By on May 13, 2016

1984 Honda Accord in California Wrecking Yard, RH front view- ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Back in the middle 1980s, demand for the Honda Accord was so strong that American Honda execs grew fat on kickbacks from dealers desperate for inventory and buyers — especially in Honda-crazed California — and you weren’t going to get a new one for list price. Once Accord production started in Ohio, the second-gen 1982-1985 cars were everywhere on the West Coast, in such numbers that you just stopped noticing them.

Then, seemingly overnight, they were gone.

After a decade or three, the head gasket blew, or the interior got intolerably nasty, or the car couldn’t pass a smog check, or the 11th owner had one too many Tricky Dicky Screwdrivers and crunched into the San Mateo Bridge toll plaza.

They’re rare in junkyards now, so I shot this red ’84 when I spotted it in a San Francisco Bay Area yard last winter.

1984 Honda Accord in California Wrecking Yard, odometer - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

This one barely cracked 100,000 miles, which suggests that it spent many years waiting for a repair that never came.

1984 Honda Accord in California Wrecking Yard, rust - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Those lost years were not spent sheltered in a garage judging by this Bay Area-style rust by the window weather-stripping.

1984 Honda Accord in California Wrecking Yard, vacuum hose diagram- ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

With the CVCC engine, meeting California’s strict exhaust-emissions requirements of the middle 1980s became absurdly difficult. Up until the early 2000s or so, the state used a (relatively) easy-to-pass high/low idle smog check process, but then came in dyno-based tests and letter-of-the-law standards for exhaust gases. Once something broke in that tangle of hoses, sensors, and solenoids, your car wasn’t going to pass cheaply.

1984 Honda Accord in California Wrecking Yard, engine - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Once EFI replaced the CVCC, those problems went away. The surprising thing was how well the 86-horsepower ES2 engine ran with all that Rube Goldberg fuel-delivery complexity.

1984 Honda Accord in California Wrecking Yard, shifter - ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Yes, just 86 horses moved this car. Curb weight was a mere 2,187 pounds, so it wasn’t quite as slow as that two-digit number might suggest (but it was still pretty slow, especially with the automatic transmission). In fact, this car was more than 300 pounds lighter than the 2016 Honda Fit, with 44 fewer horses under the hood.


There’s a strange lack of U.S.-market Accord ads from this era online. Did American Honda even bother to advertise on television in 1984?

[Images: © 2016 Murilee Martin/The Truth About Cars]

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69 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1984 Honda Accord Hatchback...”


  • avatar
    GTL

    I had an ’83 just like this one. Paid $10,000 for it with a $200 discount. It was the four door Accords that were so high in demand. The dealer had a $1000 “Market adjustment charge” on the window sticker of the four door models.

    With the 5-speed manual, it was a fun car to drive. Sadly, the wife totaled it the day after we sent off the last payment.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      I had an ’83 also, and it cost me $5,000 in 1992. It ran perfectly but didn’t have 86 HP, it was the older engine with 75 HP. You really had to time freeway entrances carefully. It was totaled by a hit and run driver while parked less than two years later, and replaced with an ’85 4-door with the 86 HP engine and Honda’s troublesome automatic.

      Both had driver’s sun visors that were falling apart, and it wasn’t easy to find replacements, or trim or other parts. I owned the ’85 for just over two years – it had an automatic and the torque converter went out twice. I traded it in on a year-old ’95 Altima that I drove for nearly 20 years, and cost me less in repairs than the ’86 Honda.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        If I’ve heard correctly, Honda only makes replacement trim pieces for ten years after the last model-year of a given generation, so they would have stopped making them for this one in 1995.

        Maybe they still work that way — I’m not certain.

        I’ll bet some emissions problem got this one. Most modern-day mechanics would throw up their hands at the rat’s nest under that hood, or charge a king’s ransom to tackle it!

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      My parents had a pair of 82 hatchbacks I more or less grew up in, so when I was in school and bought my first car in 1996 it was a 85 sedan just to get away from those hatchbacks but still have all the familiarity of an 80s Accord. Sadly I couldn’t afford the lightened flywheels and Konis my parents’ cars enjoyed.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    Oh the 80’s and all that spaghetti under the hood. My first two cars were an 85 & 83 Fords and I have nightmares of vacuum lines running everywhere.

  • avatar
    Fred

    You still don’t see many old Japanese cars. Unlike American cars that seem to have some life in them after 20+ years. Maybe it’s just small cars that don’t make good hoopties.

    • 0 avatar
      rev0lver

      My experience is the opposite of this. I see a ton of early to mid 90s Corollas, Tercels and Civics. I see relatively few of their American counterparts.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        It depends on where you live. Japanese cars last longer in the sunbelt, but not the snow belt. The problem with a lot of ’90s cars is the rubber and plastic that 10% ethanol gradually dissolves. I was replacing a lot of tubing on my ’95 Altima.

        • 0 avatar
          iantg

          Rust Belt buyers tended to buy domestic, while folks in the sunbelt had no loyalty to any Automaker – and tend to buy whatever suits their needs. In Western PA, the Cavalier, Grand Am/Malibu, and Impala were the default cars. VW Jettas were a semi common sight as well (due to loyalty from the Westmoreland plant even though it closed in 1988). Corollas and Civics up north don’t tend to see more than 20 years on the road. The domestic stuff ends up lasting longer because the initial owner was elderly and it didn’t see much salt or it survives longer due to a cheaper cost of entry and repair cost.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            The cancer on a Honda starts in the rear fenders where they meet with the rear bumper — that has to be kept clean, otherwise salt residue builds up and invites the tinworm in over time! The bumper nearly fell off my Mom’s 3rd-Gen Civic EX just before she traded it on her 2000 Emm-Kay-Four Jetta (still don’t know WTF she was thinking), and my 1994 Civic EX was just starting to show a spot or two when I traded it in on my first Accord.

            They’ve gotten much better, but I’ve seen 7th-Gen Accords around NW Ohio with the cancer starting, so you still have to keep on top of it. (Of course, those could have been botched collision repairs, who knows?)

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        It’s funny that you mention this because I have noticed a number of Tercels in fairly good condition during my commute the past few weeks.

        Toyota stopped selling them in Canada prior to the turn of this century.

        The only other vehicle of that era that I have seen in similar numbers are Astro/Safari vans.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      The hooptie of choice in my area is a 20-year old Corolla, or if you’re here illegally, a rusted out 15-20 year old Accord with sagging rear suspension and missing trim pieces.

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        Around here I notice a lot more 80s and 90s Buicks and Oldsmobiles and of course since this is Texas a lot of old trucks and Suburbans. I’ll have to make an effort to look for older imports.

    • 0 avatar
      jacob_coulter

      I see LOTS of Japanese cars from the 90’s onward, but very little stuff from the 80’s era.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      If you spend some times on various webpages or sites that follow old iron for sale, the number one indicator of longevity is not make/model/country of origin/factory built. All of that has some impact, but the number one thing is the level of care the vehicle got, if it was garaged or not, and how many owners it had.

      There have been a slew of 80’s Cavaliers on various pages the last week or two – you’d think they would have long returned to the earth by now. But they almost universally have had one or two owners, spent their lives in garages, and have a fat stack of receipts.

      For the 80’s Japanese iron a lot of them died not because of mechanicals, but rust. They were notorious for rusting out and some of them require a near extreme level of cleaning, waxing, and washing to keep the tinworm away. By the 1980s they were far better built than their American counterparts (the 78 Accord in particular was just an awful vehicle but Honda learned fast) and it was more death by rust, than death by Iron Duke.

      I’m convinced there is a business model out there finding 80s iron on the west coast, like in Portland and Seattle where cars never rust or die it appears, and shipping them as-is to buyers on the east coast who are starting to feel the nostalgia of back in the day, but can’t find their cars of their childhood because they rotted away in the road salt.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’ve given it thought, if you could attract the right pool of buyers it could be profitable.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Good points all around, I do agree that previous owner care is a huge factor. ‘Tis why so many GM A-Bodys are still around.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Not in salt country! In the past seven or so years, I could count the number of As with no rust on one hand, and likely have fingers left over!

          OTOH, for years, I saw a rough-looking (paint-wise) Lincoln Mark VI roaming around Downtown Toledo on sagging springs, but with a solid body, so Lord knows! Luck of the zinc coating, perhaps!

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      It depends on the car. Japanese RWD sports cars are preserved. I also still see early 90s Acura Legends, but people seem to put more work into keeping the 2 door body style on the road than the 4 door ones. Lexus models seem to live long lives. In contrast, the smaller Japanese econoboxes are used until something expensive breaks and then recycled into rebar and Chinese washing machines.

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    American Honda didn’t have to advertise on television during this period, for the same reason that your local coke dealer doesn’t run thirty-second spots during the evening news.

    • 0 avatar
      rev0lver

      The high cost of prime time advertising slots?

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        No, the free advertising from bragging Honda owners did the job. Those models were well laid out and memories of gas lines were still fresh, even though mid ’80s gas prices were relatively cheap.

        • 0 avatar
          Roberto Esponja

          Honda owners which had previously been Citation, Omega, Skylark, Phoenix, Omni, Rabbit, Granada, Chevette, etcetera owners and were warmly delivered to Honda (and Toyota) by those models’ respective manufacturers.

        • 0 avatar
          APaGttH

          Lowest price I ever paid for gasoline in term of real dollars was in 1986 – I still remember .699 cents a gallon.

          In inflation adjusted dollars the lowest I ever paid for gasoline was in late 2014, early 2015 – about .60 cents a gallon (adjusted for inflation)

          • 0 avatar

            Lowest price that I personally paid was 23 or 24 cents a gallon when I started driving in 1971-72. I believe the lowest price I ever saw was 18 cents a gallon when I was a kid.

            They also washed your windshield, checked your oil, and if you filled your tank there’d be saving stamps or sometime other premiums like steak knives or a set of tumblers.

            Nostalgia notwithstanding, I like living in the modern world. It has its aggravations, but then it also has its advantages.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Mirrors don’t come across well on TV?

    • 0 avatar
      Geekcarlover

      Honda buyers at the time were like freshmen pledging a frat. No matter what the dealer asked of them, or how hard they were smacked and degraded, their response was always “Thank-you Sir, may I have another.”

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    I had a baby-blue metallic ’83 5-speed hatch, bought in 1990 in San Diego. No AC, but I don’t recall ever really being bothered by that. It was a fun car that didn’t give me too much trouble (water pump, distributor, brakes). I ended up buying (later) an ’87 LXi hatch and a ’91 EX sedan, all stick, all based upon a good experience with the ’83.

    It was sensitive to spark plugs, though. When I moved from SoCal back to Seattle, it developed a miss in cylinder 3. Turned out I needed to go a heat range hotter because of the change in climate. Sold it before I was sent to Yokosuka, Japan.

    The two later ones were both totaled (not my fault!) and I got more money from the insurance settlement than I paid for them ~1 year before each.

    Fundamentally honest, well made and driving cars that got better and better each generation before getting *too* upmarket and bloated (IMHO).

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I had an 83 or 84 5-speed hatch, it had a problem with losing a cylinder too, but only when it was near-freezing. Living in SoCal then Hawaii, it was rarely a problem. Until I went camping on top of a 10,000 foot volcano, when we left it would only fire two cylinders. Fortunately it was all down hill for a loooong ways, third cylinder kicked in before we got to the bottom.

      It was a great little car, over all.

    • 0 avatar
      Lack Thereof

      I helped a friend keep a totally trashed ’83 accord hatch on the road in the late ’00s for pizza delivery purposes. It burned about a quart of oil per 50 miles driven, and only had compression on 3 cylinders. It was bought from a friend of a friend of a coworker for $50 with no title (but he did all the paperwork for a lost-title registration and it came back legit).

      Eventually it dropped an intake valve on one of the remaining “good” cylinders, but he managed to limp it along for the rest of his pizza-delivery shift on only 2 cylinders with a geyser shooting out of the carburetor.

      For the prior 6 months or so, he had been driving it with a ruptured brake booster diaphragm, causing a massive vacuum leak (and no power assist). Probably leaned it way out, in retrospect I’m surprised it lasted as long as it did.

      • 0 avatar
        davew833

        I had an ’83 hatch (baby blue– weren’t they all that color?) that burned intake valves in two cylinders on the drive back from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City in 1994. I first noticed when I stopped for lunch in Las Vegas. Somehow I managed to baby it all the way home on two cylinders (with two passengers even!) I happened to have an ’82 parts car which I swapped the head with and drove it for another year before my dad totaled it.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    so this is a couple of years before vacuum hoses creeped over and ensnared the engine?

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      No, no. Look at the 4th picture of the vacuum schematic. The CVCC was great in the early ’70s because you didn’t need a catalytic converter, but the ’80s regulations pretty much dictated EFI, or your carb would be strangled by spaghetti.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Oh, there is plenty of spaghetti, but this is a Honda so the hoses were routed with some consideration, rather than being haphazardly flung all over the place.

  • avatar
    zoomzoomfan

    These used to be fairly common in the early to mid-90s when I was growing up. I always liked the hatchback versions best. I can’t remember the last time I saw one, though. The house across the street from my babysitter when I was around 4 (circa 1993-1994) had one of these in white and a yellow mid-70s Beetle. I always thought they had the coolest cars. And yeah, I had a weird taste in vehicles even at that age.

  • avatar
    KevinC

    I got on the train early, I bought a new (Japanese-built) ’80 Accord LX (then the high trim level, unlike now), and paid $800 over list, or 10% as the car listed for $7995 I believe. And had to wait about 4 months for it. It was an awesome car, though I sold it after only a year and a half after getting T-boned by an uninsured motorist. I had a co-worker who bought one of the new-for-’82 Ohio-built cars, and she constantly bitched about how it was inferior to her original one – a rattletrap in comparison. I recall that everything I owned in that era, with the exception of my Accord, was a rattletrap.

    Odd that the car above has a California plate for a Japanese commercial. And it’s not even a correct plate. With that numbering, it’s of 1980 vintage, and in California a plate stays with the car it’s issued to, so it came off something else for its appearance in this commercial.

  • avatar

    Someone needs to bring back pinstripe interiors.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I can’t remember the last time I saw a hatchback Accord, but it was probably around the same time I saw a hatchback Corsica. There was a light blue Accord hatch in the town where I grew up. I recall even in the early ’90s noticing how faded it looked.

    And it was even a later one, with the pop up lamps IIRC.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Saw a Corsica about a month ago – it was dogged out – couldn’t believe my eyes. First one I’ve seen in yeeeears – thought they had all returned to the earth long ago.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        As far as I can tell, they were only available in two colors:

        Red
        Blue

        If you got the Lumina instead, you could add:

        White
        Black
        Silver

      • 0 avatar
        iantg

        Come to Florida. I see at maybe 2 or 3 Corsicas a week. They’re not super common, but I see more of those than I do of 1986-1991 Tauruses or Sables. I can’t remember the last time I saw a running Tempo, Topaz, Acclaim, Spirit, or Lebaron sedan. Even the Lebaron convertibles have disappeared for the most part down here.

  • avatar
    nsrla

    My family leased a 1984 Accord LX sedan after a not-great experience with a ’75 Dart slant 6 and an awful experience with an ’81 Olds Cutlass LS. The Cutlass was a deathtrap in bad weather (I grew up in the northeast) – we skidded into another car during a light rain – and there was constantly something wrong with it.

    The Accord was our first ‘modern’ car with power windows and locks, cassette, tachometer etc. and the front-wheel drive was a huge help in bad weather. We loved that car and ended up getting an ’86 Accord as well, which is what I learned to drive on. Only problem was those wonderful Honda brakes, and accelerating on big hills was pretty scary, but the Olds and the Dodge were no better in that category.

    The prior experience with domestics and combined the with the quality of the Hondas at the time basically turned us off from domestics for decades until I helped my wife lease a 2012 Ford Focus. Unfortunately, while the Focus was ok, neither of us were crazy about it (interior build quality was lousy, turning circle was enormous for such a small car, MyFordTouch, etc., so it will probably be awhile before we purchase another domestic.

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    Summer of 84.. Dad returned to the US from overseas, bought a new Accord Sedan and put it in storage for 3 years. He had it shipped to our next overseas location, so he got to drive it around Germany for 2 years before shipping it back to the US. It served as our 2nd car, learning-to-drive car, then 3rd, then 4th car before someone crashed into it in the late 90s. It was still in great shape at that point, except for the auto transmission.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    In the snow belt and Northeast/Midatlantic these all disappeared a decade ago plus after returning to the earth they came from, eaten alive by the tin worm.

  • avatar
    getacargetacheck

    Honda did a ton of TV advertising all throughout the 1980s. Burgess Meredith did the voiceovers.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      I’d forgotten about those ads. I once made a delivery to Meredith’s home in Malibu. Had no idea I was going to his house until I saw “Burgess Meredith” engraved on the door knocker. I’m a little freaked out about meeting the Penguin, but I knock on the door and I find myself face to face with…Burt Bacharach. It was kind of a surreal day.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    My wife had a 77 Accord CVCC hatch back with a 5 speed manual for 17 years. The rust finally did it in. Great running car with good acceleration and 40 mpgs.

  • avatar
    John

    A Plastic Surgery Disaster compared to the obesified, Americanized, high-fructose-corn-syrup fed Accord of 2016.

    When you can’t make enough product to meet demand, you don’t need to advertise. Seen any good Ford GT ads lately?

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      IMHO, the 8th-Gen (2008-2012) was the real nadir of the Accord. They finally started back to their roots with the 2013, but yes, they did mess it up with the “beaked” front-end, and the vestigial infotainment screen created by cramming more stuff into the lower of the two, on the mid-cycle freshening.

  • avatar
    e46 Touring

    I helped my mom buy an ’83 sedan with 5-speed when her Monte Carlo left us stranded one time too many. She went on to buy another Accord and has been rocking a third-generation Altima since 2002. Another GM loyalist pushed away by poor products.

  • avatar
    thelastdriver

    Had my grandmother’s ’83 sedan (blue, automatic) on the road until ’08 when the passenger side control arm mount rotted away. Hit a Cleveland pothole and *CLUNK*!

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Just look at this car and then look at pictures of an X-Body. Makes it easy to see why Honda dealers were getting away with Dogbert-like levels of customer abuse in the 1980s.

    My carpool driver in elementary school had an ’83 sedan and then an ’86 hatch. Both were legitimately excellent cars. They had a ride/handling balance that felt impossibly refined to someone previously raised on ’70s iron and an ’81 Chevette, and they introduced features like remote trunk and fuel releases, power moonroofs, and full-coverage door cars to the lower end of the market.

  • avatar

    Based on my brother’s experience with his ’76 Accord, my dad bought an ’84 Accord hatchback (the ’76 hadn’t yet started succumbing to the tin worm). After my dad passed away I more or less inherited it. Great car. My new Fit reminds me a lot of that car, though, as pointed out by Murilee, the Fit is heavier and has a lot more power. To give you an idea of how some cars have grown in size, the current Fit, Honda’s subcompact, two segments below the current Accord, has a longer wheelbase than the 2nd gen Accord.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    Way back in the day, I bought a new 1986 Honda CRX in the fall of 1985. At the time the salesman tried to sell me on a leftover 1985 Accord Hatchback that looked like the one in the story. He offered a pretty good discount on the Accord (a bit unusual at the time), but if I wanted a CRX I’d have to pay full list price. (At least he didn’t ask for ADM, like most Honda dealers did back then.)

    Either of the 2 cars were offered to me for the same price, $7,500 so I went with the CRX. It was a great car and I had it for 19 years and 205,000 miles before I traded it.

  • avatar
    davew833

    This was a Copart auction vehicle that was sold as a run & drive, but given the carbureted engine and the location (Hayward, CA) there’s little doubt it would have failed emissions. The auction market value for these is about $100. I’ve bought an ’87 and an ’88 Accord from Copart this year– paid $90 for one and $100 for the other. Both ran & drove.

    I had a 6-year-old ’85 LX hatchback and while I loved it, it had some issues. A/C compressor seized, battery light flickered, even after replacing the alternator, starter ring gear broke necessitating the replacement of the whole torque converter, and finally it burned a valve in one cylinder. Fortunately along the line, a delivery truck backed into it, causing minor damage but leaving me with an insurance settlement that allowed me to pay it off. (I then sold it.)

    The interiors on base model DX’s wore horribly compared to the LX interiors, which were fairly indestructible. The interior on the ’87 LXi I just bought looks practically brand- new, if you like maroon velour.

    Why are the back seats on all the Pick & Pull cars pulled up/out? People looking for spare change?

  • avatar
    montecarl

    I’ve owned two 86s and a 87 Accord and all three of them were excellent vehicles…

  • avatar
    crispin001

    HaHa..this brings back memories…the parental units had a gray ’84 LX sedan. The transmission made a grinding noise when shifting into gear when starting out in the driveway. Ate/non-stop grinding noises from the brakes, and always required a bit of tinkering to pass Colorado emissions. They had to replace the speedo (not under warranty; our Toyota/Honda-loving neighbors couldn’t believe it). We got the 4-door because the 3-door ’83 hatchback (purchased late ’82) wasn’t big enough for 3 growing kids. Replaced it with in ’87 with a customized Chevy van because 3 teenagers don’t fit too well in an Accord of that era. Ah….the good old days.

  • avatar
    whisperquiet

    I bought a new red 1984 Accord hatchback with a 5 speed just like the one pictured (except for the auto). It ran great for the couple of years I owned it and was finally wholesaled to the selling dealer for about 80% of the original list price……….I doubt that would happen today. It was always good for better than 30mpg. The only thing that was fixed under warranty were warped brake rotors…just like many of the early Hondas.

  • avatar

    I drove this car once (borrowed it from Mexican immigrant). It had manual transmission. Was very noisy and unrefined – do not see what appeal it might had back then for middle class Americans unless all cars in 80s were as crappy. Well Audi 80 were light years ahead. Japanese cars were not built to last like American, German and Swedish car (with repairs of course) for obvious reason – to eliminate waste in typical calculated Japanese manner. High taxes do not allow Japanese to own older cars and we are talking about few years not decades here. That’s why so many almost new Japanese cars end up in Russian Far East.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I don’t really think an old Honda that is owned by a Mexican immigrant is not a fair comparison. My wife had a 77 Accord hatchback for 17 years and it was light years ahead of comparable American cars and much better than VWs. German cars of that era required more maintenance and more expensive parts. I had an 85 Mercury Lynx with a 4 speed manual and it was not in the same league as the 8 year older Accord with a 5 speed manual. The Lynx was poor handling, lacked decent acceleration, got worse mpgs, required more maintenance, and was not as well put together. People bought the Accords because of poor quality of comparable American compact and subcompact cars and the higher prices of German cars which were more expensive to maintain.

    I do think the difference between American midsize, compact, and subcompact cars versus Japanese has narrowed. American cars are much better quality. Even the South Korean cars have dramatically improved. Competition is good for the consumer.

    • 0 avatar

      Okay, I also drove 1988 Accord and Audi 80 side by side and Accord was like a piece of junk compared wit Audi. Hell even same year Opel Vectra and VW Passat felt like luxury cars compared with Accord and Mazda 626. I do not think things changed much since then. Just my opinion. You might wonder why Japanese cars do not sell in Europe.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    My benchmark for the Accord is still the 4th-Gens (1990-1993, like the red one to this car’s right in th pictures) which were built like brick outhouses, and could run all day at low triple-digits with a full load without a hiccup! Truly a “poor-man’s BMW!” At the 1990 auto show, a salesman stated that a couple had traded his BMW in for his-‘n-her’s Accord EXs, and I could believe that! (My Dad traded his ’86 Century and my Mom’s ’83 Regal in on my Mom’s 1990 Civic, and leased a 1991 Accord, and with the exception of an Emm-Kay-Four Jetta, have been Honda owners to this day: Mom’s on her second Civic, Dad’s on his fifth Accord, and I’m on my third!)

    The cost-cutting began in 1994, with the 5th-Gens, which were OK, but were just a little more ponderous-feeling despite the introduction of VTEC (yo!), and which little things, like a little thinner carpeting, began to make their presence known!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    What you said about the Honda Accord is also true about Toyotas especially the Camry. The 92 thru 96 Camry was a well built and nicely finished car. The 97 on was a good car but not as nice with some visible cost savings. Honda and Toyota are still good but the competition is also very good.

    As for Audis you are more likely to see 20 plus year old Hondas and Toyotas still on the road than VWs and Audis of the same age. German cars are more expensive to maintain than Japanese or American cars. I have a brother-in-law with an older BMW and his son has an older and newer BMW. They are always working on their BMWs and even when they do the work themselves the parts are much more expensive. A German car might handle better around a twisty road and might be faster on the Autobahn but then how many of us drive our cars at Autobahn speeds or have a twisty Bavarian road that we are driving down at high speeds. I guess if I were driving like that I would probably own a Porsche or like car. I have driven an Audi, BMW, and VW and find them fairly noisy and rough riding especially BMWs. If I were to rate some of the best handing cars I have ever driven it would be a Lancia Beta and a Fiat 124 which were better handling and more fun to drive than any German car I have ever driven. I don’t hate German cars but I find they are over rated and there are much more affordable and better cars for the money. Driving an Italian car is more like a Stradivarius compared to a German car which is well engineered but does not have the handling or the soul of an Italian sports car. I would rather just buy a good US, Japanese, or South Korean vehicle which is competent and more affordable to maintain. I will most likely never drive flat out on the Autobahn nor will I ever drive a twisty back road in Bavaria or the Alps. I am old enough and have enough money where I don’t really need or want to impress anyone.

  • avatar
    laserwizard

    I believe the hood Rick Hendrick from NASCAR was one of the dirty Honduh dealers from that era – he was convicted and sent to prison as a felon who later was pardoned by the impeached Williams Jefferson Blythe Clinton.

    Today’s Civic is the size of this Accord.

    And this Accord was a very good car – it was during this era when Hondas were decent products – which they are no longer even average. And now they are ugly to boot.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Owned a ’86 (fuel injected) LXi and an ’87 (Carb) – both were bought used and fairly ragged on by the time I got ’em.

    Interiors were beginning to fall apart, rust under the gas door was popular location, and the HP – at the time – was definitely beginning to fall behind the then current cars. But the Hondas handled nicely and never left me stranded. I didn’t, however, become a Honda fan boy.

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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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