Zippy Zebra: 1991 JDM Honda Beat Right Hand Drive – Sold!

Jan 2020 | Classifinds, Topless Thursday

Update: This one got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330

In the early 1990s, Japanese Car Manufacturers were on a roll and flush with cash from ever-increasing export sales, designers were given the liberty to develop innovative designs.  The 1991 Honda Beat we found listed on Craigslist in Laurel, Maryland was part of a wave of Kei car-sized sports cars originally designed for the Japanese Domestic Market (“JDM”) however the EPA’s 25-year exemption rule made this Beat eligible for non-modified import in 2016.  The current caretaker is asking $7,500. We confirmed sold eight similar examples for an average price of $6,488, so hopefully, you can use that information to negotiate a lower price.  

Honda produced it’s funky rear-wheel-drive, mid-engine, two-seat roadster from May 1991 through February 1996.  The Beat was the last car to be approved by company founder Soichiro Honda before he died in 1991. The total number of cars produced was around 33,600. Most of the production (around two-thirds) occurred in the first year, and then production and sales fell drastically. Interestingly, the concept of the car originated from Italian design house Pininfarina, who then sold the design plan to Honda. The Beat was one of many cars designed to take advantage of Japan’s Kei-car class, which imposed a maximum engine displacement of 660cc in order to gain insurance and tax breaks.

In typical Honda fashion, the Beat’s engine was a naturally-aspirated  656 cc (40.0 cubic inch) engine modified with the company’s MTREC (Multi Throttle Responsive Engine Control) system, with individual throttle bodies for each of the three cylinders, to produce 63 brake horsepower at 8100 rpm with an electronically limited top speed of 84 miles per hour.

If you like very small cars, the Beat is about as close as you can get to driving a road-legal go-kart.  While 63 horsepower doesn’t sound like a lot, it works in this great handling, mid-engine, lightweight car.  With only 66,000 original miles and its original zebra print interior, you’ll be one of the hits at your next RADwood show.  While the rear window of the top holds this car back, a quick check on the internet confirmed you get a replacement for $500. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Fun little RHD looking for a good home.

In great condition, just needs a little love with an oil change and new top or replaced back piece of top.
There is a hole in the back.

3 Cylinder RWD Manual
Original Zebra Print seats.

Only 66,000 miles on it. Runs great!



Do you have a Kei-Car story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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