The Truth About Cars » Wagovan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 08 Dec 2014 13:30:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Wagovan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Junkyard Find: 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagovan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/junkyard-find-1988-honda-civic-4wd-wagovan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/junkyard-find-1988-honda-civic-4wd-wagovan/#comments Mon, 28 Apr 2014 13:00:04 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=810810 Before Subaru finally nailed down the sales-clinching formula for a car that had four-wheel-drive but didn’t seem too truck-like, all the major Japanese car manufacturers took at shot at building little sedans and wagons with power going to all the wheels. Since I live in Colorado, I get to see examples of each of those […]

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17 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinBefore Subaru finally nailed down the sales-clinching formula for a car that had four-wheel-drive but didn’t seem too truck-like, all the major Japanese car manufacturers took at shot at building little sedans and wagons with power going to all the wheels. Since I live in Colorado, I get to see examples of each of those 1980s efforts, most of which didn’t result in much showroom action but are still pretty interesting today. In this series, we’ve seen a Camry All-Trac, quite a few Corolla All-Tracs, lots of Tercel 4WD wagons, countless elderly Subarus, and so on. The Honda Shuttle aka Civic Wagovan shows up in Denver wrecking yards as well, and I don’t bother to photograph most of them. This late Wagovan with the futuristic “Real-Time” four-wheel-drive system, however, is a rare find even in Colorado.
26 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinReal-Time 4WD didn’t require the driver to throw a lever or push a button when snow or mud threatened, and thus you didn’t have to worry about leaving the car in four-wheel-drive on dry asphalt and tearing up the tires (or worse). Of course, there was a fuel-economy penalty for using a center differential and driving all four wheels all the time, but Subaru proved that this doesn’t hurt sales.
22 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThere are emblems boasting of this technology all over the car.
03 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe ’88 4WD Wagovan also got a super-low (I assume that’s what the “SL” stands for) first-gear, which was probably great for climbing steep driveways and busting CV joints.
12 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinUnder the hood, the pretty-potent-for-1988 106-horse D16A6.
02 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNearly 180,000 miles. No rust on the body, interior not too bad, so my guess is that a blown head gasket doomed this car.

I couldn’t find any Japanese-market ads with the screeching tires and macho voiceovers that the Civic Shuttle deserved.


At least they still appreciate the 4WD Wagovan in Sweden.

01 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 02 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 03 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 05 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 06 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 09 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 10 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 11 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 12 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 13 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 14 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 15 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 16 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 17 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 18 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 19 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 20 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 21 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 22 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 23 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 24 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 25 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin 26 - 1988 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

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Junkyard Find: 1984 Honda Civic Wagovan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/junkyard-find-1984-honda-civic-wagovan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/05/junkyard-find-1984-honda-civic-wagovan/#comments Fri, 04 May 2012 13:00:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=442656 The four-wheel-drive Honda Civic “Wagovan” was very popular in Colorado, and you still see them on the street around here. The front-wheel-drive version, however, is quite rare throughout North America. It was a very sensible family hauler, with its high-30s highway fuel economy and big-for-its-size cargo space, but it couldn’t compete with Chrysler’s minivans. Here’s […]

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The four-wheel-drive Honda Civic “Wagovan” was very popular in Colorado, and you still see them on the street around here. The front-wheel-drive version, however, is quite rare throughout North America. It was a very sensible family hauler, with its high-30s highway fuel economy and big-for-its-size cargo space, but it couldn’t compete with Chrysler’s minivans. Here’s a rare example that I spotted last week in a Denver self-service yard.
In fact, Honda didn’t come up with any sort of Suburbia Main Battle Tank until the Passport, a decade later, and that was really an Isuzu (the first-gen Odyssey was a genuine Honda and ideally suited for the growing family with a lot of accessories… in Japan).
So, what we have here is a tall Civic with a squared-off cargo area. You could fit four adults and the results of a serious big-box-retail shopping spree inside, and then you could drive it for 250,000 miles (provided you never overheated it and blew the head gasket).
Here’s why I will never own one of these cars. You couldn’t get the Wagovan with the Si fuel-injected engine, and there’s no way to make a 25-year-old nightmare tangle of vacuum lines, solenoids, sensors, and black boxes work correctly. Look, this one has multiple layers on the vacuum-hose diagram. It’s had versioning!

16 - 1984 Honda Civic Wagovan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 01 - 1984 Honda Civic Wagovan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 02 - 1984 Honda Civic Wagovan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 03 - 1984 Honda Civic Wagovan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 04 - 1984 Honda Civic Wagovan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 05 - 1984 Honda Civic Wagovan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 06 - 1984 Honda Civic Wagovan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 07 - 1984 Honda Civic Wagovan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 08 - 1984 Honda Civic Wagovan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 09 - 1984 Honda Civic Wagovan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 10 - 1984 Honda Civic Wagovan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 11 - 1984 Honda Civic Wagovan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 12 - 1984 Honda Civic Wagovan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 13 - 1984 Honda Civic Wagovan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 14 - 1984 Honda Civic Wagovan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 15 - 1984 Honda Civic Wagovan Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Phil 'Murilee Martin' Greden 04-1984-Honda-Civic-Wagovan-Down-On-the-Junkyard-Picture-courtesy-of-Phil-Murilee-Martin-Greden-thumb Zemanta Related Posts Thumbnail

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Junkyard Find: 1987 Honda Civic 4WD Wagon http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/junkyard-find-1987-honda-civic-4wd-wagon/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/junkyard-find-1987-honda-civic-4wd-wagon/#comments Sun, 04 Sep 2011 20:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=410260 Living in Denver gives me a great perspective on the history of the four-wheel-drive car. Nowadays, it’s pretty much an all-Subaru affair around these parts (an observer who never left Denver would make the extrapolation that Subaru is one of the top-selling— if not the top-selling— marques in the world), but there was a time […]

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Living in Denver gives me a great perspective on the history of the four-wheel-drive car. Nowadays, it’s pretty much an all-Subaru affair around these parts (an observer who never left Denver would make the extrapolation that Subaru is one of the top-selling— if not the top-selling— marques in the world), but there was a time when Eagles and 4WD Tercels and many others slugged it out with the machines from Fuji Heavy. Here’s an example of Honda’s nearly-forgotten four-wheel-drive wagon, finally heading for The Crusher’s cold jaws after nearly a quarter-century of work.
By 1987, Honda had pretty well cemented its popular reputation as a builder of sensible, well-built cars. The Civic 4WD Wagovan seemed like a good bet to sip gas, run 200,000 miles, and crunch through the Colorado winter snow without getting stuck pulling out of the driveway.
The “Real-Time” four-wheel-drive system was just another way of saying “We know you stupid drivers can’t figure out when to engage four-wheel-drive, so we’ll just leave it going at all times.” Sure, it cost a few miles per gallon and added complexity, but it made the car an easier sell.

The Tercel 4WD wagon (which was much more this car’s competitor than anything from Subaru) had a lever that enabled four-wheel-drive, and its lack of a center differential meant that you’d beat up the drivetrain and/or tires if you drove it on dry pavement in 4WD. In addition, the Tercel had an archaic longitudinal-engine-above-front-differential arrangement that jacked up the center of gravity and made the car less aerodynamic. However, you couldn’t kill the Tercel with a Blue Steel missile, and the Civic suffered from the same weakness that afflicted all Hondas of this era: overheat it once and you’ll blow the head gasket.
With just 76 horsepower under the hood, the Civic Wagovan still managed to be more fun to drive than the competition (although you could still get the AMC Eagle, which was way more fun for mud-soaked off-road madness, in 1987).
I haven’t seen one of these things on the street, even in Denver, for quite a while. Several live on in 24 Hours of LeMons racing, however, and their teams are waiting for the race when it pours rain from start to finish… at which point they’ll get their doors blown right off by the Audi Quattros and 90s Subarus.

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