Digestible Collectible: 2003 Acura CL Type S

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
digestible collectible 2003 acura cl type s

Yes, dear readers, I do read the comments. I try and chime in when I can, but I have a day job that doesn’t always allow me to monitor, refute, or verbally flog every remark, even when warranted.

Wednesday, 2003 Acura CL Type S for sale in Tennessee is so equipped, and even tempting with its likely-to-fade-to-pink red paint.

Its 260 horsepower in a front-wheel-drive coupe is plenty quick, especially as Honda decided to fit a real limited-slip differential. Heck, this could make a fun weekend track toy that still looks classy on the soul-sucking Monday morning commute. I’d prefer the factory radio were still present, as I’ve had too many aftermarket head units stolen to count — including from my own Honda coupe when I was 17 — but that’s a minor complaint for an otherwise-pristine car.

But is its $7,500 sticker a fair price for this? I’d be more comfortable if two grand were knocked off, and I’d pay more for one in a color such as orange or purple, but those examples seem to be hard to track down with three pedals.

Chris Tonn is a broke classic car enthusiast that writes about old cars, since he can’t afford to buy them. Commiserate with him on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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3 of 58 comments
  • Tyrade Tyrade on Jan 29, 2016

    I worked as for a supplier that had Acura as a client when this CL launched. I remember how pleased with themselves they were that they had successfully created an oval fuel door with compound curves and the skinniest fender lips known to man. They had already started losing their way even way back then.

  • Disaster Disaster on Feb 01, 2016

    Keep in mind all Honda Accords and Acuras of this era ate ring gears requiring transmission replacements. The less powerful Accords are good for 100-150K. Some Acura S's have eaten their trans in as low as 60K. Otherwise a great car. I owned the non-S version.

    • VoGo VoGo on Feb 01, 2016

      All? I never had this issue with my manual transmission Accords.

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion: https://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper2/thoreau/civil.html
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?