If you're a self-proclaimed Honda nerd, like myself, then the car brand's Collection Hall at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan - complete with its "Civic World" display - is probably already on your bucket list. Located strategically within the forest region of the town of Motegi in eastern Tochigi prefecture in an effort to join two polar opposites, the mechanical aspect of a man-made motorsports park against the backdrop of Japan's lush landscape is something to behold. The juxtaposition offers the sort of breathtaking views you might imagine, with the addition of a modern playground for children to enjoy while being surrounded by plants and wildlife, along with the world class track, and within the motorplex you'll also find Honda's celebrated Collection Hall.
From original condition commercial motorcycles, cars, trucks and vans, to legendary race cars and even power equipment, the hall boasts around 300 displays and is open to the public to walk through and enjoy. You've seen various pics from the collection throughout the years and we thought it would be a good idea to put together a revisit while the nation's on again/off again stay-at-home scenario continues to play out.
Recently, our friend and Mugen RR feature car owner, Takeru Tojo, made another trip to the facility and was nice enough to snap some pics of the Civic World collection currently on display that features a number of retired race cars and some pristine stock versions of fan favorite chassis, all in original condition. Enjoy!
The lovable, huggable '70s-era Civic turned racecar - the bulked-up fenders house SSR Mk III wheels with Advan A-021R and a low-slung front air dam and extended hatch wing are all effective and look incredibly cool attached to the almost comically small body. Compared to current model Civics, this version could probably fit in the backseat.
Aged to perfection, its war-torn scars only add to the historic feel of this hatchback that no doubt has a book full of stories to tell, well beyond its serving as the foundation for 10 generations of Civic to follow over the next 5 decades.
More often than not, the EA and AH chassis from the middle portion of the '80s is confused for its younger brother, the fourth gen.
Both carry similar boxy cues around their hatch areas and there are some similarities in the shape of the taillights and even their B-pillars, but Honda know-it-alls can spot the differences a mile way.
Those same Honda fiends are very familiar with this version's Mugen and Motul livery. Sitting low on Mugen MR-5 center lock wheels and full slicks.
If you zoom in a little closer, you'll notice the passenger side exhaust exit poking out.
Shining Example of a Stateside Third-Gen. Civic
ITB Civic from SEMA '19
Speaking of fourth-gen. chassis, this Idemitsu Motion Touring Car-spec hatchback has been immortalized in die cast versions over and over again. It carries the raw, "less is more" feel, sans its race livery, that so many have been after for years.
Often avoiding the various come and go trends, this group focuses on a simple, timeless look with performance on par but not going so far as to disregard the Civic's native reliability. It's a balancing act and one that vehemently evades the majority of stateside attempts.
Fourth-Gen. Civic with Classic Look, Modern Power
K20 Civic ED
The RA272 was developed as a successor to Honda's RA271 racecar in their second year of competition but wasn't performing as expected and, as such, adjustments were made before the 1965 F1 race season ended. Effectively, the entire power plant was tilted forward to help lower the car's center of gravity. With the new configuration, driver Richie Ginther lead the pack throughout the season finale which took place in Mexico. His skills and the team's efforts paid off with Honda's very first F1 victory.
The Championship White body with hints of red are the very reason so many Honda fans are obsessed with the color combo today, and it's been applied to every iteration of Honda's Type R line since the NSX-R debut in the early '90s.
The third iteration of the CR-X was a huge departure from the original two-seater hatchback (or liftback, if you prefer) and though it sported a unique Targa-top with trunk stowage that, for the time, was a step outside of what the competition was doing, it didn't carry the same fanfare, regardless of what side of the ocean you were on.
ATS*Garage del Sol
B20/VTEC del Sol
Honda would later revisit the original CR-X design cues for its CR-Z debut, but again, the same spirit just couldn't be captured. This first-gen. model, shown in absolutely perfect condition, is as valuable as a whole as it would be in multiple pieces, as old-school CR-X fans would pay a premium for the un-weathered trim pieces, razor straight body panels and of course, its nose piece showing absolutely no cracks.
Unsure of which would fetch more money at an online auction: this '93 Captiva Blue Civic EG SiR-II
Restomod Fifth-Gen. Civic
'94 Civic EH
Or this '95 EK4 (model years for the sixth gen. began in '95 for Japan, whereas in the U.S. it was marketed as a '96). Both relied on the venerable B16A that swarmed the U.S. enthusiast market through various importers long before the K-series became America's most wanted.
Restoring and Slightly Modding a Sixth-Gen. Civic
'99 Civic EJ hatchback
Prior to the SiR-II platform, an earlier version of the B16 found in the EF Civic and second-gen. CR-X was the preferred engine swap for early-adopters of the '90s. If you couldn't afford a B16A or even a U.S. B18A at that time, then you probably opted for a DOHC ZC engine, found in this '87 Civic Si (again, emphasizing that Japan's model years start from the time the vehicle is available) as well as a similar version in the U.S. first-gen. Integra. Note the almost glowing silver muffler that sits below the spotless rear bumper and still shining factory plastic taillights and trim that often fall victim to fading and cracking over the years.
The compact ZC worked with D-series transmissions, axles, mounts, and even most of the bolt-on components could be adapted, considerably lowering the cost of getting into a DOHC platform. Original overseas ZC-equipped Civics could be spotted at a glance thanks to the bump on the passenger side of the hood that was incorporated in order to clear the ZC's exaggerated timing cover.
The Early Honda Swap Option
Rest assured, there's plenty more to see in the Honda Collection Hall and there's a sizeable gallery below to sift through. If you're ever in the area, it's a must visit, but if you don't think it's ever going to happen and you want to get at least a feel for walking through, there is the virtual tour that you can take by visiting their site.