L&H Prelude 40 – harpmobile

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    romola on #196070

    Hi, everyone.

    I usually rent a Lyon & Healy Prelude 40, and since I’m on the market for a new-to-me car, I’d like to choose one that accommodates it.

    My first choice is a VW Jetta Sportwagen–probably a model year between 2011-2014.

    There are some older posts on this forum (c. 2011) that seem to indicate that a Sportwagen could accommodate a Prelude, but is there anyone out there who currently has this car and/or this harp? How does it fit? You don’t have to turn the harp lever side down, right?

    I’m asking because I’m away from my harp for the summer and won’t be able to check that it fits before I buy the car.

    Thank you!!!

    Alyson Webber on #196082

    The 2014 Harpmobile article lists the Jetta Sportwagon as being able to fit a L&H 23, so it should have no problems with a Prelude. One person I know who was looking at a Sportwagon said that the seats don’t lie completely flat, they are slightly pitched up. I’m not sure to what degree it is true, but it may make loading the harp more difficult. Not impossible, but maybe more difficult.

    Of course, I have to support my harpmobile: A Prius. A Prelude would fit in a Prius easily 🙂

    If you have anything but a minivan, you would load your harp in flat. Starting with the harp a few feet away from the car, and the levers away from the car, tip the harp so that the top lays inside the car (use pillows or some other cushioning to keep the harp from getting dinged from its own weight). Then, go around to the base, pick it up and carefully slide the harp in so the column will be behind the drivers seat. I have a mat that runs all the way from front to back that I pull out over the bumper when I first tip the harp down. Then I just slide the harp along the mat and tuck the mat in at the end. Sometimes the harp has to be angled because it is too long, so push the top of the column to the wall behind the passenger seat and angle it so the base swings to the passenger side of the car.

    Perhaps someone will have some first-hand experience. but from what I can tell if you have your heart set on a Sportwagon, it should do the job.

    Gretchen Cover on #196083

    Romola, I know a car is a big expense but while you are dealing with the harpmobile, consider getting a decent transport cover and base cover to protect your harp.  I was shocked at the price of a Lyon Healy cover so you might want to check Four Seasons harp covers.  You could do well with just a harp cover and base cover.

    romola on #196096

    Thanks, Gretchen. I’ll definitely look into a good transport cover.


    Alyson, thank you! And really–a Prius? Just a regular Prius or a Prius V? Thanks 🙂

    Alyson Webber on #196103

    Regular ol’ Prius (2nd generation, but I hear 3rd generation (2010-2015) also works). I have to have the driver seat really far forward. Anyone taller than me (or less patient than me at being smooshed in the car) at 5’7″ would be very uncomfortable, but I play a L&H 100 concert grand. A Prelude is almost 10 inches shorter, which is a mile when it comes to fitting in cars! 🙂

    Good luck with your harpmobile purchase!


    romola on #196196

    Hi Alyson (and other Prius owners!), I might go test drive a 2010 Prius IV. I don’t suppose you know the dimensions of the cargo space with the rear seats folded flat? Still nervous about how the Prelude will fit with the lever side up. Thanks 🙂

    Alyson Webber on #196215

    Unfortunately, I don’t know the dimensions of the 2010, since they re-designed the vehicle since mine. Plus, you should be aware the dimensions alone don’t always tell you if you can get your harp in there. The 2008 Harpmobile review lists the cargo space (in my model, unfortunately) with the seats all the way back as 68 inches long and 37 inches wide.

    The wheel wells may be slightly closer together in the 2010 than in mine, but your Prelude is also 5 inches narrower than my harp. I believe it was folks from the Virginia Harp Center who told me about the wheel wells when I was test loading my soon-to-be harp into my Prius. But, they also said they successfully loaded a Camac Concert Grand  in that model of Prius. Even if you have to tip the knee of the harp up a little to clear the wheel well, you should be fine. You may call the Virginia Harp Center and get feedback, as they have probably seen so many people load so many harps into so many vehicles!

    I really wouldn’t worry too much about a Prelude since it is smaller in every dimension than a concert grand pedal. If you ever got a CG harp or even a semi-grand, I would advise more caution making sure you can drive in the position the seat needs to be in for the CG.

    romola on #196218

    Thank you, Alyson! Much appreciated 🙂

    harpraxis on #196274

    I just got a 2016 Mazda 3 hatch and my Salvi Daphne 44 fits in it easily, along with the trolley. They don’t make the Daphne 44 anymore, but it’s close to a semi grand in height and depth, so a Prelude 40 will definitely fit in a Mazda 3. I also found that the harp fits in a (new) Toyota Corolla, Hyundai i30, VW Golf Wagon, Renault Megane and Ford Mondeo.

    This is a right-hand drive car, you should check the fit on left hand drive cars. I did hear from someone on this topic on Facebook that they fit their L&H semi grand in a left hand drive Mazda 3 though.

    romola on #200807

    Thanks everyone for your help! I wanted to update the thread and say that I bought a 2016 Volkswagen Golf station wagon, and I love it. It fits the harp easily, it’s decently fuel efficient, and it’s a pleasure to drive.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by romola.
    Carol Freshour on #201081

    I was just shopping as well, and purchased a Honda HR-V which fits my Prelude 40 nicely. And, I think it could probably accommodate something a little bigger, as there’s a bit of extra length.

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