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.
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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