On more than one occasion I've been told by folks who race their first generation CRX's, that the number one reason why they chose to race the car, was reliability. Racing, in any form, is not cheap, and for those of us who are just doing it for fun and are not independently wealthy, the need to save money, where possible, is imperative to maintain consistency of participation. That is where the first generation CRX makes perfect sense. It's very affordable to purchase, maintain and modify. Honda engines are some of the most reliable on the road today and they hold up extremely well to the rigors of competition.
Just ask Stacy Chapman, the President of the New Brunswick Sporting Car Club who purchased his first generation CRX back in 1988 with that idea in mind. He had been an auto enthusiast for as long as he could remember, and when it came time for him to take the next step and begin competing, he turned to Honda. Since his racing career was in its infancy, the stock DX model that he found, with only 41,000 miles on the clock, was the perfect choice for him. It was affordable, lightweight, reliable, and easy to prep for the newly formed Improved Touring class for which he built the car for.
"Get in it any time and it always starts and stays running."
He competed in Auto Slalom and wheel to wheel racing in the Improved Touring class through the early 90's and had numerous successes including many Club and Regional victories, FTDs (Fastest Time of the Day), and even a National Class Championship. As the 90's came to a close, Stacy took a break from competition until about 5 years ago when he started racing his GT-1 prepped Porsche 914/6. During his break from racing he had amassed a large collection of cars, most of them Porsche's, specifically from the 70's and 80's. Since reentering competition, he was won the GT-1 class several times, and is currently prepping one of the Porsche's in his collection to compete in the vintage class.
With all that success and his own collection of rare Porsche's (among other performance cars), you might think that he must have moved on from the CRX. But you'd be wrong in thinking that because he still owns the little CRX and while he himself focuses on his efforts to get into vintage racing, the other members of his family such as his son-in-law, his two daughters, and their boyfriends, race it on the weekends. Stacy will still compete in it on occasion when the other cars in his 'fleet' aren't running properly. It has become the family toy, and remains the go-to car in his collection.
"It's always my go-to car when the others act up. Turn the key and it starts every time and nothing ever breaks on it even when co-driven by three different (sometimes not so smooth drivers) people at Solo II events."
It really says a lot that Stacy, a racing veteran with his choice of automotive toy, still keeps his first generation CRX around for good, reliable and competitive fun. The performance may not stack up against its fellow garage mates, but when duty calls, it's always there, ready to provide the smiles.
Photo's provided by Stacy Chapman