KIDNEY, ANYONE? The perfect EF Honda Civic

1991 Honda Civic Si Tahitian Green 01

Leave it to the Canadians to preserve the holy grail of EF Civics. Not only is this pristine example a final-year, top-spec Si performance model, it’s finished in Tahitian Green Pearl, an achingly proper shade of period correct teal considered highly — if not the most — desirable amongst Hondaheads. It even has power windows, a rare option for Civic Si models. 

1991 Honda Civic Si Tahitian Green 05

The seller comes right out and says this car is “for collectors” and it’s easy to see why. It is the very embodiment of the phrase “well preserved.” The seller provides no fewer than 82 high-resolution photos to back up the claims that the car is showroom new, has never been in an accident, and would not be caught dead within 500 feet of a cold-air intake. Every last bolt has apparently been blessed with an OEM Honda part number.

1991 Honda Civic Si Tahitian Green 50

That’s just the verifiable stuff. The seller also says that it drives like new, has always been garaged and babied, and has yet to see snow and only rarely encountered rain — a Herculean feat in the great white north. Even the R12 freon that courses through its a/c veins is said to be both o.g. and ice cold. We have no reason to doubt him.

1991 Honda Civic Si Tahitian Green 24

There’s nary a paint chip to be found, although that could be a result of the repaint commissioned in 2013. Still, the cleanliness of the interior, right down to the floormats (which are totally CDM, yo!), corroborates the owner’s story.

1991 Honda Civic Si Tahitian Green 26

With the odometer reading 147,140 km (91,962 miles), it’s no spring chicken. And yet, everything about it so clean it seems ridiculous to pick nits about the distance traveled. Remember when every forum denizen and their cousin was trying to sell their (sometimes extremely well modded) EF Civic for a king’s ransom because of all the extra work and parts thrown in while bone stock examples could be had for peanuts? Well the script’s been completely flipped in the blink of an eye, and it is now the unmolested specimen that fetches the big bucks.

1991 Honda Civic Si Tahitian Green 49

Bidding started at $1,000 and within two days it’s been bid up to $6,100. Should you wish to circumvent the eBay snipers, however, a Buy It Now trigger is available to pull for $12,000. If you drive it across the border, though, just be aware the Feds will be looking for an mph cluster.

1991 Honda Civic Si Tahitian Green 06

In many ways this serves as the perfect companion to the AE86 Corolla GT-S Kidney Car from a few days ago. Both 1.6L compacts, they were rivals in the showroom and on the track back when new. Now they compete in the arena of rarity and collectability. Which one do you think will sell for the highest price? You can view the auction on eBay.

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30 Responses to KIDNEY, ANYONE? The perfect EF Honda Civic

  1. Mike McCarthy said:

    thats a thing of beauty. the ef holds a special place in my heart. I owned a really nice b16 swap around the time me and the wife got together. coolest honda ever(unless you count the city turbo we never got)

  2. Adam said:

    I started in a normal sitting position. By the time I was at the bottom of the post, I was inches from the screen with a cartoon look on my face.

    That’s an incredible car.

  3. wantyerknobbies said:

    i’d dd her in a heartbeat

  4. Rayson said:

    That is a pretty rare find. Especially considering it is from Canada where most of the 10+ years old Civic had badly rusted quarter panels from the liberated use of road salts.

  5. Nigel said:

    Amazing…not even a clear side marker on it.

  6. John M said:

    Daughter was looking over my shoulder and immediately said she liked the color. I recently saw a post about Dirty Harry rolling in a Typhoon. Not sure if he got a teal one from a retired Miami Dolphin DB, but that’s the vehicle that seems to pop into my head for this color.

  7. miatadon said:

    I have one just like this! I love it almost as much as my ’92 Integra GS-R.
    My Civic gets little attention, just seems to be another car where the Integra does get some street attention.

    http://www.mgexp.com/registry/1991CIVICSI

    • Dave Yuan said:

      That’s quickly changing in the recent years. I feel these Civics, especially pristine ones, are getting more and more attention. It’s a quintessential classic Honda. Yours is identical to this one but w/ even lower mileage. Beautiful!

      • Nar said:

        I can vouch for this. Last week i was was being tailed by a Toyota Tacoma who eventually caught up to me at a stop light a whole other city later. He stepped out and handed me a business card, asked me if i was at all considering selling my CRX or if i ever decided to to give him a call. Needless to say i just cant part with it.

  8. ed7_owner said:

    Just a beauty. too bad we never got the b16a motor. But that single cammer jammer will do. Well for a spirited drive down azusa canyon, but not the best for time attacks. but GOD DAMN this is the cleanest one ive seen. thank god i sprang for my tahtian green ed7!!!

  9. Yoda said:

    The phrase is “totally CDM, eh!”

    First thought – must be from BC, or maybe the prairies. Turns out it’s from Quebec!
    Quebec and Ontario seem to be in a contest to see who can use more road salt…

  10. austin said:

    This should be the new trend in show car building-> dealer showroom replicas

  11. db said:

    Came here from Facebook. Why is it called a Kidney car?

  12. RdS said:

    Hnnngg.. Gorgeous. REALLY nice..

  13. JHMBB2 said:

    Daymn…. I’m speechless.I’d prefer a pristine RT4WD but man, can’t deny it’s beauty.

  14. AKADriver said:

    Normally I would say that the ’89 is the ne plus ultra of EF Civic Si, but it looks like Canada didn’t get the awful door-mounted seat belts that cursed the US ’90-’91… and presumably also didn’t get the added weight that came with them?

  15. Hashiriya86 said:

    The cluster shouldn’t be a problem. The MPH markings are on there in smaller orange numbers.

  16. John K said:

    About 10 years ago I refreshed the suspension and drivetrain of my EF Si with the intention of getting another 100K out of it, when two weeks later an uninsured, asset-free drunk driver totaled my car in an intersection. Tough little car: the guy hit me so hard it shoved my under a Ford Expedition, and I walked away from it. After the accident I spent months looking for another comparable one (stock, clean, rust-free, etc.) but eventually gave up.

    I’ve been following this sale for a few days but unfortunately I just don’t have a spare $12K kicking around I have no issue with the price and I know the next time another one like this comes on the market it’s not going to be any cheaper.

  17. Stuart Kayrooz said:

    Yup, here in Australia they’re getting massive attention too, if you can find one – a pristine example rocked up at a Cars & Coffee meet a couple of months ago, holding it’s own in the attention-getting stakes against exotics and british classics (a few pics I took: http://imgur.com/a/r6sNY)

  18. Jason R said:

    This reminds me so much of my second car, a 1991 Civic DX 3-door. It was the same shade of Tahitian Green and other than the lack of a sunroof and smaller wheels, it looked identical to this Si. Starting with the 1990 model year, the DX 3-door got body-color bumpers and 13” wheel covers (identical to the LX sedan) in place of the previous black bumpers and steel wheels. It definitely gave the car a nicer appearance. I wanted an Si like this one, but when I bought mine in 1992, I was a 17-year-old high school student. I landed the ’91 DX for $6200, which was $2500+ less than any ’91 Si models I could find.

    The interior was a bit of a different story. The upholstery and trim were a cut below the Si and the view from the driver’s seat was anything but sporty. A pencil-thin 2-spoke steering wheel framed the minimal gauge cluster. There was a speedometer on the right and massive fuel and coolant gauges on the left side where the tach should be. I found it pretty amusing that the car had no tachometer or power steering, but it did have a tilt steering and a felt-lined coin drawer!

    The car had been owned by a local printing company that used it for deliveries. It was only 10 months old but had 43k miles on the clock. The only ‘dealer-installed accessories’ were air conditioning, floor mats and the Honda ‘1000’ AM/FM/cassette with two front speakers. It’s hard to believe how sparsely equipped cars were even in the early 90s, but there were a few additional accessories that I had to buy to make the car more tolerable. I had to buy the passenger-side door mirror, digital clock (which you can see in the photos of the Si located above the audio and HVAC controls), rear speakers and center console/armrest. The clock alone was almost $100 and the armrest was $200+. Once I got those “extras” installed, I was very happy with the car. The only exception was the extremely crappy audio setup.

    Six months or so after I bought the car, I made the (idiotic) decision to sell my first car…a 1985 CRX Si. As you probably know, 1985 was the first year of the Si and they were fairly rare. They’re about as common as unicorn feathers these days. But in 1992, it was just a pretty tired, 7-year old CRX with fading red paint, 152,000 HARD miles on the clock with severe ‘curb rash’ on the kinda-ugly 13” 4-hole alloys and fraying fabric on the side bolsters of the driver’s seat. I used some of the money from the sale to upgrade the audio system in my ’91 DX, but I insisted that it only be Honda factory-original equipment!? I spent almost $2k on the Honda ‘3000’ AM/FM/cassette (the top model available), upgraded front and rear speakers and added the “lower audio console” (also seen in the Si pictured). The latter was required to house the Honda single-CD player that I also bought. It was a decent system, but ridiculously expensive compared to just taking it to a pro audio store….but it was all original!

    The pics from the Accessories (or Produits, as it reads) brochure are very interesting in this ad for the Si. I find it very interesting that power windows were available as an accessory and wonder why they didn’t offer it in the U.S. as an option? Of all the extras shown for this car, the window shades/deflectors, sunroof wind deflector and mud guards (and the power windows) were the only ones that I didn’t have on my DX.

    After spending almost $3k in dealer add-ons, I finally had the car exactly how I wanted it and I loved it! Just shy of owning it for one year, I was rear-ended and the car was totaled. I ended up buying a new ’93 Civic EX 4-door (Harvard Blue, 5-speed manual) and I was able to take my Honda ‘3000’ and CD player and install them in the new car. I drove it for 188k miles and it was well past 300k miles when I lost track of it.

  19. miatadon said:

    My Civic Si ( http://www.mgexp.com/registry/1991CIVICSI ) which is identical to the one featured here, has an ID tag that says it was made in Canada. Also, the seat belts are attached to the doors.

    If anyone out there in JNC land has any suggestions on how to renovate the plastic wheel covers, please advise. The paint is peeling off of mine. Or if anyone knows of a source for NOS or re manufactured ones, please contact me.

    Don: tartanredmgb@gmail.com

    • Jason R said:

      If I remember correctly, all US-spec ’88-’91 Civic 3-door hatchbacks were built at Honda’s Alliston, Ontario, Canada plant.

      The Civic 4-door sedan from those years was made in Marysville, OH, Suzuka, Japan and some may have been made at the Alliston, Ontario plant also. I can’t remember for certain.

      The CRX and 5-door Wagon were both made only in Japan and exported to North America.

      All US-spec 3-door hatchbacks had the front seatbelts mounted on the back edge of the doors. US-bound CRX models had the same seatbelts. The Civic 4-door sedan and 5-door wagon had a motorized should belt (that ran on a track that started a few inches down the A-pillar, went over the top of the front windows then turned down and locked into place where a normal shoulder belt should be anchored.

      U.S. law required that all cars produced after April 1, 1989 be equipped with a passive restraint for the driver. This requirement could be satisfied with an automatic seatbelt OR a driver’s side airbag. The door mounted seatbelts on your Civic 3-door could “allegedly” be left buckled at all times and you could slide in under the lap and should belt with the door open. In practice, it was next to impossible to maneuver in under the belt. Especially since I was 6’2” and 280lbs when I had my ’91 DX.

      The automatic shoulder belts on the Civic 4-door sedan and 5-door wagon made sure that drivers had the shoulder belt on. But you had to remember to reach down and connect the separate lap belt manually. It was very easy to forget to fasten the lap belt because you had the belt over your shoulder already giving you a false sense of safety. There were some collisions in various makes/models with the automatic shoulder belts where the driver or front passenger ‘submarined’ (went underneath the shoulder belt) and slammed into the dash, flew out the windshield or a few were even decapitated by the shoulder belt itself! I don’t know if any of the events were in Honda vehicles, but they did occur.

      These annoying ‘automatic seatbelts’ only existed on 1990 and 1991 Honda models. For 1992, every new Honda had a driver’s side airbag standard.

      My sister had a ’91 Accord 4-door with the automatic shoulder belts for the front seats. The one on the driver’s side had a nasty habit of locking (taking up all the slack) as it went over the top of the window and by the time it stopped near your left shoulder, it was squeazing the air out of your lungs like a hungry python! The dealer tried countless times to fix it but never succeeded. We nicknamed that seatbelt ‘Cujo’. =)

  20. Sam Atkinson said:

    This one caught my eye – BASE- 4 SPEED – VINYL SEATS – RED. Stylish basic back in the day transport. I bet it runs perfectly too.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Honda-Civic-1-OWNER-67K-PARKED-IN-OUR-SHOWROOM-NEAT-CVCC-STYLE-/261958110674?forcerrptr=true&hash=item3cfdeb8dd2&item=261958110674

    • Jason R said:

      Wow, I know exactly where this one is located. It’s about 20 minutes from me, less than a mile from my sister’s house. These guys have some interesting cars sometimes, but they aren’t exactly cheap. They have a 1986 Accord LXi 4-door, A/T, 130k miles, Light Blue, looks like brand new and it’s $4990. They had a beautiful ’90 Acura Legend sedan (last yr of the 1st gen) a few years ago that I wanted so bad. It was a 5-speed manual and only had 65k miles on it, but it was priced at $9990. It was just too much money for that car. Besides, I already have a ’94 Legend GS taking up one spot in my garage.

      They’re asking $5990 for this Civic and the sticker price in 1991 was only $6895. These were really cute in red, though. The ‘standard’ Civic 3-door only came in two or three colors, depending on model year. I can’t remember what the other colors were, though.. It always bugged me when Honda would make a trim level without a designation- the ‘standard’ or ‘base’ Civic 3-door, the ’87 and prior ‘base’ or non-Si Prelude, and most annoying of all was the mid-level CRX, the HF was the cheap, stripped base model, the Si was the high-performance top-level but the one in the middle was just ‘CRX’. Lots of people, even at dealerships, called them the CRX DX, which was kind of irksome but understandable.

      The ’91 Civic 3-door was a very basic vehicle, but this one is brutally basic. It looks like the only option was the floormats! No audio system, no A/C (on vinyl here in Georgia heat and humidity, I can understand why it has so few miles) and they didn’t even have a lighter. The main thing that bugs me about the interior is the long gear shift with just a rubber boot on the floor.

      The other thing that I didn’t like about the base 3-door was the engine. It only had 70hp while the DX 3/4-door, LX 4-door, FWD wagon had 92hp. They are the same engine, but the base Civic has a mild camshaft and restrictor plate on the intake (only opens 3/4) and on the throttle body. The only upside is that it makes almost as much torque (83 vs 89 lb-ft) and at 3000rpm vs. 4500rpm for the 92hp version. The low rpm torque gives it adequate pep around town, but wind it out and the lack of power is profoundly obvious compared to the 92hp version. My cousin had an ’89 (red, like this one) and I drove it a few times. Once I was accelerating down an on-ramp to the highway (with the A/C on) and checked to see if I had the parking brake on! The widely spaced ratios of the 4-speed only made matters worse. A 5-speed would have helped a lot.

      A lot of people (and some Honda enthusiast sites) claim that this engine and CRX HF are the same. They are technically the same block, but the HF had an 8-valve head and used a more sophisticated type of fuel injection (programmed fuel injection like the Si, not throttle body). It also had small diameter rod bearings, lightweight crankshaft and numerous other tweaks to make it amazingly efficient. It was a technological marvel at the time, but didn’t get the attention it deserved. It only made 62-72hp but 90lb-ft of torque at 2200rpm. The CRX with no-trim-level’s 92hp engine only made 89lb-ft and at 4500rpm. The HF was rated at 49/52 fuel economy compared to 32/35 for the 92hp and 34/37 for the 70hp base 3-door. The very-low-rpm torque and 5-speed made the HF engine feel a lot peppier and totally livable…..as did the cloth upholstery instead of vinyl! =)

  21. Mori7 said:

    I do personaly know the owner of this Civic…and yes, this car is in Quebec, I call him, Fred The EF Collector! He drove EF since day one he has license. I remember him 15yrs ago in is red EF Si(unmolested body), B16A(Integra SiR-G)swapped, slammed on HKS coilover(12years before it was ”cooool”!) and CRX Si ’91 polished wheels… This guy was the talk of the town at this time, this time where street was saturated of Mustang 5.0 and Camaro, and this red little econobox kickin all of their ass’es!!! Since then, he own dozen of EF gen Civic, from Si to sedans, to CX to realdeal black japanese EF9! He is a real purist…

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