Could this be a future classic?
While we love the Type R in its current incarnation, what about previous versions? It’s that same old story – we love driving the current hot hatch but earlier versions are starting to disappear off the roads. Not because they’re written off but because they’re being kept warm and dry and given daily massages. Could the Accord Type R of 1999 to 2003 be heading towards classic status?
Quite a few people think so and the maths may be in their favour. After all, about 350 of them are already on a SORN ticket, which only leaves about 600 actually still on the road. Those on the road aren’t fetching silly money, so as yet it’s hard to tell which way this will go.
If you had about £4500-£5000 you could pick up a pretty decent example still first time round the clock, although half that would get you an early example with say 130,000 miles on it. But, here’s the thing. There aren’t many for sale.
When you look at what Honda offered, it’s not surprising that they’re so coveted. The 2.2-litre VTEC engine loves revs, with up to 217bhp at a giddy 7200rpm. If you’re looking for diesel torque, look elsewhere. But outright power wasn’t the thing, the handling was. A Torsen limited-slip diff, taut body and trick suspension allowed owners to fully unleash the power on tap.
Visually it had a smart bodykit while inside there were Recaro seats, Momo leather wheel, titanium gearlever and some carbonfibre trim offset by white dials. How retro racer do you want to be?
The mesh grille at the front was replaced in 2001 by a slatted grille as part of a light makeover. The revised car was fractionally quicker and addressed what Honda reckoned were some weaknesses in the gears.
The engine is fairly foolproof so long as it has been regularly serviced, and had the cambelt changed and so on. However, if it’s smoking and you’re thinking a quick rebore will cure it – the liners were made of fibre-reinforced metal so you can’t just rebore them, you need new liners which is a specialist job.
The major issue is rust, and a lot of it can remain unseen. Check the wheelarches, door seals and under the bonnet, and pay special attention to the bulkhead. In fact, look everywhere because it can be insidious, and expensive to fix.
Suspension components will be tired if it’s gone round the clock, so too will the clutch, but these are all fixable for sensible money. So what sort of money will you need exactly? See below. Will this look ridiculously small money in ten year’s time or not? Your call. Anyway, here’s our guide to current prices.
Honda Accord Type R prices
£1200-1900: First 1999 V-reg cars. These will have about 150k on the clocks at least.
£1995-2500: A small choice of 2001-reg cars with about 130,000 miles, some with FSH.
£2750-3500: Later cars, including a 2002 example with 130,000 miles for £2995.
£4500: Top of the range for this age bracket, including a 2002 car with 100,000 miles for £4495