In 1946, after the close of World War II, Soichiro Honda established his Technical Research Institute in Hamamatsu, Japan, to develop auxiliary gasoline engines for bicycles. The young company successfully marketed gasoline-engined bicycles and primitive motorcycles. Within 5 years, the company established a production record within the Japanese motorcycle industry by producing 130 units per day at its new Tokyo plant.
Through the 1950's and into the next decade, the company grew steadily, pioneering and refining many phases of motorcycle engineering and production, leading to the opening of a separate research and development center. Honda furthered its reputation by participating in many domestic and international motorcycle racing events. Additionally, the company adapted its small engine technology to non-road vehicle use by introducing engines for farm equipment, generators and marine use. Manufacturing and support facilities were established throughout Japan, Asia and Europe.
By August, 1963, Honda had produced a small utility truck powered by a 360cc engine. This was closely followed by a series of passenger coupes and sedans, all powered by engines well below 1 liter. As an adjunct to the automobile program, a Honda-powered Formula One (Grand Prix) car competed in the 1964-1968 seasons.
The 15 millionth motorcycle was produced in March, 1971. The CVCC engine was perfected in the same year and hailed as the first engine to meet the 1975 U.S Clean Air Act specifications. Honda won many awards for design, engineering and manufacturing as well as industrial pollution control and community betterment. Mr. Honda retired as president of the company in 1973 but remained as supreme advisor.
The first Honda passenger cars began appearing in North America in the early 1970's, lead by the 600 family and followed closely by the Civic, Honda's first water cooled vehicle. The year 1976 saw the introduction of the Accord, a larger, 5 passenger vehicle with the CVCC engine. The Accord was an immediate hit in North America. The company's success was bolstered by the beginning of motorcycle manufacture in Marysville, Ohio in September, 1979. By 1980, Honda had produced 4,000,000 power products (generators, lawn mowers, etc.), 2 million Civics, and over 30 million motorcycles. The Prelude appeared as "an advanced engineering platform" in 1979.
Through the 1980's, Honda Motor Co. continued to grow and introduce new models and body styles. The year 1983 marked the beginning of automobile manufacture at the expanded Marysville plant. By August of the same year, the plant was producing 300 cars per day. Honda re-entered international Formula One racing, winning many events and manufacturer's championships with both Team Williams and Team McLaren. Engine manufacture was begun at Marysville in September of 1986.
Within 45 years of inception, Honda Motor Co. had established itself as a major manufacturer in the world market. The automotive products have been praised by owners, media, and competitors alike. By 1990, the Accord had established itself as the best selling car in the United States for several consecutive quarters.
Soichiro Honda died August 5th, 1991 at the age of 82. His company now has motorcycle or automobile manufacturing facilities in over 30 countries. The first Accord produced at the Ohio plant is on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.
This repair information for Hondas covers the various model changes from 1984 through 1995. While the model names Accord and Prelude are familiar to almost everyone, several families exist within each model. The vehicles encompass carbureted and fuel injected engines as well as hatchback, coupe, sedan and wagon body styles. Trim and equipment levels further divide the families into subgroups such as DX, LX, Si, LXi, EX and Si4WS.
The Accord and Prelude have endured through several generations or body styles.