(I was so cool. This is the earliest picture I had on my CarDomain.)
I was a scrawny 16 year old, it was 2002 and I was in search of my first car. For the last year my group of friends would sit on a landscaping wall on the side of the road every friday night and watched the cars go by cruising the strip before we had our driver's licenses. During this time I decided my first car could only be a Honda because... VTEC. I originally wanted a '99 Civic Si, but after browsing Honda's website on my Windows 98 computer with its 56k modem, I learned the Prelude had 195hp, which was 35 more than the Si. I had to get one.
I didn't have any luck finding one I wanted locally in my price range, but Ebay was huge at the time. I found an Electron Blue '97 Prelude Type SH with 65,000 miles on it. There was one problem though... the car was in Texas and I lived in Pennsylvania. Somehow I talked my parents into letting me bid on it sight unseen, no carfax, nothing. After all, there were 30 low resolution pictures of it from every angle and the seller had good feedback, so it must have been a good idea. I was a pretty resposible kid, so my dad cosigned the loan - $239 a month for four years. We had the car shipped to my front door, but still probably saved $2000 over what I could find locally.
When the car arrived it wasn't Electron Blue, it was on the bluish side of purple. The entire engine bay was red. Turns out Honda didn't make Electron Blue Preludes that year. The front turn signals were held on my drywall screws and the tail light was cracked. It had some scratches and some dings and the clutch was slipping slightly, but it was mine.
(Hand washing it with snow on the ground. I still do this.)
While I was still on my Learner's Permit I began modding it. I saved a few thousand dollars from working the two previous summers and kept $1500 back from what I put as a down payment. I bought a DC Sports header, Greddy Evo catback exhaust, AEM cold air intake and AEM Tru Power pullies. This was no longer an orginary Honda, it was a race car.
I learned to drive a manual in my Prelude and took my test in it. The day I got my license two friends and I went out windows down, sunroof open, music blaring, VTECing after every stoplight. Senior year in high school I put on various carbon fiber bits, body kit and a suspension. The suspension further solidified my idea of having a race car. It handled like it was on rails with the Type SH's ATTS system. I learned about having good tires after understeering into a field on $50 low tread mismatched tires.
(After fresh paint job. I was rear ended by a pretzel delivery truck. It was paid for)
I kept it for six years and dumped/wasted half of the money I made customizing it, but I loved that car. I sold it in 2008 with around 107,000 miles when I bought my Mazdaspeed 3. A few months after I sold it I learned the kid wrecked it and smashed up the body kit. One of my friends saw it on craigslist this past summer, a shadow of its former self.
(What it looked like when I sold it.)