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Junkyard Gem: 1997 Acura EL

Drivers from Mexico or Canada who take their automobiles throughout the border into the USA might drive them legally right here for one yr, after which they have to drive again residence or undergo a registration course of that ranges from arduous to not possible, relying on the state. Because of this, fairly just a few Canadian- and Mexican-market automobiles find yourself marooned and un-registerable right here, and I discover a few of them throughout my junkyard travels. At the moment, we have a Canada-only Acura that confirmed up in a Northern California boneyard not too long ago.

I am all the time on the lookout for junkyard odometers with very excessive last readings (proper now a 631k-mile Volvo 240 holds the document), and at first look I although I had come throughout a Civic sedan with practically 450,000 miles. Then I observed the metric speedometer and realized that I used to be a non-US-market automotive. 448,538 kilometers is 278,709 miles, by the best way.

A take a look at the construct tag and emissions stickers confirmed that this automotive was constructed and bought in Canada. I might discovered a second-generation Acura EL in a Colorado junkyard just a few years again, so I knew that I’d simply discovered a first-generation EL.

Like its Acura Integra modern, the Acura EL was primarily based on the Honda Civic. It changed the Integra in Canada for 1997 and manufacturing continued by means of 2005. It differed considerably in look from the Civic and had a nicer inside however was mechanically practically equivalent to the US-market Civic EX sedan.

A model for the Japanese market was inbuilt Canada and exported throughout the Pacific as the second-generation Honda Domani.

The engine is a 1.6-liter SOHC four-banger with VTEC, rated at 127 horsepower and 107 pound-feet.

This one seems to be a loaded EL Premium, with the non-compulsory four-speed computerized. Listing worth would have been C$22,000, or about $30,676 in 2023 United States {dollars} (utilizing the trade price for June of 1997).

The decklid had an EL-only spoiler, so a neighborhood Honda professional should have purchased it for a Civic sedan. Since this automotive was sufficiently old to be federally authorized below the 25-year rule, it may have been registered legally in some US states… however California’s strict emissions laws would have made the method too troublesome to be price enterprise on a near-300k-mile machine that is not significantly unique.

We’ll add this automotive to the checklist together with different non-US-market automobiles I’ve documented in automotive graveyards through the years (not counting the numerous gray-market Nineteen Eighties Mercedes-Benzes), together with a Canadian 1991 Honda Civic, a Canadian 2004 Acura EL, a Canadian Peugeot 505 Turbo, a Japanese 1979 Nissan Fairlady Z, a Mexican 2009 Chevrolet Chevy (Opel Corsa), a Mexican 2008 Nissan Aprio (Dacia Logan), a Mexican 2015 Nissan Tsuru, a Mexican 2006 Peugeot 407 and a Mexican 2017 Renault (Dacia) Duster.

Designed with objective. Pushed by ardour.

Makes a terrific fake-getaway automotive.

In the meantime, in Japan.


I was born on March 15, 1980, in Detroit, Michigan. I grew up in the heart of Motor City, surrounded by the culture of automobiles. I had a close-knit family, including my parents, two older siblings, and a younger brother. I attended Roosevelt High School in Detroit, where my love for cars began to flourish. From a young age, I showed an early interest in automobiles. I would spend hours tinkering with my bicycle and helping my father fix up our family car. It was clear that I had a natural affinity for all things mechanical. This passion for cars led me to pursue a career in the automotive industry.

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