My strongest and most-lasting impression of Roger Scalise came when the Super Street staff went snowboarding with some of Southern Californias best-known racers. You may have read the story about it in our May issue. Heres what you probably didnt know. Roger went with us and showed us his underwear. Yes. His underwear. Roger wears both boxers and briefs. At the same time. We didnt ask him to drop trou; he volunteered.
Roger could be a great snowboarder; I have no idea. I spent all day falling down on the bunny slope while Steph Papadakis, Super Street Editor Richard Chang, and the bi-pantied Roger whooshed away to the expert slope. But I have the image of Rogers skivvies burned into my mind. I cant shake it. As I sit down to write this feature on his very-cool turbocharged 98 Civic hatch, which he didnt drive to the mountains that daythe day he showed us his underwearIm having a hard time concentrating on the car.
But this is a car magazine. Its about cars and not underwear. So lets stop thinking about what Roger wears underneath his clothes and talk about this beautiful black hatchback. Im going to at least give it a try.
You can see that it has a Prelude motor. Thats an easy one. Roger says that what he learned from building up this car was how to make a Prelude motor live. Indeed. It lives and breathes and puts out 648 hp at 7,400 rpm and pulls a 10.30 quarter-mile time at 144 mph. Not too shabby.
To get those results, Roger had his shop, Westside Motorsports, do a port-and-polish job, balance and blueprint everything, and then add the FasTrax turbocharger, which probably has something to do with how fast the hatchback can go. But you cant just drop a turbocharger into the engine bay and expect wonders; you need things like a Speed Pro ECU, the first one ever installed in a Honda, an Apex blow-off valve, a Spearco intercooler and pipes, and a GReddy boost controller. A Dynomax exhaust, and ADF header, also help.
This is a race car. It goes fast because of all the reasons we enumerated above. But speed isnt everything in racing. All the power you create under the hood needs to get to the ground, too. The Civic hits the ground on Hoosier slicks wrapped around Racing Hart wheels when its at the racetrack. On the street, Roger swaps in Racing Hart Evo C2 wheels with Pirelli rubber.
Externally, the hatchback benefits from the light weight of a carbon-fiber hood and the bold impact of Modern Image and Redspot graphics. Prelude parts arent limited to the engine bay, either. Inside the passenger compartment, youll find black leather-covered Prelude seats and a Prelude shift knob. Perched in the driver seat, Roger can oversee everything thats happening both inside and outside the car with the Auto Meter gauges that were installed in the Traffic Jams dash. All the interior work was done at Westside Motorsports, too.
Roger says that he built this car to prove a point. He didnt say what the point was, but I guess thats OK, because Im still distracted. I keep coming back to the fact that Roger calls his tighty-whities his dun-dun-na-nas, as in Im a super hero and now Im going to fly off to save someone. Dun-dun-na-na! Its something that I will never forget. No matter how hard I try.