The Honda Prelude is an often overlooked JDM classic. Available worldwide in a variety of trims, the Prelude could be configured a plethora of ways with either an F22 or the more sought after H22. These motors were similar to the coveted K series but more affordable and easily built. The Prelude is often a unique foray into the JDM market, instead of the all too common Honda Civic.
This 2001 Honda Prelude example appears to be perfect for your first foray into building a streetable JDM classic. Particularly clean as the below picture shows, this body has 176k miles with a replacement clutch. while initially, that seems to be a lot of miles, this car is rife with Ebay Build potential. The H22 Motor that comes with this example is a great first motor to work on, as things tend to be a bit more simple.
Overall, this is still a Honda and it will be a very reliable car even without the motor work. However I believe any expert will agree, you should always start your build with a stock, clean example so you know what you're getting into. With this vehicle being a California car, you can rest assured that rust won't be the biggest issue you will run into during your build. With a price of $4000, you'd have to wheel and deal a bit to make this a great deal.