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Top 10 cheap classic sports cars .. of all time !

Updated on January 8, 2014

What's your top 10 sports car of all time for less than £1000? Start the vote with the Honda Prelude 4th Gen!?

This is a work in progress, based mainly on my lifelong ownership of many a cheap classic sports car.

In time I'll be adding more cars to this lens and maybe writing a dedicated lens for the most popular cars depending on your feedback here on Squidoo .. !

Mainly all about cheap sports cars for under £1000 like the Honda Prelude - if cheap sports car thrills are your thing, check out why these cars and others like them are cheap to run and have cheap car insurance for the performance.

Your votes will decide which classic sports cars get written about in this top 10 shootout! get voting now!

This is the first lens majoring on my everyday rides; the great thing is, they cost next to nothing to run and it's real fun!

I ran this Honda prelude 4th Gen for four years - it was a great sports car and I really miss it - if I didn't a lovely Toyota MR2 Rev 2 to run around in I'd be pretty despairing by now .. For Track Days or to run everyday, you'll be surprised what you can get for a bargain car price...

WOW! - this lens got featured on Squidoo! thanks everyone :)

OK let's get going! My suggestions to start you off;

Honda Prelude 4th Gen

Mini (original)

Fiat X 1/9

Mazda MX5

Alfa Sprint

Toyota MR2 MK1

Toyota MR2 MK2

VW Golf GTi mk 2

VW Scirocco

What would you add or take away from this list? What sports car do you run for under £1000 ?

Post your comments or write in the guest book now!

Honda prelude 4th Gen shows what it can do - Cheap Classic sports car Honda VTEC

Although this is a modified car, I've seen footage of pretty much standard BB4 vtec Preludes blowing everything else into the weeds!

Credit crunch sports cars - Honda Prelude - 4th Gen Honda Classic

Cheap Classic Sports Cars  - Prelude 4th Gen
Cheap Classic Sports Cars - Prelude 4th Gen

Seems like these days everyone is looking for bargain sports cars - cars like the Honda Prelude 4th Generation are fast becoming classics. Pretty rare now - especially the JDM BB4 lightweight editions.

I've always had fun running cheap sports cars for under £1000 - so why get a Honda Prelude?

Here's 9 Top Tips for avoiding cheap sports car disasters ..

1/ Do your research - start by reading this article - then Google most common problems with the motor of your choice

2/ Don't buy the first car you see unless you absolutely have to; stick to your budget

3/ Don't buy a car with cheap modifications - it's likely to be a big expense to put right

4/ Low suspension may look great, but if it's not done properly, it'll be bouncy enough to throw you off the road

5/ Big exhausts and cone air filters sound good, but will become annoying unless it's a pure track tool (cone air filters can just suck warm air too, blunting performance)

6/ Check the fundamentals before you travel to view any car - does the owner have documented proof / receipts for the timing (cam) belt changes at the right interval?

7/ Allow within your budget for changing service parts - spark plugs, oil filter, air filter, fuel filter, brake pads etc

8/ Don't expect utter reliability (it's an old car, but you might stand a better chance with certain makes - I've run Hondas and Volkswagens with fewer problems).

9/ If you're after a modified car, it's always cheaper to put an unfinished project that comes with the right parts most ready to be fitted .

So let's talk about my last runabout, the Honda Prelude 4th Generation

What you get...

Cheap Honda car insurance (for the performance you get) not as sharp as the DC2 Integra Type R, but still well focused and rapid.

Reliable - it's a Honda

Economical if driven gently.

The Honda Prelude 4th Gen is great fun to drive, with one of the best chassis ever made on a production FWD car - if you've ever driven a Honda Integra Type R like I have (i used to sell them for a living) a BB4 lightweight Honda Prelude is just a cut price version, a little less focused, but loads of smiles per mile.

Let's take a quick look at the range and why you would consider a Honda Prelude 4th Generation

STOP PRESS! Honda Prelude wins the 2009 Practical Performance Car £999 challenge! Check it out now!

Practical Performance Car

Quick overview of the 4th Generation Prelude lineup;

Uk cars

2.0i, 2.3, 2.2 VTEC

The 2.0i was the base model, with pretty good power @ 130 BHP and great Prelude handling and cornering, also Honda Prelude 2.0i have cheap Honda car insurance

The 2.3i was introduced, with around a 30bhp power hike, probably best avided though in my opinion, since the engines are not the best in range.

2.2 VTEC this was the cream of the crop, with @ 187 bhp and four wheel steering, which you either love or hate; some say it makes the car a little nervous but great for parking - a lot of people disable the 4WS.

Japanese import ( JDM ) Honda Preludes

These are the most sought after, with extra features like electric folding mirrors, climate control and options such as seven speaker sound systems right out of the factory.

My own car was an Si two wheel steer which is a JDM dohc non VTEC running around 160 BHP, lowered on uprated springs with standard shocks ( bad idea, far too hard a ride and the standard shocks wear out in no time ) and now ran on ultra lightweight Integra DC2 alloy wheels which improved the handling even more.

This was the base Japanese model, with the Si VTEC coming up the range.

VTEC magic

The Si VTECs run the more powerful JDM motor at around 197 BHP and are rapid cars, with the addictive VTEC kicking in at 5000 RPM.

The Honda Prelude you really want is the Si VTEC BB4 lightweight - this is where you get towards Integra Type R performance.

No sunroof, no 4WS means these cars have an excellent power to weight ratio and are the ultimate Credit Crunch sports cars.

The lightweight models are getting sought after now, with Ebay BB4 Honda Preludes starting at ã600 for a tatty example.

Cheap Honda Car insurance is more of a challenge with these cars since they're Japanese imports, but still cheap considering the awesome performance these 4th Gen Preludes give you a big adrenaline rush when the rev needle screams past 5000 RPM, the exhaust note hardens and the VTEC launches you forwards!

Buy a Honda Prelude 4th Gen now, before prices go through the roof !

Finally ..

Vote for your top cheap classic under £1000 !

There will be more cheap classic sports cars featured here soon! - place your comment now to get your top bargain classic sports car featured!

No wheel spinning now!

Cheap Classic Sports Car Great Reads - Perfect Classic Sports Car Gifts

I'm a car nut and have spent most of my adult life reading about performance, custom and classic cars - now you can pick up a great read, all about Classic Sports Cars - enjoy !

Classic Japanese Performance Cars: The History & Legacy (Cartech)
Classic Japanese Performance Cars: The History & Legacy (Cartech)

JDM Yo !

The whole 'JDM' movement sprang from the SoCal scene, predominantly through Honda enthusiasts. Japanese Sports Cars are sweeping the world !

Mazda MX-5 Miata: Find It. Fix It. Trick It. (Motorbooks Workshop)
Mazda MX-5 Miata: Find It. Fix It. Trick It. (Motorbooks Workshop)

I worked for one of the companies involved in the chassis design for this car and I drove one of the first MK1 MX5s pre release into the UK market - there's a reason these cars are the world's biggest selling cheap classic sports car - buy this book, you'll love it !



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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      If have a 4th gen and I'm restoring it to as near mint as I can it just takes time.

    • onlyoneadam profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      @ManbeardTheHuge: Thank you . 4th gen lude getting rare now , especially those without rotted rear arches . Trust me these will be sought after cars in future

    • ManbeardTheHuge profile image


      4 years ago

      If I ever pick up a Honda, the 4th gen Prelude would be my first choice. Nice lens.

    • onlyoneadam profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago

      @Wingersiow LM: Yes they are cheap - I recently saw a mint one of these and it looked awesome! Good vote!

    • Wingersiow LM profile image

      Wingersiow LM 

      4 years ago

      I used to have an old Lotus Excel - that was good fun and they are cheap now!

    • onlyoneadam profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @msalman-alfarisi1: There's a good reason why the MX5 is the World's best selling classic sports car !! Good vote

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens!! After read this lens, I understand top 10 sports cars of all time for less than £1000 . I vote for Mazda MX5.It's my favorite.

      Visit my blog for more complete information about non owner car insurance : Non owner car insurance

      Thank you!

    • onlyoneadam profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      @fujzi147: Yes my Family used to run a Eunos, brilliant car, plus I worked for the UK company that did the chassis development work and I photographed one of the first imports in the country!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Mazda MX5 is cool car, I want to it,,,,

      Ban Terbaik Di Indonesia GT Radial

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Honda Prelude 4th Gen is very amazing car, i interest to buy it,,tou sale?

      Regards :

      Car Review

    • stylingparts profile image


      7 years ago

      i got rid of my prelude 4th gen over a year ago amazing little cars, they are hard to come by now for ones in good condition but id definitely have one again, thanks for the good lens man

    • onlyoneadam profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @glenbrook: Yes great point - think i'll write up about the Toyota MR2 next time around - the MK2 is the best value - fancy a Turbo myself ! Must have a word with the guy down the road who's had a mint one up for sale for a while now! Bargain price too ;)

    • onlyoneadam profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @Deano1979: Absolutely! Hondas are the pinniacle of engineering, "Kaizen" rocks !!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Fantastic lens! Keep up the good work!

    • Deano1979 profile image


      7 years ago

      Hondas rule


      Car Body Repair

    • onlyoneadam profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      @pubspy: There was a MK1 Mr2 in our family for years, absolutely mint and amazing handling; similar in feel to the X1/9 Fiats I used to run.

      The MK2 is great value as you rightly say; I'd love to have a run in the turbo; 240 bhp and under £1000 - anyone run one of the Turbos??

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I had the MR2 and that was awseome in the wet, Cheap cars at the moment too. Nice lens, keep it going

    • glenbrook profile image


      8 years ago

      I'd like to see your take on the Fiat X 1/9 and the Toyota MR2. I like Honda, just wish they made more RWD cars - not a big fan of FWD. They shouldn't have discontinued the S2000.


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