HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1981 Honda Accord hatchback, a very rare intact...

Pick of the Day: 1981 Honda Accord hatchback, a very rare intact survivor

Few of these workaday cars ever made it nearly 4 decades in good preserved condition


“Now for something completely different,” as Monty Python used to say in introducing the group’s most offbeat comedy sketches.

The Pick of the Day is a 1981 Honda Accord, a first-generation 3-door hatchback that is a survivor from an era when cars like these were generally driven into the ground and scrapped.


This intact Accord is equipped with a 5-speed gearbox and according to the Lenoir, Tennessee, dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com, the car is in “excellent condition” with 108,000 miles, believed to be original.

Since its inception, Accord has been one of the best-selling and most-reliable cars ever built, still offering today the high degree of reliability, performance and quality that makes it a consistently strong-selling midsize car every model year.

When the Accord was first introduced in the US in 1977, it was hailed as one of the best cars ever, with practically every motoring journalist around the world raving about it. A step up from the Honda Civic, Accord offered a level of drivability and practicality that was almost unheard of at the time. It was also fun to drive, which I know having owned a 1977 Accord many decades ago.

accord, Pick of the Day: 1981 Honda Accord hatchback, a very rare intact survivor, ClassicCars.com Journal

The seller describes the Honda in great detail, stating that the body looks to be rock solid with phenomenal fit of all its panels, and with doors that open and shut with ease. The car is finished in its original Oslo Ivory factory paint, which the dealer says has been kept polished to a beautiful finish.

All the brightwork on this Honda is in great condition along with all the glass, the ad notes, pointing out that even the taillight lenses look fresh along with the headlights. The car still has its original factory 13-inch wheels with chrome trim rings.

The interior is finished in factory-correct two-tone saddle-brown vinyl with tan cloth centers and also in excellent condition, as are the door panels, the seller adds. The dashboard is good but faded, something common with brown dashes of this era, although this one is somehow uncracked.


All gauges and trouble lights look to be in good shape and are said to be working as they should. The headliner and sun visors are as good as the rest of the interior, the seller says.

The car is described as a pleasure to drive with responsive steering and solid brakes.

Time-capsule Hondas from the 1980s are quite hard to find as so many were used as daily transportation, then handed down to children and eventually to other owners who drove them until they stopped working and were too beat up to repair.

accord, Pick of the Day: 1981 Honda Accord hatchback, a very rare intact survivor, ClassicCars.com Journal

Few early Accords survive in this fine condition, making the asking price for this car of $10,995 seem reasonable. This one would be a fun car to bring to the next RadWood event.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Andy Reid
Andy Reid
Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.


  1. My first car! I had one in immaculate condition, but after hitting a deer at 70 mph and getting both sides scraped in a collision by someone turning into me it went to the scrap yard. Great car!


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