Retro Rewind: Seventies Commercial for Honda Civic is One Crazy Caper

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Awesome ad showcases virtues of the ’76 Civic and it’s ultra-efficient CVCC engine.

This classic Japanese commercial for the 1976 Honda Civic promoted the powerful-yet-efficient CVCC engine with the help of a disgruntled gas station owner. Although the car has changed a great deal over the course of the past five decades, this commercial shows how the advertising focus of one of the world’s most popular models has remained somewhat consistent for nearly a half-century.

We should point out that with this being a Japanese commercial, all of the narration is in Japanese, so we don’t know what is being said. However, you can get the gist of this classic commercial from the Mach Cherub YouTube channel regardless of your native language.

1976 Honda Civic CVCC

What is CVCC?

If you have never heard of the Honda Civic CVCC engine, that abbreviation stands for Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion and it was a unique engine design that was introduced to the popular compact car in 1975. The Honda CVCC engine featured a cylinder head design that led to cleaner, more efficient combustion and as a result, there was no need to run catalytic convertors.

Since there were no catalytic convertors, there was no need to run unleaded fuel, so as fuel shortages swept across the United States in the 1970s, the CVCC-equipped Civic was a popular option. Being able to run leaded fuel meant that CVCC owners didn’t need to wait in lines for unleaded gasoline like the vast majority of drivers at that time.

1976 Honda Civic Brochure

Of course, in addition to offering lower emission levels, the Civic CVCC offered 53 horsepower, which made it one of the more powerful engines from Honda at that time. Of course, this unique engine also offered excellent fuel economy numbers, which was the focus of the commercial above. There is tons more information in the official 1976 Honda Civic brochure that you can check out here.

No Need for Fuel

In the commercial above, a gas station owner eagerly waits at the pump for customers. Each time a car nears, he gets excited, but every car that drives past is powered by a super-efficient CVCC engine, so they don’t need gas. As the shop owner sees this, he angrily yells “Civic” at each passerby.

Angry Gas Station Owner and Civic

Finally, one motorist does pull into the gas station, but he also has a CVCC Civic and he is only there to use the pay phone.

Even 42 years ago, Honda Civic owners were dodging the gas pumps with unique engine technology, gotta love it.

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