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Rarely This Nice: 1987 Honda Prelude Si


Lately, cars that have the potential to emerge as modern Japanese classics have been catching my eye. This 1987 Honda Prelude Si here on eBay remains highly original, and despite being saddled with an automatic transmission, it’s rare to see one of these early Preludes in stock, survivor condition. 

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One of my favorite features of this generation of Prelude are the thickly bolstered seats and sporty three-spoke steering wheel. With only 56,000 miles, it’s no surprise that the hard-wearing interior surfaces of this generation of Honda still look good. My old ’87 Accord had well over 100K miles when we traded it and the interior was like new, right down to the switchgear that still locked doors and opened windows.

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The Si was powered by a 2.0L, 12-valve four-cylinder that was a pretty big deal back in the day. The upgraded Si engine offered up 110 b.h.p., which was nothing compared to what Japanese market versions received. The JDM Si made do with a healthy 160 b.h.p., courtesy of the B20A motor, a common engine swap candidate today for vehicles not nearly as well preserved as this Prelude.

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Other features unique to the Si included the integrated rear spoiler and the center tail light panel that spells out “Prelude.” This is technically one of the earlier models of the second generation Prelude, making it a touch more desirable than the more readily available later models, in my opinion. Bidding is already active, pushing the price to $2,000 with the reserve unmet. While a manual transmission would be nice, how likely are you to find another one?


  1. CoventryCat

    A 79 Caprice isn’t collectible, but a dull looking late 80’s Japanese car is. Go figure.

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  2. grant

    Well, ya. Pretty much. Though I will say this isn’t really a barn find. It is very, very pretty however. Always liked this version of the Prelude and as the man said, it’s unheard of to see one this gently used. Lots of Grannies put their boring 4 door sedans away after never driving them. These got hooned. Nice find.

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  3. CoventryCat

    Agreed, it’s a great find with the low miles and it’s not beat, just not my cup of sake.

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  4. stillrunners

    once they – all jap cars – hit the wrecking yards…..they were crushed in anguish…in the 80’s and 90’s….the “import only” yards did start to flourish though…

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  5. Prowler

    My little brother bought one just like this but a stick
    I always kind of thought it was a joke because I was always more American iron
    One day he was gone but left the keys in it and I took it out for a beat run
    That car really needed those side bolsters in the seats…it drove like it was on rails…what I blast going around corners marked 35 mph at 65 or 70
    Just a really tight glued together rice rocket
    Still driving GM but a fun little car

    Like 1
  6. John b

    Somewhere along the line in the 80’s there was a Prelude si with 4 wheel steering- what a cool option. I have never seen one though

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  7. Dave W

    The 4WS steering was introduced in 1988 and lasted at least through ’91– not sure if it carried to the next generation. I’ve had a couple of ’87 Si’s, fun cars– wish I’d kept one of them.

    Like 1
  8. Cattoo Cattoo Member

    A guy at work had one of the four wheel steering cars. I think it was a 1990 model. I remember him cranking on the wheel and seeing the rear wheels/tires moving. Inward or outward of the wheel wells.

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  9. Mr. TKD

    I have always liked Preludes. I would buy this one and do an engine and transmission swap.

    Like 1

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