Friday, May 10, 2013

Subcompact Showcase: This Swapped '78 Civic—Ruby—Is a Gem

'78 Honda Civic witha an '83 Accord engine
"Ruby," the 1978 Honda Civic with a 1983 Honda Accord engine swap.
 Ah, serendipity. Those wonderful accidental surprises that just seem to happen. It was a serendipitous event when my wife and Subcompact Culture contributor, Mercedes, ran across this gem of a first-generation Honda Civic.

Owner Corey Daggett says he brought the car, he affectionately nicknamed, "Ruby,"from his boss. His boss was the second owner since some guy named "Frank" had restored it.

"When I got the car, there were some stickers on the side," says Corey. He then went to the site to learn more about it.

Corey learned that Frank was apparently retired and was looking for a project to pass the time. His daughter had the old hatchback sitting around and one day he just thought, I'll restore that. Frank used a 1979 wagon for donor parts and begin to rebuild Ruby.

1983 Honda Accord engine swap that went into this 1978 Civic
A 1.8-liter engine from a1983 Honda Accord has been swapped into the Civc.

Ruby was originally a 1978 Civic CVCC with a 1.2-liter engine and four-speed transmission. Now, the engine is a 1.8-liter from an 1983 Accord that has a lot of internal work, as it's been bored, stroked, balanced, etc. The CVCC (compound vortex controlled combustion) system has been removed, and a Weber carburetor, two-inch exhaust system, and K&N filter have been added. Power is now put down through a five-speed manual transmission, also out of an '83 Accord. In addition, the brakes have been upgraded, suspension worked and lowered, bumpers moved in about three inches, and the taillights and turn signals have been modified. Additionally, the car has new carpet, seats from the '83 Accord, and a lot of custom touches inside and out.

We'd say Ruby is truly a gem. From the totally appropriate gold-mesh alloys, to the bright red paint and just-right stance, this old Civic not only looks good, but really gets up and goes thanks to that engine swap. We love vintage subcompacts, and Ruby is a fine example.

1978 Honda Civic from the back
Ruby truly is a gem! Definitely a great small car project.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Andy for the post...all my kids think I'm famous now!!!!

Killchain said...

Man! Those Hondas would run forever.
I had a buddy, who had a '78. The perfect car for ditching high school classes back in the day.

Ducati Scotty said...

1.8? That thing must move!

Ducati Scotty said...

1.8? That thing must move!

Ian said...

My first brand new car was a '76 Civic hatch. Silver with a four speed. I paid $3725 for it! Modified the air cleaner and installed a header and custom exhaust. Had a blast with that one! Thanks for the memories.

Tony said...

That's pretty cool, you don't see these things anymore.

I was honestly hoping to see a SOHC VTEC D-Series engine under the hood though.

Anonymous said...

In 1976, $3725 was equivalent to $14820 in 2012 dollars, according to Cars nowadays thankfully are much better for that value.

B.W. said...

if you call a hunk of plastic with bullsh*t computers and sensors a better value then sure. But I'd much rather spend 14k on a brand new '78 honda than any of the crap they are putting out nowadays.