Unmodified Barn Find: 1989 Honda CRX Si

The second and final generation of Honda’s CRX hatchback is largely considered one of the best front-wheel-drive compact sports cars, but unfortunately, there are few surviving examples left. With that in mind, this 1989 Honda CRX that’s available here on eBay is a slight project, but it also represents an increasingly rare opportunity to get your hands on an unmodified CRX.

This CRX has lived in a Redding, Connecticut barn for the past eleven years. The seller originally planned to gift the vehicle to their then 16-year-old son, but he was seemingly uninterested in the car. There’s no concrete statistic for how many teenage drivers have ruined CRX’s over the years (I can guess it’s plenty), but at this point, the seller decided that the CRX was not “a car in which a 16-year-old should learn to drive,” and then placed it in storage.

It’s hard to decipher what kind of condition this CRX is in, but it doesn’t seem like much is hidden. The exterior of the car seems pretty solid, despite some imperfections, such as pine tree sap damage to the paint. Additionally, like most late ‘80s and early ‘90s Honda models, there is some rust forming on the rear quarter panels.

While the exterior may be dirty in photos (the seller claims they have cleaned the exterior since photographing it), the CRX’s cabin seems rather pristine. There are some signs of usage, but overall, the interior is the highlight of this barn find.

I’ve always enjoyed the CRX’s simple door panel design, which features the model’s name inscribed into it. Despite 1989 being the best-selling year of the second-generation CRX Si’s production run, there were still only 18,735 examples of the compact produced for that year.

Just 102,101 miles are on this 1.6-liter D16A6 4-cylinder engine, which pairs to a 5-speed manual transmission to drive the front wheels. Since it has been quite some time since the engine last fired up, the seller is unwilling to do so, but these single cam Honda engines tend to be easy to work on and reliable when running.

At the time of this article being written, bidding is at $2,025, and due to past experiences with people flaking out, the seller requires a non-refundable $100 deposit on the vehicle. Would you be willing to put the elbow grease into this unmodified CRX to have it on the road again, or would you pass on this mild project?

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Comments

  1. J_Paul Member

    I had the same car, in red, as a 17 year old. Given the shenanigans I got up to, I’m not sure whether to agree or disagree that this is a good first car for a teenager!

    That said, the CRX Si of this era is a great car, an example of Honda at its absolute best. Reliable, efficient, well-engineered, and more fun than you would expect from “just” a fastback economy car. Not super powerful, but the light weight (about 2100 lbs if I remember correctly) and unassisted steering results in an ultra-nimble package that loves to be thrown into corners.

    Sadly—after 100,000 miles of joy—mine fell victim to a botched head-gasket replacement, and then a botched theft attempt. But even all these years later, I have a lot of love for 2nd-gen CRX Si’s. Great to see this one on BF.

    Like 11
  2. Superdessucke

    I was young when these were new and an American car guy, so I was focused on the Cavalier Z24, Escort GT, and Shadow ES for a possible sporty new economy car.

    In hindsight, I’m amazed and embarrassed that I would even consider those things over this.

    Like 12
  3. mike b

    I love the logic of “I washed it after the photos so you can see the real condition”. And the ad photos are taken in a dark shed: Mr. Marketing. Unless the seller is not divulging other issues it looks like some careful steps would bring the engine to life. Then replace wheel cylinders, tires, timing belt, detail it & enjoy or flip for $5k.

    Like 2
  4. rod444

    Having owned an innocent car that was viciously assaulted by a satanic pine tree, removing the hardened sap could be the hardest part of this sweet project.

    Like 4
  5. Mountainwoodie

    Too bad its three thousand miles away…..literally……I’ve been looking for one of these as a commuter car to get down into the city…….hmmmmmm

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