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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


OBSESSED: Finding the perfect 1992-1995 Honda Civic (Enumclaw)


Enumclaw. Already this Civic had to be bad news. But the ad on Autotrader really spoke to my plight: 

“If you don’t buy this one, you’ll never buy one!” The horse lovers had my number, and a red 1995 Civic LX sedan that looked to be in mint if not great condition. 

“Don't do it,” I said to myself, “This Milano red Civic looks to be well worth the $3,500 asking price, but its been for sale too long. It's a dud, just like the last one." 

Then again it wouldn't sell in ENUMCLAW; most people looking to buy a 1992-1995 Honda Civic probably weren’t obsessive enough with their search to travel an hour deep into an area of the boonies best known for a reverse Deliverance scene with horses. 

Not being one of these people, I asked my Dad to come along, knowing he enjoys the delicate dance of a car sale and was formerly captain of a Yakima high school wrestling team in the seventies. 

We piled into my 1991 Dodge Dynasty, equipped with beef jerky and several Creedence Clearwater Revival tapes. Everything was peachy until we left I-405 South for a series of Highways due southeast. The road narrowed to two lanes, trees closed in along side us, “Run through the Jungle” started to sound disturbingly twangy in the Dynasty’s speakers… like a banjo…

The name of the dealership we eventually arrived at will not be mentioned here. The parking lot was gravel. We parked the Dynasty and stood at the trunk. There was no one around. Just us, a low-slung rambler and some used cars. 

Eventually a man I presumed to be a mechanic emerged from a squeaky door cut into the siding of the building. 

“You here to see the Civic?” He asked cordially. 

We said we were. 

“**** will be right with you.” 

His tone was unsettling. When **** came out to greet us it was apparent he was overdue for retirement, but from the looks of his nose it might have bee his own fault. Inside the rambler he sat me on a white plastic patio chair while he took down my insurance. The building smelled like mold. There was a single BMW in the showroom. 

Outside with the keys Dad and I gave the Civic a quick walk around before starting her up. There was a gouged hole in the door above the driver’s side keyhole that looked about the size of a screwdriver. The tires weren’t properly inflated.

She looked like the Sales Guy’s nose. Sigh. But what the hell, maybe the engine was strong. 


Bad valves. 

“I think there’s some water in the trunk,” **** said. 

We popped the trunk and found the carpet to be damp… Seeing as we traveled close to an hour down to Rudolph’s lot, it was only fitting we took his Civic for a spin up into the hills. He gave us directions up the nearest mountain and we were off. 

Once up to highway speed I gave Dad a heads up for the brakes test and stomped them hard. They weren’t bad, all things considered, but the sound of a babbling brook filled the car. Over my shoulder water was rising from the rear floorboards. We pulled off to the shoulder, popped the truck and found standing water in the basin beneath the mat, deep enough to bathe roughly four babies in. 

We didn’t see any horses on the way home. We did stop to buy a pair of windshield wiper blades for the Dynasty on the way out of town. It felt good to buy something.  


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