Two-Fer: First Gen Honda Accord Package Deal

Honda had a major hit on their hands with the US introduction of the Accord in 1976 with some dealers running a six month waiting list for them.  Here was proof that a small car didn’t have to a penalty box to drive. A seller in Jasper, Arkansas has a maroon 1980 Accord sedan and an upscale Orange Accord LX hatchback for sale on eBay with an unmet opening bid of $975.

You have to admire Honda’s tenacity in the American market. They first introduced what were referred to as “little Honda cars” by the public and the N600 and Z600 models were indeed little.  Honda upped their American game in 1973 with the Civic followed three years later with the even bigger Accord.  A more luxurious Accord hit the market in 1978 with the LX model.

All first generation Accords were powered by Honda’s innovative CVCC engine, which provided the required low tailpipe emissions without the need for a catalytic converter and unleaded fuel.  This three valve per cylinder head design had a small pre-combustion chamber where the spark plug lived and it was fed a comparatively rich mixture which was used to ignite the much leaner charge in the main combustion chamber. Other than head gasket failures in early Accords, the CVCC engine was very reliable.

Early Japanese cars are coming into their own as far as collectables. Younger enthusiasts recall them from their childhood or perhaps as a hand me down first car and more of them pop up at Cars and Coffee-type events.

The eBay seller states that the 1980 4 door Accord was last running, “ten years ago” but it required a new fuel tank and engine work.  A 1979 Accord LX three door hatch is included as a parts car. There is no description of the condition of the bodywork, but early Accords rusted as badly as any other car of the era. The interior trim is not too bad but early interior plastics have a tendency of disintegrating over time.

The cars were photographed outdoors and it could be that they’ve been stored in the elements for a number of years. A restoration may be a losing proposition but a talented tuner might be able to install more modern Honda power without a lot of trouble to create a couple of Japanese sleepers and increase their value significantly.

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  1. Steve R

    I think there is a reason this is the fourth time this car has been listed in the last month.

    These early Accords are good cars, my mom had a 1984 model for over 30 years. I just don’t see much value in one that’s been sitting in a field for 10+ years.

    Steve R

  2. Rodney - GSM

    As the original owner of a 1978 Honda Accord LX that has never been off the road in forty years, I know these are remarkable, sturdy cars that are actually fun to drive. I can also say that any Honda from this period that has been sitting outside for this long has no chance of being worth restoring. The sun and moisture are the killers of these cars. Find one that has been garaged its entire life. They are out there just waiting to be discovered….

  3. Billy 007

    Our neighbor bought a new 2 door Accord in red back in 1977, at the time I thought it to be “cute” and kind of pretty but not a “real car”.. How wrong I was. Since then I have owned four Hondas, best cars I have ever owned. I have a warm spot in my heart for my slant six, but even I have to admit, Hondas are better in all ways. cheap, reliable, fun to drive and without pretentious intent from the driver. Here in the Bible Belt we like to say, “WWJD?”. I would like to modestly change that last D to read “drive” and then I would ponder to guess that a Honda would be high on his list. He sure wouldn’t be driving a Porsche!

  4. Mike R in De

    I worked for the Honda dealership for 31+ years as a tech & remember these as very reliable cars. One of our favorite customers had over 500+k on his ’76 HB. Last time I saw it, it was so low on compression, you had to spin it like a jet engine!! But he still went on Long road trips up & down the east coast. Claimed to always get 55+mpg on the highway. His story, not mine. Look out for stiff shifters & bad cams & rocker arms;sunken carburetor floats, drive train mount beams. Remember, these weren’t built to last forever,but for good reliable transportation.

  5. Joe

    Hondas were light year’s ahead of the American car’s of the 1980’s.

  6. David Miraglia

    Always like the early Accords. Loved their simple style and clean looks.

  7. RoughDiamond Member

    @Rodney-GSM, thanks for posting that story as it was a great read indeed. I bought my ’97 Accord EX VTEC 5-speed sedan from the original owner in 2005 with 142K on the clock. He was meticulous with routine maintenance and I have done the same. It’s about to turn over 322K with the original engine and front transaxle. My goal is 400K.

    • Rodney - GSM

      Thank you, glad you enjoyed it. The actually magazine has photos of the car you might also enjoy. Hemming Motor News did two pages on the car in the June issue with photos.

  8. Superdessucke

    Accord is still going strong. I own a 2015 Sport version. It’s competitors at the time these two were new – Citation, Fairmont, Concord/Spirit, Omni/Horizon – are all long in the dustbin of history. That should tell you a lot about how much better these were than what was offered elsewhere at the time.


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