“Old Import Car Now Valuable” is a story we’re all getting used to seeing, as lucky elder millennials can now afford car collecting and naturally want the items we lusted after as teens. The EM1 Honda Civic Si is such a car, so it’s no surprise to see a mint one sell for, well, a mint. But it’s still kind of wild.
Bring A Trailer closed its auction for this exceptionally clean-looking 2000 Honda Civic Si today at $50,000. BaT takes a 5 percent buyer’s fee, so the car’s new owner will drop $52,500, plus transportation, taxes, title fees, registration, and insurance for the privilege of owning one of the few remaining stock examples of a turn-of-the-millennium icon.
This particular type of Civic Si, the EM1, only sold for two model years (1999 and 2000) and only came in three colors. Electron Blue Pearl was uniquely awesome, the other options being less distinctive red and black.
I was lucky enough to whip one from Honda’s museum up and down Angeles Crest Highway one time, revisit that writeup and photography if you’re wondering what a well-preserved example feels like to drive now:
What makes this car historically significant is that it was the first U.S.-market hot version Honda Civic that was really significantly zippier than its econo-car counterparts. The B16A2 DOHC VTEC engine had a lot more power (and a lot more upgrade potential) than the D-Series single overhead cam engine that the next-best contemporary Civic (the EX) had.
Previous-gen Civic Sis simply weren’t as much of an upgrade over other trim levels, and of course, you couldn’t buy a Civic Type-R stateside until very recently.
But you don’t even need to be that much of a car nerd to appreciate the coolness of the EM1. It’s a high-revving Honda in a cool and unique factory color from the prime days of import tuning in America. Very few of them are left in decent shape. And all the above-described factors come together to make such a vehicle very…