Pristine 1983 Honda Civic Survivor!

It’s hard to peg what one should pay for a survivor-grade, unrestored import hatchback. There’s certainly a market for them, as cars like this 1983 Honda Civic are generally in short supply in condition like this. But at the same time, aside from getting some oohs and aahs at the local cars and coffee gathering, this Civic really needs to be a purchase by someone who remembers driving one when they were new. The seller has only added 500 miles to the car in his time with it, and now it’s offered here on Barn Finds Classifieds and here on eBay with bids to $3,287 and the reserve unmet.

The seller calls it a time machine, which may very well be because it hasn’t been restored and it has just over 80,000 miles on the clock. The paint looks quite nice, but you can tell this car hasn’t been refurbished cosmetically. The passenger side fender is missing a piece of the beltline trim, and the plastic bumpers are heavily faded. These are easy fixes, and would surely be addressed in even the most casual of restorations. The Civic retains its original steel wheels, and of course, mudflaps – a common OEM accessory on almost every 1980s Honda.

The interior is even better than the outside, and truly incredible considering the mileage. The seat fabric shows next to no wear, and the same goes for the carpets. The automatic transmission may have saved this Civic from being beaten on daily, but it’s a bit of a buzzkill if you were hoping to at least create the illusion of speed while driving it. The dash doesn’t show any cracks, and all the buttons and controls look to be in good order. The Civic comes with the added benefit of being accompanied by 38 years of service records, which is near impossible to find in a commuter car that isn’t being sold by its original owner.

The engine bay is just as spotless as the rest of the car, and that’s the area you never expect a casual owner versus a collector to maintain to a high degree. The paint inside the engine bay as well as on the air cleaner assembly both present better than a car closing in on 100,000 miles, but don’t assume that’s because no work has been done under the hood. The seller has rebuilt the carburetor and installed a new exhaust system, so this Civic is likely ready to go another 100,00 miles without much effort, especially if the next owner maintains the seller’s average mileage accumulation of 500 or so in three years.


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  1. Vance

    I remember when these were as common as cell phones are now, everyone had them, and they drove them till they died or rusted out. Usually with 200k plus on them, Honda created owners for life with this car. A lot more fun in a stick, but these and Accords made Honda.

    Like 11
  2. David Zornig

    These had high resale value in the late `80s.
    Just check front brakes and change the oil often and 200K miles was a given.

    Like 4
  3. Jon Burgess

    I had this same year and color but mine was a manual. I bought it at an auction in 1992 for $300, it had 80K miles! I drove it for years, amassed 175K miles and sold it for the same amount to a friend. He did a valve job on the car and gave it to his kid who was still driving it in 2004 when I moved away. Great memories for sure

    Like 6
  4. t-bone BOB

    Item location:
    Fall City, Washington

    Like 1
  5. CCFisher

    I believe this would have had a “Hondamatic,” Honda’s 2-speed semi-automatic. By the third or fourth owner, most of these were just driven around in “2” because nobody told them it wasn’t a true automatic. One of my best friends in high school had a ’79 Accord with a Hondamatic, and she refused to believe me that she was supposed to start out in “1” until the time I reached over and dropped it down into first just as the light turned green. Car was slower than a golf cart, but you’d never know it from the look of glee on her face!

  6. Bhowe Member

    I’ve got an 83 civic wagon as part of my collection. But this is a bit nicer than mine. Remember marveling at them when new just how quaint, simple, and clean the design was. Watch out for carburetor issues as these vintage homes entail vacuum hoses but the mile. One small leak in one and good luck getting it to run right. Man if I just had more room……

    Like 1

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