12 Jul 2022 ID: 403570
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Honda is celebrating 50 years of the Civic model, and has curated new research to celebrate some of the most iconic cultural movements of the past five decades since the car first went on sale.

The list was commissioned by Honda and Dr Ruth Adams, Senior Lecturer in Cultural & Creative Industries at King’s College London, to celebrate the golden anniversary of the Civic, which launched on July 12, 1972 and has gone on to sell over 27.5 million units worldwide, with order books for the 11th generation hybrid model opening today (July 12).

London’s first Gay Pride march and the release of David Bowie’s iconic ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars’ – both in 1972 – were the first events to make the list.

The 1980s blasted the highest number of cultural highs – 14, including Torvill and Dean’s unforgettable ice skating performance at the Winter Olympics, the launch of satellite TV and the debut episode of EastEnders.  

The 1990s proved to be a huge leap for intercontinental travel and culture, with the opening of the Channel Tunnel, connecting the UK to mainland Europe, in 1994. Other significant events included the Queen opening Buckingham Palace to the public (1993), the publication of the first Harry Potter book and the appearance of Banksy’s first mural (both 1997).

The new millennium brought huge advances in technology which have changed the way we live, as the first broadband internet service was installed in Basildon in 2000, and the advent of the video streaming service YouTube followed shortly in 2005.

Most recently and in a nod to the ever popular 1980s, this year’s re-emergence of Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ thanks to the latest Stranger Things season on Netflix completed the list. 

A separate survey of 2,000 adults who drive regularly also found that for many individuals, cars are associated with our major milestones. Some 88 per cent of respondents said passing their driving test was a major turning point in their life, while 87 per cent of respondents agreed that a new car was also an important moment.

People were also asked which life events they associated with the car they had at the time, with first jobs (22 per cent), being on holiday (20 per cent) and having a child (19 per cent) emerging top.

In addition, almost half of us (41 per cent) go for a drive to process a big piece of news and nearly a third (30 per cent) say they were in the car listening to the radio when a major world event happened.

Dr Adams said: “Certain cultural events take on a significance not just for the individuals who were there, they become part of our collective memory and identity. These events represent our shared experience and sensibility. We see ourselves reflected in them – often at our best, sometimes at our worst.  

“They shape what sociologist Benedict Anderson described as the ‘imagined community’ of a nation, the ‘social glue’ that binds us together. The mass media and, latterly, social media have brought these events into our homes and on to our screens giving us a sense of togetherness with others in this national audience. 

“The UK has become a ‘smaller’ country over the past half century; we are ‘closer’ to one another than ever before. Car ownership becoming a reality for most has allowed people to travel more freely than previous generations, broadening outlooks and facilitating mass participation in leisure and culture. 

“Opportunities have been seized to transform cultural moments into enduring movements, with a capacity to change attitudes and even legislation, making manifest a vision of a more mobile, diverse and tolerant culture.”

Rebecca Adamson, Head of Automobile at Honda, said: “Fifty years and eleven versions of Civic has given us the opportunity to reflect on what was happening at the time, and exponential progress in so many aspects of society.

“Cars have been part of our movement, and although the cars we drive have constantly evolved over the last five decades, the emotional attachment we feel with them, and the association of memories with them, is timeless.”

Originally launched as a car for the world, the Civic’s enduring popularity is testament to the pioneering work of Honda engineers over the past half a century. Across 11 generations, it has introduced its own progressive evolution of the original design, while showcasing advanced technologies and new levels of performance but retaining the winning formula of a spacious, fun to drive and economical compact car.

Building on 50 years of heritage, the latest Civic blends strong performance and efficiency with improved levels of interior comfort, visual appeal and overall usability. As part of the brand’s 2022 ‘Electric Vision’ commitment to electrify all mainstream models, the new Civic features the most advanced iteration of Honda’s award-winning e:HEV full-hybrid powertrain system as standard, offering engaging dynamics and performance with impressive economy and efficiency.

The new Honda Civic e:HEV is available to order from Honda dealers from today and is priced at £29,595, or from £349* per month through Honda Finance.

For more information about the Honda Civic, visit https://www.honda.co.uk/cars/new/civic-hybrid/overview.html



Notes to editors



1972 - London's first Gay Pride march takes place  

1972 - David Bowie releases ‘The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders from Mars 

1973 - Slade's ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ takes the Christmas No.1 slot for the first time 

1974 - ABBA wins Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Waterloo’ at the Brighton Dome 

1975 - The Sex Pistols play their first ever live show 

1977 - Saturday Night Fever brings disco to the cinema  

1977 - Star Wars takes UK cinemas by storm  

1979 - The UK elects the first ever female Prime Minister   

1980 - The Rubiks Cube launches in the UK  

1980 - PacMan computer game is released  

1981 - MTV launches with the first video being ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’  

1981 - The first London Marathon and Great North Run take place 

1982 - Channel 4 launches on 2nd November  

1983 - Breakfast TV launches on BBC1 at 06:30 on 17 January 

1984 - London Fashion Week launches at Olympia 

1984 - Torvill and Dean make history with their ice skating performance at the Winter Olympics 

1984 - Satellite TV launches in the UK  

1984 - Band Aid is formed and releases ‘Do they Know It’s Christmas’ 

1985 - The first episode of Eastenders airs on BBC One  

1985 - The original Live Aid event is held at Wembley Stadium 

1987 - Scott (Jason Donovan) and Charlene (Kylie Minogue) marry in ‘Neighbours’ 

1988 - Acid House scene erupts across the UK, leading to the birth of rave culture

1991 - Linda McCartney launches the first meat-free food range in UK supermarkets  

1993 – The Queen announces the opening of Buckingham Palace to the public for the first time 

1994 - The Channel Tunnel (or ‘Chunnel’ as it was known) opens, connecting the UK to mainland Europe by road  

1994 - First television broadcast of Glastonbury Festival 

1995 - Damien Hirst wins The Turner Prize 

1996 - Girl Power movement begins with the arrival of The Spice Girls 

1996 - England hosts and reaches semi-finals of Euro 96, with ‘Three Lions’ becoming the unofficial national anthem 

1997 - The first Harry Potter book, ‘Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone’ is published, introducing a new generation to reading  

1997 - New Labour comes to power, with D:Reem’s ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ as the theme tune  

1997 - Banksy's first mural appears in Bristol  

2000 - The first series of Big Brother launches in the UK 

2000 - the first home broadband service is installed in Basildon 

2000 - Tate Modern opens in London, attracting over 40 million visitors since launch 

2002 - The first season of Pop Idol airs, with Will Young declared the winner 

2003 - England wins the Rugby World Cup 

2004 - The first season of Strictly Come Dancing airs, won by Natasha Kaplinsky and Brendan Cole 

2005 - YouTube launches, changing the way videos are shared and watched

2010 - The first episode of The Great British Bake Off is aired on BBC Two 

2011 - 50 Shades of Grey is released and becomes the best-selling British book of all time

2011 - Prince William marries Kate Middleton 

2012 - London bathes in the glory of the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee  

2013 - Disney's 'Frozen' inspires kids worldwide… cue the singing of ‘Let it Go’  

2014 - Everyone (it seemed!) did the Ice Bucket Challenge  

2014 - The first same-sex marriages take place in the UK 

2017 - TikTok launches, bringing dance routines to social media  

2020 - Sir Captain Tom Moore achieves a UK no.1 cover with ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ alongside Michael Ball 

2021 - England hosts, and reaches the final of the Euros 

2022 - ‘Stranger Things’ sends Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ to No.1 37 years since it launched 


Honda polled 2,000 UK adults aged 18+ who drive regularly via OnePoll

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Emma Sugden
Emma Sugden
Automobile PR & Events Section Manager