Lost Technology: 1990 Honda Prelude 4WS
Once a upon a time the auto industry in Japan was offering interesting ideas directly to the consumer, things that far more expensive brands in Europe weren't even doing. One of those ideas was four-wheel steering.
Basically, turning the steering wheel not only turned the front wheels, but the rear wheels as well. They moved in the same direction, only to a lesser degree. This dramatically improved sharp turns, parallel parking and changing lanes at high speeds. The system was also entirely mechanical, not hydraulic or electrical, so it could last the lifetime of the vehicle.
The genius of 4WS wasn't just engineering, either. In terms of marketing, it finally brought something to the table that had been lacking in Honda's otherwise dull front-wheel drive cars.
And the Prelude was the perfect car to demonstrate the system with. Honda had offered the nameplate since 1978, but it wasn't until the second generation that debuted in 1983 that it really started getting admiration from consumers and critics alike. In 1988 the body was subtly modified and smoothened.
This is the brief and rare '88-'91 facelift, arguably the best Prelude of all time. The seller has clearly modified the car themselves, but done so with thought and taste that is lacking in so many other second hand Japanese cars seen today.
The seller has owned the car for 9 years and did a ton of work on it during that time. They replaced the engine and transmission in 2005 and also treated some rust. However, the say it runs, drives and shifts great, wears the original paint and has never been in an accident. Tough times are forcing them to give it up.
If you're looking to pamper the car as well as it has been by the seller and want a piece of automotive history, this is a unique opportunity to do so.
Available here on craigslist in Hopkinton, Rhode Island for $6,000.