Pininfarina-Designed Kei: 1992 Honda Beat

A Pininfarina designed Honda. Mid-engine, rear wheel drive. Convertible. Sounds great right? And then we learn that it is Kei car with 63 horsepower. And that wouldn’t be bad if you aren’t 6’5″ like I am. If you think you can fit and aren’t afraid to be squished like a bug by a giant SUV (or even a Miata) you can find this Beat north of Cincinnati, Ohio here on Craigslist for $5,900.

I love Hondas from the 1990s. They had such a great feel and were incredibly reliable (with a few exceptions). Then add in some quirkiness like the Del Sol, Accord wagon, Civic HF, and the Acura models and it’s no wonder why people love them. They were trim, efficient and just plain fun. Do you think that we’ll look back at today’s Hondas with the same fondness?

Back to the Beat! This black 1992 Beat has 38,000 miles and appears to be in good shape. It has some aftermarket accessories (coil overs, HID headlights, wheels) but what 90’s Honda doesn’t have some accessories? There were just over 33,000 Beats produced from 1991-1996 (with half of that number produced in the first year!). The kei cars are limited to 660 cc engines and this Honda has a 656 cc 3 cylinder good for 63 horsepower. It has a 5 speed transmission and is electrically limited to 84 mph. At 1,675 lbs that’s enough power to move this Beat from 0-60 in 12.1 seconds.

If I could fit in this car, I’d consider it!  How many of you have been in one of these? Honda Japan has recently announced that they will be reproducing OEM parts for the Beat, so hopefully key replacement parts will be available for some time to come!

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    I spent a week driving one of these back in ’92. It was a blast! Peppy, decent handling, and a pretty fair fit for a 6’2″ driver. You had to wind the daylights out of it to keep from being run over — and the limited top speed shouldn’t have been an issue but, of course, was — but, like the vast majority of Hondas (at least up through the ’90s), the Beat seemed like a masterpiece.

    If I had to be critical, the Beat had a bit of a tinny feel. Understandable, as it needed to be light to be fun. The other side of that was, naturally, no “road-hugging weight” which made it such a gas to drive on mountain roads.

    I wouldn’t mind having one for Summer driving, though I could live without the trick add-ons. Perhaps it wouldn’t attract as much attention as it did back then!

  2. Adam Clarke Adam T45 Staff

    This is one of those frustrating adverts with no interior shots. Having said that, I actually quite like this and wouldn’t mind it myself. Of course, that may just be my mid-life crisis talking!

  3. David Frank David Frank Member

    If you’re looking for a nice one, this guy has 32 for sale, along with a lot of other interesting Japenese non-import cars.These cars are all pretty much survivor quality pristine cars. All stored indoors.
    http://www.duncanimports.com/wholesale-used-inventory/index.htm

    How about a Nisan Figaro? He has 117 of those.

    • Pete

      Wow what an impressive list of offerings this guy has. I didn’t get the whole privte collection thing though. Why list those at all if they aren’t for sale? Anyway thanks for the link.

  4. ChipsBee

    I bought one a month and a bit ago, had an SUV back into me while I was stopped, the damage is slight, one headlight is broken, the hood (bonnet) has a slight dent in it just above the slightly scraped front bumper. The body shop suggested by his insurance estimated $4200 for the repair and an appraiser was sent out to see if it’s going to be “totaled” as they do so readily.
    I took it to the local Honda Dealer and learned they were unable to locate any parts for me to repair it.

  5. ChipsBee

    I bought one a month and a bit ago, had an SUV back into me while I was stopped. The damage is light, one headlight is broken, the hood (bonnet) has a slight dent in it just above the lightly scraped front bumper-skin. The body shop suggested by his insurance estimated $4200 for the repair and an appraiser was sent out to see if it’s going to be “totaled” as they do so readily.
    I took it to the local Honda Dealer and learned they were unable to locate any parts for me to repair it.

  6. Bradley

    These pictures were taken in Japan by the exporter, a young Canadian guy named Derek Weldon who speaks Japanese & lives there full-time.
    His company is called Pacific Coast Auto, they handle 95% of the process of importing a car from Japan, & are a pleasure to work with.
    He has a couple different Youtube channels where he features most of the cars, & the importing process/FAQ’s

    If you want to find a needle in haystack in Japan, he’s your guy.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/PacificCoastAuto/featured
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLgNLPLkJ_t4cN2JxeV0Qfw

  7. Miguel

    I am just curious. Does anybody think this is an attractive car?

    I can’t see anything cute about it.

    • Adam Clarke Adam T45 Staff

      Miguel, I guess that it really depends on your definition of the word “cute”. A friend of mine once defined that word as meaning “ugly, but interesting”. This probably fits that definition.

  8. Jwinters

    I drove one of these once and I got outran by a pinto.

    • Miguel

      Yay Pintos.

  9. TriPowerVette

    I’m wondering whether a S2000 engine (even a turbo) might fit? That would then make this a full-time grin machine.

  10. David Miraglia

    Better looking than the MR2.Would love to have this baby.

  11. Cj Holliday

    Do they come in left-hand drive?

  12. Gay Car Nut

    This looks like the NSX’s baby brother. It’s a damn shame it was never sold in the USA, either as a Honda or an Acura.

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