Four Wheel Steering Survivor: 1988 Honda Prelude – Sold!
It doesn’t get much more rad than a classic Honda Prelude wearing Barbados Yellow paint – and outfitted with the trick four wheel steering system Honda fitted its flagship two-door with. This 1988 Honda Prelude is the car that Honda almost universally parked in its showrooms around the country, and put on the cover of its sales literature, always in yellow. This 1988 model on Craiglist in Annapolis, Maryland is an impressive survivor considering it shows six-digit mileage, looking far fresher than its odometer would suggest. It’s listed with an asking price of $10,000, which isn’t too far off the mark: checking the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms that an “Excellent” Prelude is valued at $14,000, with “Good” condition set at $8,000.
Coincidentally this week Hagerty Insurance published this article highlighting how four-wheel steering is having its time in the spotlight – again. The 1988 Honda Prelude was the first car domestically to introduce this whiz-bang technology to the masses, but its debut resulted in muted fanfare. With manufacturers looking for every possible solution for enhancing driver engagement, Honda devised a system whereby the rear wheels “talked” to the driver through slight adjustments made depending on the degree of steering input exerted on the front wheels. So, in other words, the rear wheels would steer in the same direction as the fronts up until a threshold of input was crossed – such as when parallel parking – at which point, the rear wheels would counter-steer. While novel, it added to the price tag out the door and wasn’t helped by the fact that road test editors couldn’t detect a discernible difference in handling quality compared to a non-4WS Prelude.
Regardless of the merits of 4WS, the survivor-grade qualities of this 1988 Prelude are what should compel you to contact the seller. The description isn’t long on the history of the car, which would be worth a read to learn how it survived in such pristine condition, but it’s not hard to spot Hondas of this era that have been abused or neglected. The rear wheel arches are usually rusted out on any car that’s been parked outside, and given the third-generation Prelude features an interference engine, an owner that neglected timing belt changes would likely be advertising a boat anchor or a recently rebuilt engine. If it hasn’t been done, this one is certainly on borrowed time and should be replaced ASAP – but the seller claims the Prelude is up to date on its maintenance. Survivor Preludes are a challenge to find across any generation, but a Barbados Yellow 4WS is an absolute unicorn.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“Honda Prelude Si 4WS for sale. 120000 miles. Very reliable and fun to drive. All maintenance up to date with service records. Great condition for a 32 year old car and very well maintained. If interested call 443-569-9049. Serious inquires only!“
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