Junkyard Find: 1980 Honda Accord Sedan

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1980 honda accord sedan
In rust-prone regions, first-generation Honda Accords oxidized to oblivion well before the 1980s were finished, but elsewhere they held together for decade after decade. I still see the occasional 1977-1981 Accord when I walk the rows of car graveyards in Colorado and California, though nearly all of those cars are hatchbacks.Here’s a hard-to-find ’80 Accord sedan in Denver.
It shows some rust, of the slow-motion sort we get here in High Plains Colorado.
Honda went to six-digit odometers on American-market cars for the 1982 model year, but we’ll never know the true total on this 1980 model. The pedal pads and seats don’t show the kind of wear you’ll see on a 300,000-mile car, so chances are this car has 110,662 or 210,662 miles on the clock.
Five-speed manual transmissions still had sufficient cachet in 1980 that it made sense to put boastful emblems like this one on cars so equipped.
The 1.75-liter four-cylinder engine seen here made 72 horsepower and had the still-somewhat-revolutionary CVCC system in place. No catalytic converter needed, although you were still supposed to run unleaded gas in this car.
The vacuum-hose diagram looked intimidating by 1980 standards, but CVCC-equipped Hondas of five years later had the terrifying “Map of the Universe” diagrams, required as emission-control laws became stricter during the decade. Electronic fuel injection did away with the need for CVCC long before the end of the 1980s.
Americans loved the early Accord hatchbacks so much that we can forget the sedans even existed. This car might have been a runner when it arrived in this place, but few want to buy a beat-up 40-year-old Accord when 25-year-old Accords sell for about the same price.
I’ll bet this car still had 20 years to go when this sticker went on the rear glass.
Dynamic Accord!You’ll find links to nearly 2,000 additional Junkyard Finds at the Junkyard Home of the Murilee Martin Lifestyle Brand™.
Join the conversation
3 of 40 comments
  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Apr 02, 2020

    I remember when these (and the Civic 4-door sedan) came out. Our neighbors across the street had one of these in the same red with red bordello velour. The maintenance reminder lights were kinda cool. You can see the three slots under them - you were supposed to insert your key in those, to reset them.

    • Ccxianson Ccxianson on Apr 02, 2020

      Ha! I had forgotten about that. Probably because I ignored mine! It also had the door and trunk open indicators which was pretty deluxe for the time. Also the A pillar antenna that you had to remember to deploy after a car wash. I don't remember the stock radio because mine came with a cheese-deluxe Schuck's special AM/FM cassette unit already installed.

  • JimC2 JimC2 on May 02, 2020

    Really late comment but I remember my grandma had one of these in the early 1980s. I don't know what model year but definitely this vintage. One of my uncles, my hippy uncle as it were, had a Civic wagon. I don't know who got their car first and I wonder if one inspired the other's purchase. Honda has always been stubborn. They did CVCC (a lot of genius and understanding of gasoline combustion that nobody else had) and successfully avoided catalytic converters when most of the competition didn't yet understand how to build an effective cat that didn't also incur a 5-10% penalty on engine output. When fuel injection became universal in the American car market in the late 1980s and early 1990s, almost everybody went to closed loop feedback systems that used an oxygen sensor (this is a good thing). Honda used their own "PGM FI" that was Honda marketingspeak for open loop (no oxygen sensor). That design philosophy isn't superior—it's actually inferior in a market with challenging emissions standards—but yet again stubborn Honda decided to be different and their own system was competitive and successful. Go figure. Anyway, neat cars and the beginning of an era when Honda made a lot of money!

  • Jim Bonham Thanks.
  • Luke42 I just bought a 3-row Tesla Model Y.If Toyota made a similar vehicle, I would have bought that instead. I'm former Prius owner, and would have bought a Prius-like EV if it were available.Toyota hasn't tried to compete with the Model Y. GM made the Bolt EUV, and Ford made the Mach-E. Tesla beat them all fair and square, but Toyota didn't even try.[Shrug]
  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.