We’ve seen some gen1 Neons here over the years, but since Mike Hayes posted this white one at the Cohort, it’s a fitting car to follow JP Cavanaugh’s superb deep dive into the history of the color white on cars.
The Neon’s story is familiar: Another Big Three small car unleashed with high expectations to beat back the Japanese. Unlike some of the others, the Neon initially looked like it might be a real contender. It was roomy, handled well, and fun to drive. But the key quality that the Japanese had been culturing for decades—quality—was just never there.
I remember reading a story that Honda was seriously worried about the coming Neon, based on the specs and other info they had prior to its final introduction. They bought one as soon as it came out and took it apart down to the last nut and bolt. That instantly removed any anxiety: Chrysler’s “Civic Killer” was just another cute American car built to a price and not a standard.
And that’s pretty much all there needs to be said about the Neon.