Turn One: Our Yellow AF Civic

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Dec 28, 2020 | Honda, Civic Si | Posted in Columns | From the June 2019 issue | Never miss an article

Did you know that I’m clairvoyant? Yup, I’m Jedi. Or Spider-Man. Or maybe a reincarnated Carnac the Magnificent. Pick your favorite.

Prove it? Okay, fine. Your car is white. Or black. Or silver. Or pewter. Maybe something crazy like champagne, graphite or midnight?

Don’t feel so badly. The GRM parking lot often resembles a sea of neutrals, with Katie’s green Mini adding the lone dollop of color.

Whether it’s the chicken or the egg, this is what today’s market offers. Take the latest Miata Club. Mazda offers five colors: In addition to their trademark Soul Red, buyers can choose from Artic White, Ceramic Metallic, Jet Black Mica and Machine Grey Metallic. Yawn?

BMW shows 11 color options for their latest M4. I’d call two of them variations of brown, two have black in their name, and another two are whites. (Those of you who do want some color should check out the latest Mustang, though, as the palette includes Need for Green, Orange Fury, Race Red, Velocity Blue and, a personal fave, Ruby Red.)

Personally, I’m right there with the masses as my fleet contains three neutrals out of five. The two cars that do possess some color are rather subdued: The Porsche wears Ruby Red Metallic, a hue that’s about two or three notches away from brown, while the M3 is Mystic Blue, a rather dark, deep navy that could never be called flashy. And, for the record, I’m totally okay with these colors. I love them, in fact, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m just as monochromatic in the rest of my life. My usual shirt color: black. My bike: a matte black frame done up in full neutrals, from chrome rims to raw chromoly crank arms. A lot of my guitars pair black bodies with white pickguards and maple necks; call it the classic tuxedo look. I carry an iPhone in Space Gray.

But lately a little bit of color has been injected into my world. This year we’re fostering a new Honda Civic Si. Before taking delivery, we discussed colors. For our project cars, we tend to stick with something that goes with our logo, meaning some combination of white, red and black. Maybe we’ll go nuts and select silver.

Davis Adams, our super-friendly PR go-to guy at Honda, suggested that we go bold with this one. The e-mail back and forth looked a lot like this:

Go with Tonic Yellow. ☺


Definitely. ☺

Okay, let’s do it.

A month or so later the Civic landed in our parking lot. Wow, it’s bright. Like, really bright. Here, let me put on my rather subdued, blending-into-the-background tortoiseshell Ray-Bans.

But I have to give Honda props for toning it down just the right amount. Look at the mirrors, for example: Half of the shell wears the body color while the rest remains black. Those black accents in the bumpers and around the nose also bring it all down a notch. I could deal with this. Yeah, this is going to work. I’m feeling it.

The remarks from the general population have been overwhelmingly positive, whether in the paddock at an SCCA Track Night in America event or parked front and center for Record Store Day celebrations at my friend’s shop. (Free plug: While in Tampa, tell Keith at Microgroove that I sent you.)

Instead of looking like a clown car, the Civic has a purposeful look. Business up front and party in the back? Fine, I can go with that.

So, when it comes to colors, what’s your favorite? Championship White or Panther Pink? Polaris Silver or Fly Yellow? Aviator Grey or Viper Green? Are you Batman or Robin?

As for me, I’m not ready to start wearing aloha shirts, but maybe a small splash of color isn’t so bad after all.

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View comments on the GRM forums
Nugi Reader
9/16/19 11:24 a.m.

It screams 'fire truck' hi-viz, and the mazda colors are actually some of the better neutrals out there (which kinda supports your point more than anything), but otherwise pretty spot-on. This always seemed like one of the things Dodge got right. There will always be a market for 'can I get it in Purple!?' Imho. I am always disappointed in the color options on my cars and constantly pondering if a repaint is worth it. 

I can't really talk, my most interesting paint colors are Red and Electron Blue, but there may be a day-glo addition soon... for reasons. 

What are the most interesting colors of car out there right now stock? That you own? Curious to hear...

Floating Doc
Floating Doc GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
9/16/19 11:35 a.m.

Silver and silver.

Balanced out by the truck with it's very 80s brown and gold with a beige topper and wheels, and the emerald green mica Miata.

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon SuperDork
9/16/19 12:03 p.m.

My wife very much likes her yellow Focus. It’s a really nice pearl yellow/gold. She has decreed it’s eventual replacement will also be a fun color. I’m not sure how that will go since we will likely be minvan/cuv shopping.

I think you could get the Flex in Kona Blue at one point. Maybe we can find one of those.

barefootskater Dork
9/16/19 12:26 p.m.

I farkin' love that civic. I love my orange Fit. And the plan is to gulf up the paint on my mudstain. Black, white, silver/gray, those are shades not colors

I like cars. A lot. I want folks to know that I like cars. I want them to know that I purposefully chose what I drive. I want to see them from across the parking lot. I want people to see coming up the road. I had a silver camry once. Never again


Jordan Rimpela
Jordan Rimpela GRM+ Memberand Digital Editor
9/16/19 12:53 p.m.

I tried to defend my Mercedes' gold/brown trim combo as not being earth tone, but who am I kidding? I take solace in my belief that older cars look good in gold. And I do mean gold, none of this watered down metallic taupe/champagne tomfoolery. 

slowbird Reader
9/16/19 12:57 p.m.

I would like to have one color for each stripe of the rainbow, please.

(Currently only have a green and a blue, and want to paint the silver car teal, and want to paint the white car purple. And yes I know teal isn't in the rainbow, technically.)

codrus GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/16/19 1:12 p.m.

Count me in as a fan of a cars with color.

Alas, when buying used it's hard to avoid winding up with the paint tones that other people chose, so my truck is white.

200mph Reader
11/17/19 9:57 a.m.

I always liked those two-tone Chevy (and Ford and Dodge) pickups...  a look I wish they would bring back.  I'm so tired of seeing acres of nothing but "contractor white" trucks on the dealer lots.

200mph Reader
11/17/19 10:03 a.m.

Around 1968, Euro carmakers started offering "safety" colors for better small car visiblility.  A great idea, America followed...

Ford offered "grabber" colors, Dodge had "hi-impact" colors, AMC cars wore "Big Bad" colors.  


My son is building his MG Midget and I strongly suggested following the same theme... so Scott is trying to decide between :

Honda - Tonic Yellow

Porsche - Birch Green

Camaro - Shock Yellow

2020 Corvette - Accelerate Yellow

dxman92 HalfDork
11/17/19 10:25 a.m.

I drive a teal sky blueish Versa Note and I've had Lyft passengers from ages 4 to 85 say cool car, nice color or give a thumbs up.

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