Buying My Car...what do you think?

jrl1018

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Ok well, here's my story. I have got about a little less than three months left until i finally get my license, and I'm about ready to buy my car. I'm paying for everything (car, gas, insurance, etc.), so I'm on a somewhat short budget. I'm looking to spend somewhere in the range of $3500-$4000 for something that i can drive basically to and from school that won't make me look like a full blown loser. Preferably a Honda/Acura, because my dad used to work in the car business and has a few connections as far as maintenance costs go.

Heres what I'm currently seriously considering: (sorry for the horrible craigslist pics)






It's a 1992 Honda Prelude Si, 165 HP, 145k miles, seems to be fully loaded, timing belt changed at 100k miles, and of course that sweet 4th Gen Prelude dash :) . I'm probably going to go take it for a test drive some time this weekend to see how it feels. The owner wants $2700, seems like a pretty good deal. I have spoken to him and he says he has never had a problem with the car and has no reason to believe that anything should go wrong any time soon.

So what do you guys think? I'd like to hear your opinions.
 

Shawn

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I don't know much about Preludes. It's good that it's a Honda but I'm not really digging the styling to be honest.

Are Nissan 300ZXs in your price range? Not sure if they're good mechanically but I think it looks pretty good for such an old car. Or even some older Acuras still look good. If you can find a good Legend for a good price I think they are quite good (and handsome).
 

No Boss

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Kinda plain, but I think a lot of cars from that time in that colour come off as plain. I looked at one of those as my first car too so I know what you mean by the "sweet dash".

Is it an auto or manny?
 

jrl1018

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To be honest, I have looked at 300ZXs and it is hard to find a newer one (not pre-1990) for under 5 grand. I have also looked into Integras, but you only see a couple in my range that are worth it. I have also looked into Accords, but they don't seem fun enough, and Civics seem too common. Don't get me wrong though, if the right one came around I would buy it.

My dad used to have a Prelude and still says to this day it is one of the best handling cars he has ever driven. It just seems like such a good deal for $2700, and i don't really mind the styling. This one is an auto.
 

Shawn

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^ Then go for it if you've checked the car out. I had a 2003 RSX which sadly had similar power figures to this, and that was very fun to drive even though it was FWD.
 

Eunos_Cosmo

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For a reliable 4k car, that would probably do fine. I'm getting ready to spend the same amount on a Honda, but I am looking at DC2 Integra GSR's. Lighter with basically the same power. B18C > H23 (or is it F23 I cant remember) Don't buy any kind of turbo DSM, as that will just murder you for parts. I would recommend a 5 liter mustang, but gas prices might take the fun out of that. I would take a long hard look at the interior of that model prelude, because it is just shocking. I would not buy one strictly for that reason. Also for the same amount of money, you could possibly get into an Acura 3.0Cl, which seems very tempting to me, with the very nice 3 liter V6, and clean looks. I considered it until I discovered the V6 model is only available with an auto, which is a no-no for me.


that one is right below $4k on ebay

If you don't care about having an Auto (as the prelude you posted is) I would say get the CL over the Prelude, it will give you more of a serious look, IMO


EDIT: about the 300zx, stay away. They are extremely hard to work on, and the parts are very expensive, from what I've read. Same story for the 3000GT/Stealth. Rx7 would be suicide for a daily driver and avoid "unique" cars (merkur xr4ti :( ) like the plague. Parts searches go for days...weeks even with those types. I've been in your position before, and do NOT be hasty in your decision. You will probably not listen, because I never did with my first car, but really think about it, make sure its a good idea.
 
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Shawn

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^ Yes! That's exactly what I had in mind.
 
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The Prelude is based loosely off the Accord, which is a VERY good car. Don't expect to win any races, even the ZOMG VTEC model only runs a 15.1 1/4 mile. But it is a very solid car, which will give you many years of trouble-free service, and good gas mileage.

Can you drive a manual gearbox? I'm not sure if the Prelude got one of Honda's wonky automatics.
 

No Boss

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Can you drive a manual gearbox? I'm not sure if the Prelude got one of Honda's wonky automatics.
It did. As I said when I was looking to get one as my first car, there was a black one with this massive, foot tall, tower of lame that would be otherwise known as a automatic gear lever sitting between the seats.
 

Eunos_Cosmo

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The Prelude is based loosely off the Accord, which is a VERY good car. Don't expect to win any races, even the ZOMG VTEC model only runs a 15.1 1/4 mile. But it is a very solid car, which will give you many years of trouble-free service, and good gas mileage.

Can you drive a manual gearbox? I'm not sure if the Prelude got one of Honda's wonky automatics.
I doubt even 15.1. My friend had a 97 Prelude type SH (h22 dohc, 200hp) and he could never get it passed 15.9 not to mention how massively I beat him on the highway in my stock 5.0 mustang. Its not like he can't drive, because he can, he can shift damned near as fast as I've seen anybody, but the car is just too heavy. It was a nice car though, and would top out at 140mph.
 

Hidden_Hunter

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Preludes are nice cars, auto is a bit wonky as other people have mentioned but good solid first cars.

Also be aware genuine honda parts tend to cost more than other brands
 

MattD1zzl3

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whatever you do, get a manual.

Getting an auto was what i regret most about my first car, second only to getting a Front wheel drive. :D
 

Silverstar

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A friend of mine had the Prelude with an auto..got to drive it a couple times whilst trying to diagnose some problems...didn't like it at all. I would definately go manual if you have the choice. A good choice of car though for sure.
 

The_Finn

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EDIT: about the 300zx, stay away. They are extremely hard to work on, and the parts are very expensive, from what I've read. Same story for the 3000GT/Stealth. Rx7 would be suicide for a daily driver and avoid "unique" cars (merkur xr4ti :( ) like the plague. Parts searches go for days...weeks even with those types. I've been in your position before, and do NOT be hasty in your decision. You will probably not listen, because I never did with my first car, but really think about it, make sure its a good idea.
this is the most importat piece of information that anyone buying a used car can take to heart. Speaking as someone that bought a Unique car (323 GTX) as my main mode of transportation about a year ago and i have yet to even get it inspectable. Granted you could luck out but if i had to do it again i would have gotten a 1993 civic 5spd to get around and then gotten a GTX (or something else) afterwards*.



*i love my GTX and i will never ever get rid of her infact i need to buy a few more for parts and such but damnit i need a car that drives no questions asked
 

Eunos_Cosmo

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this is the most importat piece of information that anyone buying a used car can take to heart. Speaking as someone that bought a Unique car (323 GTX) as my main mode of transportation about a year ago and i have yet to even get it inspectable. Granted you could luck out but if i had to do it again i would have gotten a 1993 civic 5spd to get around and then gotten a GTX (or something else) afterwards*.



*i love my GTX and i will never ever get rid of her infact i need to buy a few more for parts and such but damnit i need a car that drives no questions asked
I can totally sympathize with you, as I bought (well me and airmenair, my brother) a Merkur XR4ti, and while it has been fairly reliable, alot of parts on the car are damn near impossible to find. Hence the reason ours has a saab radiator in it:lol:
 
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this is the most importat piece of information that anyone buying a used car can take to heart. Speaking as someone that bought a Unique car (323 GTX) as my main mode of transportation about a year ago and i have yet to even get it inspectable. Granted you could luck out but if i had to do it again i would have gotten a 1993 civic 5spd to get around and then gotten a GTX (or something else) afterwards*.



*i love my GTX and i will never ever get rid of her infact i need to buy a few more for parts and such but damnit i need a car that drives no questions asked
My first car was an '82 RX-7. While I adored that thing, it was a poor choice. I should have gotten something practical, reliable, and that didn't make my clothes smell like internal combustion.
 

Jay

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To be honest, I have looked at 300ZXs and it is hard to find a newer one (not pre-1990) for under 5 grand. I
Stay far far away from 300ZX's, 3000GT's and Supra's...they may be cheap(er) now, but parts for them are not. They always will be treated by their parent companies as luxury sports cars, and the prices to maintain them reflect that. To put it in perspective, parts for a 350Z are cheaper than a 15 year 300ZX.
 

T'booTed

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you know, my girlfreind and i just bought one of those preludes, and it is actually quite nice (and being an auto it it isn't too bad either). While its not fast, its definately not slow, andles very nicely and is very comfortable and easy to drive. a very nice palce to be. parts don't seem to be too dear and apparnetly the are ok to work on.... as opposed to 300zx's and legends, i know both people that have owend them and mechanics that work on them... unless you have deep pockets or a true love for them... don't go near...

and i hate to say it... i have had more people checking the prelude out than the quattro... damn them!!
 
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