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 |   |  1991 Honda Prelude Type S - Previously Unknown
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1991 Honda Prelude Type S - Previously Unknown

One Japanese Weekend Warrior Hits the Big Time

Apr 21, 2014

Go to school, they say. Go out and make something of yourself, they say. Get a degree that will land you that career job, a massive mortgage, and a new car with equally new car payments. Move on up in the world by upgrading everything around you. The latest and greatest can be yours, just as long as you work hard for it and keep buying what big business force-feeds you via mass media. This is a scenario that can be seen the world over, not just here at home in America. As a consumer we are constantly being pressured to buy the latest model to replace the obsolete version we just purchased a year ago. Some of us even find ourselves doing this when it's not necessary. Well, at least some of us do ...

Susumu Ueno did what society told him to do. He was fine with the schooling that was followed by the wife, kids, mortgage, and droll cubicle-filled career. Things were going smoothly all the way up to the point when a coworker told Ueno-san that it was time to upgrade his mode of transportation. Everyone else in the office had nice sedans or expensive sports cars at this time, and they just thought that Ueno-san's old "clunker" wasn't really fitting in at the office parking garage. Instead of upgrading to a new car, Ueno-san shocked everyone when he opted instead to upgrade what he had been driving all along: his '91 Prelude Type S.

1991 honda prelude type s bride kevlar driver seat 03 Photo 2/8   |   1991 Honda Prelude Type S - Previously Unknown

While most of Ueno-san's peers were getting the latest R35 or an overpriced Porsche to combat their midlife crisis, he instead opted to go with something that was a little more lightweight and suspension savvy for track thrashing on the weekends. The 58/42 weight distribution was already there, Ueno-san just needed to expand upon Honda's well-balanced design. And boy did he ever. As you look over the car you will note that there are quite a few FRP JUN aero parts on this car. Everything from the lips, to the bonnet, and ultrarare rear wing are JUN made, which are the exact same products you can find on the JUN "Super Lemon Prelude". These parts are rare even by Japanese standards, so finding all of them in mint condition on a BB1 is just about as rare as finding Rodrez without a California burrito in hand (Lies! -ed). So what other tasty morsels are in store for us?

Once you look past all the JUN mods, and you dive beneath the wheelwells, you'll find NSX calipers, custom brake ducts, a one-off aluminum under tray, and one serious-looking custom rear diffuser that flashes with the LED brilliance of an official Formula 1 foglight. Upward from there you will see a fully gutted interior, custom aluminum rear seat delete, a slew of gauges, custom 'caging, and safety equipment. Since it is difficult to do all of this legally on one's own in Nippon, Ueno-san turned to the boys at Paddock R in his hometown of Tokushima, Japan, to make all of this possible.

1991 honda prelude type s SARD fuel regulator 04 Photo 3/8   |   1991 Honda Prelude Type S - Previously Unknown

Under the bonnet Ueno-san stuck with a fully built H22A engine harmonized with a laundry list of aftermarket additions to make it all happen on the weekends. To start, Ueno-san got the Paddock R boys to disassemble the entire engine, ultrasonically clean it, and then microbalance every component of the H22. Paddock R then bought several duplicate OEM parts from the Japanese national Honda inventory and weighed them in comparison to one another until they found a perfectly matching set of valves, pistons, connecting rods, and pins. When everything was finally to their liking, Paddock R sent all of the "subpar" OEM offerings back to Honda with a note telling them to reassess the weight-to-strength differences in each component. Talk about attention to detail!

So, with the OEM side of things taken care of, it was now time for reassembly. But before it could commence, some decisions needed to be made in regards to engine internals. Should they opt for boost or stick with an NA configuration? For reliability's sake a naturally aspirated configuration was chosen and purchases were made. A set of custom JUN cams was sourced, along with JUN cam gears, a Fujitsubo header, a SARD fuel regulator, and a K-Max ECU to keep it all under control. Before all of this was installed a custom port and polish was completed, and then a complete valve job to make sure no stone was left unturned. Once the engine was sandwiched back together, and it was being securely held in place by a set of custom polyurethane mounts, Paddock R decided to break out all the stops and weld up a completely one-off titanium catback exhaust system.

1991 honda prelude type s NSX brake caliper 05 Photo 4/8   |   1991 Honda Prelude Type S - Previously Unknown

This is a car that is built 100 percent for one thing and one thing only: attacking Okayama Circuit with a vengeance. While not as widely known as Japan's infamous Suzuka, Tsukuba, or Motegi circuits, Okayama does bring one thing to the table that these bigger circuits cannot: convenience. Okayama Circuit is way closer to Ueno-san than any other major Japanese race circuit, and with 13 turns, a 2.3-mile length, and a Formula 1 racing heritage that was set in place by Michael Schumacher back in 1994, this course is always sure to thrill. But there is a thin line between thrilling and chilling. To keep Ueno-san firmly planted, and in control, a custom set of Bilstein shocks and Enapetaru springs were ordered for the car. A mix/match wheel setup of 17x8 Work 11R's in the front and 16x7 Enkei Tarmac ES rollers in the rear work in tandem and actually looks nice in the process.

So has this relic of a car served Ueno-san well during his midlife crisis? Has it lived up to his expectations, and put all the Porsche and Skyline owners in their place? Yah, you betcha!

Bolts & Washers

JDM H22A (ultrasonically cleaned and balanced)
Countless new OEM internals throughout
Custom polyurethane engine mounts
Custom ported and polished head
Custom 3-angle valve job
JUN custom cams
JUN cam gears
Trust oil cooler
Paddock R custom radiator diversion panel
K&N air filter
Fujitsubo exhaust manifold
Thermo-Tec exhaust wrap
Feel's hi-flow cat
Paddock R custom titanium catback exhaust
SARD fuel regulator
GReddy coolant temp sensor
Spoon Sports oil cap
Cusco hyper single disc clutch
NKN custom axles

1991 honda prelude type s JDM h22A 02 Photo 5/8   |   1991 Honda Prelude Type S - Previously Unknown

235 whp

Bilstein one-off height adjustable dampers
Enapetaru one-off springs 18k (front) 16k(rear)
Cusco front strut bar
Spoon Sports rear upper strut bar
Custom poly bushings

NSX calipers (front)
Dixcel rotors (front and rear)
Dixcel custom compounded brake pads (front and rear)
Custom stainless brake lines
Custom brake duct vents

Wheels and Tires
17x8 Work 11R (front)
16x7 Enkei Tarmac ES (rear)
245/40-17 Advan A050 (front)
205/50-16 Advan A050 (rear)

1991 honda prelude type s defi gauges 06 Photo 6/8   |  
An array of Defi gauges allow Ueno to monitor the vitals.

JUN FRP vented hood
JUN FRP front lip
JUN GT wing
K's Speed side skirts
K's Speed rear lip
Paddock R custom aluminum under tray
Paddock R custom Euro-style rear diffuser
Authentic Formula 1 rear diffuser LED foglight

Custom rollcage
Paddock R custom rear seat delete
Paddock R custom lightweight door panels
Data Systems VTEC controller
A'PEXi speedometer
Defi fuel pressure gauge
Defi water temp gauge
Defi oil temp gauge
Defi oil pressure gauge
Bride Kevlar driver seat
Recaro Type-R passenger seat
Sabelt harnesses
Personal Trophy 350mm steering wheel (OZ Racing Version)
RAZO weighted shift knob
RAZO GT race-spec pedal set
Custom dry carbon interior console
HKT fan switch with speed adjuster
Tamon Design Formula 1 foglight controller/timer
Custom center console control box for OEM switches

Everyone who enjoys an unloved Honda!

1991 honda prelude type s JUN FRP front lip 05 Photo 7/8   |   1991 Honda Prelude Type S - Previously Unknown

Owner Specs

Daily Grind
Office worker

Favorite Site

Screen Name

Building Hondas
24 years

Dream Car
Next generation of NSX-R

Inspiration For This Build
To hear the true voice of the car by adding some key tuning parts

Future Build
I want to keep working on this one! (Need to overhaul the transmission and choose a final gear next.)

1991 honda prelude type s VIN plate 07 Photo 8/8   |   1991 Honda Prelude Type S - Previously Unknown

Paddock R makes you wanna dance!

Tokushima, Japan, is widely known for its annual dance festival: Awa Odori. This is one of Japan's oldest styles of traditional dance, and it is by far the most famous. The tiny town of 263,000 swells to 3 million for one week every year in the dead heat of August for excessive dancing, eating, and libations. It is around this time that Tokushima's premier local tuning shop, Paddock R, gets a little busy. Since a lot of people from nearby cities like Osaka and Kobe opt to drive over the giant Naruto suspension bridge to get to Tokushima for the festival, they will often book some shop time with the boys at Paddock R. Everything from heavily modded EK Type R's to slammed Odyssey family haulers are serviced and inspected in the shop during this busy time of the tourist season. While their cars are getting tweaked in the shop, the car's owners get to dance and party for days on end. When the festival ends, and it is finally time for the tourists to head home, they leave Tokushima with hefty hangovers, worn-out dancing shoes, and some freshly installed JDM goodness. To learn more about Paddock R and what they bring to the Tokushima prefecture, check out HT's exclusive feature at: here.


Micah Wright
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