Junkyard Find: 1980 Honda Accord Sedan

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin

We saw a historically interesting but marketplace-irrelevant 1991 Honda Accord wagon Junkyard Find last week, which means that it’s now time to look at the car that made Honda in North America: the first-gen Accord. Here’s a well-worn but still fairly solid ’80 that I spotted in a Denver yard not long ago.

This car seems laughably no-frills by 2012 standards, but this was pretty plush for the Accord’s price. Look, automatic transmission! Bucket seats!

The folks at Honda were very proud of their newfangled power steering system.

I’m sure Honda USA old-timers reminisce fondly about the late 1970s and early 1980s, when Accord buyers stood ten deep to buy Accords and no other manufacturer had anything that even approached the value-per-buck level of this car. Not like now.


Toyota ads of this era were a little more entertaining, but then they had to be.

Japanese-market ads were fun, though. CVCC!






Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Aeberhar Aeberhar on Nov 01, 2012

    Just wanted to chime in on what has to be my favorite car post so far. Sad, maybe, but an '82 Accord coupe was my first car and I still think about it from time to time. I still find it amusing that the '82 speedometer went up to 85 but the '83 speedometer went up to 130. Same car and engine as far as I've always known, just a little bit more enthusiasm at the factory. I can't believe people were waiting in line to buy these. I had no idea they were so successful so early. The steal was cheap for sure, but the car was hardly new when I got it and it still ran and looked quite good. I can't miss the opportunity to comment on the excessive trim on this car though. Even the trim had trim! My brother and I joke about the frivolous trim department at Honda back then. My next Accord was an '86 sedan and while that generation remains my all time favorite for style and quality, there's no doubt these cars had something special too them. I now own, as a hobby, an '89 sedan with 90k miles. Spent most of its life in a garage in Colorado. I guess my generations midlife crisis cars will be early cheap imports and I think I'm ok with that. ;) What saddens me now is what Honda looks like today. A good quality car totally bereft of soul. Subaru still makes a mean version of the '78 wagon and the BRZ is the XT of 2012. Where's the quirk Honda?

  • Fttp Fttp on Nov 04, 2012

    We had that exact car, in a 2 door. 68 horse, 15 seconds to 60, tranny blew up, shocks were shot after 20k, totally rusted out in less than the 55K and 5 yrs we had it--we bought it new--until it blew up on the side of the road one day. At one point we needed a new gas tank! Our mechanic was always laughing at us calling it "a disposable car". I think we sent him and his wife to Tahiti a couple times.

    • Lostscotiaguy Lostscotiaguy on Nov 09, 2012

      That's too bad you had a bad experience with yours. Mine (81) has close to 200,000 miles on it and still runs and looks great as my daily driver.

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