The 1982 Honda Civic had been overturned in riots and had its four tires stolen. It sustained major damage during an accident. It logged more than 170,000 miles on its odometer and became a neighborhood fixture.
On Saturday, the 30-year-old car affectionately called “Bluey” by an entire New York City neighborhood was retired to the junkyard, but not before it received a proper sendoff. Its owner, Harry Ettling, held a New Orleans-style funeral procession up Seaman Avenue near 207th Street. Mourners gathered. Tubas played. A bouquet of flowers rested on Bluey’s rusty hood.
“Everybody in the neighborhood knows this car,” Ettling tells The New York Daily News. “People have come up to me and said, ‘Ever since I was a little toddler, I’ve been seeing this car on the street.’ And that’s a beautiful thing.”
The car managed the parade route under its own power and received a police escort. A flatbed from A&G Used Auto Parts then hauled the little Honda away.
Cause of death was not engine-related. Rust had overtaken most of the body, and had corroded the bottom of the vehicle too. Ettling was afraid his feet would fall through the floor.