Junkyard Find: 1989 Honda CRX

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1989 honda crx

The Honda CRX is one of my very favorite 1980s cars, hailing from an era when Americans paid well over MSRP and/or waited for months for the privilege of getting a new Honda. Twenty years ago, I owned a few early CRXs (before giving up on the carbureted CVCC examples, which were impossible to get through California’s strict emissions tests due to the “Map of the Universe” tangle of vacuum lines), and I often thought of getting a fuel-injected late CRX.

Such cars were expensive back then, but values have plummeted to the point where I now see 1988-1991 CRXs at U-Wrench-type yards. Here’s one in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Of course, the second-gen CRX is still worth enough that only the truly banged-up examples show up in self-service junkyards. This one received multiple layers of the fast-n-furious treatment, as interpreted by the Prophet Manny, the Seer Moe, and the Haruspex Jack.

My guess is that this car’s nickname was THE WOLF.

This sort of odometer reading is typical of Hondas of the late 1980s, even those that spent much of their lives with engines howling at redline. Maybe this car was a sedate commuter for 25 years before it became THE WOLF; the CRX was that rare combination of penny-pinching economy car and fun enthusiast machine.

The 1989 CRX Si got a 105-horsepower 1.6-liter engine, but this car has the regular 1.5-liter D15, rated at 92 hp. Curb weight was just barely over a ton, so fun could be had on double-digit power.

See you later, alligator.

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2 of 36 comments
  • Pwrwrench Pwrwrench on May 22, 2019

    "I had a white over blue 88 4ws" You mean these came in other colors besides red and white?

  • Cognoscenti Cognoscenti on Jun 17, 2019

    I hit a deer while driving a 1989 CRX si once. You'd think I would be dead, with such a low to the ground car - imagine the deer coming through the windshield. However, thanks to remarkable maneuverability, I was able to swerve into the other lane (no one was coming) at 50 MPH and hit the right rear of the deer with the right front quarter of the CRX. The insurance claims adjuster found deer hair in the headlamp assembly...thanks for saving my life, Honda! :)

  • SPPPP This rings oh so very hollow. To me, it sounds like the powers that be at Ford don't know which end is up, and therefore had to invent a new corporate position to serve as "bad guy" for layoffs and eventual scapegoat if (when) the quality problems continue.
  • Art Vandelay Tasos eats $#!t and puffs peters
  • Kwik_Shift Imagine having trying to prove that the temporary loss of steering contributed to your plunging off a cliff or careening through a schoolyard?
  • Inside Looking Out How much costs 25 y.o. Mercedes S class with 200K miles?
  • VoGhost Matthew, It's transformation, not transition. This is a common title in corporate America.