Tell me all about the 2nd gen Prelude

Second Generation Honda Prelude topics

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Prelude Enthusiast
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:23 pm

Tell me all about the 2nd gen Prelude

Post by emphaticitalic »

I've heard great things about the 2nd gen Prelude. Like, "The most fun I've ever had in a car - even without 4WS". and "The best car I've ever owned" and that they're lighter and safer than a 3rd gen. What are all the great things about to appreciate about this classic car?


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Posts: 2196
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:55 am
Prelude Model: 1991 SE-SR
Location: Alberta, Canada

Re: Tell me all about the 2nd gen Prelude

Post by spiffyguido »

This is going to be a long post....I can feel it.

2nd Generation Preludes are fantastic cars. I've owned 2 of them, and I loved them both to pieces.

It's hard to describe what it is that makes them so special. They just have the things that you can't describe but look for in every car. No car has made me smile as much as my 2nd gens did. They're so lovable and fun...not in a cutesy way like an old Beetle, but in a very sport compact way. 2nd gens seem to say "Yes, I know I'm a small car, but watch me blitz this corner like an expensive sports car". 2nd gens have this remarkable 'mechanical' feeling about them. They're very exuberant, willing and punchy. If a 2nd gen were a man, it would be a short chippy man who is the life of every party. Small in stature, big in personality.

They really grow on you. The 2 litre engine in the SI 2nd gens is a great little engine. Cast iron block, SOHC, simple construction, no frills solid Honda engineering. Even though they only chuck out about 115hp, it's more than enough to propel the lightweight 2nd gen around with ease. Handling is a masterpiece. They understeer a bit when pushed to hard, but because the back end is so light, they can change direction on a dime. The handling is very forgiving as well. When things go wrong, the car just seems to sort itself out. The brakes are great too. I think Honda did a better job on the brakes in the 2nd gen than they did on future generations. Again, the lightweight nature of the car helps, but with a good set of rubber underneath it, a 2nd gen will pull up in a huge hurry.

When you drive a 2nd gen, you can't help but smile. The rambunctious engine noise. The mechanical steering feel and clutch feel. The shaft-based shifting (much better than cable in my opinion). Everything just comes together so well, and before you know it you're giggling like a child blasting through the corners. A 2nd gen is motoring's fountain of youth. Every time I got in my 2nd gen I felt like I was 16 again going on my first solo drive. It really is that exciting.

They're quite small cars, and you get to feel every wonderful jiggle and bounce that the road throws at you. Visibility is good. Acceleration is great. They're just perfect.

Better than the 3rd gen? On the basis of pure driving experience: YES YES YES!

I drive a 3rd gen now, and I adore it. Does it serve up fun the way the 2nd gen could......almost.

On paper, the 3rd gen is a better car. They've got more kit, the weight distribution is better, they don't understeer as much and they've got more power. The 3rd gen has a couple other feathers in its hat as well. The driving position in the 3rd gen is simply unrivaled, the shorter gears in the SR version 3rd gens are spectacular for spirited driving and they look a little more grown up. 3rd gens are VERY fun cars to drive as well. But they're just not the same.

My big statement: Driving my second gen was the most fun I have ever had in a car. Full stop.

They're that good.

Please feel free to ask more detailed questions about a 2nd gen. Obviously my attempt at putting their magic into words has failed miserably. I can't describe why, but yes, you want one.

Prelude Enthusiast
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Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 2:22 am
Prelude Model: 1983/twin carb et

Re: Tell me all about the 2nd gen Prelude

Post by clarky92 »

I currently own a 2nd gen, its a good car, handles alot better than some other cars i have driven.