Is the Honda Accord Aerodeck the most underrated car of the 1980s? PetrolBlog is going to use the following 650 words to explain why it could be.
In a parallel universe, the Honda Accord Aerodeck – or rather its design – could have altered the course of British motoring history.
Consider the facts. The Honda Accord Aerodeck “comes closer to perfection than most vehicles”, proclaimed Autocar in 1986. That’s quite a statement.
If your school report said you came closer to perfection than most pupils, your parents would whisk you away for a steak dinner at the Berni Inn before giving you the choice of one of the personal stereos on pages 250 and 251 of the Argos catalogue.
Honda made some bold claims of its own. The Accord Aerodeck is “the vehicle which transcends the hatchback”, it said in 1986. In fairness, Honda had a point.
The Accord Aerodeck was part four-seater coupe and part mini-estate car – with more than a hint of a shooting brake about it. A Honda fit for royalty, perhaps? Maybe a certain Princess with a penchant for plastic cars from the West Midlands.
You see, there’s every reason to believe that the Aerodeck was the result of yet another missed opportunity for the British car industry. Was Honda’s almost perfect Aerodeck destined to be a replacement for the Reliant Scimitar GTE?
Reliant had approached Bertone to come up with a design for a new Scimitar GTE and spent a reported £100,000 with the Italian styling house. It progressed as far as a full-size mock-up, complete with four-seater interior and a cool dashboard design, with power likely to be sourced by a Rover V8 engine.
Princess Anne would have bought a dozen (probably), but Reliant pulled the plug amid concerns that it would be unlikely to generate a profit. Reliant’s (and the British car industry’s) loss was Honda’s gain.
There’s a bit of a leap to get from Reliant’s project SE82 to the Honda Accord Aerodeck, but the subject is worthy of a discussion over a Chicken Cordon Bleu and a bottle of Yugoslavian Laski Riesling at the Berni Inn.
Quite why the Aerodeck wasn’t available as a poster in Athena is anyone’s guess. Forget the female tennis player with an itchy bum, or the Ferrari for men who wore pastel-coloured Armani suits, the Aerodeck had it all going on.
Pop-up headlights, two huge side doors, alloy-effect wheel trims and a ‘gullwing’ tailgate made this the pin-up of choice for those who wanted some style to go with their practicality. Amazingly, it was actually cheaper than the Accord four-door saloon.
Power was sourced from a 2.0-litre engine producing 106hp in EX form or 122hp in fuel-injected EXi guise. It wasn’t particularly quick, which is why Sonny Crockett decided against using an Aerodeck for tackling crime in Miami.
In the back, there was enough room to swing a pet alligator, but the Accord Aerodeck was certainly more of a coupe than it was an estate car. Elvis the alligator would have struggled to climb over the high boot lip, while the suspension mounts would have made stretching out a little tricky.
Still, Elvis would have enjoyed basking in the expanse of glass, especially the way tailgate encroached on the roof line. Sadly, this low roof line had a negative effect on headroom in the back, although the amount of legroom made the Aerodeck more comfortable than the likes of the Volkswagen Scirocco.
Sure, it could have been better, but the same could be same of the menu at the Berni Inn. You also have to wonder what might have been had Reliant progressed to production and fitted a V8.
Instead, we must thank Honda for the Aerodeck. As close to perfection as things got in the 1980s, launched before the Volvo 480, and blessed with one of the coolest names on the planet. Still want that Scimitar, Princess Anne?