I have a massive soft spot for Honda. If I was forced at gun-point to choose one Japanese car manufacturer to dedicate my loyalty to, it would be the fellas down at Honda. A major contributing factor to this is my grandad's fascination with them.
After his loyalty toward British cars with a long line of Rovers he, along with the rest of the world, realised that Japan were much better at everything, including making cars. His closest dealer in South Wales happened to be a Honda garage and he picked up the keys to the razor blade sharp 1989 Honda Prelude. He was smitten. This timeline correlated perfectly with my car enthusiasm awakening and I surreptitiously became a Honda fan.
Honda's performance division is called 'Type R' and they make some of the most exciting cars on the market (despite what a lot of internet trolls say), but when I think of my favourite Hondas, they didn't feature as much as I thought. In fact, most of my favourite Hondas aren't Type Rs, so I've put together a list of the best that don't don the badge.
9) Honda Prelude
I'm kicking off with my grandad's weapon of choice, the Prelude. I'm not quite sure why the Prelude wasn't given a Type R model as it would have been epic. I've seen some Mugen Preludes mulling around the internet, but not a Type R unfortunately.
I'd also make the strong argument that there has never been an ugly Prelude. The 1989 model my grandad owned pushes that theory a bit, but… pop-up headlights.
8) Honda CRX
My heart swells whenever I see a CRX. They're just the ultimate expression of angsty youth. They're two middle fingers to society and taking responsibility for things on four wheels. No-one has ever worn a suit whilst driving a CRX… fact.
7) Honda S800 Coupe
Well, is this not the cutest damned car you've ever seen? So small, but so stylish, the S800 was targeted to compete with the Austin-Healey Sprite, MG Midget and Triumph Spitfire, but in my opinion it blows them out of the water. Japanese cool at its peak.
6) Honda Beat
Another car on the cute meter, the Honda Beat was designed by the one and only Pininfarina. The Beat had a 656cc engine which just loved to rev and gave you the sensation of performance without actually providing you with any… genius
5) Honda RA272
The first Japanese car to win a Formula One race, the RA272 not only had a beautiful engine with a 1.5-litre V12, but it looked the absolute business. It also featured in the greatest advert of all time:
4) Honda Accord BTCC
They might have come 2nd in the championship, but they came 1st in my heart. With the legendary Tarquini driving the Accord, Honda must have seen sales of the standard Accord go through the roof.
3) McLaren Honda MP4/4
There's not much I really need to say about the greatest F1 car of all time is there? I'll just leave this '88 Monte Carlo GP clip from the film SENNA for you to melt into before you see the top two.
2) Honda NSX Zanardi Edition
Yes, there has been an NSX Type R, but I'm specifically referring to the Alex Zanardi Edition. Can you think of a cooler racing driver special edition? The Fiat Stilo Schumacher edition doesn't count.
1) Honda S2000
Could there be any other number 1? Even if I included the entire Type R portfolio, the S2000 would stand above them all. Take away the beautiful looks and great handling and you're still left with the VTEC engine that revs to 9,000rpm or as Clarkson tells you to do, 'change gears when your ears bleed.'
Did your favourite non-Type R Honda make the list? If not post it in the comments.