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


OBSESSED: Finding the Perfect 1992-1995 Honda Civic (End Game)


One cool spring night, amidst groggy stamps of the refresh button, a turquoise angel materialized from the dirty glow of Craigslist. Blood in the water. Young men go crazy for 1992-1995 Honda Civics with “ricer” potential. It’s not uncommon for the two door coupes to sell within 24 hours of being posted for sale if they’re in any kind of passable shape. 

This greenish diamond in the rough was no coupe. It was pure and simple a virgin example of possibly the most sought after ricer platform of all time:

“1995 HONDA CIVIC HATCHBACK - $3,000” 

My eyes scrambled desperately over the ad, knowing full well countless other millennial types would soon be discovering what I had stumbled upon. 

“Calm down,” I said to myself, “Go through your protocol. Use your training.” 

Deep breath, deep breath and instantly I was alarmed again by two more glaring pieces of ricer bait: 

“-Manual transmission
-Infiniti sound system with subwoofer and preamp”

Whoever got to Mountlake Terrace first with $3,000 was going to buy this car and promptly destroy its practical sportiness with a coffee can muffler and poor musical taste. I was the only one who could stop it, but already there was a seventy-five percent chance this little egg of a car would fail my criteria.

It was a DX, the base trim package for the Civic, meaning there would be no power options included. I didn’t care about that. The real issue was air-conditioning. Of the countless DX model Civics I had called on in the past months, not one was equipped with AC. This was a deal breaker, but everything else about the car was perfect: 

“-Original owner 
-120k miles
-Timing belt replaced at 90k miles
-All records of scheduled maintenance”

If it checked out you couldn’t have asked for a better-preserved specimen. The new timing belt and low mileage made it probable that the engine would be tight for at least several more years, especially if the current owner really did have proof of oil changes, recommended services, etc. If only it had, 



No. It couldn’t be. This was a DX. I had already responded in person to no less than three LX model Civics, the upper-end trim level that was SUPPOSED to have air-conditioning, only to find a void behind the radiator where the assembly should have been…

The ad listed the owner’s phone number and first name. On Craigslist including such personal information in a car ad before checking out the prospective buyer made this guy either naïve, respectable or a complete monster…

It was 8:38pm on a Tuesday. The ad was roughly three minutes old. Chances were close to half a dozen people would soon be calling the same number I just had to come see the car the next day. By then it would be too late; she would go to the highest bidder. 

The owner sounded upstanding and sharp over the phone, assured me the Civic did indeed have AC and gave me directions to his apartment. In my sock drawer there was a bank envelope with $2,800 cash in it. It was time to end this. 

Stay tuned.


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