Junkyard Treasure: 1982 Honda Prelude

1982 Honda Prelude front view

The first US-market Preludes were small, double-digit-horsepower sporty commuters.

The first-generation Honda Prelude had its US-market debut in the 1979 model year. The 1979-1982 Preludes never sold anywhere near as well as the Civic and Accord, but the sporty little Accord-based coupes were once pretty commonplace on California streets. I spotted this lichen-encrusted ’82 in a San Francisco Bay Area yard last week.

1982 Honda Prelude in California junkyard

Later Preludes were bigger and quite a bit more powerful, and they sold better than the first-gen version. The small size— barely bigger than a same-year Civic— made these cars useful for parking-challenged places such as San Francisco.

1982 Honda Prelude Vacuum Hose Diagram

The Honda CVCC engine got ever-more-complex emission-control hardware as the 1980s progressed. The Vacuum Hose Routing Diagram decal under the hood of today’s Junkyard Treasure looks pretty scary, but it got much, much worse as emission standards tightened later in the decade.

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