Vintage Honda Civic Show Car Restoration Has Us Feeling Nostalgic

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Honda Civic

Honda-Tech member’s dad once sold this ’79 Civic to give his family a Christmas. But now, it’s back in the family.

If you’re a regular around these parts, you already know that most of the cars we feature are of the newer variety. Mainly because most Honda fans cut their teeth on stuff from the ’90s and 2000s. But for Honda-Tech member dilbeckskate, that obsession goes back a little further. His father bought this built 1979 Honda Civic back in the early 90s, a car good enough to land a feature in Sport Compact Car in 1992. And now, he’s managed to bring it back into the family so he can restore it to its former glory.

“The year 2000 was a rough year for my father, and he sold the car to his business partner so he could give my family a Christmas. Long story short, it ended up sitting for the better part of a decade until I finally horse traded him for it in 2011. My dad’s plans were always to D-series swap the car, so I intend to see it through.”

Honda Civic

An incredible story, indeed. But it was seven years before the OP was finally able to take his prized Civic off the road and begin the rebuilding process just a couple of months ago. Regardless, progress has come hot and heavy since then. And it all started, of course, with that engine swap.

Honda Civic

Next up was a little interior work, which was sorely needed given the ratty appearance of the old threads. The refresh also included an upgrade to an all-digital dash, Monotech harnesses, and a Koruworks Grip Royal steering wheel. The OP also decided to go with a standalone OBD1 harness and a Hondata S300 V3 w/ basemap.

Honda Civic

At this point, parts were trickling in slowly and the OP was making solid progress. Soon the interior had new carpet and seats, then harnesses. And before you knew it, the OBD1 conversion was finished. Thankfully, the OP decided to switch back to the old school round Civic headlights along the way, too. And at this point, it was time for a little reflection on how far this car had come.

“So much has changed on this ’79 Civic since the early ’90s when my dad bought it. This is the car that got me into cars. I’d come home from grade school and wax it and learn from my dad. Since I bought it back 14 years after my dad sold it, it’s been my money pit ever since.”

Honda Civic

Some things, of course, are worth the money. And we’d say that this classic Civic is priceless, at least to its owner. Personally, we can’t wait to see the way this build turns out, either, because it’s clearly on the right path. So be sure and head over here to see the OP’s childhood dream car come back to life!

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Brett Foote has been covering the automotive industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto Group sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other popular sites.

He has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles, and every other type of automobile, Brett had spent several years running parts for local auto dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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