View Full Version : TOF's 1G Accord Project

06-09-2017, 06:24 AM
This isn't exactly a "build" thread. More like a "Restore it, Tweak it" thread. I am hoping this adds motivation for me to continue my efforts. Other build threads have been very inspirational, although they also let me know how far I have to go.

A little history on the car. It is a 1979 Honda Accord LX 5-Speed. I purchased it from a guy in Gulfport, MS (next town over) about a year ago. He had bought it about 3 years before that in Utah and drove it home.

The good:
California car - Went from the Cali desert to the Utah desert to here on the Gulf Coast, so pretty rust-free.
Complete and well documented service history back to new.
57000 miles on the odometer, backed up by the service records.
Unmodified and fairly complete.
Ran like a sewing machine...in a good way.
A/C works
New tires

The not so good:
California car - so a few extra lines and doodadss to deal with under the hood.
Paint was shot. Clear was gone on most of the hood and roof.
Upper front skirt (that panel under the grill that also supports the trailing edge of the bumper filler strip) was perforated with rust. About the only significant rust issue on the car.
Interior upholstery was shot from the desert sun. Just falling apart on the seat backs, front and rear.
Windshield and hatch window weather seals were pretty crispy.

The goal is to preserve the car, get it looking as good as it runs...at least to driver level quality but probably never going to be a show car. Also find nice upgrade bits.

The challenge: No old honda experts around here. And few if any 1G examples at any local wrecking yard. So parts will be hard to come by. Fortunately the Internet exists.

Unfortunately I did not think to get a lot of "before" pics. But here is one that gives an idea of the condition of the paint.


06-09-2017, 06:34 AM
There is a week long event here on the Beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast called "Cruisin' the Coast". I put in a good bit of volunteer work on this event every year, so I get free registration. Last year we had just under 8000 cars register. There are at least a half dozen cruise-ins and shows every day. Lots of fun. But its mostly muscle cars and hot rods. If you like those, this is your event. Otherwise, not so much. A few some original Beetles, a few Porsches, MGs, Triumphs and an original Mini or two are all that represent the import community. Oh, and one very nicely restored late 70s Corolla Liftback. Anyway, Last year I registered this Accord. I was amazed at how much attention it got. For many it brought back memories of a 1G they learned to drive on or that their favorite Aunt or Uncle owned or that got them through college. For others, it was just the first time they had ever seen one. Mostly people were amazed at how small and cool the Accord was back when it first appeared. Even though the car was still very rough, it was still a minor hit.


06-09-2017, 06:41 AM
Paint and Upholstery

I found an OCB (Old Country Boy) paint shop near here that was pretty inexpensive but had an ok reputation. They quoted me 3500 to put three coats of color and three of clear on the exterior, sills, and hood underside. I liked the guy so I said OK. They stripped the car of trim but not glass, since the windshield and hatch rubber was of very questionable integrity. Then it was block sanded. Not really any bodywork required except for a small spot on the driver's rocker panel where someone closed the door years ago on the seat belt buckle. Oh, and that front upper skirt.



They media-blasted the front upper skirt, then zink dipped it before painting it. Still has lots off holes but it functions, and doesn't really show since it is behind the bumper. It will have to do until I can locate a replacement panel.

06-09-2017, 06:46 AM
There is a really good upholstery shop down the road from the paint shop so I had them recover the seats. Foam and other seat components were in really good shape so the upholstery work was only 1500. Yes, I am so far upside-down on the car already blood is rushing to my head. Anyway, the upholsterer managed to find some fabric and vinyl in something very close to the original color and type. They then reproduced the original stitching pattern. Turned out really well:

Color isn't nearly as red as it appears in this crummy phone pic. I will try to get some better pictures with my old Sony camera soon.

Rest of the interior is actually in very good shape. The fact that the dash only has minimal fading and no cracks is a tribute to Honda's quality even back in the 70s.

06-09-2017, 07:16 AM
Here is the car after paint. Again, sorry for the crappy pic quality.


Also been doing some engine bay cleaning and touch-up.

Still a long ways to go there.

Some parts I have managed to acquire recently:
-New battery tie-down. Did you know you can still get these from Honda?
-Fitted floor mats to cover most of the badly faded carpet
-New roof trim, door seals, door seal clips (thanks, CivicGarage.com)
-New used bumper rubber trim bits and fasteners.
-New front turn signal lenses and front side marker lenses.
-New old stock! rear carpet. Perfect. Now I just need to find a less faded front carpet.
-A few used spares such as starter, alternator, etc.
-NOS windshield and hatch window weather seals!!!!! The originals have some overspray. They were so crusty the paint shop was afraid to mask them to the edge because some of the seals might have come off with the paint. So happy to have found these Gen-U-Wine Honda replacements from a guy in Singapore. Came complete with original Honda Parts labels. They will go on sometime in the next few weeks.

06-09-2017, 07:19 AM
By the way, if you have any pieces and parts for a 1G Accord sitting around in very good condition, let me know. :wave:

06-10-2017, 10:28 AM
Really nice find ! Good to see,there are still people keeping those golden oldies on the road and even making them decent cars again. Keep it up.

06-10-2017, 05:10 PM
Drove it over to Bay St. Louis this evening for a small car cruise-in. It was well received. Drove fantastic, almost like a modern Civic.

06-10-2017, 07:29 PM
Keep it up! Looks good so far! My 78 Accord was the same thing a Cali car and sold it to someone in Florida. I just had no time to deal with it. It turns out the head gasket was blown and a bad fuel pump so they got that fixed up and plan on restoring it. Clear coat paint was gone due to the Pacific Ocean's salty air and he plans on painting it gold for nostalgic reasons. Except the interior was in good shape and this one had a rare ragtop roof. Original engine and carb 98,000 miles but I doubt they are one time around. So keep up the work and maintain the mechanical stuff. I like to see the orginal carburetor since now everyone is pretty much getting a Weber.

The pics are of my old car in its new happy place. West Palm Beach, FL. Goes from California to Oregon to Illinois to Florida. And the states in between during shipping. ;)

06-11-2017, 06:13 AM
Yeah, I have a Webber kit on the shelf, just in case, but I plan to get as much out of the Keihin 3 barrel as I can.

06-23-2017, 07:24 PM
How's the little Honda doing in the crazy weather in the Gulf?

06-24-2017, 06:07 AM
Cindy has not touched the old Accord. It has been inside at a local shop waiting for a refrigerant top-off.

As soon as I get her back she will be re-shod in RS Watanabe Eightspoke rims that I got here and had refinished. Post-casting machine work on these early Watanabes isn't nearly as sweet as later versions. And the rims are OEM spec for width, diameter, and offset so the look is still very old school. They are drilled 4x120, and were obviously made specifically for the 1G Accord.

I also found some 1G Civic center caps on Facebook. They are polished metal and were in pretty good condition. Yesterday I painted the centers, except for those classic "H" logos black to highlight the H and to match the black lug nuts I plan to use to mount the rims. Pics when the new rims are on. Meanwhile...

06-24-2017, 06:10 AM
Note the wheel weight. This is the only one of the four rims that had a wheel weight put on the outside lip when the tires were mounted and everything was balanced. I didn't notice this when I picked up the rims from the tire store. I don't know why they didn't put the weight on the inside rim, like the other three. I plan to go back to the tire dealer and get it moved.

BTW, tires came from TireRack. Installed at a Firestone shop I use, that is also a TireRack preferred installer.

06-24-2017, 08:18 AM
Great to hear that! And those rims are going to look fantastic on her! Love that Old School look!

10-02-2018, 10:42 PM
The objective is to safeguard the auto, make it look tantamount to it runs, at any rate to driver level quality yet presumably never going to be a show auto, additionally discover decent update bits, the test, no old Honda specialists around here, and barely any 1G precedents at any nearby destroying yard...