Surprising Antique: 1991 Honda Prelude Si


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At least in Connecticut, where I live, cars can be licensed and insured as “antiques” once they achieve 25 year old status. So now cars built in 1991 qualify. I assume this is true in other states as well. Seems crazy, but there it is. This very good looking 1991 Honda Prelude Si is for sale here on craigslist in Newtown, Connecticut.


It’s been driven only 95,000 miles, and is equipped with a five speed transmission, power steering (standard feature?) and a sunroof. It even has old-fashioned roll down windows and a nice carry rack on the trunk.


With original paint and interior in reasonable condition, and needing some fairly normal rust repair for a northeastern car, it’s being offered by its original owner for only $2,800. Cheap wheels! Though as some of us have learned the hard way, rust repair on these cars is sometimes not a minor undertaking.


1991 was the final year of the third generation of Honda’s mainstream sporty car. With its 2.1-liter, all-aluminum, 140-hp, DOHC, 16-valve engine, this Prelude could get 24 mpg and provides a fun ride with very solid handling and low cost of ownership as well.


Is this Honda attractive to you as a low cost entry into antique car ownership? Even though many of us will always love our traditional American iron, it’s hard to argue against the value and fun quotient so many Japanese imports provide, and this sporty “antique” Prelude might be a great car to own at this low price. What do our readers think of this one?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    ..make it 850 has the optional Connecticut rust worm……….

    They are great GT’s on the highway.

    The 4 Wheel Steer cars are the ones sought after… I still have my ’88 4WS 2.0Si that I ordered new ..they handle great, but a bit underpowered , and Preludes are more difficult to do a VTEC engine swap.

    Only a few States use 25 years anymore……. 35 here in Alabama, where you get a permanent plate cheap, and there is no annual renewal fee or tax.

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  2. Chris in Nashville

    I don’t think I would buy it, for that kind of money there are so many more interesting vehicles out there… But I can see the interest in them and have no doubt there will be a surge on them in coming years. I would however love to get my hands on a nice MR2 Turbo from the same era…

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  3. davew833

    The B21A1 in these is kind of a dog as far as Honda engines go. It’s prone to premature piston ring wear and high oil consumption. A/C problems are the norm, as is the inevitable serious rust around the rear wheelwells and gas filler. At least it’s a 5-speed. 95,000 miles on one of these is comparable to twice that on the previous Accord/Prelude engine (’86-89). It would be a great deal at half the price.

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  4. Rustowner

    Interesting to see these cars are still out there. I agree with the above comments for the most part btw. As a commuter car, these were fine and handled decently, considering the drive wheels are on the wrong end. Far from exciting, they were pretty good considering the era they came from. Not my cup of tea, but I’m sure they younger generation will be collecting them in a few years.

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  5. Greg

    They get more than 24 mpg

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  6. 87 Rx7 Turbo II


    Why are you so against Japanese cars? Please explain why, im curious.


    Like 1
  7. JeffStaff

    I like ’em. I think you’ll see the market trends upwards on some of these Japanese coupes and hatches that have started to disappear due to rust and/or mechanical neglect. I live near David, and I know a second-gen Prelude like this will always make me turn my head out of sheer surprise.

    Make mine yellow with 4WS.

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    • Joe Nose

      Traveling north on Rte 8 on Sunday I saw a similar year Si in yellow, not sure on AT/MT, driven by a woman old enough to have bought it new. ‘Course she were on her cell phone…but I didn’t see any rust issues at all. Looked quite refreshing.

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  8. Fred W.

    There’s a mid to late 80’s Civic down the street from me (I live near Nashville) for $500. It looks pretty good from the street for that price. If it has any collector value, I don’t think they know it.

    Like 0
  9. Mike

    “Jap Crap”. How original. Is it 1950? I bet if you looked at your shirt, your TV, or many other personal or household items they’re not made here. I guess that means you hate America.

    Like 0
  10. Mike

    I love these 3rd gens, especially the 90 and 91’s, but for $2,800 or even if you talked them down to $2,500, you can find one in better shape. These are getting rare but not that rare.

    Like 0
  11. daCabbie

    Rick, this is not the place for your type of opinion…

    I seriously hope someone blocks this guy… I enjoy Barnfinds and the car world because we can leave the real world behind.

    Nazi’s go away, please.

    And yes 2800 is too much for this car, but some teen has spent the summer mowing yards and will enjoy it till the wheels fall off…and then you can have it for 800.

    I find used cars sell for more up north simply because there are less of them… in Florida you can find cars for 1/2 of their Northern price because we are awash in people and cars…and we have no safety inspection.

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  12. leiniedude leiniedudeMember

    I bought my 1991 Civic around 2000. I used it to commute to Miller Park during the construction. Until I rented a flat, 200 miles roundtrip everyday. The best I got out of her was 54 MPG. I still have her, at 185,000 miles now. A great car. After seeing this posting, I realized that I am using a 25 year old rig for a work car. WOW!

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  13. James

    Didn’t one of these old Honda Preludes from Japan have all wheel steering?

    Like 0
    • davew833

      Yes, from ’88-91, 4-wheel steering was an available option. This car *could* have it but doesn’t. I drove one at the Infiniti dealership I worked at in the early ’90s. Parking was really bizarre.

      Like 0
    • Reedy DownUnder

      James, this model prelude sold in Australia all had 4WS, sunroof and most other options standard. I purchased one new in 1988 for the astounding sum of AUD33,500! As others have said, this gen Prelude was a great touring car and once you became accustomed to it, the 4WS removed most of the usual understeer common with front wheel drivers of the time. However… being a young knobhead, I tested the limits of the tyre grip one day while pursuing a mate driving a warmed up Honda Integra. The sweeping right hand bend near our place was well known and even though sign posted at 45kmh (~30mph), it was possible to almost double that in the right car. On this day, I tested the laws of physics… and lost. The Prelude drifted sideways into the concrete gutter, warping the front wheel and as I found out later at the panel shop, bending the chassis irreparably. Sadly it was a write-off, but thankfully the insurance covered the new price! A very memorable little car.

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  14. james burton

    bad for going down the road and the whole rear suspen. one side or the other would decide to leave the car from rust. honda had to buy alot of these back from orig. owners because of rusty suspention. all of my cars have ant. tags. $50. for a lifetime plate cheap, cheap ins. rates and no taxes or stickers to bother va. you can drive up to 250 miles from your home on what is called pleassure rides any time you want nite or day as long as you a reg. licensed car which my wife drives.

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  15. Terry C.

    Here in British Columbia we have collector plates for eligible vehicles 25 years or older. Condition and originality are very strict to allow for the plate. Currently have a 69 Cutlass convertible, a 78 Camino SS factory 350 on a four speed, an 88 560 SL with 51000 km (32 miles) which I will be posting here soon for sale. Am waiting for January to apply for my 92 Chev Silverado which makes me really wonder where the time goes…92 is almost collector age… The insurance savings certainly allow for folks like me to let things get what some may call out of hand. Have been looking for a while for a 91 Prelude si in white to replace my old one but this one is too far off in condition. I’ll find it eventually…

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  16. sdwarf36

    In Ct, ANYTHING 25 years old can get a antique plate. Got a 3 color rusted K car-yup. How about a tan Fairmont? Sure. Beat to hell F150 with a wood bed? Ok. I think to get a plate you should have to spend all day at a car show with your ride. Go ahead-pose with your Citation.

    Like 0
  17. John

    Swap a b18c in it

    Like 0

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