(first posted 3/14/2011) If it wasn’t enough to build The Most Revolutionary Small Car In America (1973 Civic) And The Most Influential Modern Car In America, (1976 Accord), in 1982, Honda revolutionized the industry again by opening the first modern transplant factory (VW’s brief experiment notwithstanding). Honda’s timing was perfect too, coming right on the heels of the 1981 Voluntary Export Restraint Agreement (“VER”). At a time when the Made In USA flag was being waved even by WalMart, Honda looked like a genius. American workers in depressed rust-belt Marysville, Ohio were cranking out exactly what the market wanted: a high-quality efficient compact car. No wonder this Accord set the stage for its climb to the the number one sales spot just a few years down the all-American road.
If memory serves me, Marysville only cranked out the sedans, at least to start with. So the red hatchback coupe may well be of Japanese origin. No matter; although some aficionados of the brand claimed to be able to tell the difference between domestic and Japanese built Accords, in reality there was no substantial difference. And in a way, that was the really the biggest story of all.
Quality at US car plants had been slipping precariously all through the seventies, and the whole domestic industry’s rep was in tatters. Botched new cars like the Aspen/Volare (1976) and GM’s X-Bodies (Citation, etc; 1981) fueled the exodus to quality, which the Japanese had been sending this way for some time. But the idea of a US-built Honda was not nearly as easy to swallow then as it soon became.
The whole story of Honda’s unexpected arrival in Marysville was fascinating to watch as it unfolded; an experiment in trust-building all the way around. But it soon became the model that has been, and still is being replicated repeatedly, although generally further south to be more securely away from the clutches of the UAW.
I remember being a bit dubious myself; we’d convinced ourselves that American auto workers could never meet the notorious standards of what we saw on tv from the Japanese factories: calisthenics, gleaming factories, workers able to stop the line without retribution, and workers meeting regularly to figure out ways to improve build quality as well as to reduce costs. Compared to what had been going (wildcat strikes, sabotage) on at GM’s Lordstown, Ohio plant not far away, it might as well have been another planet.
But the time was over-ripe for a revolution in car production, and the UAW knew it too. Throughout the eighties and ninetees, the Marysville model was increasingly adopted as America’s own. GM entered into a joint venture with Toyota (NUMMI), Chrysler did the same with Mitsubishi (Diamond Star), and the experiences gained are now SOP. But in 1982, Honda was the true pioneer.
So what about these gen2 Accords as cars other than industry history? They typified the steady incremental improvements Accords would (generally) see every four years, until more recent times, anyway. Size was up, as always. The second generation had a decidedly more substantial feel to them, and was the first step in its evolution from a compact to today’s full-sized car. But none of the precision feel was lost; if anything, the gen2 Accord felt better built and exuded a distinctly higher quality feel.
Mechanically, the prior Accord’s 1751 cc CVCC four was carried over, to be enlarged to 1830 cc in 1984. They still had carburetors, which Honda somehow managed to make work remarkably well in that era of rapidly tightening emission controls. With 75 hp, the Accord was decidedly not a sporty car per se, yet it was always quite willing to impersonate one. Honda never really pursued any over enhancement of the Accord’s sporty abilities, instead choosing focusing more on the profit-rich upscale direction, with the 1984 SE-i which sported fuel injection, 101 hp, but a decidedly plusher interior. No Brougham, though.
These Accords were what Accords have always been: providing a degree of tactical and mechanical refinement one step ahead of the competition. And of course with legendary reliability. There are a fair number (update: a few) of this generation still in front line duty hereabouts, but there vulnerability to rust in other climes is known. I picked these two, because they’re both of the first two year variants (’82-’83), before the front end restyle. I happen like this style better.
The jump that Honda had over Toyota in this era was remarkable. Honda was already introducing second generation FWD cars and US-built ones at that, while Toyota was still selling RWD compacts. The Accord would become the first Japanese nameplate to reach the top of the US sales stats in 1989. Heady times, and decidedly revolutionary ones at that. That doesn’t exactly happen very often, the closest thing being Hyundai’s recent explosion. But they’re really just playing by Honda’s play book, as old and tattered as it now is.
CC 1976 Accord (gen1): Modern Architecture PN
CC 1986-1989 Accord (gen3) : Ignoring The Future In Favor Of The Present Perry Shoar
CC 1990 Accord (gen4): Naturalized Citizen Perry Shoar
CC 1996 Accord Wagon (gen5): You Might Think It Was The Last Of The Breed Jim Grey
A nice overview of a very important car.
Just a few small corrections. The 100-hp fuel-injected engine was introduced in 1984, not ’85, and it was called SE-i, not Si. (The Prelude, CRX, and later the Civic offered Si models, but not the U.S. Accord.) As far as I know, the SE-i was available only as a sedan, not as a hatch.
As I recall, the SE-i was not positioned as a sporty model, but as a junior luxury car in the European mode, with leather upholstery and plusher trim. It was really a follow-on to the earlier Accord SE, introduced in 1981, prior to this generation. The SE was another response to the Voluntary Restraint Agreement — essentially, a lot of the Japanese automakers said, “Well, if the maximum number of cars we import is limited, let’s import more upscale products with fatter margins.”
Thanks for that; I’ll correct it. Good to see you back, the first chapter of the Aussie Falcon was terrific. Look forward to the rest of it.
As a further note, Honda would use the SE model designation on Accords at the end of a particular model run. As you noted, it usually added “special equipment” to a LX model to come across as upscale. It often came (comes) in a color/colors not available on other models of Accord that year. Later SE’s were more often 2 doors instead of 4 doors.
Those Hondas were very well thought out cars and considering the rubbish the big 3 were building its no wonder they were a huge success. A follow on from import restraint is the Acura badge also Infiniti, double your quota with a new name. Rootes group played the same game in New Zealand during the 1950s doubling their Hillman Minx imports by badging it a Humber 80 it worked and the Humber version was more popular.
My spouse graduated from college in 1984. She had a chemical engineering degree and a new job fresh out of school.She wanted a new car. Her father (GM lifer) put some subtle (and not so subtle) pressure on her to buy an Olds Omega X car. She wanted a Corolla (still RWD in those days). I LUSTED for one of these. From 10 feet away you could tell it was a beautifully put together car. The fit and finish was amazing. The engine was smooth and nearly silent and the interior astonished me. We had to compromise,so we ended up with a Datsun 200SX because we had no kids and two doors would do nicely. The SX was a fine car,a little underpowered and tinny,but thank God,it was not an X car . The Accord has been an unrequited love of mine (and hers) for going on 30 years now,and later this year, we have decided to finally get a new one when Honda does their year end clearance.
Its hard to describe to my offsprung just how much of a forward leap the Accord and other Japanese models were to my generation. We had gone through our teen years driving late 60’s to Malaise-era Detroit excreta and these cars were a new reality. Thats why so many people my age can’t be tempted by anything that the big 3 put out today.
You couldn’t be more correct…I too graduated college in ’83 and started buying new cars the next year. Since then, it has been Toyota’s, VW’s, Nissans, and even a Volvo (never again) all purchased new. I don’t recall ever considering a US brand for the “excreta” as you say that was being put on the roads, especially in the ’80’s.
Back then, the Japanese were going to bury us and not just in the car industry. Remember studying Japanese management technique in college? Well it didn’t happen, but they’re still building quality automobiles.
The US has long caught up in that regard but still…don’t know if I could do it.
Im curious to know what happened with your Volvo, arent they supposed to be super reliable safety vaults?
(Btw I have had several, will be happy to be done after my current one)
I think this is the first generation to use the 4-speed automatic instead of the 2-speed “Hondamatic” That had to have been music to the ears of people driving Accords on American freeways (especially when “speeding” at over 55 MPH)
Actually the 82-83 Accords had the 3-speed automatic – my dad had one. I don’t believe the Accord got the 4-speed auto until the 1984 refresh, at the earliest.
Both wrong! The late first-gen Accords finally got a 3-speed auto in 1980, its penultimate year. Just three years later the 4-speed auto became available in 1983 Accords, one of the few changes made for the car’s second year. Upholstery and some colors were also changed.
I graduated college in October ’85. I bought an ’85 Accord LX hatch with 16K on the clock and drove it for 3+ years and 40K miles with not one problem … gas, oil and tires were all it needed.
Drove it from CA to MI and back in late summer 1986 and averaged 35+ MPG for the trip .. got 46MPG on one leg in NM.
Fantastic little car. Mine was a 5-speed and had the burgundy velour interior.
That metallic gray sedan sure looks like our old 82 that we bought used in 1984 (I think.) Ours was really metallic silver though, with the paint almost as bright as that nearly jewel-like coating Honda were still painting their steel wheels with, which lasted for years and years while VW wheels painted a similar color rusted the first time the car was washed. The generally nice all-over finish was what appealed most to us about that particular car; it didn’t seem that the ’87 we had next was quite so well finished, especially on places like the inside door jambs. That 1982 was dead reliable and still had the original engine and clutch when we sold it with well over 150K miles.
I remember these ones. Growing up in the 80s, my old man only bought Japanese and went on endlessly about how good his first new car, a ’74 Honda was. He wouldn’t buy a newer one though, convinced that they’d gone too upmarket by ’84.
honda accord as i grew it was our pet car always seen regularly on our silver screens,time passed the light of the day of accord being manufactured in the sub-continent din’t took off even to be honest what ever may be the feat of the accord but for a true enthusiast’s like me till date a car of the 1992 lines has been never made before nor after that .Simply superb stunning machine a real feast to my eyes even today, today i am seeing the 6th or 7th generation accord but seldom i take a second look,accor means the 1992 and that’s it.
My dad ordered a silver 1982 Accord sedan when the 2nd-gen first hit the market. They were in super high demand at the time, so it took a while for his car to arrive at the dealership. (BTW I believe all 82 Accords were still manufactured in Japan; the Ohio plant didn’t start putting out Accords until the 1983 model year.) Build quality was superb, probably better than that of the 2010 Accord LX I’m leasing right now. My 2010 has a few interior creaks and squeaks – something I certainly don’t recall ever hearing in the 1982 and 1991 Accords that my dad had owned.
I had an ’83 5-speed, light blue. Built in Hiroshima. I had to sell it because I was moving to Japan and their restrictions wouldn’t let me bring it (back). It was a good, solid little car, my third after a ’62 Bug and a ’73 Volvo 142 that blew a water pump and then a head gasket. I loaned it to a friend who was looking for a car and she drove it 5 miles home after the pump gave out. Needless to say, NO ONE drives my cars now except with me in the passenger seat.
My Honda had a couple brake issues (I heat-spotted the brakes), a rusty bearing in the distributor, and the water pump nearly gave out – but I noticed it and got it to the shop before it failed.
I liked them so much, I ended up buying an ’87 hatch and a ’91 sedan later. I never owned any of them more than a year or so. the last two were both totaled. Sideswiped by a Semi in the ’87, ’91 hit by a pickup making a turn into traffic – me. Neither my fault.
We have a ’06 Pilot now, but the precision and simplicity are not there anymore. Still a good vehicle, but it lost some of the old Honda-ness they still had in the 90’s.
The greatest car I’ve ever owned or will ever own was a 1982 Honda Accord hatchback, burgundy, LX trim, 5-speed and enough mileage to have visited at least a couple different planets in our solar system. It set me off on a streak of buying several more Hondas of similar vintage which were all very good, but none so great as that initial $250 hatchback.
What was so great about it? I don’t know, exactly. I think it’s that everything on this car just made perfect sense, even where it didn’t. There was no waste or pretension about it, it had the exact right amount of everything… and it was the car that most perfectly realized my combined love of utilitarian, indestructible transport modules and obscure, overly-complicated technological wizardry. I don’t understand carbs, I like fuel injection. For all practical purposes, EFI works much better for driveability, emissions, fuel economy – and in most real world applications, horsepower. Somehow, in 1982 – when even the Big Three were well into developing dependable EFI systems, Honda was still chugging along with their absolutely brilliant and mystifying Controlled Vortex Combustion Chamber carb. In fact, this generation Accord’s 1.8l motor was nothing more than a “big-block” version of the original Civic 1200 powerplant, which itself had it’s roots in their two-wheeled division. No computer, just miles and miles of vacuum hose feeding that beautiful little sewing machine that I do not understand whatsoever, but I know it always worked perfectly no matter what. In fact, no other car – EFI or otherwise, idled as smooth or pulled through the rev range as consistently as my carburetted Hondas… and later on I had a Prelude with the twin-carb CVCC setup that made this one look like an erector set. I don’t know how it worked, it just did. Early Accords ran so well and so clean that they didn’t even need a catalytic converter to fly past US emissions standards of the time (including California!), but the EPA made them put one on there eventually anyway.
At one point, I somehow stumbled across a bunch of Japanese literature about Honda’s design philosophy for these Accords and it was just fascinating. There was nothing about market research, target demographics, etc… it was solely focused on driver experience and environmental harmony. There was a whole section about how the shape of the dashboard over the instrument cluster was inspired by traditional rural Japanese architecture and all sorts of insane shit you would never believe a profitable automobile manufacturer would care about.
This car was no speed demon, but it loved to be driven like one. The little single-cam motor wanted to be revved all day, the skinny tires squealed and plowed through corners – but with predictable and controllable aplomb thanks to the MacPherson struts at all four corners. I never knew a car that was easier or more rewarding to drive at it’s absolute limit. I could marvel for hours at seemingly mundane artifacts like the finely upholstered change tray that shut at the perfect angle to prevent rattling, the impeccable rows of stitching on the headliner fabric, the tightness of the shift-linkage, the unobtrusive door chime or the luminescence of the instrument cluster. If New York had the Pacific Northwest’s climate, I’d still be driving that car and it would easily have been over a million miles by now.
In 1982, Honda was a revelation and a revolution. It would still be a few years before the Accord’s size was compatible with most mainstream American buyers, and with each size increment Hondas lost a little bit of the raw “driver experience” the company was striving for as well as the outsider appeal the early models personified like the VW Beetle before it. IMO, the early Accord’s DNA carried over into the next few generations of Civic, but while those may have been objectively “better” cars in every respect, the ’76-’85 Accord is the one I’ll always love. It’s from a time when Honda wanted to be to Japan what BMW is to Germany, but with more practical packaging – and for those years I think they succeeded in a sublime manner.
Unfortunately, it’s now 2012 and Honda is so far removed from these types of cars it’s laughable… but such is the way of human nature. Every revolutionary ends as an oppressor or heretic before the next cyclic rebellion begins once more. Honda is dead, long live Honda!
On the upside modern Hondas dont use CVCC, safety, performance, and arent prone to rust.
Their styling is quite messy though, only VW tells its stylists when its time to stop.
My best friend had an ’82 Honda Accord Hatchback, bought when he lived in Southern California (I met him a few years later when he relocated with his now wife in central Texas). He had it through 1989, when he was involved in an an accident where a car hit him to avoid another vehicle on the side of the road where they were trying to steal gravel? He was sore, but OK, he had just bought front struts which he was going to replace but never got to it, so he returned the parts to the auto parts store for credit. I rode in it many times with him; one of our co-workers used to say that the back of his car sounded like one of the video games you found in an arcade back in the ’80’s (sorry, forget which game).
He replaced it with an ’82 Celica Coupe, which had amazingly low (22k) miles, especially for central Texas, where I’d find used small cars with megamiles most often. He still had the Celica when he moved to Colorado about 1996 but got rid of it some time after that in favor of a minivan…but I think the Accord is still one of his favorites.
I liked the hatchback, only lasted a few more years (wish Honda would still make a mid-sized hatchback)…considered buying an ’86 but didn’t like the package deals (had to move up to LXI to get fuel injection back then) and stayed on my VW kick that continues to this day, buying a ’86 GTI instead…a bit smaller than the Accord but more sporty which was what I was into back then.
Do own an 83 sedan 5 speed never winter driven. Canadian car with a 1602cc engine (EL code). So rare now! Feel free to use my picture to illustrate your article 🙂
Sebastien, that’s a beautiful and well-kept Accord! Very nice!
I purchased a 1982 5-speed manual silver hatchback in 1988. I had 160,000 miles, ran perfectly. My wife drove it about 20,000 miles then called me from the side of the road. She said “The engine just made that kind of noise it makes when you know its never going to run again.” She was right. A valve spring retainer fell apart, and the valve dropped. Removing the head was to witness complete mechanical terror.
No bother. I found a JDM used engine for $425.00, and spent the following weekend installing it. Drove the car another 100,000 miles. In short, this was a fantastic car that never returned less than 30 mpg.
I just got this gem from a family friend. All original 82 accord Lx 5spd 158k miles mint condition one owner garage kept!!! Still looks brand new!! Not one bit of rust! (Well maybe a tad on exhaust)
I’ve had it for a week and already had an offer for $2500… Not gonna do it
A picture doesn’t truly convey just how comfortable, well-put-together and ergonomically correct these interiors were. They were just “right” on so many levels! Thanks for posting this pic, brings back wonderful memories of my Dad’s ’84 Accord. Loved that car.
I bought a brand new 1983 Accord here in Seattle on fall of 1982, had to factory order it since they sold like hot cakes. I ordered a base accord with pazley red color and matching interior and a 5-speed. I previously owned a 1973 Honda CVCC I bought new as well (one of the first in my area at the time) which was an excellent fun little car and most importantly…..reliable. I put well over 230K miles on the accord with no issue at all. the only complaint I have is the body corrosion. We live in a damp climate in Seattle though by 1994 the inside of the trunk lid rusted through on the accord. My 1970 Chevy Impala coupe I also bought new started rusting on the bottom of the front fenders though it was 15 years old before doing that (that was also a dead reliable car, thirsty, though well built reliable car). I bought a new 1989 Accord LXI aqua 5 speed coupe with tan cloth interior as well and a 1993 Civic DX hatchback 5 speed new as well. Currently my wife and I own a 2012 Accord EX and a 2009 Civic sedan. Out of all the cars we owned, the red 1983 Accord , CVCC and the Impala my wife and I still have good memories with.
These were always my favorite Accords, though I haven’t seen one here in Ontario in quite a few years. A friend of my sister bought one in the late ’80’s and was quite happy with it, and it probably led to my sister owning several Hondas, including a 2000 Accord and a 2006 Odyssey, both of which she still owns. There’s something great about the earlier Accords, though, and in retrospect I would have looked for one back in the day. Preferably a 5-speed – Honda made a much better front-drive manual shift linkage than anything from Detroit.
I only see a rust-prone A-Body imitation here, I can see why Honda jumped to pop up headlights after this thing.
Yet again, we have a super amazing revolutionary car thats become super rare, despite being super reliable.
It was very rust-prone. But probably because they have so many facilities and design centers in rust belt, Honda gradually understands what road salt is. Toyota and Nissan never do.
It took them until 1997 to fix the rust on their Accords (and a bit of decontenting), Toyota fixed theirs with the third gen Camry.
A-body? GM was chasing Honda from the moment Honda added two more wheels. Read “The Decline and Fall of the US Auto Industry.” The Accord was haunting GM’s clowns’ brains from the moment it went on sale. They could never match the first Accord. This one showed up when GM’s pale imitation of the first generation hit the market. No GM sedan has sold on desirability since. They’ve been bargain basement for 35 years.
B-Bodys (and their countless spin-offs) have a strong following even 20 years later, then you got your Impalas, W-Bodys, H-G Bodys (which were cheaper and on paper better than the Accord of that time), and a few others.
There are people that can drink legally in the US who weren’t born last time a GM passenger car outsold the Accord.
I see that even CC is no longer safe from Ryoku’s trolling.
Have you even ridden in both a A body from the era and one of these Accords to make that judgment?
There’s a very good reason things ended up playing out the way they did. Millions of consumers aren’t wrong, you are.
Dad had one of these in the ’90s when it was more than a decade old, a 1984 4dr. He had always driven big old Detroit iron and this was a revolution to him. Small and economical, but roomy enough inside to be comfortable, with nice cloth seats. Graphite grey exterior, light grey interior, 4-spd auto. What a jewel it was! The engine ran smooth as glass, even with a carb you could start that thing up on the coldest days and it was still well-mannered, never rough. Overall fit and finish was a big cut above average too. The rust finally got that car, since we’re in southern Ontario. Miss that car a lot.
We bought a new 1984 Accord LX sedan. I remember it seemed so jewel-like. I would go out to the garage just to look at the panel gaps. It amazed me that they were so uniform after the Detroit built cars I’d driven until then. It ran perfectly for about eight years until it was rear-ended at a stoplight and was pushed into the car ahead. The Accord was about three feet shorter, but all four doors opened and shut with the same “whump” sound as they always had.
After my sister’s good luck with a ’78, Dad took the Honda plunge on an ’82, dark brown auto. He was forever astonished at the good build quality and solid reliability, but lamented the manual choke and lack of cruise control.
But he became a Honda guy forever. An ’86 Accord solved the nuisance issues and added A/C. He traded that for a ’91, stating it would be the last car he would buy (he was 71 at the time), and it was. Coming up to his 93rd birthday in 2013, he decided it was time to give up his licence, and “sold” the car to his grand-daughter for $1. It’s a bit dinged up, theres some rot in the fenders, and the fuel gauge is iffy, but she still drives it, with over 225,000 kms on it, and it’s still almost as reliable as that first one was. And it started with one of these.
Manual choke? My ’82 Civic DX definitely had an automatic choke. Maybe that was for California emissions, were you in Canada or Australia?
I think these cars changed the industry – or at least the car selling business – in another way as well. I really wanted one. I tried to buy one. They were in high demand when this version appeared in late 1981, and there were dealer markups, sometimes exorbitant, here in the Bay Area. But in addition to those, most dealers were adding $300 paint protectant packages (“PolyGlyCoat” was the name I remember) and $200 Scotchguard treatments of the upholstery, plus tacking on wobbly pin stripes and body molding. I was willing to pay a markup, but I didn’t want some yahoo slathering chemicals on my new Japanese car. So I told the sales person I wouldn’t take that stuff. She told me all the cars had it. I walked in the back of the other and pointed out a car carrier laden with new Accords, still coated in their transport coating (or maybe it was just dirt). I said how about one of those. She said I’d still have to pay for the options as well as markup. I refused, and she asks me to leave the dealership. So I left, and bought a new ’82 Civic, unmolested and with no markup, from another dealer, who had no Accords in stock. But I did pay full retail. Anyway, I think the Accord was the start, for a period, at least in California, where outrageous markups and low quality dealer add-ons became the norm for popular Japanese cars. Still a practice in some areas, but at least Internet shopping provides better tools for buyers nowadays.
You really had to have been there when these came out ~ I was running a hole in the wall Indie VW Shop and very happy , I test drove one of these and knew the VW’s air cooled days were about to end , closed up my shop in 1984 before things got bad .
I love imports but have never owned one of these except buy to repair and re sell .
I don’t want one but if you like to drive and not worry about it breaking down, these were the shiznit .
Indeed a very important car. When I got out of college in the midwest in 1982, an Olds Cutlass was still seen as an aspirational “first real car”. Three years later, it was one of these and Oldsmobile buyer demographics would suffer badly over the next fifteen years.
These were also hard to buy. Even after Marysville production was up and running, these were sought-after items (and priced like it). I had two separate friends who started looking at one of these but settled for a Mazda 626 instead either because they couldn’t get what they want or because they were unwilling to pay the “Honda premium”.
Back in the day, this was the only car from a Japanese maker that got my attention. Two-door hatchback version only. I would love to have a chance to drive one someday.
There are less then half a dozen 2nd generation Accords I know of in Portland, Oregon. Nice looking cars if I do say so myself.
This makes me wonder if my ’84 Accord will ever pop up on this website. I bought it from a guy a few miles from me, here in Southern California. Only 118K miles on it….and walking around town, I spotted another 84/85 Accord (dark green) in an apartment complex, someone’s daily driver (as is mine). Mine used to be the same metallic grey color as in the pic above, but it was badly oxidized so the PO repainted it beige (he didn’t do such a great job but it still looks snazzy).
I’ve only put a little over 2K miles on her since I bought her a few months ago, and she hasn’t failed me yet… 🙂
We bought a well-used ’84 Accord LX back in 1998. Greek White 4-door with blue upholstery. It was going to be my college car, but I ended up keeping my old Malibu and Dad drove the Accord. I did get some time behind the wheel, though, and what a fantastic little car that was. Even at 14 years old, with something like 140,000 miles on the odometer, it still felt solid and well put-together. And that engine may not have been big on power, but it was one of the most enjoyable to drive cars I’ve ever been behind the wheel of. No sports car but it was perfectly happy being driven like one! The interior design was quite nice also, great seats, and while legroom in the back was tight due to the short wheelbase, it was still functional for 4 people as long as the rear passengers were not over 6′ tall.
Dad had that car for 4 years and around 30K miles. I can only recall two problems with it–one where something in the engine broke due to metal fatigue (I cannot recall what, but I remember hearing the repair bill was something like $400) and that peculiar little 3-barrel carb needing replacement as it would no longer pass emissions testing. That’s what caused the car to depart our company–they didn’t want to pop for a new carb on a car that old. In retrospect it probably would have been good for several more years. Even in 2002, the only rust it had was on the typical Honda “trouble spot” at the rear arches, and neither spot was very large.
Now the new Civic is longer than this!
I bought a brand new 1983 Honda Sedan in light blue. Drove it 156,000 miles and it lasted 11 years. Never had a problem with it until the frame and rear quarter panel started to rust and it could not pass inspection. The best car I ever owned! American cars that I considered buying could not compare. Great mileage and no problems. I think I paid $10,600 cash. Got my monies worth?
With hindsight, it’s hard to imagine what took the other Japanese companies so long to bring out a FWD sedan this size.
Didn’t Toyota start selling the V10 Camry in the US in ’83?
Early to mid 80s for most japanese FWD sedans though not in Australia I didnt see any of them until I moved back to NZ, they took their time and got them right first time.
And now, Honda’s #1 seller is the CR-V, while Accord is down with other mid-size cars.
Buyers could not care less about the current Accord. Some would say “it’s what my Boomer grandparents drive”. Far from the days of it being the “perfect car”.
Modern Accord is about the same size as a 1980s H Oldsmobile 88 or Buick LeSabre, so you are probably right about who is still buying them. But a lot of old boomer Honda loyalists are driving CR-Vs too.
My folks were friends with a couple, Alex and Bonnie, who had one of these. Sister and I stayed with Alex and Bonnie for a few days in 1984 when our parents went out of town, and they drove us places in their nearly new Accord sedan. At eight, I was beginning to know stuff about cars, and I asked what year the car was. They said it was a 1983, and I thought myself very clever saying something like “That means it could’ve really been made in 1982”.
I wonder about parts sourcing. What was the Japanese-made parts content of these American-built Accords? Were they installing Japanese sealed beams from Koito-Stanley-Ichikoh, for example, or American ones from GE-Westinghouse-Philips-Sylvania? The cars for the European and UK markets (pic) had headlamps made in Germany by Bosch, which is why I ask this particular question, but I wonder more broadly about American parts content in these early American-built Honda cars.
My parents had this car, only with US Headlights and bumpers. They had it over 15 years and it ran forever until the car stopped idling. It did get a little rusty, but we lived in the Western Plains where they used salt sometimes. My Dad still talks about that car and how good a buy that was.
My good friend at work bought a new one in California (an ’82) right before I met him…he and his soon to be wife moved to Texas afterward (where I met him) and have since left (25 years ago). I came close to buying an Accord hatch in ’86 when I instead bought an ’86 GTi, mostly because I didn’t want power windows/locks of the LXi, but it was the only model offered with fuel injection that year (I’ve since had to come to terms with power windows/locks being virtually impossible to avoid on newer cars).
One of our co-workers who rode with us to lunch used to think the back of it sounded like a video game…not sure which one, but I’m sure it was one of those you found at some sort of public place (pizza place, arcade) back in the 80’s (which is when he said it). It met its demise in 1989 when someone was on the shoulder of the road (partly in the road) stealing from a gravel pile, and another vehicle trying to avoid them hit his Honda and totalled it. He had just bought struts for it but hadn’t gotten around to installing them, so he returned them to the parts store…he got a really good deal on the replacement, also an ’82 (used) Toyota Celica notchback…with only 22k miles on it. My favorite generation of Celica, he had it awhile even after he left Texas…I’m a hatchback fan but I really liked that Celica…I seem to know lots of people who like sporty notchbacks though…my 2 youngest sisters (one since deceased) had qty-4 Nissan 200 or 240 SX’s between them (2 each)…all of them notchbacks, all of them automatic. I helped them find most of them (except my sister’s ’97 she bought new).
Don’t know whether I’ll ever get around to owning a Honda. My problem is that when I’m in the market, they don’t offer a hatchback (with exception of 1986, when I came close). Can’t even buy another Golf (new) since they only sell the GTi. Honda stopped selling Accord hatches in 1989, possible exception of the Crosstour (was that an Accord?…kind of looked like one …otherwise never saw a 5 door Accord hatch) which I wish they’d sell…again, when they offered the Crosstour, I wasn’t looking for a car…now it seems like all cars are endangered, don’t want to buy an SUV but if that’s all that’s offered, guess I’ll have to.