By on April 21, 2012

The first-generation Accord is one of the most important cars of postwar North America… but they tend to be invisible to me when I walk past one in the junkyard or on the street. This Accord, with its distinctive body shape, has been with us for so long that it’s just background. Here’s an extremely typical brown Malaise Era Accord LX, of the sort that forced every other maker of compact cars to change everything… or die.
Like the ’75 Corolla we saw a few days ago, the original Accord would be a truly punitive commuter by today’s standards. Noisy, cramped, underpowered, and good for maybe 200,000 miles in most cases (an astonishing figure in 1979, sort of ho-hum in 2012). But compared to the competition, the Accord stood ten feet tall. Honda dealers demanded way over list price and their demands were met.
These cars didn’t really disappear from the streets until about ten years ago, at which point they suddenly vanished. You still see the occasional first-gen Accord buzzing along, but it’s not worth fixing one when the head gasket finally goes, or the upholstery just gets too hooptified.

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59 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1979 Honda Accord LX...”


  • avatar
    Porsche986

    no image of the mileage on this one?

    • 0 avatar
      Volt 230

      Oh boy, if only I knew back then what I know now, I would have never bought that POS ’80 Skylark that gave me about 3 mos of pleasure and 4 yrs of pain till I woke up from the “GM was King” mentality.

  • avatar
    gasser

    I had ordered a ’79 Accord 4 door automatic, but they couldn’t fill the order in the MY so I got an early ’80. It was only of the first fully automatic Hondas. Earlier models needed you to up shift the “auto” at about 35mph. It also could run on leaded regular here in California, until my first oil change when the dealer slapped an “unleaded fuel only” on the car and put a nozzle restrictor into the gas filler neck. (The unleaded nozzles were narrower than the leaded gas ones.) The car ran well, and by ’70 s standards, needed few repairs in the 7 years I had it. By ”82 I, my sister and my Dad were all driving Honda Accords and never looked back. Thirty years later our extended family, cousins, in-laws, nieces, nephews and our kids must have had over a dozen Accords. All of them were highly reliable and pleasant to drive. The few American cars we’ve had in the last 30 years were POS.
    This Accord was the main stream vehicle that changed “too small” , “too chintzy” “too weird” into “I’ll take it!!!”‘ even at $500 or $1000 over sticker on a $7000 car. The big three never heard the fire bell ringing in the night.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    I had an 83. Probably the only lemon that Honda ever made. Finally the mechanic found some melted wires under the dash and that probably fixed it. I had just had enough so I got rid of it. Still feel stupid. The person I sold it to never had any problem until it was drowned by a flood.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      I had an ’83 also, with an auto. It ran perfectly until a hit-and-run that pushed the right front wheel over against the curb, with too much front end damage to repair. The AC was weak compared to my ’80 Buick Regal, and 75 HP was not enough to get up a Cali freeway ramp fast enough to merge safely. Otherwise, no problems were encountered. I actually preferred the Buick, but that was stolen and stripped.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    Paul Ibbotson had one of these in a nice blue color, bought used. iirc, by ’85 the sheet metal (Detroit salt) and seat fabric was beginning to give up the ghost. But even then each of us engineers respected it for its quality.

  • avatar
    lilpoindexter

    Some dude always blasts past me in the car pool lane (solo, i might add) on my morning commute in a silver example of one of these.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    One of the many ways Honda stood out in those days was in its official response to tightening emissions regulations. ALL of the other auto makers were hiring lobbyists and telling everyone that tighter emissions regulations couldn’t be met, would destroy the auto industry, would raise prices to infinity and in general cause Armageddon. Honda, on the other hand, publicly said: “We can do it!”

    That, my friends, is what showing real leadership looks like.

    • 0 avatar
      chrisgreencar

      Yep, that says it all. They really did things different, and right, back then. “We Make It Simple” — and what could be simpler than finding a way to get around the catalytic converter altogether! Brilliant car, brilliant ad campaign.

      They’re still trying to be different (new RL with electric motors and no V8) and it’s just not the same world, but I haven’t *completely* given up on them yet.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        and what could be simpler than finding a way to get around the catalytic converter altogether

        Well, I’m not sure that famous CVCC vacuum diagram is “simpler” than simply using a tube of platinum catalysts to clean the exhaust…

  • avatar
    obbop

    CVCC: Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion

    My 1975 Civic proudly displayed thee CVCC acronym.

    Bow down to your betters ye 1980’s era wannabes.

    Various Honda-types kept our Yard de la Dismantling profitable.

    And not having to physically manhandle BIG heavy USA V8 engines was much appreciated.

    • 0 avatar
      MusicMachine

      I’ve had three different Japanese cars in my life with more mileage on them then the ones in the pick-n-pull from where I was getting parts. When studying for my Manufacturing Engineering degree at University, I came across a book in the library that documented Honda’s experiments and arrival at the ideal combustion chamber design. A painfully boring read but impressive.

  • avatar
    NewLookFan

    Are you kidding me? 200K maybe on the back of a tow truck for the last 180K. I couldn’t trust this thing to go across the street. By 40K the head gasket blew, the aux. valve seals were gone, and the cylinder head cracked. The synchros in the trans were gone, too. My 76 Civic was no better. The 82 Z28 I traded the Accord for was an improvement, hard as it is to believe (I’m not a GM fanboi at all).

    I used to see the car parked in front of a house for a few years after I dumped it, amazingly, they apparently replaced it with a new Accord.

    Elysee Bronze was the color, but I think it has deteriorated to an appropriate hue.

    • 0 avatar
      tonyola

      You can find lemon Mercedes and Rolls-Royces too. One bad examples doesn’t mean a bad car. My brother had a ’77 and ’81 Accord and both were basically trouble free. Look at old Car magazines and Consumer Reports and see what they say about the early Accords.

    • 0 avatar
      ciddyguy

      NewLookFan,

      I tend to agree with Tonyola here. I’ve personally seen Honda (2 of which I owned) go well over 150K miles). Both of mine would’ve gone way more than that had they not both been rear ended at around 180-182K miles, both still running quite well. Mind you, neither of them were of this vintage, the Civic was from 1983, the Accord, an ’88.

      That being said, I still see these vintage Accords every so often and they DO hold up and good friends once had a ’78 Civic CVCC that they drove the wheels off of back in the early to mid 90’s. Don’t know how many miles it had on it when they bought it but it was already well used by then and they proceeded to drive it the hour or so commute, twice daily for over a year in it while both lived in Tacoma and commuted to their jobs in Seattle, one in the morning, the other in the evenings and it may well have had close to or over 200K by the time they sold it several years later.

      Again, just because you had one bad one, it does not make a marquee bad.

      • 0 avatar
        tonyola

        I’ve had two Hondas – an ’84 CRX and a ’90 Civic LX. Both were amazingly reliable and trouble-free cars for at least 150,000 miles each.

      • 0 avatar
        onyxtape

        Neighbor had an 85, and we had an 87. Both were sold when the cars had north of 300k. Our 87 was driven from Seattle to Disneyland, up to Edmonton, to Yellowstone and back with full luggage and 5 adults. It sure screamed for help going up the Rockies but made it nonetheless. There were a couple times during our ownership where we forgot to change the oil for 10k-15k miles, and only noticed when we smelled something funny from the engine. But it’s still being used today as a pizza delivery car, so who can say how much longer it could run had we taken good care of it.

    • 0 avatar
      NewLookFan

      Look, I know every manufacturer has lemons, but most of the people I knew at the time had similar issues. I have one friend that ran his 1980 Accord to over 300k with no major problems, but the rest, not so. This car was barely better than my ex’s 1972 Vega.

      There’s a difference between a car that’s conceptually fresh and modern, and a car that actually delivers on that promise. The Accord at that time wasn’t ready for prime time.

      I know Honda made major improvements in durability and reliability in the mid-80s, and I’d consider buying one today. I still like the car in concept, but it was miserable to live with. Perhaps younger people don’t understand, but machines like this (and the Vega and Z28 I had) are why we choose boring Corollas.

      • 0 avatar
        carbiz

        A motorized skateboard. How hard could that be? With the typical Chevette or Escort of the day having at least a/c and automatic, plus the unproven tricks the Big Three were trying at the time (Lean Burn, etc), as the Perfect Storm of regulations, oil embargoes and emerging technologies hit Detroit, makers of sewing machines and lawnmowers were perfectly poised to swoop in and provide simple, cheap, economical vehicles. Since nobody knew how to fix them, owners were forced back to the dealer where the vehicles were quietly rebuilt, under the guise of ‘maintenance.’ By contrast, my father never took his Chryslers back to the dealer. Ever. If those vehicles had problems, he knew about it.
        An acquaintance of mine’s father bought him a 1982 Accord. My 21 year old eyes were unimpressed. My boyfriends’ ’79 Skyhawk was a much nicer vehicle, thanks. My mother’s customized ’80 Econoline van was impressive. The Datsun 210 I rented in the summer of ’82 to go canoeing could not even pass dump trucks at the passing lanes on highway 11!!!
        I will not defend the early J-cars or the far worse X-cars, but living through the times (and seeing first hand as a Datsun 280Z left its front wheels on the shop floor as the hoist lifted the vehicle up), I can only say that with GM selling more cars in a month than both Honda and Toyota did in a YEAR back then, who actually bought the Accords or Tercels of the day to remember them?
        (Just the die-hard Detroit bashers, in my opinion.) The rest of us thought those tin cans were odd, at best.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    How many HP did that turbo sticker ad?

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Always impressed at how good the sheet metal is on these Junkyard Find feature cars.

    I bought a new 82, it was a very nice driving car, and by negotiating ruthlessly was able to get it without dealer markup. It had a real problem of loud gear whine in 5th which made freeway driving annoying as hell.

    Of course since it was a Honda, neither the dealer or Honda could “hear” any problem that was worth warranty-ing. Since I was doing a long commute at the time, I wound up trading it in a year later on a Chevy and got nearly sticker price.

    • 0 avatar
      Campisi

      “Of course since it was a Honda, neither the dealer or Honda could “hear” any problem that was worth warranty-ing.”

      Of course! Honda still does this, at least for their motorcycles. The early US-bound CBR250s have a loud and worrying valve train noise above ~5,500 RPM that everyone but Honda techs can hear and reliably duplicate. Work has taken me out of the country for a while; when I get back, I may find myself another brand.

    • 0 avatar
      MadHungarian

      Only in a climate where cars don’t rust quickly will you find one of these in a salvage yard in 2012. Most rust belt owners never saw that 200K because the vehicles disintegrated first.

      It is amazing the low levels of performance we were willing to put up with back then, especially from small imported cars. I had an ’80 Subaru and I got into the habit of switching off the A/C so I could merge onto the freeway. Makes you wonder if we could have 75 MPG cars today if buyers would accept similar performance stats.

      • 0 avatar
        MusicMachine

        We probably could if it weren’t for safety features and overall weight gain (of both car and driver!!). I’m in the habit of switching of the AC in my ’97 Metro (1.3 4 cyl, 4 door, standard trans) half the time for just normal acceleration. But…I can literally floor it ALL FRAG’N WEEK LONG and it NEVER drops below 33 MPG–with wife and kids. “Normal” driving achieves 39 MPG. 180k on the clock and–no lie–it does NOT burn oil–not even a little–not even after 10k intervals. In a world of $4 / gal. gas and $30k hybrids…I feel I’m really cheating the system.

  • avatar
    ciddyguy

    This one looks to be straight, though weathered so I think old age/mileage finally got to it in the end.

    This one looks to be the LX trim and has the stereo system as it looks to have 2 small speakers mounted behind the rear seats.

    My Dad had a ’76 blue on blue with the 5spd manual and I’ve always loved it and have so many memories of it, even though he only kept it about 2 years or so. Had to sell it due to 2 daughters in college and on his income, something had to give.

    The only major issue we had was a carburetor or something was funky as we had a difficult time getting it started while up in the mountains, but once we got it going, it ran fine until it was fixed. Other than that, it was very reliable.

    I remember us taking it from Tacoma WA to Grants Pass OR via the coast highway for part of the trip and up I-5 home and it did it very well. Didn’t have AC but had all the other standard features including intermittent wipers, mono AM/FM radio, rear wiper/defroster.

    Nice find there MM.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    @ NewLookFan

    Everyone I knew that had a 70’s Honda were also having head gasket problems. They also rusted badly here in the Midwest.
    So I agree with your comments.

    I think there is an incorrect myth that Japanese cars were better that US automakers in the 70’s. They were not.
    But what did happen is the Japanese practiced continuous improvement and learned from their mistakes. They then went on to build some of the best cars in the world into the 80s, 90s, and even to this day.

    Now it is the US automakers playing catch-up and they seem to be doing a pretty good job of it.

    • 0 avatar
      acuraandy

      ‘Now it is the US automakers playing catch-up and they seem to be doing a pretty good job of it.’

      Driven an Epsilon GM lately? For a few years? Ya, stick a fork in Detroit, its done…

      That’s why the South Koreans get my biz now…

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @trend-shifter: Agreed. The industry shifts and changes all of the time. Who would have thought all those years ago that Korean cars would overshadow the Japanese carmakers?

        I drove something similar to the subject car back in the day, it was no treat. It was the nicest assembled, most fragile, underpowered POS that their arrogant dealers could sell to the public. I’ve posted about the car on this blog before, I don’t think it’s worth rehashing the old complaints. We did crazy things back then to save on fuel (as we do now), this was one of them.

        I would be in the camp of those who claim the Japanese cars of the late 70’s were not great. The VW Rabbit and the BMW 320i were much better cars for the times, and the sales at the time showed it. The Rabbit alone spawned so many imitators, it essentially became the template for the modern small car. One could argue the original Mini (by Issigonis) was the template for the Civic and Rabbit, and I wouldn’t dispute it.

        The Civic may have had more of an impact on the coasts, but for the rest of the country, and a fair amount of the world, the VW Rabbit (Golf in other countries/continents) was the one to beat.

    • 0 avatar
      carbiz

      Three major factors contributed to this Japanese myth:

      1)The original Japanese offerings on these shores were basic transportation. They were light, kinda fun to drive, got decent fuel mileage and had virtually nothing to break on them. By contrast, except with the Chevette, GM tried too hard to bring unproven technologies to market. Blown cylinder heads on the Vegas, the V8-6-4 debacles and others ensued. Being #1 and having deep pockets must have been tough back then. Everyone looked to you to lead the way, even when the way was not clear at all.
      2)How many balls was Honda juggling in 1980? Three? Five? Chevrolet had more models than that. Notice how Toyota’s real problems began when they tried to match GM, model for model? It’s not so easy juggling 20 or 30 balls in the air. A couple are bound to fall.
      3)Natural evolution. Mother trades her ’74 Biscayne for a ’80 Citation. Horrifying things happen. Mouthy son in the back seat chirps that his pot dealer drives a Civic and has had no troubles. After 3 tortuous years, mother ditches the Citation for a ’84 Accord. Back in those days, 4 years was a lifetime. Dozens of significant technologies were being tested, and each generation of vehicle improved over the previous. Mom thought her ’84 Accord was okay. She missed all the power toys from her Citation, but she concedes the Accord is a ‘better’ car than her Citation was. In 1990, when she trades in the Accord, she doesn’t even look at GM. After all, they build ‘crappy’ vehicles.
      Repeat, rinse, lather in thousands of neighborhoods across North America, and you now have at least 1 generation, if not two that base their opinions of Detroit built 25 years ago.
      Gee, my ’77 Marantz receiver needed 2 repairs in its first 3 or 4 years. My 6 year old Yamaha receiver works flawlessly. Was Marantz garbage, or was it the times?

      • 0 avatar
        FromaBuick6

        I’ll give you #1 and #2, but not #3. The fact that ’84 Accord was “four years more advanced” than the ’80 Citation might mean something if GM actually offered anything more advanced than the Citation II or X-based Celebrity in 1984. Meanwhile, the Accord was still carbureted in ’84 and would remain so through ’89. Also, I don’t remember anyone owning a Citation with “all the power toys,” unless you’re talking about that hokey vertical radio.

        Same story in 1990. The Accord went through two more generations of refinement, while nobody wasted their time cross-shopping the Lumina. They didn’t have to. Thanks to endless fleet dumping, most buyers are reminded how much GM still sucks every time they take a vacation or business trip.

        But it’s a Japanese conspiracy “myth,” right? That must be why the Taurus sold so well in 1990 and why the Fusion does so well now.

      • 0 avatar
        Bryce

        Toyota ran into trouble trying match Chevrolet crap. Toyota build more different models than you could count only a few of which are on the US market.

      • 0 avatar
        GarbageMotorsCo.

        Three words regarding Government Motors

        “Road To Redemption”

        never again.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    As far as I’m concerned, these were junk from the get-go. Most important NA car since the war? Yeah, right. Try Corvette – just my opinion…

    I really miss hood ornaments, though.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      Junk from the get go? Really? These were terrific cars, and this is coming from a guy who was the world’s biggest GM fan back then. All of my friends or relatives who bought these Accords were 100% satisfied, whereas the ones that purchased the JUNK that GM was pumping out back then (X cars, Iron Duke Cavaliers, FWD 88/98/Park Ave, 5.7L diesels, HT4100 Cadillacs, etc etc etc) were turned into foreign car buyers for life. If GM had built their new X cars HALF AS WELL as these Accords were, things would have been quite different.

      A friend of mine got one of these for her 16th birthday and she let me try it out. Compared to my grandma’s BRAND NEW Citation it felt light years ahead.

  • avatar
    tubacity

    It’s a common story. Early Accord. Head gasket failure, over heat, stranded. Mine too.

  • avatar
    itanibro

    My first car was a 1980 Accord, just like this one. Man I miss that car. Didn’t survive the winters of the northeast…ended up half rusted!

  • avatar

    We had a brown ’80 hatchback, a couple shades darker than that one. Had a whopping 75 hp, IIRC, but what a good car for the time.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    Sup. Chalmers: ‘I just got my new car, a 1979 Honda Accord. Aww, someone stole my ‘H’!

    https://encrypted-tbn2.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS-v1vQqECP-jAGC5KmIL5NXSSBuf89mAG79hkezLVYrOzDcVjsrw

  • avatar
    ex007

    I bought a 76 Accord new in December 76. Silver/Black. Absolutely loved that car. Sold it in March 78 when I left the country for almost as much as I paid new; MSRP was $3,995. Car was still going strong years later.

    When I returned home I eventually bought an 81 Civic 4 door that I sold in 86 with about 80,000 miles because I was worried about repairs. I saw it again six years later and it had over 225,000 miles on it and, despite a bit of rust, was mechanically trouble free.

    Now, I look at Honda/Acura and wonder what went wrong.

  • avatar
    TAP

    I bought one new in ’76- golden brown w/vinyl roof! It was not noisy and would cruise @ 75+ happily. The slightest hill slowed it down tho. This thing was light years ahead of any other small car in refinement, but did have electrical and other gremlins, as my sister found out after buying 3 yrs. later for $100 less than sticker. And I gave her a discount! The demand was still crazy in ’79.

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    I haven’t seen one of these on the road in 15 years, and that was an extremely rare sighting; These cars rusted fast here in the Midwest and were mostly gone by 1990. I never started hearing the stories about head gaskets and such until fairly recently, mostly because the tinworm killed these off long before the engine troubles could start.

    The 2nd generation cars held up much longer and the 3rd gen cars have only started dying off in the last five years. Took Honda a long time to finally stop the rust (and the upholstery that disintegrated when exposed to daylight).

    The early cars certainly weren’t perfect, but this was also back when Detroit cars felt five years old the day you drove them home and were completely shot after 75,000 miles. Anybody who says these cars were overrated is lying or in denial.

    • 0 avatar
      PintoFan

      Yeah, they were overrated.

      The inane cacophony of whining from the Tokyo apologists that accompanies any story about the very real quality failures of some old Japanese car virtually guaranteed that there would be pushback against the false mythology surrounding these turds.

      • 0 avatar

        I live in the Detroit area and I’m hardly hostile to the domestic automakers, then and now. I’m no apologist for Tokyo. Actually, Honda succeeded despite the Japanese industrial establishment. Soichiro Honda was not nearly as high born as the Toyodas. Honda, like Sony, was not quite as Japanese as most Japanese companies since their major markets were outside of Japan.

        Most Japanese cars in the 1970s had nothing going for them other than drivetrain reliability. They were boring, had conventional RWD layouts without much suspension sophistication. Hondas were, on the other hand, high revving FWD cars that were fun to drive.

        You can say what you want but I’m old enough to remember what cars were really like then. Honda was selling overhead cam engines while the Pinto was still offering the pushrod Kent block. Now I don’t have anything against the Kent block, it’s the basis of the Lotus Twin Cam, a fine engine (with some design flaws), but compared to the engines Honda was building in the 1970s, it was ancient. As for the 2.0L OHC engine that Ford used, I recall seeing piles of them at junkyards. Now maybe they just survived the cars they were in, but if I had to pick driving a ’76 Accord (or Civic) vs driving a ’76 Pinto, I’d have picked the Hondas then, and I’d still pick them today.

        Have I posted articles about Pintos and Bobcats? Yeah, I think they’re cool cars to write about, and have even defended the Pinto, but I was around then and Hondas were better cars.

      • 0 avatar
        FromaBuick6

        @PintoFan: Thanks for proving my point. You’re the poster child for “lying or in denial.”

      • 0 avatar
        MusicMachine

        Pinto fan? Really?!

    • 0 avatar
      carbiz

      In 1992, my Ex’s 11 year old Tercel was 1 pot hole away from having 3 spare tires in the trunk. He babied that thing. It got washed more than the kitchen floor did! In 1999, I spied a spotless Tercel hatchback being traded in: it was 12 or so years old. It looked like a great Ontario survivor, but the hatch was rotted out. I was warned that I wouldn’t find the hatch anywhere on the planet – they had ALL rotted out after a few years.
      Toyota and Honda are amongst the first OEMs to utilize extensive amounts of Teflon to coat their vehicles; therefore, bad news just doesn’t stick.

      • 0 avatar
        FromaBuick6

        Nobody’s disputing that early Japanese cars were total rust buckets. Detroit had decades of additional experience building cars to withstand the North American environment, yet they were hardly any better at rust prevention. Swiss cheese floorboards were common on any salt-exposed car after about five years. The Vega and Volare’s fenders rusted through if somebody even mentioned the word “water” anywhere near the car. As I recall, the A/J/X cars of the early ’80s rusted just as quickly as my parents’ Corona.

        It’s utterly foolish to fault an ’81 Tercel for being completely shot after 11 extremely harsh Canadian winters. A neighbor junked his similar-vintage Corolla Tercel about the same time. There was no ranting and raving about how the car was overrated; The car was simply all used up after a decade of hard use. Another neighbor had an ’80 Corolla and an ’82 Skylark, both looking similarly worse for wear after a decade-plus in Chicago. Guess which car got traded on a new ’92 Camry? Hint…it wasn’t the Corolla.

        Anybody who lived through the ’70s and ’80s was conditioned to believe that all cars were junk after about 5 years. That’s half the reason most people used to trade every two years, and is why late-model used cars of any origin still have a reputation as unreliable garbage with older buyers. The second owner usually ran the car into the ground around the 7-10 year mark. Volvo used to make a big deal out of their cars lasting an average of 15 years in advertising, because it was absolutely unheard of. AMC’s 12 month/12,000 mile Buyer Protection Plan was equally unheard of in 1972, because the rest of Detroit thought they’d go bankrupt backing their cars even for one lousy year.

        Sure, ’70s Hondas, Toyotas and Datsuns pretty much disappeared by 1990. But then so did the aforementioned Vega and Volare, along with anything from Ford.

        The Japanese cars of the ’70s and early ’80s didn’t catch on because they lasted forever, it’s because they didn’t feel like a complete bucket of bolts and didn’t constantly break down during the first five years. Anything else is just revisionist nonsense.

  • avatar
    geo

    The first-gen Accords were all over the place in the late eighties, available for about a thousand bucks or less.

    I remember the still-modern dash design and the nice handling. But they were no more reliable than the Pintos, Mavericks, and Chevettes that also flooded the streets. In fact, owners were constantly struggling with head gasket, transmission, brake, and starting issues. I think this was another example of import vs. domestic perception.

  • avatar
    PintoFan

    One of the most important cars in postwar North America? Did Honda just do an ad buy or something?

    Nobody noticed them missing because they were disposable cars to begin with. Just like everything else coming out of Japan in that era. Every once in a while you see some confused sap on Ebay with one of these or its Toyota/Datsun equivalent, whatever those were called. Invariably it’s somebody’s grandmother’s car with 60k original miles or some other cockamamie story attached to it an attempt to justify a ludicrous asking price that nobody will ever pay, because it has roughly the same collectability as a VCR or fax machine.

    • 0 avatar

      The Henry Ford Museum just opened their redone auto exhibit, now called Driving America (and the related Racing in America display). They have two Honda Accords in the display. Neither is a first gen Accord, but they do have, on loan from Honda, the first ’83 Accord made in the US at the Marysville plant.

      By any measure, the first generation Accord is a historically significant car. Like the fact that when you buy a car it comes pretty well equipped? Thank Honda for that one. They figured out that putting A/C and a stereo in each car dropped the unit cost for those options.

      My brother bought one of the first Accords sold in the US, in 1976. It was a great car. The ’84 my dad bought was even better, since it didn’t rust like the ’76 did. The worst thing about the 1st gen Accords is that they rusted. Otherwise they were more sophisticated than anything from Japan at the time and better built than most of the domestic offerings at the time. Maybe a bit tinny but jewels nonetheless.

    • 0 avatar
      FromaBuick6

      And the Pinto wasn’t disposable? Quit embarrassing yourself.

  • avatar

    My father had a silver ’77 Accord Coupe. He kept in good condition. Unfortunately, a couple that he sold into forgot to put oil in it one winter killing the engine.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    These things attracted such would-be buyer mania back then. Doesn’t seem like much now , but compared to the competition, not just with Pintos but its Japanese cpmpetition , the Datsun f-10 and so forth much better.I was living in Houston and then you were lucky if you could get a new Accord or Prelude for “only” $1000 over list , probably with some other “mandatory” crap like paint sealants thrown in too . And you had to get on a waiting list .A friend’s father traded his Porsche on one,the 1978 LX and kept it for years . I remember the friend borrowing it when it was maybe 8 years old and it was running badly and things like door latches and seat recliners were all broken even though it hadn’t been driven much . The first Honda that really impressed me was the 1980 Civic , which seemed better put together than the Accord .

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    What great cars these vintage Hondas were. Clean styling, perfectly sized, light, nimble, and cockroach reliable. Modern Hondas have only the last of those points covered nowadays. Too bad all the first generation Accords in Pennsylvania disappeared when Clinton was President. The drivetrains might last 200,000 miles, but everything attached to them rotted away long before that in any climate with more than 2 seasons.

  • avatar
    KitaIkki

    This Accord LX lasted a lot longer than the Infiniti G20 next to it.

  • avatar
    whydidithavetobecars

    Sold my 67 MGB and bought a 79 Accord just like this one to drive to college. Light years ahead of the MG. Awesome roadtrip car. Loved that fresh air vent. Saw one the other day. Tiny. Seemed normal back then.

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  • ToolGuy: “There’s so much that we share That it’s time we’re aware It’s a small world...
  • SCE to AUX: That Cyclops center display ruins an otherwise nice-looking car.
  • Astigmatism: That’s my first thought when I see comments questioning the low HP numbers. At $26k for 200hp,...
  • stuki: The Si is likely the best daily driver, for the most (of those who even remotely aware that...
  • Jebby: And why the concern for particulates and nitrogen oxides? I’m surprised you thought they weren’t...

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