Feature Article


Like an Old Leather Jacket

Civic HatchI have driven quite a few cars in the last 16 years or so. Some were dirt cheap, some quite expensive. Some in great shape, some… not so much.  Some were a great time to drive, others a chore. Some I loved, some I hated.

That last point is an important one, because it stands pretty much independent of all the others before it.

I’ve often said that certain cars just fit like an old, comfy pair of shoes or a well-worn leather jacket — they just feel… right. Before I bought my old CRX, for example, I briefly owned a ’93 Civic CX hatchback. It cost me $2000, which, if I’m totally honest, was too much, because it could rival the SS United States for level of surface rust. It was also slow (blessed with a 70-something horsepower, 1.5-liter 8-valve engine), had no air conditioning or power steering, and lacked a passenger side door mirror (not because it was lost; it just never had one). The previous owner had bolted a coffee can muffler to the back, which did nothing to improve the power, but did assure that, when I finally drove past the neighbor who heard me coming 5 minutes before, he didn’t greet with a wave and a smile. Not much going for it, then, on face value.

But I did feel affection for it…

Read on…