how the 1972 Honda Civic exemplified Japanese automotive expertise


It’s 1972 and you’re looking for a small sedan. Your criteria are a stylish appearance, accommodation for a quartet of adults and a price under £1,000.

The Mini Clubman seems to be at the top of the list until you read about the Civic, the latest Honda, which was launched in July this year. The technical specification includes a transversely mounted 1.2-litre all-alloy overhead camshaft engine and fully independent suspension, while reversing lights, two-speed windscreen wipers and reclining front seats are standard equipment. . It is certainly worth waiting for the first imports.

Unfortunately, surviving first-generation Civics are inevitably rare due to the familiar combination of corrosion and neglect once they hit the used-car market. However, an extremely desirable example is the 1975 Carnaby Yellow 1200 that once featured in a Honda brochure. One image shows a groovy young couple posing with MLA 993P, making it clear that the Civic was ideal for moderately fashionable followers. This PR vehicle, chassis number 003, is now an essential member of the Honda UK Heritage fleet, as befits one of the company’s most important products.


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