1997 Honda Odyssey RA1
Honda's designs throughout the 1990's were thoughtful, practical, and enjoyable to own. The brand's original people mover, the Odyssey, is now well into its fifth generation, but it all started with the original RA-1. This 1997 is finished in a stunning Supermarine Blue Pearl (B84-P) and set off by a rare and desirable factory-optional front lip, side skirts, rear lip, and hatch spoiler. It doesn't stop there as OEM rainguards and six-spoke 17" Speed Master alloys complete the sporty aesthetic. The paint is in above average shape compared to your run-of-the-mill Odyssey, and aside from some light chips, scuffs, and dings, was preserved impressive well overseas. Fresh off a recent service, this lovable hauler is offered with a mere 49k verified and documented miles. That's barely broken in for one of these, and parts and service options are easy as pie due to it's similarity to the USDM model. Couple the reliable underpinnings with a cavernous, clean, and nicely optioned cabin and you have the perfect platform that can be fully fun for friends and family. Unique, affordable, and stress-free to own, this Japanese Classic is a sure bet!
The view of the road ahead is clear and commanding, as this tall van rides above traffic. This six-seater has a ton of upgrades but we love the electric parking pole in particular, which you can raise up with the press of a button to see the location of the front left corner of this Honda for safe parking. The front occupants benefit from dual SRS front airbags and the dashboard lacks any cracking or fading. The center stack includes controls for the automatic climate control, and while not offered in our cheaper stateside RA1s, a dedicated rear climate zone is standard. A Pioneer radio upgrade was performed at some point overseas. It looks modern and is in wonderful nick, delivering clear and crisp sound around the cabin. The driver benefits from an adjustable steering column and power windows, keyless entry, and electric locks. These items make daily use enjoyable and work as they should. The seats steal the show and are upholstered in a soft and durable textured cloth. They are in above-average shape and have been protected by the rare and expensive lace factory covers. They lack any major rips stains or tears and the material is mirrored in the door cards. The headliner and carpets are in good shape and aside from the nonfunctional roof-mounted air purifier and faulty power mirrors, it's really hard to complain about this car. It even has the OEM owners manuals, maintenance booklet and OEM carpet mats are included in the sale!
When Honda devised this design, they sought to use readily available parts shared with other models. This unibody platform is powered by an efficient and punchy F22B. The four-banger is fresh off an oil and filter service and starts up promptly with the twist of the key thanks to a new 12v battery we installed here stateside. A new fuel filter and set of spark plugs help the 2.2L idle with confidence, and the new valve cover gasket was installed to keep the engine topped up on lubricant. The four-pot is mated to a slick-shifting automatic gearbox that works as it should. Unlike current minivan offerings, this hauler isn't terribly heavy, and as such, it accelerates with some pep. Sustained highway cruising is comfortable, and the van is maneuverable around the tighter confines of the city. The wishbone suspension is confident and predictable, even on rougher pavement. The brakes operate flawlessly to reel in this Odyssey from higher speeds when called upon. The all-season tires are knee-deep in tread and are ready to be pressed into service. Trustworthy, frugal, and superbly stylish, this example is an absolute gem, and likely won't last long!
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB compliant first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.