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1992 Honda Civic CX - Iconoclast

Michael Hatten Breaks The Mold With This Bright '92 Honda Civic CX

Roel Concepcion
Apr 1, 2008
Photographer: Wes Allison
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In most cases, the tuners who are lucky enough to get a cover in this magazine are either 1) so rich that money not only grows on their trees, but also comes down from the sky along with the dogs and the cats; 2) have enough sponsorship support that even My Shaldan is on the list, providing a lifetime supply of its new squash air fresheners; or 3) are exactly like the man who owns this '92 Honda Civic CX, who has more passion for the scene than Britney Spears has for the hyphy juice. His name is Michael Hatten, and his story begins at the age of 16 when a hapless '89 Nissan Pulsar NX was handed down to him from someone who obviously hated him. If you didn't know, the Pulsar is the gift that says, "I not only loathe your very being, but I also want everyone else in the world to know about it."

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As evidence-and not really a surprise to anyone-Michael was hit twice driving the car. As a result, he gained $3,000 in insurance money to allow him to purchase his first-ever modified ride, a '91 Honda CRX Si with a full Wings West RS kit, better known as the ambiguous Mugen copy. It also had a B16 swap and gold paint job that was not only a fresh ride to use as a freshman in college, but was also the best way for the cops to notice you speeding around campus. Of course, this is exactly what happened to Michael and the tickets stacked up so high that he had to let go of the car because like all freshmen in college, money was as scarce as heterosexuals at a John Mayer concert. So he sold it for $4,500, which was money that only lasted a short time inside his wallet because the itch to tune was running strong through his blood.

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He used the cash to buy his first EG, a bone stock '93 Honda Civic CX. This was the car he was wanting since middle school. "All my friends wanted nice and expensive cars like the Lincoln Navigator," he explained. "I was the only one that wanted to fix up a '93 Si. I was in love with EGs and the more I couldn't get one, the more I wanted it." So his first EG was going to be a special one that would get the best parts and last forever. Wrong. Shortly after the purchase, he was rear ended by some drunken girl who drove away and probably drank some more. Naturally, he was depressed and was consoled by his best friend, Randy Gagan, a fellow tuner who motivated Michael to keep on truckin'. The best way for Michael to keep his sanity was to start collecting rare and hard-to-get parts when the most tragic event occurred: Randy died. This life changing experience motivated him to build the best EG ever, so he found one bare and built it from the ground up, installing all the parts he collected. Six months later, this EG came out of his garage, making sure that anyone who saw it would take notice of it. And we did.

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The exterior looks like it should be on the cover of Option magazine with its JDM styles. In the front is a custom carbon-Kevlar Spoon-style lip. It sits under the BMW M3 bi-Xenon projector lighting retrofitted into the EG6 headlights and the paint is a PPG Frost White. This is the kind of look that all aspiring JDM Honda heads should look to for inspiration-it's that dope, and is a perfect example of how to style your Civic.

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Under the hood is where Michael donated all his time. Unlike most tuners who simply buy parts and leave their cars at the shops so they can install it, Michael actually rolled up his sleeves and built the engine himself. He dropped a '97 Honda Integra Type-R engine in the bay and began an extensive makeover. The stock head internals were swapped with TODA Spec-B camshafts and valve springs, and Supertech valves and retainers. The head was further modified by a 3-angle valve job, ported and polished, and milled. Sucking air into the motor is an ARC Super Induction Box and a Spoon 70mm throttle body. The air is then sharted out by the Buddy Club Spec 2 exhaust system with SMSP 2.5-inch catalytic converter. Though it remains naturally aspirated, the Mugen oil cap, Spoon spark plug wire cover and the fact that all the bolts and washers were anodized throughout the car makes up for the lack of forced induction.

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The chassis rolls on a set of 16-inch Sprint Hart CP-R wheels with Falken Azenis RT-615 tires. It lays out rubber seven inches wide on all four corners and stops using a set of Hawk brake pads, Earl's Teflon coated steel braided brake lines and an Integra GS-R front and rear disc brake conversion. Holding the Sprint Harts in place is a suspension system that features Integra Type-R spec JIC Magic FLT-A2 coilovers, which works with a set of Honda Integra Type-R stabilizer bars and Carbing 3-point front strut brace. The most impressive stiffener is the Carbing 8-point roll cage which gave Michael a hard time to locate. The stiff ride is also attributed to the Energy Suspension bushings, Function7 lower control arms and A-Spec Racing subframe reinforcement brace.

Of course, all of the chassis components not only help Michael maneuver around the sterile streets of Winnetka, CA, but they also keep him safe while sitting on a set of Bride Brix Version 1 seats, which are secured by Takata four-point harnesses. The interior also includes an OEM Honda armrest and a variety of hard-to-find EG6 parts, including climate control, clock, coin pocket, instrument cluster, dash and door panels. These are all signs that Michael indeed loves the EG.

But more importantly, he loves his friend Randy, whom he dedicates the car to: "If it wasn't for you, this wouldn't have ever happened." With all the car changes he went through, including money problems, college and losses of close ones, Michael shows he's a true tuner with a neverending love for the scene. This is why he's on the cover, and this is what makes believers out of non-believers.

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Fast Facts
'92 Honda Civic CX
Owner Michael Hatten
Hometown Winnetka, CA
Daily Grind loan officer

Under The Hood '97 Honda Integra Type-R, TODA Spec-B camshafts, 3-angle valve job, ported, polished, and milled head, Mugen head gasket, ARP headstuds, Supertech valves, TODA valve springs, Supertech titanium retainers, AEM fuel regulator, Walbro fuel pump, AEM fuel rail, ARC super induction box and chamber, Spoon throttle body, Buddy Club Spec 2 exhaust, SMSP catalytic converter, HKS cam gears, NGK spark plug and wires, Fluidyne radiator, Mugen oil cap, Spoon spark plug wire cover, Civic Type-R N1 crank pulley, TODA hi-tension timing belt, Hasport motor mounts

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Drivetrain '97 Honda Integra Type-R transmission, B&M shift lever, Clutchmasters clutch, ACT torque converter

Stiff Stuff Integra Type R-spec JIC Magic FLT-A2 coilovers, Honda Integra Type-R stabilizer bars, Carbing 3-point front strut brace, Cusco 40mm rear strut brace, Energy Suspension bushings, Carbing 8-point roll cage, A-Spec Racing subframe reinforcement brace, Function7 lower control arms, Skunk2 extended studs, Buddy Club lugnuts

Rollers 16x7" Sprint Hart CP-R wheels +34 offset with Falken Azenis RT-615 tires

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Stoppers Integra GSR front and rear disc brake conversion, Brembo slotted rotors, Hawk brake pads, Earl's brake lines

Outside Custom carbon-Kevlar Spoon style lip, Honda Civic SiR rear wing, BMW M3 (E46) Bi-Xenon projectors retrofitted into EG6 headlights with Bosche ballasts and igniters, OEM Honda antenna blockoff plate, EG6 visors, Vision Type-TC mirrors, Honda Primo banner, J's Racing air duct, Vision-smoked corners, OEM Honda mudguards

Inside Bride Brix Version 1 with gradation seats, Honda Optional audio console, MOMO Monte Carlo steering wheel, Takata 4-point harnesses, Bride super low position seat rails, power windows conversion, OEM Honda armrest, EG6: climate control, clock, coin pocket, instrument cluster, dash, and door panels swapped black, relocated Odyssey battery, hidden and completely rewired engine and interior harness/fusebox

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Props Big thanks and shoutouts to the Autopilots (Randy, Dr. Fabian Lavsky, Suprimo54 and Terry); Questoyz; big Hyper16valve (thanks for all the love); EMOmob (keep mobbin'); all the Eagle Rock heads (missin' my hometown); Dave at SMSP; Steve at HMotorsOnline; Jeff at CackyWheels; Mike at Evasive Motorsports; Daryl at JHP USA; Pit Crew; Tom at Camp 1320; Super Autobacs; Mitch at Deering Industries; ATS Garage crew (thanks for all the love and support); Tom at Earl's Store 1; Rotary Xecret; Autolink; I wanted to especially thank Randy Gagan-if it wasn't for you, this would never have happened. Rest in peace, homie. Thanks to all the rest of the homies who helped, motivated and inspired me through this and previous builds. Much love!

www; (TODA);;;;;;; (Mugen);; (Bride);; (Carbing/Takata)

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