I ran across this on eBay - I don't think I've ever seen another Honda
of this generation as well-preserved as this one. 1981 Accord hatchback
with 4600 original miles. It looks like it just rolled out of the
showroom, and I'd bet there aren't many others in this condition outside
of a museum. That's a hefty BIN price, but I don't think it's completely
out of line considering the way the overall collector car market as well
as the market for Japanese classics has boomed over the past several
I've always liked that distinctive shade of green that Honda used back
then. I once had a 1980 Accord in the same color, but it was a 4-door
sedan instead of a hatchback, and unlike this one, it had seen better
days by the time I got it.
The problem is, cars don't do well sitting. They need to be driven.
And this thing has zero value sitting there, really.
What's the point? After you pay new Acura money for this thing, what
next? Do you dare drive it? CAN you drive it--or is all the rubber
hard, are all the fluids congealed?
Show me this car in this condition with a couple hundred thousand miles
on it, and I might be interested at some price.
Also remember, though, you will have paid new Acura money for a relative
death trap. This is not a great daily driver at all. So again, it just
sits there like a diamond that it's not?
With completely original cars of any make that are in this kind of
condition, there's a fine line between driving it often enough to keep
everything in good working order, and driving it as little as possible
to preserve its originality and condition (and collector value).
It's usually the seemingly little stuff, rather than major components
like engines, that wears out or breaks down over time on old cars, but
collectively all of that little stuff becomes a bigger problem. It's
very rare to see an old Honda like this where everything (supposedly)
works and is in pristine condition. Most Hondas of similar vintage you
run across are more like this one, in decent shape for its age but
There's no way the time-capsule car ever becomes a daily driver. It will
go to a collector who is obsessive enough and has the ability to pay new
Acura money for a four-wheeled unicorn that will probably sit in a
climate-controlled garage and spend the next 35 years accumulating
another 4600 miles. Accords will never be a blue-chip collectible like a
pre-1968 Ferrari, nor are they likely to be on the radar of people who
collect 1960s Japanese exotics like Honda S600/S800s or Toyota 2000 GTs,
but I don't doubt there is a collector's market out there for more
prosaic cars in immaculate condition like this one.
yeah, but the collector market for this thing is so narrow as to be
If you're the sucker who buys it today, who's to say there's another
sucker to buy it from you--ever? The odds are so slim as to be
non-existent for a car like this.
There's a subset of "tuner" culture that fetishizes JDM equipment and
prizes old original Japanese iron like this car. Certainly pretty far
removed from the traditional collector car market, and like the tuners
that spend small fortunes rebuilding their cars with expensive
aftermarket performance parts, getting back what they put into a car
probably isn't uppermost on their minds when they buy one.
I'd bet this car will wind up in California. Given that this car was
originally sold in MN and is currently in PA, it's a miracle that it
hasn't rusted at all - those old Honda bodies were susceptible to rot
even in temperate climates.
Yes - all of the first-gen (1976-1981) Accords had carburated engines.
IIRC, the second-gen (1981-1985) Accords also all had carburated engines
until late in the run when they started offering a fuel-injected engine
in the SE-i in 1985.
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