Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New year, New find!

2 months ago, I got a call from a friend.

Her boyfriends just blew the engine on his car, oil was leaking every where and it was going to the junk yard. But, she knew me all to well and asked if I was interested in the car... a 76 Honda Civic hatchback, in yellow.

Sure, why not. If nothing else I could part it out.

And so it sat, for 2 months and just as I was ready to part it out, I found this listing on Craigslist for a 77 Honda Civic, a twin to my dead 76. Both were yellow, but this 77 had a brand new factory engine in it, installed in 1989 and then put away in storage for 21 year without ever being started. So new engine, never run and in really great shape for a honda civic. Mind you, these things rusted just by looking at them. In salt climes, they wasted away in 5 years, in SoCal and such, they still rusted. This one was in Seattle, so the rain was a factor.

Pulled up and the car was better than I thought so I HAD to buy it.

This made car #16 that I had currently in my possession. But I had to save this one. Sounds like a hoarder to me! Besides I had a twin donor car, fate was calling me. It was like giving a kidney to your brother, you can't say no if it is a perfect match, right?

Car had the hood off since the engine was just installed... uh 21 years ago.

Paint was faded and oxidized.

A small dent on the right front corner.

Classic black pin stripping perfect for the era and dealer installed body side molding.

Parts were all there, grill, turn signals, alternator, air cleaner, etc. All had been taken off and never put back on.

Hatch and door were rust free at the seams, that is all that really matters on these. Once the seams go there is no help in the world to save this wafer thin metal.

Looked good to me. I knew I had a gem and I was looking for another project. After all the 78 Datsun 810 wagon was 6 months ago, I needed some new juice.

Got it home into the garage and started cleaning up the body. Took of the body side molding and did a real light buff on it. Paint is super glossy and nice.

Bits of rust were hiding where they rivited through the metal for the moldings.

Quick shot of the back and all the dirt. Looks bad but take a look at the next picture!

That is less than an hour of cleaning and it looks like a million dollars. Okay, 350,000 dollars.

I was very pleased. The more I looked over the car the happier I was becoming.

Took the valve cover off to see the jewel. Brand new, never even had oil in it. Covered it with oil, filled her up and let it set a day and hand cranked the engine over. Super smooth and never a hitch..

Now onto the tires and brakes.

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