Honda’s current Civic can be had in your choice of three body styles, a sizable selection in its class these days. As proven by this Nice Price or Crack Pipe Wagovan, that’s still a far cry from what they used to offer. Let’s see if this old school people mover is priced to make it the right choice.
In the Simpson’s episode Bart the Genius, El Barto fakes his way into a school for gifted children. There, completely out of his element, he’s the only one in the class not to get a joke offered by the solution to a somewhat complex rate of change calculation. The annoyingly chipper teacher has to walk through the problem for him, resulting in her explaining that the answer—rd rr—sounds like “har-dee-har-har.”
We faced a similar contention of understanding in yesterday’s 1983 Porsche 928S. That car’s most salient selling point—its unique green leather interior wrapped in contrasting gold metallic paint—seemed lost on most of you who would have preferred a more traditional combo. That’s not to say that you’re all a bunch of uncultured rubes, just to point out that nothing in life is going to be universally enjoyed.
Another issue with that Porsche was its price. At $24,995 it was not cheap, and not cheap is not appreciated around these parts. The seller paid another price for asking that much, that being a 56 percent Crack Pipe loss.
Hey, remember when Honda seemed to know what they were doing? Initially the Japanese manufacturer made just motorcycles. In 1963 they added four-wheeled fare. The following year they debuted Honda Marine and the company’s first outboard boat motor. In 1978 they added lawnmowers to their ever growing litany of products. Today they build all those plus personal jets, generators and… well, who knows what else.
The thing of it is, since diversifying, Honda’s core categories—motorcycles and cars—haven’t seemed to have been given the focus they once enjoyed. When was the last time you heard about a Honda bike with something as interesting as oval pistons? Perhaps more pertinently, when was the last time you got excited knowing there was a new Civic afoot?
Here’s an old Civic that’s interesting enough—perhaps even weird enough—that it should gain our attention. We’ll see in a sec if it might also be worth gaining a good bit of someone’s wallet.
This 1990 Civic Wagovan AWD comes, as its name implies, with all-wheel drive. What, you thought AWD was some sort of diet root beer? Yeah, there’s another joke that’s only for a select few. Sorry about that.
The other part of this Civic’s name—Wagovan—is a bit harder to define, but it’s definitely something you don’t see applied to any member of Honda’s somewhat staid product line at present. The model is a tall wagon, which I guess is sort of van-like if you use your imagination.
This represents the fourth generation of Civics and the second with a tall wagon body style. A design goal of this generation was a lower firewall and hood-line and carries a compact double-wishbone front suspension to facilitate that directive. That makes the greenhouse look even taller than it is, giving the car appreciably comic proportions. Again, you don’t see Honda building anything as smile-inducing as this anymore.
The car comes in arrest me red over a sarape-lined grey cloth interior. The paint is claimed to be just a year old and looks to be in fine fettle. That contrasts nicely with the black plastic trim and aftermarket alloys. It rides low as a teenager’s belt loops on a coil-over suspension, although there doesn’t seem to be any camber shenanigans so appreciably it’s not that low.
The interior demands the festive covers as the driver’s seat suffers a spot of wear-through and covering just that one seat would totally throw off the fung shui in here. The dash looks to be clean and un-cracked, and even carries the original Honda radio.
Mechanicals are comprised of a 16-valve D16A6 inline four with fuel injection. That is good for 108 horsepower and here is paired with a six-speed manual (with super-low first) and the RT4 (Real Time 4-wheel drive) drivetrain. The seller says that the A/C blows cold and claims the 176,000-mile car to be very reliable. The title is clear and the Thule rack is included in the sale.
The asking price for this blast from Honda’s past is a flat $5,000. That’s a hefty sum for an econobox from the late ‘80s/early ‘90s, but as noted, this is a pretty interesting box. It’s also something you can’t get new from Honda anymore.
What’s your take on this Wagovan and that $5,000 asking? Does that make for an appreciably good deal? Or, does that price mean this old Honda’s time is up?
H/T to FauxShizzle for the hookup!
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