Anybody who tells you that you need to spend a bunch of money to drive a nice classic car is full of it. Cheap, but nice, classics are available if you are willing to forget about owning something that all the cool/rich kids want. This next classic might be slow, but it looks rust free, in good mechanical shape, and is offered for a reasonable amount of money. Find this 1972 Honda N600 offered for $6995 in Imperial Beach, CA via craigslist.
All things are temporary. When I say things, I mean most any thing. They start out simple, get better with time, and then eventually the become extinct. Dinosaurs; yup, 240 Million BC to 66 Million BC. Classic music; sure thing 1750-1820. Rock and roll music; 1960-1980. And there is another rule, the best example of said thing happens towards the end of the timespan of said thing. Tyrannosaurus Rex went extinct in 66MBC, Beethoven died in 1827, and John Bonham died in 1980. Which brings us to today’s topic – the thing is the sports car; born in 1903 and dead in 2009. Some 60 horsepower Mercedes was the first sports car, but the Honda S2000 was the last. Find this 2001 Honda S2000 offered for $9,800 in Atlanta, GA. Tip from FuelTruck.
It feels strange to recommend a model year 2000 Honda Accord with a slushbox auto to anyone who enjoys driving…but what if you don’t enjoy driving that much and you really just need something to get you from point A to point B and back to point A and then maybe a point C and do all of that without needing to press out differential bushings in your own garage..then…wow that is a run-on sentence. Yes, a used Honda Accord with 58k miles is still just a Honda Accord…but it is offered at one fifth the price of a new Accord and has at least half the value left in it. Find this 2000 Honda Accord offered for $5000 in Portland, OR via craigslist. Tip from Kendall.
The Honda Beat might not be the prettiest car to be styled by Pininfarina, or even the coolest mid-engine Pinin, or the most affordable with styling by the Young One (and his successors), but it is the smallest car to come from legendary design house. Regardless, they were never sold new in the USA and driving one will get you smiles and front row valet parking wherever you go. Find this 1991 Honda Beat offered for $6,500 in Seminary, MS via craigslist. Tip from Rramjet.
Halloween was very odd this year. Few trick-or-treaters came by and those that did were not impressed with my 2020 Batman outfit (batmask up-side-down to cover mouth instead of face, casual work-from-home zoom shirt, sanitizer/handy wipes on utility belt, and a bat sandwich in my gloved hand). They also refuse to stand still when I shot gobstoppers with a slingshot at their open candy buckets from a safe 6 feet away. And those candy buckets and bags these kids use nowadays are weak and tear into candy piñatas at the slightest provocation. Anyway, this next car comes from DT regular Hugh says that it is inexplicitly done to a high standard considering the genre. Find this 1972 Honda Z600 4X4 Monster Truck offered for $15,500 buy-it-now or make-offer in Richmond, VA via eBay.
The Honda S2000 is one of those cars that you’ll wonder why you didn’t buy as many as you could fit into a large barn and store for future appreciation (side note, please don’t do that, it is a jerky thing). Why will the S2000 be worth beaucoup bucks in the future? Two reasons; 1 — it wasn’t built in high numbers for the USA, 66k in 9 years (compare this to 74k of the 84-89 Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera) and 2 — it has no competition for what it does best. Yes, I’m talking about the 9000 rpm redline, amazingly tight chassis, and celebrated reliability. Get one now before they become unobtanium. Find this 2003 Honda S2000 offered for $13,000 in Fayetteville, NC via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
This next car isn’t the perfect little old lady driven classic in mint condition that you dream about…and it does have some rust and dings and missing trim. It also has the remains of an RV towing mount, which means it probably logged some miles being towed through who-knows-what kind of environment. That is probably why, despite wearing vintage 1981 Cali Sunset plates, it has some significant surface rust. However, you don’t find driver condition Civics with manual gearboxes just sitting around at this price…so I give it a cautious one thumb up. Find this 1981 Honda Civic 1500GL offered for $4000 in Palmdale, CA via craigslist.
In the world of strange car names, this next feature is a doozy. It is a Honda (that looks like a Toyota to my eyes) that is inexplicably called the “Today Humming.” I don’t know what to say. Today Humming, tomorrow Life Dunk…that would be my ideal car stable. Throw in a King Midget for good measure and I’ll be driving my Mazda Proceed Marvie home now. Anyway, today’s Honda Today Humming is equipped with all-wheel-drive and a 660cc 3-cylinder engine and all the JDM right-hand-drive Kei-hatch style you need. Find this 1995 Honda Today Humming offered for $7,400 in Dallas, TX via craigslist. Tip from Brad.
This next car gave me a real shock. It is the ultimate DT; Double Take; Daily Turismo; Delirium Tremens; Devil’s Tailgate; Doomsday Turkeybaster, Dunkin Tourniquet; Deepfake Talisman; Deft Turk; Decent Torque; Don’t Tighten; Dandy Toxicity; Dumb Tangent; Double Tonsil; Diametrically Tearse; Dilapidated Transom; Dancing Terrapin; Demonically Turmeric; Digital Turpentine; Demonstrably Terrible…no…Demonstrably Terrific…yesss…that’s the one I’m looking for. I knew I’d get there in the end. Find this 1952 Willys Honda N600 offered for $3,500 in Grandview, TX via forkbook marketpork. Tip from PB.
If you are not old enough to remember the sport compact car crazy of the early 1990s, let me tell you something funny. There was actually a time when front-drive compact imports were faster than domestic rear-drive pony cars. It was a strange time because on paper they shouldn’t have been fast…but the American cars were so terrible at traction and power per cubic inch that a stock ’96 Prelude SI with a 2.0 liter 4-banger could beat a ’94 Mustang with a 5.0 V8 to 60mph by 0.1 seconds. That didn’t last long as domestic car manufacturers figured out how to push more air through their gigantic air pumps, but if you want to re-live the 90s sport compact car scene, do it with this 1996 Honda Prelude SI offered for $5000 in Scottsdale, AZ via craigslist.