The Honda Del Sol Is Demanding Classic Car Prices on the Used Market

What do you think of when you picture a classic car? Maybe a classic Corvette, a Jaguar E-Type, or perhaps a vintage Porsche? By most car enthusiast standards, all three of those would be correct. Would you ever consider a Honda Del Sol to be a classic car? Probably not, but it sure is demanding classic car prices in the current used market.

How much are Honda Del Sols selling for?

A 1995 Honda Del Sol shown in blue
A 1995 Honda Del Sol shown in blue | Wikimedia Commons

A nationwide look on CarGurus and Autotrader reveals that some Honda Del Sols are currently being sold for around $12,000 to $15,000. And while that may not exactly sound like classic car pricing to some, I want to remind you that a “classic car” is widely defined as a car that is “25 years or older.” Considering the Honda Del Sol was in production in the U.S. from 1992 to 1997, it technically falls into that category.

Do you feel old yet? It’s OK, so does the Del Sol. However, it being old and somewhat rare shouldn’t mean that it can command these high prices. After all, it’s still a Honda commuter car that was based on the Civic architecture at the time. And while it was just as efficient as its popular stablemate, the Del Sol added some flair with its Targa top and two seats. It also retailed for around $13,000 to $17,000 when it was new, so the current prices are slightly ridiculous, in my opinion.

What’s so great about the Del Sol?

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The Honda Del Sol has the reliability and functionality of a fifth-generation Civic mixed with the quirky design of an El Camino. No, that’s not really true, but those buttresses that flank the rear window sure make it look like it’s related to the fabled car-truck.

Speaking of the rear window, that was another one of the Del Sol’s party tricks as it could be rolled down completely. In addition to that, the car’s roof could be removed and placed into the trunk area. However, it had its own special slot so the rest of the trunk area could still be used.

The editors at Hot Cars noted that one of the Del Sol’s claims to fame is that it was one of the first cars in the market to achieve 100 hp per liter of displacement. This accolade was made possible by the available 1.6-liter DOHC VTEC engine that pumped out 160 hp, which was a considerable amount of power at the time, especially since the car only weighed around 2,400 pounds.

Additionally, Honda didn’t produce as many Del Sols as it did Civics during the time that it was in production. So we can see why it’s so rare nowadays.

According to Car Sales Base, Honda sold 25,748 Del Sols in 1993, followed by 21,075 units in 1994. That’s not bad, but in the subsequent years, the sales numbers decreased. In 1995, Honda only pushed out 14,021 Del Sols, which dropped to 8,489 in 1996 after the car received a mild facelift. Ultimately, in its final year in production, Honda only was able to sell 5,603 Del Sols in 1997, which led to its untimely demise.

By comparison, Honda sold well over 250,000 regular Civic models during that same time span. So it’s safe to say that nearly 30 years later, it’s hard to find a Honda Del Sol (in good condition) in the used market, hence the escalated pricing.

Are these used Honda Del Sols worth their elevated prices?

A screenshot of a nationwide CarGurus search for a Honda Del Sol that shows really high prices.
A screenshot of a nationwide CarGurus search for a Honda Del Sol | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Technically, no. But it really depends on who is buying it. For the common car buyer that just wants a cheap and reliable Honda to get around in, not so much. Luckily, I did find a few Del Sols selling for around $5,000 for those buyers, but that’s still a little steep.

But for the die-hard Honda fans that want to relive the brand’s glory days from the 90s, then paying a high price for a Del Sol might be worth it, especially if it’s one of the fabled VTEC models with the DOHC engine.

Otherwise, while the Honda Del Sol is technically a classic car, it’s hard to really see it as one. But then again, a vintage Porsche or a Jaguar E-Type doesn’t sell for anywhere near $15,000, so maybe there’s some value in buying a Del Sol during these current times, whether you consider it a classic or not.

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