Your classic: Honda Civic 1.6i-16

| 21 Nov 2023
Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Honda Civic 1.6i-16

Classics have been in my family for generations, and I’m now carrying on the tradition.

My dad always owned Honda Accords and Civics: having to commute from Oxford to London in the late ’90s, he turned to them as he sought reliability at an affordable price.

I think there was a genius team at Honda in this era: these cars are so well built and designed.

There is nothing on the road like them today, and the fact that we’ve driven them all over Europe for the past 25 years is a testament to their durability and engineering.

Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Honda Civic 1.6i-16

Ethan Green and his family have history with modern classic Hondas

Not only are they dependable no matter the mileage and condition, but they are also a real pleasure to drive and to be a passenger in.

Nearly 18 months ago I came across a 1991 Civic 1.6i-16 for sale online.

I’d always loved the look of this generation and, having grown up with Hondas, I was intrigued by it.

However, at the time it was too expensive.

Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Honda Civic 1.6i-16

This low-mileage 1991 Honda Civic 1.6i-16 appears to be in close to as-new condition

Fast-forward a year and it was still for sale; after saving up for a while, I had enough to make the vendor an offer and, because he had been trying to sell it for so long, he accepted and was glad to pass it on to someone with both persistence and enthusiasm.

A Honda Civic had been in the back of my mind for a while, and this one might be the most immaculate one left in the world.

I know that’s a big claim, but I’ve also worked as a photographer at a classic auction house so I’ve seen cars of all ages and makes, and this Honda stands out as probably the best I’ve seen anywhere in terms of showroom-fresh condition.

Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Honda Civic 1.6i-16

The unmarked interior reflects this Honda Civic’s cherished status

It’s only had one very careful owner before me, and in 30 years it has done just 17,000 miles.

It’s as if it just drove straight off the Honda assembly line – it even smells like a new car.

So many Hondas were driven into the hundreds of thousands of miles until they kicked the bucket, or were heavily modified and customised.

To find a stock Honda Civic is rare, but to find a standard one-owner car with such low mileage and a full dealer service history is an extraordinary opportunity that I felt couldn’t be missed.

Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Honda Civic 1.6i-16

The Honda Civic 1.6i-16’s energetic twin-cam engine

My Honda Civic gives a great driving experience, too.

Vision is amazing, with the huge windows providing a panoramic view in all directions.

It handles so well on the road: very planted and grippy but also direct, with no power assistance, driver aids or computers taking control like in most modern cars today.

The twin-cam engine is fantastic: very smooth, and with a good amount of power on offer.

Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Honda Civic 1.6i-16

A Continental road trip is on the cards for this Honda Civic 1.6i-16

The interior is spacious and comfortable on long journeys, with supportive yet sporty seats, a simple and elegant cabin design and an engine that just keeps purring along from start to finish.

I’m looking forward to taking it on a few road trips, perhaps into Continental Europe because I think the roads and landscapes there would really suit it.

My dream car would have to be an Austin-Healey 100M: not only is it one of the most beautiful cars of all time, with the greatest ‘face’ ever, but also for the history my grandad has with them.

Classic & Sports Car – Your classic: Honda Civic 1.6i-16

Ethan’s ‘breadvan’ Honda Civic is in superb order

In the 1950s he drove them across North America on his way to Sebring, Florida, where he was crew chief for the Healey works team.

It is my dad’s dream car, too, so maybe one day we will unite my family’s multi-generational passion in this one car.

Until then I’ll be very happy driving around in my fabulous little Honda Civic.

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  • Owned by Ethan Green
  • First classic Peugeot 205 GR
  • Dream classic Austin-Healey 100M

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