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Premium Member
1,658 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1979 White Volvo 343DL
Owned: Mid-Nineties
My first car. Previously belonged to my Gran who gave it to my Mum, who then sold it to me (helping teach me the value of money...) Built like a tank but pig ugly - white with red fabric interior. Still, got me to University and back reliably. Did not impress the girls, particularly annoying when a blossoming relationship with a one-time Page 3 girl ground to a halt when she saw what I was driving...eventually sold to my next door neighbour mechanic and replaced with:

1989 White Renault 11 (1.7)
Owned: Late Nineties
Actually quite a good sprightly car which was fine apart from regularly cutting through its clutch cable (too sharp an angle at the top of the clutch pedal apparently). Unfortunately T-boned by a female driver when she drove out of a side road without looking. The Renault was written off and unusually because I kept the salvage, I was allowed to drive around for another six months because it was still MoT'd (certified) etc - just couldn't get in and out the passenger side. Again didn't particularly impress the girls when they had to sit on the back seat. Sold to a mate down the pub for £50 who had intended to transplant the engine into another Renault 11, but following a knock on my door from the Police had obviously decided to spray pink dots on it and go for a joy-ride a few weeks later.

1993 Red Vauxhall Astra SRi
Owned: Turn of the century
One of my Mum's friends was unhappy about the very low trade-in values she was being offered for her immaculate Astra SRi. I helpfully offered another £500 on top...Nice car for a twenty something to cruise around in, though a bit thirsty on fuel. Sold to my brother (whereupon it quickly fell apart) when taking on my next car:

1991 Charcoal Saab 900S
Owned: 2002-2003
My Mum's old car. A nice quality vehicle, it had its own idiosyncracies and was a bit heavy and thirsty. Before it started falling apart, traded it in for:

1999 Silver Honda Insight (import)
Owned: 2003-2005
When looking for a replacement vehicle, I knew I had to get something different and fell in love with the Honda Insight at first sight. The technology and fuel economy really appealed. Got fed up with the poor attitude from dealers towards a Jap import so bought:

2001 Citrus Honda Insight (UK spec)
Owned: 2004-2005
With a UK spec I got headlight levellers, immobiliser and in-built rear fog lamp. Very happy with this car (apart from love it or hate it comments about the colour) but then spotted on eBay:

2000 Red Honda Insight (CVT import)
Owned: 2005-2006
This car was going on eBay and I loved the red (it was my little Ferrari). In addition, the idea was that my wife would be able to learn to drive in this CVT automatic so that I wouldn't have to chauffeur her around anymore. Didn't happen. Anyway six months later the hybrid batteries failed (no warranty being an import), so sold to a fellow Insight enthusiast.

2002 Blue Audi A2 1.4 TDI
Owned: 2006 - Present
I had real difficulty getting a replacement Insight, so decided to get the highest MPG, good quality car I could find - the A2. Happy with this car, actually getting similarish MPG to the Insight. Also has four seats, so no more avoiding giving the mother-in-law a lift... I intend to run the A2 until I find a 2003 or younger UK spec Insight (Honda UK only warranty the hybrid batteries for those age Insights) or Honda bring out the Insight II...

What was your long and winding road to Insight ownership?

13,136 Posts
It started long ago like this.

Starting a 1932 Ford Eight Model Y.

A short note to apprise those younger than I, which is most people, of particular Joys of Motoring in the 1950’s. For the first time, the average working class man could have a car, just. Being poor, and everybody I knew was poor, the cars we had were worn out. I was aware of another minority world of different cars because there were many good new cars in the fifties. Austin A30 through 90. Rover 75. Vauxhall Cresta. Jag 2.4 Morris Oxford and Standard Vanguard. Etc. These phenomena were seen about but were as far from our intimate acquaintance as caviar and smoked bavarian cheese. We also knew them all from well worn editions of ‘Autocar’ and ‘Motoring’ passed on to us from somewhere better off. The road tests in these books were super un-critical. ‘This two litre car achieved it’s maximum of forty miles an hour with incredible smoothness, the only sounds you could hear were the engine, gearbox, and back axle, this formed a reassuring background to your progress, signifying that everything was working in audible harmony.’ We knew a Herald from a Mayflower and their specifications, but we only saw them, our vehicles were very different. In my motoring youth, from age seventeen to twenties I don’t think I ever rode in a post-war car.

What were our cars then? They were twenty years old or so, from about 1930 to the War. Nothing Post-War was within our purchasing power as the war had only been over five years in 1950. We had Ford Eights, Morris Eights, some Standards, the odd Hillman Minx, I recall a Vauxhall and one brave soul had a huge straight eight Packard left behind by the Americans. I remember it going along our road only twice, with a hissing noise like a flock of geese as it sucked in petrol by the gallon, and it’s front wheels pattered up and own independently like pogo sticks. It remained on the verge, where all our cars lived, for years.

In the beginning these cars belonged to our parents, not us, and lucky ones like me got to drive them when we had passed the test, and until we got our own worn out car.

My Dad’s car was perhaps typical. A Ford Eight Y type, about 1932 I think. Black, four door, brown rexine seats, one dial, a tall wobbly gear lever and a memorable curved bakelite demister stuck on the windscreen. Six volt battery. We could not afford good batteries, so starting was by the handle. We could also only afford a big can of Spitfire oil to put in the engine. There were no multigrades. This oil, when cold, was like refrigerated treacle. The starting procedure was not as it is with a modern car. It was as follows:- You got up about an hour before normal to start the car. If it is frosty, say an hour and a half. You go out and remove the small paraffin stove kept alight under the sump all night. You remove the two old coats over the engine. You fill the radiator with kettles of boiling water and start turning the starting handle. When you can jerk it reasonably over compression on an upstroke of the starting handle then you wedge out the choke five eighths of an inch, exactly, with a spring clothes peg, switch on the ignition and run out to the front to jerk up the handle some more. The handle and crankshaft dogs were pretty worn and it was possible to pull it up with no resistance sometimes and fall back and generally hurt yourself. If the dogs are in and the jerking is sufficiently smart the engine will sometimes cough encouragingly. It has not started but it has 'fired'. This is an encouraging sign. Switch off a minute to let the battery liven up, check the clothes peg and back to the handle. A few more coughs and it carries on and the engine runs. Runs is an overstatement, it coughs sufficient times to keep going round, then you dive inside, snatch off the clothes peg, pull the choke right out then nearly right in, performing a ballet with your foot on the accelerator. This starting choreography is different for all cars and has to be learnt the hard way. If we are not expert enough then the engine goes dug-aluggle-dug-dug-aluggle-stop, disaster, it is ‘flooded’. In this case you have to go indoors and wait half an hour then try the same procedure all over again. In obdurate cases the plugs have to come out and the electrodes bent nearly shut so there is a spark. We also used to scrape pencil lead over the plug points as an aid to super sparking. Dug-aluggle-dug-aluggle-pobble-obble-obble...... Success. We can go to work and you can see that all that extra time was necessary.

Now we drive it. Inside the car is bitter cold. We switch on the bakelite demister and in time, much time, a thin line of clear screen appears above it, through which we can peer. Steering in imprecise, it has to be concentrated on all the time and much depends on the camber of the road. If the road is cambered on the left then the wheel has to be turned to the right about a quarter of a turn to counteract it. If to the right, the opposite applies. If the road is flat, the wheel has to be continuously sawed from side to side to keep the wheels straight. We knew about the merits of ‘slick’ tyres long before Formula One. If minute examination revealed any trace of tread at all then the tyre was fine.

We are now in progress and by holding it in second gear, to prevent it jumping out with a 'spang', have reached top and are bowling along. Our eyes are staring a long way ahead to reserve a similar stopping distance, in the event of obstruction, as that of a fully laden freight train.

So what with being virtually unable to stop or start it, peering through the demisted slit like a tank driver, holding it in gear, and working the steering wheel like a kid on a fairground roundabout, it was a complete nightmare compared to today. Fortunately we didn't know that at the time.

Now a bit more recently I have owned,

Riley 1.5
Hillman Imp
Ford Escort 1.4l
Vauxhall Chevette 1.3
Citroen ZX1.9 TD
Saab 9000 Aero
Electric Rascal Van
and last but by no means least,
UK Spec Honda Insight x2 :)

Premium Member
369 Posts
Fiat 500 - shared with my brother. We cut out and attached a small bib spoiler which made the car more stable in cross winds but even slower on the freeway (if that seems possible with a Fiat 500). The car had an occasional misfire that we never sorted. Use of the hand throttle allowed driving with your head stuck through the fabric sun roof.

Vauxhall Viva - (also shared with my brother) A forgettable little car

Mini Cooper - (998 I think). Again shared with my brother. He drove it too hard and it broke (often) (He later did the same with an Escort Sport and then an Alfa.)

1964 Morris Oxford with floor shift. A wonderful car which I had for six years. I treated it with love and respect and got repaid in kind - when I bought it the seller said it would need rings and bearings soon but I never did the job. It still ran well when I sold it. The golden age of British motoring.

A succession of P6 Rovers (a 2000TC then two V8's one after the other.) Lovely exhaust note but hot and cramped when the family began to grow.

1988 Range Rover - brilliant idea dreadfully built. Endless quality issues and niggly faults.

1985 BMW 525 - Much better build than the RR but still disappointing for such a "quality" car. It had a chronic vibration problem. I was advised that the drive shaft cv's had siezed and needed to be replaced - in a car only ten years old. I did it and it didn't solve the problem. The best improvement I got was by replacing the tyres but even then it was below "acceptable".

1981 Porsche 911 - I made a mistake and got a targa. The bloody roof never sat properly. I had it rebuilt for an arm and a leg and it was fine for 9 months then began to "pop" again. The car had a lsd and "sprint" final drive. Huge fun for coming out of side roads and merging with the traffic. Tyres didn't last long though. Cost heaps to run.

1993 Lexus LS400 - a quality revelation. Elegant and refined. Apart from the Prius of course it is the only car I've owned where you didn't feel the aircon cycling on and off. But I began to feel that its petrol consumption was greater than I was prepared to accept in a world subject to excessive CO2 emissions - so to.....

2004 (MkII) Prius - excellent family car in a great package. Less than a third of the Lexus fuel consumption under very similar driving conditions (5 litres/100km). I expect to have this car until the next gen Prius is available. The Prius turned me on to hybrid cars and so to.....

2001 Red Insight. One of only 45 sold in Australia. Average fuel consumption of 3.3 litres/100km. It's nippy, its fun, I can fit a lawn mower under the back hatch - and my kids think it's cool 8)

1,294 Posts
Ooohh, good topic...

1986 Mazda RX-7 ("Tina")
Owned: Late 1999 to present
I purchased this car as my first vehicle against the advice of every person around me, and in a way they were right. But how I found the car was a complete accident. While searching for a late '80s Nissan 300ZX I came across an add for the RX-7. At the dealer it was sitting amid a row of "well worn" used cars. Aside from a bit of rear quarter rust, the RX-7 was in generally good shape. After taking the car for a test drive, I was hooked. There is no other way to describe the smooth power and sound of the rotary besides "ethereal". Once again the adults in my life attempted to convince me not to purchase the car but at that point I was acting on instinct and later that week I was driving the car to work. Over the next year I replaced the stereo, horrid factory exhaust, fixed all the little problems, and spent 6 months painting it a spectacular metallic crimson. The it was promptly sideswiped by a (female) driver. The good thing about buying the highest coverage insurance is that they will fix the car almost no matter what, so in another month I was back on the road...Only to be rear ended by another (female) driver. A few thousand more from the insurance company and the car was mine again. That winter I decided to turbocharge the naturally aspirated engine. This was something that most said couldn't be done but of course that spring I was driving one of the few turbo-NA RX-7s around. Wanting more, 4 years ago I parked the car to begin a massive project. I rebuilt and ported the engine, cleaned up the engine bay, fabricated an intake manifold from scratch, built new exhaust from the turbo back, fabricated a new intercooler system, rewired the engine with an aftermarket EFI system, and a host of other details. After so long the car as finally back on the road for a month this year just before the snow. Plans over the winter are to upgrade the tiny turbo with a decently sized GT40 dual ball-bearing unit, fab a new exhaust manifold for the new turbo, restore the interior with some modern touches and then deal with the suspension in the spring.

Here's the video of the recent 1st startup:

1978 Mazda RX-7 ("The Beater")
Owned: 2001-2003
This car was purchased as a winter beater and it's a shame that it was already 90% rust when I bought it. With only 10,000KM on the odometer it was stored in the previous owner's back yard where the underside quickly rotted. Regardless it served it's purpose and I put 50,000KM on it with only a few oil changes and a set of clutch cylinders. The car met it's demise when it lost a front wheel bearing on the highway and I was forced to basically part it out. It's engine now lives on and is in the process of becoming a 400HP peripheral ported monster.

1986 RX-7 GX (parts car)
Owned: 2001-2002
Nothing much to say here. It was a parts car that I purchased for the transmission and to part out via eBay. Was stripped of it's valuables and then crushed into a tiny cube...

2000 Honda Insight
Owned: 2003 - Present
I'm not sure what to say about the Insight since we all probably know already. After all it's why we're here. It's my first non-rotary car and is every bit as fun as the RX-7 but for different reasons. Technologically advanced, fun to drive, interesting in every way and of course efficient. In my life it's the perfect daily driver and aside from the ugliness with the LAF sensor and London Honda, it has been perfectly reliable. In the beginning a lot of RX-7 friends made fun of the car but that stopped the moment I showed up at a meet with the MPG trip-meter reading 90 MPG. :) Plans for the Insight are a new paint job (same colour as the RX-7), stereo upgrade, in car computer, air suspension, MIMA and a few other details.

1984 RX-7 GSL-SE
Owned: 2005 - Present
This car was given to me by a business associate who decide to buy a Porsche (talk about a downgrade...). It's in storage right now waiting for me to get some time to deal with the minor rust issues. Plans are to build a naturally aspirated peripheral port engine, maybe back half or tube frame, and just generally have fun.

Premium Member
369 Posts
Aaron - do you like Mazda rotary engined cars or is it my imagination? :D

323 Posts
Mine is short and sweet! (and all Honda)

1995-6- Hand me down Accord (1989) Brother totalled it
moved to Boston and did not need a car until 2000

In 2000 I REALLY wanted an Insight. REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted one. But i was young and poor. I got a 2000 Civic.

2000 Civic totaled about 2 weeks after my husband and i moved to PA in 2003. :(

2004 Civic purchased. Last year in the summer of 2005 I decided it was FINALLY time to get me my Insight. I went back to my Honda dealer and told him. He tried to talk me into a Civic, but i said, "NO! this is my dream car!!"

March 2006, my little blue baby arrived. :)

(i did not include my husband's cars- he had an SUV when i met him, then he bought a pickup, now he has an Acura sports car)

131 Posts
mine is pretty short and sweet too -

1989 Ram conversion van - I learned to drive on this and I feel comfortable driving any large truck now.

1989 honda accord 5-Spd - hand me down in the early 2000s - I lived in NYC so I didn't need to drive, but once the family car chain started bumping cars my way I took'em. There was a matress fire next to my car (it was street parking in spanish harlem) and the front passenger side was scortched, but I talked insurance into paying for the fix instead of totalling the car. Drove it for about 2 years until the head gaskets went at about 195K. my brother and exbeau tried to fix it and ended up cracking the engine block (nice!)

[[short lived 1986 nissan sentra or something - my brother traded a pair of speakers for it, and it lasted long enough for me to pay for registration and insurance before it broke. thank goodness for pro-rated refunds.]]

1994 honda civic 5-spd. when my stepsister moved to london my parents asked if I wanted to driver her car around. also, it "wasn't safe" for rachel to drive it. They have a high opinion of my car-break-down resourcefulness! "special features" include non-working dash lights (they worked with a well placed thump at the beginning), non-working speedometer (also, worked at the beginning), non-working odometer, and a check engine light that came on after the distributer cap went that wouldn't turn off again (grandfathered in, luckily). drove for 3 years or so. it served well as a weekend car when I lived in NYC and as a highway car when I moved to pittsburgh and drove back to the east coast every couple of months. I assume it was around 225K when I donated it to charity.

2006 insight 5-spd - actually, I got this when the civic was still driveable. first new car! (associated first new car payment.)

I also have a 1986 chevy diesel camper van currently. it's stored, but I have big plans to use it next summer. it was a gift from a friend.

466 Posts
The Path to Insihgt ownership

Began with a Honda CT70 - would go 36 mph with no wind.
First car -

1982-1987 Mercury Capri II - this car taught me how to turn wrenches. Also soured me to ever buying American cars. I've seen each and every American car ('80 Citation, Corvairs, Gremlin's, Buick Rendevous, Olds something or other all piles of junk after very few miles).

1987-1988 - Civic SI. Put @40K miles on it. As a usual Honda it was perfect. Sold it to buy property

1898-2006 Acura Intergra. I finally gave it to my girlfriend's ex-husband a couple months ago w/ 290K miles. It still runs perfect and gets over 30mpg.

While married the wife's cars were a few new Mercedes and such + a Honda Accord (put over 200K miles and sold it running fine).

2001 - 2003 Porsche Boxster. Greatest handling car I've ever driven (this includes Ferrari 355 and Acura NSX). Gave it back to Porsche after doing legal battle, won a lemon law judgment against them.

2004 BMW M3 conv - totaled it, got back everything +$3K from Insurance

2005- present - another BMW M3 Conv. Wanted conv and some torque.

Aug 2006 - present - Insight (MY2000 w/32K miles). After a trip to Vegas (300 miles each way) and this ran me over $65 each way... I said, out loud, f-this! My next call was to purchase the Insight. Now it runs me @$30 total both ways. I was happy to give up ego for being frugal!

To this day I've never been in a car with more comfortable seats (I'm 6'3" @200lbs). The day I bought it I drove it 300 miles that evening then some 1400 miles the next day and had never sat inside one previously. I was sure this would kill me but happily found this to be a pleasure

348 Posts
Nice topic !

1982 VW Golf "Formel E" (German version of the VW Rabbit), 50 hp
Was a predecessor to the "Eco Golf" with a larger front spoiler and covers on the A-pillars to reduce drag. It had a special 4-speed gearbox to reduce fuel-consumption. More of an "anti-GTI" and not many were sold...

1987 Rover 213 ("pre-Acura" version of the Honda Ballade), 73hp
A nice small Honda with all the comfort (wood, tasteful upholstery, power windows and locks) but more economical as the VW.

1990 Honda Civic 4-Door, 90 hp
Nice and quiet drive. At last, a car without a choke and with fuel-injection !

1995 Suzuki Swift (aka GEO Metro), 55hp
My first "new" car and with air-con and even had heated seats !!

1990 Honda CRX (import from US), 90hp
Nice runabout but somehow missed the air-con

1989 Honda CRX Si (import from US), 109 hp
Hey, at least it had air-con. I bought it with 120,000 miles on the clock and sold it with 190,000 miles....

1997 Honda Civic 3-door, 90hp
Nice drive

2000 Honda Insight with white side indicators and S-2000 leather wheel.
My best car ever. Without it I would have never met all you nice people here.
I miss you, no. 166, wherever you are !!!!

2001 Opel Omega 2.2 DTi Executive (aka Cadillac Catera and Holden Commodore) 120hp
My first and last venture for a Diesel and verrrryy last German-built vehicle. Very unreliable but yet soooooo comfortable.

2003 Toyota Prius II Executive
My second hybrid. Not too pleased at the moment as it is becoming as unreliable as the Opel-Cadillac-Holden thingy from before. As if someone wants to tell me "With a Honda it wouldn't have happened !"......

70 Posts
1994 Blue Ford Probe
Owned: 2000 - 2002
This was my fist car. It died on me in the middle of an intersection while on my way to school.

2001 Silver Mitsubishi Gallant
Owned: 2002 - 2006
I bought this car with the money I received from parting out my Probe. Good car for hauling my friends around and commuting. This car got me though college.

2002 Black BMW 323i
Owned: 2004 - 2004
Worst car ever. It attracted all kinds of girls, but cost me unbelievable amounts of money to maintain. I finally decided to sell it when someone intentionally crashed into me to try and get insurance money.

2000 Silver Honda Insight (Manual with A/C)
Owned: 2004 – Present
After dealing with all the problems my BMW had, I decided to get something on the other end of the spectrum. I found my Insight on the recycler for $8,500.00 with only 32,000 miles on it. It was a repossessed vehicle and had a lot of interior damage. The previous owner didn’t take very good care of it. The LMPG was in the low 40’s and the seats were (and still are) stained.

2,448 Posts
1995 Chevy Tahoe 2 Dr 4X4 Red. The 2 doors were rare. It had about 60K miles on it when I got it, it ran well until 80K when I managed to shred the rear end gears, fixed that, then the next day the transmission went out, had that fixed, it blew up again (literally imploded itself from the inside, I felt the torque converter snap), the shop warrantied it, but it took almost a month to get that done. At that point I was frightened and sold it. No matter how you drove it it got 12mpg.

2002 Honda Insight 5 speed Red..... well it's pretty much documented here. I deffinitely miss how it drove.

2007 Honda Civic Hybrid, Opal Blue with Navi.

243 Posts
I learned to drive using Chevy station wagons and WV beetles. I still love beetles. My dad loaned me his beater for awhile, a Renault R10 wagon. (How many of those are still on the road?)

The first car I bought was a 85 Honda CRX Si that I got new for just under $10K (1st year for the Si). I loved that car. I built a carrier and hauled 4x8 sheets of drywall with it. With the passenger seat out, It carried a 30 8ft 2x4s. I hauled a pinball machine home from Austin TX in it.(pict) Averaged high 30s mpg with a best of 48mpg for a tank. And it was so much fun to drive. But as Neil Young said "Rust never sleeps". It just got too rusty to be reliable, so after 17 years and 135K miles, I sold it.

About 6 years ago, I traded a pinball machine for 86 Mazda pickup (a BK2K for B2K). People thought I got a good deal when I did it. I only drive it when I need to haul something. I've put less than 10K miles on it in the last 6 years. It just mostly just sits outside, slowly rusting away. Now the pinball machine is easily worth twice as much as the pickup.

A little over 3 years ago, when looking into buying an Insight, I found out how much I could get in a home equity loan. I went a little crazy and bought "The Toy". A 93 Mazda RX7 (R1 VR). A good price but it needed alot of TLC. Section by section, I've been taking it apart, cleaning, replaced worn/broken bits and putting it back together. It's probably the most unreliable car ever made in Japan in the last 20 years, but it's also one of the most track worthy cars ever made. I've also discovered that it's not that much fun to drive on the streets because pushing this car to it's limits on the streets is just crazy stupid.

Not long after I got the toy, I bought the Insight. Went all the way to Florida for a low miles CYM model. It's my dependable wheels. I've been averaging about 70MPG, with personal bests being 80MPG for a tank and 96MPG for a 110 mile round-trip. When people cringe about >$3 per gallon gas, I just say "Bring it on!". And never having to worry about rust. I'm still gonna own this car when I retire.

In a way it took me 3 vehicles to replace that CRX.

I suppose I should mention that my commute is a 1 mile bicycle ride.

You can see a picture of me and my fleet before I sold the CRX here.

79 Posts
long and windy road

Let's see......
My first car was a 1968 Red Nova. It was 1974 and I was 16 and thought it was the coolest car I'd ever seen when my father gave it to me.
Then in my late teens I somehow ended up with a large, clunky gray Chevy Impala....the ugliest and most gas guzzling car I ever owned. It was very hard to be cool and savvy in that car!!

I went through a series of Chevrolets because that was what my father was a Chevy Chevette....sometime in the 80's....within 5 years it was a little clunker...not very well made.....if there is a polar opposite of a Corvette a Chevette is it..

Next came my brand new burgundy Chevy Camaro......Nice.....but after a few years seemed too sporty as I came into my 30's.....

After that I decided to try a 4 door white Saturn. This must have been around 1995 or so. It was a great car. Very dependable, but after a while seemed a little bland. Next around 2000 or so I purchase a red two-door sporty Saturn. This was definitely my favorite car ever until my Insight. Oh....I also purchased a 1995 Chevy truck last year because I got tired of borrowing peoples' trucks to haul stage scenery and such related to my job.
I'm not sure what possessed me to trade my Saturn...I think I just wanted something really different.....
which led me to my 2006 Blue Insight. My husband actually suggested that I try a Honda and then looked into the Insight. He called and found one in Winston-Salem and I bought it that day. I don't think I'll ever have anything other than a hybrid or something equivalent when it comes to gas mileage. Plus, it is easy to be cool and savvy in an Insight. 8)

536 Posts
This seems to be a subject of interest considering the number of hits so thought I would contribute although I am a little embarassed after totaling up my ownership of vehicles of the past 46 years.
I won't list them or describe the driving experience(impossible in this space) but the number is 112 and range from a humble Isseta to a Bentley with the odd Ferrari and Porsche thrown in and numerous very unusual cars which I favor over mundane designs.I have always been an early adopter of vehicles with new engineering solutions and prefer these even when they are without much status compared to some of the more popular sought after makes.

I will add that after 3 yrs Insight ownership I have no desire to sell it or drive anything less efficient.It is top of the league in what it does and none of the 112 previous cars or anything else produced today can match it.
From my full motoring experience (which includes a lot more vehicles than the above mentioned figure) I believe the Insight will be a future Classic so don't be put off by it being dropped from production,Hold on to this little gem and it will appreciate in value.Chances are it will remain the most efficient gasoline/electric hybrid ever because it is a light wt two seater built for a limited market as a statement of what Honda was capable of and to prove the concept for a more practical sedan for the mass'es.
Having achieved this I don't believe the efficiency figures will be matched by any thing else due to increased weight penalties of a sedan seating four or five passengers until a different form of energy other than petroleum is found and perfected. We probably own a very unique piece of motoring history.


Premium Member
2,332 Posts
Dgate, I agree, and would add the following reasons:

The price of aluminum has doubled in the last four years. :eek:

The worlds most expensive classic car is a streamlined aluminum two seater with rear wheel skirts. ;)

A high percentage will be driven into the ground, irreparably damaged in accidents, dissappear as test vehicles, or be hopped up as racers. :(

It's slightly quirky. 8)

And finally, my brother says, "It's a classic already". :D

After NOT having a fatal accident driving motorcycles, I have owned:

A Ford LTD with a 400 cubic inch engine. With the air cleaner off, the carburetor sounded like a urinal flushing, and it achieved slightly better mileage than a Centurion tank. It featured the infamous delaminating steel belted radials, and had aprox. 300 pounds of body filler and fiberglass cloth in it by the time it's gas tank and disk brakes collapsed from rust. I got 50 bucks for scrap from "Captain Hook", and said goodbye forever to big cars.

Since then I've owned an 80 Honda Prelude, an 89 Honda CRX SI, and my current 02 Insight. I sold the 80 Prelude after 13 years, and still own the 89 CRX.

The Insight rekindled the driving enjoyment I had riding motorcycles, but its a lot more comfortable in rain and snow, and a lot easier on the back. ;)

35 Posts
What a fun thread. :)

  • 1973 AMC Javelin
    1981 Subaru DL Wagon 4WD
    1969 Volkswagen Bug
    1962 Volkswagen Bug
    1970 Chevy Vega 2DR V8
    1972 Datsun Pickup 2WD
    1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass
    1982 Volkswagen Scirocco
    1990 Subaru Legacy Sedan 2WD
    1998 Ford Escort ZX2
    2000 Honda Accord EX V6-L
    2002 Mercedes Benz C230 Kompressor Coupe
    2003 Volkswagen Golf TDI
    2005 Honda Pilot 4WD (Current - our family truckster)
    1985 Toyota Tercel 3DR
    2006 Nissan Sentra Special Edition (Current, but replaced by Insight and will be sold soon)
    2001 Honda Insight 5MT / AC (Current)
I went a bit crazy the last few years, but with so much life changes, it worked out... I plan to drive my Insight for my commute until it croaks or Honda puts out its replacement. 8)


187 Posts
This is a fun thread! :D

70s Datsun F10 3Door w/ sporty sun roof and 2 HUGE orange stripes!
84 Toyota Tercel (ran great till 2003 when transmission collapsed)
87 Toyota Corolla FX 3Door (great till 2005 then morphed into a BBQ)
93 Ford Escort Wagon "Electric Current Red" Totaled when rear-ended
by uninsured fool carrying cats in the cab of her truck
02 Ford Focus 5D wagon. Handsome car. Our only Automatic
00 Honda Insight citrus, the incomparably great "Papaya"!
00 Honda Insight silver, the incomparably great replacement for the BBQ

That's it for now. The Insights are keepers. On the boards? Maybe a Mini or a Reflex, if Ford can learn.

107 Posts
Started in '68 with a '66 Mustang Hardtop. It was an automatic 6-cyl. so not fast but adequately dependable and cheap enough to fix for a college student.

Added a used Toyota Corona Wagon in '82 (two kids by this time), followed by a used '68 Toyota Corolla, then added a used '81 Corolla when the Mustang finally died (@170,000 miles) in '84.

Added a '68 1275 MG Midget in '91, also traded the '68 Corolla for an '85 Corolla.

Moved from MO to SoCal in '96 after a friendly / agreeable divorce. Had the MG transported to CA and left the '84 Corolla for my ex, and the '81 Corolla to my oldest son.

Loved the MG but it had reliability issues (No? Really?) so bought an '80 Toyota Corolla for daily transportation (only 66,000 miles on it in 2001) from the proverbial "Little Old Lady." Great car for transportation, realiable and cheap, but not exciting.

So, bought a '97 Miata M-Edition in 2002 (only 22,000 miles on it!). Got married for the 2nd time (hopefully the last!) to a wonderful lady who already owned a Subaru Forester.

My new wife also teaches High School AP Environmental Science, so we both liked the idea of the Insight. No kids to haul, 2 seats are just fine!
So in mid-2005 I started to search for an Insight.

In Feb. of 2006 we got the call that an Insight was available. Not the blue one we wanted, but a red one. So we settled for a red one, CVT (since my wife insisted), and we split the payments so its "our" car.

I still have my Miata for the weekends, she still has her Forester for hauling huge/many things, and we share the Insight the rest of the time. It's all good!

Best Regs,
Rick / 2006 CVT
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