Published on November 12th, 2017 | by Subhash Nair


The Cars that Led to The First Honda Civic

Back in the late ‘60s, Honda took a pretty bold step, creating an air cooled engine without the noise. This Duo Dyna Air Cooling (DDAC) engine was revolutionary for its time.

The engine found its way into this, the Honda 1300. A single carburetted version could be had in the ‘77’, but this ‘99’ model, with its quad carbs was the way to go.

Later on, this Coupe 9 came with the quad-carburetted, air-cooled engine.

This engine was a 4-cylinder that produced 110PS.

That may not sound like a lot today, but in 1970, in a car weighing just 905kg it was brilliant. This high revving motor took the 1300 Coupe 9 up to speeds of 185km/h. Again, in 1970, with so few safety features, that was a lot of speed.

There were disc brakes though, so stopping was just as easy as ‘going’.

However, because the 1300 was considered a little bit of an oddball, it never really took off in a big way. Plus, by the time the 1970s came rolling in, the oil crisis and tighter emissions regulations in the US were on the horizon.

Honda were considering pulling out of the car market altogether. But instead, they doubled down and came up with this in 1972. The Honda Civic:

The Civic brought many changes. It was front-wheel drive and front-engined at a time where most competitors were still sending power to the rear whees. The Civic’s overhangs were extremely short for added stability and interior room. Many cars followed these trends in following generations.

Under the hood, the revolutionary new Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion (CVCC) engine was so advanced it passed the 1973 Clean Air Act regulations without the need for a catalytic converter.

This low-emissions engine made the Civic the FIRST car to receive certification from the EPA.

And with the success of the original Civic, Honda’s place in the car market was cemented. While the Civic was positioned as a car for the masses, the 1300’s true successor was the Accord.

The Accord debuted in 1976, combining the power and style of the 1300 with the practicality and layout of the Civic.

You can also check out the rest of our ‘Honda Collection’ Collection:

How These Classic ‘S’ Roadsters Defined Honda as a Car Maker


Three Rare Classic Hondas from the ‘80s We Found at the Honda Collection

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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