By on April 28, 2015

CRX

It’s the return of Ask Jack, one of my your favorite sections! You can now ask me questions about nearly anything, as long as there’s a kinda-sorta automotive aspect to it. Kinda-sorta. In the meantime, check out today’s question:

Hey Jack,

I’m in a bit of a dilemma. I’m a self-employed delivery driver (delivering restaurant meals, not pizza) and until recently I’ve been using a 1989 Honda CRX HF for that duty. I was averaging about 48mpg in 80% city driving and it was good for parking in downtown Portland, OR (as good as it can in a city where cars are practically banned). And the A/C actually worked!

About a week ago, a Range Rover cut in front of me and we came together, with predictable results. The mechanical components all survived, but the body damage is just on the bad side of drivable. Currently, the body shop and insurance company are arguing about whether to repair the car or total it. Assuming they do total it, I’m going to need a replacement. Right now I’m doing my deliveries in a 1999 Dodge Dakota 5.9 R/T, which eats more fuel than a burning oil refinery.

At this point, I don’t know how much money I would be getting in that situation. I paid $1800 for the car just a few months ago. A quick search of Craigslist reveals that the Countach LP400 is much more common than a stock-engine CRX HF. As one Honda enthusiast put it: “I didn’t know they made ’em stock.” Assuming a budget of $2500, and with a top priority on gas mileage, park-ability, and not sucking, what would you recommend to replace the HF?

You bought a decent-condition CRX HF for eighteen hundred bucks? Don’t bother playing the lottery for the rest of the year – that’s all the good luck you’re going to have, in one single transaction. As you’ve discovered in your initial searches, lightning is unlikely to strike twice for you. The second-generation CRX is now firmly established in the pantheon of all-time great Hondas, and prices reflect that. I’ve seen a couple solid examples for sale between four and six grand. That’s big money for quarter-century-old cars that often have nearly 200,000 miles on them.

As fate would have it, you’re not the first person I know who’s had to replace a CRX due to a crash. My friend Sam, who’d been racing Hondas in NASA as a team owner and manager for over a decade, started off with two second-gen Si rollerskates. One of them hit the wall several times during a particularly difficult race year, forcing him to contemplate a replacement. His answer? The 1989 Civic DX. Fortified with an 8000-rpm handbuilt motor, it was fast enough for me to lose a major endurance race by approximately the amount of a fuel-spill penalty. He’s been running a pair of them for more than five years, with tremendous success.

Even without the race prep, however, the 1988-1991 Civic DX is a brilliant replacement for the CRX. It has virtually all of the two-seater’s virtues with the further advantages of cargo and people space behind the front chairs. It’s also just as fast around a racetrack, assuming you have the same engine in both cars. Don’t tell anyone.

Of course, Civics of that generation aren’t much cheaper than CRXes. If you’re willing to consider a left-field alternative, you might want to think about a Breadvan Colt. These cars were basically Mitsubishi copies of the Civic. They’re not nearly as good, but they’re not bad. More importantly, they don’t have that remarkable Honda resale value.

If you’re looking for a genuinely courageous choice, how about this Geo Metro XfI on eBay? When you’re done using it for delivery duties, you can put a junkyard Hayabusa engine in it and rule the backroads. A motorcycle engine, in a Geo Metro, complete with chain drive and definitely not complete with reverse gear? It’s been done!

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141 Comments on “Ask Jack: CRX No Longer In Effect?...”


  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    If they total it is buying it back and fixing it an option? I wonder how bad resale would be effected if it was a well documented repair. I don’t think a salvage title is going to crush resale on an 1800 Dollar CRX anyway if it matters

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    And… that Metro is sitting at $1500 as we speak, which is a bit hmmm… insane. I saw a Swift like that locally for $500 WITH rego and needless to say, it was snapped right away. Oh, and forget the Busa engine, get a Swift GTi.

    Why don’t you get a Corolla/Prizm? Go with the 93+ and you get a decent car.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I second this, but the Prizm point. Always less expensive, exactly the same as the Corolla.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        “101” and “110” body corollas (93-97 and 98-02 respectively) are always a pretty solid bet. Their biggest Achilles heel is the engine burning oil. Check this carefully on any used Corolla/Prism with the 1.6 or 1.8L engines. Besides that there really isn’t much that breaks on them systematically, and when things do wear out they are cheap and easy to fix. $2500 is right in the thick of the 98-02 cars with about 130-180k miles, or a slightly nicer condition 93-97. I think I’d buy a Corolla before I bought a Civic in this sort of beater/delivery car category, if only for their more durable suspension.

        • 0 avatar

          The ’98-02 cars also had the VVT-i engine that gets better mileage than the ’93-97 cars. But either is a good choice.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            That and they switched to a timing chain rather than a belt on the 4A and 7A engines (which is non-interference at least). A seemingly trivial issue, but when you’re shopping this bottom market, a $300-500 timing belt job without which you might find yourself by the side of the road (and with a Honda potentially bent valves) a worry-free timing chain is a big deal.

        • 0 avatar
          redmondjp

          I’ve cross-shopped and test-driven several 1990s Corollas/Prisms before I bought my 1997 Civic (which I drove to work today).

          The biggest dislike of the ‘Yotas for me is the clunky cable shifter. The shaft-connected shifter in the Civic is brilliantly precise, albeit with long throws.

          Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with either. I’m getting 35-40mpg with the D16Y7 motor in my Civic.

      • 0 avatar

        OH, gawd. My best friend used to have a ’94 Prizm, with a stick. I love sticks, but if all cars turned into Prizms of that vintage, I would have had to go back to bicycling for fun. Anyway, here he is, probably in the late early ’00s, with his Prizm

        http://motorlegends.com/carspeop7.htm

        He now has a ’14 Accord sedan with a stick.

  • avatar
    Chris Tonn

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Honda-CRX-HF-/221750256038?forcerrptr=true&hash=item33a15861a6&item=221750256038

    Six hours left, bid up to $3k, with a $6200 BIN.

    153k on the odo..but a salvage title.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I agree with Jack’s advice. Those clean ‘little old lady’ EF Honda hatchbacks are still out there, you just have to monitor craigslist carefully. Newer Hondas like the ‘bubble’ 92-95 CX/DX/VX hatchbacks pop up every now and then, as do the later “HX” coupes. I’d argue a tercel with a 5spd would also be an efficient pizza delivery rig.

    • 0 avatar
      Chicago Dude

      Does our delivery driver have the luxury of time and patience? I suppose he has the gas guzzler now.

      What about taking advantage of the current gas prices to sell the truck and buying a single vehicle that can also serve as a delivery vehicle? How much does a person in Oregon save on insurance and licensing fees if they go from two cars to one?

    • 0 avatar
      sprkplg

      +1 on the Tercel suggestion. I bought a perfectly good ’94 for about $1500 a few years ago after finding that comparable Corollas and Civics were noticeably more expensive. Look for a ’95 or newer; they got new, even more economical engines.

    • 0 avatar

      There is a beautiful bubble hatch from that 92-95 generation in my neighborhood, but alas, just a little bit of body rot. I don’t think they have any intention of selling it.

  • avatar
    sintekk

    If you’re dealing with deliveries and the body damage is tolerable just drive her into the ground. Whenever I have a serviceable but hopelessly damaged car I do deliveries with it until death. I had a ’93 Prizm that literally rusted apart and my ’90 Camry Wagon was totalled twice before I finally scrapped it. Also consider that it’ll just happen again — you can’t have anything nice on the road in a delivery situation.

  • avatar
    Nick 2012

    What about a rough G1 Honda Insight? If they have a bad IMA (still driving though), they trade in your price range. A grid charge – possibly borrowed from another Insight owner – may shock the thing back to life.

    Alternatively, SWB 3.3L Chrysler/Dodge minivan would be cheap, cheerful, and easy to park.

    Vulcan Tauri and 3800 anything also come to mind.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      Wouldn’t lugging a dead battery around on the ICE produce some truly awful mileage numbers, especially in city driving?

      • 0 avatar
        Nick 2012

        It would depend on whether the battery would take a charge or you could reset the IMA light. Even with a totally dead IMA battery, its still weighs only 1800 lbs.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      You’re not going to get reasonable mileage in a delivery application in 3500-pound cars with 3.3L or 3.8L V6 engines. Think small.

      I second all the Corolla/Prizm suggestions above, and would add older Sentras to the list.

      • 0 avatar
        Nick 2012

        +1 on the Prizms. My thought behind the larger, less desirable vehicles was to get a newer, nicer one vs a totally used up import hatch. That may have a lower total ownership cost than focusing on fuel economy alone.

    • 0 avatar
      bosozoku

      Honda Civic HX 96-00 with a 5-speed. It’s essentially a successor model to the HF and VX models of prior generations, and gets 40+ MPG city and 45ish highway with very little effort. Mine has 240k on the clock and still runs great. Bought it for $4k 8 years ago, so by now they’re probably even more reasonable secondhand.

    • 0 avatar

      Those gen 1 Insights handle like on rails. Really nice. I’d get one, except I don’t want to be driving around among all the porkers in a 2k lb car.

  • avatar

    Sorry to hear about your car. When people find out I really like old CRXs, they always say “You should get a CRZ!” . Then my whole body starts shaking and my eyes glow red and I need to excuse myself. I think more people than not don’t know the difference.

  • avatar
    ajla

    4-cylinder Ranger?

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      I was going to say the same thing.

      4 mill, MT, single cab, 4×2. Millions of Rangers made, with largely swappable parts. Not as fuel efficient as the CRX but what is? Still fun beat around in with the rear drive and from a wreck stand point, you only have to worry about what happens to the front half!

      As long as the food you are delivering is in some sort of delivery container to maintain heat, you could get some lumber and build your own carrying trays so to speak to keep the inside of your car from smelling like a restaurant.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Both of the distinction of having a very poor frontal crash rating.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          As would most of the compact and subcompact cars that have been suggested. Its not like the Ranger is particularly bad, especially compared to 80s – early 90s Civic, Mirage, Corolla, etc. If the OP is concerned with crash protection, there are plenty of Taurus/Sables, W bodies and such in his price range, but I dont recall “5 star crash test rating” being amongst his requirements.

          Just because it isnt an import car doesnt neccesarily mean you have to reach to find something wrong with it. Youd think that was the rule around here.

  • avatar
    Smaller-is-Better

    Cheap and compact, reliable wagon: 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Yeah that’ll be within his budget.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      If you can find one. I have a Sportback Ralliart currently. At 160k on the clock, it has held up fairly well. A/C appears to be going out and I dearly wish the thing were a manual (alas, not offered in the Sportback). Fuel Econ is just shy of poor…I am lucky to pull mid 20s average, more like low 20s around town. But, it handles reasonably well, sounds nice (at least in Ralliart trim) and has been mistaken for a Volvo more than a few times…

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    If it is actually worth 4k-6k then he should make the insurance company give him that. Just because he paid $1500 doesn’t mean that is the replacement value. If a relative sells you a car for $1 the insurance company still has to pay you what it is worth. Good luck with that though.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    Actually if you can find one with all the recall work done I bet you could get a gen 1 Focus hatchback for next to nothing. That was a pretty fun car to drive.

  • avatar

    It might be out of your price range, but if MPG is the top priority, I’d go with a VW Golf or Jetta TDI. Or a Mercedes 240D, which could be converted to run on fryer grease, which you have unlimited access to, being in the restaurant delivery biz.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      LOL!

      Just LOL! He doesn’t want to spend all his non-delivery time putting parts on a 300,000 mile Golf or Jetta. I won’t even address the 240D suggestion.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s Portland. Had to go with a suggestion that was “out there”.

        • 0 avatar
          clivesl

          I actually like the fryer grease idea, but it’s Portland, so I’m sure every available drop is accounted for these days.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            That, and a proper grease conversion requires both a lot of work filtering, and a completely separate tank and a heater system and switch valves.

            It is *not* worth it, and a 240D gets crap mileage anyway, because they’re giant and inefficient.

            (I know all this from having a 300D and seeing *lots* of talk about grease conversions and the like.

            Talk of “40mpg highway!” is … well, unbelievable.

            Hell, I heard people claim 300Ds could get in the upper 20s on the highway, but my mileage always matched the EPA numbers – 20mpg, no matter how I drove it.

            In any case, he’s WAY better off getting a modern car that won’t be a maintenance nightmate – no matter how well built the W115 and W123 cars are – and gets superior mileage.

            Don’t buy a VW; you will NOT get a TDI you can maintain or run for $2800.)

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            @Sigivald, I agree 100% about the 300/240D. Quite overrated IMO. Theyre slow, heavy, costly to fix (and they need it often) and expensive to maintain. My 300D was a one-owner, well cared for example, but it was nothing but a pile of problems (and had been most of its life judging by the papers I got with it). And MPG? My V-6 (3.0L) Taurus easily gets better mileage on cheaper fuel while also not being painfully slow, noisy, etc.

            I hope someone mentions the transmission (transaxle) in my Taurus as being a issue compared to the 300D. The AX4N in my Taurus has never been rebuilt and shifts perfectly at nearly 200k (has had regular fluid/filter changes). The one in the 300D had required thousands of dollars worth of work during its life with the previous owner to correct leaks, having also been rebuilt earlier in the car’s life. When I got it, it still leaked, had a very rough 1-2 shift and sometimes wouldnt go into overdrive at highway speeds. I doubt very seriously that it’s still on the road today unless it was rebuilt again since I sold it.

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    While not easy to find with lower miles, I think a Toyota Tacoma with a cap might work in this situation. The drivetrains are pretty bullet proof. Finding one that doesn’t have a lot of rust or over 200K miles may be the hard part.

    • 0 avatar
      formula m

      I delivered pizzas (among other things lol) for a summer during college in a 97 Nissan 2wd pickup. Green, ext cab 4cyl engine, colour matched cap and chrome bumpers. Very simple and durable.

  • avatar
    matador

    Let’s see- cheap, reliable….

    Depending on your size needs, here are my thoughts:

    If the CRX was large enough, I’d look into a 90s Saturn. If the CRX was getting too small for you, I’d go with a Jellybean LeSabre. They’re a big car, but mine pushes 30 MPG on the highway. Plus, there is the whole 3800 factor….

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      He has a parking size issue, and is delivering in town. So I say LeSabre is a complete no-go there.

      • 0 avatar
        TEXN3

        A LeSabre could work in PDX, albeit it’s not ideal. I’d do a motorcycle with a special rack on the back and a good raincoat. You can now split lanes in Orygun.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      30 MPG on the highway means squat in this application. A 3800 anything will be getting less than 15 mpg doing deliveries.

    • 0 avatar
      formula m

      02′-06′ base model Acura RSX. The base 2.0L vtec I found to be very reliable and 160hp will feel like an upgrade for sure. Not as good on gas but it’s more powerful and a bit heavier. The rear seats fold flat and it leaves a large cargo area available. I bought and sold mine pretty cheap so I think you should be able to find a deal. Treated me well for 3yrs and is an evolution of the CRX or very similar. Honda Civic SIR would also work

      • 0 avatar
        formula m

        http://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/cto/4988118879.html

        You could probably get this close to $3,000 and it’s way nicer than 95% of $3k cars out there.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Rebuilt title after ‘light damages’? No thanks!

          Even in the grainy photos I can see all of the misaligned panel gaps (the hood especially) and poor color match on the front fenders….

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      Note- I recommended the LeSabre IF the CRX was too small. I don’t know the space he needs. I’d rather pay more for gas than buy a tool that can’t do the job.

      That said, if the CRX is large enough, I’d really look into a 1990s Saturn.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        No need to apologize, an H Lesabre is always a valid answer.

        • 0 avatar
          matador

          I’d have one. Oh, wait- I do.

          The gas mileage may not be as good, but I do approach 30 MPG on the highway, in town isn’t that bad- especially for a larger car, and instead of dealing with a whining little econobox, I have a broughamtastic experience!

          After living with an Escort for 14 years, I’ll gladly pay the fuel for a luxury car!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I’m going to say the:

    -Civic option late 80’s or early 90’s that Jack suggested.
    -How’s about the Del Sol.
    -Also a Paseo is tiny (or a Tercel if you can find one).
    -Corollo-Prizm as Athos mentioned above.
    -I wouldn’t go for the Mitsubishi option, as the first comment on that article was Steve Lang saying how they always burn up oil.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Toyota Echo/Yaris and/or the Scion xA. I don’t think you got the Echo hatch in the US, but the sedan and coupe were available.

    It isn’t inspiring, but it is very efficient and, since it isn’t all that popular, it’s not expensive. It also survives, runs, and runs well in the face of the relative neglect of it’s owners; you can buy a high-mileage example and it will probably be just fine.

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      I came to say Yaris, but I also think Echo is good. These things don’t get a whole lot more thrifty. They aren’t much fun to drive, but I don’t know that was a specification for delivering chow.
      Maybe a Tercel, but I don’t know that they were very durable.
      Maybe a Mazda 323 or Protege? Not sure if they’ve rusted away in Portland or not.
      Edit: portland.craigslist.org/mlt/cto/4999343899.html It has high miles, but 5spd and functional AC for $950
      A little less nice, but cheaper still: portland.craigslist.org/mlt/cto/4982165280.html

    • 0 avatar

      The Scion xA is a good idea. They are overlooked but are seemingly indestructible. My brother has one with over 250K miles, that he’s owned since new with no issues.

    • 0 avatar
      statikboy

      I was also going to suggest an Echo. The hatchbacks (Can.) are actually fairly fun to drive. I’m not sure what the US regs are on importing from Canada, but there is a grey market RHD 2000 in Vancouver (or was) that has the JDM spec 1.3l. Perfect for city driving, brick-like reliability and with the 1.3, probably better economy than any non-hybrid currently available in the US.

      http://wwwb.autotrader.ca/a/Toyota/Echo/Richmond/British+Columbia/5_23132243_/?showcpo=ShowCPO&orup=5_15_0

      Yes, still available and unfortunately $6000CAN, but with only 6000 miles on it….

  • avatar
    amorphis

    +1 for the first gen Focus suggestion

    When my GSR was stolen, I bought a 5 speed ZX5 to drive while searching for the perfect E36 M3.
    It was slow and roly-poly, but fun to drive, reliable and got good mileage. I sold it 4 months later for 10% more than I paid for it.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    Incredible. This guy needs a reliable car to do deliveries…he’s in need of one right NOW…and people are pointing him to 25-year-old economy cars with 200,000 miles on them…sprinkled all over the country. Yeah, let me just hop on a flight to wherever to to get that 1990 Civic with 192,000 miles on it up on a lift so I can check it out.

    Jesus. Find a 2005-2007 Focus hatchback that’s in decent shape…right there in Portland, that you can look at over an hour or two on your day off.

    Done. This site kills me sometimes.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      ” 2005-2007 Focus hatchback that’s in decent shape”

      Not for $2500.

      I’m a habitual craigslist browser and I pointed to the exact makes/models/years and their corresponding prices, which actually correspond to that $2500 budget.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I don’t see many references pointing all over the country. And for once, most of these have been more on topic than other questions of this sort, where “reliable cheap used car” is answered with “1989 Grand Wagoneer with veggie diesel AMG conversion” or some other bullsh!t.

      It’s just making a list of options for him to check in his major metro area.

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      A 1990s Saturn would send him all over the country!?

      Let’s see:

      $2500 or less… check
      Reliable… check
      Cheap on Fuel… check

      Now, if he can find a good 2005 Focus for $2500, I would recommend that. But, I doubt he’ll find one.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Z-body has two major weaknesses: the auto trans and the oil consumption issue. The second you can simply stay on top off, the first doomed many of the examples to premature existences as washing machines.

  • avatar
    calgarytek

    Man, look at those front double wishbones.

    CRX Del Sol, or Del Sol may be your best bet. They’re pricy to. I found quite a bit of CRX’es for sale in Europe though. Seems if you want one of those that’s the only place to get it. Even an original Si with the first gen B16. Methinks you should park it in the living room and enjoy it.

    On the flipside, I’m bummed out that Preludes don’t have as strong of an aftermarket following as the Civics do. I can get almost anything for a Civic here, but Preludes? Well, I do want the 4th gen with 4WS for a H22 swap. But no CF hood, wings, doors, rear hatch. Man…

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      Didn’t you get the 4th gen with the H22 already in it over there? (or was it not available with the 4WS?)
      Also carbon;
      http://www.visracing.com/newcatalog/Honda/Prelude/1992-1996-Prelude/Hood-1435
      PS; over here people are rather struggling to find steel rear quarters for these…

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      You can’t find Preludes here in the America which are not either CRAZY money with high miles and in stock condition, or riced out to the max and ruined.

      They are almost up there with the Integra for this foolish alteration.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Prelude is becoming a unicorn, sadly.

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          They always were over here, which means that a lot of them have been kept up and are still alive (although riced up a little bit)
          Even if the nicest ones are usually sadly the 2.0i with an automatic (old mans car when new)
          The only H22 I found for sale right now was imported from Canada in ’94 according to the ad. But back then it was ‘only’ a 2.3 with an auto. The H22 was bought used from japan and swapped in later.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Done deal:

    linkhttp://portland.craigslist.org/wsc/cto/4997975763.html

    haggle a bit to get the price down to say $1600-1700, and that gives you a $900 cushion to replace fluids and a timing belt, and maybe even a set of tires. That Corolla’s got another 100k miles in it quite easily, especially in that non-salted road climate.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      This would leave you quite a bit of your budget to catch up on maintenance:

      linkhttp://portland.craigslist.org/yam/cto/4994993593.html

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I like the Tercel much better. It’s new enough not to look so poverty, and is really in decent shape. Just needs a new bumper (easy as this is most common color for these?) and a mirror (also easy).

        And look at the other things they have in the drive – cheap to own and run Ranger, and a new Prius. These people know cheap motoring.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Also, lower mile tidy Del Sol manual!

        http://portland.craigslist.org/clk/cto/4991989159.html

        That will go quick.

      • 0 avatar
        Athos Nobile

        The Tercel looks in better nick than the Corolla. Crunched facia and all.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Lol, owner thinks it’s RWD. My sister had that model Corolla for a time, and while it’s certainly a bit hollow and cheap (and slow), it’s all screwed together very well. And the tweedy interiors can really take abuse.

  • avatar
    sproc

    If the OP likes Hondas, I’m surprised no one has suggested a 2nd gen or early 3rd gen Integra. Maybe tough to find one that isn’t modded to hell, but a cosmetically rough should be well within his price range. As long as the timing belt has been done correctly, those B series engines are tanks. Should make a great city delivery car.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    It is only fair that the evil car murderer in the Range Rover gives him the Range Rover. Then that can be sold off to buy something useful and economical.
    Since the world is not fair though, I would agree with Jack and say go ‘normal’ hatchback Civic shopping. Despite most having been ‘Fastandfurious’ed by now most early 90’s Civics were sold in large enough numbers and were reliable enough to still be available most places in the world.
    One of my colleagues drives a ’95 1.4 hatch to work every day, as it just keeps on going with a minimum of repairs and fuel, though the rust will probably make it unroadworthy pretty soon now.

  • avatar

    80s/early-90s Sentras are scrap-value cheap and they get Civic-grade fuel economy. Likewise the Mazda 323.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      People desire those Sentras! You can’t find them around here not either A) totally rusted or B) rurint by a kid.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Good idea. 323s can get some scary loud lash adjusters that sound like the engine is about the blow up, but simply replacing them will solve that issue.

      The 95-98(?) rounded style of Protege is also a great choice due not having the “Toyota/Honda” tax applied, where their only real failing is awful corrosion protection, a non issue in your climate. Very efficient cars. Likewise the mitsubishi mirage of the late 90s is a very lightweight and efficient vehicle that is undervalued due to the badge attached to it.

      B13 (90-94) and B14 (95-99) Sentras are all excellent, sturdy cars: just look at what the top selling car for taxi use is in Mexico (sold as “Tsuru” there).

      Lastly saturn SL sedans are right in that $2500 range. Notorious oil burners, almost every last one of them. But keep an eye on the level, and enjoy your 40mpg motoring.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Sorry for catching up on this a little late, but what the hell has happened to used car prices in the US ? In most of the Craigslist links posted there are examples of pretty common 90’s cars that are more expensive in the US than they would be over here in Norway, where a brand new Civic starts at 30K with the 1.4…

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      We had a Cash For Clunkers, and the depression in 08-09. The used cheapo market has recovered from neither.

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        +1

        And we have a lot of people that are barely hanging on, economically-speaking. Any used Japanese car that has a good track record is in high demand.

        Plus, we have a huge number of near-destitute immigrants who will buy whatever 25-year-old running beater that they can afford (and they shop for all of their parts at the Pick-n-Pull yards).

        It’s hard to find a decent used economy car for under $4K these days.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Sadly, I agree.

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          It’s hard to find anyone interested in a 90’s Japanese economy car over here…

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            With the interest in the Japanese econo boxes so high driving up the prices, sometimes it’s better to look in the next size class.

            Often times in the US, the luxury equivalent of some old used car will cost less than the mainstream brand version, even though they are not significantly different except for trims.

            A good case in point is the Maxima vs. the I30/I35. Or something like the TL vs. an Accord. This doesn’t work as well with Lexus, but in return for getting a pretty old ES instead of a Camry, you get a car that has likely had better ownership over similar mileage numbers.

            But you don’t have the economy car MPGs. If I were bargain shopping the tradeoff there with the larger car would be well worth it.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            hang on there

            Lex ES and Camry both are fuggitaboutit in terms of budget.

            Acura TL and Accord V6 had a blow up trans for years.

            This leaves Maxima as Infiniti has been RWD for years. Maxima is a maybe buy for the budget depending on year/condition.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Huh! We’re talking old 90s stuff here. The people looking for cheap cars.

            Not a recommendation for this OP here, none of that would suit him. I found him a tidy Del Sol anyways lol.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Ok in the 90s the Acura of choice was still Legend (which are mostly gone) as the TL didn’t even come out until MY97. Legend is vastly different than the St Marysville Accord so I don’t get the jist of your buy the better brand for a little more. You’re going to spend on any I4 from the 90s, and good luck finding a Del Soul or Prelude you’d be lucky to find a Civic not destroyed in the price range.

            In Infiniti/Nissan I agree on I30? since it was a rebadge but they aren’t common.

            ES and Camry yes that’s an argument, but both will be high miles and beat for the budget buyer.

            If we’re talking 90s your budget buys are Panther, DN101 Taurus (gen 1) due to build quality (despite trans issues), H/C/W/G body 3800, K-body 4.9 Cadillac, maaaaybe LH, 5.0/4.6 Ford pickups/suvs, GM K trucks, Chrysler 3.9/5.8? trucks, Jeep XJ and WJ? AMC 4.0 I6.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        Actually, I did a little googling and some calculations, and with the current oil price (which made the Norwegian currency drop a bit) a Mitsubishi Mirage costs about the same here as in the US.
        (less than a ’98 Integra Type-R)
        Considering its low weight and tiny engine there’s not much tax on it here. In Comparison a stripped Mustang Ecoboost will cost you 95 K…

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      In much of the country even the poorest people need a car to survive… which of course increases demand and makes cars priced for poor (or very cheap) people more expensive.

      There are many places elsewhere in the world where a car is less necessary than in most of the US.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Yes, it is crazy and it seriously blows.

      Used Japanese vehicles and nearly any running full-size truck are priced through the roof.

      Even older American stuff that used to be available for super cheap (H-bodies, Panthers, B-bodies) have been creeping up in price.

      Used Northstar Cadillacs and Jaguars are still cheap though.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        I can still find B-bodies for 2 grand around here…though the box ones are becoming harder to find, and most of the whales are 4.3 LT engine snoozemobiles.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        Both the Northstar Caddys and the Jags will cost you a fortune in parts and repairs, and an added bonus for the North*, you can count on it happening.

        After all, though, you can always put a new set of studs in the North* and roll the dice on the next repair.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    First generation and some early 2nd generation Prius are possible for under $3,000. The 2nd generation seem to hold up well with high mileage (250,000+) as they have become the taxi of choice in many parts of the world.

    • 0 avatar
      Bee

      Where in the world have you found second generation Prii for less than 3k?! Around here they are at least five grand with 240k.

      I would second the nomination for the Mitsubishi Mirage (97-02) they are pretty cheap cars but reliable if not spartan. I just picked up a five speed coupe for $375 the other day

  • avatar
    Pch101

    If you’re spending $2k for a car, then individual condition matters a lot more than the specific make and model.

    Buy the first decent Toyota, Honda, etc. that you can find, as the most expensive aspect of this purchase is the time needed to find a decent runner for that kind of money. Most of what you see won’t be worth buying.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      This is the right way to look at it. I’d also budget atleast $500, and more like $1000 (if you don’t DIY it) to bring things up to par mechanically. This is where it might actually make sense to buy an older car or one with less features for less than that $2500 cap, and spend the difference on the inevitable brake job/ timing belt/tires.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    I don’t know which Portland he lives in; in the one I live in, they don’t “practically ban cars”.

    AutoTrader “under $3k”, prioritizing MPG and parkability, in the Portland area suggests… well, you might not manage “doesn’t suck”.

    A 2000 Focus? A fairly beat-up Civic?

    Worrying about MPG is going to make it tough, in that category, because *everyone* buying a cheap-ass car wants Awesome Mileage.

  • avatar

    If you are wanting to stay in the Honda realm, the 92-95 Civic VX hatch has the D15Z1 VTEC-e engine that should be good for mid-40’s mpgs

    There is also the 96-00 Civic HX hatch that came with the D16Y5 VTEC-e engine.

  • avatar
    JerseyDan

    Light bulb just went on in my head!!!

    How about a 1990-1992 Mazda 323 Hatch?, most should have some rust so they would be cheep here is one:
    http://seattle.craigslist.org/sno/ctd/4965932557.html

    B or BP motor is a non interference, and as plus it has a great shifter.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I really don’t get why the Magnum engines get such horrendous gas mileage. Maybe the Dakota and Durango are just really f*cking heavy, I dunno.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Because they are slightly massaged, fuel-injected descendants of a ’60s design. They’re pretty much just like the pre-LT1 SBCs.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I recall one of the complaints from C&D with a long term tester 5.2 ltr Magnum Grand Cherokee was the horrible gas mileage.

        I wonder if a 318 or 360 with the lean burn crap replaced by an aftermarket TBI system like MSDs Atomic EFI would actually get better gas mileage than the MAGNUM version?

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    Continuing to drive the wrecked CRX without repair (assuming it is drivable or can be made so cheaply) may be worth a try. Fixing it is probably a bad, bad idea. What you are up against is the laws of Physics. Once a car has been hit hard, all sorts of stuff is knocked out of kilter. Nasty old Mr. Friction has his way with all your newly misaligned moving parts.

    Assuming Plan A fails, sell the CRX for junk and go to Plan B. Small Hondas and Toyotas are good vehicles, but pricey. Mazda 3’s and pickups might be a good bet IF you can find a suitable example. After that, the Ford Escort (I once owned one) is OK and better than the Chevy Aveo.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Just pay a pro to pull the pan/unibody ‘straight’ and look at it as a FREE car. Replace body panels over time. But let the CRX go away and it’ll always haunt you.

  • avatar
    kablamo

    88-91 Civic hatch is a great suggestion, however the 90-92 Mazda 323 hatch ticks almost all of the same boxes. It’s cheap, fun, durable and easy to fix. You might have a slightly easier time finding one than a stock civic.

    Tercel (early/mid 90’s) is the economical choice but man are they ever boring to drive. And slow, so slow, even with a stick. The Civic and 323 feel peppier, the gearing is better.

  • avatar
    sketch447

    Total the Honda. Take the $2k they give you and put a downpayment on a base Mitsu Mirage stick or a Chevy Spark. (I think Mitsu will get you a better deal, esp. with financing.)

    Trust me, it’s the best thing you can do. And if you’re self-employed and use your car for business, you can even write off the Mitsu’s depreciation and certain other costs on your taxes.

    You spend your life treating other people. So treat yourself, for once…..

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Between $1800-2500 in my neck of the woods (Western Michigan) will net you lots of domestic iron, a few G bodies, W bodies, L bodies, oddball trucks and 20 year old Toyota Tercels. You can have cheap, good or fun, but not all three.

    I don’t know what conditions are like in Portland (I’m assuming Oregon?), but if I were in your shoes, I’d find something anvil simple and reliable with good fuel mileage. Or at least something cheap to repair, as this thing is going to see some abuse.

    I would have a preference for a Cockroach of the Road™, Chevy Cavalier for my part of the country. The simple engines and suspensions can deal with all of the horrors our winters deliver. But any small car would do. I could imagine using the last of the Escorts or early Focii if they’re plentiful in your area. Others have mentioned a small pickup like a Ranger, another anvil with simple mechanicals.

    The point to all of this is, the car will probably die soon and very possibly a nasty death. (Hopefully you won’t follow suit.) Don’t get emotionally attached to the beast, it will do you no good. Buy something cheap that gets you maximum revenue with minimum cost and save your pennies for a really nice CRX later down the road.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Ah I was waiting your arrival geozinger with the J-body ‘cockroach’ recommendation. Not a bad idea, although I’d argue that around town, the GMs give up quite a bit of fuel economy to the less torquey and smaller engined Japanese 1990s econoboxes. But J body parts are everywhere and dirt cheap, something that might not be the case for something more isoteric like a Mitsubishi Mirage or Mazda 323/Protege.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Escort

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      That’s what I was going to say as a second recommendation. We had a 1993 Escort sedan go to 357k miles before the engine finally quit. I hated that little economy car, but it was certainly reliable. And, they’re definitely cheap!

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Escort/Tracer is a good choice. Id go for a 1996 or older to avoid the interferance engine the 97+ had, but I suppose if you keep up with the timing belt, it shouldnt be a problem. Some advice: if the heater core starts leaking, have it replaced or by pass it right away. As Ive seen, it can only take one overheating to cook the 1.9L beyond reasonable repair.

      Quite the opposite is true of the OHV 2.3L HSC I-4 engine used in the Tempo. You can overheat it until it quits running, let it cool, and the damn thing will crank right back up. Ive done it several times, lol. Given the all iron construction used on the HSC, usually just a head gasket is required if it comes to that. Im not saying its impossible to crack the head, just not nearly as easy as an aluminum design as is in an Escort, Civic, etc. The worst part about the Tempo is the non-overdrive automatic. A manual trans Tempo is a very reliable car with good mileage that is incredibly cheap to repair if/when something does fail. If you see a Tempo with the poly cast “swirl” wheels, it probably has an automatic (they were both included in a very-often ordered PEP). Find a V-6 Tempo and youll see its practicly the definition of a “sleeper” (car that looks slow, but isnt).

  • avatar
    GeneralMalaise

    Agree on the Colt. I had a ‘blue 91 Plymouth Colt, 4 speed, no-AC, no radio, grey vinyl interior… bought it new for $5995. It was bulletproof. I put 175k miles on it before giving it to one of my sons.

  • avatar
    alexis l

    I don’t know why nobody has suggested it, but if your vanity hasn’t taken over, and you want a blend of economy, durability, cheap-as-chips parts as well as initial purchase price, and reasonable reliability, why not get a Delta platform GM from 10 years or so ago? I have a Saturn Ion and while it is nothing special to drive (not to mention look at, thank god I mostly see out of it), it is reliable, good on gas, can get crashed around Toronto’s atrocious roads, and still looks presentable. True, I had to replace my 5-speed transaxle, but I hear the automatic ones are more durable. The Ecotec engines are known to be bulletproof and many parts interchange between brands. Ultimately, after three years of owning it, it’s grown on me and I’ve come to appreciate it.

    Also, cheapest insurance by far I could come up with (nobody’s going to steal, joyride or export my Saturn Ion!).

    Hint: you can change the horrible stock seats between any Cobalt, Ion or Pursuit/G5 with the far better seats out of a Cobalt SS or Ion Redline. Front seats interchange, coupe or sedan, with all models. My back appreciates it…

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    This would do. It wont get HF fuel mileage, but its not exactly a gas hog, and itll have a little more pep. The big repairs/maintinence items are already done (clutch, timing belt, CV axles, etc), and for under two grand, I think its pretty good. http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/cto/4961348812.html

    This car is a bit newer, and an automatic if that’s something that intrests you. Its a reliable car with pretty low mileage and (apperantly) in good condition for the asking price. I highly recommend replacing the timing belt as it has an interferance engine. http://portland.craigslist.org/clc/cto/5000570781.html

    If youre a fan of small trucks, the 2.3L Lima engine this one has is incredibly reliable and long lasting. Small pickups in good condition (especially extended cab models) tend to hold their value pretty well. http://portland.craigslist.org/clc/cto/5001146935.html

    If you do end up with a Corolla/Prizm or Tercel as others have suggested, Id avoid the non-overdrive automatic a lot of them from that era were saddled with (yes, an overdrive auto was avalible on Prizm/Corolla, but not as common as the 3spd) and go for the 4 or 5 speed manual. Im far from a Toyota fan (quite the opposite, actually), but I do like the two door Tercel from the 1990s. That would be my choice if a Toyota was in the cards.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Good find on that Civic John, I’d say that’s a top pick given the recent comprehensive maintenance, that negates any worries of 200k miles IMO as long as the engine doesn’t smoke and runs good.

      Yes a lot of the base/”CE” Corollas have 3 speeds, I’ve driven one and it does suck a lot of pep out of the car, along with fuel economy. But they are long lasting and are tolerable enough around town.

      Your earlier suggestion of a 91-96 Escort is right on the money as well, awesome Mazda chassis, the 1.9L engines are pretty uncouth but not unreliable I don’t think. LTS(?) Tracers and Escort GTs got the excellent Mazda BP engine. I think these are the best “American” compact cars of the entire 1990s.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I always liked the more Euro styling of the Tracer much better. That Escort with it’s shrunken Taurus styling looked derpy.

        Light bar!

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Corey, check out the Ford Laser from the 1990s. Its what we got in the states labled as an Escort, but with different front and rear styling. It really looks better IMO. Im tempted to pick up a 91-96 Escort and do a “Laser conversion”, except I dont need an econony car with my bad back, and the fact that my Taurus is not bad on fuel (in other words, its not like Id save enough fuel to justify the cost of the Escort-cum-Laser).

          The 90s Laser came in a 2.0iRS version using nearly the same Mazda-designed 2.0L we got in North America in the first gen Kia Sportage (which is a vehicle I wouldnt mind having in 4WD/manual form). Mazda put that same 2.0L in a version of what we know as the 626, but not for North America.

          In case anyone is wondering, the Escort we knew was labled Laser elsewhere because the “real” (Ford-designed) Escort was also on sale at the same time in those markets

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That Laser isn’t bad looking, with it’s slightly Ford and slightly 323 appearance. I’d probably try and find a nice 323 hatch instead, though I dunno how possible that is.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          @Corey,

          I liked the first gen (323-based) Tracer, the one built where the Fusion/MKZ is built now. Chick in high school had one with a 5spd, virtually indestructable. That plant was then and is now one of Ford’s consistantly highest rated for build quality.

          If I were the OP, Id tell you what Id have, and thats a Ford Festiva or 3 door Aspire with a manual. Ive driven a 96 Aspire and that led me to own a 1990 Festiva. Theyre reliable, get 40 or more mpg no matter what you do (except buy one with the 3spd slush box), and theyre actually fun to drive, especially if you upgrade them to 14″ or 15″ wheels (the alloys optional on 91-6 Escort LX are a natural fit). I like the manual steering, and theyre easy to park in the city even with it.

          They give up some MPG to a 3 cyl Metro, but youll gladly make that trade the first time you try to build up speed to merge onto the freeway. I never felt a sense of gutlessness in my Festiva or that Aspire. I worked for a GM dealer right out of high school, and I threw a fit everytime they stuck me in a penalty box known as the Chevy (by that time) Metro. I HATED those wreched things. I enjoyed my Festiva because it was fun to beat on and didnt seem to mind. Id call it a “willing partner” in that department. The Metro seemed to scream “cmon! Take it easy!” anytime you tried to have a little fun.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Yeah, Ive driven a few of those Civics, theyre not bad to beat around in. They handle well and can make $5 worth of gas stretch pretty far. The OP is already used to a very similar car, so it seems like a natural fit. Id have loved to have found him another decent (non-modded and/or not beat to hell), but theyre all but gone or way over budget

        I didnt see any decent Prizms, or any Corolla that wasnt beat to hell and/or with high mileage. As I mentioned, I prefer the Tercel (especially coupes) to them anyway. I usually see some decent Tercel coupes with 4 or 5 speeds in the North West, but not when I looked last night.

        Allow me to do some house keeping: I feel I should appologize to you for a negative comment I made to you a while back (the rental Rouge article if my memory serves). Although I stand by my points and opinions, I couldve been a lot nicer about it. Im not trying to excuse myself, but sometimes when Im in a decent amount of pain, I can be sharp and down right rude. I do appologize (and the same goes for anyone else I may have offended in the past as well).

        You and I can disagree, especially about Toyotas and Japanese vehicles in general, but Ill try to be more civil in the future.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Ford Escorts? Bio Burnin’ Benz? Unsafe Trucks?

    I may as well join the bandwagon with a suggestion equally logical to most of the ones above

    A vintage, 1970’s-era VW Beetle! Because around here we got a pizza boy that uses one (or used one, havent seen it for a while), they’re easy to fix, and naturally VERY reliable!

    I’d just get a Prizm or a similar Japanese equivalent as the more sane posts have suggested, avoid Mazdas if you don’t want to be patching up rust.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I don’t see what’s so unreasonable about a 1990s Escort vis a vis a Prizm of similar vintage. As others have stated, as old as these vehicles are, condition and maintenance play a much larger role than the badge on the hood.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Given that Escorts are just Taurus-looking Mazdas I dont doubt their dependability, and they’re dirt cheap.

        Its just a few of the Escort posts were nutty, read the one that suggest a V6 TEMPO!

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Obviously youve never driven a V-6 Tempo. The 3.0L Vulcan is an incredibly reliable engine. They are very cheap to repair, things like alternators and starters can be as cheap as 1/4 the price of the same part for a Camry.

          You know, the reason there still are a bunch of 80s and 90s Fords on the road is that they dont die at 50k like you may have been led to believe. Ive personally owned 15 Tempos, none had any major issues. I usually bought them for little-to-nothing with body damage or minor mechanical issues. I repaired them and usually drove them for 6 months to a year before reselling them for a resonable profit. I bought my 1992 Tempo LX V-6 from a Ford dealer in 2000. I put well over 100k very hard miles on it and rarely had any trouble. I think the biggesr issue it had was a leak from the transxle starting at like 160k. I regret getting rid of it, and if I hadnt been stupid and stored it at a friends place near the beach, rust wouldnt have set in (salty air, etc) and I wouldnt have had a reason to get rid of it. Id buy another in a heart beat.

          My high mileage Tempos and Tauruses never used much if any oil. Virtually any 1980s-90s Honda or Toyota will start drinking it after 130-150k or so. I know, Ive had them, too. My 95 Accord used (not leaked) about 1.5-2 quarts every 1,000 miles. My 95 Taurus I drive today uses less than a half quart in 4-5k miles between oil changes. Both have (or had) similar mileage.

          The 3.0L and the 2.3L HSC in the Tempo also never needs a timing belt (uses chain) or valve adjustment as is required on Hondas and most Toyotas.

          Ive also come to realize that even a minor over heating incident will destroy a Honda or Toyota engine. You may as well replace the engine when it blows a head gasket, as theyll almost always warp or crack their head and/or block (only Ford’s terrible 3.8L V-6 compares in this department, and Ive always advised against any vehicle with this engine or its derivitives).

          I bought a CRX, one owner with 130k, adult driven commuter car. Hose leaked, car got hot, blew a head gasket. Guy spent $1300 having it repaired, then the bottom end started making horrible noise. Engine was toast. I asked him how long did he let it over heat. He said he pulled over as soon as the temp gauge went above half and had it towed. Claims it never got into the red.

          Same story almost identically with my cousin’s 4Runner with the much ballyhooed (sp? Lol never typed that before) 22re with just under 150k. It didnt have bottom end noise, just a cracked block after he spent nearly two grand at a Toyota-specific shop to repair a blown head gasket. After the repair was “complete”, they called us to come get it. I went to get it since he was gone on a job, and the pile of sh!t barely made it two blocks. Towed it back with an F-150 and they said it was bad injectors. $800 later, it ran exactly the same (like utter sh!t). He said he wasnt spending another dime so they could throw parts on it. Towed it home with the F-150. While looking underneath the truck for a potential cause, I found it: coolant streaming down the back of the block from a crack the size of the Grand Canyon. Sold it for $500 after he priced a used short block (the head was new) that was insanely expensive. Again, the temp gauge never even got into the red. Pathetic. It isnt alone, I see them on craigslist with similar issues all the freakin time.

          I have to laugh when I see people on here claiming Toyotas are “cheap to repair”. Maybe compared to an Audi or other European car. Oh, and they can take SO much abuse. Really? Is a pin hole leak in a coolant hose too much abuse? Because thats all it takes many times.

  • avatar
    CAMeyer

    Presuming the car is otherwise fairly mechanical sound, without impending need for a lot of expensive repairs, I’d fight tooth and nail to get the damage fixed rather than get the car totalled, even if I had to shell out a bit. Years ago, I had a gen 1 CRX, and was hit several times. It may have been tiny, but it was a solid car. Once the cosmetic damage was fixed (cracked plastic fenders, bumpers, etc), the car came back fine. (It was eventually stolen, boo hoo).

    If that’s not possible, the choice depends on the value the guy places on cool factor vs basic cheap transportation for pizza delivery, etc. IMO, you can drive with pride a civic hatch no matter how old it is. Unfortunately, people know how good these cars are and when sell them price them accordingly. Also, many seller have done mods, some a bit ridiculous, and are expecting to get their money back. Some of those mods are silly paint jobs and wheels postadolescent males go for. And, finally, these cars are theft bait.
    If he can find a civic in decent shape that doesn’t have enormous (>200K) mileage for his budget, great. Otherwise, I’d look at a relatively more recent disfavored econobox like a Hyundai Accent.

  • avatar
    CAMeyer

    While we’re discussing Civics, etc, behold this example:

    https://newjersey.craigslist.org/cto/5001652670.html

    My first car was one of these, in orange, also with a Hondamatic. I had it for about 3 years in the early 1980s, before it rusted away. The last time I saw one like it was in the Smithsonian!

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      If thats something youre into, you can find early Hondas (even the Z600 and N600 kei cars, the first Honda cars sold in the USA) all the time on the western half of the country, especiall California, Oregon and Washington. I find 70s Accords and Civics in running/driving condition for less than two grand all the time. I wouldnt exactly trust a $1000 1979 Honda to drive back to New Jersey (without a good mechanical inspection/reconditioning), but shipping by rail is very reasonable. Shipping accross country by truck usually runs around a grand, more or less.

      They do rust, but nothing like they do back East. Is usually minor surface rust, very repairable.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Jack, how do we contact you?

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