1999-2000 Civic Si coupes (“EM1” in JDM-tyte parlance) will one day cross the auction block as the Porsche 993 of Civics. These are the last of the golden era. A time when a low-displacement four-cylinder revved like a Ducati, sounded like an irritated weed-whacker, and inspired a million catchphrases. It was an honest car stolen or molested by dishonest people, and whose image was marred by pretentious loudmouths. Already, the premium for stock examples keeps potential buyers from the economy car we should be entitled to: a high-mpg, high-revving, highly useful one. Find this 2000 Honda Civic Si in Tulsa, OK for the high price of $7,499 via their website or AutoTrader.
Technically speaking, it was the last Civic to employ double-wishbone suspension in all its corners and have the horsepower:torque differential of a small-displacement Ferrari. In this case, 160:111. Some owners kissed 40 mpg. Others slayed legitimate sports cars at tracks around the country in real life or via video game controller. Everyone else enjoyed a car as reliable as a burlap sack and playful as a golden retriever.
In our electric, heavily insulated future, early Civics’ demerits will become quirks. Buzzy highway cruising will be seen as quaint. Harsh ride and the B16’s peaky powerband will be remembered as hallmarks of a road-going race car. Honda’s snickety shifting will be remembered as a tactility unseen in sterile automated transportation. Okay that last one is well-deserved.
The wheels have curb rash, the shift knob filled in when Rover’s chew toy went missing, and the head unit should be on top of a cubby that isn’t there. Otherwise, you’re paying for a clean titled car with 5-digit mileage that lacks rust or someone else’s creativity. Both the AutoTrader listing and dealership web page say $7,999, but the nearly illegible all-caps body copy says $7,499. Tragically, that’s starting to become normal for well-kept examples.