Car Throttle Host Ponders Prelude Build Amid Classic Hondas

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Fully restored Prelude and NSX serve as fuel for potential engine swaps and more for magazine’s own cheap Prelude build

There’s so much potential available in nearly any Honda or Acura, especially those whose heyday has come and gone. Full restoration, hardcore custom, race car, the possibilities are endless.

It is those possibilities which Car Throttle‘s Alex Kersten ponders for his $1,300 third-gen Prelude. And what better way to get a better sense of what to do than by driving a couple classic Hondas?

Honda Heritage Prelude - Car Throttle Prelude - Honda NSX

“Last week, the good guys at Honda gave me a call and said, ‘Alex, we see that you’ve got a Prelude. Do you want to drive our fully restored one from our Heritage fleet,'” said Kersten. “‘But not only that, do you want to drive something very special, namely this Honda NSX?'”

Following his disappointment that the NSX only has a four-speed automatic, Kersten was off to drive the fully restored Prelude through the English countryside. Thankfully for him, the Prelude had a manual for him to play with.

Honda Heritage Prelude

“And here we are, ladies and gentlemen, in Honda’s very own, fully restored Prelude,” said Kersten. “There are three big differences between this one and our one. The first difference is that it actually has paint — a [$7,775] paint job. The second difference is the fact that this very car does not have four-wheel steering. And the third difference, we have a manual gearbox.”


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Kersten finds out the manual makes the Heritage Prelude “feel even more slow” than the automatic found on Car Throttle‘s Prelude. That said, he does love the restored Prelude for its manual, and believes the publication’s project needs one, too. He also thinks the project could use a turbo, since the restored example doesn’t want to go no matter how hard he thrashes away, if not just dropping in a K20 “for some mad VTEC.”

Honda NSX

“This is the original Honda NSX,” said Kersten. “It is the oldest NSX in the country, 1988. Also: you thought these things were rare, but they’re not as rarer than [the] Prelude because there were 136 of these; there were only 30 of the Preludes.”

His 1988 example has a 3.0-liter V6 making 256 horses behind his head, adding that later NSXs had a 3.2-liter V6 with more power on tap. He also wishes he had a manual instead of the auto, but otherwise enjoys the exotic that brought Honda’s trademark reliability to the playing field, especially when it comes to more inspiration for the cheap Prelude left behind.

Car Throttle Honda Prelude

“What are the takeaways from this video then?” Kersten asks. “Firstly, our third-generation Prelude deserves either forced-induction or a K20, as well as a manual gearbox, because no matter how hard you thrash the B20 motor, nothing happens.”

The second thing he learned was that the NSX’s robustness is something he’d like to punch up for the build. We can’t wait to see how this Prelude turns out.

Photos: Screenshots

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Since launching her professional writing career nearly a decade ago as a fashion blogger, Cameron Aubernon has written for a handful of online and print publications on a wide variety of subjects, including expat issues, fashion, music, and, of course, the automotive industry. The automotive expert was even the editor-in-chief of a popular online lifestyle publication, where she reviewed luxury cars and interviewed fellow automotive enthusiasts.

A graduate of The Evergreen State College Class of 2005 with a bachelor's in liberal arts, Aubernon took a left turn from fashion writing into the automotive realm when she asked a fellow writer via Facebook if she could write for their site. Following an internship, stints with a couple of hyper-local online publications, and a move to Seattle, she made her then-biggest impact with The Truth About Cars, writing full-time for the publication from 2013 to 2015.

Currently, the highly-regarded automotive journalist is a frequent contributor to the high-traffic Internet Brands Auto Group websites Rennlist, Club Lexus, LS1Tech and Mustang Forums, among others.

Aubernon’s expert knowledge of all things Ford trucks has also made her a mainstay as one of the most prolific writers on Ford Truck Enthusiasts and F-150 Online.

Aubernon can be contacted via email at [email protected].

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