Honda Ballade 1.6 DOHC
Previously Owned Owned by Nighthawk

  • This is a model which was never released in the UK. It was destined only for the South African market and competed directly with the Toyota Conquest RSi (Toyota Corolla GTi as its known over here). It was labelled a ballade in SA, but known as a Civic elsewhere.

    Anyway, mine was a 1990 model which I rebuilt when I was at uni. Used a D16A9 engine, which was a dual cam 1.6 engine which just absolutely loved being revved hard. It screamed with pure pleasure and sounded so nice when it was doing so, you just kept it up there. This thing pulled like a train, it was fantastic. Redline started at 7200ish and handled beautifully. Road laws over there are a bit different to the way they are enforced so she was frequently allowed lots of fun.

    Bought it with frontal damage, spent a few months fixing it as I had access to a proper body shop through my then girlfriends father and he helped. Painted her in very dark, almost diablo colour red. She lasted for a year until, halfway between cape town and johannesburg (which is a 1200 mile journey), the coil pack decided to go on her when I was driving through the only road which cuts through the desert at 1am or so. Pitch black, could not see your hand in front of your face and you can hear animals around you in the wild. All very exciting stuff :Blink:. No mobile phone either, and even if I did, no signal.
    Anyway, ended up getting it recovered and selling her for next to nothing as I could not afford to fix her. If I am honest, this left a sour taste in my mouth over Honda's, but now with my car, I have changed my mind back again :BooYeah:

    That picture is not my car, just one to show the shape of it. Handled like a little go kart, it was great. I must say, next to my RSi, this is my next best favourite car I have owned.
  1. No one can take away the memory... Great story.
  2. Nice story and very interesting car.
    Loved to read your story, very funny reading it now of what happened to you in the dark there, but not funny back then, I am sure.:Grin:
  3. Damn, do I remember those babies in ZA. Very nice little cars.
      nighthawk likes this.
    1. Nighthawk Avatar
      It sounded like a screaming banshee
      Nighthawk, Monday 29th Sep, 2014
  4. A lovely car indeed. I'm pleased that you have come back to Honda. I'm sure you won't regret it.
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    1. Nighthawk Avatar
      So am I, always stuck with Japanese cars. My Honda now has been a fantastic and reliable car. Very fond of her.
      Nighthawk, Monday 29th Sep, 2014