Tried and tested: Honda Accord Hondamatic

Major Waffle 80s cars Honda
Having survived the wet winter, the PetrolBlog Honda Accord Hondmatic returns from MOT test day with a completely clean bill of health. Amazing.

In truth, my Honda Accord 1.6-litre Hondamatic shouldn't really be here. Maintaining it as a working vehicle went beyond the realms of economic common sense many moons ago. Like many unfortunate victims of the hateful Scrappage scheme, it should probably be a red Hyundai i10 by now. Shudder.

But thanks to the love of its previous owner, it has managed to survive. A quite remarkable achievement, given its lack of collectable value. On numerous occasions, the lady owner had been told to give it up. To scrap it. For sentimental reasons, this advice was ignored.

As previously reported on PetrolBlog, I became the owner of this particular 1982 Honda Accord in November of last year. It was nursed home, used sparingly for a few weeks, before the onset of the decidedly wet weather left her pretty much redundant for a while. Deluge after deluge had left the Accord with a waterlogged boot and a collection of fun-size paddling pools in each footwell.

1982 Honda Accord silver

Given her age - and the fact that she had a valid MOT and tax - she was put in the garage to dry out, forcing the forlorn Citroën AX GT out to face the elements. It took the best part of three months for the Accord dry out, by which time the MOT had run out. Drat.

Fortunately, I had just managed to renew the tax before the expiry date, but I still wondered if the suddenly tired-looking old girl would have what it takes to face another inspection. But it's amazing what some sunshine and a thorough clean can do for a car. Looking beyond the cosmetic issues for a moment, the Accord was looking OK.

So I actually faced the MOT with some confidence. Having checked all the obvious things, I could see no reason why she wouldn't scrape through.

But lo and behold, she did much more than that. Not only did she pass, she also passed with flying colours. No advisories and a glowing report from the technician. So much so that the tester delivered her back, just for the experience. I can't believe he'd have done the same with a Kia Rio or a Chevrolet Spark.

To say I'm chuffed would be an understatement. Here is a car that was essentially written off by the garage that had serviced it since 1996. Which is strange, especially when taking into account the 56,000 miles on the clock and the fact that it has been serviced nine times in the last 9,000 miles alone. Indeed, the cambelt was changed just 400 miles ago.

Top view of 1982 Honda Accord

Such a high degree of maintenance is crazy. This Honda has only travelled 300 miles between each MOT over the past five years. But it's the kind of attention that keeps cars like this alive.

The result of this week's success is that I now hold the Honda Accord in even higher regard than I did before. It's slow, the steering is heavy, the brakes are rubbish and the automatic transmission is lethargic. But to drive it is delightful. You don't hurry and you don't rush. You just waft about in a relaxed manner, taking advantage of the comfortable seats and the huge amount of light in the cabin. Not to mention the National AM/LW radio, which only seems to play Radio Luxembourg.

It remains cosmetically-challenged and I still need to trace the source of the unwanted waterfalls. But I'm confident that removing the front and rear screens, replacing the sunroofs and restoring the roof will sort out the majority of the leaks. Then it's time to slowly bring her back to glory.

In truth, every Pound spent on the old Honda is like throwing money away. I'll never get back what I spend on her. But it costs pennies to insure, it certainly isn't depreciating and I'm not spending anything on finance. And besides, it makes me happy.

So the Honda Accord Hondamatic is back on the road. And with it, I'm pleased to report, so too is PetrolBlog.

Apologies for the poor photos. They were taken on the phone.