Curbside Classics: 1982 Honda Accord & 1954 Ford Mainline Six – Basic Blues

Don’t let the title of this article fool you, I love basic transportation. When done right, you can have car that is simple, rugged, and dependable for a very long time. While separated by thirty years, the subjects of today’s article show that kind of simplicity can be beautiful.  

I would not count myself among the fans of Honda as a brand. However, even I have to admit that this Honda Accord DX hatchback is worth praising. To my mind, there is a huge difference between a CHEAP car, and an INEXPENSIVE one. A Kia Rio, for example, is cheap. It used cheap parts and slapdash engineering to make a product that was not made to last more than a few years. This Honda, and other cars in the same vein are merely inexpensive, yet built with quality in mind. They were made to be passed down to the next person that needed them.


I don’t know the history of this particular car, as I found it outside a local sporting goods store while walking back to where I had parked. The interior seems to be in pretty good shape, save for the arm rest being worn away. Gotta love that manual gearbox.

The fact is, I would trust this Accord to drive just about anywhere I might want to go. It’s incredibly basic, but honest.

The next Basic Blue car is this stunning 1954 Ford Mainline. I found it getting ready for a car show and had to stop by as the owner was setting up. As I took the following pictures, he told me the story of this car, and the role it played in his life as he grew up.

His father bought it new back in ’54, and while he couldn’t afford much, he wanted to get his wife something nice and this Mainline fit the bill. She worked as a Nurse in Hershey Pennsylvania and this intrepid little two door sedan made the trip without fail every time. In 1966, the owner’s father bought a Ford station wagon for her and the Mainline was sidelined for the next fifteen years, where it was given to the son in 1981. Since then, it has been well taken care of and garage kept, only brought out for car shows and the like.

   The only thing that had been done to it in the intervening years was that the seat fabric was replaced with something that looked almost factory original. The man had saved all the original paperwork and even a couple of magazine ads from the time. He and I talked cars for the better part of an hour until the show was due to start.

Will someone save that Accord like this Mainline and preserve it for future generations? Perhaps. It’s nice to see a car that just is what it is. Not every old car is a top of the line, super high performance beast. Not every car from the 50’s is a pontoon fendered boat with two tons of chrome and fins that get caught on power lines. Sometimes classic cars are just basic transportation. Good honest cars for good honest people who don’t need all that pomp and circumstance. I hope Basic Blue cars of every color will still be plying their trade as the years roll on.