Dexter Vines’ Mugen Civic

Anybody who has sunk hours of effort, busted knuckles, curse words, and late nights into a car knows how quickly they develop into a part of the family. The same can certainly be said in the case of Dexter’s Ej1. Back in June of 1994, this Civic was a bone stock beauty sitting on the showroom floor when Dexter decided to take her home.

Photos By: Khris H. 

From there, the story goes through highs and lows like any real family ties. On the upside, the car got a few facial upgrades via a Mugen lip, J’s Racing intake duct molded into the bumper, and JDM side markers, amber corners, and window visors under a Honda Primo windshield banner. On the downside, the car has suffered (and fully recovered) from 6 fender benders over the years, two of which were hit and runs.

By the looks of the car, however, you can’t really tell the car is 20 years old, let alone the victim of multiple accidents. The Mugen upgrades blend onto the car so well that you get that “can’t quite put a finger on it” upgrade feel that is almost a lost art these days.

One thing, you definitely can’t overlook, however, are these mint Mugen MF10L wheels, not to mention the sets of Mugen RNR, M7, MF8, NR10R, Volk TE37s, and SSR Type F autocross wheels Dexter has on reserve.

Behind the wheels you’ll find Koni Yellows wrapped in Eibach 450/400 springs, a Skunk2 camber kit, and Spoon monoblock calipers completed with Hawks pads and Goodridge steel break lines.

From the rear, you’ll spot a Beaks lower tie bar and a Mugen Gen 1 Integra exhaust peaking out from the rear bumper.

With all of this work invested in his child, you could bet it was nearly a tragedy when the car was stolen in 2000. Thankfully the car was found and returned in one piece, a fate not too many stolen Hondas get to enjoy. On a lighter note, this is a perfect example of the OG sport-stance setups weathering the storm of form > function setups, featuring ADVAN and Speedhunters tire stenciling.

Moving to the inside, there’s more Mugen goodies to be found. Seating comes in the form of Recaro bucket seats and Takata harnesses, in addition to the JDM EG SIR cluster and clock complementing a JDM R shift boot and EJ Coupe floor mats.

This Mugen FG360 steering wheel provides a solid point of control, while the Mugen shiftknob, e-brake cover, and pedals finish off the cockpit.

In case you still couldn’t put your finger on what’s different with this EJ, the Mugen badges, plate, and plate frame can give you a hint.

Throughout the 20 year development of his child, Dexter converted the transmission from automatic to a manual Y21 transmission hooking up with a JDM B16 SIR under the hood. Of course the engine bay couldn’t escape the Mugen touch either, featuring a Mugen intake, headers, radiator cap, oil cap, valve cover, reservoir covers, strut bar, and oil pan.

Once you begin to see just how much effort and attention to detail has been paid to this car, one can truly understand just how strong a bond can be truly formed between man and machine. If the past 20 years have been anything to judge from, Dexter’s Mugen EJ1 will continue to be an example of timeless styling well into the future.

Thanks for Looking



Shooter and wordsmith for Southrnfresh. I work in the photography industry and went to school for IT.
  • Scott Jackson

    Definitely one of the nicest Civic’s I’ve seen.