Do old Hondas actually ever die? Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Prelude is an old Honda, and it looks like it has a lot of life left in it. Let’s find out if its price will make that a life worth living.
Old Hondas are really a bit different from old BMWs, I think it goes without saying. The Germans tend to engineer their cars to be the most impressive they can be right in the moment, but not perhaps to be the most steadfast way down the road. Yesterday’s 1985 BMW 320i Baur convertible has gone waaaaay down that road, and wears the cost those miles have extracted. It’s condition outweighed its rarity and open-topness, and served as justification for its price going down in a 78% Crack Pipe loss.
Now, serious question; how many car models do you think were sold in the United States in the ‘80s that had dual carburetors? I know that in ’80 the Triumph TR8 sported a pair of Zenith Stromberg CD175s, awkwardly tipping their dashpots at each other like a pair of pointy man-boobs pushed together, but I can’t bring to mind any others at all. Well, that is until this 1987 Honda Prelude came along.
This 157,000-mile coupe is not an Si edition and hence does not have that model’s fuel injection. Instead, the A18A/ET four under its hood sports carburetors, a pair of them to be exact. Now, as an owner of a bunch of old British sports cars as well as an S30 Z, I know the joys of a twin carb set up. Somehow however, looking through the maze of vacuum hoses and ERG tubes on this one, I think it’s unlikely I’d be putting a hose to ear to listen for differences in the sound of each carb’s draw in order to dial in their sync.
That’s okay though because this is an ‘80s Honda and they seem to be pretty solid if they’ve been taken care of half-decently. This one looks to be fairly clean, and for those of you of more tender years represents a handy museum of old car technology.
Along with the carbs you’ll find an actual distributor and a canister coil. Inside, you’ll discover strange cranks on the doors in place of where you’d naturally expect the window switches to be. There’s also an antiquated device for playing back pre-recorded music in the dash called a cassette deck. That’s probably about as foreign to millennials today as a wax cylinder scratchily bleating out Mary Had a Little Lamb.
You get the picture, this Prelude isn’t so much a prelude as it is a cadenza (but not the Kia kind), exemplifying what once was pretty standard stuff when came to cars.
Speaking of standard, this car has the standard five-speed stick between its two highly-bolstered sport seats. One of those, the driver’s throne, does show some seam splitting on the side and some grime on the squab. Other than that the interior looks to be in fine shape, and even the lurid pumpkin spice color of the instrument markings remains respectably unfaded.
On the outside, there’s some still-shiny red paint, Acura alloy wheels (meh) and pop up headlights which are yet another throwback to an era before certain locales required daytime running lights. Thanks Canada for spoiling that for us.
The car comes with new tires, a AAA sticker on the boot lid, and a factory sunroof. The latter of those is probably a fairly rare option on the non-Si car so this one’s got that going for it. It’s also reasonably clean, claimed accident-free, and doesn’t show any signs of road rot anywhere, at least in the pics offered in the ad.
How much would you spend to gain admission to this museum of old car attributes? The asking price here is $2,950 and I think that’s worthy of some consternation. What do you think, does this old twin-carb Prelude seem like it could command that kind of cash? Or, is that just a prelude to a price drop in the near future?
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UPDATE: Hey, it looks like the price went down a grand from when I first saw this car. Price has been lowered here as a result.