I was offered this Prelude as a swap for the silver Civic before I'd even bought the latter.
I'd pondered it, and wasn't sure what to do, so I left it a few days so I could get acquainted with the Civic and see how I felt about it - a Prelude VTi was a very fair swap, the only thing was that I'd been planning to buy a hatchback because practical. I was told it was low mileage, had bad paint but a new cambelt. Hmmm.
A couple of weeks with the Civic gave me the following list of observations:
cambelt, water pump etc unknown - there was a faded sticker under the bonnet with a date in 2007 and a mileage - this was shortly before it was exported to France so it was plausible it was a cambelt, but there was no evidence to back it up. The Civic Sedan's cambelt is due on age even though it's virtually new in mileage terms, and I don't fancy doing two.
rear trailing arm bushes are perished
knocking noise from rear
bonnet latch sticks
cheap budget tyres - poor grip even in dry
speakers knackered, and there are only 2
needs undersealing - thanks to 11 years in Bordeaux the underseal has all dried and flaked off
occasional hot starting fault - suspect distributor
ice blue interior will be difficult to keep clean
basic seats are uncomfortable and have extremely limited adjustment
split tailgate is completely pointless and actually a mild hindrance at times
My knees keep hitting the hard edge of the dash when I'm in a comfortable seating position
It's a bit gutless - it only has twin point fuel injection, not the multipoint throttle body I'm used to (it's possible to upgrade for +15bhp but I don't have the time)
Metal sunroof - not to my personal preference (I like glass ones, and I keep the cover open usually).
I just wasn't getting on with it, and while the gearbox was remarkably strong and the engine ran well, hot start issues aside, it just left me feeling a bit deflated. I messaged the chap who'd offered me the Prelude and provisionally accepted it. It transpires it was a car being stored where he and some friends kept their cars, and it belonged to his mate's other half. The story is that she was originally from Sydney, and while she was there she'd had a silver automatic EG, which she adored, but was stolen and written off. These guys had opted to surprise her with the Civic as she just wasn't using the Prelude (about 1k in the last year) and thought the Civic would suit her better.
Anyway, today rolled up so I took the Civic down to them, and had a nose about the Prelude. Its story is that a gentleman somewhere London-ish bought it new in 1999, then kept it until 2020 when he gave up driving at NINETY NINE YEARS OLD. As such, the car does have some giffer scrapes, most notably the front bumper corners and the rear quarter panels, one of which looks like it's been dragged along a fencepost - only lightly, though. He took it to the same mechanic all that time and it has service history to match - in the end it was the mechanic that sold the car for the owner.
The Australian lass then had it for a year or so, and in that time it had a new cambelt and ancillaries, which have next to no miles on them. Big winner.
The Prelude has had some parking sensors fitted at some point, but they're rather ineffective, look daft, and sound ridiculous, so I'll most likely remove them.
Inside the car is like new, with genuine deep pile Honda floor mats in black with a gold accent to match the black velour interior, and a full host of features:
four wheel steering (!)
electric glass sunroof
electric heated mirrors
eBay special Bluetooth radio (OE radio included)
leather steering wheel
Rather nice, really, an ideal long distance cruiser. Everything works, the autobox is in excellent shape, and the aircon is ice cold.
We agreed on a straight swap, even though the poor Aussie lass was a bit blindsided (I'd been dealing with her other half), and I set off home.
It's an absolutely cracking car that wants for very little aside a wash and a polish.
The handling is superb - turning circle is tiny, and turn-in is eager. The car's planted, and when you put your foot down it just flies away (182bhp). VTEC yo is working as it should.
The ride is extremely pleasant and compliant, while remaining planted and confident.
Very happy with it, and it suits me and the driving I do perfectly.
You probably won't find me sleeping in it at any point though...