Down On The Mile High Street: Baffling Honda Accord Pickup

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
down on the mile high street baffling honda accord pickup

Back in the “good ol’ days” at Jalopnik, Davey Johnson, Jonny Lieberman, and I would spend our days searching for examples of homemade El Camino-ized cartrucks. It sort of peaked in early ’07, when we found the Starionmino, but it’s taken until now for me to find a genuine El Accordamino live and in-person, parked just a block from my house.

I caught it out of the corner of my eye while driving by and thought, “Whoa, a Dodge Rampage parked right in my neighborhood. Cool!” I returned to shoot some photos, because street-driven Rampages are about as common as Aston Martin Lagondas these days, and… wait, what the hell is this thing?

The front half is clearly an ’84 or ’85 Honda Accord, and— in spite of the faded paint and general beater-ness— the conversion job appears to have been very nicely done. I don’t see any of the adobe-grade Bondo, corrugated roofing material, and pop rivets that are the hallmark of the two-12-packs-and-a-torch backyard El Camino-ization job.

I thought that perhaps I might be looking at a Rampage rear half mated to an Accord front half, but a glance at some Rampage photos killed that theory.

The rear strut mounts appear to be very Accord-y, so this may be a heavily modified Accord rear body with a RWD minitruck’s tailgate grafted on. You couldn’t get an Accord wagon in the mid-80s, so it’s not a quick-and-dirty wagon-to-truck hack job.

I’m out of theories about this fine vehicle, and I wasn’t able to track down the owner. Can any of you identify this tailgate? That might be a start…

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2 of 18 comments
  • Yeahbeer Yeahbeer on Jun 30, 2011

    A little paint and she would be good to go. Too bad you couldn't find the owner I would love more information on this thing.

  • BAH BAH on Oct 02, 2016

    This vehicle was originally my uncle’s. Burt Davis owned the Honda/Harley Davidson Motorcycle Shop in Dodge City, Kansas. He and his friend, Elton Spena (along with the help of an instructor and some students from the Topeka Vo-Tech School where Elton worked), built it because he wanted a Honda pick-up and Honda did not make one at the time. He found a 1984 Honda Accord that had been hit in the back. The whole vehicle is the Honda. They just cut it behind the back seat and along the back doors taking the back window and the windows of the back doors out. Then they welded the back doors shut and folded the top of the car down behind the front seats. They then put in a back window and the bed for the pick-up and the little triangle pieces behind the front door from an El Camino. The tailgate was from a Dodge Rampart. They put stickers on it for business advertising – if you looked close, you can still see where they were, the corner triangles had the Harley Davidson #1 insignia, a red Honda sticker on the back fender and Harley Davidson lettering in white along the top sides of the bed. The shop used it until my uncle retired, my dad decided he liked it and wanted it so it moved to Colorado. When my son turned 16 (in 2007) it became his first car. My son sold it in May of 2011 when he decided to purchase a different vehicle. We are looking for some photos of it from the early years but haven’t found any yet. If we do, I will post them.

  • Damon Thomas Adding to the POSITIVES... It's a pretty fun car to mod
  • GregLocock Two adjacent states in Australia have different attitudes to roadworthy inspections. In NSW they are annual. In Victoria they only occur at change of ownership. As you'd expect this leads to many people in Vic keeping their old car.So if the worrywarts are correct Victoria's roads would be full of beaten up cars and so have a high accident rate compared with NSW. Oh well, the stats don't agree.
  • Lorenzo In Massachusetts, they used to require an inspection every 6 months, checking your brake lights, turn signals, horn, and headlight alignment, for two bucks.Now I get an "inspection" every two years in California, and all they check is the smog. MAYBE they notice the tire tread, squeaky brakes, or steering when they drive it into the bay, but all they check is the smog equipment and tailpipe emissions.For all they would know, the headlights, horn, and turn signals might not work, and the car has a "speed wobble" at 45 mph. AFAIK, they don't even check EVs.
  • Not Tire shop mechanic tugging on my wheel after I complained of grinding noise didn’t catch that the ball joint was failing. Subsequently failed to prevent the catastrophic failure of the ball joint and separation of the steering knuckle from the car! I’ve never lived in a state that required annual inspection, but can’t say that having the requirement has any bearing on improving safety given my experience with mechanics…
  • Mike978 Wow 700 days even with the recent car shortages.