Vintage Brock Yates: Playboy Mods a 1976 Honda Civic or a Hot Hatch Japanese Style!


This morning’s post about the R&T feature on the ’75 Honda Civic triggered a memory from an article I’d read long, long ago in a lifetime far away. I searched until I’d found it, much like Ahab and the whale, as I was determined to bring it to you deserving folks here at CC! So without further ado (I’m going to let Paul judge the slight non-PCness of the accompanying photos to the text, I edited out risque cartoons from the last two pics) I present the ultimate modded 1st gen Honda Civic!!


Brock Yates, famous for the Cannonball Run and a frequent Car & Driver contributor, penned the article. He starts by commenting on the state of the economy at the time, then segues to extolling the flingable virtues of the Civic. Some of the mods like the spoiler and fender flares do look attractive. I wonder if Soichiro Honda saw them.


Other additions included a leather steering wheel and racing style seats. I’m sure these helped keep you in control when ticking the Dragon’s Tail over Deal’s Gap.


The base Civic ($3,500!!) was sent to a specialty house where the mods were added to the car. They chose to keep things subdued and classy rather than turn the Honda into a caricature of itself.


They moved the turn signals (I’d always found those to be dorky and obtrusive myself) to under the bumper, removed and blacked out some chrome and improved the instrument panel to communicate conditions more clearly to the driver. The fender flares were functional, Yates chose to install 5 and 1/2 inch wide low profile tires to improve road grip.

It certainly sounds appealing, a Honda Civic CVCC GT for the times!