5k: Japanese Ponycar: 1999 Honda Prelude Type SH
The fifth generation Honda Prelude was available in the US market with a 2.0 liter VTEC equipped inline-4 from 1996-2000. Most have been turned into “street race cars,” lowered to the ground and covered in mismatched body panels, so finding a stock example is indeed a treat. Find this 1999 Honda Prelude Type SH for sale in Napa, CA for $6,200 via craigslist. Tip from Kaibeezy.
The Prelude was the closest thing you could buy to a Japanese pony car in 1999 – in fact, the 4th generation 1994 VTEC Prelude was just about as quick to 60mph as a 1994 GT Mustang in spite of its front-drive setup. By 1999 the GT Mustang had found some extra power, but the Prelude was still comparable in slalom times and was cost competitive, plus it offered unmatched reliability and fuel economy.
The angular styled 5th generation Prelude was only available with the 195 horsepower 2.2 liter H22A4 inline-4, but the SH version added a fancier suspension setup and a type SH sticker on the back.
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I have always liked the looks of these cars and did not know they were so fast.
I always loved the clean looks of the Prelude, especially in black- but the FWD is a deal killer.
I wouldn't kick it out of bed. I've been curious about this car for quite a while.
people say most of these are street races but i've only seen clean adult owned models around
I own one and wouldn't trade it for any other car on the road hence why after my motor went at 457000 kms I replaced it with a jdm mtor from japan.mines a daily driver with a few very hidden upgrades.I'm not about to retire my old horse lol.I get people pulling me over telling me how much they love my car and they never see them in such good shape
Here's the problem that I've experienced with Japanese sports cars- they just don't seem to be sensibly modifiable. There are countless body kits for them, but those drag on every dip in the road. Here's and example- I was able to greatly improve the looks of my late-model Mustang with a hood scoop, spoiler, rear window louvres, and bullitt wheels, but the versions of those things for a Prelude that I have found have been too radical for my tastes. They don't accentuate the car, they make it look silly. Also, I cannot find any mag-type wheels that would fit on a Prelude of this era. Finally, as a front drive system, the car can only handle so much power before it just fries its tires every time you touch the gas pedal, whereas the Mustang mentioned above could handle upwards of 500 horsepower with little or no problems. This is why I bought my Mustang over the Japanese alternatives.
A car like this Prelude begs to be driven on twisty roads, road racing tracks, autocross, and the like. In those situations stock wheels, FWD and no added scoops, spoilers, etc will be just fine. There are plenty of upgrades available for improving handling and power in a FWD Honda. Most Japanese coupes are not Pony cars, and not meant for drag racing. They are intended for a different market.