Image via Honda

On July 4th 1976, America celebrated its bicentennial. In that same summer, a small company known for selling fun motorcycles introduced a car that will later dominate the mid-size sedan segment. Take a break from your cookouts and say happy 4oth birthday to the Honda Accord.

The Accord began a small hatchback with starting price of $3,995. It debuted right after the OPEC oil crisis pushed up fuel prices and American automotive tastes started to shift towards smaller and more fuel efficient vehicles.

1976 Accord hatchback. Image: Honda

The 2016 model has come along way from the ‘76 Accord. The original and an 89 horsepower motor and car came with “luxuries” like air-conditioning and roll down windows.

Today, the starting price is $22,355 for a 6-speed manual LX model that comes standard with basically everything to make your commute bearable such as a rear-camera, bluetooth, dual zone climate control. You can also get a V6 motor with 276 hp or a Hybrid that will get up to 48 MPG combined. A fully loaded Accord Hybrid Touring maxes out at $37,790.

In the past 40 years 12.7 million people chose the Accord to a reliable car that in some iterations was actually somewhat fun to drive. In the 90's my mom bought two Accords back to back, both with a 5-speed manual. They were a refreshing change from her Jetta GLI whose “German build quality” no longer translated into reliability.

The 5th generation Accord was available in sedan, coupe, and wagon. Image: Honda.

Show us your favorite Honda Accord and if you have any fun stories that involve one of America’s most popular sedans share them in the comments below.

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