1988 Honda CR-X Si With 8,750 Genuine Miles!

With emission regulations continuing to tighten during the 1980s, car manufacturers needed to think outside the box if they were going to provide drivers with anything even remotely resembling decent levels of performance. While American manufacturers worked to get their heads around this brave new world, Japanese and European manufacturers provided some ideas of the technology that would be required by releasing an enormous array of hot hatches. One of the more charismatic and stylish of these hot hatches was the Honda CR-X, and this 1988 CR-X Si is a great example. It is in spotless condition and has a genuine 8,750 miles on the clock. It is located in Erin, Ontario, Canada, and has been listed for sale here on eBay. There has only been a single bid of C$17,000 submitted at this stage, and the reserve hasn’t been met. A huge thank you has to go out to Barn Finder Patrick S for spotting this little gem for us.

These Japanese hot hatches had a lot going for them when they were new, but like so many cars from this era, they could also look worn and tired very quickly. That doesn’t appear to be the case with this Rio Red Honda, because it presents superbly. The paint shines well, while the trim and plastic haven’t suffered under the ravages of UV exposure. The panels are laser straight, and the gaps are as tight as you would expect to find on any Honda. Apart from some small scratches on the rear window, the glass appears to be faultless. A factory sunroof is a great addition, and this compensates for the fact that the CR-X does not come equipped with air conditioning. The Honda rolls on its original alloy wheels, and these are also in excellent condition. These are wrapped in the original tires, although I would be tempted to change those before I took the car on any extended journeys.

Historically, Japanese manufacturers have never relied on large-capacity engines in their performance offerings. The Japanese road tax system is quite complicated and benefits models fitted with small engines. That is why Kei cars have remained so prevalent there. It has also meant that if a manufacturer wanted to extract the best bang for their bucks, then they needed to embrace advanced engine design to achieve this. That meant that multiple camshafts, fuel injection, and electronic engine management system development advanced in leaps and bounds. You find a lot of this technology hiding under the hood of the CR-X. It is the 1,590cc 4-cylinder “D16A6” engine that features 16-valves and multi-point electronic fuel injection. This little engine produces 105hp, which finds its way to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual transmission. Such a small engine with a front-wheel-drive configuration would typically not be the sort of combination that promised scintillating performance. However, this Honda should be capable of storming the ¼ mile in 16.8 seconds. I will admit that we aren’t in muscle car territory with that sort of performance, but it is still an impressive number for such a small car. The owner claims that the CR-X has a genuine 8,750 miles on the clock, and it seems that he holds documentation that would confirm this. The car has recently received a full fluid flush and change using OEM products. The owner says that the vehicle runs perfectly and that it is a joy to drive.

The interior shots that the owner supplies are not the best and this is the pick of the bunch. The interior does appear to be in excellent condition, and piecing the condition together from the supplied photos indicates no wear on the deeply-sculptured bucket seats. The carpet seems to be in as-new condition, while there are no signs of any problems with the dash or the plastic trim. The buyer isn’t going to be inundated by optional extras in this car because there is no A/C, nor is there power assistance for the windows, seats, or locks. There is an aftermarket Denon CD player that was installed when the vehicle was about a year old. Apart from the sunroof, that’s your lot. The CD player is a removable type, and the factory blanking plate conceals the resulting hole when the player is removed.

It is easy to dismiss cars like this 1988 Honda CR-X because they are small cars, but they are also hugely important. Lift the hood on any of the performance offerings from American manufacturers today, and you will find fuel injection and electronic engine management systems as a significant part of their DNA. Without that type of technology, there is a fair chance that those cars either wouldn’t exist or their power and performance figures would be firmly mired in the sorts of numbers that we saw during the Malaise Era. However, American companies not only leaped on this technology, but they successfully adapted it to their own unique requirements. It is classics like this one that demonstrated that not only was this technology accessible, but it could also be inexpensive and extremely reliable. This CR-X is never going to offer the sorts of performance figures that we see from today’s muscle cars, but it does provide an interesting compromise. If it is poked with a sharp stick, this little car will offer performance that the majority of motorists would find more than acceptable. The CR-X is also an accomplished open road cruiser, it is a great weapon to have in the cut-and-thrust of city driving, and it offers outstanding fuel consumption. The 1988 model is also an exceptionally attractive and distinctive car, and the condition of this one makes it something quite special. Japanese hot hatches aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but they are fun little cars to drive. When life gets too serious, a bit of fun never goes astray.

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Comments

  1. AnalogMan

    This is truly a unicorn find. CRX Si’s have already skyrocketed through the stratosphere in value. If it wasn’t for the pandemic preventing Americans from (easily or legally) getting into Canada right now, this car would sell for more than a house costs in many parts of the country. Even with a closed border, someone with more money than they know what to do with (likely in Silicon Valley) will figure out a way to get it home. If this was on Bring-a-Trailer, that favorite on-line auction site of the rich and famous, it might bring six figures (and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it being flipped there in a few weeks).

    I bought the clone to this car new back in ’88. It was one of my favorite cars ever, and I’ve always regretted selling it (convertible fever bit me and I just had to have a Miata). They were treasured gems back then, and even more so now. There’s just nothing built today that comes close to the simple, sheer fun of driving this car. You have no idea how much fun 105 hp can be until you’ve driven one of these.

    With so few miles, it would be sorely tempting to just drive this car regularly, use it as it was intended. What a nice problem for the next owner to have, to drive it, or preserve it in a nitrogen bubble.

    I know what I’d do (IF I could afford what this one is likely to sell for).

    Like 6
  2. Superdessucke

    Yeah this minty little thing is crying out for Bring a Trailer. I’m surprised it’s not on there honestly. I don’t know if it would bring six figures but I would say north of 30k would be highly likely.

    Like 2
    • AMCFAN

      Agree. Who knows how high it will go.

      Like 1
    • Superdessucke

      Right now, it’s over 15k U.S. so people are starting to ladle on some cash. So I don’t know. It was on Bring a Trailer I would have no doubt it would crest 30 grand, which is more than I forced myself to pay for a Veloster N with 275 horsepower and a driving experience so good that I am desperately trying to figure out how to make my E36 M3 even close to as enjoyable to drive.

      But anyway, I digress. Whether it’ll beat 30 on eBay remains to be seen, but maybe in this climate where people just don’t seem to think money has a lot of value anymore.

    • AnalogMan

      If the world was a normal place right now I think you’d be absolutely right about the price. A CRX Si with more miles (33k) sold for $33,600 about a year ago on BaT.

      But the world has gone absolutely insane. The stock market continues to hit new highs, despite a slow-moving global recession and a worsening pandemic. A lot of people are feeling rich with their stock portfolios making them paper billionaires. Especially tech bros, venture capitalists, and hedge fund managers in Silicon Valley. A lot of uber-rich people are throwing serious cash around, wanting to divest before the other shoe drops and reality hits the stock market. I never in my wildest dreams/nightmares would have imagined that a 1988 BMW M3 would have sold for $250,000 on BaT in July.

      Japanese collectible cars have been skyrocketing through the stratosphere lately. A 29k mile Acura Integra R sold for $62,000 last month, and a 6k 1997 Integra R sold for $82,000 a year ago.

      But the one that really floored me was a 1971 240Z with 21k miles that sold for $310,000 in January. Three hundred and ten thousand dollars… There just might be some ultra-rich tech bro out there who wouldn’t mind spending 1/3 of that on this CRX Si, which is probably the nicest, lowest mileage original left in existence.

      I wish I was one of them and could afford it.

  3. greg v

    Wow. Amazing. Love the details. Like the factory stereo block-off plate being used to hide the removable faceplate stereo (or is it a shuttle deck?). Did the same thing with my ‘87 Civic. Bet those plates are hard to find these days.

    Engine compartment been undercoated or similar? Should be body color.

    Nice car! Crazy prices on those these days.

    GLWTS

  4. jwzg
  5. Bruce.

    I dont mean to nit pick but the numerals on the odometer are not exactly lined up,otherwise a fantastic little car.

    Like 1
    • Jeff

      I have owned several older Hondas and the do numbers never seemed to line up perfectly. Even though everything else on the car was perfect. 😁

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