Kevin Williamson was pretty brief when he summed up the reason for his 1976 Honda Civic: “It’s all about memories” for him.
Kevin was a young university student in 1973 when he purchased his first Honda Civic in late fall that year.
Historically, his first Civic was also the first Civic purchased in the entire province of British Columbia at a time when the Arab oil embargo changed the game for North Americans. Cheap gasoline disappeared forever when a political conflict in the Middle East interrupted oil supplies and hiked the demand as well as the price at the pumps.
The bonus for Kevin was a first Civic promotion that gave him an opportunity to trade in his Honda every year for a brand new Civic at a cost differential of only five hundred dollars for the next five years. Even a student could afford that deal in 1973 and Kevin took full advantage of the opportunity.
Eventually Kevin graduated and his five year stint as an owner of a brand new Honda Civic every year faded into his Top 10 Fond Life Memories file.
He decided that he would like to own another now-vintage Honda Civic and realized that the little imports were not exactly easy to find this many decades after their initial arrival in early 1970s North America. The years were not kind to the little compacts and they were never meant to be a collectible because their job was simply affordable transportation with great gas mileage.
The problem with a mass-produced car that was designed for a limited budget is that few people bothered to save them. Once they outlived their usefulness, they were doomed to a date with the crusher. Most of the early Honda Civics have been reincarnated through a car crusher many times since their debut in the early 70s.
However Kevin got Lady Luck on his side when he discovered a rust-free survivor Honda that still had its first owner. The Civic had about 50,000 original miles on it when it was put up on blocks and put into storage in the early 80s.
The car was located only about 90 miles away from its original place of purchase and still has its now-defunct Alexander Motors dealership decal on it.
The sudden early retirement into storage meant that the little Civic had spent most of its life with little exposure to a western Canadian winter where road salt and a frozen wasteland will destroy a car that has to face its wrath. Most 70s-era Civics died a horrible death long before the start of the 21st Century.
But not Kevin’s Civic because he won the lottery of good fortune that gave him an opportunity to be the second owner of a 1976 Honda Civic with only 50,000 original miles on it. He rebuilt the carb, changed out the CV joints, replaced some of the rubber components like hoses, and was on the road soon after his May 2012 purchase of the car.
Kevin’s Civic is a very popular car at shows because few of these Hondas are still around as survivor cars in this kind of condition. The Civic is like a time warp back to the mid 70s and the unconscionable crime of disco- but without the bad music.
MSCC loved this little survivor car, probably almost as much as its proud new second owner.