When it comes to the automotive tuning community, otherwise known as "the scene", there is a clear division in geography. Though in a broader spectrum we are still divided between east and west, there are specific states now that are expected to produce the best builds. On the west you have Cali of course. In the east is most notably Florida. The rest are pretty much slept on. Occasionally you will see a car here and there coming from a smaller state but it's few and far between. One of the most slept on states would have to be Texas. To the common folk, when you mention the state of Texas, built Hondas just aren't the first thing that comes to mind. Stereotypes would lead us to think country music, cows and football. Cece Brown set out to break those stereotypes and direct all eyes on the prize that graces these pages before you. This Hypnotic Blue Mica-hued Civic is his message to the nation that Texas is a force to be reckoned with.
"Building this Civic is my passion," Cece exclaims. "I want people to see this car and know that Texas exists." Carrying the weight of an entire state on his shoulders was no small feat. Being a budding businessman and the owner of his own shop definitely helped his efforts. The shop, Atomic Auto, gave him an opportunity to basically have every part he needed at his disposal. So much so, that he came up with the idea to redo his Civic every year. Keep in mind that Cece has had this Civic since 2003. So his Civic has had more makeovers than Lil' Kim has had plastic surgeries-almost. To be able to go with a new theme every year is definitely every Honda-owners dream. Is it cost-effective? "I don't even want to think about it." Cece says jokingly. "I originally bought this car as a daily but once I started modifying it, I just decided to make it a promotional vehicle for my shop. I went with an all-J's Racing theme in 2004, all-Mugen the year after that, and at one point I even had a complete Spoon-built engine." Cece had pretty much done it all already, but he still wasn't satisfied. "In 2008, I decided to run TWM individual throttle-bodies and after it was tuned, I was pretty disappointed with the numbers. That's when I decided to give my good friend Dr. Charles Madrid a call. I'll never forget what he told me: go K-series Cece, you will be amazed." Cece followed the doctor's orders and soon found himself out in the West Coast. He along with his close friend Gearheinz Rios and Dr. Charles went to work right away on the K20Z1 swap.
Once the K20 was in, Cece knew that he had to change up the exterior once again. "At that point, I had already won many trophies and awards at shows. I knew that if I wanted the nation to recognize this build and where it came from, I had to be immortalized in print," he explains. "Getting into a magazine was the next logical step." On the way back home after the Type-S swap, Cece began to compile a list of what he had to do to next. Before he left, he remembered his buddy had told him about this rumor that black cars were hard to photograph and that would reduce his chances of being featured. This news made him even more determined to pull out all the stops. He looked around everywhere and asked his friends for color suggestions before finally deciding on Hypnotic Teal Mica. With the paint figured out, the build really began to take off.
"I called Ken Peak from Peakboost and ordered their K-series turbo kit. Normally it only comes with a GT30R turbo but I just said F-it and upgraded to a GT37R. If I'm going all-out, I might as well get the best stuff right?"
Cece found out about a big import event in his hometown that would be perfect for the reintroduction of his hatch. The only problem was the three-month time span in which to finish his build. The turbo install, tuning and paint alone might have taken a couple months as is and he still had many loose ends to tie up before the car could even hit the spray booth. "I had to call every contact I could to get this thing together by my deadline," Cece says.
"Everything was going smoothly until it came time to get my brakes. It was probably my fault for being indecisive but I just couldn't decide between Spoon and Project Mu. When I finally decided on the Spoon brakes, of course with my luck, they were all sold out and on back order," he explains. "So I was willing to accept it as a sign that I should get the Project Mu brakes instead. I give my boy Eddie at Mackin Industries a call only to find out that the only ones they had available were made for a Honda Fit. Yes, a Fit, but they were 4x100 so it was a possibility that they would work. I was still iffy on them but with the deadline approaching and some coercing from my girlfriend, I decided to pick them up." Customizing the brakes to fit, no pun intended, wasn't too much of an issue so everything ultimately worked out. The finish on them off set the Hypnotic Blue Mica so much so that he went ahead and had his Function7 control arms and ASR subframe brace color-matched. After the ordeal with the brakes, acquiring the rare Vision Technica front lip and J's Racing rear wing was a cakewalk.
Three months and many sleepless nights later, sure enough, Cece's Civic made its reintroduction. It should be pretty obvious by now whether or not he got that magazine feature he so longed for. "I'm so glad to have great friends and a crew at my shop to help make my dreams come true. I've always had great pride in being the one to set the standard in my area. I hope my Civic and this feature helps put Texas on the map-this one's for you El Paso."
1992 Honda Civic SiR EG6
Owner Cece Brown
Hometown El Paso, Texas
Daily Grind Owner Of Atomic Auto
Under the hood 2007 2.0L DOHC K20Z1; Skunk2 camshafts, valves, springs and retainers; RBC intake manifold; RC Engineering 1000cc fuel injectors; Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator; Walbro 255lph fuel pump; R-Crew fuel rail and exhaust system; Karcepts throttle-body adapter; Peakboost K-series turbo manifold; Garrett GT37R dual ball-bearing turbocharger; TiAL blow-off valve and wastegate; PWR intercooler w/Peakboost intercooler piping; Hondata boost controller; Koyo radiator; Spoon Sports radiator cap; Samco Sport cooling hoses; Karcepts radiator stays; Hasport axles; JDM Type R valve cover; Vision Technica oil cap; Gallery Fresh engine dress-up kit; Custom wire-tuck by Chris Gonzalez at C3
Power 416whp/295-ft torque
Drivetrain ACT heavy-duty clutch and flywheel; Karcepts shifter brains GReddy Profec E-01 boost controller and e-Manage
Stiff Stuff Tanabe Sustec coilovers; Mugen front shock tower brace; NEXT Miracle X bar; ASR subframe brace; Function 7 lower control arms
Stoppers Custom-modifed Honda Fit Project Mu 4-pot 13-inch big brake kit
Rollers 15x7 +30 Volk Racing TE37 with 205/50-15 Falken Azenis tires
Outside PPG Hypnotic Blue Mica paint; Vision Technica front lip, carbon-fiber side mirrors; J's Racing rear spoiler
Inside Bride Zeta III racing seats; Nardi 330mm woodgrain steering wheel; Works Bell hub; Team Orange quick-release; Spoon Sports titanium shift knob; Willans Saloon GT safety harnesses
Props Atomic Auto Krew (Flicker, Antoine, Isaac Torres, Joe Baca, Steve Escobedo); My lady for her support on this build and all the late nights at the shop wrenching on my car; Chris Gonzalez for the wire tuck; Matt and Brian from ICB Motorsport; Eddie from Mackin Industries; Jerry from Pacific Rim/Gallery Fresh; Aldo from Rainbow Polishing; Dr. Charles Madrid for convincing me to do my swap; Ken Peak from Peakboost for my turbo kit; Gearheinz Rios for letting me use his shop to finish my car with the help of Kevin Serapion; Ant Banks and Garret Wong from HKS; Jonathan Wong for giving me the chance to be featured; Brian from Karcepts; JH Collision for the awesome paint job
www galleryfresh.com, hasport.com, hksusa.com, koyorad.com, mackinindustries.com (Project Mu/Volk), samcosport.com, skunk2.com, spoonsports.us, tanabe-usa.com