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  1. #21
    Guest

    1982 Honda Civic FE

    A lot of energy is wasted scrubbing the emissions of the newer cars. Additionally, the newer safety standards require the cars to be a lot heavier. This also reduces the gas mileage.

    Hybrids are nice in that they aren't as badly affected by weight as pure Internal Combustion Engines and they allow for lower emissions as well.

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  3. #22

    1982 Honda Civic 1300 FE

    Hello Folks:

    I came upon this post due to its title and felt that it needed an infusion of actual facts. After reading Mr. Photosmith’s critique of the 1982 Honda Civic 1300FE, I am compelled to return to the original subject and add the following:

    My experience with this particular vehicle goes beyond “a quick google search”. I purchased Civic 1300FE new in September 1982 and have driven it regularly ever since. It currently has well over 200,000 miles on the odometer. I am a mechanical engineer (PE) with a passion for automobiles and the design and history of I.C. engines.

    Point A:
    Photosmith derides this car for having a “whopping 67 horsepower.” He also says, “good luck driving 55 on any US highway… since it’s built like a tin can and is basically a rolling deathtrap.”

    This is 67 horsepower in a car weighing 1795 lbs, resulting in a power to weight ratio of 26.8 lbs/hp. For a modern comparison, the 2007 Civic Hybrid has a power to weight ratio of 26.1 lbs/hp. The ’82 was no pedal car. Contemporary road tests resulted in 0-60 times of approximately 11.8 seconds. The 2007 Civic Hybrid tested by Car and Driver gave a 0-60 time of 10.8 (full charge), and 12.3 (part charge).
    With only suspension and tire modifications, I have used my ’82 FE to compete in Autocross events on pavement and ice, and run TSD rallies with decent results. Currenty living on the Colorado Front Range, I have driven it (quickly) up Pikes Peak, Mt. Evans, and Trail Ridge Road – some of the most demanding roads in the country. By no means did this car ever delay a following vehicle. As for safety, the 1982 Honda was as safe, or safer, than any other car in its class at the time. One has to consider that in 1982 many of the cars that shared the road were of similar size. There were far fewer behemoths out there like the Ford Excretion, Cadillac Escalard, and myriad of Dually Diesels to deal with. For those of us who have owned or driven some of the other manufacturers’ cars of that time, the Civic was a revelation in handling and stability (even at 90 mph). Mine still is. I feel safe driving it to work the majority of days and on the odd occasion I’ll drive my ’87 Porsche.

    Point B:
    Photosmith states, “the 82 Civic was curburated and probably put out about 500 times as much pollution as even the regular old 115hp Civic HX that you can buy at any dealer now…”

    The ’82 utilized Honda’s CVCC (Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion) engine which was one of the most clean-burning carbureted engines ever developed for automotive applications. These engines allowed Honda to sell cars in the US until 1981 without installing a catalytic converter. One method that the EPA currently uses to compare vehicle emissions is Tons of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. The EPA’s website www.fueleconomy.gov covers cars back to 1985. If one looks-up a 1985 Civic HF (mechanically similar to the ’82 FE), they will find that this car produces 4.3 tons of greenhouse gases per year. The 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid produces 4.4 tons per year. I think Mr. Photosmith may be the one blowing smoke here.

    Point C:
    With regards to the actual gas mileage of the ’82 Civic FE, Mr. Photosmith states, “The 1982 Civic was rated at 42/55. Using the 10% and 22% reductions, this means that to compare to a modern test score, the 82 Civic in all it's 67 horsepower rattletrap glory would be rated at 38/43”.

    Regardless of the EPA’s testing standard, the gas mileage that I got with this car was spot on with the window sticker. I regularly got 42 mpg on my commute to work, and on long highway trips, I saw exactly 55 mpg. Sometimes on hilly or windy trips I got a disappointing 50 mpg. I concede, now that the car is 25 years old I see 38-39 mpg on my work commute, which is ten miles of stop and start driving. Not bad for a 25 year old car. And as far as being a “rattletrap”, my Porsche has more rattles than the Civic.

    So, in closing, I have to agree with the original posts of Patrick and AEman. With the technology that is currently available, gas mileage should be higher than what we are currently seeing with the hybrids on the market. The engineering company that I work for (which is very environmentally responsible) owns only hybrid company cars. I am amazed at their size, their weight, and the amount of creature-comfort fluff packed into these vehicles. If the public wants really great gas mileage, they should take a lesson from the older cars (like the Civic FE) and learn to do without satellite navigation, talking dashboards, power locks and windows, multiple cup holder, etc. All that weight adds-up.

    Cheers, Neil

  4. #23
    Guest

    I was really pleased to read

    I was really pleased to read the above. My ownership of an '83 Civic FE came in 2005 when I found two Civics in the back lot of a local auto repair shop. One, (the FE), had evidently blown a head gasket some ten years prior judging from the 1994 inspections sticker. The second was a plain '81 Civic that had met its end in a collision. It was the intention of the shop owner to make a "good" car out of the two but he just never got around to do so.

    I bought both for $200. The engine in the wrecked '81 test ran fine so I did a swap using all of the FE's original accessories. It's been on the road for nearly two years and I average about 42 mpg in mixed driving. I'm sure that this would go up 4 or 5 mpg if it had the advanced engine features of the '82/83 models.

    I love that little car and it sure beats car payments and big gas bills from the oil companies!

  5. #24
    Guest

    Back in the mid early 80's I

    Back in the mid early 80's I bought a used 1982 Civic HB with about 17k miles. It would never get less the 37mpg no matter how hard I drove it, and on long trips it would average in the low to mid 40's.

    I got rid of it when it had 110k miles - wish I had it now......the MPG is so dissappointing on the current line up of fuel efficient cars today, doubly so considering the technological advancements in the last 25 years.

  6. #25
    Guest

    I ordered and bought new and

    I ordered and bought new and had the civic FE in 1982 about $8000 ran it up and down the coast of CA driving it 100mph plus in the 80.s accident free, handled beautiful and lucky as they were known to break legs in accidents, Ive crawled out from under my wreaked 76 MG Midget spun out my AMC Matador, put 145 K miles only changed the oil and clutch tires brakes no problems and got 50 plus mpg highway in my civic, it started and ran like a sewing maching when i sold it for $800 in 88. I could put my Lawn mower edger weed eater and my 100 lb German Shepard in it and was one of the best car I ever owned

  7. #26
    Guest

    The new 82 Civic FE that I

    The new 82 Civic FE that I bought for my wife would go 70 mph all day long with the AC on. The best gas mileage I ever got was 48 MPG in West Texas going 55 MPH. Oh, it didn't have a lot of steam going up hills. But, it could pull out on an expressway with the best of them. It was incredibly quite and easy to maintain. I want to buy another one. It was as good as anything available today.

  8. #27
    Guest

    I owned a Civic FE that was

    I owned a Civic FE that was purchased new in 1983. I still say this every time I think about gas prices and EXPENSIVE new cars. It was THE BEST CAR, that I have EVER owned, in the last 25 years, (this includes three Hondas, three Fords, and a Hyundai).

    On a trip to Ohio, from Mississippi, we actually hit 64 mpg! My husband and I actually thought that the gas gauge was broken! We got to Ohio on one tank of gas. When we moved from Mississippi, to NJ, we towed a full sized U-Haul trailer, filled with furnishings and the like, and she ran like a charm. The only problem that we ever had with the car, was also on a trip to Ohio, where the snow and ice got through the grill, and froze up the engine. When the engine was "thawed", a simple piece for cardboard took care of that. The ONLY reason it was traded in, was because it was not practical for putting kids in the back, (it was a two door car, and it was hard to get them in and out).

    My question is this though: If I could buy a car in 1982, that got such incredible gas mileage, why in this day and age, is there NOTHING offered to the US people, other than expensive hybrids? They say that the American people would never buy it [the little fuel efficient cars], because we want "MORE". But, we don't ever have the OPTION of buying a car like the Civic FE any more. In the year 2008, we should be able to purchase a car that gets incredible, (80 to 100 mpg) gas mileage. Just comparing the 25 year difference, doesn't make sense to me. Why was there such a HUGE step backwards to gas guzzling cars of the 60's and 70's? I mean this IS 2008! Seriously, if I can talk to a person anywhere in the world on a phone no bigger than a stick of gum, why can't technology keep up the pace with engines.

    And finally, what happened during the late 80's, early 90's, that turned around the "gas crisis" of then? As a young child, I remember the gas lines of the 70's waiting in HUGE lines for a $5.00 limit of gas. I also remember that when we got that little Honda, the gas mileage was the biggest factor of the purchase.
    Why did we as a nation, start using the big SUV's and not worry about gas anymore? It's like one decade was really bad for gas, (hence why they offered small cars with great gas mileage), then it seems like over night, Explorers and the like were covering our highways. What the heck happened? Can somebody PLEASE tell me this.

  9. #28
    Guest

    I also owned an 82 honda

    I also owned an 82 honda civic and at the time I was going to school traveling every day on the highway. I drove at 80 - 100 KPH and averaged 40- 45 MPG - I was religious about testing this. On long trips I would do 110 - 120 KPH - One time I even drove the car for even 5 min at 155 kph. It was not a race car, it was not a luxury car, it was a Practical car and for someone on limited income it was excellent.

    Why after over 20 years can the car manufacturers not start production on a car that matched this. I think they can but they have decided not to. However this is going to change very quickly - because the price of oil going up is going to short the amount of money people have to spend on travel - which means car payments etc will need to be less which means cars will need to cheaper. The good thing is that means also smaller.

    Maybe the next decade advertisers will advertise less horse power instead of more horse power. WOW 68 HP could become a reality!

  10. #29

    Safety and pollution

    Safety and pollution controls, in addition to the desire for more power have killed the lightweight small car. Its sad but the physics of the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) dictates that you unfortunately need to make a choice whether you want a tank that will protect you or good fuel economy. Additionally, it has been shown that you can clean up the emissions of an ICE, it just wastes a good deal of energy to do so.
    This is why the electric drivetrain in a hybrid is so good since it improves fuel economy without increasing pollution and it reduces the fuel economy penalty of a heavy vehicle through regenerative braking and more efficient acceleration.
    The electric drivetrain can allow more torque for acceleration with minimal fuel economy impact but none of today's wimpy hybrids take advantage of this. The Tesla Roadster, of course, demonstrates this attribute of an electric motor but it's not a hybrid.

  11. #30
    Guest

    I had a '92 Honda Civic DX 4

    I had a '92 Honda Civic DX 4 door with automatic transmission and AC. I drove about 30,000 miles per year (mostly highway miles) for work back then and I would consistently average 39 - 42 mpg with regular unleaded. That car had something like 97 hp and drove nice. It had a driver's side airbag too. There seem to be lots of them still on the road today. On top of everything, it was an econo car, which meant it was inexpensive to buy 16 years ago.

    Honda would do well to build a car like that again. I would buy a new one for my 65 mile a day commute.

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