For $13,500, This 2000 Honda Insight Hides A Pretty Big Secret

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

You‘ll need some literal insight to see just what’s so special about today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Honda Insight, but will its price prove that particular perspicacity to be all for naught?

Rather than looking inward, let’s—for the moment at least—look back, to last Friday in fact. There we had a seemingly tidy 1980 Triumph TR8, the last and most muscular of the TR line. That car originally arrived at the wrong time for Triumph: a thirsty V8-powered two-seater from a company lacking the brand equity to command a high price, and at a time when gas prices were on the rise and exchange rates were sinking the value of the dollar.


That unfortunate confluence of events doomed the TR8 to meager sales numbers before Triumph itself withered and died, but that just makes them fewer and more dear today, a result reflected in the car’s 56-percent Nice Price win.

That’s all in the past however. Now, we’re going to take a look at the future. What does that future hold? That’s right, hybrids! Honda’s first-generation Insight was one of the Japanese company’s early attempts to jump on the Toyota Prius-led hybrid crazy train, but sadly for its buyers any sort of fun-to-drive behavior was left weeping at the station.

This custom 2000 Insight seeks to rectify that abandonment by eschewing the whole hybrid situation and leveraging the car’s light-weight all-aluminum package strictly for performance. To make that so it rocks an RSK-R K20 swap.


Now, those of you for whom the concept of “hybrid” actually means sexy body and big-powered engine as exemplified by such cars as the deTomaso Pantera and Iso Rivolta are probably right now screaming “hells yeah” and fist pumping the air like you just don’t care. Don’t worry, it’s okay, nobody’s looking.


The current owner bought the car off of eBay a few years back after lamenting that his stock and very green Insight could only provide him with pleasure at the gas pump. This one he says, was not built by LHT Performance, the K20/Insight experts, but since a move to Florida, he has had them undertake some maintenance work on the car. Some of that included a new A/C compressor and moving the tiny battery to the boot.


Power is claimed to be 220 horses, or about million times what the original hybrid driveline produced, and the VTEC will definitely kick in, yo. When it does you’ll be thankful for the limited slip keeping it all honest. An RSX-R six-speed and custom RSX axles help get the power to the pavement. The ad lists a number of additional mechanical updates as well.

On the inside, it’s mostly all Insight, however an S2000 cluster and silver surfer’s left nut shift knob indicate that it’s not exactly a sonambulance any more.


On the outside, the car gives up the sleeper appearance owing to riding on alloys with audaciously red centers. Those are a lot more noticeable and damn better looking than the stock Insight spinners. The silver paint also possesses a matching red pinstripe, but while over all it looks a little pimp, nothing belies the mad motor living under the car’s hood. The exhaust note however, does.


What’s wrong here, you might ask? Well the seller says that the silver paint is a little funky on the hood, the doors may lock you in just for the hell of it, and there’s a slow electrical drain to frustrate your life. Mileage is unknown—the seller says the S2000 cluster came with 55K logged —but there’s no record of just how much the car or the engine has done. The seller’s video however, shows what it can do.


Honda’s Insight did Toyota’s Prius one better in offering mileage seekers even greater martyrdom from driving enjoyment. Here we have an Insight that has fought back against that boredom. The question is, how much would you pay for it to join in the fight?

The asking is $13,500, and the seller notes that would cost better than twice that to have a similar car built. This one’s turn-key, less a couple of niggling issues, and boy it must be fun.


What do you think, is this K20-imbued Insight worth $13,500? Or, does that price have you turning your thoughts outward towards something else?

You decide!


Tampa FL Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to DoctorKwak for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your Kinja handle.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.