The 1999-2000 Honda Civic Si is not really a classic yet going strictly by age. Going by what this pristine example just sold for, however, it might be one of those cars that becomes a classic in its own time, fetching more than it cost new long before it reaches the 25-year threshold.
A Milano Red California example of the EM1 Civic Si just sold for $22,750 on Bring A Trailer, a hair less than a brand new 2018 Civic Si. When it was new, Honda’s factory-souped coupe sold for around $20,000. For that, you got 160 horsepower, the almighty VTEC system, an 8,000 rpm redline, and a double wishbone suspension — all the things that made Honda great in the 90s. It was, of course, only available in a 5-speed manual.
In the pantheon of Civic Si models it was an oddball, offered only in coupe form rather than hatchback like all previous examples of Honda’s hot rod had been (at least in the US market). It also came with a much bigger power bump over regular Civics that the Si models that had preceded it. Somehow, it hit showrooms at exactly the right time and instantly became the hottest thing since sriracha.
Little did we know, it would also be the last great Honda not explicitly built to be a sports car. Subsequent Civics would downgrade to MacPherson struts and lower-revving motors.
These days, it’s nearly impossible to find an example that hasn’t been modified, salvaged, or stolen/recovered. The Fast and the Furious debuted a year later and created a zombie horde of “tuners” that insatiably consumed every remaining E-chassis Civic on the planet.
This particular example is not just any stock Civic Si, though. It has only 10,439 miles on the odometer. The seller was said to be a Honda collector, someone with the foresight to preserve this very special specimen, and even includes photos of a digital paint thickness gauge against every body panel.
So you could say that it’s a fluke representing any car with near-new mileage. However, we would argue that there are only a precious few models that have ever sold for more-than-MSRP prices before it reached historic status, regardless of mileage.
Furthermore, the fact that the auction logged 330 comments means that there was massive and genuine interest in this model. When you consider the fact that in a mere four years an EK9 Type R, the true king of performance Civics, will be legal for import, it seems that cause for yearning for the EM1 transcends just the spec sheet. It is truly a Japanese nostalgic car. That’s what makes the price of this example seem simultaneously ridiculous and totally justified. And it’s not even the best color.
Images: Bring a Trailer