Alex Slater - Honda Prelude 1991 2.0i16 4-WS

I love my yearly car hunt and the adventure of finding something new and interesting to rag about for the next 12 months, I almost treat it like my own Top Gear challenge lol.

Alex Slater -  Honda Prelude 1991 2.0i16 4-WS
Alex Slater -  Honda Prelude 1991 2.0i16 4-WS
Alex Slater -  Honda Prelude 1991 2.0i16 4-WS
Alex Slater -  Honda Prelude 1991 2.0i16 4-WS
Alex Slater -  Honda Prelude 1991 2.0i16 4-WS
Alex Slater -  Honda Prelude 1991 2.0i16 4-WS

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My name is Alex Slater.

Honda Prelude 1991 2.0i16 4-WS

I am part of an Area Management Team for a major High Street bookmaker, my job has me driving about 500 miles a week between 55 shops around Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

This is all done in my own vehicles but with a fuel card paid for by the company, in a way it sucks because of the toll it takes on the cars I use but I have started to learn that the best way is to buy something cheap, reliable, and enjoyable, and aim to get at least 12 months’ worth of driving out of whatever I get.

You would think doing the kind of miles I do would make me sick of driving, but I still love it. I love my yearly car hunt and the adventure of finding something new and interesting to rag about for the next 12 months, I almost treat it like my own Top Gear challenge, ha! I have always tended to have 2 cars at the same time, one project and one daily, unfortunately for the past few years my project was becoming an endless pit of problems and was becoming impossible to get roadworthy.

That is when, on my annual hunt for my next daily, I stumbled across this hidden gem.I had actually contacted the seller about another car he had advertised on AutoTrader, a 5th gen 2.2 vti Prelude with scruffy paintwork but otherwise good history etc, hell of a fun daily by my standards!  The seller said that unfortunately he had already sold it but that he had another older 2.0 Litre one that he might be looking to sell on behalf of a deceased friend.

Reserved about the age and it only being a 2.0 litre, I nearly dismissed it, not knowing much about preludes older than the 4th gen, I couldn’t even picture what one looked like, so I asked him to send me some photos and there it was, pop-up headlights!

I knew I had to have it if I could pull it off, so I decided to get rid of the money pit project and make this my new project, given that lockdown had me sat at home doing nothing I figured I’d have another few months yet to find another daily for work, so I booked a train ticket and after 5 and a bit hours trying to dodge the covid.. I arrived!

What a car I had stumbled upon, a 1991 2.0i16 4-WS, only 2 previous owners, both had kept and maintained every bit of paperwork, 29 service stamps by Honda dealers and everything, it even included the original Honda Prelude sales brochure from when it was new!

Only 17 left on the road in the UK if you trust the stats from Howmanyleft.com, I kept looking for a catch, mechanical problems, big horrible rust patches underneath, electrical issues, but nothing, it was simply perfect, bar a few little surface rust bubbles in a few corners which could be tackled easily with the right stuff.

   

So, I took the plunge, agreed the price and embarked on my journey home and she still hasn’t missed a beat yet. Given that I barely knew of the car's existence before now, I would say I already can’t imagine not having it now.

The handling takes some getting used to with the 4-wheel steering but once you’re used to it the twisty bits of a nice B road feel epic. Similarly, at low speed, you feel like you have the steering lock of a rear drive car, which makes parking this rather long thing surprisingly easy.

She’s no slouch for an old non-vtec engine too, this one has the B20A7 lump which is the 150hp model and the best standard engine to have in one of these apparently, and because she’s older and lighter that feels like a lot more than it is.She goes through the rev range beautifully and even with a standard slightly blown exhaust she sounds awesome.0-60 just under 8 seconds and a top speed of 130 according to specs but to be honest you're probably not buying a car like this to be the quickest thing on the road, for me this car does exactly what I want it to do which is to put a massive smile on my face every time I look at it and every time I drive it.

The brakes are a little bit scary, but I just have to remind myself it is a near 30-year-old car and modify my driving habits a bit! At the moment, she is completely standard and for now that is mostly how she will stay, simply out of respect for the way she has been maintained by the previous owners. As I said the exhaust has a little blow, so I need to decide between sourcing an original or getting a custom stainless system made up, as standard these actually have a 4-2-1 setup which is quite a thing for a standard car.

I intend to continue maintaining the Honda service stamps and anything I do modify I will be keeping the standard parts in dry storage. I will probably look to get a set of Ronal Turbo wheels as they suit the retro look quite well and some BC coilovers to sharpen up the handling some more. I hear braking performance can be improved using some bigger callipers and disks from certain models of Accord’s and Legend’s so perhaps I should look into that some more.

The stereo is the one thing that is a bit knackered so a nice modern Pioneer double din head unit with matching speakers is on the wish list too. If for some reason the engine or gearbox let's go in a big way then a H22 swap may be on the cards and I have been building a parts list in case that happens but ideally again I love the car the way it is so I would prefer it keep its original heart.

I can normally be found hiding in the background in the ‘West Coast JDM’ car club, a proper friendly group of people and I would definitely recommend joining them, whether you're new to the scene or been around a long time. I’m also a member of a facebook group called ‘Cars you don’t see anymore’, it’s quite a fun page with a lot of interesting posts, and a very active member group, worth a look if you’re a geek like me!

I’ve always been one of those guys who turns up to car meets in the passenger seat of a mates car or parks my boring car out of the way somewhere, but for once I finally have something I’m truly very proud of and I am looking forward to what the future holds for this car.

But for now, back to AutoTrader to do what I was originally going to do and find a daily to beat 500 miles a week into so I can keep this one nice!

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