50 Years of an Automotive Icon

Honda Civic - 50 Years of a Future Collectible

As the 2022 Monterey Car Week approaches and we start to look at the incredible selection of cars that will be on offer at different auctions, as well as participating in the various car shows that week, it’s worth noting a special occasion for Honda and a car that is already a collectible to many enthusiasts.

50 years ago Honda introduced a three-door hatchback that would lead the way for the rest of the automotive industry in a drive to create an enjoyable and fuel-efficient car – we’re talking about the Honda Civic. Sure, it may not jump out quite the same way as the S600 or Z600, but the civic is as important to automotive history as Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.

Since its 1973 sales debut in the US we’ve experienced 11 different generations of the Honda Civic, and a wide array of models and trim levels within each generation. The Honda Civic has been the company’s greatest success in North America, having sold 12.3 million Civics in the US alone, many of which were built in North American plants. Over the past five decades the Civic has been one of the top three best-selling cars in the US.

Following its introduction the Civic has been produced in five different body styles – 2-door coupe, 3-door hatchback, 4-door sedan, 5-door hatchback, and a wagon. One of our favorite body styles is the Civic Si, an instant collectible to younger enthusiasts and a significant car in the sport compact segment of the market.

Honda Civic - Future Collectible

It seems fitting to honor the Honda Civic’s 50th anniversary as it has been the top selling vehicle with Millenials since 2011 and is destined to be a fixture at collector car auctions in the future. We saw a very modified Civic Si cross the block at Mecum’s Orlando auction recently, although it failed to meet the reserve price, but we expect it is only a matter of time before the enthusiasts start scouring the market for low-mileage, near-original condition examples of the earliest generations of the Civic.

While we don’t expect to see a major showing in Monterey for the Honda Civic this year, we do expect it to start popping up more and more. And until that happens we’ll have plenty of other cars to study on the auction block, especially this year. We’ll share some of the cars that have us most excited for Monterey’s Car Week in the coming days but think it’s important to remember that most of them started from a similar place as the early generation Civics – well-known and enjoyed, but not the investments they are today. We look forward to seeing the Civic start to get more attention as the years go by.