1978 Honda Civic Hatchback

When searching Alameda's streets for DOTS cars, I can find sufficient vintage Detroit and German cars to stretch from here to Gardena. But I need to hoard the photos of the few older Japanese cars I can find here and ration them out carefully (I've managed a Datsun 610, a 240Z, a Colt, and a Datsun 411). This is kind of a drag, because pre-1980 Japanese cars have such historical importance.

1978 Honda Civic Hatchback


It's hard to remember life before the Honda Civic. Strange to think, there was once a time when you couldn't buy a gas-sipping small car that was cheap, somewhat quick, and would still run just fine with 200,000+ miles on the clock.

1978 Honda Civic Hatchback


These late-first-gen Civics were the cars that really got Honda's American beachhead firmly established. Remember, they were going up against the likes of the Chevy Chevette.

1978 Honda Civic Hatchback


This particular Civic has escaped The Crusher's jaws longer than most of its fellows; these cars have just never seemed worth fixing once they finally blow the head gasket. Seems they've disappeared just in the last few years, with the survivors all showing 300K+ odo readings.

1978 Honda Civic Hatchback


This one's been hit, scraped, and crunched. Its silver paint is so faded it looks like primer, and the interior looks like it was used for belt-sander fights. I bet it runs great, though.

1978 Honda Civic Hatchback


This is the slightly more expensive CVCC model. Thanks to the magic of a secondary combustion chamber for each cylinder (which makes it impossible to stick a coat-hanger wire down a spark plug hole to feel the piston for TDC), Honda was able to get both clean emissions and crazy mileage out of the CVCC design.

1978 Honda Civic Hatchback


Remember how small the Civic used to be? This car would be dwarfed by an '07 Civic.

1978 Honda Civic Hatchback


Hmmm... how hard is it to put a later Civic or Integra engine in one of these? Probably ungodly difficult, but just imagine the torque-steeringly hoontastic adventures you could have!