Classy coupe that

Britain loved

Honda Prelude

THE coupe was a style that really captured the imagination of the British motoring public in the late 1970s and there were some very tasty offerings on the market.

The Ford Capri had already set the benchmark in this field and what followed was an array of some truly great wheels.

One such was the Honda Prelude which was born in 1978 and had a long run of different variations, all of which had one thing in common - the ability to place a stylish coupe in the image of the great GTs on the motorists' driveways without racking up a massive purchase price.

But don't get me wrong, these cars were not cheapies, but classy eye-catching coupes with a lorryload of style.

The one that Britain really took to heart was the second-generation Prelude which was released in Japan on November 25, 1982 and worldwide in the spring of 1983.

Riding on an all-new platform, the Prelude was initially available with a 1.8L 12-valve twin carburetor engine, producing 105ps. In Japan, Asia and Europe, it later became available with a 2.0-litre DOHC 16-valve PGM-FI engine although this engine was not released in Europe until 1986.

This was the first generation of Prelude to have pop-up headlights, which allowed for a more aerodynamic front clip, reducing drag. Opening the headlights, however, especially at higher speeds, produced significantly more drag.

The European version saw slight modifications to the rear lights and revised front and rear bumpers which were now color-matched.

Due to the fairly low weight of the car was relatively nimble in comparison to its competitors, which most Preludes had not been up to that time.

In Britain this variant sold better than its predecessor during a time when sports cars were declining in popularity and many manufacturers were withdrawing from this market sector; including Ford which did not replace the Capri after its 1986 demise.

This version of the car led the way for the more highly developed Preludes which were to follow.


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