This 1988 Honda CRX Junkyard Treasure Racked Up 400k Miles

Jackson Wheeler
6 Min Read


The Honda CRX, sold in the United States for the 1984 through 1991 model years, remains so beloved by enthusiasts that one must be irredeemably thrashed to end up in the self-service car graveyards I frequent. Today’s Junkyard Treasure is such a car; it wasn’t abused during its life, but a combination of corrosion and high miles sent it to a junkyard near Denver, Colorado.

1988 honda crx with 400k miles in colorado wrecking yard

Murilee Martin

With its exceptional fuel economy, comfortable interior even for very tall occupants, top-shelf build quality, and zippy performance, the little Civic-based two-seater was perfect for long commutes. This one did a lot of commuting during its long life, averaging well over 11,000 miles for every one of its 36 years.

1988 honda crx with 400k miles in colorado wrecking yard

Murilee Martin

413,443 miles isn’t enough to get this car into the Murilee Martin Junkyard Odometer Top Ten, but it nails down further Honda dominance of the Top 25. Let’s take a look at the current standings:

  1. 1990 Volvo 244: 631,999 miles
  2. 1988 Honda Accord: 626,476 miles
  3. 1987 Mercedes-Benz W201: 601,173 miles
  4. 1996 Toyota Camry wagon: 583,624 miles
  5. 1981 Mercedes-Benz W126: 572,139 miles
  6. 1985 Mercedes-Benz W126: 525,971 miles
  7. 1988 Honda Accord: 513,519 miles
  8. 1990 Volvo 740 Turbo wagon: 493,549 miles
  9. 1990 Nissan Sentra: 440,299 miles
  10. 1991 Honda Accord: 435,471 miles
  11. 1996 Honda Civic: 435,028 miles
  12. 1982 Mercedes-Benz W123: 417,046 miles
  13. 1995 Toyota Previa: 413,530 miles
  14. 1988 Honda CRX: 413,443 miles
  15. 1998 Toyota Tercel 4WD wagon: 413,344 miles
  16. 2002 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor: 412,013 miles
  17. 1983 Honda Accord: 411,794 miles
  18. 1985 Mercedes-Benz W123: 411,448 miles
  19. 1992 Honda Accord: 409,780 miles
  20. 2001 Honda CR-V: 403,757 miles
  21. 1991 Nissan Stanza: 402,505 miles
  22. 1991 Honda Accord: 394,047 miles
  23. 1990 Volvo 245: 393,888 miles
  24. 1985 Mazda RX-7: 393,854 miles
  25. 1985 Volvo 244: 391,138 miles

That’s nine Hondas, five Mercedes-Benzes, four Volvos, three Toyotas, two Nissans, one Ford, and one Mazda.

1988 honda crx with 400k miles in colorado wrecking yard

Murilee Martin

The interior of this car appears to have been worn but not terribly beat up, which is typical of very-high-mile cars I find in junkyards. You don’t get a car to survive this long without taking good care of it, regardless of how well it was screwed together on the assembly line.

1988 honda crx with 400k miles in colorado wrecking yard

Murilee Martin

I was tipped off about this car by the aficionado of underappreciated vintage econoboxes who runs Unloved Cars of Colorado, and headed right over to see it despite 19°F ambient temperature and a stinging north wind at the time.

1988 honda crx with 400k miles in colorado wrecking yard

Murilee Martin

The biggest weak point of these cars (and Japanese cars of the 1980s in general) was their tendency to rust, and I think that’s what took this CRX off the road. The weather was too miserable for me to climb underneath to look at the suspension, but we can assume the control arm mounting points and other vulnerable spots were getting scary.

1988 honda crx with 400k miles in colorado wrecking yard

Murilee Martin

Most cars in Front Range Colorado don’t rust this badly, since road salt is used sparingly here and the single-digit humidity keeps metal dry, but it appears this Honda spent at least part of its career in a state where the Rust Monster is the size of Godzilla.

1988 honda crx with 400k miles in colorado wrecking yard

Murilee Martin

The 1988 CRX (which was the first year in which the US-market CRX lost its Civic CRX badging) was available in three trim levels: the fuel-sipping HF, the mid-grade DX, and the hot-rod Si. This one is a DX, so it has the 1.5-liter 16-valve engine with 92 hp and 89 lb-ft of torque. I’ve owned and daily-driven several CRXs, and they managed to be plenty of fun to drive while achieving 50 highway miles per gallon on a regular basis.

1988 honda crx with 400k miles in colorado wrecking yard

Murilee Martin

The CRX was available with an optional automatic transmission, but nearly all CRX buyers were seeking both fun and gas mileage and knew to avoid the two-pedal version. This car has the base five-speed manual.

1988 honda crx with 400k miles in colorado wrecking yard

Murilee Martin

The MSRP for this car was $8635, or about $22,893 in 2024 dollars. That was more than its $7985 Civic hatchback big brother, which had identical running gear, but the CRX’s advantage in fuel economy would cover the price difference down the road. Ford’s Escort-based CRX rival, the EXP, was still available in 1988 and listed at $8024 ($21,273 after inflation).

The speedy CRX Si got more advertising bucks than did the DX. In Japan, its CRX sibling got Camaro-grade screaming guitars in its TV ads.

The CRX HF couldn’t beat the Chevrolet Sprint Metro on fuel economy, but it was a lot more pleasant on the road.



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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at Speedofdaily.com, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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