Everybody has heard Sir Mix-a-Lot's line about how Fonda ain't got a motor in the back of her Honda. That was 1992, three years after Mix's masterful ode to a beater '69 Buick Electra 225… but what's this? In 1984 Honda USA made this television advertisement for the Civic CRX, showing Rhonda Fulcher driving her Honda to visit her parents in Fonda, Iowa.Did the 21-year-old Anthony Ray see this ad over and over on Seattle TV, which caused the words "Rhonda Honda Fonda" to buzz around in his head until a couple of them spilled out onto his lyrics notepad nearly a decade later? Maybe not, but one fact is clear: the '84 CRX would have offered about the best combination of fuel efficiency, comfort, and reliability for repeated 120-miles-each-way trips across Iowa; one year later, the even stingier CRX HF became available in the United States, boasting 48 highway mpg. Murilee Martin … [Read more...] about 1984: Rhonda from Fonda drives a Honda
Honda civic crx hf
If you’ve read our exclusive First Look on Honda‘s latest hybrid sports coupe, you already know some of the juicy bits: Heavily influenced by 1984-1991 Honda CRX and 2000-2004 Honda Insight Front engine, front wheel drive Two-passenger hatchback 1.5 liter SOHC I-4 engine combined with Honda’s sixth generation IMA system, which adds a 10 kilowatt DC electric motor and 100 volt nickel metal hydride battery Combined engine and motor output is 122 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque (123 lb ft with the continuously variable transmission) Two transmissions offered: standard 6-speed manual, optional CVT Estimated EPA Fuel economy of 31/37 city/highway mpg (6MT) and 36/38 city/highway mpg (CVT) Alternative Partial-Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) status The sheet just dropped on Honda’s new affordable sport coupe and here are few more tasty morsels we discovered: CR-Z is slated to go on sale in the US in the late summer of 2010. Japanese and European markets will be … [Read more...] about 2010 Detroit: In Z Flesh — 2011 Honda CR-Z
Is it possible that 30 years have gone by since Honda started importing its little Civic to the U.S.? If you owned one of those first-generation Civics or had a friend who did, you no doubt remember its cramped cabin, tinny sheetmetal, and sewing-machine engine. It’s hard to see any of that old Civic in today’s multi-valve, dual-cam, high-powered Civic Si. Well, except for Honda’s trademark reliability and efficiency. And in fact, even those early Civics were fun to drive, at least in their own, fun-to-drive-a-slow-car-fast sort of way. With 30 years of 20/20 hindsight, those early signs of Honda’s success in the U.S. were pretty well written in those first cars. But success at selling cars is one thing; we don’t think anyone-even Honda-could have predicted that Civics were going to be the hot rod of choice for teens and twenty-somethings in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. If you feel like you need to do a little homework to get up to speed on the … [Read more...] about Instant Expert: Civic Spotter’s Guide
Here are all the juicy details on the 2011 Honda CR-Z. we’ve seen this car several times in prototype and concept form, but now the real car is out and the reactions are very positive. *Heavily influenced by 1984-1991 Honda CRX and 2000-2004 Honda Insight *Front engine, front wheel drive *Two-passenger hatchback *1.5 liter SOHC I-4 engine combined with Honda’s sixth generation IMA system, which adds a 10 kilowatt DC electric motor and 100 volt nickel metal hydride battery *Combined engine and motor output is 122 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque (123 lb ft with the continuously variable transmission) *Two transmissions offered: standard 6 speed manual, optional CVT *Estimated EPA Fuel economy of 31/37 city/highway mpg (6MT) and 36/38 city/highway mpg (CVT) *Alternative Partial-Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) status The sheet just dropped on Honda’s new affordable sport coupe and here are few more tasty morsels we discovered: 1) CR-Z is slated to go on sale in the US … [Read more...] about First Look: 2011 Honda CR-Z Hybrid
My daily life revolves around used cars. As a former fast-talking auto auctioneer, it was once my job to inspect, appraise, and liquidate thousands of cars throughout the United States. Since I put down my microphone and became a full-time car dealer, I have gone from auctioning off 150 vehicles an hour – yes, we really do talk that fast – to buying 150 vehicles every two to three months.a diesel truck rolling coal, to $30,000 DeLoreans that hopefully can go at least 88 miles per hour. The auctions never run out of weirdness when it comes to cars because they sell over 10 million every single year. So with that big number in mind, let me tell you about these two cars that have about as much in common as Mel Gibson and Mel Brooks.Option A: 1993 Chevrolet Camaro Indy 500 Pace Car Edition This 1993 Chevrolet Camaro Indy Pace Car has all of 4,187 miles on it. Neither of those numbers are a misprint and yes, those are multi-colored stripes on the hood. Every week, I find … [Read more...] about Old Car or New Car? 1993 Chevy Camaro vs 2015 Honda CR-Z
With my previous Chevrolet Cobalt XFE encounter in mind, visiting three dealerships in search of an XFE tester came as no surprise. Ironically, the dealer formerly associated with “Mr. Big Volume” (a.k.a. Bill Heard) had one XFE-badged Cobalt that survived last month’s Cash For Clunkers shopping spree. Like the surprisingly respectful staff at this once-infamous storefront, the XFE was a refreshing breath of recirculated air. It’s still a Cobalt, but it’s the most fuel-efficient car, battery laden Hybrids notwithstanding. Which turns a rental car special into something…well, something more special.The Cobalt XFE’s claim to fame is the 37 miles per gallon EPA rating, a figure reached from common sense engineering. Which doesn’t explain the (optional) drag-inducing spoiler on our two-door tester: laminar airflow-seekers look elsewhere.But the rest of the package is mundane Cobalt. Sure, the split grille has a swept back demeanor and the … [Read more...] about Review: Chevrolet Cobalt XFE
One might quite reasonably have expected a smaller, lighter two-passenger variant of the Insight to achieve higher EPA numbers than its bigger brother. Say, like it did in 1989, when the CRX HF pulled a 41/50, compared to the ’89 Civic sedan’s 27/33. But reasonable expectations have been dashed by Honda more often than not lately, as in the Insight’s various shortcomings. But a 31/37/33 mpg combined rating for the new 2011 CRX manual, when the Insight is rated at a 41 combined? Does Honda have a death wish? That highway mileage is the same as the Chevy Cobalt XF, which doesn’t need any stinking battery and seats four. And even the combined mileage is only three mpg better. What gives? Beats me. The CR-Z uses a slightly larger 1.5 version of the Insight’s 1.3 four, churning out 122 hp. But a slightly larger engine doesn’t necessarily equate to worse mileage; on the contrary, the new Prius’ larger 1.8 gets better mileage than the older 1.5. The … [Read more...] about New Hybrid Honda CR-Z Equals Cobalt’s EPA Mileage; Set To Stumble Like The Insight?
Images of an alleged brochure for the Japanese domestic-market Honda CR-Z have leaked to Honda fan site Temple of VTEC. If the translation was done correctly, this finally gives us some more info about the vehicle formerly known only as “Honda’s forthcoming sporty hybrid coupe” or, alternately, as the CR-Z concept.While the CR-Z will be the only hybrid on the market that offers a six-speed manual option, it’s going to be slow. With its 1.5 liters of VTEC—hardly enough to build a temple—making 113 hp and 107 lb-ft of torque and coupled via Honda’s IMA hybrid system to an electric motor producing an additional 13 hp and 57 lb-ft, the big H claims the CR-Z will muster only a 9.7-second sprint to 62 mph. That’s slower than the CRX Si from which it supposedly descends—that car hit 60 in 8.6 seconds. Of course, this all applies to the Japanese-spec model advertised in the brochure; the American model could have different specs, although … [Read more...] about Leaked: Production Honda CR-Z Pics and Specs Hit the Intertwined Webs
It’s the return of Ask Jack, one of my your favorite sections! You can now ask me questions about nearly anything, as long as there’s a kinda-sorta automotive aspect to it. Kinda-sorta. In the meantime, check out today’s question:Hey Jack,I’m in a bit of a dilemma. I’m a self-employed delivery driver (delivering restaurant meals, not pizza) and until recently I’ve been using a 1989 Honda CRX HF for that duty. I was averaging about 48mpg in 80% city driving and it was good for parking in downtown Portland, OR (as good as it can in a city where cars are practically banned). And the A/C actually worked!At this point, I don’t know how much money I would be getting in that situation. I paid $1800 for the car just a few months ago. A quick search of Craigslist reveals that the Countach LP400 is much more common than a stock-engine CRX HF. As one Honda enthusiast put it: “I didn’t know they made ’em stock.” Assuming a budget of … [Read more...] about Ask Jack: CRX No Longer In Effect?
The Honda CRX is one of my all-time favorite cars, especially the first-generation 1984-87 models. I have owned quite a few of them and found that the CRX’s combination of reliability (if you didn’t overheat and blow the head gasket), driving enjoyment, fuel economy, and cheap purchase price was impossible to beat for a daily driver in the 1990s. CRXs are rare in self-service junkyards now, most of them having been used up and discarded decades ago, and the few that I see get stripped to nothingness within days of hitting the yard.Here’s an unusually complete ’86 that I found in a Denver yard last week.Just 151,903.8 miles on the clock; no rust that I could find.The interior is a bit worn, but this is mint condition by the standards of 30-year-old cars in U-Wrench-It junkyards.Of course, the Powerade bottle full of what I fear is crank piss reminds us that this is the wrecking yard.Just 76 factory horsepower lay in wait under the CRX’s hood — but … [Read more...] about Junkyard Find: 1986 Honda CRX