Welcome to Found Around The District, where we highlight fascinating cars we find around a city where people are too busy fighting through traffic and hunting for parking to drive anything interesting: Washington, D.C.
A combination of harsh winters, punishing wear and tear from city driving, and the expensive nature of even owning a car seems to make the District of Columbia an ideal place for older Japanese cars. Along with a preponderance of old German luxury cars, I see various Toyotas and Hondas from the 80s and early 90s around my neighborhoods all the time. People here need cars that can by-God get the job done and take a beating if necessary.
But no one says those cars can't be fun to drive too. I think that's the rationale behind this vintage Honda Prelude I found in a Capitol Hill neighborhood a couple weeks ago.
If there was ever a car that made you think "Boy, they don't make 'em like they used to" about Honda, it was the Prelude. (And the Integra. And the NSX. And the S2000. And the CRX. Shit, never mind.) I always liked this car — even if it shared a bunch of components with the Accord throughout its run, Honda always kept it interesting by putting cool technology on it like active torque management, four-wheel-steering and VTEC.
The one I found is a second-generation Prelude, the one made from 1983 to 1987, a generation before Honda introduced the 4WS system the car was famous for. I'm sure it's a fun and sprightly drive, even if it only cranks out a little more than 100 horsepower in stock form.
Styling wise, the Prelude is very, very 1980s Honda — angular, low to the ground, and equipped with pop-up headlamps. I don't think it's aged all that well but it's definitely representative of its era. Prelude styling got better as it went along, I think. I had a friend in high school who had a black 2000 model and that car looked downright sinister.
Regardless of what year it's from, the Prelude is a great reminder of the days when Honda made cars that were high-tech and fun to drive as well as efficient.
Any guesses what year this one is? And do you have any good Prelude stories?