1983 Honda Civic Wagon: Giant Killer

If you buy this car, the seller makes a bold claim: the guy in the Porsche will have no chance with the ladies. Is that possible with a 1983 Honda Civic wagon, listed here on Maine’s craigslist for $3,700? There’s only one way to find out, I suppose. While the seller hypes the car’s effect on the fairer sex, I’m more intrigued by the 4-speed manual transmission and surprisingly clean body for a car with northern roots. The seller says it is rust-free but aside from re-painting the wheels, doesn’t talk much about any sort of maintenance work he has completed. Now, I know that it’s a Honda and they don’t need much, but we’d all feel better knowing a brake job or coolant flush has been performed. Still, this is a great buy for a starter classic.

1989 Honda CRX Si: The Icon and Original

Very few cars have set a standard in the hot-hatch category that still exists today like the original CRX Si. This example on eBay is definitely driver-quality, but it’s also cheap – a $3,800 Buy-It-Now is a bargain in today’s market for unmolested Si’s. Lightweight, lithe handling, and can’t-kill-it reliability all made the CRX into the cult classic it is today. And were it not for the tin worm, it might even still be easy to find a project-grade example given their original popularity. Unfortunately, weak sheet metal is a common failure point for Hondas of this era, as is the tendency to find cars that have been modified and beat upon mercilessly by teenage owners. With only 142,000 miles and the timing belt job already done, this ’89 CRX Si is either a future classic or autocross champion in waiting, so I’d consider buying now while it’s still cheap.

1990 Honda Prelude 4WS Si: Full Circle

When people wax poetic about Hondas of the late ’80s and early ’90s, the conversation very quickly turns to CRXs. And why shouldn’t it? Lightweight, super chuckable, two seats and quick for its modest power rating, with the obvious bulletproof reliability anyone buys a Honda for. But here’s the thing: it wouldn’t be my first choice, as I was heavily influenced by my first car, a 1987 Honda Accord. If you owned a GTI, you lusted after the CRX; if you owned an Accord, you wanted the Prelude. I’m in love with this 1990 model here on craigslist in North Carolina for only $3,500, and it’s one of the rare and quirky 4-wheel steering models. Read more »