First-gen Honda Prelude under the hammer

By: Guy Allen, Unique Cars magazine

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prelude front 1981 Honda Prelude prelude front
prelude rear 1981 Honda Prelude prelude rear
prelude target dash 1981 Honda Prelude prelude target dash

Good examples are thin on the ground

If you were looking for an economical way to get into collectible cars, this early Honda Prelude might be a good option. It's up for auction tomorrow at Lloyds.

First-gen Preludes were built 1978-81.

The company was still a relatively minor player in the car world at that stage, though it had already built some very desirable two-doors in the form of the S500/600/800 series.

This car borrowed a lot of compnentry from the Accord family car, such as engine, struts and brakes. However the stubby boot and long snout clearly marked it as a sporty model, even if the standard 80 horsepower 1600cc four-cylinder engine was no fire-breather.

By all reports they were nevertheless a lot of fun to drive, with nimble handling from the front-wheel-drive set-up. All up, it weighed under 1000kg.

This example has the three-speed auto, with third selected as an overdrive.

Instrumentation is very distinctive - it's the early 'centralised' dash layout. That was much criticised at the time, but is probably more collectible than the more conventional facelift version from the same year.

First-gen Preludes were built 1978-81.

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