1976 Honda Civic CVCC 5-Speed Hatchback – Sold?

Aug 2020 | Classifinds, Malaise Monday

September 1st Update – We confirmed the original listing of this rare Honda expired. With no new listing found, we’re assuming this CVCC sold.

We’re noticing an uptick in seventies-vintage Hondas coming out of hiding as preserved examples command solid money. Our latest example is this 1976 Honda CVCC 5-Speed Hatchback listed recently on Craigslist in Virginia Beach, Virginia with a not surprising 270K original miles and a number of spare parts with a price of $7,900.  Currently not listed on Hagerty Insurance, a check of the NADA Guides Classic Car Online Valuation Tool confirms this private seller has their Civic priced well above the current “Low”, “Average”, and “High” retail value range of $700, $1,000, and $1,700, respectively.  The reality is that the pricing guides have not caught up with the cult popularity and demand for the examples in better condition. 

Honda introduced the first-generation Civic in 1972 as a 1973 model. Equipped with a 1,169 cc inline four-cylinder water-cooled engine, Civics featured front power disc brakes, reclining vinyl bucket seats, simulated wood trim on the dashboard, as well as optional air conditioning and an AM/FM radio. The Civic was available as a two- or four-door fastback sedan, three- and a five-door hatchback, as well as a five-door station wagon like the one featured here. One innovative feature was the Honda’s “Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion” chamber or CVCC for short.  In addition to the standard two-valve design, a small auxiliary inlet valve which provided a relatively rich air-fuel mixture to a volume near the spark plug. The remaining air–fuel charge, drawn into the cylinder through the main inlet valve, is leaner than normal.  The initial rich mixture was like a stratified charge that ignited the latter leaner mixture, resulting in an overall much cleaner burn without the need for a catalytic converter.  When the 1973 oil crisis hit, consumer demand for fuel-efficient vehicles was high, and due to the engine being able to run on either leaded or unleaded fuel, it gave drivers fuel choice flexibility over other vehicles.  Thus, this was the car that established Honda’s significant automotive presence in the U.S.  Unfortunately, the Achilles Heel of these cars was that they would eventually rust out, often with their engines still running.

If you followed Wheeler Dealers before Motor Trend forced everyone to buy the Motor Trend App, you may recall the show did a makeover on an example nearly identical to the one featured here:

Being what we assume is a life-long Virginia car, the private seller reports only minor surface rust despite having accumulating nearly 300,000 miles on the odometer.  With a rebuilt engine 11,500 miles ago and what appears to a number of now hard-to-find spare parts included, this is a classic green alternative to the modern hybrid or EV.  Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1976 Honda Civic CVCC 5-speed manual 1.5L hatchback, one owner, engine rebuilt ~11,500 miles ago, new Weber carb, new tires & battery, new upholstery & carpet. Original Honda accessories: roof rack, front & rear bumper guards, center overhead console w/clock, sunshade, car cover. Has an electronic ignition that replaced points. Runs okay, sometimes has a rough idle. Very little surface rust in just a few spots. Have all maintenance records, all recalls done, original docs & service manual. No AC. Have 3 OEM carbs and and parts to bring back to factory if the Weber carb is not wanted,
Also have many parts from 1975 & 1976 Honda Civic yellow hatchback that took down to frame including lower & top engine, front-end parts, steering wheel & column, both side door w/glass, hatchback w/glass, front seats, side windows, front & rear bumpers, trim pieces, engine peripherals, miscellaneous parts & pieces.

Do you have a Civic CVCC story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

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