Junkyard Find: 1993 Honda Del Sol

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1993 honda del sol

As the owner of a much-loved 1992 Honda Civic (unfortunately, I’m not the only one who loves fifth-gen Civic hatchbacks), I know how hard it is to find parts for my V8-hauling hooptie at my local self-serve wrecking yard. The 1992-95 Civic has become to the 2010s what the ’57 Chevy was in the 1970s: the affordable car with great performance potential that all the 24-year-olds want. That means that these cars get picked clean within minutes of showing up at a low-price/high-inventory-turnover wrecking yard. The two-seat Del Sol version of the Civic is even harder to find in such yards; in fact, this is perhaps the third Del Sol I’ve seen in my last five years of junkyard crawling.

This one has about as much flesh left on its bones as the remains of a roadkill squirrel after a month on a highway median.

To carry the ’57 Chevy analogy further, the 102-horsepower D15B7 engine is about as desirable to Honda guys now as was the 235 six to shoebox Chevy freaks in, say, 1976. A good, reliable engine, but pretty much worthless. My own Civic is getting a B18C1, just as soon as I knock out Items 1 through 48 on my Hell Project To-Do List.

If this car ever had a custom leather interior, it’s long gone now.

During my Generation X slacker period in the early 1990s, with recession raging, I took a temp job driving brand-new ’92 Del Sols from a dirt field at the Port of Richmond to a trainyard a couple miles away (the return trips took place in an Econoline with no doors). I had this job for about a week, and I drove about four plastic-wrapped new Del Sols per hour with no lunch breaks, which means my lifetime driving experience includes approximately 160 Honda Del Sols. In other words, I have driven more Del Sols than any other type of car.

Soichiro Honda died at just about the same time I was driving Del Sols, and I often wonder if he knew what a betrayal the replacement of the beloved CRX felt like to the generation of young drivers who worshiped the zippy little Civic two-seater. As Chrysler learned with the Neon, cuteness in a car equaled showroom death in post- Gulf War America, and the Del Sol was sickeningly cute. Fortunately for Honda, the Super Cub helped keep the company afloat.

No mention of the incredible driving-fun-per-buck ratio of the CRX in the ads for its successor.

Though, as always, the Japanese-market ads were more fun.

Still, the Del Sol was no CRX, and sales weren’t so great.

Meanwhile, Acura had no V8 to compete with its rivals, and Honda’s amazing 15-year run of success faltered.

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3 of 44 comments
  • Davew833 Davew833 on Jul 26, 2013

    The sad thing about these pictures for me is that the Del Sol is sitting nose-to-nose with a bright red 1990 Acura Legend coupe-- my favorite Acura of all time. I wish I could find a clean red '90 LS coupe with the buttery tan leather interior- 5 speed please! I hope the one in these pictures has been hit hard in the side or back and wasn't relegated to the junkyard because of a bad clutch or broken timing belt.

  • Japanese Buick Japanese Buick on Jul 27, 2013

    I have a co-worker who has had one of these for at least 15 years, maybe longer not sure. He's had it reprinted in his school colors during his ownership. Say what you will about the merits of this car, it makes me smile to see it and consider that a now middle aged guy still loves his Japanese sport/economy car. More poignant for me after wrecking my 96 Miata that I bought new, last year.

    • Blekenbleu Blekenbleu on Dec 15, 2013

      I have owned one (black 97 VTEC) since new, and it is really more of a Japanese 914 or X1/9, only with lots more chassis flex. Targa top fans do not have many choices.. Perhaps the Civic is unlike most others, but any sedan with sunroof that I have driven is pretty unpleasant when open a highway speeds.

  • Alan GM is still dying. The US auto manufacturing sector overall needs to restructure. It is heavily reliant on large protected vehicles with far more protection than the EU has on its vehicles (25% import tariff).Globally GM has lost out in the EU, UK, Australia, etc. GM has shut down in Australia because it is uncompetitive in a global market. Ford still exists in Australia but is reliant on a Thai manufactured pickup, the Ranger which is Australia's second largest selling vehicle.The US needs to look at producing global products, not 'murica only products. Asians and Europeans can do it. America is not unique.
  • Duane Baldinger Ya my cupcake Mailman will love it!
  • Duane Baldinger Where can I send the cash? It's a surprise BDAY present for my cupcake Mailman. D Duane
  • Art Vandelay Pour one out for the Motors Liquidation Corporation
  • Bill Wade Norm, while true I'll leave you with this. My 2023 RAM is running Android 8 released in 2017.My wife's navigation on her GM truck is a 2021 release, I believe the latest. Android Auto seems to update very week or two. Now, which would you rather have? Anybody with a car a couple of years old NEVER sees any updates. Heck, if your TV is a few years old it's dead on updates. At least cell phones are rapidly updated. If your old phone won't update, buy another $200 phone. If your GM vehicle doesn't update do what, buy another $50,000 GM vehicle?