So, I got an email from my friend Marc the other day. We've known each other since grad school, and in 2000 he bought my 1992 Honda Prelude with 69K miles -- The very first new car that I bought out of college, with a 48-month loan from the credit union.
Turns out he had just bought a new car -- a very sensible Acura TL -- and because his lovely wife Yuriko doesn't drive a stick-shift, can't really keep it around. Would I like to buy it back?
How many miles has she got now? 175K.
Has the service been kept up? Yes. With a big stack of receipts. Here's a spreadsheet summary. And I still have all the papers you gave me with the car.
What kind of shape is it in? Body is meh, with some rust and fading clearcoat in the paint. Mechanically it's sharp, the electrics work, and it's still a fun drive.
... I'll take it! (And agree that if I turned around and resold the car, we'd split the profit. Or something.)
I brought the car home yesterday, generally tickled with the very familiar driving experience. The sunroof panel is rusted like I never thought a modern Japanese car can rust, and the body's got plenty of dings and dents (I'm looking at you, Helen "SUV Magnet" Kilber), but just the experience of going through old documents -- the original loan agreements, Clifford car alarm receipts from Whole Earth Access -- was worth the price of admission. The car also happens to be the ride for my first date with Lucy, although I'd rather not revisit the fact that it got keyed while parked outside the restaurant. If baby boomers paying big dollars for their college rides is any indication, this just may turn out to be cheap insurance. At the least, it's interesting as a stock 1990s Honda that escaped the ricer treatment.
Sunroof panels for 4th generation Preludes were apparently made from Soviet-grade steel: