Fastback Friday – 1992 Honda CRX

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Going against the odds, right here. Someone in my town is using a 1992 Honda CRX as a wintertime daily driver, and like Blake the Z. puts it: “Those things rust even in California”. The Honda appears dirty and salty indeed, but it doesn’t look rusty. For how long, that’s anybody’s guess.

The second generation CRX is going up in value these days, as bad ones crumble into rust flakes or get riced out of reason. Using one on a daily basis does mean it’s doing what it’s designed to do; storing one would do it no good either.

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Sensibly, the owner runs on steelies for the winter. And the CRX manages to look good even on them.

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Some time ago, walking home from the town centre, I looked at the CRX and compared it to the Volvo next to which it was parked. The CRX really is the smallest four-wheeled vehicle I’ve seen in ages, except for a 1964 MG Midget in which I had the pleasure to ride.

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The exhaust on the CRX isn’t standard, but I can attest to the fact it sounds good, as I also saw the car accelerating from a crossroads the other week. The engine here is the 16-valve 1.6-litre D16Z5, with 125 hp.

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Despite having graduated to larger vehicles by now, if a rust-free import CRX fell in my lap, I definitely wouldn’t kick it out of bed. The sad fact is one of these easily commands double, if not triple the money my BMW cost…

17 Comments

  1. There is one of these parked down the street from my house, and I believe it has the European rear center light filler piece, because it appears to be red inside the reverse lens just like this one.

    1. There is a thriving aftermarket trade in foreign-market or rare center light bars. A guy from the Netherlands I knew used to make a killing cross-shipping EDM trim bits to America and USDM trim bits to Europe.

  2. I always wanted one of these. My uncle had one in light blue for a while, custom wheels. Looked great.

  3. Refreshing. Every single CRX I've seen in the past 5 years has been:
    A. Ruined by some ricer idiot with a giant fart can, improperly lowered suspension, oversize wheels, and a useless wing.
    B. So rusty you can see the interior through the doors.
    C. Both of the above.

    1. listen, friend, if you weren't looking for a car before you saw that ad, you should be looking for that car afterwards.
      2450! even if it's ludicrously expensive for a 25-year-old economy car, that's a steal for an unmolested, unrusted CRX Si.

    2. 240k miles on a Vancouver CRX and no evidence of rust on the rear quarters? Either you just found the deal of the century or that's a fake. It'd be worth a call, for sure. I miss mine dearly.
      If you do decide to call… It's almost certainly been repainted, as the factory red would have weathered to pink by now. There will probably have been rust repaired on the rear quarters, where they meet the bumper at the wheel well. The crease on the wheel well should be crisp there; it's not, it's evidence of a poor fiberglass+bondo job.

      1. I don't know enough about CRXs to tell if it's a real Si. But it is definitely possible that things are exactly what they appear. First, we don't get that much sun here. The red could be original, especially if garage parked. I'll admit the color looks different from rear quarter to driver door – but it's hard to tell in a lossy compressed jpg. Second, we don't get much snow here (in other words, minimal road salt). It's Canada, but it's the best climate in Canada for cars. Finally, those 240k would be kilometers, not miles.
        Believe me, I am kicking myself that I'm not in a position to buy it. It will certainly be gone this weekend, and probably for more than the listed price.

        1. For what it's worth, it is indeed a real Si. Only the Si came with the factory moonroof.
          Lived with an 88 Si for almost 5 years (replaced with a Miata) and it was one of the funniest cars I've ever owned!

        2. I meant fake in terms of the listing — for quite a while, there was actually a Vancouver-area red Si that popped up in fraudulent Craigslist ads in two provinces and five states.
          Funnily enough, the Si doesn't command a huge premium over the base model these days, and to the right buyer (either a hippie, or somebody looking for the lightest possible chassis for a swap project) the high-efficiency HF might even draw more money than either.

  4. What's the deal with the small, discreet hood bulge on this one? Is that factory and if so, why? Never seen that before.
    About 17 years ago I drove a ratty '88 CRX HF for a time. Even the economy model in crappy shape was a treat. I've always loved these.

    1. I was wondering about the bulge too. It's located right above the timing belt, as if to say, "This here's a twin cam." But that's speculation.

      1. Reminds me of the 1st/2nd gen Eclipse and its DSM slblings. "Oh #$%^ we forgot to make room for the timing cover"

    2. That's known as a "ZC" hood, and it is an OEM part. The bulge is so the hood will clear the timing belt cover on the twin-cam ZC engine's that came on the car in certain markets. This was needed because the Civic chassis on which the CRX is based was designed around SOHC motors, and in order to keep the transmission and axles in the right spots the engine couldn't be mounted lower. For the range-topping SiR, which got a hot B16A twin-cam, Honda actually designed a completely different front end, with a subtly different bumper and headlights, and a raised center section on the hood instead of lowered.

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