“I’m not touching it, it’s staying standard,” is a collection of words best ignored when uttered by a car person. This is precisely what Richard Poole said when taking the keys to a Honda Accord Tourer, and credit where credit’s due, he did hold out for 12 months before the inevitable happened. After that initial year of ownership passed, he could hold out no longer.
“I wanted to build something a little different,” he says, adding, “Let’s face it, who in their right mind modifies a Honda Accord diesel estate?” On the evidence of Richard’s thoroughly transformed wagon, perhaps more people should.
For the Honda’s rebirth, Richard enlisted the help of Jamie Carter, also known as RPM England. As a long-time car builder with some of his work featured in big tuning mags, he was the ideal person to turn the Accord into something special while bearing in mind Richard’s relatively tight budget.
These days, the Accord’s 2.2-litre inline-four diesel engine puts out 225bhp and 370lb ft of torque. The extra grunt comes courtesy of a hybrid turbocharger, with a front-mounted intercooler adding a little more while also looking pretty damn good.
You might not notice this initially, as there’s a lot going on from the outside. We have a roof scoop, a sizeable front splitter with big endplates, and a gigantic rear wing. It wears a custom livery from Timmy at Tiato Ltd, featuring a Rising Sun flag stretching over much of the passenger side of the car.
Precious little of the original interior remains - there’s now only seating for two courtesy of some OMP bucket seats with harnesses. Since a standard Accord isn’t exactly built for track day antics, the chassis received a full complement of upgrades including 365mm front discs squeezed by giant six-pot calipers, BC coilovers and a set of SuperPro bushes. The stock wheels are long gone, replaced with JR5 rims wrapped in Nankang AR-1 semi-slick tyres.
It’s been a long road to get here, though. The modifications happened in two stages, separated a crash at the fearsome Castle Combe. The barrier contact left the Accord “looking a little beaten up and sorry for itself,” but as far as Richard was concerned, this presented an opportunity. With a Nurburgring trip looming in the diary, he sent the car back to Jamie for what he describes as “round 2”.
It’d be not just fixed up, but further improved too. It was around this time that the livery and the perspex windows went on, among other modifications. The car was ‘Ring ready.
Richard met up with Yannick, a local, whom he entrusted with lapping the mighty Accord to see what it was capable of on the Nordschleife. A lot, it turned out - Yannick’s first trip round yielded an 8min 35sec bridge to gantry lap, cutting that down to just 8min 21sec later in the day. “It was then that I knew this car was more than a family estate car, it was actually worthy of the livery I had given it,” Richard recalls.
Although it’s already a very capable machine, and it’s only set to get faster, with further developments planned for the next for years. We can’t wait to see what’s next.