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Incredible One-Owner Car: 1982 Honda Prelude

061116 Barn Finds - 1982 Honda Prelude - 1

Ok, I know that the term “time capsule” is overused, especially by me, but this one is pretty close. This gorgeous 1982 Honda Prelude is in Concord, California and it’s listed on eBay for $7,950. It’s a one-owner car and if you’re even remotely a vintage Japanese vehicle fan, once you see the photos in the eBay link you’ll be wiping the drool from your keyboard.

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This car is ridiculously, dare I say it? Cute, there, I’ve said it, this car is just plain cute. This Prelude looks drop-dead perfect from most of the photos, until you see a couple of the close-up ones, then you’ll see a few dings and chips in the paint, unfortunately. But, it’s original so there isn’t a mis-matched door or some other bad paint job going on, it’s all factory paint; albeit with a few chips and dings in it. At least you won’t be afraid to park it at the big box retail store.

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This car was owned and driven by the same owners since new; mainly highway miles. They say that it “was never used for the drive train destructive stop & go driving tests of our crowded Bay Area commuting.” 1982 was the last year for the first-generation Prelude and it’s the one to have. As you would expect, the trunk looks as perfect as the day it left the factory.

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The interior is also pert’near perfect here. There is a little wear on the edge of the driver’s seat but other than that it looks fantastic; much better than the vast majority of similar cars out there. Not to mention that sweet little Honda 5-speed shifter. Admit it, you expected to see an automatic in this car. I know that I did, the really nice ones usually have automatics which kept them from being hot-rodded and overly-modified as much as the manual cars were.

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This is Honda’s slick 1.8L, 1,751 cc EK four-cylinder single-overhead-cam, CVCC engine with between 75 and 80 hp. The cam drive belts were replaced at regular time intervals instead of mileage intervals, according to the seller. The seller says that all “options work as they should including very cold air conditioning. Starts right up and has no odd noises or smoke.” This really looks like a great car. I hope that I’m not the only one out there who would love to have this little Prelude?


  1. Healeydays

    I had a girlfriend who had one of these. They were a great little driver.

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  2. Mike

    Ah, the “Qualude”. I’ve owned both the 2nd and 4th gens but the 1st gen never appealed to me. Still cool though seeing as how most of these rusted away long ago. Thankfully Honda axed the ridiculous speedo/tach combo that was on the same arch on the 81 and 82’s. Honda called it the “Concentrated Target Meter”.

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  3. Mike

    Prelude speedo 79-80

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  4. Jesper

    Is that thing sweet, and wery rare in that condition.
    One out of a million care for a car, like this cars owner.

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  5. Tirefriar

    Cool, but at that price it’s a Prelude only an enthusiast would love..,

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  6. sparkster

    Didn’t these Honda’s put Rick Hendricks in trouble back in the day ? I believe he was getting a larger allotment than many other Honda dealers . He was later taken to court. Preludes were hard to come by back in those days.

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  7. Howard A Member

    Preludes,like most Asian cars of the period, crumbled away in the mid-west. I remember within 2 winters, these began to rust. It’s quite unusual to see one that isn’t. Cool find. Not for me, though.

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  8. Bob S

    Laughed at them when they were new…..but this car has grown on me now. Looks like a great car to add miles to. Mom’s last car was an 83 Accord and I was blown away by how precisely it was built, especially the interior.

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  9. Charles H.

    You are right about that, “sparkster”, but I was thinking that took place in the mid 90’s, because it was after Jeff Gordon had already started racing for him…..and he started his first full season in ’94….

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  10. hhaleblian

    Bordello interior. As Borat sez “Niiiiice”

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