A Honda Civic just sold for $50,000. And no, it’s not the brand new 2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition that was announced earlier this year. While that one may seem prime for a $50,000 MSRP, the Civic we’re talking about is much older. It’s an Electron Blue 2000 Honda Civic Si, an EM1, if you’re fluent in Honda lingo.
We promise that there is no typo on the price. Someone just won the auction on Bring a Trailer for $50,000 even. The car in question has 5,600 miles on the odometer and will now be going to its third owner. It’s about as perfect as it gets from an aesthetic and mechanical standpoint, though it does have an unsightly aftermarket Pioneer head unit installed in the dash.
Plenty of older Hondas have surprised us over the past few years with an almost meteoric rise in value. The Acura Integra Type R has seen a huge uptick, and at $50,000, this Civic Si isn’t too far behind. So, why the sudden appeal for a 20-year-old Civic?
It has VTEC, yo. The little 1.6-liter four-cylinder revs to 8,000 rpm and makes 160 horsepower (at 8,000 rpm!). Torque is rather nonexistent, as the engine produces a whole 111 pound-feet at 7,000 rpm. Nothing much happens below 5,000 rpm, but revving these little engines to the sky is part of the appeal. The car is light, so it still feels strong and quick.
Above: Yes, the radio antenna was a pull-your-own-up affair. You can sort of do it from the driver's seat.
Honda gave the Si a much sportier suspension compared to the standard Civic. It also had disc brakes all around! You can tell the Si apart from other Civic coupes of that era through a number of ways. It has a lower, painted lip spoiler, painted side sills and an Si badge on the rear trunk lid. “DOHC VTEC” stickers are placed just rear of the doors on the lower part of the body, and it has unique 15-inch alloy wheels. The package is understated, but handsome at the same time.
Seeing a 2000 Civic Si in an unmolested, unmodified form is exceedingly rare, which is perhaps the biggest reason for this one’s high selling price. Many have been ruined with eye-wateringly terrible modifications, mistreated or have gone through an engine swap. This one appears to have one non-factory extra: a DC Sports lower tie bar. However, that’s it. Even the exhaust is stock.
The buyer could very well be buying this based on speculation about prices climbing even higher, and they could be right. Each time an Integra Type R sells for an even more extravagant price, it feels like a ceiling has been reached, but then another sells for even more. We’ll certainly be watching the next time a perfect EM1 comes up for auction. In the meantime, a 2020 Honda Civic Si starts at $26,155, if that’s of an interest to you.