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Spring is not here yet...


Canon 5D

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART

Classic Japanese Motorcycle of the late 60's through early 70's

This is the facelifted version of the original Honda Civic, the car that helped establish Honda as a major car manufacturer. Each successive Civic model, has not only grown in size but also spawned several different body shapes. The UK only recieved 2 door and 4 door models initially, then followed by a versatile 3 door hatchback version.


One my spots in the centre of Oxford circa 1998. I tried to get into the habit of having my camera with me all the time, as Oxford having a large student population would also mean typical older student cars. I saw this Honda Civic a few times in the area before I snapped it - lucky I did as I never saw it again on the road.

2000 Civic Si R.I.P.((

Please don't use this image on websites, blogs or other media without my written permission.

© Toni_V. All rights reserved.

Honda Shadow street bike, ready rider found on the street of course, shot in North Carolina.

Honda S2000


Circuit du Castellet (Paul Ricard HTTT) - France


Caméra: Nikon D80

Exposition: 0,004 sec (1/250)

Ouverture: f/8.0

Longueur focale: 22 mm

Vitesse ISO: 100

My wife mentioned I had become set in my ways. I think she was probably being a little provocative, just jabbing me for a little reaction. I must admit that hurt a touch, but I made sure it didn't show, and I carried on ignoring her like I normally do. Was she having a real dig at me, or was she subtly suggesting I go and have a bit of fun, spend some money, perhaps go a little wild? Being the positive type I assumed she was suggesting the latter, out of devotion to me, of course, but I guessed that the good wife in her knew what was in my heart and in my head. I would like a new car. I think she knew it, by the brochures lying around. Not that I deliberately put them where she would see them. But I would like something that doesn't mark me out as Mr Accord Man: a little dated, utterly reliable, understated and unassuming. Maybe....I hate to say it....a bit boring. No: alot boring.


The Honda Accord. You hardly ever see one. Honda has even given up selling their large saloon in the UK. It's not even planned a replacement model for it. And yet they love them in the USA. There are millions of them, and they consistently top the charts in most respects. But here in the UK, well, it's a slightly sad story. One of the joys for me as a sales rep used to be getting a new company car. Even if that meant progressing through a myriad of Astras, Sierras, Orions, a Vauxhall Belmont, and Cavaliers to a point where I could choose my own company car. I once complained when I took a new job where they had stated that the company car was a Ford Sierra 1.8GL but instead when I got there they said instead it was going to be a Vauxhall Astra. I felt cheated. But I should have known the Sales secretary liked me and her impish smile meant she was saving a bit of something I fancied, especially for me as their sales star. It only turned out to be an Astra GTE with a drainpipe exhaust, every boy racers dream. I don't remember ever being late for an appointment, no matter how ridiculously late I left it to get there. But when I started buying my own company car I was more sensible. I chose a moss green Ford Mondeo. The colour wasn't my choosing but Mondeos had just been launched and were radically advanced compared to anything else on the market. It stood me well for 100,000 miles, the odd trip to the garage being a fact of life for minor ailments. What motivated me to eventually trade it in for a 5th generation Honda Accord, I have no idea but perhaps a VTEC engine and double wishbone suspension all round sounded like a good idea. I quickly began to appreciate the quality of the car, the sweetness of the engine, the reliability, and the fact it wasn't as common as the other brands. With the exception of a couple of new exhaust pipes (that corroded in those days), tyres, brake pads and discs, wiper blades and occasional servicing the car was faultless. Nothing....nothing went wrong with it. Not even a light bulb. I sold it to a colleague's brother in-law when it got to 99,992 miles. I was amazed to hear 12 years later it was still running, and still looked exactly the same. I traded up to a Lexus, which I loved too. But having to buy a new set of tyres every 7000 miles became a sensitive issue on company expenses. I bought some cheaper tyres and the car told me it wasn't impressed with my choice as the traction control came on far more frequently. It was a costly mistake I almost paid the ultimate price for. Having gone 88,000 miles, using more than 10 sets of tyres, my insurer had to pay for the stretch of dry stone wall that was levelled, the three railway sleeper sized posts stood in the ground as a feature to the entrance of Nether Alderley village that were dislodged, the post with the 40mph speed limit sign atop it that was bowled over, and the car that lay shattered on its roof 70 yards down the road, facing from whence it had just come. I was given a minimum sum to buy a replacement car and settled on a diesel Renault Laguna Tourer. Surprisingly I loved that too, apart from when things went wrong with it. More than anything else in life it probably contributed to me hating the French more than anything else, including snails, frog's legs and Charles de Gaulle. How I got it up to 95,000 miles I shall never know. But the expensive trips to the dealers even to get simple little things like electric switches replaced put me off less reliable manufacturers long before they charged me to replace a split intercooler, and when that didn't cure the fault, told me I needed a new turbo. Do they think I am a mug?


I harked back to my Honda Accord. I hate it when a car has to go to the garage. It's inconvenient. It's expensive. I bought a brand new seventh generation Honda Accord with Honda's first ever diesel engine, the 2.2 D-TEC. Wow, it's a free revving, smooth engine with great torque not like one of those agricultural French or German diesels. It was fabulous for another 88,000 miles only ever requiring an offside front sidelight bulb. Once again I was so completely satisfied with a Honda Accord that it was a no brainer to buy an 8th generation Honda Accord Tourer. Yet again the 2.2 diesel was a peach, the tourer being even more comfortable than the previous Accord. I was slowly beginning to do fewer miles by this point and four years of ownership took me up to 80,000 miles. Amazingly that car never need any parts other than the usual wear and tear items of tyres, brakes, wiper blades. And so we arrived at a point four years ago where I decided to change my car. I looked at every prestige brand and shook my head to all of them. None can touch the Accord in that fundamental requirement for a car: reliability.


So when the car that became The Black Pearl became available there was no choice. With uprated power and every imaginable manufacturer's fitted extra, the Type-S it is the best Accord I've ever had. And now it has reached that point. the mileage is 88,000 once again, after four years. And one replacement nearside front side light bulb. And that's all (the rear number plate bulb was a false alarm). That's four Honda Accords I've had carrying me every day for 15 years, and more than 350 thousand miles. fifteen times round the world and the only replacement parts were three small light bulbs.


But there is no Honda Accord to replace it with. I went out with my son ten days ago to look at the new Honda Civic Sport Plus with the 1.5 turbo engine in it. I like its quirky, sporty, youthful looks. I like its practicality. I like it's handling and ride. I like it in red! I feel slightly re-juvenated in it. And last Saturday I went with Son No.2 to buy one. No, we were going to buy two. One for him, one for me. We went for another test drive and he sat down to fill out the papers to buy his, all in black. And then it was my turn, and I faltered. I want to feel younger. I want something new. I want bright red. But then.....oh, I like having a fuel range of up to 670 miles, I like those really comfortable wide, electric and heated leather front seats, I like that really strong surge of torque the Type-S Accord delivers from low down in the rev range, but best of all I love the fact that I have never ever seen an Accord the same as mine. I'm an individual. Being different is everything to me. Even if that does mean being Mr Accord Man through and through. I'm really sorry, wife. I really can't buy another car, not even that bright red one that will make me look youthful and with the in-crowd. I'll stick with being good 'ole dependable, reliable me. Mr Accord Man

Shot With:


Canon 5D MKIII


Canon 50mm f/1.2



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