Meet one of Honda's biggest fans
When even your lawnmower is a classic Honda, you know you’ve been bitten by the bug. Introducing Honda collector ‘extraordinaire’, Chris Scott…
Hi Chris. So, you’ve had a lot of Hondas then…
I currently own five
Hondas: two Civic three-doors (one from 1973 and another from 1978); a 1978
Accord three-door; a ’91 NSX; and a seven-seat Stream from 2003, which is our everyday
family workhorse. But I’ve owned 16 Hondas over the years – six of which were
first-generation Accords. I have a fondness for that particular model. In fact,
I’m known in Honda collector circles as the ‘Accord Man’.
What is it about the Honda Accord that, um, revs your engine?
My first car was a 1980 Accord. I got it when I was 18 and just fell in love with it. It cost so much to insure that I didn’t have any spare cash to put into the car. So, I made a concerted effort to look after it myself – to keep it in the best possible condition. There’s also a history of Accords in my family. My grandparents bought one brand-new in 1979, which they passed on to my father – who also drove it for years. It just felt right that I should have one as well. The Accord was really the introduction to my love of Honda. To this day, I’ve got a subconscious passion for them. I can’t really describe why I love them so much. Even my lawnmower is a rare Honda HC-16-cylinder model from the 1970s.
Do you still have that first Accord?
Unfortunately not. After 20 years of regular use, it had to go to the Great Accord Graveyard in the Sky. I was literally in tears when they hauled it away on the truck to be scrapped. It was like losing a member of the family. I came across another Mark 1 Accord – a 1978 – on eBay a couple of weeks later. I was feeling pretty forlorn about my recent loss, so put a low bid on the ‘78 before going to bed. I woke up the next morning to find that I’d won it, for the princely sum of £620.66.
When they delivered my ‘new’ Accord to my house on a low-loader a few days later, it started with the first turn of the key. It was like a brand-new car – 12,500 miles on the clock and it still had the original tags on the boot hatch telling you how to lower the rear seat. I’m loath to drive it as it’s got such low mileage. So ideally, I’d like to get another Mk 1 Accord for regular use. Other Mk 1 Accords have come and gone over the years, but my ‘78 is the best I’ve ever had. It’s also the lowest mileage Accord in the UK and I’d really like to keep it that way.
We hear that one of your Honda Civics also holds a record.
Yes! The 1973 Civic three-door sitting on my driveway is unofficially known as the oldest Honda in Europe. It was either built in December 1972 or very early January ‘73. I’m not sure when exactly. But it’s one of the earliest Civics ever made. What makes it even more special is that the car was sold in York, where I live, and never left. It stayed here that entire time with just one private owner and was used daily up until 2010. I bought it off the owner’s grand-daughter a couple of years later. She was the only person to have ever sat in the back seats when she was taken home from hospital with her new born baby.
The car’s in great shape, but the interior is truly amazing – like new. I’m about to start a full restoration, the plan being to bring the car back to completely original, factory-fresh condition. Over the years, I’ve amassed contacts worldwide for parts, for information, for knowledge. I’ve also got friends with classic and modern Hondas, and between them they have a wealth of knowledge – which I’ll do my best to inject into this restoration. I’m dreaming of what it’ll look like when it’s done.
Owning an original NSX must be a dream come true.
Absolutely. When I was 10 years old, my dad took me to see an NSX at a Honda dealership here in York. I immediately fell in love with it and the NSX remained my ultimate car for the next 25 years. I never thought I’d actually own one. But in 2015, through the sale of my concourse ‘79 Accord four-door and my previous ‘76 Civic, I found myself in a position where I could make it happen.
I found a 1990 imported 5-speed, non-power steering model in red with a black roof – the identical spec as the one I’d seen all the way back in 1991. Instantly, I was a kid again. And to make the whole purchase experience even more special, I discovered from the car’s build number that it was the 59th NSX ever constructed at Honda’s Takanezawa R&D Plant, which was specially built for NSX construction. So, my car was most likely made on the third day of NSX production. And three is my lucky number. The stars really aligned with this one.
Out of your collection, which one is your favourite?
My 1978 Accord, without a doubt. I’ll never ever sell it. I’d let the NSX go before the Accord. It’s going to the grave with me.
What’s your ‘Holy Grail’ Honda?
That would have to be a 1976 Accord, with a low chassis number. The one that’s in the Honda museum in Japan would do nicely. Failing that, I’d love to own an S800 Convertible. Ultra-rare and, aside from the ’76 Accord, my favourite ever Honda. Alternatively, and if we’re talking realistically, there’s a bright orange 1973 Z600 that’s been sitting in a carport in Pontefract for the last 35 years that I’d love to get hold of. It’s got just 35,000 miles on the clock and I’m in regular contact with the owner, but he doesn’t want to sell just yet. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
What are your thoughts on the latest breed of Hondas?
It’s Honda’s engineering that I’ve got the utmost respect for. That DNA runs through the earliest cars, like my ’73 Civic, into the newest models. You can see that same attention to detail, the same bulletproof reliability, in the latest Civics. I absolutely love the latest Civic Type-R. And, of course, the new NSX is something very special indeed. I’d just love to get behind the wheel of one. But I’m quite humbled to own the cars I’ve currently got. They allow me to truly live the dream. If I can enjoy Hondas for as long as I possibly can, I’ll always be happy.