most people won’t …. but I’d expect the seller to come out ahead on this “investment.”

    Like 4
    • charles Flowers

      Yes, this certainly looks like a “flip” and I find nothing wrong with that. Others seem to think that trying to make a little money on a ‘find’ deal is not right.

      If you can make a little here and a little there, good for you.

      Lord knows everyone may need a side hustle the way things are looking these days.

      Like 4
  8. Blueprint

    @Scotty_G, my parents bought a new Civic wagon in ’81, champagne metallic over brown interior. Very similar to this, except round headlights, vinyl seats and minor trim differences before the mid-term update of 1982.

    I got my licence in ’84, so that’s the car I learned to drive in. My friends always wondered why I kept shifting the automatic – the Hondamatic puzzled all of them, ditto the manual choke! Fun little car, very practical.

    Oh and Scotty, after all the lurking I’ve done here and on BaT for so many years, I went all in – I now own a ’75 TR6!

    Like 3
  9. The_Driver

    Ooof, I’d happily get a K20 dropped under the hood!

    Like 1
  10. Michael

    My family had a brown hatchback Civic. Not sure of the exact year but 80-82. Always started even at 2 am on a bitter winter night when you snuck out of the house and went for an illegal drive to see your friends (15 year old w no license). We were lucky it was brown, the rust was harder to spot.

  11. David Miraglia

    Always liked the first and second generation civics and Accords.

  12. Maestro1 Member

    Very interesting that this little jewel showed up just as friend of mine and I were discussing restoring his Accord EX Wagon. He feels sort of silly about it,
    since he’s a collector and Hondas are not part of his menu. We’re on the Left
    Coast so the car has no rust, just funky and running poorly at 303,000 miles and change. The car needs a driveline (engine and transmission) and someone who knows what they are doing needs to look at the front drive components. His wife loves it, she has a Thunderbird but shops and does errands in the Honda. Finances are an issue because of the Epidemic, but
    the decision should come soon. On this one: Simply call the Seller and find
    out what he/she wants for it and buy the car if the price is not Planetary. I have no room.

    Like 1
  13. fred dodge

    My first credit application to buy a car was for the 1983 Civic Wagon w/ 5 spd. , from Eugene, Oregon. Taught my wife to drive a stick with it on Potrero hill in San Francisco – I didn’t teach her the ’emergency brake’ trick – whatever that is – so when stuck halfway up a very steep hill, she froze. A police cruiser stops by, asks if everything is ok. ‘Oh, I’m learning to drive a stick shift’ – the cruiser got a real hoot out of that. It was the first time I ever saw a honda smoke it’s tires – changed the clutch after she learned – she is a better driver than I am. Great little car – only drawback was the rear suspension totally lost it – no one wanted to sit in the back for fear of jarring their kidneys. Bought for 6500.00 w/ 55k miles, sold for 2500.00 with 155k !

    Like 1
  14. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Passenger seat looks worse than the driver’s seat (???). Must’ve had a big mastiff dog like my Moses sitting there all the time. There are rips on the drivers side but the material is actually worn on the passenger side.

    Like 1
    • Rodney - GSM

      Common practice to swap the driver seat with the passenger seat when it get worn. But, you should do it sooner before it looks like a dog bed…

  15. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this Civic wagon sold for $4,775.

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