History In The Making: 1985 Honda CRX SI

When the CRX came out in 1984 it was a cool and unique car that was peppy and offered great fuel mileage. Although the CRX was already a great car, Honda had an ace up their sleeve, the 1985 Honda CRX SI. 1985 was the first year for the “Sports Injection” name, but the ’85 CRX SI is rather special as there were a few parts that appeared only for 1985. This red car is a very clean example, and appears to have been very well maintained in its lifetime. With prices on the rise for nice condition “torsion bar Hondas,” this one year only CRX is offered for $3,550. Check it out here on craigslist out of Deerfield, Illinois.

The small but nimble 1.5L EW3 engine is a pure joy to operate, with its fair torque band and willingness to rev to redline. Although showing some minor dirt and dust in the bay, overall the engine appears quite tidy. The wrinkle black paint is clean on the 1985 only valve cover and on the upper intake manifold. The air conditioning system has been rebuilt, and a great deal of maintenance has been performed on this car making it even harder to say “no” to.

Inside is an interior that has an array of plastic like any 1980’s car, but this interior is driver minded with its close to reach cabin controls, with plenty of leg and cargo room. Typically the seats in these cars have faded to a light navy blue color, and the material is usually matted and worn. Thankfully this car has spent a great deal of time indoors as these seats are in like new condition. Another cool 1985 Si only part is the gauge cluster. The speedometer goes to an ambitious 140 MPH. One great thing to point out about this car is that the carpet and the plastic trims items are in excellent condition. Usually the sun has taken its toll on the plastics fading them to a chalky white, and the carpet will usually be bleached out.

In my opinion the 1985 CRX SI is the ultimate CRX SI as it has many unique features and was also the lightest factory built CRX SI received in America. One very neat and one year only item to point out is the foam rubber like spoiler on this car. Again the sun usually eats them up, and replacing one is virtually impossible. This one appears nice with only minor over spray from a repaint in this cars past. Also the light weight 13” alloy wheels were specific for the ’85 SI as well. In 1986 crash standards were upped so slightly heavier duty crash bars were added versus the ’85 and older folded sheet metal parts. One thing that is universally surprising to many is that the CRX has composite plastic body panels much like what made Saturn brand automobiles so indestructible. Unfortunately the CRX panels are prone to cracking and breaking, especially after 32 years. The passenger fender, driver fender, and passenger rocker panel are cracked on this car. Although the seller is including a door cap, driver fender, and header panel in the sale. Enthusiasts have been successfully repairing cracked parts with the use of plastic welders, so not all hope is lost for these body panels. Rust is the biggest killer of these cars as the rockers, floors, and pan hard rod mount usually bring a huge amount of fun to a tragic end. Thankfully this car looks to have escaped developing any rust, making for a great car to preserve and most importantly to enjoy. Have you ever had the pleasure of owning or driving a first generation Honda CRX?


Fast Finds


  1. KeithK

    I worked on these when new. Many of these and civic SI hatches had mileage in the teens to twenties when sold as new. They required many test drives to make sure that the rev limiter really did work and that a power shift could indeed roast at least one front tire into 2nd gear.
    I remember an instructor at the training center taking a mallet to the front fender to show its plastic durability. Don’t try this now as a lot of them just split from driving use.

    • JamestownMike

      Isn’t this 85 CRX Si manual trans rated for 27-33 mpg??

    • Cheyenne N Post

      i can not find the engine model number anywhere one the engine i have an 86. can you tell me where to look?

  2. Billy Baroo

    I always loved the look of these cars. I don’t know if any of you remember, but when i was a kid, there was a toy called “penny racers”. which were little matchbox cars that took off when you pulled back on them. Well, with the penny racers, you would put a penny on the rear bumper and they would wheelie down the road/kitchen floor. LOL Anyway, whenever i used to see these cars, I would think to myself, “hey, there goes one of those penny racers” LOL

  3. irocrob

    Here in Canada the land of taxes that would be the tax on a new Civic.

  4. JamestownMike

    Sorry, but I never liked the styling of the 85-87 first gen CRX’s. However, I LOVE the 88-91 second (and last) gen CRX’s!

  5. sparkster

    #1 stolen Honda in California back in the day

  6. T Mel

    When these first came out we referred to them as a “sporty egg”.

    • Jewel Woodard

      I didn’t see the ‘trick’ sunroof on this one…I bought one of these new (mine was blue), and I thought the sunroof was standard on the Si. Someone please set me straight….Gosh, I still miss that car!

  7. sparecr

    I had an 85Si in 88, led to me almost always having one in my stable for the next 25 years. I always preferred the 1st gen cars to 2nd, but each has the pluses. (The 2nd gen was excellent if doing show car stereo stuff) I keep thinking with careful shopping I should be able to get 1st gen and 2nd, unmolested and decent mileage in the garage again for under 10K. Never should of sold that last one.

  8. joe

    I have the solid white, blue interior (Recaros), Racing Beat built, dual Accord engined, dual automatics, Car & Driver (twice on the cover) ’84 CRX. 2,700#, 147 mph top speed. It now has 50,000 miles on it. Can be driven on either engine…..or both together. The speedometer needle hits the odo reset button shaft at 122 mph, but the car is still accelerating. Engine total liters works out to 3.66. It has Mugen lower side body parts on it and front air dam – plus soft rear spoiler across the hatch lid. Konis and 7X15 rims No rust, and it has never been wrecked. It surprises everything off the line and is a real hoot to drive. The car is in Florida.

    • Neal

      Wait. WHAT?!?!
      Dual engines?!?!??
      Picts or a link, PLEASE.

    • sparecr

      I have the articles on that car. I cannot believe it is still around. Kudos for saving it, using it and enjoying it. So many of those crazy projects get lost to time.

    • Jacob

      I would love to see your car, I remember reading all about the car and driver experiment .

  9. Tim S

    I currently have an 87 very similar in appearance to the one in the story. It took quite a bit of work to fix rust issues and repair cracked panels, but still strong with a little over 300k kms on the odometer. I just put it back on the road after sitting for almost a year – charged the battery and it fired right up. Great little car and always gets the comments.

  10. johnj

    Ok Joe, you can’t post that without any pic’s. There are some other mini cars that got the twin engine treatment, at least doubles the cool factor.

    • Joe

      The fuel cell needs replacing and the car has lost it’s brakes from sitting up. Tires are hard. Otherwise in good condition. I’m working on another car right now but will get on the CRX this Fall. You can do a Search for Car & Driver twin engined CRX or maybe it’s Car & Driver dual engined CRX, and read about it. It’s a storming piece of machinery. It just hooks and goes- off the line, and acceleration is relentless – all the way to 147. I have run it flat several times. Around 155 – 120, it starts to set up a deep-throated roar that gets progressively louder, the faster you go. Weight distribution is 50/50 and it handles very well. Has Konis. It has a bamk of 8 Autometer gauges down between the seats and the car looks pretty much stock except for the lower Mugen body panels. I don’t see any cracks in fenders, etc. I need to upgrade the brakes as it has 4 wheel CRX discs and you can fry them with one stop from 120 or more. I used to go out sat. nights in Orlando and hunt for any cars being driven agressively. I ran everything possible. If they pulled me a few car lengths, and few did, I always could reel them in – on top end. Of course there are much faster cars being driven on the streets now. I’ll be doing some head and other work on it to get a few more horsies out of it. I had a “built” Pantera for 23 yrs, R5 Turbo II Renault, Sunbeam Tiger, and none were as insane as this car. Thank you, Racing Beat and Don Sherman. :-)

  11. Platorats

    I Ice Race a 1987 Si. Been racing it for 10 years. Last two iceless years not counted.
    Took home trophies every year I raced.

  12. Marshall

    A friend of mine had a 1987 CRX almost since it was new. I don’t believe it was an SI though. He says they are bulletproof as he put over 400,000 miles on it until somebody rear ended him. Though he still drove it home,the other driver’s insurance company had to total it. Many of those miles were stop and go newspaper delivery miles, the worst kind!

  13. Cheato

    Decent ride for ChumpCar / 24 hrs Lemons. Yes, a teammate got carried away with stickers… makes it faster I guess.

  14. Nemosfate

    I had a second gen 91 si, wish I wouldn’t have gotten rid of it.

  15. Jordan

    I got an 87 SI and it’s my baby I love it and will probably have it for the rest of my life they are very very fun and corner like a boss

  16. John K

    I’m going to mull this over all day today – – so i hope it’s sold by the time i get back from work tonight.

  17. That Guy

    The seller clearly knows his stuff, so I won’t assume the car is underpriced for the area. But I’m surprised it’s so cheap. If it was in California I think it would be Gone In Sixty Seconds.

  18. Burzel

    Love this CRX. The only one I’d prefer to this is an ’88-’90 CRX Si with updated styling. I had an ’89 Civic Si and loved everything about it. Would be awesome to have a CRX Si.

  19. George

    I have 3 CRXs; an 85 Si, an 85 Hf, and 84 Straman. The 85 Si gets 42mpg on freeway and my Hf gets 40. I bought these cars after I sold my 2014 CRZ. Yes, the CRX is more fun, with better gas mileage, and it even feels faster. They are still a blast to drive.

    • Joe

      Sell me the STraman.

  20. Joey Buzz

    Everybody know’s a good car when they see one, and the Honda CRX is one of them.

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