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1998 Honda Civic DX - Authentic Appeal

Keeping It Real Applies To More Than Just Parts ...

Jonathan "JT" Thompson
Apr 10, 2014
Photographer: Al Norris

Human nature is an interesting thing, especially when you consider that a person's true character is often exposed during extreme situations. Human instincts override the controls at times and force people to act a certain way. The "public-self" tends to dull personalities, while professionalism, societal norms, and other intangibles push and pull certain levers, sometimes in robotic fashion. The amount of time between meeting someone and getting to truly know them depends on many factors and it's not uncommon to encounter the authentic personality of an individual much later rather than sooner. That certainly doesn't apply to Albert Marty of Stony Point, New York. His up-front mannerisms, politeness, and candid interactions quickly reveal his true character and, in turn, make him a genuinely likable person.

1998 honda civic DX oil filter 02 Photo 2/13   |   1998 Honda Civic DX - Authentic Appeal

Entrepreneurial in nature, Albert manages an online business that retails high-intensity discharge kits and works on customers' cars out of his home garage. He started an automotive business when he was just 23 years old. He adds, "I changed the name from Auto Sports because everyone kept coming in asking for a stage 2 clutch, a stage 2 cam, stage 2 this, stage 2 that. I was like, what is it with people and stage 2? That is when I decided I am going to change the name to Stage 2 Auto." Due to the backlash of the 2008 recession, Albert closed the shop and now Stage 2 Auto unofficially operates out of his home garage though he plans on moving operations back to a formal location in the near future. The physical size of his current garage limits customer volume. "Not that I feel ashamed about it, but I have been gaining more customers with a small garage than I was with a 2,500-square-foot facility." Customers are discovering him mainly through word of mouth and it appears that scarcity has actually created a sense of exclusivity that customers are more than willing to seek out.

2018 Honda Civic
$18,940 Base Model (MSRP) 28/40 MPG Fuel Economy

It was pretty clear after discussing the parts selected for his bright orange hatch, that Albert proudly reps mainly two companies—Skunk2 Racing and K-Tuned. Why? "Simple fact, I have reached out to so many people over the years. I have been working with Skunk2 since they were Skunk Works. They are both always willing to give me a helping hand. Any other brand and I won't push it." The two industry heavy hitters show up throughout Albert's EJ6 engine bay and as well rounded as his car has become, it only took a matter of 12 months to complete—a goal that Albert had set for himself early on. The power, mainly generated by a Kraftwerks supercharger bolted to a built K Series, has eclipsed the 500-whp point, but Albert feels it could be harnessed more efficiently. "I am going to invent a supercharger boost controller. I am going to apply the boost in increments. I cannot wait to drive my car when I get this worked out," he says with excitement. The idea is simple and not foreign to the turbocharged crowd—increase boost through each gear in order to supply the available power in a more controlled manner.

Supporting the big power number is a bottom end built with CP Piston/Manley rods and a top end fitted with Skunk2 Stage 3 cams and Supertech valvesprings/retainers. A Vibrant Performance intercooler helps keep the temps down. With as much attention as Albert put toward the engine bay, he didn't take any shortcuts on the exterior. In fact, much of his time was spent deciding which particular shade of orange he wanted. His previous car, a '93 Civic that his son now drives, was Papaya Orange so it's no surprise he chose the bright hue for this build. He went through shade after shade, but nothing seemed to be just right for the sixth-gen hatch. Then finally, the perfect shade of orange appeared right in front of him on the road—slathered over the body of a Lamborghini. "This freaking orange had pearl in it!" Albert sped up to catch another glimpse. The Lamborghini owner thought he was trying to race and the two began to switch lanes at a faster rate. Eventually, the Lambo exited the highway and Albert followed the orange supercar to a gas station. "He was like, that thing can boogie, and I was like, I really just want your paint code! The guy was cool and gave me the code from the car," he laughs.

1998 honda civic DX bride interior 04 Photo 6/13   |   1998 Honda Civic DX - Authentic Appeal

Like any enthusiast that spends time behind the wheel of their pride and joy, Albert's car serves as a form of stress relief, especially on those days that just aren't going his way. "I look at my car and think, just let me go for a drive," Albert says. "I get on the road, jump on the [New York Interstate] 87, hit Third and Fourth, and when I see smoke coming out from Third and Fourth, I know I am blowing off steam! The raw power is physically challenging. When I get back, I get it done, you know what I mean?"

At this point, Albert says he's satisfied with his build. He feels that the Civic is his masterpiece and he falls more in love with the car every day, but just like anyone else, there were doubters along his journey. He closes with this, "People will always tell you your goals are impossible to reach. Don't stop until you prove them wrong." Told you he was a genuinely likable guy.

1998 honda civic DX rotrex C38 92 supercharger 08 Photo 7/13   |  
A Rotrex C38-92 supercharger hides well below the intake manifold.

Bolts & Washers

Propulsion
K20A2
Hasport engine mounts
Machine work by Olsen Engines
Assembly/head work by Jose Bello
Skunk2 Racing stage 3 camshafts
Supertech valves
Supertech valvesprings
Supertech retainers
Supertech keepers
CP custom pistons
Manley Performance connecting rods
Compression ratio: 11.5.1
Kraftwerks C38-92 supercharger
Vibrant Performance air intake system
Virbrant Performance intercooler and piping
Skunk2 Racing intake manifold
HKS blow-off valve
Advanced Street Performance 4-1 exhaust manifold
Virbrant Performance custom 3-inch exhaust system
E85 ethanol flex fuel
Surge tank fuel system
Bosch 044 fuel pumps
Walbro 255-lph in-tank fuel pump
K-Tuned fuel rail
Earl's Performance fuel filter
Earl's Performance fuel lines and fittings
Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator
Injector Dynamics 1,000cc fuel injectors
Denso IK22 spark plugs
Honda Civic hybrid radiator
K-Tuned radiator hoses
K-Tuned shifter modifications
Competition Clutch twin disc clutch
Competition Clutch flywheel
DC5 limited slip differential
The Driveshaft Shop axles
Karcepts 36mm hubs
Hondata K-Pro engine control unit

1998 honda civic DX K20A2 engine 10 Photo 8/13   |   1998 Honda Civic DX - Authentic Appeal

Power
508 hp/330 lb-ft of torque

Suspension
Skunk2 Racing Pro-C coilovers
Skunk2 Racing alignment kit
Energy Suspension bushings

Resistance
Mad Fab front dual-piston 11-inch big brake kit
Power Slot rear discs
Earl's Performance lines and fittings

1998 honda civic DX CTR rear seat 11 Photo 9/13   |   1998 Honda Civic DX - Authentic Appeal

Wheels And Tires
Front: 16x8.5 +25 CCW LM5
Rear: 16x8 +32 CCW LM5
205/45-16 Nitto Neo Gen

Exterior
PPG LAMBOR-0081 paint
JDM SiR front and rear bumpers
Zeal rear spoiler

1998 honda civic DX zeal rear spoiler 06 Photo 10/13   |   1998 Honda Civic DX Zeal Rear Spoiler 06

Interior
Bride seats
CTR rear seats with Bride fabric
CTR pedals
Spoon Sports steering wheel
Custom shift knob
Alpine media system

Props
Skunk2 Racing
K-Tuned
Kraftwerks
ASP Headers

1998 honda civic DX CCW LM5 wheel 07 Photo 11/13   |   1998 Honda Civic DX - Authentic Appeal

Owner Specs

Daily Grind
Internet sales

Favorite Site
Facebook.com

Screen Name
WerksJDM

Building Hondas
15 years

Dream Car
NSW

Inspiration For This Build
My EG

Future Build
CR-Z with a K Series

The Laws Of Motion

Harry Jung created a documentary-style short film that contains an interview with Albert and driving scenes which you can view at: www.vimeo.com/75148776. (Note that the title is "Kraftwerks Supercharged 508hp EK;" however, the Hatch is officially an EJ6).

1998 honda civic DX vibrant performance air intake system 12 Photo 12/13   |   1998 Honda Civic DX - Authentic Appeal

Harry was not initially enthused about the subject matter. He admitted to biases derived from previous experiences. "The car itself is awesome, but Albert, he is a great person. That amount of knowledge he has is amazing, and he is humble. It was hard not to want be involved with a project like this," Harry says. The quality build and person improved Harry's perceptions of Honda owners. The 6-minute film took a week to shoot with the daily round-trip to the filming location being about two hours. Harry skipped work and canceled social functions in order to film and the clip already has over 10,000 views! "People enjoy the video and I appreciate that," he says.

1998 honda civic DX JDM SiR front bumper 13 Photo 13/13   |   1998 Honda Civic DX - Authentic Appeal

Sources

Supertech Performance
San Jose, CA 95136
408-448-2001
http://www.supertechperformance.com
Kraftwerks
Norco, CA 92860
951-808-9888
http://www.kraftwerksusa.com
K-Tuned
877-958-8633
http://www.k-tuned.com
Injector Dynamics
214-607-9022
http://www.injectordynamics.com
By Jonathan "JT" Thompson
2 Articles

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