Daily demonstrations at 11AM, FREE with admission!

Honda Del Sol- 1997


Replacing the popular CRX, Honda introduced the Civic Del Sol in 1992 for the 1993 model year. Del Sol is Spanish for “of the sun”, alluding to its removable targa top, which could be cleverly stored in the trunk. The retractable rear window gives the car the feeling of a convertible with a fixed rollbar. European and Asian Del Sols were fitted with the automatic “TransTop” roofs, which retracted the entire center section into the trunk at the push of a button.

Like the Civic upon which it is based, the Del Sol came with two optional four-cylinder engines, the 1.5L, 102-hp S and 1.6L 125-hp Si models. Those engines would send power to the front wheels though a 5-speed manual or optional 4-speed automatic transmission.

Slight changes were made each model year, with dual airbags becoming standard in 1994. Also in ’94, the hot 160-hp version of the 1.6-liter engine became available, this one fitted with Honda’s variable valve timing and lift system called VTEC, and only came with the 5-speed manual. The “Civic” name was dropped in 1995, becoming just “Del Sol”. A slight cosmetic update came in 1996, but not enough to help slumping sales.

The car seen here is a 1997 VTEC model, which turned out to be the last model year for the Del Sol in the US.

This car was generously donated by the museum’s Automotive Preparation Manager James Green.


Manufacturer: Honda Motor Co. Ltd.
Country of Origin: Japan
Drivetrain Configuration: Front-engine, front-wheel drive
Engine: Water-cooled, 1.6L, four-cylinder, variable valve timing (VTEC), 160hp
Transmission: 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic (non VTEC models only)
Top Speed: 135 mph
Years of Production: 1993-1997
Number Produced: 74,936 (US market total production)
Original Cost: $19,400 (VTEC)