Pre-CRV: 1989 Honda Civic RT4WD Wagon – SOLD!

by | May 2021 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Wagon Wednesday

May 26, 2021 Update – Not only did the $10,500 asking price give most of our readers pause, but now the fact the car sold at that price in barely one week is also surprising, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

The Japanese auto industry as a whole was on an innovative roll throughout the 1980s and one of the more interesting market segments Asian Manufacturers ventured into was the compact four-wheel-drive wagon. Initially owned solely by Subaru, every other Japanese manufacturer tried their hand at compact 4×4 wagons before moving onto CUVs instead.  While all of the Japanese manufacturers tried to steal compact four-wheel-drive wagon market share from Subaru in the 1980s, each manufacturer had its own take on how to accomplish that. In typical Honda “Think Different” philosophy, the company’s engineers developed a more fuel- and packaging-efficient viscous clutch system on the 1989 Honda Civic RT4WD like this example originally listed in May 2021 on Craigslist in Chatanooga, Tennesee with an asking price of $10,500. At first, we were taken back by the seller’s asking price. Unfortunately, the Bring A Trailer effect rears its ugly head once again as this 1991 Honda Civic just sold a few days ago on that site at no reserve for $10,999.

The MotorWeek YouTube Channel has this RetroReview of a virtually identical ’89 Civic RT4WD Wagon posted on their channel:

While most of these capable all-weather wagons ended up dying a slow death to the tin worm in the salt-infested Northeast, this 200K-mile example proves these Hondas can run virtually forever with proper maintenance and a rust-free body.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1989 Honda Civic wagon
200k+++ miles
5 speed
Leather seats
Manual windows
Ac and heat work great
Absolutely no rust

Just did the window tint on it w/ 20% all around and 35% the whole front. Looks sharp and stays cool inside. Absolutely No trades and if you don’t like the price continue your search, I promise you’ll have a very hard time finding one this well taken care of.

Do you have a Honda Civic RT4WD story to share?  If so, comment below and let us know!

  1. AnalogMan

    Yep, BaT strikes again. When a 30 year old Civic Wagon with 150k miles sells there for $11k, everyone else with one will scream “Just like one that sold for $11k!”. It’s astonishing what’s been happening with the prices of even mildly interesting Japanese cars. We’re living in an era of $65k Celica’s, $110k S2000’s, and $312K (yes, three hundred, twelve thousand dollars) Subaru’s. All thanks to BaT.

    As incredulous as this price may seem to those of us who remember how this car might have sold for 1/10th of this price not long ago, the sale on BaT, and the disappearance of this ad, says that there are people out there willing to open their wallets and pay.

    I never would have imagined in my wildest nightmares a time would come when people would opine on whether or not a 30 year old Civic Wagon was ‘investment grade’ or not.

    • Guys with Rides

      Well said, AnalogMan!

    • LGwilly

      This exact car is all that and a bag of chips. Currently in my possession, carfax shows me as the third owner. This time however, it did not sell for 10+, it was substantially less.

      The clearcoat on the hood, front left fender, and driver door are in severe need a respray to match the passenger side. Odometer just rolled over 283k and the original motor/trans are doing just fine!


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