Honda Accord's turns 40, somehow still looks better than the rest of us

June 30, 2016

Mine was a gray 1986 Accord Hatchback that overheated up the hill on my way home, and didn't have the brakes to stop me going down the hill on my way to high school. I loved it.

Over 40 years, there have been 12.7 million stories or more like mine across the U.S.

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This month marks Honda's 40th anniversary of selling its Accord in the U.S. In June 1976, Honda introduced to the U.S. its veritable family car, starter car, status car, hybrid car, frugal hatchback, stylish coupe, overpowered coupe, capacious wagon, or—in certain cases—silver-clad lacrosse team party hatchback with a clutch bite-point only slightly higher than half the team.

Since then, the car has earned prestigious honors such as a 30 appearances on Car and Drivers annual "10Best" list, numerous awards, and a perennial spot as one of the best-selling cars in the country. The Accord will celebrate its 40th year this year—we're not quite sure if anything special is planned, but we're guessing it probably won't be a Crosstour—as one of America's best-selling cars.

The Accord was the first vehicle from a Japanese automaker built in America, starting in 1982 at the company's Marysville, Ohio plant (North American models are still made there). The Accord was also the first American-built car by a Japanese automaker that was exported overseas. The Ohio-made Accords were sent to Taiwan in 1987, and the Accord Coupes were sent to Japan in 1988, according to the automaker.

READ: 2016 Honda Pilot: Our long-term fuel economy so far

Since its humble beginnings as a 1970s hatchback roughly as small as today's Fit to a handsome sedan in its ninth generation for 2016 with more available tech than the Apollo program, Honda has built its success on the strength of its Accord.

So, today we say:

"Happy Birthday, Honda Accord! We still feel bad about The Clash cassette we tried to pull out of your tape deck with a butter knife. Sorry for that."

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