In 2003 when her old Celica was falling apart, Starla Arnold knew her next car would be a Honda. "I actually fell in love with Mugen products before I even bought my car." A girl who knows what she wants and how she wants it is a rare find.
After owning a 2002 Civic, Starla knew Civics were reliable and great on gas mileage. She set her sights on finding a '99-00 Civic Si. Shortly afterwards she located a Milano Red Civic Si at a local dealer saying "everything about this car fit my taste and personality to a tee".
It took her only three days to lower the car and start on her long road of Honda madness. It has come a long way since 2003 and she admits there's still more work to be done. "My car hasn't stepped on the track since 2005, and has yet to see any major motor work. I have had all the plans for my engine worked out for quite some time, but haven't had a chance to act on them. This is due mainly to the fact that it's hard to drive a car everyday when the engine is torn apart, and coming up with a few grand at one time. That's the reason everything else was started first. But it's getting to the point where all that's left is motor work." Starla's car is the true definition of a `daily driver'. With an 80-mile daily commute, this is driven rain or shine.
Unlike some guys even, she did most of the work herself. "Most of the work was done in my garage (when I had one), or on my driveway, lying on the ground with a ratchet set. There is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears in this car. I don't find the point in building a car when a shop or someone else builds it for you. So what I didn't already know how to do, I had my friends teach me. Guess it's handy when half your friends are Honda technicians." But like any build she ran into problems "like a bolt not wanting to come out, or running into a fitment problem, or having a friend melt the rear lip (it was a replica at the time, thank God)" she tells us. "It's nice to know what has been worked on and how it was done. That's the beauty of working on your own car." With the exception of the rear seats, she even did the upholstery herself along with all the other interior mods.
Like most Honda enthusiasts these days, she had to have rare discontinued parts. "My wing has to be the most unique feature on my car, and happens to be one of my favorite parts as well." About four years ago she happened to get lucky and ended up getting the last Mugen Type SS EK spoiler from King Motorsports (the North American Mugen distributor). "I can't count how many times people have offered to buy it, and all the messages and compliments I have received about it as well. Sorry guys, it's not going anywhere". She admits chasing down rare parts can prolong a project and make it frustrating. Not just money, but planning and patience is vital.
After putting thousands of dollars into her car, she knows it's worth more than any number Kelly Blue Book could possibly come up with for it. "I would probably end up parting out the whole car if I was to sell it, but that won't be happening".
2000 Honda Civic Si
Owner Starla Arnold
Hometown Hillsboro, OR
Daily Grind customer service
Power 160 hp @ 7,600 rpm; 111 ft. lb @ 7,000 rpm
Under The Hood B16A2; JDM Civic Type R cams; Injen short ram intake; Mugen 4 into 1 header, twin loop exhaust, oil cap, radiator cap, reservoir covers; Yowai-SS aluminum cooling plate; Optima Yellow Top battery; Skunk2 battery tie down; NGK Platinum spark plugs; MSD Super Conductor 8.5mm wires; custom painted valve cover
Drivetrain JDM Integra Type R transmission and LSD; Exedy clutch; DC Sports short shifter; polyurethane shifter bushings
Stiff Stuff Neuspeed springs; KYB AGX struts; Mugen rear sway bar and front strut bar; Integra Type R suspension; ASR rear subframe; Blox lower control arms and adjustable endlinks
Stoppers Integra Type R front 11" and rear brakes
Rollers 16x7.5" +42mm Forged Monoblock Rays; 205/45R16 Yokohama AVS100; Integra Type R 5-lug conversion
Outside Mugen Type SS front lip, Type SS rear spoiler, license plate bolts, gas cap, aluminum emblem; OEM optional rear lip; Spoon side mirrors; ARC front lip spoilers; JDM Civic Type R; headlights and fog lights; Raybrig fog light bulbs; shaved rear emblems; Honda Milano Red paint; Race Dezign custom decals; Sun Tek window tint
Inside Bride Low Max Gias seats; JDM Civic Type R red carpet; custom red upholstered door panel inserts; custom-painted climate control; Mugen cluster meter visor, steering wheel, shift knob, pedals, rearview mirror cover; JDM Civic Type R shift boot; Momo steering wheel hub; custom upholstered suede armrest and rear seats with red stitching
Ice JVC double DIN touch screen DVD/CD/MP3 player; JL Audio amp, speakers, tweeters,and 12" subwoofer
Props The Lord, my dad and mom for all your help and support, Nick for helping me and making me keep my sanity, my best friend Rich Brasseaux, Tim and Janine, Nate, Kyle, Myles, Dan aka "Biggie", EM1 Crew, Brian "Chippy" Chipman, Race Dezign and Fred, Ashely and steven, Keylly, John Walter, VIP Performance and Chris, Mike, Justin `Kicklow", Tim Oakes, my credit cards, Speed Concept, and all the awesome helpful and supportive people I have met along the way.
www kingmotorsports.com; mackinindustries.com; neuspeed.com; optimabattries.com; skunk2.com; speedconcept.com; tees-usa.com;vip-performance.com