After writing about a perfect 1990 Toyota 4Runner with only 12,700 miles getting snagged by a Texas car salesman for a modest $4,000, I received an email from a reader showing off another amazing find: a 1992 Honda Accord Coupe with only 20,628 miles on the odometer. The car, I’m told, was actually destined for the crusher until the reader swept in and saved it, armed with nothing more than $800.
I know, I know, you’re probably thinking: “Who cares? It’s just a Honda Accord.” But you shouldn’t be thinking that, because minty-fresh examples of highly sought-after vehicles like that Toyota 4Runner are really not that interesting if you think about it. People take better care of/are more likely to restore highly desirable automobiles, so that there are clean examples of those just makes sense. For this reason, I will always say that some of the coolest cars out there are actually meticulously-maintained “boring cars.”
This 1992 Honda Accord falls squarely into that category. The Accord is a sensible car meant to take a daily beating. Its engine will likely last forever, it will offer decent comfort and fuel economy for hundreds of thousands of miles if reasonably maintained, and it certainly was never built with any sort of collectible status in mind. That’s why this email I received from someone named “blackdriftking” (They did not provide their real name.) interested me so much.
“I picked up a pristine 1992 Honda Accord LX for $800 with only 20k miles on the dash,” it began. “All original except for the radio and alternator.”
The reader then gave me a bit of a backstory. “I work at [a salvage yard in Virginia] and spotted this car in the processing area.... it was supposed to be set in the field to be picked and then later on crushed,” the email read.
The reader put a “do not pull parts” label on the car after noticing the low mileage and excellent interior condition. “What happened was the processor made a mistake and put 120k miles on it because she glanced at the speedometer at an angle from outside the car so the first zero looked to her looked like a one in front of the two lol,” the email continued.
Apparently, the previous owner had recently had a lot of maintenance done on the car, but when the alternator gave up, she sold the machine to the salvage yard. “So I pretty much picked up a brand new 92 Honda Accord for 800 bucks,” blackdriftking wrote, proudly.
“It could use a respray but it drives like butter,” the reader admitted when I asked about the faded paint. But for the most part, he says, it’s in perfect condition. “Im the 2nd owner...the car only needs a respray and very minor body work from something leaning on it when it was garaged.”
The reader says they drive the car daily.
I must admit that I’ve never been even remotely interested in owning a 1992 Honda Accord LX, even if it’s the more desirable coupe. And not just because I once owned a shitbox ’90s Honda Accord that nearly broke me, but mostly because this thing’s got an automatic transmission. Throw a stick in it, and a 1990s Accord becomes a bit more interesting to me; otherwise, this machine falls squarely into the “meh” category.
That is, unless it’s this clean. Damn near any 25+ year-old car with so few miles and in this good of shape will get my attention. Had I spotted it for sale for $800, I too, wouldn’t have hesitated.
Hell, if it’s been reasonably maintained, this could end up being the most reliable, longest-lasting $800 car ever purchased.