Getting the Accordian -- The Backstory

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I'm a social person. I like doing stuff, but I just don't enjoy doing it alone. When it came to motorsports, I kept inviting my friends, many of whom had talked about going for years, but it was always the same story: Oh I need to fix XYZ part, or I need to get around to installing this or that. They've always got a reason their car isn't perfect and so they don't go.

Over the years I've shared many other activities with my friends, and nearly always once they get over that burden of entry they dive into it themselves. For disc golf I'd get a bag of extra discs and that would get people over the threshold. Surfing, I'd provide wetsuits and boards. Snowboarding I'd buy a learn to snowboard or ski package for a friend... just nudge them over the edge to get out and active.

For cars though, I don't really have a terribly good setup to share with folks. I've got my C5 Corvette track car, which I have shared but it's a lot of car for a novice and it's a bit expensive to put a potentially reckless novice in. I've also got the NC Miata street and track car, which is great but the seat height really restricts who the car is usable for.

I wanted a car to share with friends and get that social experience in.

Thus, the sharing conundrum had been sitting on the backburner of my head for a few years as I got more and more into motorsports. I then met another lemons driver down in SoCal and helped wrench on two of his lemons projects. That was fun, but in an entirely new way as it helped me feel more confident in my ability to wrench on my own car along with got myself and others out driving. There really was no better place to learn than in a low consequence environment, and lemons cars are precisely that. Scratch whatever, dent whatever, hammer stuff out of the way. Get all those first timer experiences out of the way on the shitbox, you'll know what you're up to on the next car.

Fast forward a bit, and I'm back in the PNW staying at my friend Tim's Lumberyard. I was camping out there for the summer and contributing as I could to helping prep his property for sale. There in the back of the property was a 2004 Honda Accord. If you squint realy hard you just might be able to see it in the blackberry bramble pictured above. His son Issac had gotten his drivers license, and within the first 6 weeks or so of driving Issac rear ended a prius when he was not paying attention and texting. Kids these days ammiright?

The car had then sat for 5 years in the back of the property, gathering wasp nests and blackberries, doing nothing. Tim now had to remove it from the property in order to sell the property, so it was time to sort the car out. Tim had paid $1200 to buy it back from insurance and then left it sitting outside for years. Tim wanted his $1200 back, but of course... that's not realistic without some work. I told him the very low amount I'd pay him for it, but of course offerd to help him remove it and see what it would need to get running again should he want to deal with it himself.

We pulled the car out of the brambles and along the side of his shop and trailer. You can't tell from the picture but it took a day of removing brambles, and then another day of building out the gravel road you see the car being pulled down. When Tim originally dumped the car behind his warehouse the camper wasn't as permantenly located and blocking the path along the warehouse

We dragged the car under one of the open bays in the lumberyard so we could inventory what it needed. As part of inventorying, we denoted the front AC condenser and the radiator were absolutely taco'd along with the front crash bar. We removed the AC and radiator and wrapped a chain around the front bumper, attached it to the giant 10,000lb fork lift that Tim uses to move logs around and pulled the front of the car "straight". We fired the car up for a brief moment to prove it ran still, confirming it was a running car and celebrated the minor victory.

The car then sat for a few months. I had prepared a parts list for Tim to repair the vehicle himself and even offered to help, but Tim had much better things to be dealing with which were hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit while this car was best case scenario a break even scenario or just avoiding a few hundred dollar loss. Tim however was not excited to sell for my low offer nor to just scrap the car for scrap value, and so the car just sat. Eventually the time came where Tim couldn't avoid dealing with the car any long, so selling it to me for cheap was the simplest course of action. For $350, I came and picked the accord up from his property and got it out of his hair.

One of our team members, Orion, joined me as we headed over to Tim's property with the bare minimum amount of parts needed to fix the car. We pushed the car into one of the warehouses on the property and set to work removing various bits that were making contact with other parts they shouldn't, and then jammed a new radiator in along with the nescessary hoses. We bled the coolant system and... the car fired right up and idled along happily! Orion and I took the car for a brief drive around the neighborhood, confirming the car worked fine. It was even a bit funny as any time we got over 25ish mph the hood would fly up and block our view. Forutnately, any time it did so we were only going 30 on a straightaway on an abandoned 55mph back road so the amount of risk was near zero and simply made for a fun and laughable moment.

I towed the Accord home, stopping briefly at a do-it-yoruself car wash where I spent $25 trying to get all the caked on grime off of the car. I then dropped it off in the shop... and thus begins the saga of the Honda Accordian as a car I would build up into a track car!

Why the Honda Accordion?

So the Accord got squished, which reminds me of an Accordion, and hey Accordions are funny. Plus... we need a lemons theme, ideally that will annoy our competition... so why not blast accordion music out the rear of the Accord for 24 hours straight for the other drivers out there to enjoy?

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