Classic Car Watch
Honda CRX Si, Pontiac Fiero, Toyota MR2

NOTE: This column displays cars I have found on the Internet. I am not selling them. Please follow the links if you are interest in a car. Be mindful of the date this article was published. For an explanation why I do this read the original column here.

July 1, 2013
By Scott Lewis

I was inspired. I went to a meet ups with the Austin Mini Cooper Car Club and one of the people there had a 1998 Honda CRX Si. I know what you are thinking, why did he have a CDX at a Mini Cooper meet up? Well, to be in this club you only have to love Minis, you don't have to own one.

This CRX reminded me of my first new car. When I turned 25 I bought a 1989 CRX Si, and the car at the meet up brought back some fond memories. So naturally I decided to see what was out there.

Not much as it turns out. The guy at the meet up told my he paid about $6,500 for his car with 94K miles on it. And it was in amazing condition. I could not find anything as nice, regardless of price.

Now, as long as I was going down this memory lane I thought I should also look at the two cars that most closely competed with the CRX at the time (and I briefly considered). The other two cars where the Pontiac Fiero and the Toyota MR2. Granted, in December of 88 I would have been looking at the tail end of the last year for the Fiero. And for the most part I dismissed it quickly because of car reviews that showed the CRX to be much better. I read back then that a lot of CRX's where getting over sticker price, so when I found one for sticker price I bought it (yea, I now know that was a mistake). Anyway, I still needed more fodder for this article so the Fiero and MR2 are also represented below.

1989 Honda CRX Si - eBay - Reserve not met

Description: This is an orig CRX Si with orig paint/body and no modifications or upgrades usually found on these cars. 89,855 miles. Quick history is that it was originally purchased new in 1989 and sold to a family friend in 1991 and has remained with her till now being offered for sale . Never wrecked or abused and dealer maintained and serviced including oil changes. It does not have a/c , it does have a power sunroof that works properly as does everything in the car (no shock there it is a Honda).

Source: eBay Motors

Comments: This car looked amazing in the photos. I remember when I bought my CRX I test drove a yellow one, but did not get it in yellow because the car looked a bit like a bumble bee with all the black. Anyway, this car is very nice indeed. I did not follow it to the end, but it was still below reserve as I type this... at $5,500. I can see going as high as $7,000 from the pictures. However, to pay more would require seeing it in person to be sure. Also, this car does not have A/C... a major no-no in Texas. I know they could install A/C at the dealer back then, but I don't know if that could be done now... 24 years later. 

1991 Toyota MR2 Turbo - $9,950 (eBay - Buy It Now)

Description: 122k miles, 5 speed transmission, timing belt replaced at 62k miles.

Source: eBay Motors

Comments: The Turbo edition of the MR2 is partly why it went away. In Turbo trim these cars were getting seriously expensive (in the same way the Nissan 300ZX Turbo, Mazda RX7 Turbo & Toyota Supra Turbo). Now they are affordable if you can find a nice one with low mileage. A good friend of mine in New York had a first gen and second gen (non-turbo) MR2. I can tell you they are fun little cars. This car looked great in the pictures... inside and out. It seemed worth the asking price to me.

1988 Pontiac Fiero Formula - eBay - Reserve not met

Description: 76K miles, 5 speed manual, A/C, non-sunroof.

Source: eBay Motors

Comments: This is the Fiero you want to get. The 84-87 cars used parts bin components for the suspension. It used a Chevette front suspension for the front, and it used the front suspension of the Citation for the rear of the Fiero... with the steering parts locked in place. Crazy, but cheap to produce and the only way they got it past the been counters.

For 1988 they designed a new suspension for the Fiero that was all its own. A true sporting suspension. Too bad this was the last year for the car... it was just getting good. The Formula edition was also lighter than the GT, making this version the best performing Fiero.

This car had a number of minor issues that added up, so I can see why its bidding did not go past $3,150. But it still might be a good buy depending on the price. 

1988 Pontiac Fiero GT - $10,900

Description: Like New 1988 Pontiac Fiero GT, 7774 Miles, climate controlled stored, selling out of an Estate.

Source: eBay Motors

Comments: Although not a Formula... I have never seen a nicer Fiero. This car looked amazing in the few pictures in the eBay listing. And the price is totally worth it to me. I love the idea of getting a super well preserved, ultra low mileage car for under $11K.

1993 Toyota MR2 - eBay - Reserve not met

Description: 1993 Toyota MR2 Base Coupe 2-Door 2.2L, 32,977 miles, 5 speed.

Source: eBay Motors

Comments: Here is a really nice example of a base MR2 (non-turbo). This might actually be the better car. No turbo lag, and the power is probably in line with the handling of the car... similar to the power in the new BRZ/FR-S twins. Personally, I think the $7,400 the bidding reached was very fair, but that's just me. Obviously the owner wants more. Good luck.

1986 Toyota MR2 - $10,500

Description: 45,250 miles original owner, mint condition. Car is black on black with leather interior 5 speed manual transmission.

Source: eBay Motors

Comments: This was the nicest first generation MR2 I saw. Price seems a tad high to me. But it is the only one I saw with leather as well. You be the judge. The first gen MR2 seems more like a toy to me... whereas the second gen seem like a miniature Ferrari.

1990 Honda CRX Si - $7,495

Description: 76,845 miles. It has just been repaired and completely refinished. All body panels used were either new OEM Honda or clean southern parts. A/C converted to R-134 and blows cold.

Source: eBay Motors

Comments: This car had a lot of stuff that was apparently done to it cosmetically. If all that work was done well, this could be a good car to buy. The price I show above was the "buy it now" price. It was showing as Reserve not met at the time I found it. I would want a serious, in person inspection of this car... but I would like to see it before writing it off.