Bring out the birthday cake – the venerable Honda Accord is now 40 years old! This midsize (D-segment to you and me) sedan has been sold in the United States since 1976, so American Honda Motor has released a couple of new videos that depict the history of the iconic nameplate.

The circumstances in which the first-generation SJ came into being was quite a bit more volatile than the modern day. The US was still reeling from the first oil crisis in 1973 (and would soon be hit by the second one in 1979), with an oil embargo causing a shortage of fuel and the skyrocketing of fuel prices.

Spurred with the success of the reliable, fuel-efficient Civic, which went on sale just before the crisis, Honda sought to build a larger car to complement it. The house that Soichiro built accorded (geddit?) the name to reflect the company’s “belief in using technology to achieve accord between people and the automobile.”

As with the Civic, the Accord used Honda’s pioneering Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion (CVCC) engine technology, which used a pre-chamber near the spark plug to ignite a small amount of relatively rich air-fuel mixture, making the leaner mixture coming through the main intake valve easier to combust.

This made the engine use less fuel and, more importantly, emit fewer hydrocarbon emissions – allowing the car to meet emissions standards at the time without using a heavy and expensive catalytic converter.

Honda took another brave step with the second-generation Accord in 1982 by commencing American production in Marysville, Ohio. The company proved that US-built models were just as well-built and as reliable as those made in Japan, so much so that in 1987 it started exporting the Accord Coupe to Japan.

Since then, the Accord has grown larger, more powerful and more comfortable, and has become synonymous with the midsize tag, along with the Toyota Camry. It’s gained several technologies over the years, including PGM-FI multi-point fuel injection, VTEC variable valve timing and lift, direct fuel injection and the world’s first in-car navigation system.

Today’s ninth-gen model is available as a hybrid and fitted with features such as full-LED headlights, remote engine start, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and Honda Sensing driver assistance systems like adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and lane keeping assist. We’ll be getting the latest facelifted model soon, so you can definitely look out for at least some of these features in the near future.

Honda has also released a video showing both the original 1976 car and the new 2017 Accord Hybrid, along with American Honda’s media relations head Steve Kinkade and public relations manager James Jenkins – the latter playing a ’70s Honda salesman.

The whole thing is cringeworthy to say the least, but it does illustrate just how far the nameplate has come over the past four decades. So happy birthday, Honda Accord, and we hope to see you in the next 40 years.

GALLERY: 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid