The plumbing and layout of the hardware don't look like anything on the market today, but in its time it did the job. And what a wonderful job it did. Power output jumped from the stock 105 bhp to a boosted 175 bhp-a 60 percent jump in power. Not bad by any standards. When not on boost, the Si behaves like one would expect from a stock Honda drivetrain, with perfectly fluid drivability.
A,*T Engineering designed the CRX to be much more than just a turbo car. It had plans for the whole car. To that end, a Centerforce clutch was added to handle the extra ponies. The stock shocks were tossed in favor of prototype Tokico five-way adjustable shocks. Later, Tokico would release production versions of these shocks under their "Illumina" line. Working in tandem with the shocks are 20 percent stiffer progressively wound springs, which also lower the car 7/8 inches.
With all that newfound power and track-ready suspension under the CRX, it wouldn't make sense to leave on skinny 13-inch wheels and tires. The wheels chosen are MSW honeycomb rims, sized 15x6. Wrapped around those same wheels today is a set of Falken Zeix 205/50 tires. Originally, the CRX came with Yokohama AVS 195/50VR-15 tires.
Cosmetics and aerodynamics were addressed with the addition of a full body kit from Xenon, made from ABS. The kit included a full front nose, side skirts and tail section. According to Mr. Taylor, the Xenon kit was one of the first produced. From a distance the kit looks and fits great, accentuating the stock lines. Upon close inspection though, there are some ripples and minor imperfections.
The interior got its share of attention as well. The SCCA-legal roll bar from Auto Power gives away only a hint of what lurks beneath the hood. Low on the driver's side a-pillar resides a VDO boost gauge. The driver's hands and feet operate the MOMO steering wheel, shift knob and pedals.
True to his word, Michael is cleaning up and restoring a piece of import history. The car sat for a long time before he took possession so there was plenty of work to be done. To start with, Michael sent the turbo to Majestic Turbo for a complete rebuild. To take care of the rust and crud buildup on the piping, they were sent over to Custom Coatings of CT for a ceramic coating. By the time this issue hits the stands, a new body kit from Xenon should be installed by Eric and Ken at Crittellis' Auto Body, Danbury, Conn. Wayne at Wayne Jones Performance has helped with additional restoration and advice.
Michael takes the CRX out when he can and gets a lot of looks when he does. The Taylor's son, Chance, loves riding in anything turbo'd. He asks dad to make it so he can hear the blow-off valve. Sounds like he is definitely his father's son, and mother's son too. Samantha Taylor is a very special woman. She puts up with more than most would; combined, they have five cars.
Maybe by the time Chance is behind the wheel of this classic CRX Si, making blow-off valve noises himself, the classic import market will be in full bloom. Until then, kudos to Michael Taylor for saving a piece of import history to share with the rest of us.