The ad for today’s Nice Price or No Dice Civic Si touts the car’s respectably low mileage but counters that by showing us the plethora of dings, dents and chips the car has accumulated over those few miles. Let’s see which outweighs the other, and at what price.
Call me crazy, but I don’t think that a belt-driven supercharger is a performance accessory for the indecisive. The more I think about it, a blower install is pretty much a poop-or-get-off-the-pot hunk of horsepower. And yet, the seller of yesterday’s 1988 Pontiac Fiero implied that it could go both ways, showing the LX9-equipped car with both ambient air and pressurized intake systems and claiming the switch between each was a simple 90-minute operation.
That didn’t sit right with more than a few of you, and neither did the Pontiac’s $8,500 asking price. The voting showed no indecisiveness whatsoever, as the Fiero fell in a sizable 83 percent No Dice loss.
Considering its price range and sporting aspirations, it’s not surprising to find modded Fieros out there. In fact, when it comes to small, relatively cheap cars with sporty car dreams, it’s far less likely to find one that’s purely stock than one with a bunch of owner-imposed shenanigans.
Today’s 2003 Honda Civic Si looks to be one of those rare, unmolested cars. It seemingly has the goods, too. Under the short, sloping hood sits a 160 horsepower 2-liter version of the company’s K-series four. Maximum ponies are made by way of the DOHC VTEC breathing gear and a rev-loving bottom end. Nestled next to that is a five-speed manual driving the front wheels.
Interestingly, the hatchback Si had little in common with the remainder of the seventh-generation Civic line. Instead of originating in Japan or one of Honda’s North American plants, the hot hatch came out of the UK, from the company’s Swindon factory. The model’s cute-as-a-bug styling also stood in contrast to the two- and four-door sedan’s sharper edges.
According to the ad, this single-owner Si has done only 72,848 miles since leaving Swindon. That’s not so much, and the seller claims to have complete service records for the car from new. Frustratingly, every one of the meager miles this Civic has covered seems to have been hard-fought. The ad documents a number of bodywork imperfections, including chips, dings, scrapes and scuffs. The rear bumper cap alone appears to hold a history of parallel parking attempts at the Braille Institute.
On the plus side, the black paint does seem to hide many of the smaller issues adeptly when not under direct light, and all of the paint problems are purely aesthetic. There’s nothing here that should affect how the car runs and drives. Supporting that, the seller lays claim to it feeling “like new” on the road. Helping with that feeling is a set of fairly new Bridgestone tires and a fresh splash of oil in the sump.
The interior seems to have held up better than the exterior and features a cool dash-mounted shifter for the five-speed. That lives beneath the factory stereo. Cloth-covered sport buckets live up front while in the back there’s a split bench for a handy bit of utility. The car has air-conditioning, power windows and cruise control, so it should prove fairly livable if you’re the fancy sort.
Other aspects in this Si’s favor include a clean title and a recent smog test. The asking price for this well-running but slightly rough-looking Si is $8,800, and it’s now up to you to weigh in on whether that price looks better or worse than the paint.
What do you say, is this low-mileage Civic worth that $8,800 asking as it sits? Or, does that high a price demand outer beauty as well as inner?
H/T to Dan Beaufort for the hookup!
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