Junkyard Find: 1983 Honda Civic S

1983 Honda Civic S RH front view

Only a few examples of the Civic S remain, so this is an exceptionally rare find

The Honda Civic started life as a very sensible economy car that was more fun to drive than soporific Corollas and rackety Colts, but by the early 1980s Honda decided that it was time to sell an explicitly sporty version. So, late in the production run of the second-generation Civic, a Civic S version was developed. The S, which paved the way for the legendary Si Civics later in the decade, was black with snazzy red stripes and packed a 1,488cc CVCC engine making 69 horsepower instead of the ordinary 62-horse 1,335cc unit. These cars are ungodly rare today, and this one in Denver is the first example I have ever seen in 35 years of creeping around wrecking yards.

1983 Honda Civic S LH front view

This car appears to be a rust-free Colorado native, a bit banged-up but certainly restorable… and nobody cared enough about it to buy it from its final owner, or to snag it at the auction that probably ended up handing it over to the wrecking yard for just over scrap value. Yes, these cars were slow and jouncy and noisy by 21st-century standards, but early Volkswagen GTIs were nearly as miserable (compared to modern-day machinery) and seem to have no problem finding loving owners.

1983 Honda Civic S grille badge

I have owned a few second-gen Civics (and I drive a 5th-gen Civic today), and they did a lot with their paltry ration of engine power. Still, the market has spoken, and it says that the first-year Civic S is not valuable.

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