A Price Well Worth Paying

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How much would you pay to be able to buy and drive a brand-new 1995 Honda Accord EX? Does $24k sound reasonable? Vern Eide Honda in Sioux Falls, South Dakota had one for sale – and it’s apparently already been sold.

No wonder.

The time-capsule ’95 Accord – which had about 2,300 miles on the clock and clearly has been kept as-new for the past almost 30 years – had or offered everything the new Accord doesn’t – including a V6 engine and a standard manual transmission.

A pull-up emergency brake.

It also didn’t have everything the new Accord has – including “advanced driver assistance technology.” The ’95 assumed you could drive if you were behind the wheel. People who needed “assistance” could get handicapped-equipped cars.

It did not have an LCD touchscreen. It did not have direct injection or turbo or a continuously variable transmission. It had a cable connecting the accelerator pedal to the throttle, so that you rather than a computer made the engine rev.

Would you pay $24k for that, today?

As opposed to paying $27,895 for a new Accord  that comes standard with a direct-injected, turbocharged four paired to a CVT controlled by a computer, with an array of “advanced driver assistance technology” that assumes you’re such a marginal driver that you need to be supervised (and corrected) by the car?

Verne Eide Honda could probably have gotten more than $24k for the brand-new ’95 Accord it had for sale – because it’s worth at least that much to avoid everything that’s happened to cars since then and especially over the course of the past five years or so.

During that span, the Accord the lost the V6 and the manual transmission that made it both a hot shoe special and one of the most reliable, durable and practical cars available. It gained “technology” no one seems to have asked for that is all-of-a-sudden embedded in every new car – indicating someone else wants us to have these “technologies.” (Of a piece with the unsettling No Cash in Or Out signs one sees regularly now at those self-checkout machines at the supermarket; it’s as if someone is trying to get us used to not using cash so that when you can’t use cash anymore, you’ll already be used to it.)

The new Accord is not a bad car but like pretty much every new car it has become the same car. Automatic-only. Four cylinder only. Turbocharged and direct injected.

Like they all are now.

Cell phone-emulating “technology,” including the same apps that every other device already has. Same unwanted but unavoidable “connectedness” – your car can be controlled remotely, as via “updates” you may not want but which you can’t block (unless you park the car in a lead-lined box and never take it out of the box).

Same homogenous, nothing-special driving experience.

And when something glitches, you take a car like the new Accord to the dealer – because only the dealer can plumb the endless rabbit hole of glitches. And that’ll cost you more than just money. New cars – which have computers to control the power windows – are alienating things because they are devices we use but most of us cannot fix. This includes even the little things – which often literally require a diagnostic computer that (naturally) only a dealer or authorized service facility has. So you take it there – or have it towed there – and hope they’ll be merciful.

When something big – like the transmission – fails – it costs so much to replace that you end up replacing the car.

It was not like that, once.

And this time capsule ’95 Accord is the proof of that.

When it was new, it was nothing special – because there were so many other different cars to choose from. A mid-sized family sedan with a V6? Almost everyone sold one. Today, you’re lucky to find one in a six-figure luxury car. Manual transmission? As common back then – even in a family sedan – as seeing a Face Diapered Freak was during the event they marketed as a “pandemic.” People bought options such as CD players and leather seats. It would have raised eyebrows, back then, to suggest non-disabled drivers needed “assistance.” And more so if that “assistance” had been made standard.

This ’95 Accord is a way to travel back to the Before Time – and travel through this time.  It’s not just that it doesn’t have everything you probably don’t want that comes standard in a new car – and has the things you do want but can no longer get in a new car. It will enable whoever was fortunate enough to lay down the cash to avoid the present and the future for the next 15-20 years, at least. Because a brand-new ’95 Accord has that many years of life left, at least – and many hundreds of thousands of miles to go.

That might be just long enough to get whoever was lucky enough to snatch up it up through everything that’s already here – and coming.

Well worth every cent of $24k, wouldn’t you say?

. . .

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41 COMMENTS

  1. What a blissful experience to come onto a topic about older cars and not get some concern troll sucking all the air out of the room with “I’d be concerned about the saaaaaaaaaafety…..’

    So sick of that, they show up everywhere. Never concern about bicycles, motorcycles, skateboards getting in and out of the bathtub….. just older cars. Yet another way to virtue signal.

    My newest I will have owned 19 years as of 1-12-2024. It’s not going anywhere and if it does a 90s Accord would be nice. Starve the beast.

    No saaaaafety trolls here. Thank you.

    Bless you all in the New Year.

  2. Darn, I had an Accord station wagon, same year, 5 speed, 333,000 miles, but someone crashed into it a few years ago. It was a very good car!

    Another thing I really miss is having more than one body style. That year, you could get itnas a station wagon (like I had), 4 door sedan, or 2 door sedan

    • 03 here, yes they are. I replaced a noisy fuel pump 7 years ago, that’s it. Great body integrity, and it still drives like a go cart with all original suspension. V6 4 valve motor with chain cam drive no belt.

      Remember these era Escapes were a joint venture Ford/Mazda.

      Same rigs of that series: Mazda Tribute, Mercury Mariner.

  3. What’s to stop car dealerships, used, to find good buys at cargurus or carvana, then have them transported to the local destination?

    Buy a good used Honda Accord at some car selling site, buy it, have it professionally cleaned, exterior and interior, sell it to a willing buyer and make a few grand profit. Sell a thousand of them used cars, make a few million. How you can do it!

    Gotta do something right for once.

    Seems as though there is money to be made in the car buying business.

    New to the scrapyard, it always pays.

  4. Arguments about new cars aside (and I happen to agree with Eric), I think the dealer could’ve gotten more too. Some whacko with way too much money laying around would’ve paid, my guess, $40k for something like this. Just to add it to his collection or relive his youth or whatever.

  5. More and more I think my best investment ever was the ’99 Miata 10AE (43k miles in Commifornia) that I bought in ’14 for $5,800. Now has 76,000 miles and has both a check engine light and a ‘battery’ light warning. No emissions testing here in the woods.

  6. I own a 2010 Honda Accord, 190,000 miles. It’s not going anywhere. The vehicle has been well-maintained and everything still works. Although, it has its share of bumps and bruises – what 14 y/o vehicle doesn’t? – I’m hoping it lasts another 14 years.

    The only thing I’d like is Bluetooth, but then, who in their right mind wants to talk to me?

  7. I recently bought a 2000 Silverado 1500, Extended Cab, Long Bed, 4×4 Off road and tow package with 219,000 miles on the clock. Michigan vehicle so some rust but reasonably well kept. Paid 1400.00 at an Estate Auction. Put 2 K into some needed repairs, fuel line (rust), some electrical, it sat for a couple years so a number of maintenance issues. Drives well and I figure it’s good for another 10 year or 100K miles. Rather put my money into maintenance of a solid vehicle than into the pockets of the bankers and cretins currently running the auto industry.

  8. I would love to have such a thing, and it does remind me that it’s time to fix my ’94 S10.

    And Eric, regarding beginning anew, I think you’re right. It’s what I’ve done in my own life, beginning from nearly scratch. I’m also just going to have to me more patient with people and life. I’ll do my best to educate on subjects in my field as you do with yours.

    But for now, it’s time to continue building another shed. :p

  9. I’d have been tempted, but I’d rather find a well cared for ’95 Accord that has 202,300 miles on it for $3500 and keep the leftover $20,500. Not to mention that if some Karen runs a light and totals it, you know the ins. co. or court is only going to give you $3.5K for your $24K car.

  10. I have a 1994 Honda Accord EX Leather with 75,000 original miles. My Dad bought it for my Mom brand new. People try to buy it from me often. I have maintained it largely from the book, the Honda Service Manual. It has the 4 cylinder V-Tec engine and 4 speed automatic. In the original form it was a bit of a soft riding boat. I modified it with Bilstein HD shocks on stock springs, Tanabe anti-sway bars, a Neuspeed strut brace, Brembo rotors, and Porterfield R4-s brake pads. The factory stereo remains with a cassette player and I installed a CD unit just below that interfaces well along with some fabulous speakers. This little go-cart puts a smile on my face every time I drive it. The aluminum wheels are stock, and about the only thing that could make it handle better would be to change them but I am not planning to do it any time soon. I have been blessed to have this car. Merry Christmas to all.

  11. To boil it down to a simple statement, auto manufacturers used to make autos to please the customers. Now they build them to please the government. You only get “freedom of choice” in one thing (we all know what that is) and no choice in everything else.

  12. I never would have thought that ordinary older cars (meaning those that aren’t considered to be collectible) would become that valuable. Used to be an older car was something most people thought about replacing with something shiny and new, complete with new car smell.
    But all of the garbage that’s included in current vehicles makes the new car smell (and new car prices) so not worth it.
    I am going to hold onto my 2011 Dodge Ram as long as I can. It has low mileage for a vehicle of that age (more than 2.5K miles but less than 100K). Maybe I’ll one day be able to register it with historic tags (vehicles that are 25 years or older and aren’t driven much in my state). I’m trying to keep my 2014 Honda CRV as long as I can as well. It has 150K miles but of course Honda makes good, durable reliable cars. And I take care of it.

    But regarding mint condition older cars, I have a 95 year old client who has a 2016 Honda HRV. Has less than 5K miles and still has its new car smell. Garage kept and only driven maybe 5 miles a week for him to go around the corner to get to a local store. I’ve known this guy and his daughter for years, and I’d seriously consider buying it from her (if she is planning to sell it) when he passes. I’ve driven it before, and the most techy thing it has is a backup camera and a right mirror camera (that comes on when you make a right turn), plus blue tooth compatibility.

    • Hi Lee,

      That ’16 has some but just some of the over-teched modern features we’re all trying to avoid. With only 5k on the clock, it probably has another 20 years and 200k of reliable service left to go. I’d let them know you’re interested so that you get “dibs” if it becomes available.

  13. And, as mentioned at EPA before, then there’s this:

    ‘Beautiful, reliable 4-wheeler for only $41K is not available in the US thanks to Biden and the poisonous ‘green’ agenda…’

    … “This new Toyota Land Cruiser is truly a gut punch. It’s a gorgeous and reasonably priced vehicle, starting at just $41K brand new,”…

    https://revolver.news/2023/12/beautiful-reliable-4-wheeler-for-only-41k-is-not-available-in-the-us-thanks-to-biden-and-the-poisonous-green-agenda/

    • “…thanks to Biden and the poisonous ‘green’ agenda.”

      Everyone thinks that it’s always the “current regime” that is responsible for the loss of our freedom in America, but the reality is that this crap has been going on for at least the past few decades, if not longer. And if anyone thinks that voting for XYZ is going to change anything, think again. The president has absolutely NO control over ANYTHING; he’s merely a mouthpiece for the elites. It’s all just an illusion to make us BELIEVE that we have a choice. And if the elites fear an uprising, all they have to do is “make it rain”, and the dildos will not only accept what’s being done, but also DEMAND OUR EXECUTION for “daring” to stop the gravy train!

    • I would love to have one of those “new” old Land Cruisers. The thought of what we’ve lost thanks to humorless apparatchiks in our endless bureaucracies just makes me sick to my stomach. One of those Land Cruisers (not the new turbocharged thing that won’t last 300k miles) would be chicken soup for my Toyota-loving soul.

    • Guess we’re on the same page this morning, ML.

      [Note to self: always refresh before posting]

      Christmas lyrics: “I’m dreaming of a… cheap 4×4,… one only not for me…”

  14. Thats quite a deal. Ive looked at a few older cars recently with low miles, but 2k is like a time capsule into the past. Especially when they’ve been. immaculately cared for.

    It remains to be seen if our older pristine cars will be good investments or not. I tend to think not as the costs of storage, insurance, maintenance eat away some of the price appreciation that goes on. But it sure is fun driving something you know cant be bricked with the flip of a switch by some party apparatchik

  15. And if you were to want to update it to include modern conveniences like CarPlay and Android Auto it’s a simple head unit swap. Because the stereo isn’t integrated into the rest of the car, and Honda used the standard DIN template. A quick order from Crutchfield and a few hours’ work and you’ll have 99% of what people really want in accessories, with none of the BS.

    • Did this two years ago to the 91 Silverado pickup. The factory am/fm lost reception so replaced it with a Sony AM/FM with Bluetooth, and a remote control, 95 bucks brand new. Takes cellulite phone calls as well, works flawlessly and Sony radio reception has always been top notch. The conversion relocates the radio to the center dash via replacement for the dash centerpiece, a filler box for the removed original radio, and a wiring harness that adapts Sony to the power/speaker connector in the truck. The adapter parts were under 50 bucks.

    • Got a Pioneer head unit in my Supra and I have full Bluetooth and the other good connectivity. Not that I’m on my phone in a manual car, but you get the picture.

  16. While technically not new as it has about 2,145 miles but who cares. The only downside of the car would be future parts availability issues and the worry over damage to daily use of a “survivor” car. I suffer from that from driving cars over 20 years old that look like there only 3 or 4 years old.

    As you said it as everything you want and nothing you don’t. Hopefully the new owner will have all the fluids replaced and seriously consider changing all the belts, hoses and tires as they are probably deteriorated. My Chevy still has tires from the ’90’s but it sees less than 500 miles a year.

    • “ I suffer from that from driving cars over 20 years old that look like there only 3 or 4 years old. “

      Ditto, my 2003 Escape is literally like a new car. Now I’m paranoid about driving it. I refuse to go into Western WA the 2018 Jeep makes that trip when required. The Jeep would get fixed from a fender bender the Escape likely totaled. The odds of getting whacked in Western WA are not in your favor.

      • I had to give up my 2003 AWD Escape because it was too costly to smog in CA. It was garaged and was like new. My wife’s 2018 AWD Escape does not compare. As I said in another thread, in AZ there is a beautiful 2004 AWD Escape Limited with 124K miles for $6K that is looking good.

  17. IF, if, it becomes possible, a Packard might be a good second choice to the 95 Honda? Idk.

    ‘Packard Motors gets ready to build its new ‘old’ cars to order’

    … “Constantino noted that the iconic Packard will be available with the latest technology in engines, with myriad options to make each vehicle truly unique.

    “The philosophy is to listen to the prospective buyer and learn what they want and what they love and use it so the vehicle becomes an expression of their own personality,” Constantino said. “Tailor-made.”

    While you can’t yet buy a vehicle…”

    https://www.cleveland.com/community/2023/12/packard-motors-gets-ready-to-build-its-newold-cars-to-order.html

    • Hi Helot,

      While I’m pleased to hear about this, it’s of a piece with the “new” classic 1960s Mustangs you can buy . . . assuming you have $250k to spend. These will be low-volume cars for the very wealthy only.

    • Hi Helot, my understanding is that if you build less than 500 cars a year you are exempt on the safety bullsh*t but still have to meet the current emission standards.

      PS- how many people realizes that we are all Helots now?

  18. “Well worth every cent of $24k, wouldn’t you say?”

    Absolutely. There is a pristine 1988 Honda civic hatchback sitting in the showroom of the dealer I go to. I sat there and stared at the car for at least 15 minutes. The car is not for sale, but I would buy that car in a heartbeat, even for $30,000. Not one bit of electronic/computer madness in that car.

    • I am with Pug. I would have had no problem paying more for something with no WI-FI connection and less safety standards. The joy of not being traced and tracked is priceless.

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