A classic crossover with a lot of style
As the auto industry saturates the market with boring crossovers, let's reflect on one from the past that had some serious pizazz
The word Crossover is a common enough word today, especially in the automotive world. You can't drive down a road these days without seeing one. They are the apple of the modern family's eye. People are buying them up like NOS bottles after The Fast and the Furious came out. What most people don't realize is that the Crossover existed 30 years ago. Ironically enough, when Honda brought the third generation Civic Wagon/Wagovan (or Shuttle - as it was referred to in Europe, Australia and Asia ) over to the US, no one bought them. I guess the Burger and Fries culture at the time wasn't ready for its simplistic package of efficiency, versatility, and affordability. The Civic Wagon was a great car. It had impressive cargo capacity, playful driving dynamics, and great fuel economy. Compared to today's Honda HR-V, it has almost the same amount of cargo space (1987 Wagon - 23 cubic feel, 2016 HR-V - 23.2 cubic feet). Sadly though, during the four years that it was on sale in the US (84-87), sales were poor. Since demand for the car in the US never really improved, even with the introduction of the fourth generation Civic Wagon, Honda stopped importing them. The last 30 years haven't been kind to the third generation Honda Civic Wagons either. Their bodies are prone to rust, and much of the cars that did survive the elements (mostly in the southwest), were sent to the crusher via California's strict smog laws. Needless to say, these cars are difficult to find today. Thankfully, former 1G CRX owner and GENONE Blog fan, Bill, found one and decided he had to have it himself to give it the love and appreciation these cars deserve.
Bill is no stranger to classic Honda's. His first car was a 1986 CRX SI that his parents forced him to buy off his brother. At first, he didn't want the little CRX, but it didn't take long for him to fall in love with it. Since then, Bill has owned a number of different Honda's. When his 3rd gen Civic Wagon story began, he had just sold his 4th gen civic wagon. No love was lost with his 4th gen, but the 3rd generation wagon was really what he wanted. Bill had been in contact with a friend on Instagram who was willing to part with his 3rd gen wagon. However, the car was located 13 hours away in Arizona. While mulling over the idea of an 'all or nothing' road trip to Phoenix, his friend offered to go with him as his support team. Realizing that his friend was as crazy as he was, he quickly booked some cheap flights, and they soon found themselves soaring over the Rockies toward Arizona. Very little preparation went into the trip, as Bill admits. In reference to his chosen return route: "Route? Oh, there's more than one? I had no idea, I was just going to ask Siri. Seriously."
After departing the plane, they were met by Bill's friend in the wagon. The adventure had begun. The heat of the Arizona desert made every attempt to cook the car, Bill, and his friend, but in typical Honda fashion, the completely stock wagon plowed on un-phased by the intense conditions. As they finally crossed into their home state of Colorado, the journey was all but complete. The car had performed flawlessly. Sight-unseen purchases are rarely successful, let alone completing an 800 mile road trip immediately following the purchase. However, I'm not entirely surprised that it was done in a Honda.
Since purchasing the extraordinarily clean wagon, Bill has done quite a bit of work to it, including:
EDM center console
EDM purple corner lights
EDM fender lights
EDM chrome window cranks
JDM dome light/room light
Aftermarket clear bumper lights
OEM Bosch foglights
OEM roof rack
OEM 1984 recessed headlight conversion
OEM tape deck
OEM CD player (Glove box)
OEM 4th Gen RealTime 4wd wheels
OEM rear speaker pods/cover
OEM first gen Acura Integra lip
OEM passenger side mirror
OEM dash clock
OEM rear mud guards
OEM-style graphics based on an old Honda brochure
B&C rear lowing springs
Re-indexed torsion bars (Lowered front)
New Pioneer speakers
General restoration on parts
New fuel pump
The combination of OEM and aftermarket parts that Bill has added to the car makes it one of the nicest, cleanest wagons I've seen. He has also added some personal flavor to the car by fashioning a center console from old skateboards, and upgrading his previous choice of wheels to 'brighter than the sun' chartreuse CF-48s. The car is dripping style. His future plans for the car include some chassis stiffening for future auto-crossing, and JDM window visors.
In a day where crossovers are as common and mundane as a Starbucks latte, we congratulate Bill for stepping outside the box... and back into another box. :) Not only did he save a classic Honda wagon, but he made it stylish and desirable. Let's hope this starts a trend!
All but the otherwise noted photos were taken by the owner Bill Reddick
Photo courtesy of @crakkahaoli - Instagram