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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys I'm new to this site and wanted to ask a question about these cars as I have little to no experience with preludes. First off I am a 22 year old automotive detailer living in Northern Virginia. I currently own a 2003 Subaru Outback and a 1999 Honda Accord. I am looking at possibly picking up a project car and trying to figure out if its worth the trouble or not.

My brother is selling his 1996 Prelude as it has some problems both cosmetic and mechanical and has since purchased a different vehicle. I figure I could get it for about $400 and here are the details.

Mechanically it is in rough shape. It has about 130k miles but the clutch is going out and the engine definitely needs a tune up. It also has a slight electrical problem with the headlights where they don't always work correctly. The car has new tires, struts, and brakes and has the basic mods.

It is also rough cosmetically. It has a very large dent in the back driver side quarter panel with a crazy amount of scratches. Also has a nice sized dent in the driver fender; again, lots of scratches as well. the rest of the body is what youd expect for a 20 year old car.

Anyway, on to the main question... Should I take this car off his hands and try to fix it up? Or do you guys think its a lost cause? I would be doing all the mechanical work and as far as body work I'd probably just try to prevent and protect from rust. Thanks and hope to hear from some of you guys!
 

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The QP dent means it's definitely totaled. Otherwise, do a compression check on the engine. If it does well there, I would consider picking it up for like a race car-type purpose. For any other reason, just stick with your Accord.

Or maybe buy it to part it out.
 

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Hard to have an opinion without any pics. I know I would rather start a project car that has at least some chance of ending up... 1) looking good, or 2) being fast, or 3) at least being enjoyable to drive.

#1 is right off the list, #2 is unlikely, and that leaves #3. Do you enjoy driving the car?

Edit: Oh yeah playlude has a good idea with the racecar thing. At that price point it would be eligible for LeMons style racing.
 

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Do yourself a favor: Start off with a nice car for a project.

Working on cheap junk will burn you out in a hurry, especially if it's been neglected. Instead of spending money on parts that you want to put on the car (exhaust, intake, suspension parts, etc.), you'll be spending money on parts you need just to get it on the road and keep it there. Buy a car that's already well maintained and cosmetically in good standing, and then you can enjoy driving the car and modifying it as you go. You can find a clean, manual transmission 4th gen or 5th gen Prelude for ~$5,000 if you hunt hard enough.

Starting out with a basket case with no value is just throwing money into a hole with no return.
 

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Exactly whats been said here. Buy a car with redeeming qualities - that car sounds like a frigging basket case. I bought my 3rd gen because the body has no rust and the paints in good shape, nevermind its an automatic or needs electrical work - those are within my range of skills to fix.

Also, I'm somewhat nearby, if you need someone to go with you looking at projects, I'ld be happy to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice guys. I suppose it would be more trouble than its worth but I was considering it. You guys have helped me realize it probably is just not worth it. Thanks again!
 
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