Thursday, April 6, 2017

Sweet little rally racer lying dormant in in Red Hook

Thankfully the late coming snow has now washed away or melted. However just a couple weeks ago this was the scene in Red Hook:
This tiny little car is a 1990 Honda CRX Si in Granada Black Poly.
I'm showing this pic next because it neatly sums up this entire ride. DOHC on that little trim piece indicates a Dual OverHead Cam engine.
 MUGEN equipped stands for the Mugen Motorsports company. Mugen was founded by the son of the founder of Honda; Soichiro Honda. As a result it is about as legit a badge of aftermarket performance parts as you will find.
Combine those details with a broken marker light, rusted brake rotor, and dented fender and that's this CRX in a nutshell.
The CRX was introduced in 1983 as a 2 seater version of the Civic. The three letters stand for Civic Rally Cross.
As dusty and beat as this thing looks now somebody spent a lot of money on modifications at some point. This is a race car parked on the street. The hood is a fiberglass replacement with a cheesy deep reverse scoop accented in LOOK AT ME purple.  
These cars are tiny - just over 12 feet long. From the factory even the earliest, most frugal models handled incredibly well. Parking is so easy that it's like having a private space wherever you go.
This was a great era for Honda. There was a 4 wheel steering option for the Prelude where the rear wheels turned slightly in the opposite direction of the fronts. The result was a Honda that outperformed Ferrari and Porsche in handling! That innovation combined with the legendary durability of their cars was spectacular for their reputation.
All CRXs are true 2 seaters. I rode in one back in high school as the 3rd person and it entailed jamming my legs between the front seats and laying flat in the trunk area, looking up at the sky. There is ZERO extra room in these!
This tiny wing probably helps with the already enviable drag coefficient. 
That shockingly green thing in the window looks to me to be a valve cover. Maybe the engine is disassembled at the moment? Actually upon further review it looks like an engine in a plastic tub.
Yeah bro now we move on to the bro area of this ride. BUILT NOT BOUGHT is the sort of ridiculous macho crap that dudes slap on their car for other dudes to admire. Please rotate your hat and show respect. Do you even lift bro?
Cool dude I totally get it! That little sticker means kiss your ass right? Sweet!
Putting blackout stickers over your taillights seems ridiculous to me. The best thing about the bumper with those 6 holes in it is that it's cracked and might be replaced.
In many ways this design is similar to the '71-'73 Ford Mustang Sportsroof (fastback) as each has an equally useless rear window. Unlike the Mustang Honda augmented the visibility by making that panel between the taillights and the wing out of glass. Heavily tinted as it is you can still see through it enough to back up without hitting something.
I bagged on the bro-mods a bit but in reality I've always loved the CRX. It was eventually replaced by the Del Sol which has a removable targa roof but lost some of the charm of the original for me. If you somehow found one of these that was rust free or close to it in running condition I would highly recommend picking it up. You'd be hard pressed to find a better blend of fun and reliability. 

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