Being different is something that a lot of people would like to do with their tuner car build, but is not always the way it goes. When building a popular chassis, such as the well-known EM1 platform, it is especially hard to do something that is not often duplicated and seen as a cookie-cutter build. When Michael Schietroma took on the challenge, he nailed it. This is not something that came easy by any means for Michael. With a build stretching out over eight very long years, Michael learned the true definition of patience. This is definitely not something most 18-year-olds with their first car are OK with.
Originally from Southern California, Michael's introduction to modified cars came from hanging out with his older brother after relocating to Tucson, AZ, at a young age. Of course, at a young age you want to follow in the footsteps of the people you look up to. Being that his brother was into Hondas for some time, it made it an easy choice of which car to pick once he turned 18. A junior in high school, Michael was ready to buy his first car. He was looking for a nice, clean Civic Si, and it had to be the exclusive Electron Blue Pearl color. As fate would have it, one of his brother's friends just happened to be selling a clean, bone-stock '99 Electron Blue Pearl Civic Si. The purchase was made immediately. It was a perfect start for the long road ahead.
Wasting no time at all, Michael was already determined to modify the car. Within the first month he already had a set of Tein Basic coilovers on the way to pair with some 5Zigen 5ZR Copses. High-end parts would be something Michael would soon notice more while spectating at some of the larger high-end car shows, such as Hot Import Nights and NOPI. This is where he began to see the difference name-brand parts make on a car versus having cheap knock-off parts like most seem to be OK with. What really set the direction for this Civic was when he visited a shop in Phoenix called ICB Motorsport, where he met Matt, the owner of the shop. After touring the facility, which is loaded with rare, high-end JDM parts, Michael immediately knew exactly what he wanted to do with the car. He was done buying cheap knock-off lips and wheels. He wanted the real-deal Holyfield.
While trying to keep a brand-name theme with the car, the two main JDM manufacturers he had to choose from were Mugen and Spoon Sports. For Michael's outlook on style, Spoon Sports was an easy choice. This does not say that getting the parts was easy though. Still in high school with only an entry-level part-time job, this is where Michael had to wait it out with every part to get exactly what he wanted. Obviously, this paid off in the end, because this car is nothing less than awesome.
In the years to come Michael pieced together his vision of perfection. Sticking with the original five-spoke design of the 5ZR Copses, Michael threw on a set of 16x7 +45 JDM Desmond Regamaster Evos laced with 205/40-16 Yokohama Parada Spec-2 tires. These were then finished off with a set of Project Kics R-40 Neo Chrome lug nuts. These lug nuts cost about as much as a pair of your typical everyday Rota wheels, but Michael didn't care-he wanted only the best. Why stop at some JDM wheels and fancy lug nuts, though? Michael also added Spoon Sports Twin Block big brakes to complete the total package. He then moved on to add a Backyard Special front bumper, which is FRP with an integrated carbon Kevlar front lip, and a Wings West rear spoiler. Sticking with simple yet elegant exterior modifications, Michael added a host of JDM Civic Type R parts including door visors, thin side moldings, and headlights. Completing the exterior style department are a set of Vision Technica Type MC mirrors and a Spoon Sports windshield banner.
Moving onto the interior you will find Vision Technica seats draped with Takata harnesses, attached to a Sparco harness bar, Spoon Sports steering wheel, and wide-view mirror. Not stopping there, Michael added another lot of Civic Type R parts, including a carbon gauge bezel, shift boot, airbag tray, and e-brake boot and handle. Of course, what is a street car without a stereo system? Michael also added a JVC head unit with JL Audio C2 speakers to keep it simple and clean.
In the engine bay you will find so many JDM accessories that your jaw will likely hit the floor. Hiding underhood is an arsenal of Spoon Sports parts. From the fluid caps to the valve cover, it pretty much has it all. Some of the features that stand out most include the Spoon Sports strut bar, carbon Kevlar plug cover, intake elbow, and radiator hoses. Be sure to notice the details, such as the Spoon Sports plug wires, radiator stays, battery tie down, and reservoir tank covers.
For the more performance-minded modifications, Michael went with a set of Skunk2 Cams with their Pro Series titanium gears. He also added an AEBS intake manifold/throttle-body combo with a Vision Technica 4-into-1 header that feeds into a Spoon Sports "street type" exhaust system. Tuned by Evan Smith at ES Tuned using a Hondata S300, the car put down a healthy 167 whp. In order to handle the added strain on the driveline, Michael added a set of Hasport engine mounts and an Exedy clutch with a Fidanza flywheel. Keeping the engine cool is a Koyo radiator mixed with a Spoon Sports thermostat and fan switch. Michael also wanted to give the car a tighter, sportier feel while utilizing the extra power. He installed an ASR subframe brace with Function 7 lower control arms, Buddy Club upper control arms, and a Spoon Sports tie bar to finish it off.
In 2008, while still building the car, Michael was contacted by Spoon Sports for his car to become officially Spoon Sports certified. A lot of you might be curious what it means to be "Spoon Sports Certified". The answer: It is like a badge of honor. It's a prestigious status only awarded to the true Spoon Sports enthusiast. One cannot simply call in and become a part of this exclusive family. Spoon Sports hand-selects each vehicle to become part of the family and extends the invite to join up. This entails a small fee to have the exclusive serial numbered plate made and shipped to your door. The numbers on the plate are then tagged in Spoon Sports' database to your specific car and your authentic parts are logged as part of the vehicle. Only about 3 percent of Spoon Sports customers get the invite.
Inspired by his family of automotive enthusiasts, Michael was able to complete what is now a well-formed, simple yet elegant Spoon Sports Certified Civic Si. Even if you don't have a big interest in Hondas, you can appreciate this build. In the end it was all worth it to Michael. He still loves the car and drives it all the time.
Behind The Build
Oro Valley, AZ
Basketball and Golf
"My passion for Hondas and authenticity of Spoon Sports products among other well-known names in the automotive industry has motivated me to build a car that was truly unique that I could call my own."
1999 Honda Civic Si (EM1)
167 whp/112 lb-ft of torque (dyno)
Engine Honda B16A2 engine; Skunk2 Stage 1 camshafts; Pro Series titanium cam gears; Hasport motor mounts; OEM intake with Spoon Sports carbon Kevlar intake elbow; K&N filter; AEBS 68mm throttle body, intake manifold; Vision Technica 4-into-1 header, hood dampers; Spoon Sports street-style exhaust, high-tension plug wires, radiator hoses, thermostat and switch, valve cover, oil cap, radiator cap, radiator stay, carbon Kevlar plug cover, reservoir tank covers, battery tie down; ICB Motorsport bolt dress-up kit; P-28 ECU with Hondata S300 tuned by Evan Smith at ES Tuned
Drivetrain Exedy Stage 1 clutch; Fidanza lightweight flywheel
Suspension Tein Basic coilovers; Spoon Sports front and rear strut tower bar, rear tie bar, Buddy Club P1 upper control arms; ASR subframe brace; Function 7 lower control arms
Wheels/Tires Desmond Regamaster Evo silver (16x7 +45mm offset); Yokohama Parada Spec-2 tires (205/40/16); Project Kics R40 Neo Chrome; Spoon Sports 3mm wheel spacers
Brakes Spoon Sports twin-block brake kit; Hawk Performance brake pads; steel braided brake lines
Exterior Backyard Special front bumper; OEM side skirts, rear bumper; Wing West rear spoiler; JDM Honda Civic Type R headlights, door visors, thin side moldings; Vision Technica Type MC mirrors, Spoon Sports windshield banner
Interior Vision Technica Imus seats (driver and passenger); Buddy Club Super Low seat rails (driver and passenger); Takata four-point harnesses; Sparco harness bar; Spoon Sports steering wheel; Duracon shift knob; wide rearview mirror; NRG steering hub, quick release; JDM Honda Civic Type R pedals, e-brake handle, e-brake console cover (armrest eliminator), carbon gauge bezel, shift boot, airbag tray; custom suede pillars, door panels, headliner; Password:JDM carbon Kevlar fuel pump cover; JVC KD-S37 head unit; JL Audio C2 speakers
Gratitude "Mom and dad; my brother, Stevie; all my friends who have helped and supported my build throughout the years; Matt at ICB Motorsport; RC at RC's Garage; SPS Autosport; Evan at ES Tuned; Wayne, Jason, and Taylor at Vanderpool's Automotive."