This Twin-Engine Honda CRX Is A Pint-Sized Muscle Car And You Could Own It

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Photo: Facebook Marketplace (Other)

The 1980s and 1990s were strange times at the monthly car magazines. For example, Car and Driver was budding up with car builders to make weird dreams come true. One of them was this bonkers twin-engine Honda CRX, and it’s up for grabs on Facebook Marketplace for $20,000.

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Don Sherman, a former editor of Car and Driver, retold the story for Hagerty. Car and Driver had approached Tom Elliott, then president of Honda North America, with the insane idea to make a twin-engine Honda CRX. Sherman sold the idea by pointing out that twin-engine builds like this have been done before. Think of the cars like the John Cooper Twini Mini or the Citroën 2CV Sahara. Elliott approved the silly request for a 1984 CRX donor car and a second powertrain.

Project Synchronicity CR-X2 had begun.

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The magazine teamed up with the Southern California tuning house, Racing Beat. The original idea was simply to install a second complete CRX 1.5-liter drivetrain in the rear of the car, subframe and all. The CRX’s compact drivetrain fit right where the cargo compartment used to be.

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Instead of doing any magic to synchronize the engine speeds, the builders let the ground do all the heavy lifting. Surprisingly, it all worked out pretty well. The car was able to run using the front, rear or both engines. Yep, that means the driver has the choice of front, rear or all-wheel-drive, depending on how they’re feeling.

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While things worked well, the double engine CR-X2, as Car and Driver renamed it, achieved only a lethargic zero-to-60 mph time of eight seconds, and the team encountered problems braking.

So what do you do when your twin-engine build is too slow? Add bigger engines, of course! Elliott secured two 1.8-liter Honda Accord engines from cars that couldn’t be sold after a shipping accident. Racing Beat shoehorned them into place. It was here the team also added the sweet MSW wheels, Mugen body kit and Recaro seats.

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The result was 202 total horsepower. The little rocket achieved quick 6.2-second sprints to 60 mph and a top speed of 147 mph. The faster CR-X2, now called Super Synchronicity, beat a couple of contemporary sports cars in rolling drags.

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Alas, the team had bills to pay, and the CR-X2 was sold to a new home. A new owner enjoyed it for thousands of miles before putting it up for sale. Several auctions later, Joe Dunlap bought the car in 1996.

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Dunlap notes that this car has been dead reliable throughout his ownership. However, the car’s fuel cell finally sprung a leak and Dunlap parked it. The crazy project is now on Facebook Marketplace and looks pretty worn today, but it’s mostly still there. He notes some wear inside and out and a few mechanical problems. However, nothing appears too badly broken. The car’s biggest issue — to me, anyway — is that one of the MSW wheels is missing, replaced with a wheel that looks somewhat similar.

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This car is a neat piece of automotive history, so I wondered why Dunlap was selling it on Facebook Marketplace and not Cars & Bids or Bring a Trailer. He told me that selling on those platforms takes effort. By contrast, he was able to sell a project DeTomaso Pantera to a buyer in Germany using Facebook —without even advertising. I respect that. It takes little effort to sell on Facebook.

I hope this car finds a good new home. Maybe one day you’ll see this CR-X2 smoking you on the highway. It’s for sale in Oxford, Florida.

Staff Writer at Jalopnik and learning pilot. Smart Fortwo (x4), Honda Beat, Suzuki Every, AmTran Bus, VW Jetta TDI (x2), VW Touareg, Audi TT, Buell Lightning, Triumph Tiger, Genuine Stella...

DISCUSSION

elhigh
Elhigh

OMG.

This was one of my all time favorite magazine project builds. And it’s for sale!

And I could afford it

It is imperative that I nail my feet to the floor right now.