In 1992, with the emergence of the golden age of sport compacts just around the corner, Honda cancelled the famously well handling CRX and replaced it with the del Sol, a sporty 2-seat targa topped version of the Civic. Made to compete with Mazda’s Miata and add some fun to Honda’s pedestrian early 90’s lineup, Honda released the del Sol in 1993. The Japanese spec del Sol SiR made waves for making over 100 horsepower per liter in a naturally aspirated engine, an oddly specific metric that is a little more exciting than say “it has 160 hp.” However, the only US market del Sol to make 160 hp would be those that were the top level VTEC trim and this del Sol is an Si that came with a 125 hp 1.6 liter 16 valve SOHC VTEC D16 engine. That’s right it has VTEC, but it’s not the VTEC model; that one came with a B16 engine with a DOHC, higher compression, higher redline - a generally more aggressive tune. If you’re confused, don’t feel bad, customers at the time were too.
While having more horsepower is the fun way to increase performance, the smart way is to have less weight, as less weight generally improves handling too. Like the Miata, the del Sol opts for the smarter approach, weighing in at about 2500 lbs. Also like the Miata, the joy of driving a del Sol is not in the numbers or winning drag races, but the actual experience of driving the car itself. With its short wheelbase and go-kart like handling, the experience is made even more enjoyable by wind in your hair. And when you don’t want the wind in your hair you can keep the targa-top on and the windows up to shut out the weather and the outside cacophony of the wind, exhaust, and other drivers lobbing the kinds of heckles at you that guys who drive Miatas are also familiar with.
This del Sol is like new with only 27k miles and original Frost White paint and gray interior. According to the seller it, “is in pristine condition, unmolested, and a collector’s worthy example with factory new car smell.” As for valuation this one is tricky. A 1994 Samba Green Si with 38k miles went on BaT for $20,500, while a 1994 Milano Red VTEC with 59k miles went for $8600. The most similar recent example, a 1995 22k mile Si went for $13,750. There are more fun to drive del Sols out there for less money but you’ll likely have trouble finding one for sale more pristine than this, so if you want to step back into 1997 and take your top off (sure, we all do) then this might be the ride for you.