This is a final-year first-generation Civic, the car that really cemented Honda’s place in the US market. The Civic first came to our shores in 1973, three years after Honda officially entered the market with the N600 and later Z600: both of which were too small to be successful in an American market still saturated with hulking land yachts. The Civic’s success largely stemmed from its fortuitous timing: it arrived just as the 1973 oil crisis began to take foot, prompting an increased demand for smaller, more fuel-efficient cars, both qualities possessed by the new Civic.
Honda’s subsequent climb in sales was quite striking: starting from just 4,195 US sales in 1970, they crested the 100,000 per year mark in 1976 and by the time this Civic came around in 1979, Honda was selling over 350,000 cars in the US per year. And to think it was this little car that started it all.
Atwater Village, Los Angeles, CA
Photos by The Professor