The beginning of the end – 1977 Honda Accord Hatchback

Inspired by a recent magazine feature on the early Toyota Celicas, I started looking around for one to feature. As the article (accurately) mentioned, they’re really quite hard to find in decent shape, and certainly at our price point, so I kept digging through listings for other older Japanese cars. And that’s when I came across the Honda Accord, which you could arguably say was the beginning of the end for lower-end European and American cars in the US market. First sold in 1976 as a compact hatchback, they were already being built in Marysville, OH in 1982. While the first Accords only had 68hp from their 1.6-liter fours, they were also probably smaller than today’s Civics, and likely not much larger than a Fit. At about 2000 lbs., they were definitely lighter.

So we come to today’s second feature, a 1977 hatchback. As it happens, it’s listed in Marysville, WA, for $1500. Finished in a lovely shade of gold metallic, with turbine-style wheels (could they be vintage Mugen?), it’s amazing what good condition this car is in – when’s the last time you saw one on the road, let alone one this nice?

1977 Honda Accord front

While this car might not be the most exciting to drive, it might be a fun thing to show up with at vintage Japanese car shows, especially with some period correct mods (no coffee can exhaust!). No doubt a bit of image searching on the web would yield some inspiration that would make the gold paint a bit less boring.

1977 Honda Accord interior

The interior is really clean, and you can see this car has been lucky enough to be equipped with a 5-speed manual instead of some doggy (dodgy?) automatic. Accords were apparently one of the first Japanese cars to come with cloth seats and other equipment usually found on higher-level cars. Check out the sporty steering wheel and low cowl – remember when that was a Honda design trait?

1977 Honda Accord rear

As with any older Japanese car, keep an eye open for rust. This one’s got a bit of it, below the rear tail lights on both sides. It’s certainly not bad, and hasn’t poked through yet, but make sure to clean out whatever’s on the other side that’s causing the corrosion. Odd how similar this car looks to a Subaru 2-door hatch of the same period, no?

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2 Responses to “The beginning of the end – 1977 Honda Accord Hatchback”

  1. Roger Says:

    My parents had a brand-new 1979 sedan, silver. I thought they were a neat car as a kid, and certainly heads-and-shoulders above the kinds of machines we had owned to that point…I think a brown ’77 Omni was traded in on it.

    My friend Jim has a lightly restored/nice driver ’76 Celica he’s just finishing up that I think will almost fall into your price range. Again, not a car you see at all any longer.

  2. kenny Says:

    I had a 79 Sedan, in light cream color. It had the “Honda”Matic”. It was my 1st car the last 2 years of high school until 1992.

    The car was smooth an had a very nice interior, especially for that time period. Lots of cubby’s, thought full touches like a coin tray on the left hand dash. The instruments were large and clear.

    Handling was adequate and it had some pep for sure, even though I had to shift the 1st 2 gears and the rest was automatic.

    Down side was the fabric was weak on the seats. The driver’s seat eventually fell back easily as I sat in it. The driver’s door would fly open at times around corners.

    These model Honda’s are not the best of the breed in terms on reliability either. I over heated 2 times in 3 years of owning it requiring complete rebuilds both time of over a grand a pop.
    It ate master cylinders for lunch and I had to rebuild the tranny as well.

    This is with under 100k miles.

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