The badges might say “Toyota” and “APEX Twin Cam 16” but it’s really a front-wheel drive Accord.
Bay Area resident John Tran recently shared photos on Facebook of a 1986 Honda Accord hatchback parked in front of a Hayward smog shop.
There’s a reason Tran took photos of this Accord, and it’s not because he’s a fan of these boxy Hondas. The reason is this Accord looks like another car entirely.
With a panda-style paint job and other specific exterior mods, this Accord Hatchback is pulling off car cosplay to look like Takumi Fujiwara’s Toyota AE86 Trueno from the popular car anime, Initial D.
Check out Tran’s photos below.
Here’s a side-by-side of a mostly stock JDM Toyota AE86 Trueno and a Honda Accord Hatchback. If there’s a car in white that gets confused with the AE86 Trueno, this Accord is it.
Since both cars are products of bubble era economy Japan, they share an ’80s design language characterized by clean and sharp angles all around. Both the JDM Trueno and Accord Hatchback also share pop-up headlights.
If you find an Accord Hatchback in white, it’s really just a black hood away from looking like Takumi’s AE86, which is exactly what this Accord owner did.
Besides the black hood, this Accord also has rectangular yellow fogs, a two-tone lower half in black, “Fujiwara Tofu Shop” kanji , Trueno mud guards, a JDM front plate, and even “Toyota” and “Apex Twin Cam 16” badges on the hood and hatch to complete the look.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the fogs are Cibie Type 35s, the ones that Takumi has on his ’86 in the anime.
It’s only when you get somewhat close or look under the hood is it obvious this hatchback isn’t an AE86 at all.
Whereas the AE86 is rear-wheel drive with a longitudinally mounted four-cylinder, this Accord is front-wheel drive with a transverse mounted engine.
Keen eyes will also notice the AE86 is more of a liftback with a hatch that has slightly less slope compared to the Accord’s.
“The ultimate troll,” John Tran says.
“I’m not even mad, though. I respect this guy’s build. A lot of time and effort was put into this. Sure fooled me at first.”
With the level of detail this Accord owner put into making his Honda look exactly like Takumi’s AE86, he’s probably, a big fan of Initial D and might not even be trolling.
This Initial D fan could’ve sourced a real Sprinter Trueno and modded it correctly, but finding or sourcing clean USDM/JDM Truenos isn’t necessarily cheap.
Plus, when parts break, which, on a near 40-year-old car, will happen, getting your Japanese classic rolling again can get expensive.
Honda Accord Hatchbacks, on the other hand, are still uncommon to find but are nowhere near as desirable as Toyota AE86s. Not only are they easier to repair because, hey, it’s a front-wheel drive Honda, they’re cheap.
I did a quick search on Craigslist at the time of this blog post and found an ’87 Accord Hatchback in Washington for just $500.
When you’re on a budget, and all you’re looking for is a passing resemblance to Takumi’s AE86, a cheap Accord Hatchback will get you 80 percent there.
So, the next time you’re driving in Northern California and whip out your smartphone to get photos of a JDM AE86 Sprinter Trueno, you might want to take a closer look because it might be this guy’s Accord instead.