Honda — perpetual motion machine

my car!(tempting fate, I know!)

Just got the Huge Friendly Giant back from its MoT ( = annual roadworthiness test) which it passed without a hitch, with well over 101,000 miles on the clock.  (As the man at Elite Motors said:  ‘It’s a Honda… if it fails, it’ll be on something silly like a light bulb.’)

This is just to express my admiration to Honda for making such a beautifully engineered and reliable machine.  When I bought this Prelude two years ago, I was worried about its high mileage:  ‘What do you call high mileage?’ said a friend. ‘83,000 miles.’  ‘My Honda’s done 140,000 and it NEVER goes wrong!’  (Famous last words… eventually hers lost its brakes and shunted the car in front.  But she had already decided she’d like a new one by then anyway.)

 kallipygous honda

For its 100,000th birthday I treated it to a service and a new pair of chrome exhaust trims (the previous ones having, er, mysteriously disappeared).

Of course there are things about it that aren’t ideal:  nose too long, hates speed bumps, not much room inside (though I can almost get the contra across the back seat!), the four-wheel steering makes reverse parking even more of a nightmare than it usually is… But it will go all day without complaining, as fast or slow as I like (I’ve never consciously pushed it — God knows how fast it would actually go:  I’ve seen 110), round any corner at any speed, fuel consumption not too appalling on motorways at least…  Everything about it is designed with the driver in mind.  Blessings on Mr Honda, the VTEC engine and its Formula 1 pedigree.

If the legendary L J K Setright thought it the only car worth driving, and Hondas the best cars in the world, that’s good enough for me.  It may not be as beautiful as its shark-nosed predecessor, or the one before that (with the pop-up headlamps — the one I had before);  when it was first introduced it was derided as ‘ugly’, but time has given it a classic handsomeness at least.

Shame that, since the passing of Mr Honda, the company is run by marketing men.  They couldn’t think what the Prelude was for, so they axed it.  Come on, Honda, bring it back!  There must be a market for a car that is sporty without being flashy or expensive, agile without being cramped, reliable without being boring…

I love Citroens too, but they break my heart (and my bank balance).  Meanwhile, here’s to the next 100,000 (with fingers crossed)…

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10 Comments on “Honda — perpetual motion machine”

  1. Clover Says:

    Bravo Jonathan! If everyone treated their cars this way, it would be a better world.

    Btw, FTB. Actually, no, don’t. I seriously did not think of the additional angle you added to the comment board on Found. I was just thinking that he was one. Clever!

    (Dang, i forgot to sign in before posting again. Here’s one with my pic. You can choose which one to delete. hehe)

  2. Nightingale Says:

    My Honda is 21 years old and has just over 70,000 miles on it! I bought it new in 1986 for about $10k. Best investment I ever made. I’ve toted my babies around in it their whole lives, and it’s about time to pass it on to my oldest who’s been driving for a year now. Hondas Rule!


  3. […] to say I am devastated and disappointed that NO HONDAS made it into the top 100!  Pah!  Or that Renault […]

  4. John Smith Says:

    Well Hondas Rock my 86′ prelude still runs like a clock

  5. John Smith Says:

    Well my 86′ Prelude still purrs

  6. jonathanburton Says:

    And it’s just (09 August 2008) had another service, coming up for 106,000 miles and singing like a bird. Buster at Elite Motors agreed with me that it’s incomprehensible how Honda could have dropped the Prelude and not come up with a similar sporty coupe to fill that niche. I said that if I won the lottery I really wouldn’t know what new car to buy as there isn’t anything I would want! (– though his Mazda RX8 did look tempting.)

  7. jonathanburton Says:

    That was supposed to say 2008 plus a bracket. Ha ha, very funny.

  8. Buntu Says:

    I live in Johannesburg, South Africa.
    Reassuring words indeed, Mr Burton. My 1997 Prelude has just hit the 220 000 mark with nary an issue, mechanical or oetherwise. If there’s one issue to bring out a tissue, it m,ust be the fuel consumption – no fault of the car. I just canmnot help making excuses to drive my car all the time, and occasionally access the perfromance envelope.

  9. jonathanburton Says:

    Thanks for that!

    220,000… wow.

    One year on, another MoT, now 106,500 miles (I’m not using it quite so much these days). A couple of body rattles, a few more scratches and a teeny bit of rust around a rear wheel arch, otherwise sweet as ever.

    I saw the needle at around 115 the other day… oops. And I wasn’t even in a hurry.

    Blessings on the shade of the good Mr Honda. Now… how about a Prelude Hybrid?

  10. jonathanburton Says:

    The story continues… service and MoT at 125,500 (Dec 2011). Still going strong though needed some welding on one sill to get through MoT. Wheel arches now decidedly rusty — may try to find a local body shop to tidy them up (and a dink on the nose where I failed to stop in traffic — oops).

    Had problems with the 4-wheel steering but it’s working at the moment. I slightly get the feeling the car’s days may be numbered (whisper it) but it’s had a good run…


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