Unbastardized – 1989 Honda Prelude Si 4WS

From a car enthusiast’s perspective, the 1970s and 1980s were really some of the best years for Japanese manufacturers. Sure, they came out with some piles, but they were also not afraid to be adventurous. They offered sports coupes like the wedgy Subaru XT of the 1980s, the funky Datsun 200SX of the 1970s, the sharp MR2, and the Corolla came in multiple body styles (coupe, 2-door, 4-door, wagon, etc.). Honda also offered the Prelude coupe in the sporty low-cowl, flip-up light, wedge look of the 1980s. While it’s no surprise to most of you, it’s pretty hard to find an older Honda that hasn’t been dressed up with all the finest accessories AutoZone has to offer. Fortunately, there is one Prelude, in top-level Si trim and with the high-tech four-wheel steering, for $3650 in Sturgeon Bay, WI.

1989 Honda Prelude Si 4WS right side

Wow, this looks really tidy. The wheels are a recent upgrade (perhaps the owner has saved the originals?), but the seller has had the good sense to go with a set of 16″ wheels that look appropriate for the age of the car. Red is kind of an obvious choice for a sports car color, but given the scarcity of the model, it’s a worthwhile compromise at this point.

1989 Honda Prelude Si 4WS left side

Four-wheel steering sounds like a fun feature to have, but could be a maintenance risk when the car is 24 years old. More clearly in the car’s favor, it has a manual transmission and only 147,000 miles. If it’s been looked after properly, it should easily give another 100K miles before needing major work.

1989 Honda Prelude Si 4WS interior

The interior lives up to the promise given by the exterior. The seat bolsters are not clearly shown, so it’s worth a question, but other than that it looks it just needs a good vacuuming. Ask the seller if he’ll take $5 off the price and keep the steering wheel cover! Unfortunately, there is no picture of the engine, or any description of condition or recent work, but the rest of the car suggests that this is a deal. Let’s hope this was a summer car and therefore has zero rust.


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2 Responses to “Unbastardized – 1989 Honda Prelude Si 4WS”

  1. kww Says:

    fwiw, I thought that the 4ws on the Honda was all mechanical at the back, so the only maintenance issue would be seals.

  2. Chris Keen Says:

    Interesting… I was also thinking re-bushing the suspension might also be more complicated, though I have no experience on which to base that.

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