A couple of weeks ago I attended a track day at Willow Springs with the guys of Autotuned Garage. Among the sea of beaten track builds, modified coupes, and generally loud cars, I spotted James’s EF Civic from across the pits. At first glance it wasn’t as flamboyant as the NSX or BMWs racing that day, but upon closer inspection I began to really enjoy the car and realize just how much effort had been put into creating this Honda Kanjo/track machine while never approaching the category of ricer.
Over the time he’s owned the Civic, a little over a year, the car has gone from reliable and fuel efficient transportation to a stripped down racing build.
“I needed a commuter vehicle to visit friends and family with and a friend found this through an impound lot he worked with. The build had continued to grow further and further from daily status as I began to get ready to finally get out on the track. My license plate (4 DATMPG) became a joke as the real reason I bought the car had become much less of a motivation for the things I would do, even though I continued to commute with it.”
As mentioned previously, James took real care in keeping the ratio of form and function under control while moving throughout his process. “I was mostly inspired by a few friends in different automotive “scenes” but all of which had one thing in common, function. The main Honda/EF specific inspiration was, believe it or not, Kei Miura’s Tra Kyoto civic. (Not many people seems to know about it or believe me but he was around way before the FRS.) A simple car built and meant to be beat on is exactly what I wanted to build, and his car was the perfect example. (By the way of Kei reads this: I’d really like to have that front bumper! Thank you!) I had no intention of building a “Kanjozoku” car but it slowly began to give that impression. Most track day companies require numbers, so I used period-correct door cards from the era of the car’s racing roots. I believe they look a lot cleaner than just throwing on painters tape every race.”
Seeing as how the car is built with a focus on function, it’s only fitting we start under the hood where you won’t find any crazy engine swap or Ebay bolt on parts. The heart of this ring racer is a D15b VTEC motor with DC Header, Skunk2 Alpha half radiator, Oside Tiger injectors, and AEM intake. This compact package all exhales out through an APEX-i N1 muffler.
While this list may not be a high-dollar build, James says he prefers it that way, adding “The car will remain single cam until I, as a driver, actually surpass the potential of the motor and chassis. It’s what the car was designed to run on. As it’s my first year of road racing, I’ve made plenty of progress with just seat time but there are so many other fine details to tweak from braking, tires and tire pressures, suspension and so on before a new engine is considered.”
Speaking of the other facets of the car, James has gone with Ray’s Gram Lights (15×8 +28) wrapped in Nitto NT05 tires with a size of 205/50. These are cushioned with Tein Super Street coilovers and held on with Part Shop MAX lugs.
Moving around the outside of the car, there’s Pro Car Innovations side skirts, rear diffuser, and a Chargespeed replica lip and wing. The body has also been painted in Porsche GT3RS Grau Schwars factory paint. (This detail has not been lost in the black and white photos).
The interior is noticeably and understandably stripped out. Every bit of weight has been trimmed with a Stätus carbon fiber ring seat, Personal Grinta wheel, DC2 center console, LED interior lights, and Beaks C-pillar bar making the cut.
With all that said, I’m excited to keep up with James’s build and bring you all some Quick Shot updates in the future.
Here’s a shot of the car (in color) for the people who will undoubtedly dislike the black and white theme of this shoot.
James would like to give shoutouts and thanks to the following: Perfection Motors, Weinand Racing, EF maniacs, Racetune, Cali Style Auto body, Vtec Club USA, Stay Crushing, Devoted Society, Motolyric, Autotuned Garage, Backyard Designz Co., Autolife TV, Monaco Racing, Stephanie Cemo Racing, Purist group, San toso x Raceminded, Civic Scene, Big Mike, Brad V., Deron T., Chris G., Jamie L., Ahmed at Vivid racing, The Fourum, his mom, and his grandma.