Straman Coach Conversion: 1987 Honda CRX

Normally, aftermarket convertible conversions can be questionable at best in terms of their final execution. Personally, I feel this becomes even more of a factor on short wheelbase cars like the original Honda CRX, but somehow, these oddball Straman conversions never look as bad as I’d expect. More shocking is how often they show up for sale, given how few were made. Find this very blue example here on craigslist in Oregon for $7,500.

The Straman conversion can also be commended for its completeness, with an attractive soft top that looks like it could have come this way from the factory. The original lines of the CRX were respected, too, but I’ve always wanted to see one of these with a roll bar added. The CRX is a dainty car when its roof hasn’t been lopped off; the roll bar would give it some much-needed reinforcement.

It’s amazing the conversion even included this helpful full-length cover, even accounting for shields for the headrests! It would seem Straman spent some real money and time to make these conversions as close to factory as possible, almost to the point where you wonder if they ever made any money on these CRX conversions. The paint is new on this example, and it’s probably the worst part about the car.

It’s too blingy and modern for my tastes; make mine red with the gray two-tone trim that came standard on first-generation CRXs. The seller says only 20 or so of these conversions exist today; can anyone confirm that number? While unique and not that bad looking, CRXs were built to out-handle anything in the hot hatch category, and removing structural integrity seems like the last thing you’d want to do. But for sure, you’d be the only one on the block with a drop-top CRX.

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Comments

  1. RayT Member

    Jeff, the Straman conversions were well-done, all right. And I’m not just talking about the dressy stuff like the tonneau cover: they had structural reinforcements and, as I recall the one I drove, were solid and shake-free. After all, Straman did some conversions of Ferraris as well, and those customers wouldn’t have been likely to settle for back-alley chop jobs.

    My taste still tends toward tin-top CRXs, though, if only because I’d enjoy giving one a substantial power boost, like the Integra-powered example I once drove in Germany. I wouldn’t even trust a factory-built drop-top for something like that!

    But for a SoCal beach cruiser, the Straman CRX was — and still is — a delight. I’d prefer stock paint and interior….

    Like 1
  2. KevinLee

    Looks like something Jackie Chan would drive in one of his earlier movies.

    Like 2
  3. Mike

    Wow, this is a first. A aftermarket company that has made a decent top that doesn’t look awkward and ill fitting.

    Like 3
  4. xrotaryguy

    Looks really nice actually. One of the nice things about the CRX was how roomy it was despite it’s diminutive size. I wonder how well this convertible conversion would fit me at 6’1?

    • slimwhitman

      xrotaryguy – I am 6′-0″ and have plenty of room in mine with the top up. Unless you are long-torso’d, you should fit fine. Not many Si cars were converted since the expensive sunroof was thrown away for the conversion. I am surprised this car has not sold already.

    • xrotaryguy

      So you’ve got one of the 20. Sweet! I guess if I ever come across one that I just can’t live without, I’ll know I fit!

      • slimwhitman

        The Si is the one to get (with any CRX) and probably only 5-10 were converted by Straman. This is a rare opportunity for someone ready to deal. I wish mine was an Si.

  5. G G

    has anyone been able to get the contact info off the ad, I keep getting an error mess from CL

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I’ve gotten the error when using Chrome. If I switch to a different browser, it works.
      I’m sure that it is an add-on that is preventing it from working correctly, I just haven’t bothered to figure out which one.

  6. Rick

    I’m impressed the tonneau even covers the steering wheel!

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