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What the hell is a Honda Formuling?
A Redusernab Team Investigation

Redusernab August 31, 2015 All Things Hoon 20 Comments

honda formuling

It all started with a simple email… “Just came across this odd Honda roadster on kijiji.  Claims to be made in Ontario”. There’s a link in the email that goes to a Kijiji listing for a 1979 Honda Formuling. We’ve never heard of it.

This is how we figure out what the hell we’re looking at…

honda formuling badge

Honda Formuling
23 messages

Lowell Reid <[redcated]@hotmail.com> Sun, Aug 30, 2015 at 10:09 AM

Just came across this odd Honda roadster on kijiji.  Claims to be made in Ontario

1979 Honda formuling | classic cars | Calgary | Kijiji
1979 honda formuling this is a one of a kind only twelve made this one came from waterloo honda in ont this is onlyone that is convertible all original even tires has only 8000 km taking offers aways garage kept has not been driven since 1994 just in garage would like it to go to a good home for more info 4036329036


honda formuling seats

Kamil Kaluski <[redacted]@gmail.com> Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 6:50 AM
What the shit is this?
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Ray Lindenburg <[redacted]@hotmail.com> Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 7:07 AM
Dafuq? Only “formuling” I can google is a steering wheel. If there was some 12-edition Honda out there, I’m pretty sure the fanboys would be all over it. I can’t shake the image of a GM J-car when I look at those exterior pix.


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Chris Haining <[redacted]@gmail.com> Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 7:11 AM

Looks like the smallest Maserati Biturbo convertible I ever saw.

honda formuling steering wheel

Alan Cesar <[redacted]> Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 7:32 AM

I’d guess a dealership hired a coachbuilder to modify some regular Honda to make a convertible for some perceived market segment… in Ontario. Rare does not equal desirable or valuable.

Still, if that were the case, what car did they chop up to make this… thing? My best guess is Accord. The Civic was too small compared to this, and the Prelude had different door handles.

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Sent from Alan’s thumbs.

eric rood <[redacted]> Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 7:36 AM

Maybe they cut two feet out of an Accord sedan?

I asked a LeMons guy who is all about late ’70s and early ’80s Hondas. Waiting to hear back.
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eric rood <[redacted]> Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 7:48 AM

From Justin Howe, a LeMons guy with a lot of Honda background:

“First I was like, WTF?!? Then I was like, that’s not anything from anyone in 1979. Then I was like, but wait, I know that interior…. Finally I was like, why the hell would someone do this? The interior looks to be first gen civic, the wood wheel and shift knob denote a special edition (whose official name eludes me at the moment). That package also had houndstooth seat covers, but not these. The exterior screams early 80s kit car. So, I’m guessing this is exactly that. Some sort of low-production kit based, inexplicably, on a first gen cvcc civic. The 1979 model year is odd, since the second gen civic came out in 1979…unless some builder bought a bunch of left over 78s and his state titled them based on sale year and not model year (as happened in the time before 17 digit VINs). It’s a oddball for sure. The “formuling” name shows up in some classic honda European forums and redpepper (third gen civic forum) generally associated with the steering wheel. Odd, rare, and only tacitly honda.


Four square light accords did not start until 1982, but they could be the donor for this car. The spacing, setback, and marker lights seem right. The wheel, dash, and seats are definitely first gen civic.
Popped hood would answer a lot.
Wish there was a pic of the backside. I’d like to recognize the tailings.
The wheels are first gen civic accessories (4×120 bolt pattern really limits options), as are the center caps. The hood emblem is from the mid 80s, considering its size, probably a first gen CRX.
Door handles look first gen civic too, tho that’s sorta non-specific.”
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eric rood <[redacted]> Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 7:49 AM


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Kamil Kaluski <[redacted]> Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 7:52 AM

You da man!

Wanna write it up? (You should)
Funny, I was reading that IM paste and had very similar thoughts looking at the pics.
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honda formuling 2

eric rood <[redacted]> Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 7:53 AM
That was the extent of my free time today, unfortunately. But someone can borrow that and credit Justin Howe for pointing HV in the right direction.
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Jeff Glucker <[email protected]> Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 8:05 AM
We should just copy and paste this thread… with the byline “Redusernab”
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Kamil Kaluski <[redacted]> Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 8:06 AM
Meh… it’s not that great.
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Bradley Brownell <[redacted]> Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 8:12 AM

I like Jeff’s idea.

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Kamil Kaluski <[redacted]> Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 8:14 AM
Oh yea, lick the Executive-ish Editor’s ass.
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Bradley Brownell <[redacted]> Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 8:23 AM


I just think it’s a fun way of showing how the internal workings sometimes come up with cool shit.

Also, butt stuff.

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Kamil Kaluski <[redacted]> Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 8:25 AM
I think it shows our total incompetence. Let’s run with it!
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Robert Emslie <[redacted]> Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 9:12 AM

Geez, who pissed in your jajecznica this morning?

Lobbed from my iPhone

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Antti Kautonen <[redacted]> Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 9:16 AM
He misses his Honda… I mean Acura
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Kamil Kaluski <[redacted]> Mon, Aug 31, 2015 at 9:28 AM
I haven’t had one… possibly crankiness due to starvation.
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  • Monkey10is

    Yay! Team effort!
    But we still don’t really know what this is do we?

    • Manic_King

      This is the link that explains a lot:

      PS. Someone produced and someone bought these hubcaps? whoa

      • Monkey10is

        And the red plaid interior turns out to be from the Canada-only ‘Special X’ Civic…

  • Sjalabais

    H’nda, we need more Acura-cy! My guess is homemade kit car, too.

    Also, Ontario market gauging that leads to a convertible being build reminds me of another unlikely Northern hemisphere startup that got going without a top, predictably unsuccessfully at first:

  • Maymar

    Am I the only one who obsessively reads Banovsky’s Car of the Day, or has this just stuck with me because I want to do the same thing with a rusted out first gen Mazda3?

    • No. I don’t know how I’ve missed that.

    • I read bcod and had forgotten about that one.

      BTW, I’ve got a rusted out 1st generation 3, make me an offer? 😀

      • Sjalabais

        Get the rare commodity goods trade going!

  • Huh. I hadn’t assumed any of you were on speaking terms with each other.

    • We’re not. We’re mostly on emailing terms. Well, Jeff called me today to tell me that I suck.

      • Bradley Brownell

        Jeff’s call to tell me I suck is practically my morning alarm clock…

        • Well, afternoon alarm clock, anyway…

      • Jeff Glucker

        It was a text… I don’t like talking on the phone.

        • Sjalabais

          Talking on the phone requires excess breath?

  • Kiefmo

    I’m trying to imagine the thought that spurred the creation of this kit. All I could come up with is:

    Man, I really want one of those new GM J-cars, but all I have is this piddling Civic.

    • Vairship

      Funny that it looks GM/Japanese to you guys. It looked like a Renault Alliance to me!

  • Batshitbox

    I would love it if my employer would hire you all as workflow consultants. We’re talking, what? 48 hours from ideation to implementation? In 48 hours I might hope my Entish overlords would be able to agree, conditionally, that I and my team mates were Hobbits.

    • The Rusty Hub

      More like 12 hours from the first email, but the whole thing came together in about 45 minutes. Redusernab: Getting Shit Done.

  • dead_elvis


    (From a tipster named “David”, according to Torch.)

  • Scoutdude

    I haven’t seen the good old Positraction Torque Twister tires in decades. They were the shit in the early 80’s. The actually had a branded store in north Seattle (SE corner 130th and Aurora) that was a cool late 50’s early 60’s new car dealership originally. It is back to being a dealesrhip but now used cars. Just down the street was the Fitz auto wrecking Pinto/Vega yard. Yes a fairly large yard that had nothing but Pintos and Vegas OK there were a couple of Bobcats and Astres in there too. It was interesting because the rest of the yards were out in Woodinville.

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