1997 Honda Orthia Wagon

Sold: $12,995

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We sell a great deal of Honda hatchbacks and sedans here at Japanese Classics. As enthusiasts will tell you, the Civics and Accords of this vintage were built during the brand's golden era. They are efficient, easy to service, and nearly bulletproof. If you had to critique those transcendent models, you could perhaps argue they could be a bit more accommodating for cargo. Alas, this 1997 Orthia is the answer to all your problems. Finished in a new coat of Dark Amethyst Pearl (PB-74P) this wagon is set off by an understated, color-matched, factory brushguard, subtle factory fog lamps, and a set of OEM rainguards. Aside from some light dings, chips, and scuffs associated with normal use the paint is in good shape overall. Powered by a tried and true B20B, this lovely five-seater is fresh off a recent service and is offered with a mere 52k verified and documented miles. As a daily driver, unique weekend cruiser, or family hauler this wonderful wagon is a full-blown Japanese Classic.

The cabin is well-designed, uses premium materials, and has some unique and funky styling. The view of the road ahead is clear and commanding and all the side glass promotes decent visibility from any angle. The driver benefits from an adjustable steering column to find the ideal driving position, and all the controls are close by. The dash itself lacks any cracking or fading and houses two standard SRS front airbags. Power windows, door locks, and electric folding mirrors all make daily use more enjoyable, and work in typical Honda fashion. Centrally located, the OEM automatic climate control is intuitive to use, and blows piping hot heat for this winter and cold air conditioning for the summer ahead. The seats steal the show, with dark blue and charcoal tartan highlights. They are soft to the touch, supportive, and lack any major rips, stains, or tears. The rear seats have an integrated center cup holder, and also split-fold for those planning to haul some sizable cargo. The rear hatch glass can also be opened to accommodate some long 2X4s from Lowe's or provide some extra ventilation for a furry friend. It even has the rare OEM cargo security shade still installed, which is often tossed away in Japan. The headliner lacks any major imperfections as well, still held tight and taut against the roof. That's not to say the cabin is perfect, we did want to note the OEM headunit has given up the ghost, and some light carpet staining should be mentioned. Still, at 25 years of age, the cabin is in far above-average condition, and even the owner's manuals and carpet mats are included in the sale for the US owner.

Based on the sixth-generation Civic platform, the mechanicals are what you might expect from such a prestigious manufacturer. The 2.0L under the hood is fresh off an oil and filter service and starts up with the twist of a key thanks to a new 12v battery we installed here stateside. The engine idles with confidence thanks to a new fuel filter, and the four-banger benefits from a new valve cover gasket to maintain proper lubrication. To keep her at the proper operating temps, we installed a new thermostat while it was up on the lift. With the powerplant all refreshed, power is fed through a slick-shifting automatic gearbox to the front wheels. With the weight of the drivetrain above the drive axle and plenty of ground clearance, these Orthias are good winter sleds. It accelerates properly up to highway speeds and is peppy about town. The suspension is supple and can handle the rigors of daily use and abuse. The brakes are confident and the power steering is on-point and light, making parking a snap. The wheels are all wrapped in new all-season tires. The new rubber quiets down the road noise a fair amount, but most importantly will last for tens of thousands of miles to come. Turn-key and ready to haul your friends and family about, this Orthia is a unique and understated JDM estate for the ages!

*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB compliant first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.

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