Clean Low Mile 5-Speed: 1983 Honda Prelude

The Honda Prelude of the ’80s was one of the better iterations of the company’s classic two-door. Later models packed features like four-wheel steering and other driver-focused enhancements, but the earliest examples of the second-generation model were pleasingly plain, like this example here on eBay that remains in impressively stock condition. 

I’ll give the seller credit right off the bat: he doesn’t pretend that the A/C is working! Of course, that’s the least of your concerns when putting any car back on the road after a long hiatus, but some work has already been performed: new brakes, calipers and rotors, along with fresh spark plugs and fuel filters. The real story here is the clean, almost rust-free condition: not many like that left of this vintage.

There is some rust down in the wheel wells, but it appears to be largely contained. The interior presents nicely, with sport bucket seats displaying healthy bolstering and that awesome three-spoke Honda wheel still in place. The manual transmission is perhaps one of this example’s best features, as it wasn’t uncommon to find these saddled by an automatic. Crank windows keep things simple, along with the straightforward cockpit controls.

The seller shares in the gallery ample amounts of original documentation, including the bill of sale from the selling dealer. We like details like these, as it takes a committed owner to keep those pieces with the car all of these years. The opening bid seems reasonable and there’s no reserve; given how rarely these come up in unmodified condition without heaping patches of rust, we think it’s worth a look.


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  1. Steve R

    It seems like a decent car with a reasonable starting bid. I hope the seller does well.

    Steve R

    Like 1
  2. Alan (Michigan) Member

    Any buyer should plan on an immediate investment in new tires. When dry-rot cracks can be seen in non close-up photos, the tires are done! A new spare would be a good idea too.
    The only thing which troubles me is the mention of a rough idle, after a tune-up. More is needed, including the cam belt!

  3. Jon Lawless Member

    I owned this car way back in the day only I had the automatic. I wanted the manual but couldn’t find one. Fun car to drive and pretty simple maintenance at the time.

  4. Jim Clay

    I had an ’84 with a manual. Loved that car. Actually stripped it, got rid of all of the emissions put dual 40mm Webber carbs, a bunch of suspension mods and a whole lot more go fast parts and autocrossed it. Was a blast. Still miss that car.

  5. RicK

    No offense to anybody, but am I the only one that’s not excited about this car?

    • Larry K

      Yah, $3500 Canadian is a bit much. I owned a 1990 with a stick. Loved it . Beautiful interior and of course, dependable. Went through deep snow like nobody’s business.

  6. Sparkster

    Good point RicK , lol. A couple of months ago I went looking for the cleanest 92-96 Honda prelude with most powerful engine Honda produced and of course a manual transmission . It had to be completely stock, with NO RUST. That was a tough search . By the time I found a Prelude that almost fit all of those requirements (almost) the price was approaching close to $5000. The next day I found a 2005 BMW 325xi with a manual for $3500 and bought it. Two inch folder of records from the original owner. Drove it two months and sold it for $4300 Safety advances make a big difference as you get older.

  7. Paul B

    Very very sweet car of its era for which I would not want to pay very much money. The reason: Just getting it really roadable again and then fixing rust, A/C, rough idle and whatever else comes along would quickly push it into negative financial territory, eclipsing its potential value even five years hence. So you’d want to use it rather than display it, drive out the miles and investments you have in the refurbishments. I hope the seller does reasonably well, but I also hope the buyer gets into this with eyes open to the true costs of rehabilitating and using a modern classic. It can be a lot of fun, but it’s never really cheap. And as @Sparkster says, in a daily driver you start to appreciate modern advances.

  8. Mike

    This car seems very familiar. I think it may have been on EBay a year or two ago. Still nice though, I love 2nd gen Preludes.

  9. Ryan

    The older Honda models are good cars. If the maintenance is kept up and do all the necessary parts replacements after 150000 miles. You got your self a good running machine. The engine blocks are tough as long as you do routine oil changes and keep your coolant levels right. These cars will run. And will take you anywhere you want to go.

  10. RoughDiamond rough diamond Member

    I like it a lot. My daily driver ’97 Accord EX sedan with VTEC and 5-speed manual has 316K on the original engine and transaxle so this one has a few good miles left in it.

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