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.