What Makes the Honda Civic One of the Best Project Cars You Can Buy?

If you’re looking for a project car to modify to your heart’s content, there’s almost no better choice than a Honda Civic. Of course, the first thing that most likely comes to mind when reading that is a Civic with neon lights, a large wing, and a gaudy aero kit a la The Fast and the Furious, but that’s not the only thing you can do with Honda’s compact car. The Civic’s aftermarket support is a great reason to make it one a project car, but there are other reasons as well.

The Honda Civic has been around for 11 generations, so there’s a platform for everyone

18-year-old Faraz Matin drives his modified 1993 Honda Civic through a parking lot.
18-year-old Faraz Matin drives his modified 1993 Honda Civic through a parking lot. | Lucas Oleniuk/Toronto Star via Getty Images

RELATED: What Are the Best Cars to Flip for a Profit?

Big wings and body kits aside, the Honda Civic is an appealing platform for anyone looking for a project car because there are so many different generations to choose from. According to Hot Cars, “whether you want a hatchback, sedan, coupe, shuttle wagon, and everything in between, a Civic variant is out there to cater to your personal needs.” Considering the Honda Civic is in its 11th generation, it’s safe to say that there’s a Civic for everyone.

That means that there is also a Civic for every budget as well. Do you only want to spend $3,000 on your next project car? No problem! You can likely find a fifth (92-95) or sixth-generation (96-00) Civic on your local classifieds for that kind of cash. But if you have more to spend, then you can find plenty of newer Civics at whatever price point you can afford. Even the new 2022 Honda Civic Si is an option as there are a few aftermarket modifications already out for it.

The sky is the limit when it comes to modifications

A police officer looks at the modified engine of a Honda Civic street racer seized by the police.
A police officer looks at the modified engine of a Honda Civic street racer seized by the police. | Tony Bock/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Speaking of modifications, there’s no denying that the Honda Civic is one of the best platforms for modifying. Whether you want to slap on a few bolt-on parts and a set of lowering springs or turbocharge it and make 400 hp, you can do almost anything with a Honda Civic. Some of the most popular Civic platforms include the 99-00 Civic SI, 96-00 Civic Hatchback, 06-11 Civic Si, and the newer Civic Type R.

In addition to some of the more standard modifications that can be purchased online or at an auto parts shop, what makes the Civic platform so desirable is its interchangeability with other Honda and Acura platforms. Honda enthusiasts have been swapping Integra and CR-V engines into the lighter Civic chassis for decades in order to turn them from civilized commuters to bonafide racecars. Nowadays, some tuners are even swapping Accord V6 engines in them or retrofitting the new Civic Type R (K20C) engines neatly into older Civic engine bays. Whatever path you want to take with a Civic project car, the sky is the limit.

Theft is the Honda Civic’s Achilles Heel

2017 Honda Civic is on display at the 109th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place.
2017 Honda Civic is on display at the 109th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place. | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Buying and modifying a Honda Civic is one thing, but keeping it in your garage is another. The Honda Civic has been one of the most stolen cars in America for years and it’s likely not going to get better as time goes on. Tech-savvy thieves can easily break into and steal almost any generation of the Honda Civic, with the older ones being the most popular.

If you do ever plan to build a project car, the Honda Civic is an excellent choice. Its ubiquitous presence in the market through the years, not to mention the wealth of aftermarket support for it, makes the Civic one of the best cars to modify. Just make sure you get a really good alarm system and perhaps a few other layers of security.

RELATED: You Need This Twin-Engine 1984 Honda CR-X For Sale