It’s not too often you see a 3rd gen civic wagon rolling down the countryside, wailing with hits from the 80’s & having it’s showroom looks stopping you in its tracks. Of course if your rolling around North Carolina and you happen to spot the decals shouting “Real Time 4WD” on the side, briefcase strapped down on the roof rack, you might want to give this beauty another look. We were fortunate to shout out to Chase Maurer’s 1987 RTAWD Civic Wagon ‘aka Wagovan’ and speak with the man who owns this rarity as our first Ride of the Month exclusive for Honda Roots.
Probably already some of you know the history of the infamous Wagovan or Shuttle ‘known in Japan’, but it’s the rarity of this gorgeous ’87 that makes Chase’s wagon stand out even better. Honda decided it was time to move forward in ’83 and upgrade the civic wagon to a more functional setup, one that could be ingeniously ingrained in our heads to buy 2 decades later. Building on the civic wagon from the 2nd generation, the new models would feature more conventional upgrades in styling including the generations famous boxy shape, symmetrical design & interior ergonomics that in ’84 were reviewed as “Fancy”! ’87 was the last and ONLY year the 3rd gen shuttle was made to have the unique Real Time All Wheel Drive setup.
For the most part the shuttle was gifted with a unique twist in that it’s rear hatch. It was given unique, long shaped glass panels that extended below and above the rear passenger window giving the illusion of huge space. The rear top of the hatch features two small glass windows that beam light downward on cargo adding to the spacious feeling and special pop up vents on the dashboard that could be retracted back in. The wagon was originally only available in front wheel drive; in 1985 and later a part-time any-speed four-wheel drive, operated by a push button on the dash, became available. The four-wheel drive transmission also introduced a low-speed “granny gear” which could only be engaged in four-wheel drive. In 1987, the four-wheel drive system on the wagon was changed; a new Real-Time four-wheel drive system featured an automatic viscous coupling that shifted power to the rear wheels automatically when needed. Real Time 4WD models are recognizable by the charcoal grey center covers, covering the lug nuts which were exposed on FWD models.
We were fortunate enough to stop Chase in his tracks and was very supportive of an interview to tell more of this rare roller!
HR: Congrats on being our first interviewee on Honda Roots, you excited?
Chase: Very much so, I appreciate the opportunity to be associated with such a fresh face for true old school Honda.
HR: We can’t help but admire this amazing ’87 RTAWD wagovan! How did you come about finding this rare classic?
Chase: I remember reading about this car in the early days of it’s “new life” and was an instant fan..
Needless to say when the car went up for sale I had to have it.
HR: Is it the original color or has it been repainted?
Chase: I wish Honda used this color, it is done in Chrystler Alpine White. (it was the the popular sandy/brown wagon color)
HR: How many miles have you turned over on the odometer right now?
Chase: This ‘ol dog just turned 215,000
HR: Can you tell us more about the D15A2 heart that’s resting in it’s bay? What mods have you done to it?
Chase: It has the stock original engine/ drive train from ’87. 12-Valve, CVCC, auxiliary-valve 1.5L complete with blown head gasket. (fixed with stop leak)
Vacuum line tuck “devaced”
’87 CRX Si Valve cover
Weber 32/36 carb swap; again, devaced
Pegasus Racing Synchronous throttle linkage kit
Custom 4-1 header
Holley fuel pressure regulator
Half-size CRX radiator
HR: If someone was to find you rolling down the street, what tunes would you be listening too?
Chase: Never the same thing for long.. lots of funk, 80’s, female vocalists, and soo many others.
HR: Can you tell us more about the famous briefcase strapped to the roof of the car at shows and events? It’s an attention grabber!
Chase: Honest Goodwill find, thought it might match the eccentic style of the wagon and I.
HR: How did you get into the Honda game?
Chase: First started wrenching on friend’s Hondas around age 16 and then got a chance to race them at age 18, and it bled to the street.
HR: Any future mods planned for the Wago-beast?
Chase: Maybe custom adjustable suspension some day… Worked ZC brown-top with multiple carbs.
HR: Any big shout outs you like to make?
Chase: Of course! Shout out to Rick Ross! mah ninjas Frost, and Josh! haha
but for real, Circletrackimports.com and Circletracksupply.com, Honda Roots!
For more information on Chase’s Wagovan, check out his thread on CivicWagon.com