Big Daddy’s Honda Civic: The Rat Fink Commuter

As I mentioned in my article about the incredible car collection at Galpin Auto Sports in Southern California, the legendary Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth is one of the builders whose work is celebrated inside the showroom. And one of the most interesting Roth machines on hand isn’t even a show car – it’s Big Daddy’s 1979 Honda Civic CVCC daily driver.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-65 copy

At the time he purchased the Honda, Roth was working as a painter based out of Knott’s Berry Farm in Orange County. He used the Civic as his transportation to jobs both locally in SoCal and across the US where he traveled around painting and selling goods.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-71 copy

But the car would end up being so much more than just a daily driver; it became a rolling palette and doodle pad for one of the most legendary hot rod artists of all time.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-62 copy

The car certainly isn’t what you’d call ‘pretty’, but its lack of polish is more than made up for with its layer upon layer of history. Every panel is filled with lettering, artwork, and a whole lot of paint mixing.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-68 copy

While he might be best known for his characters and wild custom show cars, Roth would apply his talents to just about anything, right down to painting registration numbers on boats. Three bucks for both sides.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-66 copy

Great care has been taken to keep the Honda as original as possible, and that includes an interior which remains completely as Big Daddy had it.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-67 copy

It’s all untouched, from the air freshener under the rear-view mirror to the T-shirt seat covers.

Galpin-Ford-Museum-74 copy

It’s part billboard, part canvas and part tool. It’s also a legitimate a piece of history and one of the most unique cars in the Galpin Auto Sports collection. I’d say it’s a perfect way to wrap up our look at this must-see gearhead destination.

Once again, thanks to Doug and the GAS crew for letting me come out and take a look around.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia_media



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Bucketful of character!


Those rear seat though. I wonder how seats ends up decaying like that.


960 lots and lots of sex


I'm sure Shirley Crabtree drove an XJ6? Union Jack painted on the bonnet and top hats on the parcel shelf...


I've seen seats that have decayed in a similar fashion and have been told it's due to valet cleaning. Foam is not designed to get wet, nor is it designed to have water and fairly harsh cleaning products cycled through it at speed.... Or at least, that's the story I was told.


Well, that's one way to make a....
Splash. Eh? Eh?


Sport of Kings...


yo dawg we heard you like ed roth...


What a pos car why is this even featured on speed hunters are you running out of cars to show. crappy old civic that has not even been modified WOWWW so awesome man good stuff ... lame


Seriously? It's ed fucking roth's civic.
It is a piece of history that enabled its owner to go on to be evolved/the force behind some of the wildest, craziest motorised pieces of art the world has seen. His influence on hot rodding (and thus modified cars in general) is beyond scope. He did things in a balls out no fucks given way that many of today's best designers and modifiers try to emulate. Even in Japan. Especially in Japan.
Oh, and he was pretty good at artwork and pin striping too.


What a Fewl!!! Did you READ the article or just look at the pretty pictures.... Just like TarmacTerrorist  said, It's Ed Roth's Car!! School yourself!!


aye B] finally a brother in the rat style


TarmacTerrorist the other half of the true coin of car culture is the history from the people who etched their paths out of steel for us to enjoy now @JDM4LIFE


B to the Ruce TarmacTerrorist He looked at the pictures


with a very nice speed  sure the car could be a champion one


the car was very good 
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