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1989 Civic 1.4GL, 49k miles (5-speed manual), Sept MoT, £700

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Well, what can I say;


Don't know why (I'm likely getting bored) but I think I'll be getting rid of the Civic and my life will be bereft of double wishbone and multi-link goodness for a while. Just completed a 750-mile road trip in her and she was fine...well, ok, she was a bit hesitant but at no point did I ever feel she was going to break down on me. That said, I do have breakdown cover, I'm not that brave!


Called Phoebe by the previous owners because of the number plate. I think a more appropriate name is The Red Wreck. Plus I love a good Coronation Street pun.


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She's only been back on the road since September 2018 after being off the road for five years due to an MoT fail on corrosion and brakes. After much fettling she was back on the road. It's at this point I think I should stop referring to an inanimate object as "she" as I'm starting to sound like Martin Bryce from Ever Decreasing Circles.


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Good points:

Starts in the cold instantly, no matter how long IT'S been left.

It has MoT until Sep 19th 2019.

Very nippy indeed even with the hesitancy issue.

All the electronics work, even the leccy sunroof and the much-coveted one-touch driver's side window. This includes also the fantastic heater.

Has a genuine 49k from new (the old lady I bought it from chucked the invoices and receipts away in the time between me paying for it and collecting it. Feel free to check MoT history on Vehicle Smart or similar).

The log book states I'm the fourth owner but the first owner was the dealer the the first two "real" owners were husband and wife, the man's widow taking it on after his death. (Sorry for the dealer spiel)

The body, though shabby, is solid. The strut tops, inner wings and boot floor look spotless to my untrained eyes. 

Doesn't seem to use any oil or water and maintains a constant temperature just below the halfway mark, even on very long trips.

Still has the original wheel trims (is this a plus?)

Had £1500 spent on it to get it roadworthy again, the majority of that money going on welding, brake lines and rebuilding the right-hand carb. Has had a light service with new oil and plugs and blah blah. Assuming people know service items.

Interior is in fantastic nick bar the issue I'll mention below.

No weird noises, knocks or bangs to speak of. The door seals seem to be in great condition and the wind noise is about what you'd expect for one of these (really loud cos it's an '80s supermini).

Has the original stereo which works. There is a tape in the car which contains Christian pop. I have listened to it for testing purposes only. Signal seems a bit weak for the radio but assuming this is easily sorted.

Cambelt has just been done 800 miles ago as it was so old I was frightened to even start it up.

Still has the original "Les Allen of Sunderland" dealer plates and they still look great. Dealer sticker is also still on the rear window.


Bad points:

The welding, as you may be able to see from the pics, looks shit. It's solid but I think it's just been painted in red oxide and there already seems to be very light surface corrosion. The sills were welded and then painted in black Hammerite by the looks of it - their condition seems to be ok but who knows? They look and feel very solid.

Car needs a ton of choke to idle when cold and even when warm, you can't really knock the choke off.

It's a bit hesitant when you're trying to accelerate or pull away. It can catch you out sometimes, especially if the ambient temperature drops without you knowing.

Hole in the passenger side front seat, seems to be sun damage. It's only small (I'll get a pic)

Passenger-side door doesn't unlock from the outside and if this car ever had central locking, it is non-functional. Opens fine from the inside, though and I'll try and fix it.

It's had a rear-end shunt at some point and the fog light is loose but still works. The bumper has been reseated but this does mean that if you look very, very closely the bumper doesn't quite look flush. Man on a galloping horse and all that.

VERY slight noise from the o/s outer CV joint but at this stage I wouldn't even bother thinking about it. I only noticed because I'm a car pedant / hypochondriac. The boot is intact.

Crease / dent / scrape on the o/s front wing. 

All the paint is faded and patchy with peeling lacquer.


So that's about it really. Looking through the paperwork, the garage seem to have only messed with the right side carb as it had a stuck float, presumably from aged petrol lacquer. Before it's sold, I'll take the spring and piston out of the left carb - if my hunch is right I'm expecting gunk on the intake side. HOPEFULLY this is the cause of the running issue but be aware there are no rebuild kits available for these Keihin carbs so if it's not the fault, it may need a carb switch. I think Webers are a popular conversion but I don't know how that would work in terms of air filtration as the Keihins are side-draught. You'd also certainly need a filter for the PCV gases.


I've probably made this car sound much worse than it is but I value honesty over conning people. I made that sound like a virtue, when in fact it just means I'm not a monster. Oh well...Certainly rather have a slower sale or sell it for a bit less than sell it in two days for the asking price, only for the car to disappoint someone because I was scant in my description. It's really a clean car, though.


No idea how much it's worth and I'm certainly not averse to swappage but I just thought I'd stick this up here and see in which direction the wind blows. If I don't sell it, I don't sell it. I'll try and get some better / interior pictures over the weekend. I'll start with £800  roffle and go from there - people can tell me if I'm crazy for either overpricing or underpricing.


I've decided I'll likely not take a swap because the chances of somebody having something I can insure cheaply in combination with something I like are probably minimal but I'm still SLIGHTLY open to something I can get classic insurance for. Sooner have cash, though.


It's great fun to drive, with quick and direct, if light, steering, taut handling, nice snicky gearbox, punchy performance if you keep up the revs and a nice, jarring ride (ahem). The brakes are actually pretty good, not too much of a shock after driving my dad's 2006 Xsara Picasso. Very progressive compared to all-or-nothing Citroen brakes.


There may be possibilities such as delivery or meeting halfway but only after a price were agreed. Don't want to firmly state I will do it at this stage because I hate to let people down. If I did deliver though I'd make it free within a 50-mile or so radius - hopefully there are a few shiters in the North East or willing to meet. Beyond that I'd just be covering my costs. I'm quite new to the group so I'm relying on the buyer to be more cognisant of the protocol than me.


To sum up, it's a cosmetically compromised, ridiculously solid and reliable old girl with a bit of a cough (OH I DID IT AGAIN!). Oh, and it's got a new tyre. Don't rush all at once now....


Kind Shiter Regards,









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Hopefully I'll have a couple of lucid hours tomorrow and I can get loads of interior shots. It's full of my rubbish at the minute which is why I haven't yet taken the pics!


Not definitely gonna take a swap but not averse either for the right car. I'm a bit reticent about Mercedes' cars but I'd never dismiss anything out of hand.

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I've looked around and there are barely an EFs for sale, never mind GLs. There were some a while back for the £1200 mark (I think) but they seemed in better condition than mine, at least cosmetically.


Basically I have no frame of reference because there doesn't really seem to be a market right now.

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These two didn't attract any bids at around that price (ish) and were relisted several times at lowering values.


It's worth what someone will pay though and there's not many around anymore.







Point taken but that's a slightly chavved up automatic. It's still rare but those things could be offputting.

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A few pictures of the interior. Sorry it's still a bit messy from my Scotland trip. I've included a picture of the hole in the passenger seat, it's larger than I remembered.


The car is parked at my cousin's and hadn't been started in ten days...it fired right up.


May still have the original space saver spare by the look of it (eeuughhh!). Marvel at the loose fog light.






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I understand the central locking comment now. That red light in the blank for the a/c button on the heater panel suggests there's some sort of after market wizardry in there, as the most sophisticated thing on the GL from the factory is the radio.

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Well, it has an electric sunroof and windows. Not having central locking seems a bit stingy but then again it's not a big deal I think a small 3-door car.


The light is probably for the now disconnected alarm. It's still under the bonnet and I have the fob but I'm assuming it broke years ago.

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