7 March 2017

eBay Find of the Week: Fun and fuel efficient

1989 Honda CR-X Si

The 1980s were a quiet period for enthusiasts of lightweight sports cars. Dated European designs had mostly left the market. MG left North America after 1980 followed by Triumph. Fiats lingered under the Bertone and Pininfarina brand names for a few years. Only the Alfa Romeo Spider remained for traditional roadster fans. Nissan Z’s had become heavy and complex touring cars, Mazda was selling the RX-7 but the Miata was but a distant dream. Filling this void in the mid-’80s were two Japanese two-seaters: the mid-engine Toyota MR2, and the front-wheel-drive Honda CR-X, this week’s eBay find.

The second-generation CR-X Si, like this 1989 example, sold well but few seem to remain in their original form. Their light weight (just a hair over 2,000 lbs.), fully independent suspension, fuel-injected SOHC engines and surprisingly practical front-wheel-drive hatchback design made for a fun and simple sports car. They were austere by today’s standards, featuring manual steering, crank windows, and if one was lucky, dealer-installed air conditioning. But achieving fuel economy over 35 mpg was easy.

This Honda’s seller indicates that the CR-X maintains its original bodywork and has only been driven 73,000 miles since new. The interior appears stock. A few minor modifications such as the shocks and stereo can be reversed with the included original parts, but they likely won’t interfere with the fun of wringing the most out of 105 horsepower.

4 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Joe Central VA March 8, 2017 at 13:29
    These could be quite fast. A friend bought one new as his after-college car and drove it with real enthusiasm. How I long for that simple a modern sports car, crank-windows and all! I'm selling a Mini which I cannot service myself next year for the fun of an older Miata. Other than the air bags, I don't want modern "conveniences" to come between me and having a feel for the car and road it's on.
  • 2
    Brian D Johnson MO March 8, 2017 at 13:43
    Bought an 88 CRX si new on a snowy day in February. Got a hell of a deal. Loved that little car. Had to get rid of it when we had our first child. Wouldn't mind having one again for old times sake. (Although, the Miata I currently own does have its own charms.)
  • 3
    gene Polis AZ March 10, 2017 at 15:25
    I always loved the CRX's.....WHAT were they thinking with the CRZ ?????
  • 4
    Doug Parkville, MD March 10, 2017 at 23:52
    I have had a 1990 beautiful red CRX for a little over 2 years. I like the simple things about it and there is not much to go wrong. I have the small engine, but the car handles like a dream. I do not speed but sometimes take the corners a little fast and have never heard the skinny tires squeal. The battery looks like an overgrown motorcycle battery it is so small. I do have factory A/C too and it works fine. I have only seen 3 CRX's on the road since I bought mine.

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