With special options like bronze tint windshields and white wheels on white-bodied exteriors, the 1986 Honda Civic Si and CRX Special edition hatchbacks are the rarest of the era.
To commemorate a large step forward for Honda as an engine supplier for the 1986 Formula 1 season, Honda commissioned a special F1 edition for their Model Year 1986 Honda Civic Si, CRX, Integra, and Accord in limited numbers making them one of the, if not thee rarest, Honda special edition cars ever made.
This blog post will only focus on the Civic Si and CRX because, frankly, I think those two are the coolest of the four.
Although Williams-Honda didn’t actually win the constructor championship in 1985, their performance that season was a large step forward from the previous year, the first year of their partnership with Williams.
Up until 1984, Honda supplied engines for Spirit F1, but with a 7th place best finish for the ’83 Dutch Grand Prix, their chassis and driver weren’t exactly a winning formula.
A switch to Williams in 1984 brought forth a couple of teething problems early on but, by the end of the ’84 season and with Nigel Mansell on board running with Keke Rosberg, a shot at more podiums was in the cards.
During the 1985 season, it was clear that if you wanted to win, you had to have Honda engines. With Honda powering their FW10 racecar, the team’s first chassis to use Carbon Fiber, they managed a third overall in the constructor’s championship.
By 1986, Canon Williams-Honda was in fighting form. Out of 16 races that season, Williams FW11 with Manesell and Nelson Piquet behind the wheel failed to podium only four races. Williams absolutely dominated with Honda power, winning the constructor’s championship with 141 points. McLaren was far behind in second with 96.
By that time, Honda was like, “Heck yea, let’s make some special edition carsto celebrate.” Thus the Civic Si and CRX F1 Special editions were born. These F1 special editions were JDM models only.
1986 Honda CRX F1 Special edition
The Honda CRX (CRX Si) in Japan was already a sporty little car that kept up with the likes of the Toyota MR2 and Volkswagen GTI. Under the hood was a 1.6L DOHC EFI D16A1/ZC engine with 135 HP at 65000 RPM and 112 lb-ft at 5000 RPM.
For this special edition outside, you got an F1 edition rear spoiler, yellow Raybrig square foglights, and most importantly, those white 14-inch alloys. Around each wheel was Advan HF Type D period correct summer tires.
Keen eyes will notice the special badging outside as well.
Inside, driver and passenger seats had special F1 edition stitching. Also, the steering wheel had a special 3-spoke design with F1 special edition Horn button. Snazzy.
1986 Honda Civic Si Formula 1 Special edition
While the United States did get the first generation Honda Civic Si, as per usual, Americans got the smaller and less powerful engine standard. But, in Japan, the Civic Si was quite peppy.
JDM Civic Si’s in Japan packed the more powerful 1.6L ZC1 engine with 118 HP and 103 lb-ft. Put your foot in it long enough and you could hit 122 MPH.
Like the CRX, outside you got the special F-1 decals, 14-inch alloy wheels, and special pin striping running the length of the Civic Si. In addition, these Civic Si’s got color matching mirrors and door handles.
Popular at the time was bronze tint on all windows and, it looks like the windshield, back window and all side windows got a bronze tint as well.
Just like bronze tinted shades, bronze windshields and bronze tinted glass theoretically helped with depth perception, important when driving at high-speed.
Rarity and auction
Word is Honda only made so many Civic Si and CRX F1 special editions, probably a couple of hundred units each. I’m not sure how rare the Accords or Integra F1 special editions were but apparently, Accord F1 Special editions can be found if you look hard enough in New Zealand.
Here’s a Civic Si F1 Special edition that popped up for auction four years ago. With over 73,000 miles on the odometer, this one’s been used well and not kept under wraps.
These special editions CRX and Civic Si’s pay homage a time where Honda was really coming into its own on the world stage. Just two years after Honda moved on from Williams and started supplying engines to McLaren, they’d come out with the NSX, really cementing themselves as a tour-de-force in the automotive world.
To come across one of these special editions is quite special and you should definitely snap photos.
Have you seen one of these special editions in real life? Let me know in the comments below!