Right when you thought the world couldn’t get any stranger, someone goes and drops 50 large on a two-decade-old Honda Civic Si. With buyer’s premium included, $52,500 was the final number on Bring a Trailer, where this 5600-mile EM1 Civic Si changed hands for nearly double the price of a brand-new Si. Is it the cleanest, most well-preserved example out there? Perhaps. Is fifty stacks for a two-decade-old Japanese compact completely outrageous? At least one person doesn’t think so, although some of you are surely rolling your eyes hard enough to induce vertigo. Stick with us and we’ll try to make sense of this monumental sale.
Read the full article on Hagerty.com:
The nostalgia struggle is real! I drove this exact car in high school (minus the fog lights), but it got stolen from my driveway the summer before college. Found in a trailer park an hour away, sans engine and gearbox, less than two days later. It was a really nice example, but insurance paid out about 9500 bucks (this was in '07). I miss that thing...
These were all over my neighborhood when I was in college. I really liked them for their finesse, but I also really liked beating them in my crude Fox Body Fords. That said, the selling price is beyond reasonable, the number of people that loved EM1 Civics has gotta be in six figures and that example is certainly the best of the best.
I purchased a blue model (electron blue pearl as I recall) as my first vehicle following my medical education, once I landed my private practice position. Certainly, it was a nice car, but not nearly as fun as the 1987 16V Scirocco that I had purchased years before while attending school. Indeed, there MUST be a whole bunch of nostalgia here. The shame is that at this preservation level / price, it will likely not get driven much. I seriously doubt that as the years roll by that this car will gain value, as I would estimate that the appeal is not broad or profound.
I had a similar experience - bought a new 1988 VW Scirocco 16V, and despite considering various replacements over the years (including an E30 318is, an NA Miata, a B13 Sentra SE-R, and an EM1 Civic Si as above), the Scirocco 16V was consistently more fun to drive than any of them. I still miss that car...
No sillier than paying as much as a house for a 356 Porsche, which is really just a gussied VW.... we could go on forever. Someone really wanted this Honda, and picked it up for the price of a new pickup truck.
That aftermarket head unit sticking out of the dash... Period or not, I couldn’t stand looking at that, and there was no mention either in the description or comments that the original radio was included.
Rather odd for a “time capsule”
Correction to this statement in the first paragraph: "Is fifty stacks for a two-decade-old Japanese compact completely outrageous? At least one person doesn’t think so...."
Nope, it took bidders to get the price that high.
The bidding process is subject to a high degree of manipulation. I see it all the time. friends helping friends. Dealer influence. Hidden bidders. Outrages and unrealistic bids retracted. etc. Have a price in your mind and stick to it!
As a one time owner of a ‘98 Prelude, Civic SI’s always seemed a contradiction of terms. How could something with a Civic moniker be a sports car? Preludes fit the bill! A real shame Honda ditched them and never brought them back. I’m not sure why they don’t get more attention in the collector community. JL.
I guess this is what happens when you get nostalgic and have more money than you know what to do with??? I wouldn't give $25K for a 20 year old Honda unless it was an NSX (which I know $25K wouldn't come close to!). Part of that is my generation, of course... I'm 58. I can see things like this becoming collectible for sure, as the 30 year olds who have money start to want what they couldn't get "back then" but can afford now. But really, this isn't that far removed from a newer Honda. Get a good used one and spend some time and money customizing it!! But then most kids nowadays (kids being about 35 and under to me!!) don't actually wrench on their cars themselves. Yes, there are exceptions, usually those WITHOUT the money to pay someone...