The “Si” badge has always denoted something special from Honda, from the ’85 Civic and CRX that flaunted the new-fangled fuel injection on the sport model to the not-quite-a-Type R that will hopefully be gracing our roads later this year. Honda fanatics will continue to debate the best, but my favorite Civic generation has to be its fourth, popularly known as the “EF” Civic.
Honda apparently didn’t like the U.S. at the time, as other markets were blessed with hotter engines, some with VTEC to boost high-end power. It took enterprising enthusiasts, some with more energy than money, to develop a trend to swap these powerplants into American-market Civics.
I recall test-driving one such swapped Civic, put together so poorly that the shift lever — not the knob, mind you, but the entire lever — came out in my hand on a 3-2 downshift.
No, I didn’t buy that car.
I briefly tested another that had such awful rust that the carpet provided the majority of any protection to my feet from the road surface. The stench of patchouli in the car, incidentally, was another turn-off, though I stopped for Doritos on the way home from that particular drive.
The twin terrors of rust and hack hotrodders have yielded a dwindling number of clean Civics for fans like me who can finally consider one as a toy. The seller of this 1991 Honda Civic Si in Omaha clearly sees the scarcity, but might be reaching in asking over its original MSRP for this example.
These Civics are such a joy to drive that I can see someone parting with the cash. The handling is such that this generation Civic has become the de facto “car to have” in a couple classes of national-level SCCA autocross, with dozens showing up and taking trophies every year.
No, I wouldn’t spend $11,000 for this car, especially when I could buy a competitive autocrosser for less than half. (I think I still have jorts that fit.) But, even in the oh-so-’90s turquoise, this looks magnificent.