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One-Owner Wonder: 1977 Honda Civic

We have been showing quite a few Honda lately, Accords and Civics mainly. I wonder if it’s because there are so many of them out there that are now for sale, or maybe the nicer examples are catching our attention now that they’re three or four decades old. This four-decade old 1977 Honda Civic is in Troutville, Virginia and it’s listed on eBay with a current bid of $3,600 and the reserve hasn’t been met yet.

I’m surprised that any of these thin-metaled cars survived for four decades. The seller mentions that it’s “virtually rust free”, so it’s not a museum piece, but compared to most 1977 Civics this one sure looks great. It also has been repainted in the last decade or so, and they added some stripes.

Yes! (fist-pump), no “Hondamatic” badge on the back. The seller says that this is a one-owner car and it has a mere 58,446 miles on it. It sure looks great so far.

What a fancy interior for a Honda – woodgrain dash, plaid seats.. wait, plaid seats?! They do look good, and fun, and unique, but they should be the classic houndstooth pattern fabric as seen on the back seats. Our resident vintage Honda expert, Brian Birkner, may know how to track down some of that fabric to redo those front seats. Even the underside looks good, with maybe a bit of over-zealous overspray here and there from the repaint.

Here’s the only place that I can see rust visible, on the strut towers on each side. I would want to look into that asap. This is Honda’s famous 1.5L CVCC inline-four with 52 hp. The seller say that it “runs strong with no smoke or funny noises.” And, that it’s “equipped with the 5-speed synchromesh transmission that shifts flawlessly.” This car also has ice-cold dealer-installed AC. For once it doesn’t “need charged”! Nice, very nice. What are your thoughts on this somewhat original, somewhat modified Civic?


  1. Andy

    I’m honestly stunned that one of these still exists! You never see them anymore. At the same time, from a company with such high performance heritage, I can’t believe the CVCC made over 20 horses fewer than the same size engine from VW in the Rabbit and Scirocco.

    • Blyndgesser

      The horsepower cited is incorrect. The 52 hp rating was for the 1238cc version. This one made a slightly less puny 60 hp.

      • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

        You are correct, sir!

  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    Troutville – that’s just a few miles up the road.
    Guess it’s a good thing I don’t have a place to put this.

  3. Coventrycat

    Bring A Trailer has their daily BMW/ Audi/ Mercedes fetish going – still- but I’d rather see a bunch of Hondas here.

    • Brian

      My suggestion is to wait for a Honda Civic 1200 a lot simpler mechanically and not prone to blowing head gaskets or carburetor problems that the 1500 cvcc is famous for

    • misterlou Member

      You left out Porsche.

  4. Michael M.

    I had a first gen civic. I rebuilt the engine and drove it for a while. The cars manual recommended to change the main bearings every 50000 mile. Just saying!

  5. Mikes hot rod shop

    I had one of these except a 1976. Paid through the nose for it at about $100. I changed the carburation to dellortos and ran a straight pipe exhaust with an answer silencer from a Yamaha yz400. It was very nimble and with the few mods I made it was very quick, they don’t weigh much. This one is much nicer than mine!

  6. Steve R

    I think there is more rust than the seller is acknowledging. His wording is a little vague and the pictures don’t highlight rust prone areas. It becomes harder everyday to believe such oversights are accidental.

    It looks nice, I hope it’s as clean as everyone thinks.

    Steve R

  7. Jubjub

    Think these CVCCs actually had 62hp and the 1200 had 55hp.

    And what are those silver 13” station wagon wheels doing here. Really needs the original blacked out 12” wheels for the five speed look.

  8. Klharper

    I have never been much of a Honda fan but I do remember the very modified one that ran at the chimney rock hill climb many years ago. He was terribly fast and I believe he held the hill record for at least a few years. So respect to these as they can be quick.
    PS people always post the tired acronym for Fiat when they show up here does anyone know the one for Honda.

  9. John C Cargill

    I had a 79 1500 5 sp. Fun to drive, economical and. As long as you kept a carb kit ready. Somehow they had a tendency to get dirt in the float bowls. Had to watch the water pumps, they’d go about 60 thou and overheat and blow the head gasket. (I was a Honda service manager at the time). After having the Rust on structural suspension parts recall done twice, it still dumped me in the ditch when the front cross member snapped on a hard stop.

  10. Big Al

    I bought a brand new 1976 civic. It was least expensive new car available. Beetle cost more. Mine was deluxe, roof rack . Drove it 200,000 in the northeast as our primary ride for 5 years.. The body went away before the motor. I couldn’t give it away. Finally a guy wanted to teach his kid how to use a stick. So, I gave it to him. I saw it a few times after that, but not for long.

  11. Jimbosidecar

    I was living in Taiwan in 1981. Bought a brand new one (I forget what they were called in Taiwan) but they were the same car. It was quick with no EPA stuff and reliable as well. I think we had put will over 200,000 kms on it before it was time to trade for something a bit bigger.

  12. Fogline

    There was a yellow one of these very close to me a couple of months ago that was part of an estate/ barn sale. Had obviously been sitting in the yard for quite a long time, but most of the rust appeared to be of the surface variety. Still – it looked like a lot of work to get going and even with a $500 opening bid price ( I guess they were hoping a bidding war would ensue at the sale) it seemed like a potential money pit despite my love for Honda. California car with blue and gold plates. Thought about making a low offer, but knew my wife would kill me if I brought home another non-running car.

  13. Robert Smith

    I had a Honda Civic. About that year. But wasnt in very good shape. Back in 1985. Almost got ran over by a semi. But good on gas.

  14. CJ

    Blue plaid seats on a red car??? Hopefully they can be changed to black or tan without too much trouble!

  15. Mountainwoodie

    Had one of these I bought from a speed shop in San Diego in 1979. Orange with a black stripe down the center. Ran like a scalded drumpf. CVCC with a 5 speed. Sold it to my law school roommate and he took it back to Hartford Connecticut or thereabouts Probably a rusted pile. Good thing this is not on the West Coast….I’d go look at it. Looking at that dash is deja vu all over again.

  16. Rex Rice

    I had a ’79 1500S. Blew the head gasket so installed an 1800 Accord engine with a Weber carb and installed Accord wheels & tires. Sleeper! I had SO much fun until I rolled it (slowly) down a steep slope into a creek. Beat the passenger door frame back into place, kicked the roof up, installed a windshield and continued to drive it until it was rear-ended into a complete total. One of the most fun cars I have ever owned!

  17. angliagt angliagt Member

    Final bid – $6900, & “Reserve Not Met”.

  18. Todd Zuercher

    And a cool vintage set of Warn off road lights on the front bumper!

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