The Missing Prelude Type R

One of the most frustrating elements about Speedhunting at events is that you sometimes miss interesting things that you might have walked past countless times over the course of several hours, glanced at without giving a second thought to, or were right there under your nose all along.

Sorry, let me correct that – missing things isn’t the frustrating part, the frustration comes when you’re made aware that you’ve missed something good at a later date. This usually occurs for me when I’m perusing Instagram or Facebook after getting home from an event. I’m usually beat at this point; legs and feet aching, tired, and gagging for a cup of tea. Slumped on the sofa, shoes discarded in one corner and memory cards busily copying over to my computer upstairs, I reach for my phone and start flicking through other people’s event photos on my social feeds.


There it is. Staring back at me in miniature form on the small screen in the palm of my hand – the spotlight, feature or story angle that, hours earlier, I was looking so hard for but completely overlooked. Everyone else seems to be talking about it, or has taken photos of it, how did I completely miss it?! Sometimes it’s a case of not being able to see the wood for the trees.


Case in point, at last month’s Mimms Honda Day at Rockingham I almost didn’t see this Prelude BB6 for the Hondas. Luckily, after scouring through my memory cards from the event, I was pleased to see that I at least got some images of the car to share with you.

Why is this car so special? Well, firstly, the Prelude doesn’t seem to get much love in the modified Honda world. I’m not sure why to be honest. It’s a great-looking car that has aged relatively well, and because it’s not a Civic you don’t tend to see that many of them on the roads either.


I remember driving the occasional Prelude back when I worked at a Honda dealership and always found them pretty nice to drive. Maybe they don’t attract much admiration because Honda never made a Type R version?


You see, it wasn’t that I didn’t clock Hond-R’s Prelude Type S at the event, it was just that it was parked in a kind of awkward angle, wedged in between a retail booth and the pit garage wall. Getting pleasing shots of it was tricky, so for once I spent longer appreciating it with my camera down by my side rather than up to my eye. I’m glad I did.

The first thing to strike me was just how clean the Type S was, and how cleanly each and every modification has been executed.


Take for example the K20 swap. The engine came from an FN2 Civic Type R and has been flawlessly transplanted into the Prelude complete with a Hond-R wire tuck and full engine bay smooth.


The engine has been treated to a RRC FD2 oil pump, which does away with the FN2’s oil pump and balancer shaft setup and frees up some extra ponies. You may have also noticed the rather large Rotrex C38-91 supercharger setup? This is positioned on the inlet side of the block thanks to a TTS shaft drive kit, which allowed Hond-R to keep the pipework to the TTS intercooler nice and short. It also places the charger in place of the factory airbox, making it possible to run a proper cold air intake from outside of the engine bay.


Tucked away from sight there’s a Hybrid Racing 70mm throttle body, Injector Dynamics 1000cc injectors, Hybrid Racing fuel rail and fuel pressure regulator, and a Toda baffled sump. Everything is brought together by a Hondata KPro4 engine management system.

The result is a safe 401bhp with 273lb/ft, tuned for reliability.


The drivetrain has been upgraded with a Hybrid Racing-modified DC5 shifter, EP3 Type R gearbox, Insane Shafts axles, MFactory helical differential and Competition Clutch flywheel and clutch.


The Prelude sits low over a set of RAYS Volk Racing ZE40s wrapped in Yokohama Advan Neova AD08R rubber, thanks to a set of Tein coilovers. Large Ksport brakes are tucked away behind the beautiful bronze spokes.


Here’s another shot of those stunning wheels. The interior, which I completely failed to get photos of (hot contender for Paddy McGrath’s Pulitzer coming right at you…) features a set of custom re-trimmed Recaro CS seats and a custom S2000 digital dashboard cluster.


The Prelude’s bodywork has been enhanced with some choice, but subtle tweaks – a Value Sports front lip, Motegi side skirts, Mugen rear spats and Mugen rear spoiler complete the look. The whole lot is sprayed in Honda Diamond White Pearl.


The minimalist approach to the exterior may be down to the fact that there’s simply not much out choice there for the humble Prelude, but in this case I say that less is definitely more. What Hond-R have done is effectively created their own Prelude Type R, and then boosted it up with some incredibly well thought out touches, and a healthy dose of extra power on top.

When you see Preludes done this well, it makes me question why more people aren’t toying with them?

Jordan Butters
Instagram: jordanbutters
Facebook: Jordan Butters Photography



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Well then...looks like the Prelude's going on my ever-increasing list of candidates for "First car that I bought with my own money."


I always liked these cars and this one is exceptionally clean. Its really hard to find these cars not beat up or with a quarter million miles on them these days though.

Miguel Martinez

I recently bought an imported 96 Prelude (Still 5th gen) from japan with 160k miles or 227k km, all stock, and I am from San Francisco, CA. i was going to buy one with 70k miless (2001) full leather interior, but the guy flaked. There are some nice ones out there, trust me.

Christian Clark

I've had 3 Preludes, and plan on getting another later. Issue mainly is the difficulty in getting parts. This is one of the best out there. Awesome job.

If you plan on buying one, avoid slushboxes and anything modified.

Matthew Dockery

"Luckily, after scouring through my memory cards from the event, I was pleased to see that I at least got some images of the car to share with you." *Proceeds to give us essentially a full spread of shots of the car.*

Damn man, how many pictures do you take of the cars you MEAN to take photos of?

Jordan Butters

You don't want to know…


Probably the only Honda I really like, the Prelude is indeed a sleeper in most people's eyes. This one is exceptionally clean and neat, and I dig the "less is more" approach as well...A+ in my book!

Reece Russell

You aint the only one... I am not a Honda fan but this is one of my favorite cars they have ever built, sad it lost out to the S2000.


This makes me moister than oyster.


Not into hondas but i can appreciate something like this well put together, function and form done right good job.


Perfect! Supercharged K20 in 5gen - love it!


Lack of parts/vehicle weight/engine subsystems are main reasons people don't use them as much here in the states anyway. At least that's the going consensus. I dig em tho. Always loved hondas.


Now...there's one sweet Honda. I was always biased towards a RWD platform naturally but this prelude I could sway forward for.

Tyler Townsley

Been working on mine. Over winter. I really wanted to do a k swap but ended up being to much $ so I'm going f20b fully tucked. I love this prelude type wish people did more


Thank you for this article. I've owned the same BB6 for 16 years (first and only car) and it never gets the respect and appreciation it deserves. I agree that may be the case because, like you said, there was never a Type-R version (a big mistake by Honda in my opinion). At the same time, I always felt it was its own Type-R straight from the factory. This article makes me want to buy another one and start a build following the footsteps of Hond-R. Great job by them!


I also have wondered why the prelude didnt become more popular than it is. Very cool car.


The Honda Prelude was my first car, a 1992 Si, and my second car when I went on to buy a 1997 VTEC. I'm not a rabid fanboy, but I swayed a few RWD only guys with this car, since most haven't experienced a front wheel drive with better coilovers, thicker swaybars, good sticky tyres and a high tech electronic diff (when it worked!) and the sound with an Injen CAI and Tanabe exhaust was good for a 4 cylinder. And they look the goods with a GReddy front lip!

I saw that same car for sale on gumtree not long ago, some 7 years later. Looked like crap but it was definitely my old one. I'm kicking myself I didn't buy it :( Very underrated car.


My son's 99 Lude with Euro R swap.


I've owed two Preludes '92&'96
This is my son's BB6 with Euro R running Hondata....

Rotary Nissan

The Prelude was one of the first cars to catch my eye. I believe I lusted after the 1991-style body for the longest time before deciding I liked the nose of the 1997 better. I still think it'd be absolutely awesome if someone pulled a Sil-80 with the Prelude by mashing up a 1991 rear with a 1997 nose.


theres a guy who used to live close that had exactly that. Hes moved away tho, sadly dont know what happened to the car.


That level of wire tucking is amazing!


Anyone have a photo of the interior? I'm dying for a Pic of it....


Tried to post 2 pics of the interior but doesn't seem to have worked. Look on my instagram mazhond_r


Thanks....Looks good. Sporster CSs looks like they're made for that car!!!


heavier than civic, crx, and teg probably... but this thing is wicked.


I used to thrash my gen 5 until, foolishly, I rolled it racing somebody in the rain and totalled it. It sat for about 1 year before I managed to sell it for parts. It started right up and the guy managed to 'drive' it onto his trailer. I'd love to own another, especially now that I am a little older and wiser.


Thanks for the awesome feature. This car was a serious challenge to build but worth every penny. But it's up for sale now....cost me best part of £32k to build. £17k takes it away.


Gorgeous build. I'm curious what's your wheel/tire setup? (size + offset)


Hi. They are 17x8.5 et45 with a 3mm spacer on the rear, rolled arches and running 235/40/17 Yokohama ad08-r


Should have been RWD.



my thoughts exactly. it would be 120% more popular.


I might reconsider swapping K20 series in my Prelude, but a 3.2 J32A Type S would be a different story... Here's my Prelude Type SH H22a LSD tranny that's has about low miles due to the engine swap. The hood is carbon fiber, but I have bigger plans in the future for this beast.


I have a 91honda prelude si
That is in great condition if had the money to transform i would maybe we could work something out


whats a slush box?


why sell it and has anyone ever done a v8 rwd swap with one?