My First Honda: 1989 Prelude 2.0 Si 5-Speed
Happy Friday! It was a week of milestones for the cars. On Wednesday night, the ILX rolled 30,000 miles.
And on Thursday night, the Legend rolled 520,000 miles.
My ILX in fewer than 9 months has accumulated more miles than this 1995 Legend LS sedan has over the last 18 years. Look how nice that front seat leather is!
Humble beginnings. Honda’s first foray into production automobiles was in June 1963 with a cute little truck called the T360. It had only 30 horsepower. Honda has come a very long way.
The first car I really ever got passionate about was my 1989 Honda Prelude 2.0 Si when I was 17 years old. This was a Phoenix Red 5-speed that I purchased in January 1999 with 134,000 miles on the odometer. First order of business was ditching the studded snow tires (this was a Boise, Idaho car) and installing some 15″ Optima polished aluminum wheels.
This next picture was taken December, 2000. It’s easy to see how my tastes were a little more “loud” back then. Wings West spoiler, Dynomax exhaust, even an “Si-R” sticker. My mom’s 1993 Legend L sedan in the background had a much cleaner sense of style than what I was going for on my Prelude.
I drove the Prelude for two years and sold it at 169,000 miles. Two more years later, I was reunited the car in early 2003 when I got in touch with the family who I’d sold it to. I was able to borrow the car for a couple of hours and detail it. At the time, I had just recently purchased my 1994 Legend LS coupe so I got some pictures with the two cars together.
Sadly, it was less than a year later when I happened across the Prelude in the front yard of a towing company in St. George, Utah. It had been rear-ended and was a total loss. When I stopped by, I was driving my Charcoal Granite Metallica 1991 Legend L coupe 5-speed (a project car).
The most depressing part was when I peered inside the car and saw the odometer reading: 199,600. It had been so close to achieving 200,000 mile status. I know they’re capable of far more, based on my friend Chris’ experience with his 1988 Prelude Si getting to 399,525 miles before it died.
I pulled off the “H” emblem from the trunk lid and I still have it in a box, 10 years later. The only reminder I have left of the car that first got me excited about Honda.
I must’ve had a video camera handy, because my friend Branson in the background here was documenting our visit. I’ll have to track down that tape because it could have some entertaining stuff on it.
I’d love to own another 3rd generation (1988-1991) Prelude someday.
New Member of the ILX Family
Congrats to another Drive to Fiver who has picked up an Acura ILX. Greg from Denver reached out the other day after picking up his first new car, a 2013 Acura ILX in Polished Metal Metallic with the 2.0 / automatic drivetrain.
Thanks Greg for sharing your excitement about (and a picture of) your new car!
Most gearheads can appreciate things like sky-high horsepower and loads of torque, so I’ll share a fun sidebar about my brother’s business called H&S Performance. As long as I can remember, my brothers have been just as into the car scene as I have. My brother Bentley’s first car was a 1984 Honda Civic S with a whopping 122 horsepower. It was a 5-speed manual and a hand-me-down from my great-grandma, “Granny.”
He wasted no time in making some aesthetic and performance upgrades to that old hatchback.
But 122 horsepower was only going to satisfy him for so long…
H&S is a producer of diesel performance products. There’s an entire enthusiast community dedicated to souping up diesel pickup trucks. And these monster trucks, it may surprise many, can put sports cars to shame with their speed & power capabilities.
On Thursday afternoon, H&S broadcasted a 2-hour live video feed of my brother Bentley’s 2011 Ford F-250 Powerstroke through a series of dyno runs in an attempt to break something. They literally wanted to push this truck to its ultimate limits for the sake of R&D. My brother is the one leaning on the truck in the final shot of this video where folks from around his office predicted the fate of the truck.
The live video feed from the event is here.
- Run 1: 1:28:39 – Warming up the truck, ~400 HP
- Run 2: 1:30:21 – Fuel only, ~580 HP
- Run 3: 1:33:45 – Fuel only, ~600 HP
- Run 4: 1:40:35 – Nitrous run 1, ~700 HP
- Run 5: 1:45:41 – Nitrous run 2, ~700 HP
- Run 6: 1:50:48 – Nitrous run 3, ~700 HP
- Run 7: 2:01:02 – Nitrous run 4, ~750 HP
- Run 8: 2:18:05 – Nitrous run 5, ~800 HP
- Run 9: 2:47:04 – Nitrous run 6, ~880 HP
The truck ended up at 884 horsepower and 1,668 lb/ft of torque on a stock bottom end and transmission. That transmission ended up being the weakest link.
The H&S crew said they’ll be back for 1,000 horsepower soon. I can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store. Now, if only I could get them to do a little tuning to my 2.4 liter ILX.
EDIT: Let’s make this interactive. Duane from California emailed me and told me about his first Honda. He paid $426 for it in 1988, which was a lot of money for a lawnmower back then. But in 25 years, it’s only been in for service once!
What was your first Honda?