1997 Honda Prelude – Feature Car – Honda Tuning Magazine

2 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 1997 Honda Prelude – Feature Car – Honda Tuning Magazine
Honda Prelude

Package Deal – 1997 Honda Prelude

When building the ride of your dreams, it’s easy to get lost in the details. But keep it simple and stick to the proven goods, and you’re likely to turn out a ride that’s as buff as this fifth-gen Prelude.

We love the Prelude faithful. We admire their determination to do something with a model that’s never been an instant go-to choice for new or returning Honda heads. And even within the Prelude camp, most enthusiasts seem to gravitate towards the fourth-generation variety.

Hence when we see a well-executed fifth-generation, the last Prelude to take a bow, we take notice.

The fifth-gen has never been a crowd favorite, but to us, it’s one of the best styled and most muscular of the family. It’s also the biggest and heaviest, a result of Honda continually throwing new technology until, at least to some minds (especially inside Honda), the Prelude lost its way. The lean, sporty coupe of the late 80’s/early 90’s had evolved into a thick, still performance-oriented slab by the end its run near the end of the decade.

Which is precisely why Alex Nguyen chose to build up a BB6.

I’m a big fan of the NSX, but couldn’t afford it, and the S2000 wasn’t out yet, Nguyen explains. Everybody else was doing Civics and Integras. I had a DC myself. I guess [I picked the fifth-gen] just because no one else liked it.

I wanted to do something new.

His plan took shape when a friend gave up on his own Prelude project and offered up the parts he’d largely sourced from JHP and OTP Auto, including pistons, valve springs, camshaft, and a rear seat from a JDM Prelude Type S. Once he gave up on the project, everything was for sale, Nguyen says.

Nguyen and a friend assembled the motor in the garage of a friendly San Diego shop, Aero Cosmetics, and later added an intake from a JDM BB6, Mugen header and Tanabe Racing Medallion exhaust.

But there are a couple of things you can’t help but notice about Nguyen’s Lude. One of them is the deep and rich Nighthawk Black Pearl factory paint, with barely a sticker in sight but for the Mugen stripe running along the top of the rear quarter panel and door.

The second is the stance. Dropped more than two inches at all corners with Tanabe Sustec Pro SS adjustable coilovers and ending in silver 17-inch Mugen MF10’s, Nguyen’s Lude looks all muscle. The look intensifies when viewed from head-on, staring down the gullet of the Mugen front bumper and side skirts.

Nguyen even fesses up to swapping in Mugen coilovers for track days, preferring the Tanabe kit for daily duties.

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