Monday, October 12, 2009

1988 Honda Prelude 2.0Si

I bought a car, Honda Prelude that’s more than 20 years old. Why would I do such a thing?

Of course it started snowing right after I bought the car. Fortunately, those are winter tires already in place.

I missed owning a car. I like to tell people that I miss my old van, but I don’t miss paying for it. That car was a financial disaster, a money pit that sucked my wallet dry. I don’t intend to repeat the experience. My personal financial situation has improved since then, for one, but more importantly, I won’t allow this car to take quite so much of my money.

The purchase price was $1300, and insurance for a year is a bit less than $700; SGI never got the memo about my clean driving record, so my insurance rates will go down a bit once I sort out that paperwork. The car has a 5-speed manual transmission, which I’m enjoying more than I expected to. I’ve always driven automatics before, but I was taught how to drive a stick long ago, and while I’m not good at it, I can do it without too much embarrassment. So far, I’ve stalled it twice, once on Saturday after I bought it, and once on Sunday just driving in traffic. I expect to get much better at this basic skill in short order.

I don’t intend to drive to work, I walk as it is and it takes me between 20 and 25 minutes, even when it’s -30C. We’ll see how dedicated I am to this non-automotive-commute concept I am this winter, but parking is fairly obnoxious and expensive at the University of Saskatchewan. My across-the-hall neighbour also works on campus, but I doubt I’ll carpool with him unless I get really lazy and wussy in winter.

This car is for fun and adventure. I wanted a car that was different, and not about the practicality. There aren’t many 3rd-generation Preludes around, and I’m told especially not in this colour. The van was a purely practical vehicle; I had a lot of fun with it, but its primary purpose was to solve transport and logistics problems – 7 seatbelts or 2 cubic metres of mobile storage space are powerful options in many situations. This little car, however, is all about the drive, not what’s compressing the springs. It’s not precisely a sports car – on my budget, anything truly fitting that category is unattainable or undriveable – but it is a “sports compact coupe”, a low-slung 2-door with an engine just a bit bigger than it precisely needs to be, and suspension set up for taking corners a little quicker than is absolutely necessary.

There's a list of things I'd like to fix or improve about this car. It needs a good once-over by a professional mechanic, soon, but I alreadyknow it needs a cooling system flush, an oil change, and some work on the power steering system (there's a leak of fluid somewhere). The timing belt is famously a weak point in these cars, so I want that replaced in fairly short order, too. These are all jobs I could theoretically do myself, but I don't have a garage or many tools. Some things I will do myself include just generally tidying up the trim, both outside and inside. There are a few pieces of plastic that hang from the body or are not tightly screwed in place, for example. One job I can do myself, I think, is fixing the heater blower - currently, the fan only blows on the 3 and 4 settings, not on 1 or 2, and it's pretty noisy. I suspect it needs disassembly, cleaning, and a check of the electrical connections.

I’m going to take this car out for drives, as regularly as I can manage. I want to explore, especially in central Saskatchewan, where I live. I want to go camping, and just generally get out there and see what there is to see. This car will let me do that.

More pictures, just because.
I like flip-up headlights for no good reason.


BB said...

i like flip up headlights for no good reason too.

TheBrummell said...

Awesome. I still don't know why I like them, but it's nice to know somebody else feels the same way.

Rick said...

SD Rear, FOJ L/R, VMG F?

TheBrummell said...

SD Rear, FOJ L/R, VMG F?

Compact, streamlined, hvy chassis, hvy suspension. Driver, Gunner. 125cc IC engine, 5 gal standard fuel tank, manual transmission*. 4 radial standard tires. SD R, 2 MG F (linked), blow-through concealment (2 MG F). Metal armor: F 4, L 2, R 2, B 3, T 1, U 1. HC 3, Accel 10, TS 110.
* manual transmission saves 15% of engine cost, shifting gears counts as a firing action.

Damn, now I'm gonna have to look up how much that costs and weighs.

TheBrummell said...

cost, new with "accessories" in 1983 dollars $8298.25
weight 2945 lbs
Wikipedia says 2,337 lb (1,060 kg) - 2,954 lb (1,340 kg) (depending on model)
Accel 10, Top speed 95. I had to make up the engine characteristics, and I guess I underpowered it, because I'm *pretty sure* it can go a bit faster than that...

Yes, I'm a big nerd. Please feel free to ignore the above 3 comments.

Mr. Wardigo said...

I happen to own a yellow 1989 2.0Si 5 speed and bought it brand new. cost me $15,900 in US dollars. Does 0-60 in about 8.5 sec and i had mine up to 135mph. I have 250,000 mile on it and has been sitting for 3 years... occasionally starting up the engine to make sure she is still good. Always got 31-33 mpg when most cars got 18-20mpg. In another 5 years i can call it a classic car ie OLD! but i still love my Barbados yellow prelude.

TheBrummell said...

i still love my Barbados yellow prelude.

That is excellent. I'm really enjoying this car, and I'm glad to hear there are other such good Preludes out there. Thanks for visiting! Do you have pictures of your Prelude up anywhere?

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Vintage car sometimes it use in crash scene in movie film.