The Honda Prelude started out as a coupe derivative of the Accord, as part of the launch of the Honda Verno distribution channel in Japan. The first-generation Prelude was nicknamed the Quaalude, and Honda must have taken this to heart, as the redesigned 1983 Prelude traded funky, blocky styling for sleek looks with flip-up headlights and the trademark low hood and cowl. An overhead cam engine with 3 valves per cylinder was also advanced for the mid-1980s, as were the graphic equalizer stereo and orange typeface on all gauges and switches. Check out this 1987 Honda Prelude Si for sale for $3000 in Berkeley, CA.
Sure, you can find many of these in the dry states, but with various tacky modifications. So it’s nice to see one of these in near-stock condition, and based on the listing text, the owner has loved the car very much during his 28 years of ownership. While it only has 100hp and 109 lb.-ft. of torque, there’s only about 2500 lb. of car to haul around, so you should get respectable acceleration from a classic, revvy Honda four. The only readily apparent change to the car is a set of newer Honda wheels, purchased so the seller could have a larger selection of performance tires.
Barring a minor scuff on the back bumper and flaking paint on the rear window trim, this looks pretty good. Who doesn’t like a good monochrome paint job? The lip spoiler and the red Si badge were your clues that this was the sporting version of Honda’s coupe, from a time when Honda was not afraid to be sporty. In October of 1986, when he made his purchase, this car’s owner would have had the choice of a Civic Si, CRX Si, Prelude Si, and arguably even the Accord EX was sporty at that point.
This is the A20A3 engine, and this one has benefited from recent replacement of all belts and a coolant flush. The seller claims 30mpg and the car is said to pass smog every time. This little high tech engine, along with the 4-wheel independent suspension and clean ergonomic approach made Honda a sort of Japanese budget BMW back in the 1980s. The steering rack, battery, and brake pads are said to be recent, while the upgraded suspension and clutch have plenty of life left in them. The car will need new tires, as they are ten years old.
The many interior pictures show most everything in very good condition, though the stereo head unit is missing, and there is no picture of the frequently worn driver’s seat bolster. Amazingly, the dash seems to have no cracks. If yesterday’s Porsche 944 is a little intimidating, this is a viable sporting alternative that will easily give you another 100,000 miles.