488549: Arnold's 1990 Honda CR-X Si
As car enthusiasts, we all get a little bit excited when a low mileage car pops up for sale online. These survivors give us a window to the past, a chance to see a car as it was sold, without the dents and dings that daily use unavoidably provides. Preserving a vehicle like this isn’t challenging. One simply buys the car, puts it in a climate controlled garage, and then doesn’t drive it. Crank it a couple times a month, and in twenty years, there is a well-preserved (hopefully) classic car ready for someone else’s enjoyment. But honestly, what a boring way to own a car.
Arnold bought this 1990 Honda CRX Si last year with over 480,000 miles. That’s more than 17,000 miles a year for it’s nearly thirty year old lifespan. The average mileage per year for cars in America is 13,476. That’s a hard-working little hatchback.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t really have the back-story to this CR-X. There likely isn’t one; simply put, a regular guy bought a car, loved it, and drove it with care for 25 years.
When Arnold purchased the car, it was bone-stock, but needed a good bit of catch-up maintenance. In restoring much of the suspension, he replaced the OEM springs and shocks with a set of Skunk2 coilovers and installed a set of woefully underappreciated 15x7 Enkei Compes. The enhancements add a touch of period-correct flair, while sticking to Honda’s original design.
The interior wears its age well. Arnold has wisely left it alone, save for a few fun details.
Taking a car to nearly 500,000 miles isn’t easy. Those numbers are generally reserved for tired commercial vehicles or over-engineered Toyotas. And this car wasn’t some salesman car that put in a bunch of highway miles in the first few years and then rested on its laurels. This CR-X was at 375,000 in 2003 per the CarFax, and has done over 100,000 more since then. It is powered by its second engine, a factory replacement with over 200,000 miles.
While we won’t necessarily encourage everyone to actively seek out 400,000 mile vehicles for daily drivers, there’s something to be said for hitting those numbers when it comes to quality. High mileage is not only proof of a well-made vehicle from the factory, but of an owner that deeply cares for his or her car; especially as well-preserved as this humble Honda hatch. With the popularity of vintage cars at an all time high, we as owners should remember that preservation needs to be as important as enjoyment so that future enthusiasts can experience these classics as well. This car proves that those two goals can exist together.