This is my 1989 Civic Hatchback "Formula". I bought it for a mere 70.000 yen from Harvey, while other people got ripped off by their evil predecessors. Its sorta funny because my teachers always insist that he should have given me the car for free, since it is so old (maybe they will hook me up when shakken rolls around) but it was worth it.
This weekend, I felt the urge to restore it to a state of quasi-cleanliness, and so spent four hours doing so. For the past year, I washed my car two times. As a result, there was moss growing on my car (this is all part of the Japanese aesthetic philosophy, in no part due to laziness). It really doesnt matter if I wash it because it rains all the time and gets dirty very quickly. Before I even considered doing exterior "restoration", the interior needed some major work. Months worth of trash had accumulated inside, and so I donned my hazmat suit, and extracted partially eaten moldy food, long lost reciepts from various places, Joyfull Powerpuff Girls adorned drink bar coupons, long lost email and phone numbers on small wadded up pieces of paper, and about 500 yen in assorted change. Also, I have never vacuumed my car. So I started from the bottom up. Years worth of dust and gravel were pounded from the mats (it took thirty minutes just to smack the dust out of them), and vacuumed from all of the upholstery. Then, I wiped down the whole car with cleaning solution (I had driven through a construction site doing donuts with the windows DOWN, so a thick layer of cement dust had settled onto and into everything, including yours truly. It smelled like I was making concrete after I finished). Next, I organized and bound the wires for the sound system, making everything nice and neat. After that, I was able to move on to the exterior. I washed it down with a potent mixture of hot water, soap, and lemon juice and let it sit in. The lemon juice ate away much of the oxidation and made the car smell like lemonheads. So now my car is in prime condition, probably for the first time since the first ALT who owned it bought it.
The Civic is a great car. It handles well on the windy roads, accelerates acceptably fast enough (I can take some turns faster than the racers, because I don't care if my fenders drag on the asphalt!), can hold its own in the snow, and I have come to completely rely on it. If I didn`t have this car, I would surely have gone insane and probably would have hurt or killed myself or the others around me! I use a car way more over here than I ever did in California. A good public transportation center is one of the things bundled into the meaning of "Japan" as a concept, but clearly this notion is only true in some areas.
As a result, I have put in a Kenwood Sub and mids (compliments of Justin, and thus in some part due to Tatsuya- thanks bro!), a new CD head unit, and some tweeters. I daresay that I have the best sounding system in Kumamoto of all of the JETs, which I put together (with some help) by myself. I spent about an hour on tweaking the system this weekend, and as a result, it sounds much better!
I also have Justin's radar detector set up, and it has on a couple of occasions probably saved me from getting pulled over. Those Japanese cops find the best hiding places, no doubt inspired by playing countless rounds of kakurembo as children with foreign ALTs such as myself. Am I helping to raise some future facist cop, honing his skills? Or am I helping to raise those who will be pursued by the fascist cop, enabling him to perform crucial evasive actions?
If you haven't guessed, I really like my car. This makes me sad because I will probably get rid of it when its due for it's next inspection. But for now, I am happy, and will try to keep it in its present state for as long as I can (not lapse into laziness again).