In the 1980s, Mercedes-Benz wanted a higher volume seller than its large, pricey sedans. Honda also wanted to get going in South Africa and so the deal was done. Hondas were built alongside the German marque and quickly earned a reputation as a quality product, just like the Mercs. The Prelude, however, was fully imported and, as such, was burdened with a 100% import tariff.
South Africa did not receive the first-generation Prelude. A good thing really, as it was not particularly stylish, apart from the two-door appeal. Thereafter, matters improved considerably with a variety of styles, the first two sporting pop-up headlamps. Our first test model had only 13-inch wheels, the second upped to 14-inch and the third, 15-inch. There is also a fourth South African generation, released in 1997 but we will cap it at three and leave the last one to an article all of its own.
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