The curse of yellow Hondas and their nuclear history
If you've seen THE LATEST EPISODE (HERE) the lads have updated the looks of their EK Civic hatch, now the B16A VTEC powerplant is sitting tough in its home. While the new panels aren't bog-laden, dented pieces of filth that had been on the car, they aren't the same metallic Mazda2 Spicy Orange as the back half and this has led to much debate about what colour Marty and MOOG should coat their hatch in.
Reds, greys, blaaaaack, white and 4 million other hues have been discussed, but there was a fascinating fact which popped up in the MCM shed while discussing potential hues - Marty and MOOG aren't allowed to paint their car Y49 yellow.
Yellow is a famous colour for go-fast Hondas, having been used on many stock and tuned examples back into the 1980s. Many fans of VTEC booBAAA power got their first taste of giant-killing performance watching VHS tapes (ask your grandpa, kids) of cars like the SPOON Civics slaying V8s.
But there is also a yellow that Honda fans dare not speak the name of. While the 1980s second-generation CRX brought B16 VTEC power and excellent handling to many, being one of the first machines to usher in the sport compact tuning era, there is an urban legend that all second-gen CRXs painted Barbados Yellow hold a terrible curse that sees higher rates of crashes, unexplained damage, vandalism and general bad juju occuring.
Interestingly sales of Y49 yellow CRXs were halted in 1991 due to a radioactive element being used in the paint, and the health concerns rising from that. Apparently Y49 was causing line-workers and engineers to get sick from exposure to the radiation, leading to the cancellation of the colour, although this doesn't explain the high propensity of bad luck to strike Y49 CRXs...
So if Y49 is the mark of the devil for VTEC fanbois, how did yellow Hondas get such a foothold in the lore? Phoenix and Sunlight Yellow, both coded Y56, is arguably the more famous "modern yellow" which Honda actually brought back for a limited-edition new-generation Civic Type R, having found fame on cars like the DC2 Integra Type R and EK9 Civic Type R - the second and third R-models from Honda, respectively.
I mean, they even had a couple of Y56 CTRs on Initial D! C'mon!