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Hi guys! I found this forum while surfing around looking for Civics.

For context I'm a high school senior. I've saved up quite a bit of money, thrown it into savings and some mutual funds, and left out a tiny bit to play with risky day trading. By sheer luck I now have an extra $20k burning a hole in my pocket, and I decided to go hunting for a used car that won't break down and won't bleed me dry with gas and insurance.

I've been looking at some manual EK Civics, mostly non-VTEC EX/LX versions that I can depend on. I like the look and general reputation of them, and my idea is that if I buy a decent car for less money, I can save a little and spend it on some new headlights and get some nice brakes/suspension (and in the future turbo or b16/18/K swap??). I helped my friend fix up and overhaul his M3 last summer and we're fabricating a roll cage for it right now, so I'm not too bad in the way of equipment and experience with cars.

I'd like to hear any advice you guys have about owning a Honda Civic, and if my plan has any holes in it.
 

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2001 Honda Prelude w/ 5-speed swap
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Great choice! My first car was a 99 Civic. Loved the hell out of that car. I may be wrong but I don't think the EX was ever non-vtec. The CX, DX, and LX are what you're looking for. They got the best MPG for that generation. The EX featured a fair amount of more HP, rims, and a sunroof among other things. You seem like a smart young person who isn't necessarily interested in ruining reliability immediately (lol). My only two pieces of advice would be, (1) if you're looking for reliability at your age, keep things OEM. I modded the hell out of that car when I was 16 and I brought the fuel consumption down to about 20 MPG, which is easy to do. Honda made that generation very precise on fuel. And (2) if you are thinking about doing a B16/B18/Frankenstein swap in the future, you should look for an SI as it will have half of the motor and the top of the line trimmings you're looking for. It may be more to buy but I guarantee it won't be more than you'll spend turning a lower model into what you want to end up with.
 
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