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1993 Honda Civic CX - The Great Anomaly

A Multifaceted Honda No One Ever Expected

Joey Lee
Oct 8, 2015

There is a glitch in the system. Show cars cannot be competitive track cars and track cars cannot be award-winning show cars. Things just don't work that way. If you believe this statement, then explain how the hatch here came to be a first-place finisher in both. Your guess is as good as ours—or so we thought.

1993 honda civic cx sergeant front bumper Photo 2/8   |   1993 Honda Civic CX - The Great Anomaly

We've been on the hunt for Angel Torres' '93 Honda Civic CX for a while now. It caught our eye originally because it was a very well-built "show car." Scheduling conflicts prevented us from ever meeting up with him to shoot the car, then Angel's neighbor decided to have a run-in with the car that resulted in a damaged front end.

While a Sergeant front bumper was on order, Angel contacted us to set a specific date to have his Civic photographed. Why exactly did it have to be shot on or before his specified deadline? Well, Angel had planned to participate in the first round of the Redline Time Attack series. Wait, what? You're going to take this Civic, fresh out of the paint shop, straight to Buttonwillow Raceway? So not only did we oblige to his request, we even promised to meet him at the track to see all of this go down. This multiple award-winning Honda show car with a brand-new front end, which cost more than $2,500 in parts alone, was going to battle it out at Buttonwillow. There was no way we were going to miss this!

1993 honda civic cx personal steering wheel Photo 3/8   |   Don’t see a fully functional DC5 RSX dash and center console inside an EG every day, let alone a track-ready one!

Angel isn't a beginner on the track by any stretch of the imagination, having competed his Civic Si coupe the year before. He just hadn't driven this particular EG on the circuit. So on that day, the game plan was to connect with Angel the morning prior to him ripping through Buttonwillow with the fear of damaging the car. Well, it didn't quite work out that way as he was immediately thrust into action. We waited in a little bit of horror—no shakedown, fresh motor, all caution to the wind. If he wrecked, that would be the end of an awesome story, but more importantly, it would ruin a build five years in the making. Fortune favored the brave that day and Angel finished first in the Street FWD category.

1993 honda civic cx top one motors half size rear diffuser Photo 4/8   |   1993 Honda Civic CX - The Great Anomaly

Looking back at this Civic's humble beginnings, Angel couldn't possibly have dreamed of all he's accomplished. "I originally bought this car from an old lady," he tells us. "It was damage-free and ran fine with the single-cam engine, but there was definitely some wear. The car wasn't anything to rave about. My friends even nicknamed it 'the lady bug.'"

Prior to purchasing the Civic, Torres was the owner of an RSX Type-S. He liked the Type-S but was more into street bikes at the time, so much so that when he had his bike stolen, he decided to sell his DC5 just to get another motorcycle. However, the decision to sell his RSX haunted him, maybe because it left him putt-putting around in an old 70-whp D-series Civic. He not only missed the power, but the comfort of the RSX, too. After some careful research, Angel chose to add those two missing ingredients to create his ideal Honda. He perused various forums and came upon a K20Z1 engine from a wrecked RSX. An agreement was made to purchase the swap. Out of good faith, the seller also included the original RSX dashboard skin. From there, shoehorning the K20 into the EG wasn't a very difficult task, but getting the dash to work on the '92-'95 Civic was no easy feat by any means. But the time-consuming retrofit was worth the effort and stands out as one of the most unique aspects of Angel's build.

1993 honda civic cx bride hyper black interior Photo 5/8   |   It’s all in the details—DC5 dash and OE door panels have been wrapped in matching Bride hyde.

Everything associated with the DC5 interior functions like factory—the gauge cluster, six-disc changer, head unit, even the OEM key works. The original door panels were altered to match the shape of the larger dashboard and music blares through RSX Bose speakers that have also been retrofitted to the car. To give it that personal touch, every panel was wrapped in Bride Hyper Black fabric to match the Brix II and Euro II seats. Angel mentioned that he eventually plans to 'cage his car, but the interior is so mint that it looks perfect the way it sits now—we couldn't agree more.

The K20Z1 he initially sourced isn't even worth mentioning anymore because there's a new setup installed. Currently residing in the bay is an '06 K20A engine built by Hytech Exhaust. The motor features a Benson-sleeved block with Carrillo rods and 86mm Wiseco pistons. The head and valvetrain have been upgraded to handle the added stress from the Jackson Racing supercharger. The blower pumps out 13 psi of boost thanks to a 3-inch Merc Racing pulley, plus an aftercooler has been integrated to remove heat soak. Mated to the K20A is a six-speed manual that's been completely overhauled with a new gearset and carbon-moly synchros from Gearspeed. Tuned by Bisimoto Engineering via an AEM Series II management system, Angel's K is capable of 373 hp to the wheels with a hefty 240 lb-ft of torque—and we're talking linear power!

1993 honda civic cx bride seats Photo 6/8   |   1993 Honda Civic CX - The Great Anomaly

Footwork upgrades are essential to any time attack vehicle, so no expense was spared. Mounted behind the headlights are remote reservoirs for the Eibach Multi-Pro-R2 dampers. These coilovers are known to be some of the best on the market for circuit duty, especially paired with matching sway bars. Tattered front upper and lower control arms bushings have been modernized using a PCI bronze bushing kit while the rear arms themselves have been switched out for high-grade aluminum Kiwi parts. Insane Shafts axles have been implemented to handle delivery of the force-fed horsepower to the meaty Toyo R888 rubber. Completing the chassis mods is a set of lightweight 15-inch Volk Racing TE37SL wheels that barely clear 11-inch Wilwood Dynapro brakes all around.

You'll seldom find a car that looks as fast as it goes and vice versa, but being that his Civic has its roots as a show vehicle, form now undoubtedly meets function. The Sergeant front bumper flows in conjunction with a carbon-fiber First Molding "Flugel Plate" and vented hood to give it an aggressive face. Looking especially peculiar in the rear is a pair of polished stands mounted to the rear glass that hold up a carbon J's Racing GT wing. Both the inside and outside of his chassis have been stripped bare and coated with Liquid Copper Metallic paint. The devil is always in the details, so every removable window trim, molding, weatherstripping, and window glass is all brand-new OEM Honda. Torres went as far as adapting factory RSX lock solenoids to his doors so his RSX keys and immobilizer unit operate properly.

1993 honda civic cx jackson racing supercharger Photo 7/8   |   Built and boosted, this supercharged K20A puts down 373 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque.

"This was my first real car build and I did everything myself," Angel recalls. "I just learned by trial and error. Anybody can do it; it just takes time and research. When it came to learning how to drive on the track, things weren't much different. I practiced and made friends who helped coach me. Taking this Civic out for the first time was a bit nerve racking, but I'm confident that I can be a lot faster with more seat time this year."

We call Angel's build an anomaly or "glitch" in the grand scheme of things because it is completely unusual—it's everything we ever fantasized about but nothing we ever expected. An enthusiast from Eastvale, California, who was completely foreign to the idea of building a Honda of this caliber, not only produced a multiple award-winning show car, but also transformed it into a competitive time attack vehicle. The whole idea of this scenario just doesn't make sense, and somehow, it just...does.

1993 honda civic cx first molding flugel plate Photo 8/8   |   First day on the track, wins his class at Redline Time Attack. No big deal...
By Joey Lee
241 Articles
1993 Honda Civic CX - The Great Anomaly
Tuning Menu
Owner: Angel Torres
Location: Eastvale, CA
Occupation: Business Owner
Power: 373 hp; 240 lb-ft of torque at 13 psi
Engine: '06 2.0L Honda K20A built by Hytech Exhaust; Hasport EGK1 engine mounts (polished); custom K20 oil pump, oil pan baffle, exhaust manifold; Benson open-deck sleeved engine block; ARP head studs; Carrillo H-beam connecting rods with CARR bolts; Wiseco 86mm 11.5:1 ceramic-coated pistons; stainless steel intake valves; inconel exhaust valves; titanium retainers; Chevy IRL valvesprings; RR valve job; Jackson Racing supercharger (polished); Merc Racing 3" pulley, aftercooler, 76mm inlet (polished); All-In Fab heat exchanger (polished), oil catch can, coolant reservoir; Skunk2 Pro Series 76mm throttle body, Mega Power RR 76mm exhaust, valve cover washer kit, fender washers; pie-cut intake with Vibrant air filter; K-Tuned catalytic converter, throttle cable, machined throttle cable bracket, inline fuel filter, fuel pressure regulator, fuel rail, mechanical/liquid-filled fuel pressure gauge, upper radiator stay, radiator hoses, upper water neck, swiveled thermostat housing, oil cap, spark plug cover; Karcepts IACV block-off; 1150cc Grams Performance fuel injectors; Walbro 255-lph fuel pump; -6AN nylon/steel-braided fuel lines and -4AN nylon/steel-braided return line; Koyorad RSX radiator; Laminova 7.5" oil cooler; Type R valve cover (powercoated black); Mil-spec wiring harness and firewall plug; Braille 11lb carbon-fiber battery
Drivetrain: Gearspeed-built six-speed manual, carbon synchos, gear set; Quaife LSD; custom clutch line; K-Tuned shifter cables, bushings, Race-spec full billet shifter; FEEL'S Twincam titanium shift knob; Insane Shafts 1,000hp axles; Spec Stage 3 clutch, flywheel
Engine Management: AEM EMS Series II; Hondata 4-Bar MAP sensor; K-Tuned Hall TPS
Footwork & Chassis: Eibach Multi-Pro R2 coilovers, sway bars; PCI bronze bushings; Kiwi Signature Series lower control arms, camber kits; ASR subframe brace; NEXT Miracle X-brace; Benen strut tower bar
Brakes: Wilwood four-piston Forged Dynapro big brake kit, 11" front rotors, rear Combo Parking brake kit, 11" rear rotors, stainless braided brake lines; DC2 Integra master cylinder, brake proportioning valve; custom full stainless steel hardline brake tuck
Wheels & Tires: 15x8" +35 Volk Racing TE37SL wheels; 225/45R15 Toyo Proxes R888 tires; ARP extended wheel studs;
Exterior: Sergeant front bumper; First Molding carbon-fiber Flugel Plate, hood; Vision Technica Type-DC carbon-fiber side mirrors; J's Racing 3D GT wing with polished brackets; Top One Motors half-size rear diffuser; re-coated undercarriage; shaved antenna, tailgate key hole, badges; RSX door lock solenoids; Liquid Copper Metallic paint
Interior: RSX Type-S gauge cluster, wiring harness, motor harness, dash/floor harness, headlight/taillight harness, steering column, controls, immobilizer unit, E-brake handle, Bose six-disc CD changer, amplifier, front speakers, dashboard; center console and door panels re-wrapped in Bride Hyper Black fabric; Auto Meter gauges; AEM Serial gauge; custom gauge bezels; Bride Brix II driver and Euro II passenger seats; Sparco harness bar (chromed), Reflex pedal set; Takata four-point harnesses; NRG carbon-fiber quick release, short hub; Personal steering wheel
Thanks You: Bisi Ezerioha at Bisimoto for the role he has played in getting the build together; Purol for keeping my investment safe on and off the track; Mark at Eibach for tons of suspension input; Mike at K-Tuned; Miguel at Wilwood; Jose at MercRacing; Marcel at Gearspeed; John at Hytech Exhaust; my good friends Yuta, Amir, and Kristian of Marvelous Tune for risking their lives on track with me; Raul for fabrication work and assistance; my beautiful wife Alina—without her support, none of it would be possible
WWW: www.bisimoto.com; www.gearspeedpartsstore.com; www.hytechexhaust.com

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