By on June 28, 2018

This isn’t the first time we’ve presented a utility-minded multipurpose hatchback in the Rare Rides series. Rather, it’s very nearly the culmination of the major players in the segment. In addition to today’s ride, we’ve had the Colt Vista, and Nissan’s Prairie (now owned by an enthusiast collector), as well as a pristine and pricey Tercel 4WD Wagon.

After today, we’re missing just two: an Eagle Summit/Mitsubishi Expo, and the last-of-breed Nissan Axxess. Onward, to Wagovan.

The third-generation Honda Civic was wrapping up its tenure in 1987, as the Civic became larger and more American-friendly in 1988. The third generation presented Civic buyers with more body style options than in modern times. There was a three-door hatch, four-door sedan, and a five-door hatchback or “Wagovan,” in addition to the two-seat CRX “coupe.”

Though introduced for the 1984 model year, the Civic’s four-wheel drive system was modernized in 1987. Originally, the system was push-button in nature, requiring manual input from the driver to switch modes. 1987’s development made the switching automatic: power was sent to the rear wheels automatically when the front lost grip.

Proud of its achievement, Honda printed the automatic nature of the 4WD right on the steering wheel. This automatic all-wheel drive system also saw the implementation of “Realtime” terminology, which is still in use today on the CR-V (technically this model’s successor). Ground clearance of four-wheel drive models was a half inch greater than front-drive Wagovan versions.

Paired to the four-wheel drive system was a mandatory six-speed manual transmission. The box was comprised of five forward speeds, and one SL (Super-low) crawler gear. To the best of my knowledge, this Wagovan would have a 1.3-liter ZA1 series inline-four under the hood. Given the variance in Civic engines during the period, I’m prepared to be wrong here.

The Wagovan would live on through the fourth-generation Civic as well, bowing out after the 1991 model year.  This later version attempted to broaden customer appeal by offering a four-speed automatic on all-wheel drive versions, in addition to the manual.

Today’s tan beauty is a high-mileage example out in Oregon, America, which is somewhat south of Vancouver, Canada. It has some excellent lace alloys and looks to be rust-free. The owner seems to know Wagovan well, and is asking $2,000.

[Images seller]

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59 Comments on “Rare Rides: A 1987 Honda Civic Wagovan 4WD, the Everybody Wagon...”


  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Does it have a licorice dispenser?

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Very reasonable price for an exceptional car. I’d be tempted to throw it on eBay just to see what it’d bring. I’m thinking quite a bit more, especially if I brought it back east to better appeal to buyers who would desire the car but have 0 local options because they all rusted away before Clinton ever left office.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    I purchased one of these new. The dealer had a number of ‘special order’ Realtime 4WD Wagovans with sunroofs that sat on their lot for months. I had the dealer install A/C (not factory available from Honda at that time). Had the windows tinted by an aftermarket company. Ours also had the 6-speed. If you look closely you will notice that the Fit uses the same type of flip and fold seating. You could actually fold all the seats flat to make a bed.

    Sold it (regrettably) when another child arrived and purchased a Caravan. While sitting in the ‘office’ the dealership’s GM came in and asked about the Wagovan. Bought it outright for his daughter who was a skiier and was in university.

    Dollar for dollar and pound for pound, as good as vehicle as we have ever owned/had.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Weimer

      IIRC, AC was a dealer installed option on most Hondas well into the mid-90s. I know a ’94 Civic EX coupe I was looking at was that way.

      • 0 avatar
        psychoboy

        AC was standard equipment on most trim levels of most Hondas after the mid 80s. You could get some stripper models without AC, so there are dealer kits to add it on, but it’s not the regular situation.

        That said, I’ve seen a 2007 Civic DX from the north that did not have AC from the factory.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Both my 86 Accord and the 87 wagon required dealer installed units. Also a Civic sedan purchased new circa approximately ’89. And 2 Civic hatches MY 1984 and 1987. Yes, my family were heavily into Hondas. As far as I know, at least in Canada, it was not a factory option until later in that decade or early in the next.

          Honda Canada was a client and they were constantly short of A/C parts, as these dealer installed units had a fairly high problem/failure rate.

          They informed me that the lack of A/C was a legacy from Mr. Honda whose firm belief was that Honda was primarily a builder of engines and that A/C detracted from the performance of those engines.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          I know A/C was standard on my 1994 Civic EX Sedan, but interesting that the Coupe may not have been! Could have sworn that the EX-grade 5th-Gen Civics (and maybe the Si hatch, too) had factory A/C, particularly after the MMC in 1994 (which really amounted to body-colored mirrors, passenger airbags, and a nicer stereo in the Coupe EX).

  • avatar
    Southern Perspective

    Nice price or Crack Pipe? $2,000.00. Undisclosed engine issues. No tags. Portland, OR Craigslist. https://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/cto/d/rare-1987-honda-civic-wagon-6/6621171061.html

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      Depends. Are you looking for dependable basic transportation on a tight budget? No way. Want a fun, interesting runabout and have some time/money to put into it? If the paint and body are solid, I could see 2 grand, maybe.

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        No way unless it was the next-generation with fuel injection. I owned four 1984-87 carb’d Civics, and even for an expert troubleshooter who owned the factory service manuals, they can be extremely time-consuming to troubleshoot.

        There are around 20 separate vacuum-controlled emissions and driveability control systems, many which require troubleshooting at very specific, narrow temperature ranges due to the vacuum-temperature switches used. If you are above the switching range (say, fully warmed-up), you can’t tell if the system is even working properly.

        The 1988 (& maybe 1989) Wagon is the one to get, as it has fuel injection and doesn’t have the stranglematic shoulder straps.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Fit is Go!

    If you’re not hung up on AWD, at least Honda still offers something like this now. I think the Tercel was far better proportioned but I’ve no idea which is the better vehicle. May be time to take the Rare Rides/Crapwagon series into video form with a comparison test. Corey gives the background, Gtem and JohnTaurus squabble over the mechanical merits of each, and someone jaded and cynical but with real driving experience thrashes the crud out of them on the street until something breaks.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      I’m here to squabble :). IIRC Tthe engine is a 1.5L, there were no “sensors on the front wheels” as the RT4WD system is a mechanical setup with a viscous coupling that engages the rear axle when there is a speed differential between front and rear axle inputs.

      The Tercel is more of an off-road mountain goat with its solid rear axle that articulates better, the Honda is the zipper and more fun on-road car.

      My dad lost a $50 to a shady seller of a used AWD Wagovan of this gen, we ended up with a more boring fwd automatic ‘90 civic Wagon (no longer called Wagovan that generation) that served the family well until 2006 when we bought a base stick shift ‘07 Fit.

      • 0 avatar

        OK OK I fixed that part about sensors.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          No worries Corey if you hadn’t posted it then we wouldn’t be talking about it in the first place!

          Arthur we were looking to replace our rusty and well worn ‘85 civic sedan that got totaled (sandwiched between a firebird and park ave). We were sued by the owners of the park ave that we got rammed into for a million plus bucks in a frivolous lawsuit, heady stuff for recent immigrants to the US. Prior to the ‘85 we had a even more rusty ‘82 civic wagon that my dad bought off a coworker for $750 as our first car here. Anyways the sedan needed replacement and my dad found a private seller with an AWD Wagovan. Test drive it, liked it, gave the guy a $50 deposit to hold it for a day while we got the cash together. Guy sold it to someone else and we never saw our $50, the end LOL. Ended up buying our ‘90 with 60k miles for $6k, this was in 1994 or so. Kept it until 2006 and 167k miles, it was a really good car. The Fit that replaced it is worse in a number of ways except fuel economy.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Now we want to know the story regarding the $50 and the ‘shady seller’.

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        No this or current iterations of Honda Real-Time system do not use a viscous coupling they use a mulit-plate clutch pack like used in a traditional automatic transmission. As in an automatic transmission it is hydraulically operated.

        The early system used on these is referred to as the 2 pump system. There is a front pump attached to the input from the transaxle and a rear pump attached to the output of the Real-Time device. The front pump’s output connects to the rear pump’s input. The rear pump’s output connects to the front pump’s input.

        When driven on a surface with good traction the pumps just create a continuous flow of fluid between the two pumps. When the front pump spins faster than the rear pump, as would occur if the front wheels spin while the rears are stationary pressure will build in the front out to rear in circuit. That pressure is used to actuate a ball-cam mechanism that engages the clutch pack. One the speeds equalize the designed in leakage allows the pressure to equalize in the two circuits and allow the clutch to release.

        The newer system uses a single pump and electronic controls to determine and control clutch apply pressure.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Thanks for that thorough break-down Scoutdude, I knew I was oversimplifying that system by simply equating it to a simple viscous coupling. I think it was a pretty effective system on the whole, check out “wagon attack 2” on YouTube there’s a turbocharged civic wagon at the silver lake dunes tearing it up no worse than a Subie.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          I’m pretty sure this has a viscous coupling. I believe the CR-V was the first implementation of the dual-pump system.

          “This is all straight from the 89 civic manual. The CRV RT4WD is merely an evolution of this idea, so it uses the same basic principles but is more advanced in how its done.

          “General
          When there is no difference in speed between the No.1 and viscous coupling unit (No.2 propeller shaft), power is transmitted to the front wheels through the front differential and the front driveshafts. The left driveshaft is connected to the differential by an intermediate shaft, The power is also turned 90 degrees by the transfer gears and transmitted to the No.1 propeller shaft. Whenever there is any speed difference between the No.1 propeller shaft and viscous coupling unit (No.2 propeller shaft), power is transmitted to the rear wheels via the viscous coupling unit, the No.2 and No,3 propeller shafts, the rear differential and the rear driveshafts.

          Front Driveshaft
          An intermediate shaft equalizes the length and angle of both driveshafts for easier steering on bumpy roads. The driveshaft end of this shaft runs on a bearing which is held by a holder on the engine case. A constant velocity universal joint at each end of the driveshafts ensures quieter operation and longer life. The front wheels run on an angular bearing for reduced friction

          Propeller Shaft
          The propeller shaft carries power from the transfer to the rear differential. It is of a 2-piece construction and is supported by two rubber mounted bearings. The shaft has four universal joints: one tripod type and three yoke-and-spider type. These joints permit the shaft to lengthen and shorten, as the rear suspension moves.

          Viscous Coupling
          The viscous coupling unit is located on the front end of the No.2 propeller shaft. It consists of a housing that is connected to the No.1 propeller shaft by a tripod joint. Inside the housing are 79 plates, which have 0.2 mm (0.008 in.) of clearance between one another, surrounded by silicon oil. The 40 housing plates are engaged with the splines in the housing and the 39 hub plates are splined to the shaft. The plates have holes in them to aid in heat dissipation. The viscous coupling unit also contains approximately 10% air to allow for the thermal expansion of the silicon oil.

          Whenever there is any difference in the speed of rotation between the No.1 and No.2 propeller shafts, such as when the front wheels lose traction, there is friction between the housing plates (drive side) and the hub plates (driven side). This friction is caused by the resistance of the plates sliding against the silicon oil. This resistance between the plates and the silicon oil is what begins to transmit torque from the housing plates to the hub plates and eventually to the rear wheels. This transmission of torque is proportionate to the difference in the speed of rotation of the wheels.

          As the difference in propeller shaft speed continues, the temperature of the silicon oil keeps rising. Due to thermal expansion, the pressure inside the viscous coupling unit is also increasing as the temperature rises. When the pressure becomes high enough, the housing plates begin to contact the hub plates and the engine torque to the rear wheels increases rapidly, as noted in the diagram below. To reduce plate wear, there are spacer rings to limit plate to plate contact.””

          https://honda-tech.com/forums/honda-crx-ef-civic-1988-1991-3/%5Bfaq%5D-real-time-4-wheel-drive-4wd-rt4wd-411318/

  • avatar
    syncro87

    After my parents got divorced, my mother could no longer drive older cars that needed repairs frequently, as she had 2 kids and worked full time. Needed something reliable, good on gas, and this being in NW PA in a relatively rural area, something good in the snow was a huge bonus. Didn’t have a lot of money as a school teacher…

    …enter a 1985 Civic Wagon AWD, manual transmission (don’t know if they even came in auto). I don’t think they were called Wagovan yet in ’85. It had A/C, which was huge in those days, at least to someone on our economic level. Crank windows, because only fancy cars had power windows in that time period. Light metallic blue, blue cloth.

    She drove the crap out of that car for many years. Put herself back through school to get her Masters and PhD, the Civic soldiering through. The little car when through hell, really, and never had an issue, except one major one due to lack of maintenance on the owner’s part.

    I had harped on her to get the timing belt job done for a while, and became really vocal about it around 150k miles, well beyond when it should have been changed. Money was so tight that the maintenance didn’t happen on time, and the belt snapped taking out the valves in a bad part of Philadelphia near Temple University one night. Had to limp the car to a safe place to park and get out, and that furthered the damage. She ended up getting a used engine put in it (not easy to find, IIRC there was something unique about the AWD wagon’s engine that wasn’t the same as a regular Civic), and continued to drive it until she was out of grad school the second time and could afford a shiny new base model, stick shift fifth-gen Celica.

    Anyway, I’m getting off track. My personal part of the AWD Civic story is from shortly after she got the thing brand new. Probably had a thousand miles on it, tops. I was a teenager at the time, barely had my license for long. My mother had to travel somewhere for work, I think, and this necessitated me driving her to Pittsburgh, the nearest major airport, meaning I had to be entrusted with the brand new Civic that she had just scratched and clawed up the money to buy. No small deal to her at the time.

    Of course, my buddy and I thought it would be fun to play with the AWD. No off roading or anything major, but being the naive kid I was, we engaged it on dry pavement and couldn’t get it back into 2wd mode. Locked in AWD, no way to pick her up again a couple hours away at the airport, as a couple hundred miles on dry pavement in AWD was something I did vaguely know was not good. So in my teenage mind, I just ruined the car or screwed something expensive up, and I was going to be dead meat.

    Fortunately, my buddy’s dad owned a Toyota dealership in our little town, and my friend got one of the mechanics to look at the car since there was no Honda dealer for miles. The technician laughed, put the car in reverse, pushed the dash button, and the AWD disengaged right away. I was too ignorant at the time to know to try that trick.

    Catastrophe averted. I didn’t want to stress her out that we might have permanently damaged something even though the car was operating normally, so it was years later that I finally let her in on the story.

    This post was longer than intended, but funny how a certain car will trigger fond memories out of the past, so I rambled a bit.

    Great car.

    • 0 avatar
      DRdR

      Great story. This is why I like to read the comments on these articles.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Agree. An excellent story and one that demonstrates why we sometimes (often) become emotionally attached to a particular vehicle.

        Our Wagovan did not have a button to engage the 4WD/AWD. As per the one shown there was a ‘low’ gear that locked this in, but only for low speeds. Otherwise, it was the type of ‘automatic’ system that I believe is still used by Honda.

        • 0 avatar
          syncro87

          Thanks.

          My memory is that the wagon had a 4wd or Awd button you pressed at any reasonable speed to engage the Awd(50-55?), but given that it was thirty years ago, I may be wrong. Hazy, but I think the button was to the left of the radio head unit.

          One more thing about that car and the time period that occurs to me. The car that was traded in on the Civic was a 1978 VW Rabbit Champagne Edition (a frosty green color with the same color velour interior). One of my first automotive memories was going to Bob Brant VW in Meadville, PA, to shop for that car with my parents. I would have only been 8 or 9 years old at the time, but I have this fairly clear memory of climbing in an Audi Fox that was on the showroom floor, and my dad yelling at me to get out of it. Apparently a Fox (slightly gussied Dasher?) was a high end car and kids had no business messing with it.

          They did spring for the Champagne Edition trim for an unknown reason, maybe given the gas shortage at the time, you took what you could get if you wanted a small import, I don’t know. They did not, however, get A/C, which was deemed extravagant and likely to take a hit on precious MPG.

          The reason I bring up the Rabbit is that up until the purchase of the Civic, my folks were die hard VW buyers. They had a series of air cooled Buses, Beetles, and even a Fastback when I was small and prior to my arrival. Naturally, when the time came, they loyally stuck with VW and bought a relatively early Rabbit.

          This turned out to be a huge mistake. The car had valve guide seal issues early on, and left my mother stranded on numerous occasions due to electrical problems. The radio antenna wire was routed in such a way that water would leak in through the antenna on the fender and drip onto the fuse box. Not good. The car had various other issues at a relatively young age, and was never dependable.

          The Civic, by contrast, was the complete opposite. Never in the shop for anything until mom blew it up by failing to maintain it well into the triple digits on the odo. From her perspective, night and day as far as stress free ownership, as the Rabbit nickel and dimed her continually while she understood that the Civic met the end by her lack of maintenance.

          Neither of my folks ever bought a new VW again. Looking at VW’s sales drop from about the mid 80’s onward, I wonder if a lot of people like them bought a Honda or Toyota after a crappy VW and never went back?

          I had been around enough VWs by the point my folks learned their lesson that I was infected, though. Bought a great number of VWs over the years, often to my financial detriment. ha ha!

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @syncros87: your experience and thoughts parallel mine.
            My Wagovan was like the one pictured, believe yours was a couple of years earlier and therefore may have had the ‘button’. By 1987 it was an ‘automatic’ system, with a locked one ‘super low’ gear.

            We previously also had VW’s. Being older, my experience was with air cooled ones. A couple of indestructible Beetles a Type III squareback and then a Type IV squareback. The Type IV turned the family off VW for years. And yes, after that when we purchased ‘small’ or import cars they were nearly always Hondas. For decades.

  • avatar
    240SX_KAT

    If you’re ever out in Vancouver area you can take all the pictures of my Axxess you want. It’s the rarest of rare, a complete base model (not even a clock!) that they ordered with AWD and a five speed.

  • avatar
    18726543

    In maybe 2004 I decided to unload my lightly lifted ’89 Cherokee because at about 13 mpg it was killing me. I wasn’t looking for it specifically, but I went to look at a 1990 Civic AWD with the 6-speed manual. I didn’t even know how rare a find that was at the time. It had about 180k miles on it and ran perfectly. The AC even worked, still charged with R12. I put about 20k miles on it before selling it to get a 1998 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport, and still regret it. That Civic did better in the snow than the Subaru, the 1.6L got much better fuel economy than Subaru’s 2.2L, and the uniqueness was off the charts! Very fun car, but a real headache on the highway. That motor loved to SPIN!

  • avatar
    sutherland555

    My buddy drove one of these in high school. I remember finding the pop-up clock on top of the dashboard a nice and clever, if humorous touch.

  • avatar
    Urlik

    Memories of the Honda Shuttle I owned when I lived in Japan for three years in the 90s. Some body style, right hand drive, and a semiautomatic transmission.

  • avatar
    cammark

    I had an ’86 FWD Wagovan about 15 years ago with the EW1 engine (1.5l, 12 valve, 2bbl carb) which was standard in the US I believe. I know the EW5 was more powerful and available in the Civic/CRX Si. The next body-style AWD wagovan shared it’s engine with the Si, but not sure about this one.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    I don’t think there are any electronic sensors in this AWD system. I believe it simply has a viscous coupling to the back.

    This would be a fine winter vehicle for $2000. At the same time, if it’s as good as it looks in the pics, I almost wouldn’t want to ruin it with the salt.

  • avatar
    brettc

    I remember my dad test driving one of these in maybe 1990 at the local Honda dealer. He never bought one, but it was a pretty cool car to 13 year old me. Definitely much cooler than our problematic ’87 Celebrity that he would have owned at the time.

  • avatar
    psychoboy

    Just because I love pedantry and old Hondas

    “Wagovan” was a trim level on the 5 door Civics. In the 3rd gen (84-87) it only existed in 84, 86, and 87, only came with a manual transmission, and only came in FWD. It seems like its a step above the DX trim, but not as content rich as the RT4WD version.

    “Wagovan” continued as a midlevel trim option in the 4th gen (88-91). It existed in the 88 and 89 model years, still only FWD, but with an automatic transmission available.

    So, in short, not all five door 84-91 Civics are Wagovans, and the ones that are, are all FWD. All 4WD Civic 5doors are simply “4WD”, they are never Wagovans.

    Also, there are no electronics in any of Honda’s RT4WD/RTAWD systems until the third generation CRV debuted in 2012. The Civics used a viscous clutch in the middle of the propshaft (spinning front wheels and non spinning rears locked up the “center diff”), and the CRVs used a fully mechanical dual pump in the nose of the rear differential to attach the rear diff to the front diff when the front and rear wheels are rotating at different speeds. Like the fully mechanical 4 wheel steering system in the 88-91 Prelude, Honda used to solve problems with engineering rather than computing.

    • 0 avatar
      syncro87

      Could have sworn my mother’s was an ’85. Must have been an ’84 or ’86. Must have been that she bought it in 1985, and was likely a 1986 model, I guess.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @psychoboy: Thanks. Mine did not say ‘Wagovan’ but that is how it was referred to at the dealership by sales and service personnel. It was the Realtime 4WD which did take up the nameplate space.

        And although the B&B show a great deal of affection for this vehicle (which I agree with) we can also blame it for the Cute Ute affliction. The Honda Wagon was not a sales success in North America. However Honda basically put it on stilts, called it a CR-V and watched sales explode.

        • 0 avatar
          psychoboy

          More accurately, the CR-V is a third generation Integra on stilts, but your point remains.

          The late 90s were just the right time and place for comfortable tiny SUVs to become a thing. The Samurai proved the market, but the Sidekick, Rocky, Rav4, CR-V, Tracker, and Amigo (sorta) did the work.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Ah reading this post was so utterly satisfying to me LOL. Thanks for that.

    • 0 avatar

      While you’re obviously right, too late to correct the naming now! Via internet search, I’m glad I have not been the only person to swap the Wagon and Wagovan names.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    I don’t have any personal experience with these, but when I met my wife, she was renting a room from an elderly lady, a retired teacher, and she drove a Wagovan, a 2WD with automatic and air. By the time I met her, the thing was over ten years old, and she said it had been reliable, with practically no repairs required. This is from the golden age of Honda.

  • avatar
    hamish42

    I don’t know whether it was a Canadian-only release, which happens quite often, but around 1988 my Mother had an AWD Toyota Corolla station wagon. There was a FWD, of course, but the AWD was raised ever so slightly and had different side windows at the back and roof-to-bumper lights back there. People warned us about the AWD chewing up tires and transmissions but it was impossible to kill it until the Ontario salt took out the back floor. It was a very nice car, took me and my brother to many hockey games in the dead of winter.

    • 0 avatar
      brandloyalty

      There was a little more that was different about the AWD Corolla wagon compared to the fwd. The AWD had a higher floor to accommodate the awd. So it also had a raised roof, with a “down” bump over the cargo area. I always thought that was so it could use the same basic tailgate structure as the fwd, even though the awd’s tailgate had asymmetrical styling.

      I always thought the Corolla awd wagon was an unusually elegant car, while the fwd looked very plain. Still see them and Tercel awd wagons occasionally in the Vancouver area, while the Axxess and Civic awd wagons are a once-a-year sight at most. There was a small Colt wagon also.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Before purchasing our Honda, I cross shopped with the Toyota wagon, the Colt wagon and the Nissan Multi (predecessor to the Axxess).

      • 0 avatar
        hamish42

        That’s it – you have described my Mother’s wagon exactly. It was a wine/red colour. Vancouver amazes me. I get out there a couple of times a year to see family. If you live in rustcentre where few cars get to be 10 years old it is honestly like going to a car show. I see amazing cars being used every day I haven’t seen in years here (Southern Ontario). Envy is me.

      • 0 avatar
        hamish42

        That’s it – you have described my Mother’s wagon exactly. It was a wine/red colour. Vancouver amazes me. I get out there a couple of times a year to see family. If you live in rustcentre where few cars get to be 10 years old it is honestly like going to a car show. I see amazing cars being used every day I haven’t seen in years here (Southern Ontario). Envy is me.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    I know an older widower who daily drives one of these when he’s not driving his 2014-ish Accord, which he uses for longer trips. It’s a similar beige color, too. This is the kind of guy that is much more well-off than many of the people driving brand-new luxury cars and is the epitome of the next-door millionaire. I learned quite a bit of financial advice from him over the years (and still do) which has–no doubt–served me well.

    As far as I know he’s had no trouble with it aside from the vacuum system on occasion. He told me that he thought about getting rid of it 15-20 years ago but it just never gave him any reason to since it’s paid for and versatile. The vacuum lines were a weekend project which was fairly easy for him to tackle (he is a retired aerospace engineer, so vacuum lines must be nothing). Every few years, he gets a new Accord but has kept this funny-looking car around since he bought it new.

  • avatar
    Blackcloud_9

    The amount of greenhouse glass in these is amazing now-a-days. If you quickly click on the three links at the start of the article and compare it to the Honda, you would almost think the cars were badge-engineered from one another.

    • 0 avatar

      I think my favorite just from a “what they tried to do” perspective is the Vista. They made that tiny thing into a full minivan with all those seats, and the afterthought luxury wood tone on the dash just brings it all home.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      One of the biggest downgrades from our civic wagon (‘90 with low profile double wishbone front end) was how much visibility and airiness we lost with our ‘07 fit, which in turn feels really airy compared to the current crop of sedans and CUVs.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Murilee found one of these about 7 years ago. Brings a tear to my eye.

    Seems that he also interchanged Wagon and Wagovan?

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/09/junkyard-find-1987-honda-civic-4wd-wagon/

  • avatar
    Carroll Prescott

    This is when Honda was Honda and it built great products that did what they were supposed to.

    Now Honduh builds bloated junk owned by people who think they also own the road and have no clue as to what quality truly is about.

    • 0 avatar

      You violate the civil discourse rules of commenting with almost every one of your posts. I want you to clean this up, and keep it about the cars.

      Nobody asked for your opinion on present day Honda drivers, and it does not apply here.


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  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States