Ace of Base Redux: 1990 Honda Accord DX Coupe
In 1990, the Nintendo Game Boy was flying off store shelves, neon clothes was very much in vogue, and President Bush was busy denouncing broccoli. And — oh, yeah — Honda rolled out a new Accord for the 1990 model year.
With a strong visual presence giving it a refined and contemporary look, the Accord Coupe made the best of its expansive greenhouse and flush-fitting glass. Before you protest, I know the above Accord is not a DX … but the one after the jump is. I think it’s fabulous and I know you do, too.
The 1990 Accord’s profile is defined by a superb but subtle character line which curves smoothly along the upper body, uniting the rounded front with the squared-off rear. The side windows, set just 3mm (just over a tenth of an inch) from the metal, were 17 percent bigger than the previous Accord, while the windshield was a full 20 percent larger. Its hood dives to the pavement while the rear deck lid stands tall.
This was a very good looking car.
Three trims were on offer in America for the 1990 Accord Coupe: base DX, mid-level LX, and high-zoot EX. The Ace of Base choice was available in five different colors, ranging from Frost White paired with a red (!) interior, to the Phoenix Red example shown above.
Under that low hood was a 2.2-liter inline-four making 125 horsepower in the DX, mated to a manual transmission. Diminutive 14-inch wheels inhabit each corner wrapped in 185/70 rubber, laughable today but par for the course back then. No matter; four-wheel double wishbone suspension gave the ’90 Accord handling characteristics that allowed it to outperform the vast majority of its competition.
Base model Accord Coupes were no stripper models but eagle-eyed fans could pick out the DX trim from a mile away thanks to its flat-black bumpers. Standard equipment included such items as tilt steering, a tachometer, a full length centre console, and heater vents for rear passengers. Sure, these items seem mundane today, but in 1990, they were features often skimped on by most manufacturers.
If I was donning my Hammer pants and heading to the Honda store for a $12,145 Accord Coupe in 1990, the sole option I would spec would be air conditioning. Making the $4,000 walk up to the LX would have been a non-starter. In today’s funds, I would have been signing a note for just a hair over $24,000.
A very-sharp looking manual-shift coupe with a trick suspension for just over twenty-four large? That’s definitely an Ace of Base shoo-in.
Older metal from years past which looked good in base form? They help make automotive history a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate this selection.
JohnTaurus on Dec 14, 2017
In case anyone wants a rust-free fixer-upper example on the cheap: https://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/cto/d/1992-honda-accord-5-speed/6410252816.html
Tele Vision on Dec 14, 2017
My friend's Dad was a big Honda guy. He had an '84 MT Accord sedan and his wife had an '89 auto sedan. He could afford Bentleys but he loved his '84. He went to the local Acura dealership to get his wife a new, fancier sedan so that the kids could have her '89 ( no way they were getting his '84 ) and instead came home with a piece of paper that said he now owned a car that hadn't actually been built yet. It was Western Canada's first NSX. He later got his wife the excellent '92 Accord; the kids got the awesome '89; and he still drove his '84 to his senior VP job downtown. The NSX was just for weekends - and for occasional rides for his kid's friends.
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