If you simply can’t wait to get your hands on the production version of Honda’s stupendous Urban EV Concept, we’ve found just the thing: the car that inspired it.
We found just one second-generation Honda Civic in the mainstream classifieds at the time of writing, and isn’t it a cutie? Brought in to replace the original in 1979, you can immediately see the round headlights and wide, black mesh grille that inspired the Urban EV’s nose so obviously.
This one is a bit special, though: check out the red half-leather seats beneath silver paint. It’s a classic combination that worked a treat in full leather on my old S2000, so it’s good to see it in action here as well, indicating a high-spec model. Its steel wheels are a blast from the past and the boxy, jutting bumpers were a styling hangover from the 1970s that today gives this Civic an instant charm. Then there’s the pea-shooter exhaust and the rear light clusters that look like they were made by Playmobil.
Our guest star here is a thrilling 1335cc automatic with just 45,000 miles on the clock from new (allegedly). It will do 0-62mph eventually, and top speed depends very much on the road’s incline. It has a few loose bits and pieces, and some of the plastics could do with refurbishment, but it seems like a fundamentally good base for an affordable classic car project that won’t ruin you either in running costs or parts bills.
It has no MOT, which is potentially a problem if it needs money spending immediately to get it through the test, and it also means you can’t legally drive it yet – unless it’s directly to an MOT test appointment. On the other hand, it does have an AA badge on the grille, which, as your parents will tell you, used to be something people were proud of. It said you were a proper motorist.
The seller describes it as needing TLC, and we don’t think he means the God-awful nineties R&B group. It needs paintwork repairs at the back and around the rear wings, for starters. If you haggle a little off that price, because the seller can hardly claim that there’s a queue for MkII Civics these days, we think you’ve got a potential bargain bundle of charm.