Automakers have cultured themselves quite the crop of enthusiasts, haven't they? Regardless of whether it's gifted gamer turned simulator sensation Glenn McGee receiving the chance of a lifetime to become a pro driver for Mazda, or enthusiasts modding their rides to match a Need for Speed winner, video games remain a massive marketing tool. Possibilities are only hampered by a lack of creativity and time in a digital world, so when shitty weather leaves the youth stuck in front of the tube, you end up like Cody Hudson here.
It was '03, and Need for Speed Underground was the hottest damn thing for your console. This was all it took to pique the 10-year-old boy's interest in imports, and when his big brother bought an Integra GS-R a couple years later and started taking his younger sibling out to local car meets, Cody was hooked. Witnessing the car scene firsthand in all of its glory at a tender age will transform anyone with an inkling of interest, so by the time he was 15, the boy had a very realistic grasp of what the end game looked like.
Fortunately, by that point Cody had already kicked his "ricer craze" to the curb, and after taking delivery of two vending machines that his parents had decided to toss, he was able to garner enough green for his first Prelude VTEC. To this day, Cody's reason for the purchase remains an incredibly simple one. His friend suggested buying a Prelude, so he picked one up for $550.
But Cody didn't know squat about the chassis. So much so, that when he first rolled up to look at the car, he took one look at a CD5 Accord in the driveway and said, "Meh, that's not really my kind of ride." At this point, the owner looked at Cody and said something along the lines of, "Good, because this is my Accord, and it's not for sale. Care to look at the Prelude? It's over here."
This obviously jump-started quite the conversation, which was more than likely laced with a mumbled apology here and there, along with a dabble of nervous laughter from the pubescent noob. But once Cody saw the shining sports coupe, all systems were go, and from that point forth, the car morphed into a father/son build of monolithic proportions. Cody's dad was originally from Detroit and had quite the penchant for muscle cars, but instead of ridiculing his son for taking such a liking to Japanese automobiles, he fostered the lad's love for the 'Lude.
Eventually, the dynamic duo had gotten to the point where cleaning, suspension swaps, engine fixes, rust removal, and the procurement of a second Prelude courtesy of a friend in Florida had left them wondering what was next. Once the donor chassis landed, Cody and his father decided it was high time to shave the bay. After reading a deluge of Honda threads, they proceeded to give the vehicle a quick wet shave. One thing eventually led to another and before long, the damn thing had received a full-blown Brazilian wax job.
Cody was just 16 at the time and was already well on his way to creating a car for the keeping. After a while, the vehicle ended up in a body shop for some fine-tuning, and being that Cody was barely 17 at the time and eager to learn, the decision to land an internship seemed to be a wise decision. During the day, it was grunt labor and working on anything that rolled through the bay doors, all while following the lead of the shop veterans after hours, as everything from body panels to bumpers were inspected and resurfaced. After months of toil and hard-earned dollars well spent, the chassis received a proper coat of paint the day before Cody's 18th birthday.
No sooner was the car sprayed that the teenage Honda fan found himself uprooted from midwestern Ohio and transplanted into the bosomy hills of South Carolina, where many of the finishing touches to the build were completed. Fresh outta high school, with naught but a career on the line and a goal in mind, Cody went about adding enough sleek touches and savvy performance mods to make any fan of the BB4 generation gyrate with glee. By the time Cody was 20, the car was complete, and three years later it remains almost completely unaltered from its finished state.
Cody always wanted to take the H-series, the original big-block of Honda four-bangers, and safely rev it to 9,000 rpm in front of all the B-series fanboys, just to prove it could be done properly in what Honda-Tech often referred to as "the boat." Now that the car is fully loaded with a laundry list of go-fast goodies, Cody's favorite feature is the H22's throttle response, which is now damn near immediate.
When asked what his favorite part of the build was, Cody says that before the car ever received a pigment of paint, he would sit and doodle renderings of completed versions during high school English class. While many of us found ourselves sketching just to pass time before PE, Cody actually made his car look almost exactly like one of these sketches. Video game customization turned notepad dreamscape manifested itself into what you see today.
The color is a bit of an oddball addition, being randomly sourced from a Toyota Venza that suddenly appeared in Cody's rearview mirror one fateful day while leaving the dog park. He quickly pulled to the side of the road in order to allow the suburbanite and her brood of barking mongrels to pass, in the process gathering the make and model of the vehicle he was eyeballing. Once the Venza's paint code was unearthed, it was off to sourcing the proper parts, which would prove to be by far the most challenging aspect of the build.
Cody says he sports a simplistic EK hatch as a daily driver nowadays, and when it came to sourcing things like Work wheels and a handful of must-have parts for the Civic, it seemed like a cakewalk compared to the seven levels of hell he had to trundle through to make this Prelude possible. For as brilliant as the nameplate was in its heyday, aftermarket support for the CB7 Accord's rebellious brother has always been about as commonplace as an honest politician, an issue that proved frustrating time and time again.
Fortunately, the companies that do offer support for the chassis typically manufacture extremely well made components, starting with an aero manufacturer that utilizes the Japanese word for thunder. The way in which the Kaminari kit flows from the front to the rear of the Prelude has always drawn Cody's eye, so it behooved him to wrap both sides and the rear with old-school fiberglass aero before looking for a front lip that would take things to the next level. Nothing against Kaminari, as its complete BB4 kit is both timeless and tasteful, but Cody wanted something exceptionally rare and filled with retribution.
After what seemed like an eternity, a G-Corporation "Locobanana" lip was unearthed, the likes of which few people have ever seen, even prior to its discontinuation many years ago in Japan. Cody immediately went bonkers over the far more aggressive appearance the lower air dam provided. Once the Varis canards, Azect eyelids, and proper ride height were dialed in, the entire front end looked a lot more menacing.
Hell, since the car has a Locobanana lip that just might be the only one of its kind in the United States, chances are you will never see a more pristine Prelude, and hats off to any enthusiast who leaves a build alone after completing it, proclaiming proudly that he will never part it out.