Car Throttle Host Ponders Prelude Build Amid Classic Hondas
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?
“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.
“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.”
“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.
“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.