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Honda Prelude Mk1 (1978 - 1983)

Last updated 23 May 2013

Well equipped, well-made, perky performance
Vulgar styling, woolly dynamics, rare and capable of horrible rust


The first Honda Prelude was a really interesting effort - it was powered by the Accord’s free-spinning 1.6-litre engine, was underpinned by Civic inspired engineering, but unlike many of its rivals, rode on a bespoke platform. Central to the Prelude's appeal wasn't so much its sporting driving experience, but its impressive equipment tally, and light controls.

In a nutshell, it was a sweet little coupé that sold steadily and paved the way for the company’s gradual move upmarket. The Prelude was cramped and had an interior that could charitably described as eccentric, and in the UK, it was also rather expensive. That limited the Prelude’s appeal in a market littered with talented players like the VW Scirocco and Alfasud Sprint, although the customers it did attract loved its power steering and moon-roof. Well-kept examples fetch good money today, and are being imported from Japan.