The directive “some assembly required” has never been more apropos than it is with today’s Nice Price or No Dice Honda. Let’s see if this project car’s price is cheap enough to have you assembling both the cash and a parts list.
There is no more powerful tool in your auto buying retinue than the unflinching and all-consuming eye of the internet. Choose not to avail yourself of this incredibly rich resource at your own peril, as it can reveal history’s mysteries.
Take as a case in point the 2014 Maserati Ghibli we looked at yesterday. The dealer selling the car presented it in a pleasing fashion, with plenty of attractive pictures complementing the car’s sexy lines and welcoming interior. A quick VIN search, however, painted a picture far less pretty, that of a car that suffered an accident serious enough to pop its airbags and render the Maser undrivable.
That’s the kind of history you’d want to know before dropping the $24,750 asked for the now-rejuvenated Maserati. Since it seemingly hadn’t been forthcoming, you gave the car, and that history, an 81 percent No Dice loss.
Now let’s see what else the internet has to offer.
I don’t know about where you live, but in my neck of the woods, it was over 110 degrees both days of the past weekend. Oh and that woods I’m necking near was also on fire. I don’t know if it was this hellscape of heat, flame and ash that did it. Or, maybe it was just the frustration of not being able to go outside and enjoy the long weekend. Still, something started me thinking crazy thoughts.
One of those thoughts was, “What might one do with this 1993 Honda Del Sol project car?” Now, everyone loves an almost blank slate for a project. Like a paint-by-numbers picture, the basics are there but the room is still afforded for your own personal interpretation. This denuded targa-top Del Sol certainly leaves lots of room for you to make your own kind of statement in its re-imagining.
The Del Sol was Honda’s take on the sporty two-seater market that seemed to exist for a hot second in the mid-’80s through the ’90s and competed with the likes of the Mazda Miata and, perhaps more closely, Ford’s Australian-sourced Mercury Capri. The Del Sol was based on the Civic platform but strengthened to assure sufficient amount of rigidity when the hard targa top was removed for open-air motoring. In Japan, the car was available with a convoluted automatic top mechanism, called the TransTop, that would raise from the trunk, scoop the top off the cabin and then secrete it back down beneath the boot lid. If you could find one of those you could fit it to this car and be the coolest cat on the block.
Of course, first you might want to deal with a few of the more pressing needs like the missing tail lamps, steering wheel and entire front clip. That bare nose brings to mind that time a few years back when people in Florida were taking the bath salts drug and eating other people’s faces off. Remember when that was the most horrific thing we had to worry about happening to us? This Del Sol remembers.
The ad claims the car does run and drive, and just like yesterday’s Maserati, it was bought at a salvage auction. Based on the pictures from that sale, the car was fairly complete then, and it did not appear to have suffered any major body or frame damage.
It has since been stripped of its front clip, the aftermarket tail lamps it once proudly wore and numerous other parts. It was obviously bought to serve as a parts supply for another car or maybe a repair shop, and now the carcass is offered up for more stripping or to rebuild.
What’s left is an apparently running 1.6-liter four and four-speed automatic. You’ll want to do your test drive confirming that in the daytime, because the car currently has no lights whatsoever. The drivetrain and related bits have 189,000 miles on them, and the car seems to still have its A/C and all its glass.
Obviously, you’re going to need to find a few more parts cars to make this one whole again, but when you’re dealing with a $650 initial purchase price, there’s plenty of room left in the budget for junkyard runs and eBay acquisitions.
Or is there? What do you think, is this Del Sol too far gone to bring back from the dead? Or, do you think there’s enough still left on this parts car to make you part with that $650 asking?
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