Last week, I blew the motor in my Mitsubishi Evolution 5. This wasn't a surprise as I expected the motor to bite the dust, but it was a little inconvenient. Since I had anticipated this event, my new 2.4 litre short block had already been completed but was still in the States. You can read about my plans for the Evo here. Knowing it would be at least a month before my Evo would be back on the road, I needed a beater for work. Two days went by until I found the perfect car: a 1989 Honda Prelude S.
The word prelude can be defined as an introductory performance, action, or event preceding and preparing for the principal or a more important matter. In this case, my Honda Prelude is just the introductory performance and I will be selling it as soon as my Mitsubishi Evolution is back on the road. Though the Prelude is lacking in performance in comparison to the Evo, it has proven to be an absolute blast. I have never been a big fan of Honda or any front-wheel drive sports cars but I am in love with my Prelude.
In 1987, Road & Track found the 1998 Prelude 2.0Si 4WS to perform better in the slalom than any other car, even a Porsche or Ferrari. Though mine may not be the 2.0Si 4WS model, the handling is still great for a 26-year-old car. The Prelude S is powered by a 2.0 L, SOHC inline-four producing just 104hp. The Prelude S is not fast, but that's OK. With its lack of acceleration, it's telling you to keep your foot flat on the pedal. I constantly find myself taking corners faster than you would expect the little sports coupe could handle in order to maintain speed. Numbers don't matter in the 1989 Prelude S. If any do it would be laughs per mile, a segment where the Prelude shines. Low speeds feel higher, the road feels closer and the precise steering allows you to hit imaginary bump-strips on every corner.
My particular Prelude is also quite the attention grabber. Somewhere down the line, a previous owner decided to give the car a two-tone paint job with black striping as an accent. The paint job was clearly not professionally done. The paint is layered on thick and you can see spots where the paint ran as it dried. Blue flake has also been infused in both the white and blue paint causing it to sparkle under light. This effect has caused my Prelude to become quite the neck-turner. I receive more attention in this car than any I have owned.
The interior of the car is very 80's, angular and functional. It feels spacious and has great visibility but the headroom could be better. It's fine for me, but some of my taller friends have problems with their heads touching the roof even in the front seat. In nice weather, opening the power sunroof fixes that. The interior is also two-tone and in great shape considering it's age. The bucket seats are comfortable and sporty, perfect for longer, spirited driving. I love all the buttons on the car. Unlike many new cars, the buttons actually depress satisfyingly and feel solid. Everything is big and chunky and adds to the charm of the car.
I may not be planning on keeping the car for long, but I'm sure I will miss it when it's gone. So far it has served its purpose as a beater and more. It has provided my friends and I with entertainment. You can't help but smile while driving the little Honda. The paint-job commands attention and I have actually had people come up to me and ask about the car. I would definitely recommend a late 80's Prelude as a beater and they can be picked up in running condition for fairly cheap. I'm confident this Prelude will go on to provide countless others with entertainment and transportation when I decide to sell it.