Any Honda enthusiast will tell you…
There’s nothing quite like owning or driving an old Honda. It doesn’t have to be any specific model. Civic, CRX, Accord – they all have their quirks & are all unique. Today is the day you should go out and buy one of these cars, and I’m going to try and explain why. Let’s take a look:
1. There is an absolutely MASSIVE aftermarket.
What I mean by this is that if you can even think of a custom part, most likely, it exists. Carbon fiber anything? Yep. Turbocharger systems? Yes, with multiple options. Don’t like the seats? Most are interchangeable, take your pick. The possibilities are absolutely endless. I have said this for years: “An unmodified Honda is the greatest blank canvas.” Basically, you can make it your own relatively easy. While we all more than likely have gone to a show and seen multiple Honda’s, there is never one that quite matches another. That’s the beauty of this brand. You can very easily pick 4-5 mods and end up with a car that is uniquely, yours.
2. Parts are CHEAP (sometimes)
If you take a look at other brands and their relative cost of parts, Honda will most likely come out on top, price wise. I’m not just talking about modified parts, either. Need general maintenance items? Honda keeps stock piles of replacement parts at generally low costs. Ball joints, suspension components & other high wear items are plentiful & not too expensive to repair or replace. When it comes to finding aftermarket parts, the same rule applies most of the time. Since there are literally hundreds of thousands of old Hondas on the road, manufacturers can make more parts, making the cost go down. Sometimes, you’ll run into a specific performance kit that is priced high, but for the most part, the costs are low.
3. Engine swaps are PLENTIFUL.
Say you want to purchase a 96-00 Civic. Unless you purchase an Si model, it will have a 1.6L D-series motor. But, say you want the engine from that Si model… you can do that. There are companies that provide motor mounts, harnesses & adaptors to run basically whatever you want in these cars. It’s not uncommon to see any Civic from 1992 and onward with an Acura sourced K-series making over 200hp without power adders. Also, these engines have the capabilities of high horsepower figures without breaking the bank. 500hp is an attainable figure even with single cam engines.
4. Fun to drive!
If you have never experienced the feeling of driving an older Honda on a windy road, I highly recommend you do this. As an enthusiast, there is something unique about the overall driving experience. Sure, most older models like the CRX or EG Civic might get “gapped” by a soccer mom in her new Sienna on the straights… but you won’t care. As far as I’m concerned, you’ll be having more fun rowing through the gears in one of these than just about anything else. The fun grows even more when you go down twisting back roads. Having owned a modified 96 Civic at one point, my favorite road of all time was the Tail of the Dragon. Just imagine 11 miles of curves – that’s this road. Driving it in this old Civic is still my favorite driving experience I have ever had to date. Try it, it’s great.
5. Cost of ownership is low.
Having owned one of these cars for over 7 years, this is a huge reason why I kept it for so long. Apart from the occasional oil change, I maybe put $900 of overall maintenance into my old Civic over the course of 7 years. Keep in mind, this car was driven absolutely everywhere – it was my daily. A lot of owners have experienced minimal amounts of maintenance over their course of ownership. Parts like tie rod ends, axles, seals & whatnot can be had for pennies on the dollar compared to other brands. If you are looking for an excuse to buy one, let this be it. The daily drivability of these cars is incredible, and your wallet won’t take a huge hit if anything happens.
I’ll be the first to tell you that there are MANY other reasons why you need an old Accord, Civic or CRX. These are just the ones that jumped out to me first. Do yourself a favor and go buy one RIGHT NOW – I’m sure these will double in price over the next 5 years. I firmly believe that everyone should experience these cars in their lifetime. Trust me, you’ll have a blast.
Text & Photos by Ben Battles