Digestible Collectible: 1999 Honda Civic Si

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
digestible collectible 1999 honda civic si

I can’t think of another small car that has been so consistently good, and occasionally great, as the Honda Civic. The Corolla matches it on the good column, but there really hasn’t been a “great” Corolla for enthusiasts since the FX16 GTS. Each generation of Civic, at least since the second generation’s “S” model, has offered a higher-performance trim level that caters to gearheads.

Elsewhere on these virtual pages today, we look at the most recent iterations of the Civic, but since I’m the guy here with grease under his nails and rust in his eyes, I’m looking back a few years at an iconic Honda.

The 1999 Honda Civic Si quickly became a favorite of the street tuning/Sport Compact Car scene of the early Aughts, mostly due to the powerful, highly-tuneable B-series engine fitted. In stock form, 160 horsepower was on tap, though few remain stock today. Most of these have had ill-advised engine, suspension, and bad-vinyl-sticker “enhancements” inspired by The Fast and the Furious franchise.

A good clean example, like this very-lightly modified car in Georgia, is a joy both in commuting and on track. I’ve heard of some cars seeing 35 mpg on the highway, despite the short final drive fitted to the Si. This one might have had lowering springs fitted, as there seems to be a minimal fender-tire gap to the rear, though nothing is mentioned by the seller. The muffler is a bit larger than normal, too, so you might annoy the neighbors, but both of these flaws can be easily corrected.

At under $6,000, this is a great buy. The car seems cosmetically perfect, and with little evidence of stupid modifications, the car will likely serve a new owner for a long time with easy maintenance. I’d love to get my hands on this Civic.

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  • Ryoku75 Ryoku75 on Oct 28, 2015

    Wouldnt the Acura RSX/Integra work better as a "sporty Civic"? I swear Honda contracted out to Elmers for their badge-glue, most Hondas have long lost their "Accor, Civic" badging. I'm sure ricers like this though. These Civics were just cheap all around imo. Back then Honda made reliable cars I've yet to see one with a reliable history, lots of patched up wrecks out there, lots of ricers trying to milk 500 hp out of that sewing machine under the hood. I'd rather have Grandpas Buick Century. Like all Hondas they're no good until you mod them, or tape up a wreck and sell it for a $2k profit to some unsuspecting 15 year old.

    • Gtem Gtem on Oct 29, 2015

      "Like all Hondas they’re no good until you mod them" Huh? I'd actually argue Hondas of all eras are sometimes best enjoyed stock. I'm just really baffled by all the Honda trash talk coming from a serial-owner of a string of crappy old beaters. Odyssey is arguably best in class, Accord arguably best in class, CRV arguably best in class, new Pilot arguably best in class, 2016 Civic is looking like a top contender. Do all of these cars need "mods" because they're "no good?"

  • Calgarytek Calgarytek on Nov 02, 2015

    I've never been a fan of how these cars are modified. Not into 'stance', severe camber angles, or excessively compromised ride height or body kits. I have a modified 2000 EM1. I just purchased a B18C with a Limited Slip diff and will be installing it over the winter holidays. The engine practically 'looks the same' as compared to stock (save for a red valve cover). I also have an exhaust for it, but not one with a fart can muffler. Never been a fan of that, esp. on 4 cylinder engines. I also have a rear strut tower brace, chassis brace, and a rear sub frame brace. So yeah...

  • Secret Hi5 Cream of mushroom interior looks good. Impractical for families and denim jeans wearers.
  • Matt Posky Hot.
  • Lou_BC Murilee is basically correct on the trim levels. People tend to refer to Ford's full-sized cars as "Galaxie 500" or "Galaxie's" even though that's just the mid level trim. I was never a fan of the '69 snout or any of the subsequent models. The vacuum controlled headlight covers typically failed. It was a heavy clunky system also found on the Mercury's like the Cougar. The XL's and LTD's could be purchased with factory bucket seats and a center console with a large shifter, similar to the type of throttle on an airplane. The late 60's era Ford cars had coil springs in the rear which rode nice. The shape of the fender wells did not lend themselves to fitting larger tires. The frame layout carried on to become the underpinnings of the Panther platform. I noticed that this car came with disc brakes in the front. There was a time when disc's were an upgrade option from drum brakes. Ford's engines of similar displacement are often assumed as being from the same engine families. In '69 the 429 was the biggest engine which was in the same family as the 460 (385 series). It was a true big block. In 1968 and earlier, the 428, 427, 390's typically found in these cars were FE block engines. The 427 side oiler has always been the most desired option.
  • Drew8MR Minivans are expensive new if you are just buying them for utility. Used minivans are often superfund sites in back compared to the typical barely used backseats in a lot of other vehicles and you aren't going to get a deal just because everything is filthy, broken and covered in spilled food and drink.
  • Arthur Dailey This is still the only 'car' show that our entire family enjoys. This is not Willie Mays with the Mets style of decline. More like Gretzky with the Blues. It may not be their 'best' work but when it works the magic is still there.
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