Prelude: Precursor to my Legend

Odometer:  508,619

Next service due at 509,749 per Acura of Tempe’s reminder sticker.  Throughout my Legend ownership I have had a tendency to reach the “mileage” due WAY before the “time” due.  In fact, in most cases I’ve had to get an oil change at least once a month due to the rate that I put on miles.

Along my long path of Acura ownership, there’s been another Honda product that stole my heart, so I’ll take a pit stop from the Legend talk and share a little about that car.

Imagine being able to pull into a 2-car garage, then do a multi-point turn and completely turn the car AROUND, 180 degrees, within the confines of the garage.  I did that in my 1991 Honda Prelude Si 4WS many years ago.  Talk about handling.  Four wheel steering!  I can’t decide which was more entertaining:  The thrill of driving it, or the thrill of watching peoples’ reactions when I parked with the wheels at full-turn so they looked totally out of place!

I was thumbing through the April 2012 issue of Honda Tuning magazine at the local drug store this week and saw an article discussing the “Top 10 Worst Hondas.”  The Four Wheel Steering Prelude made the list, much to my disagreement.

The 1988-1991 Prelude’s wedge shape at its time had the lowest hoodline of any production vehicle, and when equipped with 4WS, the car was known to outperform a Ferrari in a slalom course (According to Road & Track).  Visibility was also great with the ultra-slim C pillar.  And what’s not to love about old school pop-up headlights!

While expensive to produce and poorly selling in number, the 4WS Preludes that I’ve owned (I had two!) were some of the most enjoyable cars I’ve ever driven.  The 4WS system itself, completely mechanical in nature, never had issues with reliability in my experience.  Twenty four years after its debut, 1988 Preludes still will catch my eye every time I see a clean one on the road.  Most have turned into rust buckets or been heavily modified and wound up in junkyards.

In all I’ve owned, at some point or another, a total of eight Acura Legends and five Honda Preludes.  The car that started it all was my (non-4WS) 1989 Si 5-speed when I was 17 years old. I shared a couple pictures of this car in a prior post, The Olden Days, but I thought the Prelude deserved a post of its own.

Prom night, senior year of high school with a white tux and skater shoes.  Not sure what I was thinking at the time!

And my most recent 4WS just a couple of years ago (had this at the same time as the Legend – just a project car).

This picture best illustrates the back wheels turned with 4WS fully in-force.

I loved my 4WS so much that I made a video (with my brother Payton’s editing assistance) demonstrating the four wheel steering system’s operation.

One of my favorite things about Drive to Five is that I frequently get emails from others who are as passionate about Honda and Acura products as I am.  I recently was contacted by a guy named Tyler who shares my love of these old Preludes.  He has an exceptionally nice Frost White 1990 Si 4WS 5-speed Prelude.  Thanks, Tyler, for letting me share these!  Keep that beauty clean because it’s getting more rare each day.  Great scenery up there in northern Utah.

Logan Canyon – beautiful at any time of year!  No finer way to enjoy the sights than from behind the wheel of a sporty handling Honda.  Looks like today was a great day for a cruise, Tyler!

Great looking car and a truly classic design.

Finally, so I’ve got at least SOME Legend content in here:  A shot of two 6-speeds.  One Nissan with 500 miles, one Acura with 508,500 miles.

In other local Acura news:  My good friend John brought his 2003 Acura CL Type-S over yesterday to show me a new set of 19″ wheels he’s recently installed.  Sharp car!  And extremely rare equipped with the 6-speed manual as his is. In fact, John’s car is one of only 763 ever produced in Satin Silver exterior with Ebony interior, without the navigation package.  Nice ride, John!

And a rare sight around here:  An Acura EL. This model was essentially a rebadged Civic that never made it to the United States.  This one was northbound on McClintock Rd in Tempe, Arizona yesterday afternoon.  A long way from its home in Manitoba, Canada!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

4 Responses to “Prelude: Precursor to my Legend”

  1. Tyler S. Says:

    Great post, Tyson! Thanks for letting me be part of it.

  2. john yd Says:

    love your website about the acura legend type 2(230hp) 6sp manual tranny. that one of my favorite ride. i currently have a 92 prelude h22 dohc vtec. i also like the accord but the prelude 88-91, 92-96 and 97-01 are my favorite. best on gas and just good enough hp. the legend are nice but man i cant afford them yet. i read most of ur website, u should fix ur car. it easy and fun. i fix my car so i admire how u detail the paint and stuff. i will paint and detail my car soon. see u. love the website. the place u live in arizona seem nice. i go there sometime in the future.

    • Hey John, thanks for the comment. Glad to meet another Prelude fan. The 92-96 bodystyle is one of my favorites. Sounds like a pretty nice ride – got any pictures of it? You should definitely visit AZ sometime. Where are you located?

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