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T H E H O N DA I S S U E Miss Super Street Erica Nagashima





ZERO TO VTEC, REAL QUICK Gettin’ the annual Honda issue started off right with the half-JDM, half-American Erica Nagashima—our ’15 Miss Super Street! Photo: Randy Ly









SUPER STREET (ISSN #1093-071X), JULY 2015 VOL. 19, NO. 07

Copyright © 2015 by TEN: The Enthusiast Network Magazines, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Published monthly by TEN: The Enthusiast Network, LLC., 261 Madison Avenue, 6th floor, New York, NY 10016. Periodicals Postage Paid at New York, NY and at additional mailing offices. Subscription rates for 1 year (12 issues): U.S., APO, FPO and U.S. Possessions $22.97, Canada $34.97, foreign orders $46.97 (including surface mail postage). Payment in advance, U.S. funds only. For a change of address, six weeks’ notice is required. E-mail, call 800/456-6426 or 386/447-6385 (Intl) or write to Super Street, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235. Please include name, address and phone number on any inquiries. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission. Printed in the U.S.A. This book is purchased with the understanding that the information presented is from varied sources for which there can be no warranty or responsibility by the Publisher as to accuracy or completeness. Postmaster: Send all UAA to CFS. (See DMM 707.4.12.5); NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES: send address corrections to Super Street, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235.

YOU DRIVE INTO A DOWNPOUR. TIME TO: take cover take control

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Editorial Network Content Director Sean Russell Editor Sam Du Managing Editor Michelle McCarthy Online Editor Bob Hernandez Social Media Manager Mike Sabounchi Staf Editor Jofel Tolosa Production Editor Josh Ching Art Direction & Design Art Director Bernice Guevarra Contributors Aaron Bonk, Chad Burdette, Chris Durnon, Jenny Gomez, Nick Hall, Joey Lee, Randy Ly, Jorge Nunez, Matthew "Rodrez" Rodriguez, Jon Sibal, Jonathan Wong Manufacturing & Production Operations VP, Manufacturing & Ad Operations Greg Parnell Senior Director, Ad Operations Pauline Atwood Archivist Thomas Voehringer

BACK TO BASICS She doesn’t look like much, but give us a couple months…she’ll look good as new! It’s been a cool minute since we’ve had a Honda project in the mag; in fact, the last was our ol’ staffer Sean Klingelhoefer’s Project Leroy—a B18powered EK hatch that went from daily driver to weekend warrior, real quick. Fast-forward to the summer of ’15 and it’s time to start something fresh. Our goal is to bring back a project car to inspire some of you who might have thought ››Project Leroy, retired from active duty about working on a Honda for the first time, or in '12. maybe build your fourth or fifth one. However, we should warn you first; this isn’t something we’re going to strip down and take to the track right off the bat (although it will be more than capable of it). We’re also not going to chrome everything, slam ’n’ camber it, and shave the entire bay. No, this ’99 Civic is going back to basics. We’re keeping things within a reasonable budget, and most importantly, it’s gotta pass a California state referee using a Japanese-spec B16A motor. It doesn’t sound like the most exciting project now, but rest assured. We’ll demonstrate what you can do with a $1,500 car, a handful of high-quality parts, and a great team. Speaking of team, how can we forget the guys who are going to help! The nickname for this EK is ATS*SS because our friends at ATS Garage will be taking charge of the build with Ferd Natividad as the lead—remember his blue DC2 K20powered Integra from last year’s Honda issue? We’re very excited to have him and the rest of ATS crew onboard. Stay tuned and we’ll be back with a major update in a couple months! ››Ferd’s Integra from the ’14 Honda issue. We couldn’t think of a group of more hardcore Honda guys in our neck of the woods to team up with!

Sam Du Editor-in-Chief


This year’s Honda issue is special to us, not only because we have eight awesome feature cars, but an all-star cast that helped in a huge way. Joey Lee of The Chronicles aka Stickydiljoe returns after being a tremendous help tracking down most of the cars in last year’s Honda issue. This month, we also have two other contributors many of you are very familiar with—Jonathan Wong and Matthew “Rodrez” Rodriguez. Jonathan is one of the main reasons Super Street is where it is today and we’re blessed to have him still giving us his support. Rodrez, former editor-in-chief at Honda Tuning, is one of the most respected, knowledgeable, and well-known guys in the Honda community. You’ll be seeing regular stories from him as we continue to make Super Street a better and badder mag!

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SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES FOR SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES: E-mail to, call 800/456-6426, or 386/447-6385 (Intl) or write to Super Street, P.O. Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235. Please includename, address and phone number on any inquiries. For a change of address, six weeks’ notice is required. Subscription rates for 1 year (12 issues): U.S., APO, FPO and U.S. Possessions $22.97, Canada $34.97, Foreign orders $46.97 (includes surface mail postage). Payment in advance, U.S. funds only. Occasionally our subscriber list is made available to reputable firms offering goods and services we believe would be of interest to our readers. If you prefer to be excluded, please send your current address label and a note requesting to be excluded from these promotions to TEN: The Enthusiast Network, LLC, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245, Attn: Privacy Coordinator. ADVERTISING INFORMATION: Please call Super Street Advertising Department at 949/705-3149. TEN: THE ENTHUSIAST NETWORK, LLC. also publishes Chevy High Performance, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, Four Wheeler, Jp, Circle Track, Mustang Monthly, Mopar Muscle and Hot Rod. REPRINTS: Contact Wright’s Media at 877/652-5295 (281/419-5725 outside the U.S. and Canada) to purchase quality custom reprints or e-prints of articles appearing in this publication. BACK ISSUES: To order back issues, visit https://www.circsource. com/store/storeBackIssues.html. Canada Post: Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to IMEX Global Solutions, P.O. Box 25542, London, ON N6C 6B2. COPYRIGHT 2015 BY TEN: THE ENTHUSIAST NETWORK MAGAZINES, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED • PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.





A birthday of epic proportions at @lavolv. #lavobrunch

Cupcakes from my BFF @joellelising. #samlife

Sorry, @hanakolaa but Fernet Branca wins. #d1dayclub

Korean BBQ for Sam’s bday. Shots, shots, shots.

Seventies RS-style had me green with envy.

SEAN RUSSELL @sea_russell

Rode in a Suzuki ’Busa-powered Radical. Need one for the street.

MIKE SABOUNCHI @mykalfakerich

Already missing Osaka… It’s time to plan an international road trip with Ratchet Bunny.

Another tow for Project Legacy in the books. This car is doomed. #blessed

How do you pull off a secret photo shoot at 3 a.m.? Pile two photographers into the Sonic.

Sporting the new kicks! @jordanbrand @raysmsc

My niece is cuter than yours. #unclejojo

JOFEL TOLOSA @jofeltolosa

Jufran sauce on deck! #bestcondimentever

LUIS CENTENO @luisdanielcenteno

My First Crush Like the majority of Filipino families, the Tolosas were big on Toyotas. My dad owned a Tacoma and an AE86 Corolla SR5 Coupe while my mom drove a Sienna minivan. However, I can still remember the first Honda that came into our family. It was a Saturday morning in my high school years. I woke up to my brother calling my name and waving a key in my face. My eyes were still blurry, but when it came into focus, the key read “Honda.” My brother had just picked up a ’97 Civic DX hatch. Powered by a mean 106hp D16, we cruised the streets of Delano, California like we were driving a Lambo. Foolish as we were, we kept it fairly clean and the rice to a minimum. It had Eibach springs and Mugen RNR replicas. The hatch would eventually be passed down to me. I knew it was slow having driven my fair share of VTEC-equipped Hondas owned by my close friends, but I still enjoyed the occasional street race and yanking the e-brake for a sad attempt at power sliding every once in awhile. Boys will be boys, right? But a place like Delano was known to have a lot of haters, and my Civic got broken into one too many times. I eventually sold the car for an ’87 Toyota Corolla GT-S. Looking back, though, a part of me misses that first love of my life. While I didn’t get a chance to own a B- or K-swapped Civic, there was no feeling quite like VTEC kickin’ in. Think it’s time for a new daily driver…

Jofel Tolosa No garage queens here.


Coming up on junk food your dad bought but your mom won’t let you eat.

Signs you live in the L.A. area.

Staff Editor


EVER-CHANGING, THIS CTR CONTINUES TO GET BETTER AND BETTER… WORDS Rodrez PHOTOS Chris Dornon When Matt Tucker first locked eyes with this ’00 Civic Type R through his computer monitor, he was positive it would be his, even with a few thousand miles standing in his way. It was collecting dust in Southern California, and Tucker left Tennessee with intentions of sealing the deal, then driving the 6th-gen clear across the country—a fairly tall order for a car that he had yet to see in person. With the money and title exchanged and more than 2,000 miles under his belt, Tucker pulled into his driveway a few days later in the bright-yellow EK9 that he’d been digitally lusting over and wasted little time in making it his own. Like most imported cars from Japan, various factory pieces were missing or needed replacement, and Tucker got right to work sourcing parts and repairing any issues he found. And while most Type R purists cringe at the very thought of anything other than a B16B under the hood of the iconic hatchback, Tucker needed more grunt than the hyperactive 1.6L could offer. A boosted GSR swap made its way under the hood and produced more than 600 hp before eventually committing suicide and was then promptly replaced with a bare-bones ITR heart. Along the way the car landed a feature in Honda Tuning Magazine, then sat patiently while Tucker turned his attention to an S2000 project. He adds, “I decided it [S2000] wasn’t as good of a daily driver as I needed, so I parted it out, back to stock, and sold it all. With new ideas and some extra funds from the S2000, I went back to the CTR and gave it a small makeover.” Exterior changes remained mild with an Air Walker front bumper replacing the factory CTR bumper and lip. However, under the hood, changes were far more drastic. Having already performed a trio of engine swaps on his Civic, Tucker was itching to do a fourth. After rebuilding a K20A2 for his friend Brandon,

››Recaro “Sport” seats out of the EP3 Civic.

››Brace yourself! The stripped interior features a Safety 21 cage and this rad Rook Industries M-brace.

››Carbon front splitter is handmade by Matt himself.

he eventually purchased that engine to use in the EK. A number of trips to Baton Rouge to visit the Hybrid Racing guys resulted in a stockpile of swap parts, and his plan of attack was set to unfold. Tucker states, “I sold the B18C5 swap and started doing the wire tuck. My friend Brandon and I got busy sanding the bay and shaving and smoothing a few things, then painted it with PPG Deltron paint and House of Kolors clear to make it look better with the K-swap.” A closer look reveals plenty of factory holes and original creases even after the bay was reworked, and that’s no accident. He adds, “I didn’t want to shave the whole bay; I just wanted it to look very clean. Stock…but way better.” A K-swap under the hood of a ’96-’00 Civic isn’t uncommon, and to be honest, it can be pretty difficult to differentiate one guy’s build from another. However, one of the things that sets Tucker’s CTR apart from the clones is his attention to detail. Being hands on with a project of this caliber meant that hours could be spent on areas that most don’t think about during a build. For example, the RBC intake manifold: “After a long night with Ethan


Hamilton, I shaved all the things I didn’t need and removed the webbing in between the runners. I used the OEM K20A2 engine harness and David Cordell and myself went through it to clean it up a little and tuck it.” Then there were the brakes, which Tucker meticulously disassembled in order to clean and refinish the calipers for a “better than new” appearance. When the increased power and torque of a naturally aspirated K-swap became somewhat mundane, the next logical step was boost, and Tucker started sourcing the supporting parts. “I got a great deal on a Peakboost manifold and Tial wastegate, along with 1000cc injectors. I used the Hybrid Racing intake and made the rest of the kit myself.” Once completed, Arthur of Trackmasters was called upon to work some tuning magic and at 19 psi, the 2.0L belted out close to 550 hp—almost tripling the output of the factory K20. In stark contrast to the factory yellow paint, many of the engine bay components are slathered in stealth black, and with the hood open and the Precision 6265 snail perched in plain view, the look is rather sinister.


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iiSacrilege to some, Matt ditched the original CTR motor for a boosted K-series that makes 550 hp.

OWNER MATT TUCKER LOCATION FAYETTEVILLE, TN POWER 550 HP ENGINE K20A2 swap; Hybrid Racing mounts; K20Z1 cams; RBC intake manifold; Hybrid Racing 70mm throttle body, fuel rail with fuel line tuck kit and fuel filter, radiator and hoses; Precision 6265 turbo; Peakboost exhaust manifold; All-In Fab intercooler; custom intercooler piping; HKS SSQV blow-off valve; TiAL wastegate; KTeller stainless exhaust piping; Magnaflow muffler; turn-down exhaust tip; AEM fuel pressure regulator DRIVETRAIN K20A2 transmission; Hybrid Racing no-cut shift box and cables; Competition Clutch Stage 4 clutch; Fidanza 8lb flywheel; RSX axles ENGINE MANAGEMENT Hondata K-Pro FOOTWORK & CHASSIS KSport coilovers; ITR 24mm front sway bar; Hardrace bushings; Truhart alignment kit; Benen lower tie bar; Rook Industries M-brace BRAKES Brembo discs; Hawk pads; Super Blue fluid; Goodridge stainless lines WHEELS & TIRES 16x8” +30 Volk Racing CE28N wheels in F-Zero blue; 205/40R16 Toyo Proxes tires EXTERIOR Air Walker front bumper; custom carbon-fiber splitter, rear bumper cut out; Chargespeed hood; Seeker V2 wing INTERIOR Nardi Deep Cone wheel; S2000 CR Edition shift knob; EP3 Recaro “Sport” seats; ’04-’05 Civic Special Edition doubledin; Safety 21 rollcage THANKS YOU Hybrid Racing, T Shultz, Hybrid David, Newberry, Bradley, Travis Yager, Ethan, Cootie, Tate, Jutty, Dick Ayers

iiA proper set of 16x8” Volk Racing CE28N wheels all-around.

Satisfied with the car’s performance, Tucker continued to massage the exterior with a set of Volk CE28N rollers in F-zero blue and his own personal touch to the front bumper. “I decided to make my own splitter. Tracing the bumper, I used that to cut out patterns on a sheet of carbon-fiber mat. We used four layers on top and two underneath a thin sheet of balsa wood and a vacuum bag while the resin was drying. I made brackets to mount it to the front tow hooks and plan on adding a turnbuckle setup to mount it to the front frame rails for added support.” Is this the end of the road for the CTR that’s continued to change ever since it defected from Japan and journeyed from one side of the U.S. to the other? Hardly. Tucker is already plotting his next steps and noted, “This car is a lot of fun and I love to drive it. The only problem is the loss of traction, but I’ve recently upgraded to a larger tire size to try to help that issue. I have even bigger plans for the car, including building a K24/K20 for a little more torque and strength.” The progression continues…



WORDS Aaron Bonk America’s long gotten stiffed when it comes to Honda’s most sought after, performance-based models, despite the 50 states inhabiting more enthusiasts of the brand than any other place on the globe. We pine for anything with a red valve cover, anything with factory-supplied Recaros, anything sold with more power than whatever it is we’ve got access to here. All of which make lists like this one almost painful to look at.

’97-’01 CIVIC TYPE R The sixth-generation Civic introduced the first Honda badged as a Type R that you could afford but you could never get. At the heart of the original CTR was its B16B engine that featured a hand-ported cylinder head and, with its de-stroked rotating assembly and tall deck height, was more like the company’s 1.8L VTEC engines from its B16A lineup—despite its name. Even today, the early Civic Type R’s close-ratio gearbox and limited-slip differential make it one of the most desirable Honda drivetrains ever, and its 185hp, naturally aspirated powerplant still places it near the top of the list of most impressive outputs of any production vehicle.

››Accord Euro R built by J's Racing.

’06-’08 ACCORD EURO R Based off of the North American TSX, the Japanese-spec Accord Euro R came with its own K20A engine—almost identical to the Civic Type R’s—along with one of the most impressive six-speed transmissions Honda’s ever made. Despite the name, the Euro R was sold only in Japan and featured the same double-wishbone suspension as the TSX, only stiffer and surrounded by larger brakes. Here, Euro R evidence lies in the subtleties, like the badges at each end and the honeycomb grille up front and not so much with any bold-red interior bits.

’91-’95 CIVIC FERIO SIR Prior to the introduction of the eighth-generation Civic Si, Americans had yet to be privy to a performance-based Civic with four doors. The Ferio SiR was more Integra than it was Civic, though, with its four-wheel disk brakes, twin-cam B16A, and limited-slip differential. It was the answer America never got to a performance-minded Civic for a family of four.

››’97 Accord SiR built for JTCC.

’94-’97 ACCORD SIR The Accord has never been a beacon of motoring excitement. Its pussyfoot damping, active engine mounts, and internal engine balance shafts all suggest refinement took precedence over going fast…until the SiR was developed. Sold with a higher compression and slightly more powerful version of the H22A, the sedan was the only SiR of the era available with a manual transmission, hence your not caring about twodoor models. The stiffer antisway bars and coil springs made the Accord handle less like an Accord but, more importantly, the twin-cam engine made it the most powerful four-cylinder Honda family car of its day.

’02-’05 NSX-R Honda introduced its Type R bloodline with the early NSX. The treatment was simple, though, and didn’t fully live up to the namesake’s heritage until the supercar was revised for the ’02 model year. The updated body style ushered in a Type R that cared even more about performance. Here, rigidity was maintained by reverting to the fixed roof of past models, and strategic weight reduction was achieved, in part, by a purposedriven carbon-fiber hood, rear spoiler, and by simply eliminating all sorts of nonsense like the stereo, air conditioner, and half of the double-pane rear glass. Underneath the engine cover, the same 3.2L engine that every other NSX received was meticulously blueprinted to tolerances and specifications so precise, it's unsure as to how much more power the Type R actually makes (if any) abound more than 13 years after its introduction.


’89-’93 INTEGRA XSI ’91-’95 BEAT Honda’s Beat makes the cut for few reasons beyond being a rear-wheel-drive, mid-engine kei-class car—or a sub-sub-compact that you’d actually want to drive. Its powerplant remains one of the company’s most unusual to date. Here, the motorcycle-like three-cylinder engine is augmented with a single throttle body for each cylinder, culminating into what Honda calls MTREC (Multi Throttle Responsive Engine Control). Its toy-like powertrain dishes out no more than 64 hp, but it does so at 8,000 rpm, making all of this look a whole lot less silly than doing the same thing in a Smart car.

VTEC is synonymous with the North American lexicon, whether you’re smart enough to know what it actually does or lame enough to drum up Internet memes poking fun at it. Honda developed it for the NSX, but the technology hit assembly lines first in the form of the original B16A, fitted to top-trim, second-generation Integras like the XSi. In 1992, Acura introduced the GS-R to American car buyers with its longer-stroke B17A1 engine, but it was almost too little, too late, as enterprising Honda fans were already beginning to source Japanesespec 1.6L engines to take matters into their own hands.

’87-’92 CR-X SIR

California Gold Carnauba Wash & Wax 

It’s almost just as well that North American car buyers were never able to get their hands on SiR renditions of the second-generation CR-X. Knowing that a dual-overhead-cam, VTEC counterpart existed across the Pacific that we couldn’t have ignited a pioneering spirit of engine-swapping and parts-homologating experimentation that’s now three decades strong. American CR-X owners longed for the SiR’s 160hp B16A engine but also for its factory-issued limited-slip differential, rear-disc brakes, rear seats, and optional glass roof that nearly spans its way from windshield to hatch.

From the inventors of the Protect-o-dactyl — Guardian Drone

Ideal for use between regular waxing, it removes stubborn road grime and dirt, while enhancing your existing wax. It’s the quick and easy way to clean, shine and protect your paint.

››Based on the CTR, this is the Mugen RR—more

performance, style, and two seconds faster on Tsukubu!

’07-’11 CIVIC TYPE R It’s the most capable Honda with four-doors the company created to date. You may have talked smack about the eighth-gen Civic upon its release back in ’05, but with its 11.7:1 compression ratio and 222hp K20A, you’d have been a fool to undermine the company’s latest Civic Type R. In typical Type R fashion, the red-on-black color scheme makes its way into the interior by means of Recaro seats, model-specific red floor mats, and a red-trimmed steering wheel that replaces the standardized MOMO pieces of models past. Outside, the bumpers are of Type R–specific pedigree as are the unique wheels and available Championship White paintjob that screams Type R almost as loud as its red valve cover. For those who don’t consider the 13,000-unit CTR rare enough, a collaboration with tuning firm Mugen resulted in the Mugen RR, of which only 300 units were made and is good for another 18 hp, among several other rarified goodies.

’83-’86 CITY TURBO II Unlike many automakers of decades past, Honda’s famous for seldom submitting itself to forced induction when pre-production horsepower targets fall short. All of which makes one of its lone factory-boosted sub-compacts even more special. That and the micro-scooter it’s sold with that folds up and tucks away right in the trunk. The Turbo II doesn’t even muster up 110 hp, but it also doesn’t even weigh 1,600 pounds—an impressive power-to-weight ratio no matter the era. And with its lightweight magnesium valve cover, Honda bestowed it with a bit of performance heritage that few aside from the NSX have ever been blessed with.


’01-’02 TORNEO EURO R That you know nothing about Honda’s Torneo is entirely excusable. A derivative of the Accord and exclusive to the Japanese market, Euro R models featured one of the most powerful 2.2L H-series engines, good for 220 hp, and with standard equipment like a tubular, stainless-steel header and a gearbox with a helical-type limited-slip differential. The short-lived Torneo was ultimately overshadowed by Honda’s leading sales brute, the Accord, which makes sourcing even the likes of non-Euro R models a challenge.

At Mothers,® we’re always thinking of ways to make the world a better place for cars. And while some ideas may never make it onto the shelves, rest assured, we’ll never stop innovating.



WWW.ASPECPRODUCTS.COM T E L : 6 2 6.6 1 8. 1 10 0 FA X: 6 2 6.6 1 8. 1 10 8 E M A I L : S A L ES @AS P EC P R O D U CTS .CO M

Made in Italy

360mm Nardi Classic Leather

330mm Nardi Sport Rally Wood

Made in Italy

350mm Personal Grinta Suede

350mm Personal Neo Grinta Leather

350mm Personal Trophy Leather

Made in Japan For BRZ or FRS

Works Bell Rapfix II Blue

Works Bell Rapfix II Orange

Works Bell GTC Black

Works Bell GTC Silver

Works Bell: ‘540S’ Short Boss / ‘540’ Standard Boss

The very name is synonymous with any and all things Honda performance-related. From the bright, screaming-yellow, and blue paint schemes to the often-idolized company founder and acting president, Tatsuru Ichishima, the Spoon Sports name and product line are recognized and respected worldwide. And while you’ve no doubt seen Spoon brake calipers and signature carbon bits and pieces strewn about every car show you’ve attended over the last decade or so, make no mistake, the heart and soul of Spoon Sports comes from the track. In ’85, before the company took shape, a then-33-year-old Ichishima was focused on just one thing: racing. He’d built this ’85 Civic E-AT track car that not only held its own in battle, but also managed to stand

››1.6L ZC built head to toe by Spoon Sports engineers.


’85 HONDA CIVIC OWNER SPOON SPORTS HOMETOWN OGIKUBO, TOKYO, JAPAN OCCUPATION HONDA TUNING SPECIALIST ENGINE 1.6L DOHC ZC; Spoon-built block and head; custom exhaust manifold and straight-pipe exhaust; Spoon Sports valve cover, aluminum oil pan, and oil cap DRIVETRAIN close-ratio five-speed manual transmission; Spoon Sports clutch and flywheel; custom limited-slip differential ENGINE MANAGEMENT Keihin ECU FOOTWORK & CHASSIS Showa adjustable suspension; custom air jacks aluminum rollcage, front torsion bar and rear springs; Spoon Sports front shock tower bar, sway bars, spherical endlinks and adjustable panhard bar BRAKES Nissin calipers; adjustable proportioning valve; two-piece drilled rotors WHEELS & TIRES 15x8” front, 15x6.5” rear Enkei wheels; 205/55R15 Yokohama Advan SS tires; single lug conversion EXTERIOR Spoon Sports Signature paint scheme, tow hooks, hoodpins; EC Works Type A side mirrors; custom air jack wand in fender and flat panel along bottom of chassis INTERIOR Spoon Sports steering wheel and carbon-Kevlar bucket; custom gauges, gauge cluster and seat brackets; Simpson harness


the test of time. Raw and utilitarian by design, Ichishima did away with any of the non-crucial components of his hatchback, then developed an engine program that would maintain longevity and reliability for countless race adventures. It’s been through hell and back and recently toured the U.S. at a number of events after being re-sprayed and freshened up. Thanks to GoTuning Unlimited, Spoon Sports’ sole authorized North American distributor, I was able to shoot both Ichishima’s iconic Civic and the more modern CR-Z before they were shipped back to Japan.

E-AT SLEEP RACE With a goal of bringing the car into sub2,000-pound territory while taking into


Snap the QR Code or visit: to find out how much power this ‘03 Mitsubishi Evolution VIII makes. #facesofkonig






15X7 | 15X8 | 16X7 | 17X8 | 18X8

18X8 | 19X8.5 | 19X9.5 | 20X8.5 | 20X9.5

16X7.5 | 17X7.5 | 18X8

Silver w/ Machined Face (Shown) Gloss Black w/ Red Stripe

Low Offsets Available

Matte Grey (Shown), Matte Black, Gold




››One-of-a-kind dry carbon-fiber doors built for the CR-Z by Spoon Sports.

account the additional weight of a rollcage and air jacks, the majority of the Civic was stripped completely bare. Inside you’ll find little more than a dash, door panels, and an extremely tight carbon-Kevlar bucket seat. I had the opportunity to drive the car during the photo shoot, and compared to one of Spoon’s off-theshelf Kevlar bucket seats, this version felt painfully slimmer. As I slipped no more than 60 percent of the way into the seat (as far I could physically go), I took note of the custom gauge cluster


and warning lights, the rollcage bars that flanked the cabin, and the ECU joined by a quartet of metallic dials that I assumed acted as a precursor to VTEC controllers, which became all the rage some 15 years after this car’s inception. Firing up the Civic was more difficult than it sounds. A number of attempts were ignored by the 1.6L ZC powerplant that, until this day, still remains hushhush in terms of internal modification, but eventually the silence that surrounded GoTuning’s headquarters was ripped apart by a nasty wail from the car’s exhaust. Jabbing at the gas pedal brought about lightning-quick, snappy bursts of anger from beneath the passenger side door and I headed off, just a short drive to a nearby building for a few photos. The clutch has a hairpin trigger, the ride is obnoxiously harsh, the sound is absolutely ear piercing, and three decades’ worth of creeks and

groans make themselves known at even the most mild concrete imperfections—it’s perfect! Everything you’d expect from a bare-bones, no-nonsense, purpose-built track demon is packed into this microsized hatchback, and it’s literally begging to be abused, all but fighting me when I attempted to slow down through a narrow parking lot. Beyond the eye-popping livery, the exterior of Ichishima’s third-gen remains subtle by today’s standards. No canards, oversized splitter, or massive rear wing; in fact, the only aero changes occur under the car’s belly with a flat panel that runs the length of the chassis in the name of efficiency. At all four corners sit Enkei single lug wheels wrapped in Advan rubber, and just behind the front rollers lie a set of air jacks with a third unit placed in the center of the rear to complete the tripod.

25-HOUR ENERGY Fast-forward 26 years and the U.S. hasn’t seen a Civic hatchback offered in almost a decade, while in Japan, the Civic lineup was removed entirely, for the most part replaced by the smaller Fit. The lack of a fun, affordable small car segment candidate left room for the CR-Z “sport





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››CR-Z features 1.5L hybrid with Spoon Sports add-ons such as a high-performance cam, GE8 intake chamber, venturi throttle body, and N1 muffler.


ENGINE 1.5L with IMA Hybrid system; Spoon Sports high camshaft, valve cover, Fit GE8 intake chamber, baffled oil pan, Venturi throttle body, air filter, N1 muffler, thermostat, radiator cap, oil cap, magnetic oil drain plug DRIVETRAIN Spoon Sports limited-slip differential, driveshaft set ENGINE MANAGEMENT Spoon Sports ECU FOOTWORK & CHASSIS Spoon Sports one-off full-spec dampers, stabilizer set BRAKES Spoon Sports monoblock calipers, brake hose set, brake pedal box; Winmax pads and fluid WHEELS & TIRES 17” Volk Racing TE37SL wheels; 245/40R17 Yokohama Advan A048 tires EXTERIOR Spoon Sports dry carbon-fiber doors, hood, under panel kit, aero mirror; custom plexiglass windows and endurance-spec lighting INTERIOR Spoon Sports steering wheel, carbon-Kevlar bucket seat, shift knob, wide rear view mirror; Takata five-point harness


It’s hard to fathom 25 hours on the track—all the stress on a car and energy used by a race team is indescribable. Only the strong survive, and the guys at Spoon Sports defnitely have something to be proud of. Competing in the Thunderhill endurance race in their CR-Z, four drivers—including Dai Yoshihara and Spoon founder Ichishima San—fnished the event in third place. Might not be the most powerful Honda around, but it has the stamina to outlast nearly anything in sight.


hybrid.” Noted globally as sorely lacking in the “sport” department, Spoon Sports began developing parts for the two-seater even before its official introduction. Wanting to highlight the car’s potential, they built a demo car specifically for the ’13 25 Hours of Thunderhill Challenge—an annual race event that stands as the longest single race in the U.S. Finishing Thunderhill is a task in and of itself. Reliability is crucial for the all-day/all-night affair, and the team relied on the factory 1.5L heart with a few performance touches like their high camshaft and ECU kit, GE8 Honda Fit intake chamber conversion, venturi throttle, and signature air filter and N1 muffler. Even with the changes, power is well below the competition, a big hurdle especially with a chassis that tips the scales at more than 2,600 pounds. In order to bring that number down, the car was completely stripped down and fitted with one-off dry carbon doors, a carbon hood, and plexi windows. After a grueling 25 hours of nonstop racing, the Spoon CR-Z not only completed the event, but they took home a third place finish. Fuel mileage, low tire wear, and unrivaled reliability kept the team in front of competition armed with double the horsepower, and in some cases, even more. Spoon Sports applied the same formula to the CR-Z that it’s been using since the ’80s, and the results speak for themselves. This old, battle-tested ’85 Civic serves as a starting point, a foundation if you will, for the eventual establishment of a company praised by Honda fans worldwide. Much of the theory, simplicity, and raw feel invested into the Spoon CR-Z came from the development of Ichishima’s legendary E-AT chassis over the years. And the president along with his company, don’t seem to be slowing down a bit.





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GUIDE HOW TO BUY A USED SUPERCAR AND NOT HATE YOURSELF IN THE MORNING WORDS & PHOTOS Aaron Bonk By the time you read this, we’ll know all sorts of important details about Acura’s second-generation NSX, which, after more than five years of noise, will go on sale later this year. By then we’ll know more about the three electric motors that’ll supplement the twin-turbocharged, gas-burning V-6; the SH-AWD architecture; and how exactly all of this will come together at Honda’s all-new Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio. Once its estimated $150K entry cost is confirmed, we’ll also know that most of you probably won’t be able to afford one. Which is exactly why you need to know everything you can about Acura’s original NSX—a car that’s every bit as glamorous, gobs cheaper, and undoubtedly more iconic than your mother’s minivan.


Acura’s first-generation NSX isn’t the expensive, mid-engine sports car it once was. For about the same money as a decently appointed Jetta, even you can afford one. Buying the wrong NSX can make you wish you’d bought the Jetta, though, and owning and maintaining one isn’t always as inexpensive as you might think. Read on and avoid the shaft should you make the leap into classic Japanese supercardom.

THE OUTSIDE The NSX was made mostly of aluminum, not steel, which means the damage you don’t see now will cost you more than you think and that hunting for body filler with a magnet will never work since aluminum still isn’t magnetic. Inspect the body under plenty of light and, if it’s dark out, wait until tomorrow. Aluminum frames like being hit a whole lot less than steel ones, and fixing them almost never brings them back to their original states.


Don’t ignore poor body panel fitment, either. The gaps between the fenders and hood as well as the doors, trunk, and quarter-panels should be equal all around. Impeccable gaps don’t mean the car’s never been taken apart, but it does mean that whoever might’ve put it back together might’ve known what he was doing. Give the front bumper some slack, though. It’ll be the brunt of even your first bonehead move behind the wheel.

THE INSIDE Older NSX side bolsters are bound to show wear as are the sections of each seat that expands and contracts when reclined. Cracked leather is normal here, and if you’re not OK with that, set aside enough dough for the most expensive Recaros you can find; they’ll still be cheaper than anything from the NSX parts bin. Don’t be surprised if the visors are coming apart at their seams, the door panel leather is worn, or the center console’s finish is peeling. While none of these things should individually spoil a potential sale, know now that you’ll pay dearly for interior components later, some of which have already been discontinued. Used Jettas on Craigslist go for about the same price as a new center console. Make sure the air conditioner blows cold and the heater blows hot. Be sure that the fan blows at each speed and that the digital display works. It’s common for older climate control systems to blow only on their high-speed settings, which—big surprise—can cost as much as a grand to replace. Culprits range from the climate control circuit board itself (the capacitors can leak and damage the traces) to worn-out blower motors. The NSX’s Bose sound system, including its speakers, is custom-fitted to the interior, which means adapting aftermarket pieces isn’t as simple as it was in your Civic. You’ll need to fabricate a custom center console and modify your door panels if you’re planning on something other than a 25-year-old tape deck. Do the windows go up and down? If not, check the window switches and regulator assembly. Both are sold as a single unit and, as such, cost a bunch. Even when fixed, NSX windows won’t travel up and down as fast as your Accord’s, so don’t let slow windows

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scare you off. Sooner or later, the doors’ interior handles and maybe even their levers will snap. Be sure they haven’t yet. A single cast-plastic handle will cost you more than $400 from the dealer. Window moldings and rubber trim wear out and, if you’re looking at an early NA1, chances are some of those pieces will need to be replaced. Typical problem areas include the windshield molding that can shrink, although any of the car’s rubber is susceptible to wear and tear from years of direct sunlight. Inspect the door, trunk, engine bay, and hood weatherstripping for tears and how well they actually seal. None of these are inexpensive to replace. Listen for excessive wind noise on your test drive; you shouldn’t hear much. How about that dumb-looking shift knob and fake-carbon e-brake handle? If you want the original ones, set aside a stack of Benjamins 10 deep for new pieces. Finally, gas, clutch, and brake pedals worn to bare metal with an instrument cluster that reads fewer than 20,000 miles will never make sense. Question everything.


there? If not, what happened to them and who exactly had their hands on this car? Engine and transmission oil leaks are, for the most part, inexcusable. Honda has one of the most exceptional gasket and sealing systems of any automaker, and leaks are typically signs of neglect. Common points of leakage are the valve cover gaskets, rear camshaft plugs, and VTEC solenoids. The gaskets are cheap as far as gaskets go, but the labor won’t be if you don’t plan on doing it yourself. Doing any type of maintenance on the rear cylinder head requires dexterity. Be sure and check for leaks after the car’s been driven. As you might expect, aluminum NSX engine mounts are about as expensive as that center console. Lightly apply the throttle with the engine lid propped open, in gear, and with the e-brake engaged. Have a friend look for excessive engine movement under the hood. The drivetrain should have some play, but torn mounts will generally cause some sort of audible knocking sound from an engine that’s moving too much.


That tow hook hidden within the front bumper, has it ever been used? Better find out why. Tows that can be blamed on the powertrain are likely few, but can still happen. Like most beltdriven Hondas, the C-series timing belt and water pump should be replaced every 90,000 miles (105,000 miles for NA2). If you can’t get proof that it was done, plan on doing it now. Honda’s conservative with its recommended service intervals, though, so don’t expect your timing belt to all of a sudden shred into bits or your water pump to seize up once you pass that mark. As it turns out, cars that are driven on a regular basis are more likely to get more life out of their belts and pumps than those that aren’t, which means that NSX that’s been boxed up for the last 15 years might need more work than you’d be led to believe. Early NSX water pumps were also recalled by Honda. Find out if the car you’re looking at received the replacement and, if it didn’t, find out why not. Pull the engine oil dipstick and oil cap and take a close look at them. Is the oil clean and topped off properly? If not, you may want to second-guess the seller’s maintenance methods. Be sure the oil looks like oil; blown head gaskets typically give the oil a caramelized appearance from seeped-through coolant, although that’s an unlikely failure point with the NSX. The factory coolant reservoir is one of two things: cracked or about to crack. The good news is that replacements are fairly inexpensive. The bad news is that you’ll probably want some polished-up aftermarket piece. Make sure that if any coolant leaks are present, that’s the only place they’re coming from. Inspect as many of the 20-plus cooling hoses as you can while the engine’s cool. They shouldn’t be brittle, hard, or have any hardened coolant crust near their ends. Are all of the spring-loaded OEM clamps still


Some ’91 and ’92 NSX models suffered from a faulty transmission countershaft bearing snap ring that could eventually lead to catastrophic gearbox failure. Check the transmission’s VIN number, located on its top side, to see if it falls within range. Five-speed gearboxes between J4A4-1003542 to J4A4-1005978 are affected. If the one you’re looking at does, get proof that it’s been fixed or plan on doing it yourself. Symptoms include a transmission that pops out of gear or growling noises during acceleration and deceleration. Transmissions that have more than 100,000 miles on them are more than likely not affected by this, mostly because the damage would’ve already happened. Check for proper clutch engagement and any potential slippage before you forget.

THE SUSPENSION AND BRAKES The best thing about the NSX is its suspension. Picking one up with clunks or rattles will never make sense. Question anything that doesn’t track straight or isn’t properly aligned. The brakes should check out much like any other car would. Be sure they’re free of pedal vibrations, modulating, or abnormal sounds upon hard braking. Older NSX ABS systems can also cause problems. Make sure the unit isn’t leaking and that the system is free of any malfunction indicator lights or awkward noises or vibrations. It’s common for early Honda ABS systems to cycle upon initial startup, but anything more than that should have you worried. Inspect the brake master cylinder and clutch master cylinder. Puddles of fluid inside the cabin near the pedal assembly mean one of them is shot.

UNDER THE HOOD There’s not a lot going on under the hood since the engine and transmission are out back. Check the radiator’s front side and make sure it’s not wasted from years of rocks and debris hitting it. Look at its end tanks for signs of wear or makeshift crack repairs. Is the spare tire there? It should be right between the radiator and the firewall. How about the right battery? The wrong battery can position its terminals dangerously close to the

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DRIVING IT Buying an NSX is exciting, but never let your emotions get the best of you. A test drive is always important and you should never purchase any car without going on one. See if the seller will allow you to take it out alone or, if he comes, stays quiet, and keeps the radio off. Now is a good time to fire up the engine and make sure the oil pressure and coolant temperatures check out. Be sure the check engine light actually lights up when the ignition is turned on. If it doesn’t, find out why before you buy. If you’re firing up the engine cold, now is a good time to listen for any abnormal sounds that might go away once warmed up. Be sure and start the vehicle under both cold and hot conditions. Sometimes, problems won’t reveal themselves under certain conditions. Main relay failures can occur during hot starts, traction control issues while you’re driving, and intermittent ECU problems, well, intermittently. Be aware of any full-throttle hesitations or rough idling as those can be traced back to electrical or fuel system gremlins. Listen for VTEC engagement or any strange engine, drivetrain, or suspension noises. Clicking sounds can be attributed to a damaged axle boot or wheel bearing, which isn’t uncommon. Listen for any knocking sounds that go away once the clutch is pressed down. Hear it? If so, plan on yanking the transmission for a new clutch-release bearing—another common Honda issue but not something that should spoil a purchase. However, knocks that don’t go away are the ones you really need to worry about. Besides under the engine hatch, the steering wheel should feel rock solid, even at high speeds and should be responsive and tight when cornering. Make sure the transmission shifts smoothly and that the engine revs up freely. The car should track straight and pretty much handle better than just about anything you’ve ever driven. If it doesn’t, find out why. Shut the car off and immediately fire it right back up. It should crank easily when cold or hot. Let the engine run and check the tailpipes for excessive smoke; there shouldn’t be any. Don’t be afraid of a high-mileage NSX. Despite its supercar status, it’s still built by Honda and, despite whether or not NSX fans are willing to admit it, the C30A and C32B NSX engines have much more in common with Honda’s most reliable Civic, Integra, and Accord engines than they might think.

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YOU THINK YOU’VE TAKEN HONDA FANATICISM TO THE NEXT LEVEL? BETTER THINK AGAIN. WORDS Jonathan Wong PHOTOS Jorge Nunez Let me try and break this down to you very simply: There are Honda guys—and then there are true Honda guys. To say it bluntly: You’re not one of them. But Chad Castelo is. Consider this—he’s built more Hondas over the years, from the ground up and all built to the extreme, with modifications considered rare or ahead of their time, and could have, in fact, played a huge part in how you decided to build your Honda today. Most Honda enthusiasts start with a Civic or an Integra, deck it out over the years, and later move


on to maybe one more platform if they’re lucky, usually another later model Civic or Integra. If they’ve got the scratch, they’ll pick up an S2000 and call it a day. When you’re ready to go pro, you go for the jugular; we’re talking the holy grail of Hondas, the NSX. “I knew at some point in time, after building so many different Hondas and being exposed to the fitment and quality that these [Mugen] parts are made of, sight unseen one of my dream cars to build has always been the


NSX,” Chad starts off. “Whether those parts were available for the car or not, I just knew that if I found them, they’d provide the same type of quality and performance I’d come to expect, especially if I were to build my dream car.” But having the ability to afford an NSX, let alone build one for pleasure, can be a challenge all its own. First off, you need to have sufficient funds, something Chad didn’t originally think would be in the cards. However, timing and luck played an integral part in him being able to take the first step toward NSX ownership. He saved for several years after finishing college doing IT work, and a couple of older projects were sold to put a decent bankroll into his pocket. The first NSX he looked at (and had hoped to purchase) was, unfortunately, sold to another person. Six months later, that person decided to put it back on the market. “He hadn’t even transferred the

title ownership over,” Chad explains. “My wife told me I couldn’t pass it up, that it had to be fate. Next thing I knew, I had an NSX in my possession.” From here, you’d probably think: Honda guy builds cool Hondas, sells them, finds car of dreams, installs Mugen parts, nothing crazy, not much of a “wow” car, end of story. You couldn’t be further from the truth. The way Chad builds his car—just like many of his inner circle of car buddies—is done with a certain je ne sais quoi, in that they don’t just source trending performance parts from Japan. No, they seek the rarest, even if that means scouring Internet auctions around the globe and paying top dollar to acquire said parts, sometimes stockpiling extras—much like sneaker collectors do with rare Nikes—parts so rare that they are often unheard of or thought to be long extinct, erased from existence. This is the challenge Chad presents


››The Mugen front bumper has seen its way around the NSX community but in extremely small batches; we're talking maybe one or two others, max. Chad went ahead and manufactured his own turn signal lens covers, just so he'd have high quality spares and be able to put the Mugen originals away. He plans to put them into a minimum production run and says that you don't need a Mugen bumper in order to install them, only a NSX. No big deal.

"For what you're getting, you cannot beat the quality, fitment, and performance that Mugens delivers."


››This may not look like much, but notice the mesh underneath the engine hatch cover? That's an OEM JDM NSX-R engine cover, about $3K. The vents towards the bottom are still OEM but have been paint-matched in a matte finish to match the Mugen rear diffuser, which is two different shades and replicates Mugen's race scheme on the GT/Mugen NSX catalog car.

himself: to not just buy the best car, but to build it to the best of his capabilities. This attention to detail is what makes him a true and very unique car enthusiast. It is not to say that anyone else’s way is less than special, but the details are within this car, and they have to be seen up close to be truly appreciated. Photos somehow fail to deliver true justice. But back to the lesson at hand… Chad’s first point of attack is wheel selection. This pretty much makes or breaks the car. He knew right away what he wanted, and it fell in line with the theme he had in mind: Mugen. But they had to be right, that is, model specific. The bolt pattern is common, but the correct size wheels are not. Mugen Japan has a limited selection of wheels made specifically for NSX fitment, and the M7 is one of them, albeit quite rare to find. But Chad found his first set…and almost left it at that. “I wasn’t sure what else there was in the way of Mugen parts for the NSX when I was looking for the wheels,” he says, “I searched high and low, but the parts just weren’t available in the U.S.” They were, however, somewhat attainable in Japan and one other region of the world that Chad wasn’t expecting to have to turn to, specifically Europe. One by one, though, the parts started coming around. “Knowing how OCD I can be about sourcing parts, that’s what I focused my attention on,” Chad happily says. “It’s going on eight years now of constant looking. It may take a while, but I always manage to find something else to help fuel that search.” Although he has an older Mugen NSX catalog to reference back on, it’s been said that with the exception of the one or two photos published inside, there is little in the way of what parts actually made it to the market and into the hands of enthusiasts. As Chad continued to collect the various pieces of the aero kit, it was

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››Saclam is a Japanese based exhaust producer, whose lead engineer is a former Mugen employee. It's clear where the design influence comes from, just by looking at those tips. Also worthy of praise, the precision welding on the entire exhaust. Understandable why they refuse to sell this outside of Japan.

a challenge in itself to know if the body pieces would even fit the car since there were no other examples completed to go by—only the prototype car used in the catalog. At best, someone had just the rear wing or the front bumper, but never the kit in its entirety. He wound up sourcing a majority of the Mugen kit (front bumper, side skirts, and wing) from France of all places, from the original owner who paid many francs (many years back) and who often raced his NSX with the kit intact. In France, the kit was exclusively available to Honda dealerships; the only way you could get one was with a valid VIN, and it had to be ordered directly from Mugen ››Perhaps the only one of its kind in the US is this Mugen engine hatch cover with a built-in air scoop. It's sold only with the air cleaner kit, has full Lexan and the scoop is made from fiberglass and carbon. Altogether this weighs roughly 10 lbs.

Japan. There is no record of a Mugen kit ever making it stateside. Other pieces, like the rear bumper, came right from his backyard in Southern California. As far as Chad knew, he was well on his way to building the first Mugen NSX in the world, as the body kit, his pièce de résistance, was finally complete. The exhaust is also a bit of an anomaly. It’s actually not a Mugen original, but one could easily mistake it for being one. After doing his fair share of research (what else, right?), Chad discovered that the original engineer who had designed the Mugen exhaust went on to form his own company called Saclam, which is based in Japan. For those of you ››Standard vinyl cut graphics on a blank

plate? Think again; this is a real deal, silkscreened Mugen license plate. Another "don't ask how much" collectible.


who are Mugen fans, you’ll notice the similarities most at the exhaust tips. What do you think of most? That’s right, the older Mugen exhausts (like the teardrop EF or DA mufflers) have the same tips. But one simply cannot just call Saclam and order an exhaust; they don’t sell or ship the exhaust to anyone outside of Japan for fear of ill fitment, performance issues, or some company knocking off the design. Chad knows this because he tried ordering one himself. But wouldn’t you know it—he found it while searching the Internet once again. He says it fits perfectly and sounds better than it looks. I can only imagine… One more rarity to highlight for you, those Mugen seats. Without a doubt, they’re a true gem as they’re JGTCspecification seats, used in an actual JGTC Mugen NSX from the ’04 race season.

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››The engine might not be built to any

crazy standard but it's just right when you're talking Mugen/OEM Honda-spec. The strut bar, air cleaner and ECU (not pictured) are what NSX and Mugen collectors call "needles in a haystack".

››Now here's the shot that should get your

panties really wet: GT Mugen seats, from an actual GT-spec NSX race car! From the front, they might look like Mugen seats you've seen on a forum before, BUT: take a good look at the backside, full Kevlar. And of course, way more than you can afford, pal.


OWNER CHAD CASTELO HOMETOWN TORRANCE, CA OCCUPATION IT MANAGER ENGINE Mugen exhaust manifold and Hi Performance airbox with filter; Saclam Spec A exhaust; NSX-R engine cover DRIVETRAIN NSX-R short gear transmission ENGINE MANAGEMENT Mugen ECU FOOTWORK & CHASSIS Mugen NSX strut tower bar; BC Racing BR Type coilovers; Umbrella Auto Design VRH lift system suspension; NSX-R front chassis reinforcement bars WHEELS & TIRES 16x8” +46 front, 17x9” +46 rear Mugen M7 (Machine Silver) wheels; 215/45R16 front 255/40R17 rear Yokohama Advan AD08R tires EXTERIOR Mugen aero kit including front bumper, front lens covers, side steps, bumper spoiler/underwing, rear wing, and hatch/duct; NSX-R taillights INTERIOR Mugen NSX JGTC racing Kevlar seats, power seat rails, FG-360 steering wheel with horn pad and custom designed perforated/red-stitched Alcantara, steering boss kit, race pedals and Formula shift knob; custom door panels and sub enclosure; Alpine PDX amp; Polk Audio separates; AudioControl 3.1 crossover THANKS YOU My beautiful wife, Leslie, for all her love and supporting this crazy hobby of mine; my co-architect and good friend Jason Haradon; Sean Griffin at Griffinwurxs; RJ DeVera at Meguiars; Revo at StitchCraft,; Citrus Auto Upholstery; Steve and Joe at Project-G; GREY-MRKT; Jonathan Wong, Charles Trieu, Mauricio Santos, Dave Chik, Max Correa, Ernie Uy, Ronald Wu, Akachan Chea, Robert Garcia, Matt Ye, Kenneth Sutton, Lee Esten, Raza Deb; to all of you who are passionate Honda enthusiasts—many thanks!


What sets these apart from the ones you’d find in Mugen’s normal line of seats is that they’re Kevlar-backed and made to accommodate larger bodies. They’re contoured specially for an NSX interior and they mount to Mugen power seat rails, also model-specific to the NSX, ensuring OEM-like fitment. Those seeking to do what Chad has done with his NSX should probably reconsider their decision. He laughs when I ask if there’s an approximate dollar amount that it took to build the car. “I honestly don’t know,” he says. “There’s no reference point for me. Some parts I bought at fair market value, but others I was willing to pay whatever it would cost to get those parts into my hands. As this car has become older and more important to Honda’s tuning legacy, more and more people have started seeking out Mugen parts. If you know how to network and use the Internet to your advantage, anything is possible. Just know that you’re going to have to pay to play. For what you’re getting, you cannot beat the quality, fitment, and performance that Mugen delivers.” And to that—and you, the up-and-coming Mugen enthusiast—I say, good luck.




WORDS & PHOTOS Joey Lee r feature with these A little more than two years ago, a cove r happened—EVER. two Acura Integra GS-Rs would have neve existed in one form It was just too perfect of a scenario. They both r meant to be. Why? or another, but for the most part, this was neve Philip Sison would ght Well, it is actually quite simple… No one thou know it existed), and ever finish his ’99 Integra (most didn’t even long gone. Michael Michael Cristi’s ’95 Integra was thought to be looked to be confined car ’s Philip didn’t even own his anymore, and in ’15, they can be to a set of jackstands for eternity. It’s crazy that Issue. joined serendipitously for our annual Honda r but in actuality are simila be to ar appe At a glance, both would U.S. “bug-eyed” the of face almost polar opposites. They wear the other is the the front end, but one is an early ’94-’97 model and

rnia but hail from updated ’98-’01 spec. The two are from Califo is a completely DC2 the opposing ends—NorCal and SoCal. Phil’s ’s is recognized new build with a K-series swap, whereas Mikey true to its B-series throughout the Honda community and stays been replaced with have ome twos roots. The intake manifolds of the purpose of each four individual throttles each, but the underlying er on air suspension. also differs. Mikey’s is a polished street cruis with a host of highPhil’s serves as a more track-oriented Integra other, function. the , form grade suspension components. One is to be in their Despite their many differences, how they came asurable personal current form(s) is due to a cosmic sense of imme both these individuals, value that they both have for their builds. To .” “cars their Hondas are more than just simply


PHILLIP SISON’S INTEGRA, AKA “ATS ROSIE” Phil, better known as “Philthy,” has been a longtime member of the famed NorCal car club ATS Garage—it was just never known to anyone outside of his circle that he actually had his own car. “I actually bought this (Integra) back in ’01. It was my first Honda,” Phil recalls. “I was really into the import scene since the mid-’90s watching my older cousins and friends mod their cars, so I was stoked when I got my own car. Hindsight being 20/20, I can’t believe it took over a decade to finally see the Integra in this state, but it definitely wasn’t for a lack of trying. Life took over and I had some run-ins with some not-so-trustworthy individuals that really put my plans on hold.” Back then, Phil had big plans for


the GS-R. He had a built B-series motor ready to go, but things went sour when he decided to have a shop repaint his car. He wouldn’t go into detail as to exactly what happened, but you’ll be happy to know that the shady business in question is no longer around. But whatever the reason, he credits the run-in with the paint shop for changing his perspective on building cars. It was during that dark period when he met and later joined ATS Garage. These guys not only gave him the motivation to push forward, but many of the individuals took time out of their own schedules to work on the Integra with him.

Right by his side from the get-go was another important person who continued to give him the proper motivation: his good friend who would later become his wife.

"When the time came to put in work, Phil was overwhelmed by the helping hands of his ATS brothers. " “Judy was one of the first people who knew about this Integra in ’01. She was just a close friend of mine back then, but I already knew she was the one for me. I even took her to her senior prom in this car! She always pushed me to build this car, and I don’t think Rosie would be where it is today without her and my ATS family,” Phil says. He collected parts while the car lay dormant in his garage for a number of years. The guys would work on it whenever they had a chance, but he made the conscious decision to put the project on the back burner while he saved up for a greater investment: an engagement ring. Wedding planning took precedence over car building, and whatever extra time he had was spent helping his fellow ATS members put their Hondas together. “Watching my friends finish their amazing builds and seeing them enjoy the fruits of their labor really motivated me to finish my project. Once we cut the cake and the wedding bells tolled, I turned my attention strictly to finishing Rosie,” he told us.

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››From high school sweetheart to loving wife, Judy has stayed by Phil's side. Now that's love!

The Integra is appropriately nicknamed “Rosie” because of its Audi Brilliant Red tone. The Special Projects Motorsports P1 front lip/splitter combo, both bumpers, side skirts, and ITR rear spoiler were later additions re-sprayed by Sunny Wong from 515 Autobody. Rare Ganador Super Mirrors help add a touch of style to the minimalistic exterior, along with a carbon gurney flap mounted at the peak of the rear spoiler. Phil’s interior represents a similar motif. Everything unnecessary has been removed. Perhaps his wife’s boundless support means that she never intends to physically be inside the Integra ever again because there is no longer a passenger seat. The single Recaro RS-G bucket seat indicates a lack of intent to relive their magical evening at senior prom. The only surviving interior panels are Type R door cards and a matching center console.


Exposed as visual eye candy for car nerds to enjoy is a complete motorsports-grade chassis harness handcrafted by Rywire. Floating on a custom-fabricated ECU box mounted under the dashboard is the latest AEM Infinity engine management system and RacePak SmartWire PDM. Steering the DC2 is an incredibly rare Vertex 325mm wheel. Affixed behind it is an AiM Sports digital display. Staying true to the high standards of every ATS Garage build is the visual masterpiece hidden beneath the hood. One thing about every Honda representing the ATS namesake is that no one engine bay is ever the same as the next. At the core of the stripped-down and color-matched bay is a 2.0L K20A from a Japanese DC5 Type R. ASC Speed Metal provided its custom-fabricated expertise in the form of an aluminum oil breather and coolant reservoir. The main attraction of this potent setup is the four 45mm AT Power throttle bodies that feature adjustable runners. A high-flowing AEM pump delivers E85 Flex Fuel to 1,000cc injectors as a K-Tuned header drives exhaust gases straight to an R-Crew exhaust. Giving life to the engine electronics is a carefully handcrafted harness by Rywire. Unlike most of their premium engine harnesses, this specialized piece utilizes F1-grade Deutsch Autosport connectors. Function fanatics need not worry as the suspension has received equal attention as the rest of the build. The classic combination of Ground Control coilovers and Koni dampers provides for a solid ride. Factory arms have all been

››Interior is naked except for a limitededition Vertex wheel, Recaro seat, rollbar, and this sick AiM dash.


upgraded to spherical pieces from Wicked Tuning and Function7. Bound to the fivelug Type R hubs are 17-inch Volk Racing RE30s in Diamond Black. Peering through the thin spokes is a pair of Brembo Monoblock front brakes, which require a custom CNC bracket to pair them with StopTech 328mm rotors. Providing some much-needed chassis rigidity is a custom four-point rollbar fabricated by Stanton Automotive. That, too, has been paintmatched and flows seamlessly with the rest of Rosie’s bright red interior. Nearly 15 years after he acquired his then-dream car, it made its first official appearance at the end of ’14. Most will


have built three to four cars by now, but Phil holds onto his Integra because it eclipses any simple material possession— to him and his wife, Judy, Rosie is a member of their family. More so, it is also an extension of the ATS Garage family. When the time came to put in work, Phil was overwhelmed by the helping hands of his ATS brothers. “If I could take away one intangible thing from building cars with my friends, it is that this hobby isn’t just merely about the cars,” Phil explains. “The experiences you take away from the time spent are of the utmost importance. That is what keeps me passionate about it.”

››JDM K2OA swap has been upgraded with 45mm ITBs, better fueling, new electronics, E85 tune, and more.

OWNER PHILIP “ATS PHILTHY” SISON LOCATION DALY CITY, CA OCCUPATION CASINO GAMING INDUSTRY ENGINE ’02 2.0L K20A; Hasport EGK1 engine mounts; AT Power direct-to-head 45mm individual throttle bodies with custom runner and horn lengths; AEM E85 high-flow in-tank fuel pump; K-Tuned exhaust manifold, fuel pressure regulator, swivel-neck thermostat, upper coolant housing, dipstick, oil cap, pulley kit; Injector Dynamics 1000cc fuel injectors; Rywire Flex Fuel kit with -6AN fuel fittings; Brown & Miller Pro Gold polyester braided hoses, Pro Gold re-useable fittings, cooling hoses; Griffin custom Rywire-spec radiator; R-Crew exhaust; ASC Speed Metal catch can and breather, metal overflow reservoir; Wisecraft Fabrication firewall delete plates, Autosport connector bracket DRIVETRAIN K20A2 X2M5 six-speed manual transmission; K20Z3 PNN4 limited-slip differential, 4.764 final drive; Competition Clutch six-puck sprung clutch, Ultra-light flywheel; K-Tuned No-Cut shifter box, Racespec shifter cables, transmission bracket ENGINE MANAGEMENT AEM Infinity 8/10 EMS; RacePak SmartWire PDM; AiM Sports MXL Strada digital display; Rywire Mil-spec harness FOOTWORK & CHASSIS Ground Control coilovers; Koni 3011 Mono Tube dampers; Eibach springs; ITR front sway bar, five-lug conversion; Comptech 22mm rear sway bar, end-links; J’s Racing front strut bar, fender braces; Wicked Tuning spherical front lower control arms, spherical rear camber control arms, rear toe control arms; Function7 ITR spherical rear lower control arms; Skunk2 Pro Series Plus front camber control arms; BLOX Racing roll center adjusters; Stanton Automotive & Fabrications four-point bolt-on roll bar; ‘92-95 Civic manual steering rack and subframe; PCI spherical trailing arm bushings BRAKES Brembo Monoblock front calipers; StopTech two-piece 328mm front rotors; Goodridge stainless lines; ‘98 non-ABS ITR master cylinder, brake booster; Rywire soft-line relocation kit; R-CREW CNC billet front caliper brackets WHEELS & TIRES 17x8" +38 Volk Racing RE30 wheels; 225/45R17 front, 215/45R17 rear Dunlop ZII tires; Project KICS R40 lug nuts; ARP extended wheel studs EXTERIOR Special Project Motorsports P1 front lip and splitter; Password:JDM carbonfiber gurney flap; ITR roof skin, rear spoiler; EDM signal lights and taillights; Audi Brilliant Red paint; Ganador Super mirrors; FAL Flexite molded rear Lexan window INTERIOR Recaro RS-G seat; Willans five-point harness, pads; Vertex Limited-Edition 325mm Alcantara steering wheel (37 of 100); RSi steering boss, spline-drive quick release, shift knob; ITR pedal set, center console, door panels; Rywire chassis harness; WiseCraft Fabrications ECU box mount THANKS YOU My wife and life sponsor Mrs. Judy Sison for your support and motivation throughout the entire build. It was you who pushed me hard to accomplish this dream! I LOVE YOU BABY #SOLID; My parents, Pedro and Adela Sison, for constantly talking shit to get my car out of the garage!; Ryan Basseri from Rywire; ATS Garage: Ferd Natividad, Fred Chapman, Mike Jones, Ryan Der, Kenneth Li, Ronald Ibay, AJ Antiporda, Jason Powers, Pompeyo Castro, Ray Bautista, Dave Chik, Jason Haradon, John Nguyen, and the rest of the fam; Jonathan Cayabyab; Albert Sison; Sunny Wong; Philip Trinh; DPK Family; Phaze2 Family; Chris from WiseCraft Fabrications; Nhan at Stanton Automotive; Chapman Concepts; Wekfest; JSpirit; Local Goods; Ben at KTuned; Willywerx; ICB Matt; Darksigns; Fat Kid; Ballade Sports; Dan Phan; LSR; DSR; Wicked1; DeeRock; BGBL; HSDC; Danimal; Sirtipp; Jeremiah; Rondell; Chris B; Rawd; Beez; StickyDilJoe; I dedicate this build to my good friend Justin Mendoza…R.I.P. Brotha. WWW;;;

››Mikey's build is more of a street and show theme, hence the air ride.

MICHAEL CRISTI’S INTEGRA Michael Cristi’s Integra has cemented its status in the Honda community since the mid-'00s. Some would even say the car was a bit of an “Internet celebrity” long before social media. Like Sison, Michael, aka “HeyMikeyyyy” or Mikey to his friends, also acquired his Integra in ’01, but their paths couldn’t be any more different. There was little to no downtime for Mikey’s build, as he always added to his car and found himself constantly posting on message boards with new photos. His Integra has always been a bit of a controversial figure in the community– people either loved it or hated it. He was never afraid to experiment, and that is what made his build so recognizable. Long before the current generation of cool kids was busy cramming every wheel that wouldn’t fit onto their cars, Mikey and good friend Arnel Ortiz were busy making offset a “thing” on their Hondas. The Phaze2 car club from Southern California is made up of influencers who helped start the aggressive wheel movement in the early-'00s. Cristi was also responsible for introducing two-toned engine bays when he showed years ago with a brightly refinished gold bay. Whether you enjoyed


their work or not, there is no denying that Mikey and his friends were the tastemakers of that time. Around January ’10, Mikey sold his DC2. There was nothing wrong with the car, but other priorities made it difficult to keep it. He was trying to build a business, and sacrifices had to be made. It didn’t take long for the car to sell, and before he could give it a second thought, his nine-year relationship with the Integra was over. Mikey devoted his focus to other cars to satisfy that hunger of modifying cars—but it just wasn’t the same. “I don’t know if it was really a bad decision to sell my [Integra],” Mikey reminisces. “At the time, it just made sense to. My business really took off and I got married to my longtime girlfriend, Christina. It got to the point where I was able to live comfortably and I started to wonder how great it would be if I still had the car that was there for me when we were struggling.” Fast-forward to February ’13, Mikey decided to ask around and see if anyone knew where his Integra was. It had gone through several owners, but low and behold, someone actually knew where it was. He arranged to see his old baby and was utterly shocked it was still in a similar condition in which he left it—even his old turbo setup was still in one piece and the motor hadn’t blown up yet. The current owner had no intentions of selling the car, but Mikey made an offer he couldn’t refuse. Just a little more than three years after he parted

ways with it, Mikey was reunited. He immediately purchased a new set of wheels along with various parts here and there to make the GS-R his again. Though the car had stayed mostly unaltered, there were areas that needed to be addressed. Mikey admitted that he didn’t know about the finer details of putting a solid build together in his younger years so liberties were taken. Now was the perfect time to do right by the car and re-create it in a way which it could live up to the expectations of its online persona. The time had come for the Phaze2 Integra to outdo its notoriety. The first order of business was to get rid of its outdated gold engine bay. He pulled the B18C1 out and stripped the entire shell down in preparation for a complete re-spray. The exterior had been worn down over the years, so it needed a fresh coat of R-81 Milano Red. At the same time, he sourced a JDM Si-VTEC Integra front and had the lower lip molded to the bumper for a one-off look. The fenders and rear quarter panels had definitely seen better days, so the experts at Auto Explosion reshaped them to smooth out the body line, but gave them a bit of room so the 16x8.5” CCW D11Ls could fit. The engine bay saw the most drastic corrections. All unnecessary holes were welded shut, unused studs were shaved off, and the entire area smoothed out. For a brief few months, the B18C1 was still turbocharged. Every removable engine component and accessory was either chromed or polished, including the Garrett turbo housing. The entire car had looked better than it ever had, but for Mikey, it just wasn’t clean enough. “I really wanted my engine bay to look as clean as my boy Arnel’s Civic, but the turbo setup just wasn’t cutting it,” Mikey says. “The individual throttle bodies he had at

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the time just made his (engine bay) so much cleaner so I pulled the turbo off. I found a set of TWM ITBs for a good price and had the entire car towed to Arizona so RC’s Garage could work their magic.” With the bulky turbo arrangement out of the way, his engine bay looked cleaner than ever. The 52mm throttles were taken apart so that each adjoining piece could be polished and a Private Label Manufacturing Tri-Y header was chromed before installation. The archaic distributor and spark plug wire combo were upgraded to a modern Rywire Coil-On-Plug setup, which uses RSX ignition coils helping provide better power to the ignition while also giving a more streamlined look. When paired with the Locash Racing valve cover, also dipped in chrome, a more novice enthusiast would need to take a second look to see if it was actually a B-series engine. Jorgie-Built created custom hard lines and plumbing for the Integra. He even went as far as shape a new curved hard line for the throttle cable. The only remaining engine mod left from the early

“To both these individuals, their Hondas are more than simply cars. “ 52 SUPERSTREETONLINE.COM

days are a set of HKS cam gears. It not only serves as an interesting contrast against all the mirror-like chrome on the motor, it is also a visual reminder of what the Integra once was and how far it has come. In an era when it is popular to build a halfway shitty car and request Internet fame like it were a friend on Facebook, it's refreshing and heartwarming, to see two builds like Phil Sison’s and Mikey Cristi’s. They embody a much more important perspective. Their builds hold value that is much higher than any price tag or quantifiable “like” tally on social media. One is a story of perseverance and the other a tale of redemption. Two Hondas that appear to be similar, but couldn’t be any more different, yet they share a space here today because of something lacking in so many automotive builds today— Heart.

LOCATION GLENDALE, CALIFORNIA OCCUPATION SELF-EMPLOYED POWER 200.2whp; 155 lb-ft of torque ENGINE ’95 1.8L B18C1 cylinder head, JDM B18C (SiR-G) block; Hasport engine mounts (chromed); HKS cam gears; TWM 52mm individual throttle bodies (polished); PLM Tri-Y header (chromeplated); Rywire coil-on-plug kit with DC5 K-series coil packs, coil adapter plate, billet distributor cap, tucked radiator with dual fans; Jorgie-Built hardline throttle cable, clutch cable, -16AN braided cooling hoses, water neck, thermostat housing, coolant overflow tank; Seeker oil cap, radiator cap; Locash Racing billet valve cover (chromed); A’PEXi World Sport exhaust; Downstar valve cover hardware DRIVETRAIN JDM Y80 five-speed transmission with limited-slip differential; Competition Clutch Stage 3 clutch; Fidanza aluminum flywheel; K-Tuned Pro-Circuit shifter, Lagrima shift knob ENGINE MANAGEMENT Hondata S300, coil pack retrofit; Rywire Mil-spec harness FOOTWORK & CHASSIS D2 Racing air bags/struts; dual Viair 444c chrome air compressor; five-gallon tank; AirREX air management system BRAKES Wilwood master cylinder, clutch master cylinder; Hush Performance brake master/clutch master adapter plates; Jorgie-Built hardlines; Downstar billet master/clutch master caps WHEELS & TIRES 16x8.5” +10 CCW D11L wheels; 195/40R16 Yokohama S-Drive tires EXTERIOR JDM Integra Si-VTEC front lip (molded to bumper), SiVTEC turn signal lights; ODM Welding Werks shock tower extensions; Spoon Sports side mirrors; Honda R-81 Milano red paint INTERIOR Vision Technica Shelta seats; Mugen Race steering wheel 3, Sports MT pedal kit; ASR steering hub THANKS YOU my wife Christina; my brother Ren; Phaze2; Phaze2 Japan; Raw Heart; Joey at; Mark and Derek at 427garage; RC/Mike/Kerry/Ravi at RCG; Jorgie and Danny from Jorgie Built; Ryan at Rywire Motorsport Electronics; Damion from Auto Explosion; Frank from Downstar Inc.; ICB Matt; ODB Welding Werks Chris; Eric at JHPUSA; Koko from Super Tuning Performance; Dom/ Jay/Kem/Yuta/Sean from NORUSH; Desmond from Precision Mobile Sound Werks; Mark/Doug/Yogi/Noel/Wes/Salem/Noel/Hubert/ MOREass; CCW; Yasu and Atsuki from Tactical Art WWW; stickydiljoe;




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The people have spoken! Making good use of our Facebook pages, we decided to let you, the reader, choose who was going to be Miss Super Street ’15. We put 16 models head to head against each other, and the girl with the most votes after each round would be our queen. With voting coming down to the final hour, it was decided by all of you that Erica Nagashima would be this year’s winner! We know Erica quite well, as she was born and raised in SoCal, plus she’s been a regular at car events across the nation as a former Hankook Tire spokesmodel. She’s also no stranger to our books, gracing the cover of SS in the December ’14 issue, as well as Import Tuner’s June ’14 issue. You should know by now that she’s quite the fan of cars, music, and wine, so we decided to ask her some random silly questions this time around. Enjoy!

WORDS Jofel Tolosa PHOTOS Randy Ly HAIR/MAKEUP Jenny Gomez


THERE SHE IS, MISS SUPER STREET! Snapchat or Tinder? Snapchat! I’ve never done the Tinder thing. How many dick pics have you gotten? I think three. Not very many... I think there’s one guy who keeps sending the same pic. I don’t know how he does it. He’s a little weird. What’s the longest time you’ve spent lying on a couch without moving? Probably a good solid four to five hours doing nothing. I do that a lot. Haha! How many Tamagotchis are you responsible for killing? A lot. I just recently downloaded the app. I definitely killed three of them in two days. How is that possible? Remind us never to give you pets. Favorite ’90s movie? There’s so many! I liked She’s All That. That’s the ’90s, right? Barely! What would you rather eat—onigiri (Japanese rice ball) or In-N-Out? I would have to go with In-N-Out, but my dad makes a mean salmon onigiri.

If you had one superpower, what would it be? Probably to fly. Then I could get to places quickly, especially L.A.!

➘ ››Acting like they've never seen a girl before. —BG



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If you could take us out on a date, where would it be? In-N-Out! No, I’m just kidding. Haha!

We don’t mind! Who’s your favorite Spice Girl? Probably Posh Spice. I did a talent show in elementary school and I was Posh. I had my makeup thing and everything. What’s the most items you’ve lost on a single night? Like on a drunk night? Maybe just a jacket. I don’t get too crazy, guys! Favorite Instagram to follow? Oh, man that’s hard. I’d say @fuckjerry. Lastly, between the other Hankook girls Sadie, Jessica, and Katelynn, you have to marry one, kill one, and sleep with one. I’d probably marry Jess, kill Katelynn— haha! It sounds so mean... And I would sleep with Sadie. I’ve slept in Sadie’s bed at one point…



WIRING SOLUTIONS WORDS & PHOTOS Rodrez Over the last decade, as Honda builders have become increasingly focused on ultra-clean, organized, and masterfully executed engine bays, the need for critical ancillary parts and services has skyrocketed. From highlevel bodywork to custom metal fabrication and even dress-up hardware, having a well-executed bay is just one of the many items on an almost endless checklist. One of the most crucial items, whether the project involves a basic swap with bolt-ons or a fully built turbo terror, is wiring. Creativity combined with good old-fashioned trial and error has resulted in a number of clever workarounds that allow for the fusion of engines and chassis from various generations using only the factory-issued harnesses and a bit of finesse. In some cases, however, the age and condition of the harness can be limiting factors, especially when you consider that the most popular Honda platforms to build fall between the ’90-’96 era. For those in the competitive race world, the factory harness simply isn’t an option when dealing with high-dollar management systems.

››Tools of the trade. Rywire owner Ryan Basseri and employee Ryan Der rely on these to get the job done, day in and day out. The current workflow includes up to 70 harnesses per week, not including the one-off race versions they build regularly as well.



A number of wiring specialists have surfaced over the years, with some catering specifically to the Honda market and others branching out to other makes and models to meet the demand of a booming industry that has more than enough demand to keep the suppliers busy. One of the most popular and highly respected is Garden Grove, California–based, Rywire Motorsport Electronics. Owner and Honda enthusiast Ryan Basseri has been tinkering with Honda wiring and all of its quirks and intricacies for more than 15 years. What started as a hobby soon led to a small upstart and eventually a successful business with a storefront, employees, and a customer base that doesn’t seem to be tapering. So successful, in fact, that Basseri tells us his shop is currently assembling and shipping 50 to 70 complete harnesses on a weekly basis.

››Things start off as nothing more than a bunch of wires, sometimes color-coded, sometimes all black, depending on the type of harness purchased. (All-black wiring is more cost effective and indicates an entry-level version.) •

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››While some customers use an OEM ECU, others might opt for a harness compatible with something like AEM’s Infinity or other standalone system.

››The correct number of wires and proper lengths are chosen based on the customer’s order.

››Quick-disconnect fittings are often used by race teams for fast removal of engines, and in recent years, show car builds have incorporated them as the crowning touch to a high-level build.

››Rywire adds Kapton tape to all bulkhead-style harnesses (Mil-spec or Autosport). This tape helps keep wires secure and acts as a heat barrier when heat shrinking the protective boot— shown here moments before being heated and properly fitted.

››Entry-level Rywire ’88-’91 Civic/CRX harness compared to that of the factory unit.

››Labor intensive, the process of concentric twisting is a strategy that involves twisting the wires around themselves in opposing direction, allowing the loom to remain as flexible as possible. This technique is time consuming but allows a harness to contour to any direction.


››Here is a completed harness with expandable loom ready to be installed.


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THE FOUNDATION By far the most popular, Rywire’s Honda B-series entrylevel harnesses offer a few main benefits for the street, weekend track, or show car builder. A plug-and-play affair, these harnesses can be configured to bridge the gap between opposing OBD designations and offer a seamless solution for those using an engine from one generation, and perhaps an ECU and distributor from another. While some may opt to patch the factory harness on their own in an effort to save money, an aftermarket harness will completely replace old wiring and connectors that may be prone to rotting or shorting. The new unit presents a cleaner, one-piece design that snakes around the engine rather than sitting atop the shock towers, which in turn can de-clutter the bay significantly. Modular in design, these harnesses are expandable, allowing for the addition of future upgrades as the build progresses.

››Here you see a custom Rywire harness and MoTeC system intended for high-level competition with a sealed boot covering all connections. Twisted wire grants flexibility and heat-resistant loom keeps wires safe from outside elements. Below that is an AEM stand-alone system with an entry-level harness intended for a street, show, or weekend track car. Necessity and a substantial price tag difference separate the two types.

HIGHLIGHTS: • Affordable • Plug-and-play, one-piece design • Less intrusive appearance for a cleaner bay • New, reliable wiring and connectors to replace aging factory harness

STREET, SHOW, AND WEEKEND WARRIORS For those starting with a standalone engine management system, harness options that include boost solenoids and various sensors are easily added to the recipe. Pre-planned sensor terminations offer an easy install for the end user, and because ECU selection is determined prior to the construction of the harness, the correct ECU connectors are utilized, keeping installation time short and painless. Similar to an entry-level harness in terms of expandability, future changes and upgrades are supported as well.

››Though the Rywire crew can construct the majority of available harnesses from memory, Basseri and Der keep multiple reference guides on hand for consistency and strict quality control.

HIGHLIGHTS: • Proper standalone ECU connectors • No patch harness required • Correct sensor terminations used for easy plug-in solution

THE BIG GUNS The number of full race applications being ordered through Rywire has grown substantially over the past few years. With many drag, drift, and time attack drivers relying on high-end engine management systems, the need for completely one-off, custom harnesses has never been greater. These harnesses incorporate built-in fuses, relays, or PDMs (power distribution module) that grant teams highly advanced data for analyzing during or after each race or test session. Basseri serves as a consultant of sorts, offering his experience and insider info to help clients select the best options for their particular setup. Once the parameters are set, Basseri and his team can complete a full race-spec, four-cylinder harness in about three to five days, depending on the options requested. Engines with more cylinders (6-12) require a few more days for completion. In order to ensure quality and consistency, every harness assembled is tested and resistance checked to verify there are no voltage fluctuations before being shipped to its new home. HIGHLIGHTS: • Compatible with even the most advanced management systems • Limitless expansion options • Built-in fuses, relays, or PDM • Sealed connections • Personal build consultation 64 SUPERSTREETONLINE.COM

››Beyond engine harnesses, Rywire Motorsport Electronics also offers a number of accessories. Brake kits, coil-on-plug conversion kits, sub harnesses, Mil-spec connectors and plates, and much more.

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MR-SOL WORDS Rodrez PHOTOS Chad Burdette The laughs were no doubt still ringing in his head as Tim Lilley, owner and builder of this one-of-a-kind del Sol, fired up his project for the very first time. Months prior, he’d purchased the shell from Tim Carter, a friend who had crashed the car and removed the engine. Thinking out loud during the transaction, Lilley told those within earshot of his plan to completely rework the two-seater for a mid-ship, RWD conversion. He adds, “They laughed and said, ‘Yeah, right!’ The next day I was cutting the back out and sending pics to show them I wasn’t kidding.” If you automatically conjured up thoughts of Top Fuel of Japan’s RR del Sol (CR-X in Japan) from about 15 years ago, you’re not alone. Powered by a 500hp turbo B-series, the midengine-converted RR sent shockwaves through a drag-centric Honda community that was drooling at the very thought (the car even graced the cover of Super Street in June ’01!). Though that particular car never catapulted itself to the front of the import drag racing pecking order of that era, it was, and still is, a technological marvel. A handful of homemade versions have surfaced over the years, but few match the quality and craftsmanship that Lilley has achieved. Once he transported the shell home, Lilley spent every free moment he had tending to the intricate process of completely altering the intentions of Honda’s engineers in order to create something truly one-off. He recalls, “I had a K20 to use as a mock-up motor. It stayed in the car to get all the wiring and fabrication done. I had it all done, up and running in about six months.” The first and most obvious challenge is hanging the engine over the rear wheels. For this, Lilley had to design custom engine mounts. Once the engine sat properly, the transmission, in this case a K-series unit with PPG 1st and 2nd straight-cut gears, had to be situated with proper axle geometry in mind. Custom mounts were again required and upon completion, placed the Insane Shafts axles at the right angle to make this all work. To increase the complexity of an already daunting task, Lilley chose to boost the K24 using a custom exhaust manifold with a Garrett GT35R and Tial wastegate and blow-off valve combo. Inside the bottom end of the 2.4L you’ll find 10.5:1 Wiseco slugs and Blueprint/Eagle rods, while Supertech valvesprings and retainers secure the top end. ID1000cc injectors and a Walbro fuel pump help light the fire, and the entire orchestra is directed by Hondata’s K-Pro with boost solenoid. The combination of parts and boost equates to more than 500 hp at the rear wheels, while


››Notice the interior is mostly stock… That’s because you should be looking behind the seats!

a liquid-to-air intercooler with 3-inch piping helps to keep temperatures in check. It sounds like quite a bit to stuff into a non-existent engine compartment, but the finished product is shockingly well thought out. Organized and concise, every component has its own path, resulting in a space that looks much bigger than it actually is. Moving the engine and its components to the belly of a FWD car’s anatomy required relocating the factory fuel tank. And since there was some vacant property available under the hood of the newly converted Sol, Lilley conducted a relocation of sorts not only in the name of packaging, but to help achieve a favorable front-to-rear balance as well. Not surprisingly, the space swap makes for some interesting reactions from those not familiar with the build. He adds, “I remember the first couple of times I took it to car meets out of town. People would ask what’s under the hood and friends were like, ‘Yeah, show them under your hood.’ People were shocked to see what I had done.” From what we understand, people are also shocked at the car’s performance during impromptu meetings on the road—especially those with modified, high-horsepower Corvettes… allegedly. As wild as the engine and its abundance of power appear to be, the exterior of the del Sol is the polar opposite. A fresh coat of white paint and aftermarket headlights are the only noticeable changes. No carbon-fiber accents, massive rear wing, or 5-figure Japanese aero. Even the wheels, which most would expect to be high-dollar, JDM rarities,

››Changing the car to rear-wheel drive meant relocating the fuel tank. This also helped with weight distribution.

››Built and boosted, mid-mounted K24. Oh yeah, and it’s rear-wheel drive, too!


are quite the opposite. The intent of Lilley’s creation was never to be thrown into that group but rather to step away from the norm entirely. Clean and tidy with no overt clues as to what’s going on behind the driver’s head, other than the mysterious inlet bulge that now resides where the gas filler cover once was. Setting out to completely re-engineer Honda’s FWD two-seater and finding absolute success in the end is a feat in and of itself. To do it all in a mere six months is completely unheard of. However, don’t think that just because he reached his initial goal, Tim Lilley is anywhere near being finished. “I’m planning to turn up the boost and tune on race gas here soon. I think the car will go 9s in the quartermile. That’s my goal anyway.”

’93 Honda del Sol OWNER TIM LILLEY LOCATION NORTH CAROLINA POWER 540 whp, 370 lb-ft at 15 psi on pump gas ENGINE K24 mid-engine swap; custom mounts, exhau st manifold, 4” downpipe and radiator; Wiseco 10.5:1 pistons; Blueprint/Eagle rods; Supertech valvesprings and retainers; Garrett Gt35R turbo; liquid-to-air interco oler with 3” piping; TiAL blow-off valve and 60mm waste gate; Magnaflow muffler; Walbro 450/e85 compatible fuel pump; ID1000cc injectors; Golden Eagle fuel rail; Aerom otive fuel regulator DRIVETRAIN custom geared K-series transmission with PPG 1st and 2nd straight-cut synchro gears; EP3 and Accord 3rd-5th gears; custom Hybrid Racing shift cables; Competition Clutch twin disc; MFactory helica l differential; Insane Shafts 1,000hp axles ENGINE MANAGEMENT Hondata K-Pro with boost solenoid FOOTWORK & CHASSIS Ground Control coilovers with custom Eibach springs; Energy Suspension rear lower control arm bushings; Specialty Products adjustable upper ball joints; custom back-half with RSX subfra me, lower control arms and custom knuckles BRAKES Powerstop cross-drilled ’98 CR-V rotors and calipers; ’02 RSX rotors and calipers, Powerstop brake pads WHEELS & TIRES 16x8” +25 Varrstoen V3 wheel s; 205/50R15 Nitto Neo Gen tires (street), 225/50R15 Mickey Thompson Et Streets (track) EXTERIOR Honda Taffetta white paint; custom front lip; clear one-piece headlights, side markers INTERIOR NRG seats, steering wheel and quick-releas e THANKS YOU My wife Deondra; my painter Daniel Clark; Hardees Body Shop; Briley’s Tire; Hybrid Racing ; Insane Shafts WWW,, ,



The latest parts and noteworthy buzz you should know about.

5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE NEW CIVIC TYPE R Europe will be receiving the new CTR first this summer. It's still uncertain when and what specs the North American model will get. But here are five rather cool facts about the new Euro model you should know about: 1. Boost. It’s Honda’s first application of a 2.0L turbo VTEC engine. Direct-injected mill delivers 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque—both higher than for any previous Type R. 2. Form and Function. OEM aero is more than just show Elements developed via CFD modeling and tested in the wind tunnel and on the track help to optimize downforce, for example the mostly flat underside,

rear diffuser and wing, front splitter, side skirts, and front bumper. 3. Unique Suspension. The “Adaptive Damper System” is exclusive to the platform, made up of the torque steer-limiting dual axis front strut suspension, rear H-shaped torsion beam, and dual pinion electric power steering. 4. The “+R” Button. When triggered, it changes engine torque mapping, reduces steering power assistance (for a more direct feel), and increases damping force by 30 percent. Push it! 5. Track Proven. It’s the fastest FWD around the Nürburgring. A prototype version of the hot hatch clocked a time of 7:50.63, making it the fastest FF car ever to lap the Nordschleife.

SUPER STREET SHOUTOUT @wickedevox_hpatel


Widebody Evo X flexin’.

Contrary to his screen name, this Evo has quite a list of ballah parts.




You don’t see many clean, stock Type R’s on the road anymore.

Must be nice to have JDM headlights…

Good choice of wheels, big wing, and carbon-fiber goodness.

You guys know the drill! Hashtag #superstreetme on your Instagram or Twitter posts for a chance to be on this page! Think of it as the new and improved Readers’ Rides!


DWS06 AIN’T NUTHIN’ TO F’ WIT! WE DO TERRIBLE THINGS TO CONTINENTAL’S NEW ALL-SEASON PERFORMANCE TIRE The term “all-season” sounds weak. Many people expect these tires to be made of cheap quality and lack true performance. We don’t blame the haters, either. The reason all-season tires were created in the first place was for the North American market where car owners don’t always change their tires when winter or summer comes around. But you have to ask yourself this, what is the single most important thing on your car that will benefit your safety on the road? Yes, you guessed it, those four black things that connect your car to the pavement. So while in sunny California we can get away with our stickier summer tires year-round, the rest of the country needs 12 months of performance whether it’s in the dry, wet, or even snow. Enter the DWS06… DWS simply stands for “dry, wet, snow.” The original model launched in ’09, and we have to admit, it was already a solid-performing tire when we first evaluated it. The new DWS06 (06 is just a number to show the newer model) is basically the same great all-season, but better in all categories—dry, wet, and snow traction, plus tread life and noise. With three years of development, the W and Y rated rubbers feature a few upgrades to give it a better scorecard. Integrated X-sipes in the tread allow for better winter performance while traction grooves prevent snow from building up. A sport sidewall

››Christine Dang works for Super Chevy and Mustang 360 magazines, while Ryan Lugo is the art director at Hot Rod. Deep down inside, they wish they were a part of Team Super Street... Defect!

insert has been added to improve steering response in all conditions. The two-ply sidewall is also 35 percent stiffer than the previous model, which allows it to be stronger against impact— you don’t have to stress quite as much when you ram into a bump or pothole. The DWS06 is also a little dummy proof—there are indicators showing if it’s still 100 percent effective in the snow, wet, and dry, plus there are new indicators to show if the car is aligned properly. With all that said, we had to test whether what Conti was telling us about the new DWS06 was a bunch of BS or not, so we made a trip to its test facility in Uvalde, Texas. First, we have to say we were quite impressed already with their enormous facility. It’s not just a simple test track but a playground of courses to assess everything from top speed, off road, wet handling, bumps and potholes, and much more. We arrived with our helmets in hand and right foots heavy. We’re not one to really test the comfort, noise level, and treadwear, but more wanted to see how far we could push the tires without never being invited back again. What we did to these tires was unspeakable, though... You would be amazed how far the dry and wet traction performs for an affordable all-season as we piloted a handful of BMW M235is, Mustangs, Mini Coopers, and Audi A4s. In the dry, we wouldn’t necessarily take these tires to set our new lap record, but it

was surprising to see how aggressive we could drive while the tires still gave us confidence and kept our car well planted on the ground. In the wet is where the tire really starts to shine, though. With a layer of standing water, we were driving at levels similar to how we’d be driving in the dry! It’s a bit scary to think, but yes, you could push the DWS06 that far while still remaining in control. Ninety-nine percent of everyday drivers wouldn’t abuse an all-season like we did. But we’re here to inform you how well these babies are engineered. Grip is important whether you’re racing or simply driving home from work one day. It’s not the best tire if you head to the track every weekend (no all-season will be), but if you live in an area that experiences a lot of rain, maybe some snow, and a good share of sunny days, the DWS06 will give you a better chance of keeping safe 12 months out of the year while also giving you the opportunity to have some fun as well. The DWS06 will come in 87 sizes from 16-22”.


GEAR ! Y A W A E V I G If you’re a hardcore Honda guy, then you need the right gear to look the part. Eeffect Lifestyle Apparel is an officially licensed retailer for Honda and Acura. To win these shirts and hats, simply Instagram a photo of this mag with the hashtag #superstreetme by 6/5/15. Don’t forget to visit to see their whole line-up of goodies!








PAW DBA’s patented Kangaroo Paw ventilation design is comprised of 144 posts and pillars that provide more surface area to improve brake cooling by up to 20% and better caliper load distribution across the rotor face to eliminate distortion.


Made with a carbon composite housing, this wicked dash features a 7-inch LCD panel that’s very easy to read even under the toughest circumstances. It’s made to withstand hard conditions whether in the rain or extreme dust. The layout is entirely configurable to your preferences. We definitely wouldn’t mind one of these in our project car! $4,300,

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Once you get your hands on the wheels of your choice, you have to check out Project Kic’s latest lug nuts. The R40 iConix lugs are made of SCM435 alloy—highstrength, two-piece construction. The unique floating seat design makes for consistent torque retention, lessening the chance of getting loose. Starting at $214,

Upgrade your style,


During the course of development, various pipe diameters, muffler designs, and bends were tested until TODA’s final design was conceived. TODA’s basis for this exhaust was to give maximum power output throughout the entire rpm range. $881.85,

Upgrade your vehicle lighting with Philips Vision LED Bulbs. Their revolutionary new LED lighting technology gives you brilliant, 6000K light and a unique, new high-tech style for interior and exterior lighting applications. Plus, thanks to Vision LED’s 12+ years lifetime, once you put them in, you’ll likely never have to replace them again.


Time to upgrade the upper control arms in your ol’ Honda with Prothane’s newest billet arms. They are precision-machined and feature a black anodized finish. The urethane bushings provide superior shock absorbing and will improve overall handling. $325,

To learn more, visit

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A trademark of the Medalion Touring exhaust is the extremely clean, low, deep tone that is both pleasant and aggressive at all rpm ranges. If you've picked up the latest Fit, this exhaust if a perfect fit for you! $520,


For the boosted B-series, this Golden Eagle advanced seal head gasket is perfect for hardcore racers. The individual die-cut layers of stainless steel provide better consistency than laser-cut or machine-cut gaskets, plus these gaskets are made in Japan, so you can guarantee their quality! $134.95,

OS GIKEN SUPER LOCK LSD FOR B18C AND B16B The 12 active clutch plates on OS Giken’s Super Lock limited-slip provide a smooth and progressive lock. It allows for aggressive throttle when cornering apexes without the unwanted understeer and wheel spin—a must if you take your Civic or Integra out to the track on a regular basis. $1290,


If your Honda is pushing more power than the average street car, chances are you might need to use Karcept’s newest 36mm swap hubs when thinking about upgrading your axles. These 36mm swap hubs maintain OEM rotor-centric attributes and are available for ’88-’05 Civics, ’90-’01 Integras, and ’88-’91 CRXs. $295,



This OEM-style hood will shed some weight off the front end of your TSX while also keeping the factory look once painted—or leave it carbon like a boss. $740,

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Honda of America Racing Team (HART) is a factory based team that runs in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series with SPC’s 67475 arms.


Get your 8th and 9th generation Civic or Acura CSX & ILX ready with SPC's ±3.0° camber adjustment forged steel or aluminum adjustable rear camber arms. SPC’s forged steel arm (#67466) is the arm for getting that ‘perfect’ stance for show or street. SPC’s forged aircraft grade aluminum arm (#67475) weighs less than the OE arm it will replace, with added strength. This arm is built with SPC's xAxis™ Sealed Flex Joint to reduce compliance for improved handling and is perfect for the track. Need improved handling at the track? Feel the difference with SPC’s xAxis™ Sealed Flex Joint. ©2015 Niwot Corp. dba Specialty Products Co.®

SSR continues to bring out its modern interpretation of classic wheels with the Professor TF1, also known as the Fin Type 1. It's available in 18-20” with widths ranging from 7-13”. One sexy wheel if you ask us! Starting at $800,


One of the most frequently abused components of any car is the clutch. Clutch Masters developed a system that will quickly and evenly disengage the pressure plate from the drive discs, while at the same time effectively securing the pressure plate to the cover, eliminating extra noise. While it’s made from race technology, it works well for any high-performance street applications, and they offer plenty of Honda applications! Starting at $1200,


Whether you need camber for the track or simply just want to correct your suspension geometry after lowering your Honda, SPC adjustable control arms are what you need. They’re made of aircraft-grade forged aluminum and feature a unique design that allows ±3° of camber adjustment. $316.58,

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Black colourflex hose with stainless steel fittings


We all know that a clean engine bay is key if you want to get any respect in the Honda show scene. Downstar’s delete plugs for the EG, DC, and EK platforms are perfect for those who pay attention to details. They come in black anodized or raw aluminum. $100,

Goodridge Performance Brakeline kits feature the finest quality stainless steel braided hose with stainless steel fittings, which improves braking performance, eliminates the spongy feel of rubber hoses and provides superior resistance to corrosion. Goodridge brakeline kits provide the reliability and performance demanded by the top racing teams, available for your vehicle.


If you’re running a mildly modified B-Series, AEM’s coil-on-plug kit is the perfect ignition upgrade. It will eliminate both the performance issues common to the B-series’ factory igniter and the need to replace your aging cap/rotor/wire assembly. This unit doesn’t require the integration of a CDI module, making it relatively affordable. $845.71




These billet aluminum fuel rails make a great addition to a K20 engine bay. The direct bolt-on rails feature dual AN-6 ports, allowing it to work with virtually any fuel delivery setup. It has a larger 12.7mm internal bore than its stock counterpart, plus the central feed design ensures all injectors receive equal amounts of fuel. CNC machined out of aircraft grade billet aluminum, they’re available in aluminum, black, or red anodized finishes. $129,



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Weighing only 9 pounds, this billet aluminum flywheel for the Civic Si will allow you to rev faster, thus improving throttle response and acceleration. It mates right up to stock or upgraded 228.6mm clutches. $389,


02/07/2012 12:18


MISS SUPER STREET ’12 MICHELLE SANCHEZ IS MAKIN’ A COMEBACK! WORDS & PHOTOS Jofel Tolosa We’re sure there’s a lot more to life than being really ridiculously good looking. But this month’s model spotlight shows us that beauty can stand the test of time. Welcome back our first-ever Miss Super Street, Michelle Sanchez! Born and raised in Hawaii, migrated to California, and now currently a Vegas girl, the Filipina hottie recently hit us up while she was visiting L.A. We couldn’t resist rekindling the flame with her. Don't forget to visit our website for her full feature. It’s been about three years, Michelle. What’s new? I’m currently living in Las Vegas working at Hakkasan Nightclub as a bottle server. Lately, I’ve been saving up to buy a home and start a small business. Congrats on the new gig! Speaking of jobs, what was your worst ever? I don’t think I’ve had a worst job; however, I did work at a ’70s diner during college in Hawaii, which required us to get on stage and dance to “Grease Lightning” every hour or so. Did you have an embarrassing screen name back then, too? Oh man… It was something ridiculous like ‘azn_baby_8o8_ angelxoxo.’ Hahaha! We wouldn’t have expected anything less, ‘AZN’! Lastly, tell us one of your biggest achievements. I’ve saved enough to pay off all of my debt! No more student loans, car payments, or credit card bills. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but being disciplined and responsible like that are pretty imperative when it comes to wanting to start up a business—you know, grown-up things. We wouldn't know anything about that.


. for more photos ››Check out superstreeton

February 24 Hometown Kapa’a, HI (now living in Las Vegas, N V) Instagram @missmiche llesanchez

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BEHIND THE WHEEL OF THE WORLD’S FASTEST LAWNMOWER Life is pretty surreal sometimes. Like when you’re dressed head to toe in leather and skipping off ruts in the road at 70 mph perched atop the world’s fastest lawnmower. Yes, really… How on Earth did I get here? I blame Honda, who wanted to show the world that it makes far more than cars and motorcycles. There’s a whole Honda world outside of our own, with boat engines, leaf blowers, and, yes, ride-on lawnmowers. So the U.K. arm of the company had the idea to put its moto racing expertise into its gardening equipment and take a record. Two years ago, the fruits of its efforts stormed to 116 mph at a proving ground in northern Spain and, technically, it’s good for 130 mph. For that, we’d need a glass-smooth track that’s much longer than the Heritage Loop at Donington Park that we have to test the mower. We have a bumpy, straight, and short circuit. We’re told in no uncertain terms that if we threaten to set a new record, we’ll be flagged in and slapped on the wrist—inside, I’m kind of glad. Because this is a weird, intimidating machine, I have a kill switch strapped to my wrist, and aside from the leathers and helmet, that’s the only real safety equipment I can see apart from the ambulance that rolls up ominously before I’m allowed to start. My knees are up around my head and I can feel the seat that must have been built for a teenage girl physically rejecting my body inch by inch. Before my run, two big men force my


shoulders down and knees back to get the most grip, but this is literally a 100-mph balancing act. There’s no feel to the clutch or throttle, which is so famously difficult to moderate that it now has a roller on the peg to help work it. The lever is also nerve-rackingly close to the brake pedal, which would be a problem if we were chasing lap times. I’m warned off it. This, I’m told, is a straight-line missile and nobody’s quite sure if it will drift or flip if I power through the corners. Sometimes in this life, though, you just have to grab your balls and go for it. So, mindful of the stall warnings, I pile on way, way too many revs. Seconds later, I’m bounding down the straight like a baby kangaroo suffering an epileptic fit and then, with a second bite at the clutch, I’m away. And laughing maniacally at what could just be the most ludicrous machine I’ve ever driven. Soon I’m bouncing across the tarmac, thumbing the left button to launch the next gear. Revs fly by in that typically high-flying bike engine style and I’m out of straight before it even stretches its legs. I hit maybe 70 mph at one point with plenty of runoff for my safety. Here on the straights, it’s fun, but on a circuit, this understeering beast would be a much more serious challenge. Team Dynamics, which has built numerous British Touring Car Championship– winning cars for Matt Neal, was given the task of turning the Honda HF2620 mower into a world record beater. If it seems like overkill, it is, but if you’re going to do this kind of thing, then you might as well do it right. The 1,000cc engine from the Firestorm produces 109 hp and 71 lb-ft of torque. ATV brakes have been seconded for the front, the rear stoppers and axle come straight out of a 250cc go-kart, and the wheels and tires are stolen from a quad bike. The seat sits 14 cm lower than it would normally, and really only the plastic body

QUICKIE panels and the pedals come from the standard mower. Even the cutting deck, complete with blades that spin at 4,000 rpm and could shred our whole body before we can run away crying, is a lightweight number. It’s an awful lot of work before you even get to the really cute details, like the electronic-actuated shifter buttons on the wheel that manage the six-speed sequential. As a pure piece of engineering, it’s inspiring. There’s even a chain-tensioning system rigged up between the engine and rear axle, and it’s been lined with plastic to make it run quieter. It’s like a professional racing team built a lawnmower, because they did. But I’m not looking at pure engineering, I’m looking at the end of the straight through tear-filled eyes as my rear end forms the only meaningful suspension. Think a go-kart is tough? It’s a Rolls-Royce in comparison to this thing. But, by God, it’s fast! It hits 60 mph in 4 seconds flat and feels a lot faster than it is when you’re bouncing off the tarmac like you’re in an inner tube being dragged behind a boat. But I’m not in an inner tube. It hurts and it messes with my concept of speed. I’m limited to short blasts of acceleration followed by a relatively ham-fisted cornering attempt and another clumsy attempt at smooth throttle input. The steering rack, perversely, comes out of a Morris Minor. It’s just one of the many awesome small facts about the record-breaking lawnmower that makes it genuinely brilliant. I love the racing wheel, I love the jittery progress, I love the raw sound of the VTR 1000 that brings the noise police over to check on us even though we’re working at a racetrack and we’re next to an airport. I love the fact that Honda built it, I love the fact they took it to the Nordschleife and tried to run on the full circuit before the famous German sense of humor brought an end to that plan. I love that a works Touring Car team got so into the project. I also love the fact that all the additional cooling means that when we finally hit the grass for the obligatory drifting shots, the whole thing gets clogged up every few minutes and it needs a blast down the runway and back to cool it down. It’s more fun on the grass, but again, that epic overdose of power means I spend more time recovering from spins than I do arcing gracefully across the lawn. Even if Honda sold this on the open market tomorrow, it would be utter lunacy to buy one. But then that’s not the point. The point is to show that Honda makes lawnmowers and what a few crazy engineers can do if you give them a challenge and the most unlikely vehicle in the world to do it with. Mission accomplished, I’d say.

››Engine comes out of a Honda Firestorm, aka Superhawk sportbike.

"The 1,000cc engine from the Firestorm produces 109 hp and 71 lb-ft of torque."


back in the day





WORDS & PHOTOS Joey Lee As times have changed and styles have evolved, there has always been one constant—the parts supplier. Without guys who communicate with manufacturers around the world, we wouldn’t have a whole lot to work with. This was especially the case in the ’80s and ’90s when acquiring parts from overseas wasn’t as easy as doing a Google

search. The number of importers was few, demand was high, and prices were at a premium. If you could get ahold of certain aero or engine upgrades from Japan, you were willing to pay almost anything. It made “J-style” or “JDM”-inspired tuning fun, cool, and sought after. Today, the Internet has opened up many lanes of communication for enthusiasts to buy JDM

goods whether directly or through an importer or online retailer. There are plenty of large companies that can help you, but you also have guys like Matthew Bouchard. Matt is the owner of M’s JDM Motors in Los Angeles and is a one-man importing machine. That means, not only does he run his business day to day by himself, but he also travels to Japan to personally select every component that he imports—and we assure you it’s only the best stuff enthusiasts want! A bit soft-spoken, he isn’t the type to thrust himself or his cars into the spotlight. So when his ’88 Civic


back in the day

››Complete JDM EF9 front end with authentic Chargespeed front lip and Vision Technica turn signals.

made its first and only public appearance toward the end of ’14, you can imagine how blown away we were. His Civic was so well rounded and possessed many facets inside and out that you would think he’s been building masterful Hondas for decades. “Pretty much every car that I have ever owned has been a Honda,” Matt told us. “I came from a family that drove nothing but Hondas, so I was always exposed to them. The ’88-’91 Civic just appealed to me the most because I love the classic, boxy, ’80s look—that, and I love how [Japanese] EF9 parts are incredibly rare these days, even in Japan. Just because you have the money doesn’t mean you can get your hands on them. You have to search and search hard. I took it as a personal challenge.” The Civic he envisioned building was never a doubt, it just took several years to finish because he had his business as a priority. What added to the downtime was Bouchard’s willingness to start from a completely blank slate. For example, the project started by stripping the entire car apart until the chassis was bare metal. It was then cleaned via a rigorous acid-dripping process, and then every nook and cranny was meticulously painted inside and out. Once the canvas was reset, Matt began

assembling his own vision of an EF9 SiR. The shell is the only part of the car that’s an original North American Civic DX. All bolt-on body parts, from the bumpers, fenders, to the glass are J-spec EF9 SiR pieces hand-picked by Bouchard. The dated trim and moldings have all been exchanged for brand-new OEM components. Aftermarket add-ons are minimal, but make no mistake they are very rare pieces. A Chargespeed lip that he found years before made its way out of his office stockpile and onto the front bumper. The side mirrors, which are a vital piece to any Honda build, are other endangered parts from Top Fuel Japan. When we say “endangered,” we mean they may be the only set left in the world. Of course, any Honda nut can appreciate the beautifully restored exterior, however, all areas underneath the surface have received the same amount of attention. The suspension and all of its inner workings are more than just your typical fly-by-night chopped springs and blown shocks. Meister R coilovers from the U.K. bring the car down a few inches. Attached to the bottom of the dampers are custom-fabricated drop forks from ASC Speed Metal, which allow the car to lower an additional two inches while maintaining proper suspension travel. The craftsmen from

››Flipped up, the Mugen SW3 steering wheel is absolute money.

››The list of rare goodies continues with JDM Gathers Honda Access speakers.

››How often do you see an EF with an AIM MXL Strada digital display?

ASC are also responsible for the front toe arms and chrome-moly front traction bar. To keep everything tightened up, all bushings have been upgraded with polyurethane versions. While on his many travels to Japan, Matt managed to strike a deal on a set of mint DAMD Lover Soul wheels—a personal favorite of his and extremely hard to come by in the U.S. Peeking through the black wheel faces are Wilwood four-piston brakes. Bouchard’s resto-modded Civic looks and rides as good as any EF you can dream of, but perhaps the most delicious piece of the pie is the powertrain. The pristine, mild-mannered exterior is contrasted by a heavy-breathing B18C sourced from a ’99







back in the day



››T1 Race Development cam trigger controls ignition timing.

››Trick Mil-spec engine harness built by Richewerks.

››Custom hard fuel lines with a modified OE tank. Just wow…

Integra Type R. A Portflow head features Supertech guts and a set of Skunk2 Tuner series cams. Mounted to the head and pulling in serious airflow is a set of 48mm Jenvey individual throttle bodies. The dated OEM distributor unit has been ditched for a T1 Race Development cam trigger setup affixed to the front part of the cylinder head to control ignition timing. The “engine room,” as the Japanese like to call it, is not short of any rare

commodities, either—a Maxim Works header is mounted to an even more rare Mugen Teardrop muffler. Not many have heard of Tabata before, but cooling efficiency is significantly improved thanks to a full-sized EF9-specific radiator. Finally worth noting, a MoTeC M4 standalone management system makes all these moving parts work in unison. Builds like this come around as often as most of the parts on Matt’s car—almost never. We could sit here and list out every intricate detail on his build, and there wouldn’t be enough pages in the magazine to cover it all. It is just that good. Guys like Mr. Bouchard are needed in our community, not because they help to bring parts in, but they also have the passion and ability to create custom builds that will inspire others for years to come. While shooting the car, he made it a point to let us know his favorite part of the entire build—EDM (European Domestic Market) door panels that have left-hand drive power window switches instead of the JDM panels. Matt, your favorite feature is the door panels?! That’s simply another reason why the attention to detail and parts selection on this build are insane, and exactly why guys like Matt belong in our annual Honda Issue.

››Gawd DAMD! Rare 15-inch DAMD Lover Soul wheels with Wilwood stoppers.


LOCATION LOS ANGELES, CA OCCUPATION JAPANESE PARTS AND ENGINE IMPORTER POWER 220 hp; 147 lb-ft of torque ENGINE ’99 1.8L B18C swap; Portflow cylinder head; Skunk2 Tuner 2 camshafts; T1 Race Development cam gears, cam trigger; Supertech dual valvesprings, titanium retainers; ARP head studs; Hasport engine mounts; Jenvey 48mm tapered individual throttle bodies, fuel rail; Aeromotive 340 Stealth in-tank fuel pump, fuel pressure regulator; 440cc Bosch injectors; custom bent stainless steel fuel lines and fittings; Earl’s fuel filters; Maxim Works Japan 4-2-1 exhaust manifold; Mugen EF9-spec Teardrop exhaust; catalytic converter delete; NGK Iridium IX spark plugs; K-series coilon-plug conversion; Odyssey PC680 battery; Tabata Japan EF9-spec radiator; HPS silicone hoses; Hayden radiator fans with custom aluminum shroud; J’s Racing fan switch; Richewerks custom engine harness; shaved/wrinkle black valve cover; Mugen bolts; Downstar bolt kit DRIVETRAIN ’99 S80 transmission with 4.7 final drive and helical LSD; Exedy/RPS six-puck sprung clutch; TODA Racing flywheel; K-Tuned shift lever ENGINE MANAGEMENT MoTeC M4 standalone; AIM MXL Strada digital display FOOTWORK & CHASSIS Meister R Zeta R coilovers with Swift 10K front/8K rear springs; EF8/9 front sway bar, front lower control arms; CR-X Si steering rack; ASR rear sway bar, end-links; Cusco ST strut bars; Function7 rear lower control arms; Skunk2 rear camber arms; ASC Speed Metal front toe control arms; custom 2” drop forks, chrome-moly front traction bar; SPC rear tow control arms; Energy Suspension bushing kit BRAKES Wilwood front four-piston calipers, rotors, pads, proportioning valve, master cylinder, brake booster, reverse-mount drop-down pedals; Hawk rear pads; custom lines WHEELS & TIRES 15x7” +35 DAMD Lover Soul wheels; 225/45R15 front, 205/50R15 rear Toyo Proxes tires; Project KICS lug nuts EXTERIOR JDM EF9 SiR front bumper, side skirts, rear bumper, rear spoiler, rear roof spoiler, front fenders, thin side moldings, trunk hatch, hood, headlights, taillights, bronze windshield, door glass, 1 ⁄4 glass, rear hatch glass, door decals; Chargespeed EF9 front lip; Vision Technica bumper lights; Top Fuel Japan Aero Power Mirrors; custom Blue Metallic Glasurit paint INTERIOR Cusco rollcage; Bride ZETA III seats; PCI seat rails; CROW Enterprises Black Edition harnesses; Mugen SW3 steering wheel; ASR EF/DA steering hub; Works Bell Rapfix GTC tilt hub; MXP titanium shift knob; EDM EE9 SiR console, door panels with power switches; Pioneer DEH-X6700BT head unit; Carrozzeria front speakers; Gathers Honda Access optional speaker pods THANKS YOU my good friend Brian Skor who spent endless hours on this build, without him this build would not have been possible; my family for always being understanding of my passion for Hondas throughout these years; Kurt Hebding for being there no matter what; Julian Tan Ink Runners for all the help during the early stages; Mitch at ECO SHINE; Hung at HPS Silicone Hoses; Charleston (ASR) A-spec Racing; Richewerks; Takeru Tojo; Masaki Fukuda; L2p Japan Family; Ron Partain Co; Paul’s Custom Cycles; Josh and Jonathan at Deeds Performance; Rob and Robbie at RPS Clutches; Allen Camero at RevHard; Hugh at Evasive Motorsports; JHPUSA; Mark Sutakajana at 427Garage; Frank at Downstar Garcia; Joey at The Chronicles; and all the Honda enthusiasts that kept me going WWW;;;






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happy ending

Rendering: Jon Sibal

Please deliver the new Civic Type R to our office so we can build our own race car using one of the best liveries of all time. Sincerely, Super Street


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