The original Civic Si was Honda's entry into the Hot Hatch market, a class that defined '80s cheap seat performance. Finding an unmolested edition like today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe contender is rare indeed, but will its price make this a Hot Hatch you're cool with?
Speaking of hot, do you know that in France they like their cheese like their women - warm and soft? And with a narrow 53% Nice Price win, you all warmed up to the four grand price for yesterday's Citroën Acadiane trucklet. We'll see if today's contender fares as well as we go from Oui to Si.
You know, every time they pry a freshly discovered Wooly Mammoth from the Siberian permafrost, somebody claims that in short order they'll clone that hairy mo-fo, giving us yet another animal's poop to scrape off the soles our shoes. Science!
In the automotive world, Mazda achieved a similar feat, genetically engineering a small, open-topped sports car from the scattered DNA of such extinct progenitors as the MGB and Fiat 124. We don't know with certainty what caused the mammoths to fade from existence - Human hunting? Massive climate change? Moral turpitude? - but we do know what killed off those earlier sports cars - it was Hot Hatches like today's 1986 Honda Civic Si that did them in.
A conspirator it may be, but this Si Civic is also clean enough and seemingly all original that you might overlook such criminal activities, after all that all happened a long time ago. So long ago in fact that today we're four generations further up the Civic branch of Honda's family tree. This third generation was also the most radically different from its predecessors, both stylistically and in model diversity. The third wave of Civic hatch eschewed the older cars' rounded rear for a squared off two-door wagon design which provides a roomy and airy cabin and plenty of load space under its near vertical third door.
The Si, as applied to the hatch, adds a standard sunroof and a 91-horse edition of the 12-valve 1.5-litre four. The i in Si stands, as you might imagine, for injection which means the EW in this car benefits from Honda's EFI for fuel delivery. The seller claims this car to be a 4-speed, however another feature of the Si was a 5-cog box, so maybe that's a typo or perhaps the reason for his selling it is because he never realized there was a fifth gear and he's tired of listening to it scream at 6,000 rpm on the freeway. Regardless, he says it runs and drives great, and benefits from a new timing belt/water pump install.
Another Si identifier is the body-colored bumpers and full-width tail lamp reflector, both subtle but noticeable changes. They are present here on this one, and in fact the whole body looks to be in pretty good shape, with the exception of what looks like a door-side rub strip that seems to be trying to start a new life elsewhere. Also, the Si wheel covers have left the building, here replaced by some other plastic bits that are round but otherwise nondescript.
Despite what are said to be 186,000 miles under its tires, the interior of this Si seems equally as clean as the outside. Of course that perhaps is to be expected as it is a mid-'80s Honda which is another way of saying it's as well put together as Miranda Kerr.
I know it's a little strange opening and closing this week with two so similar-looking cars from the same manufacturer, but that's not nearly as chance as finding an ‘86 Civic Si that has not had visited upon it the horrors of low-budget modifications. Its torsion bar front/coils spring rear suspension still seems to sit at a normal height, and nowhere upon it does there appear to have been drilled mounting holes for spoilers, spats, ground effects or neon lighting. It's sort of like going to a titty bar and finding a beautiful girl working there, unmarked by either piercings or tattoos, and reading Stand On It.
So unique a find warrants our attention and as such I'd now like you to weigh in on this seller's choice of $1,300 for this Si's price tag. What do you think, does that price for this 26-year old Honda make you say aye-aye to this Si? Or, are this generation's modest mods insufficient to sway you for that price?