The last model year of the final Prelude.
The Honda Prelude helped prove that front-wheel-drive coupes and sedans can be turned into proper sports cars. Sharing much of its underpinnings with the Accord over its five-generation life cycle, the Prelude first hit the market for 1978 and lasted thru 2001. It was Honda's response to the likes of the Toyota Celica and Mazda RX-7.
Though it never quite achieved the fame of the RX-7, specifically during the '90s heyday of Japanese sports cars, the Prelude more than held its own and accrued legions of fans along the way. The fifth and final generation Prelude debuted for the 1997 model year. Many are now claiming this was the best Prelude and used examples are quickly becoming sought after, such as this 2001 model up for auction on Cars & Bids.
Powered by a double overhead camshaft 2.2-liter VTEC inline-four rated at 200 horsepower and 156 lb-ft of torque, buyers could choose between either a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual. Obviously, the latter is the preferred choice and the example shown here has it. Honda updated the Prelude (for the last time) in 1999 with some extra power, minor exterior styling changes, and a cabin air filtration system.
Officially, the Accord Coupe and Acura RSX, aka the fourth-generation Integra, were considered the Prelude's successors. Not all Prelude fans completely agreed. The also now departed Accord Coupe was a great car but typically lacked the Prelude's sportier flare. The RSX, still one of the best FWD coupes ever made, was a bit pricy. The decision to cut the Prelude was due to slow sales, as is often the case with sporty coupes. But this example is very attractive for a number of reasons.
Painted in a gorgeous Satin Silver Metallic with a black cloth upholstery interior, it's a nearly stock Type-SH with standard 16-inch alloy wheels, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and the Active Torque Transfer System. One particularly cool modification is the addition of JDM fog lights and an OEM front lip. It also boasts a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power sunroof, and a CD player. Its 118,500 miles are totally justified; it's a 20-year old car whose previous owners clearly enjoyed driving it.
There are a few relatively minor blemishes, such as a few stone chips, wheel scratches, and other normal wear and tear. One issue that needs to be addressed is the noise coming from the input shaft bearing in cold weather. The current highest bid is $11,300 and the auction will conclude on December 29.