Honda Civic 1st Generation
The first Honda Civic debuted in the fall of 1972, marking Honda's first major foray into the automobile business. Before the Civic, Honda was known around the world mostly as a builder of well-designed, high quality motorcycles such as the 100cc "Cub", and the famous 1969 Honda 750. The tiny Honda N360 coupe was introduced in 1967 in several countries, but not in the United States, as it was too small for the U.S. market. When the slightly larger Honda Z600 coupe was introduced in the U.S. in 1971, it sold well enough. However, customers immediately requested something similar, but larger, with front disc brakes and a more powerful engine to handle the higher speeds found on American highways.
The Civic's Honda Civic Accessories allowed this "econobox" to out perform American competitors such as the Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto, which had been manufactured to a lower level of quality compared to the Civic to keep their costs down. When the 1973 oil crisis struck, many Americans turned to economy cars. Reviews of American economy car quality were poor, and getting worse due to spiraling costs for manufacturers. Japanese culture had a long-standing tradition of demanding high-quality economy cars, and the growing American desire in the 1970's for well-made cars that had good fuel mileage benefitted the standing of Honda, Toyota, and Datsun in the lucrative U.S. Market.
1978 brought slight cosmetic changes, some changes were as a black grill, rear-facing hood vents (which replaced the sideways versions) and new turn indicators. The easiest way to recognise a 1978 model from an earlier example is to look at the front turn indicators: prior to 1978, they looked like foglights mounted in the Civic's grill, whereas in 1978 they were smaller rectangular shaped ones and were mounted within the bumper bar. The CVCC engine was now rated at 60 hp (45 kW) with 20 ft-lb torque.
1st Generation Gallery