Recently, a Danish acquaintance with whom I share our passion for classic cars, commented on how pleased he was with no longer having to put up with being constantly flooded with appraisal for the Honda Civic. Only, I can’t possibly guarantee that this will last.
Despite having sold my Rover SD1, he seemed quite pleased that my garage now includes a Jaguar XJ12 and not least my Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC (I happen to know that he is especially fond of German classics himself). He remarked:
“It’s a pleasure that you’ve moved upmarket, so that we no longer have to endure attempts of being persuaded of the qualities of Daihatsu Charades, Honda Civics and – even worse – series 2 FIAT Ritmos.”
And truth be told, I too am quite pleased with the current content of my garage. I’ve been driving the XJ12 a fair bit this spring, and it never fails to please. In the meantime, I’ve also committed to spending both time and not least money on hopefully finally getting my SLC to start and drive right. I originally purchased the car as a – more or less – drivable project, and there have been a few challenges along the way. But it’s just such a fabulous car and despite those small hiccups, I’m still very much in love with this sleek and stylish German coupé.
But with our International Editor’s recent report from the Classic Car Spectacular at Tatton Park in the north of England, I was both inspired and drawn into deep considerations about my future garage when I read about those two beautifully presented first generation Honda Preludes. Even more so, when I read about both owners also owning first generation Civics too. The thing is, whether it’s an early Civic, Prelude or even a first generation Accord, I simply have a profound weakness for Hondas. Thus far, I have owned four of them – three Civics from various generations and not least a first generation Honda Legend Coupé, which even the most sceptically minded will surely have to admit is something rather special.
From an engineering perspective, I feel there are many Honda’s which are quite special. As an added bonus, Honda always managed to build quality into the products too, so a Honda isn’t just some exaggerated high-tech showcase, but in fact a real and proper car which does what it says on the packaging and even does it well. Amazingly, this even applies when it’s just one of their economy family cars.
And for me, that’s the attraction which keeps me coming back for more. Whether it’s the NSX, which is still one of the most accomplished cars I have even had the privilege of driving. Or a third generation Civic 1.5i GT which I haven’t owned yet, but really want to. Or the third generation Civic which I have owned – namely the chiselled CRX 1.6-16 from 1986. Yes, I actually really regret selling that one…
OK, so the Honda I dream most of owning (besides the NSX) is perhaps not surprisingly the charming little S800. I imagine it would even win the hearts of most of our readers and quickly attain approval in any ViaRETRO garage. However, they’ve become quite sought after and now cost as much – if not more – than an Alpine Renault A310. This time around, I elected to opt for one of those instead.
But until there is financial space for a S800 as well, it’s not unlikely that another Civic will find its way into my garage. It could be the second generation CRX, which is a shapely and very compact coupé which I’ve always found much more interesting than the many GTi’s of the same era. While prices have certainly moved up in recent years, the CRX can still be found for very reasonable money, it’s an excellent and involving drive, pretty fast too, and as an added bonus it even manages to be reasonably frugal on fuel as well.
Don’t be too surprised if you find yourself reading about the ViaRETRO CRX in the not too distant future. It could happen. But which reactions would I get? Surely I can’t be the only one to value Hondas exceptional engineering skills and their approach to building cars?