Yesterday I spent the day at Duncan Imports, where we were shooting a bunch of new Torch Drives episodes. I think we got some good stuff, and we got most of the top picks from our member’s survey post, so if you’ve been on the fence about joining up as an Autopian Member, that should settle that. Permanently. Of course, Duncan is absolutely packed with amazing cars, and it would take us long past the heat death of the universe to show you them all, but there’s no laws that say I can’t show you a few interesting ones, at least no laws I voted for. Today I want to show you two cars I saw, notable because they’re both 1980s Honda Accords, a car I grew up with, a car that was once absolutely everywhere on American roads, and I mean absosmurfly everywhere, and now are more rare to see driving around than a Maserati full of hedgehogs.
That Accord hatchback you see here is absolutely astounding, as it may be the most perfectly preserved 1980 Honda Accord hatchback on Earth, and, if I can extrapolate a bit, the known universe. Maybe Honda has a better one in their corporate collection, but I’m not sure I’d bet on that. This one is immaculate and has absurdly low miles, too. I can’t remember the exact number, but it’s in the lower four digits, if I recall.
This is amazing to me because these are not cars anyone thought to preserve. They were everywhere and used hard and long until they were used up, like a squeezed lemon. Or they rusted into piles of brownish powder, like cinnamon. The point is, hardly any survive. And yet this one exists, looking as fresh and clean as it did when Reagan was president.
The color is also notable here, that seafoam green, a color almost entirely absent on cars today, which is a shame. All of the interior plastics and velour match, too. These were such handsome and straightforward cars, rational and practical and tidy. Up to the B-pillar, they were almost identical to the four-door sedan versions, but the hatches had two chrome grille bars in the middle instead of at the top and bottom as the sedan did, and had a nifty little wedge-shaped Honda-H hood ornament.
This thing is an absolute time capsule.
The other Accord I want to show you is this 1981:
There’s the four-door sedan front end, but it’s tricky to tell why this one is notable from this angle, with the doors open. You can kind of tell, but this should make it more clear:
That’s my kid Otto in there, lounging in the decadent red-velour luxury of a Honda Accord stretch limousine, complete with a Sony Trinitron CRT television, a red phone, some sort of little bar/fridge setup, jump seats, and a lot of fussy little 1980s hi-fi switches and sliders. Who made this thing? And why? It’s incredible and absurd.
It seems to have been built in Missouri, and had nearly four feet added to the middle. The motivations are still unclear, but I think we can assume they were noble, and important.