Honda Civic 1200 Hondamatic – impression

Honda Civic

"What is that?" It is the question that the road worker asks his colleague when we pass the gentlemen. The question permeates the interior. Grab it 25 years ago this would never have been asked. Because then the Honda Civic of the first generation – facelifted or not – was still part of the fleet in our country. Or of the collective memory. Today everything is different. The Japanese super mini from the XNUMXs has become a rare sight.

The black Honda Civic with the two-speed automatic transmission and the 1200 cc engine makes its kilometers under the smoke of Rolde. Henk Jan Robroch – a Honda fan for decades – is happy with his car, which he bought in 2008 in a fully restored condition. Since the purchase he has driven 9000 kilometers with his Civic.

Highly restored Honda Civic 1200 Hondamatic

The now rare Honda has been superbly restored over the past decade, and it shows in everything. Originally, the Honda Civic was yellow, but anyone looking for remnants of the previous color will be disappointed. Today, the little Japanese wears a black coat, and that color pattern continues inside the excellently preserved Honda. In addition, restored or not, the Civic also shows the high quality standard that Honda used in production in the XNUMXs.

Professional and very solid

To start with the interior: this alone shows how the carmaker screwed together the Honda Civic. As with the restoration, the traditional finish was accompanied by the use of beautiful materials. You feel that base and we perceive it from the front of the interior. It offers a remarkable amount of space for a car of this size. This comes at the expense of space in the back and the volume of the luggage compartment, but that is a concession that many buyers of these cars were happy to make in the XNUMXs.

Interior: great for each other

The relatively small chairs offer an entirely acceptable seat. It offers a good view of the few instruments that the beautiful cockpit of the Honda Civic exhibits. Pleasant: the chrome accents on various panels and the wood strip over the dashboard give a luxurious impression. It's all just fine in the Civic, which also has a radio mounted in it. The hinges and locks are top notch, given the extent to which the doors, the hood and the tailgate can be closed. This is done in a resolute manner and is accompanied by a confidence-inspiring sound. It has to do with the excellent base and the punctual restoration carried out during the previous decade.

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Excellent driving dynamics

The driving dynamics of the Honda Civic can also count on approval. The sturdy chassis feels nice and dynamic, and certainly not stout. The Civic is easy to drive. Another plus of the car is its lively engine, which is also larger in volume than that of several contemporaries in its segment. The block (with 103.000 kilometers of life experience) picks up smoothly in combination with the automatic transmission. This fact provides the little Japanese with spirit and maturity. The combination engine/gearbox therefore ensures fresh performance. With this two-stage composition, the gear shift is flawless and shock-free. It is nice that manual operation is possible with the hydraulic Hondamatic gearbox. Also can 2 stand be switched on to drive away. In that case, switching on and off does not have to be accompanied by manual operation of the poker.

Tribute to a rarity

It is also now clear why the Honda Civic turned out to be a golden opportunity for Honda in the 1237s. The clever combination of compact dimensions, economy of consumption, excellent workmanship and the non-conformist engine volume of XNUMX cc for this class ensured a large fan base. The frequent use for everyday use, the mediocre steel quality (not only for Honda in the XNUMXs) and the late acceptance of Japanese classics have ensured that the Honda Civic one has also become a rarity in classic circles. The answer to the question "What is that† we have given, and we will do so again. It is the Honda Civic of Henk Jan Robroch. And a beautifully restored ode to an excellently finished car, which technically can be counted among the best of its time in its class. A topper!

Also read:
- Honda CRX 1.4 16V. Rare coupe fun
- Honda Civic. Supermini from Japan.
- The Honda Civic CRX Coupé: Personal top model from Annejan Lourens
- Honda City (1987)




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  1. Very nice!
    Indeed Civic type 1 after the first facelift: bumpers with rubber corners and integrated parking and flashing light.
    Congratulations on this beautiful restoration.

  2. The steel and/or paint quality of Japanese cars was certainly mediocre at the time, as witnessed by my new 30 Corolla 1976. Rusting like crazy, it turned out that no primer had been used. I have never looked back at a Toyota, perhaps unjustly.

  3. We were disappointed with the Honda Civic 1st generation that we bought from private individuals in the early 80s
    bought. My wife was dependent on her car and we were looking for a cheap and economical used car after the oil crisis and the high mortgage interest. Because I also rode a motorcycle, the model and the name appealed to me. Her was not a success, he rusted! At one point only the chrome of the bumper was still standing bravely but you could see through it. He was also not very reliable in terms of motor skills. The parts were also expensive. A ford fiesta and later various corsas came as successors and a honda was never bought again, because of the experience and also because we found his successors ugly.

  4. A brother-in-law of mine also had such a car with a lot of oil consumption who then mounted new (type?) piston rings on the advice of the Honda dealer and the problem was over.

  5. My Dream CAR in 1976.
    Mine was gold with nice black stripes on the sides.
    Original side decals from Honda.
    Also automatic 1300 CC was my first car that I bought a topper.

  6. “The black Honda Civic with the two-speed automatic transmission and the 1200 cc engine makes its kilometers under the smoke of Rolde.” They were very nice and reliable cars.
    Were it not that they often really had to emerge from the smoke screen they had laid themselves, because the first generation of those Hondas also had the understandable nickname 'driving chip shop' because of the oil use.
    That was really the only downside. From personal experience I know that replacing the spark plugs was 'a thing'. Because the engine compartment was very tight, the spark plugs were very short on the front. One of those spark plugs could hardly be removed with most spark plug wrenches. For example, an acquaintance came to her Civic because he stuttered. Removing the spark plugs succeeded….except for one. It was stuck to the wall. With policy and the right key it worked. It turned out that people had always left that spark plug for what it was because they couldn't get it out anyway. That spark plug turned out to be more than 2,5 flared!! Good that it was still running. That says something about the initial quality of those cars(!) Once that spark plug was replaced, it ran like a charm again. Tight steering, low to the asphalt, with that characteristic sound from under that oh so tight engine compartment

    • That oil consumption must have been exemplary, I used to work with those things when they were still on the road with bushes… (Eighties)
      And oil consumption or smoking was not that bad…

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