September 18, 2007

Civic sense

So, first, I owned one of these. 1976 model, 2-door coupe, 87 inch wheelbase, 147 inches long, 1500 lb. Tiny, but one memorable time in NYC six of us got in, with one six-footer in front (me, driving), and one ("Joey", my man -- those were good times) folded in the back. What a great car. Why I didn't take better care of it, I will never know. Entirely because of my ignorant negligence, the engine actually broke -- I mean, into two pieces -- as we were approaching Buffalo one August day.

The car was never quite the same thereafter.

Then, I owned one of these. 1984 "1500 S" model, 2-door hatchback, 94 inch wheelbase, 150 inches long. Comfortable, spacious, peppy, absolutely trouble-free. Took me and ma and pa on a two-month long drive around the eastern US without a single problem. Took me and my Rhodesian Ridgeback and pretty much all my worldly possessions on a week-long drive to Philadelphia without a single problem. Among other long drives. Nearly eight years I owned it, and I was better at taking care of it than I had its predecessor.

Given those two little beauties, I thought for the several years that I was car-less -- if I ever buy a car again, I want a Civic. But now, it nearly makes me cry to see their bloated descendant waddling about on Bombay's streets. 106 inch wheelbase, 177 inches long -- I mean, over two feet longer than the ones I drove those years ago!

What kind of feature creep produced this bulbous beast?

***

Postscript: And here is the first car I ever owned. Driving it 150 miles home when I first got it, the engine quietly died on the highway. I'm still stunned by my luck, though: it died next to an exit off the highway, the exit ramp sloped downward, it led straight to a gas station in the only town in all those 150 miles that I knew someone.

So I coasted downhill, came to a stop next to a phone, called my friend for help. Two days later, I drove it the rest of the way home.

Many fond memories.

3 comments:

Hemanshu said...

I know exactly what you mean by Civic sense and fond memories.

Ofcourse as a student I couldn't afford a car in the US, so made do with hitching rides with friends :)

The new civic truly is bulbous.

I personally chose to go for a small first car, the Alto, and I must say I'm impressed with this car. I get 18 to the litre, and it's an easy park.

Iacoca also talks about small cars and how they are the way to go in the long run. I think we should all be a little environmentally conscious.

Prasoon said...

Lovely - nice post d^3 :)

Somehow I like the new Civic compared to all that is visible on the roads nowadays - makes a nice style statement if u ask me :)

Go for it !!

Sunil said...

we own a Civic 2-door coupe, 1994, stick-shift (an anomaly in these days of auto transmission), and while the paint may be peeling off the outside, and there might be a few rattles, the car still runs beautifully, and we enjoy our 40mpg drives (a mileage most cars out there can only dream about, even the new Civics out there).

Civics rule.