Not quite what you picture when someone says Honda Accord, is it? Don’t worry, this isn’t what I picture either, and I don’t even know what the modern Accord looks like anymore now that I think about it. Before the Accord became the Accord that we all know and love (uhh, right?), the Honda Accord looked like this. And it looked great, I have to admit. This first-gen Accord LX hails from a time when Japanese cars were built in Japan, and from a time when V8s were belching out facepalmingly embarrassing horsepower figures.
Made between 1976 and 1981, the Sayama-built Accord hatchbacks and sedans were offered with 1.6 and 1.8 engines, and rode on a stretched Civic platform. The LX trim offered a few more creature comforts than the base model, specifically in the form of A/C and power steering as standard equipment. By all accounts of the time this was quite a nimble, popular car, though the tin worm seems to have claimed most of these on both coasts.
Rust was definitely an issue with Civics and Accords from this time, so it’s quite unusual to find a Honda from the late 70s in the Northeast, and not in, say, Alameda. Given this car’s condition, and this being Connecticut, I wouldn’t rule out a lengthy storage period followed by a recommissioning sometime within the last decade. By the way, wouldn’t you have loved to own stock in the company that manufactured those DOT side markers?
Well kept US-market classic Japanese cars are starting to appear at the more serious auctions, but values are still pretty hard to pin down. For instance, in 2011 I observed an impressive 1979 Honda CVCC Wagon with just over 100K on the clock as it went across the block at Bonhams Fairfield County Concours that was estimated to bring between $15-20K. As I recall Rupert Banner passed over this lot when no bids from the room or the phones were forthcoming, but the estimate was quite well founded in many peoples’ judgments, even given the car’s mileage. Perhaps this was just the wrong venue, on the wrong coast, as something like this has to be in front of the right crowd.
Sometimes their hammer prices surprise, and sometimes they disappoint, but there is no denying that Japanese classics are gaining greater and greater recognition in the US collector community.
Which North American-market Japanese cars from the 1970s do you think will start emerging as classics?