1999 Honda Prelude Type SH is A Window to A Golden Era
Magazine’s track test got us thinking about the good old days of sport compacts.
We like a quick, torquey, turbocharged car as much as the next guy. But, we do miss the good ol’ days of naturally-aspirated sport compacts. Sure, by the numbers, adding a turbo is better in every way. That also counts when the car makers are doing it themselves too. Nowadays, they often get equivalent fuel economy numbers in addition to the great power and torque. The trouble is that those cars, while “better” have gotten numb. From electric power steering to elaborate traction control systems, the driver is insulated from the road. Why the monologue? Well, we came across this write up by Scott Oldham at Car & Driver about this gorgeous 1999 Honda Prelude Type SH from the American Honda collection.
This thing is a time capsule! Just 941 miles on the clock when they picked it up, and it shows. Scott wrote, “It has to be the lowest-mileage, most perfectly preserved Prelude Type SH on the planet.” No doubt. “Although there’s more body roll than you’ll find in modern machines, the Honda’s control-arm suspension is tuned exceedingly well, even by today’s standards, soaking up midcorner road irregularities without upsetting the car’s attitude,” Oldham explains.
The author then goes on to say that the steering, “should be used as a reference for steering engineers all over the world.” Agreed. Couple that with a five-speed manual that easily keeps the four-cylinder in its power band. It’s easy when you look at the recipe Honda rolled out in the Prelude to see where cars like the S2000 came from. Simple, pure expression of a car that doesn’t insulate the driver, but rather makes him, or her, the central player in the experience.
Do you have a favorite Honda from the Golden Era of the 90s? Join us in the forums and let us know!
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Photos courtesy of Jessica Lynn Walker and Car & Driver.