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Our Philosophy

While many people consider older Hondas to be reliable transportation that is ultimately "disposed of", we believe that cars so well designed and engineered deserve a better fate than that. Hondas from this era are typically light, low, have great visibility, fluid controls and of course, that magic blend of comfort and precision that makes their performance like no other car. Older Hondas are leaders in low emissions engineering and design, yet they also can be modified for exceptionally high performance. Amazingly, the efficient, light body design, compliant suspension and smooth, free-revving engine that make a Honda eco-friendly, also contribute to its potential as an autocross or racing machine. Vehicles this good are admired by many and are quickly becoming collectible, so we hope you'll agree to save yours as we have saved ours.

3rd Generation Civic (1984-1987)

The 3rd generation Civic and 1st gen CRX are often considered to be the cars that really put Honda on the map in a globally competitive way. Indeed, Car & Driver Magazine suggested that the Civic Hatchback 1500S could be the "best car in the world". There are many aspects of these cars that make them standouts, but what really impresses is the body architecture. Honda designed four bodies (CRX, Hatchback, Sedan and Wagon) that all have superb driver/passenger placement, visibility and useful space. Each body type has distinct differences, but all are clearly in the same family. While most would agree the CRX, or maybe the Hatchback, are the prettiest, they are all beautiful in a functional way. Interiors are wonderfully clean, no-nonsense designs that are ergonomically virtually perfect.
The 3rd gen Civic has a great suspension, shifter and engine, but it does have flaws. Unfortunately these cars a very prone to rust, including the structural elements of the unit body itself. Thus, restorable cars can be hard to find in the NE and Mid-West parts of the country. The other primary flaw is the CVCC or stratified charge fuel system (Si models are obviously not affected). A great early solution to emissions regulations, the long-term effects of a carburator that provides a rich/lean charge is not good. As the carb ages, it can get slightly leaner, resulting in overheating and problems with the cylinder head gasket and even the head itself. A secondary problem may be build-up of carbon on the tiny pre-chamber intake valve and its seat, creating a lean condition in the critical "pre-combustion" charge. While Weber carburator installations have been used to address this problem they may result in emissions and driveability issues. If you have a 3gen Civic/CRX that you want to enjoy for many years, call us about a Civic Duty upgrade Si engine swap.

4th Generation Civic (1988-1991)

While the body design and architecture of the 4th gen Civic (and 2nd Gen CRX) is also extraordinarily good, Honda really moved into world leadership in engineering with the 4th gen. These cars had race-inspired wishbone suspensions and extremely robust fuel-injected engines which were bolted to bullet-proof, precise shifting transmissions. The 4th gen cars (along with the fuel injected 3rd gen) are extremely mechanically durable, and have relatively minor problems until very advanced age. Rust can be a problem, but it is usually repairable, often with a Civic Duty wheel-well patch or other non-structural repair. While all models of this generation Civic are wonderful cars, special mention should be made of the very light and fast '88 CRX Si and the AWD Station Wagon powered by the same 108hp 1.6 engine.
About the only negative we can think of for the 4th gen Civic is the use of motorized or door-mounted seatbelts in 1990-1991 models. The next generation got airbags, but that model is another story........

        

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