"If you're building your car, build it to make you happy, not for other people's happiness. You will never fail." A bold statement made by Albert Donkor, owner of this yellow '00 Civic. It's a statement made with the understanding that he's assembled a vehicle that may be perceived as a bit polarizing. Some will love it, many will dislike it, and others will not understand it. And that's completely OK with Albert, because he built his car knowing that everyone will have an opinion about it—opinions that he may choose to absorb or ignore.
To more traditional Honda enthusiasts, this Civic might look a bit peculiar because of the way it's styled. The front bumper resembles that of a Japanese C-West front but with an added chin. The front flares are not uncommon by today's standards, but the rear arches that protrude outward are a stretch of the imagination. What immediately grabs your attention at first glance is the goldish hue, which is a factory paint color from BMW. These aesthetic alterations come together for a unique look. It's a game plan that has long been running through Albert's mind, but because of work and everyday life, it took six years to complete.
"I originally debated on buying either an EP3 or an EK, but my budget made me go with the latter at the time." Albert explains. "The Civic I ended up purchasing was a bone-stock D-series chassis with an automatic transmission. I did the auto-to-manual conversion, decided I needed more power, and dropped in a B-series engine, while also doing the right-hand-drive conversion. It was fun for a while, but I think I just wanted more power so I started looking into K-series engines."
Albert's thirst for more horsepower came from his desire for the car to be a fun cruiser while also being a capable weekend track car. Where many were attempting to replicate the "track look," he was actually trying to make the car perform with the aero components he looked into purchasing. The key to getting the car to "perform" was making some decent power utilizing the K-series platform that he had longed for. After some research, Albert decided to give the guys at Sportcar Motion a shot at assembling a motor for him. Sportcar Motion is one of the more knowledgeable tuning shops when it comes to creating potent K-motors, and one of its specialties involves mating a 2.4L K24 engine block to a 2.0L K20 cylinder head. This hybrid setup helps to create an engine that has the response of a smaller K20 with the torque of a bigger K24. Add some valvetrain upgrades to that equation along with stronger internals and these K20/K24 combos are capable of making gobs of power. After consulting with Loi Song, owner of Sportcar Motion, Albert elected to go with a balanced and blueprinted K24 block sleeved by Golden Eagle. Compression has been bumped up to 13.7:1 via 88mm JE pistons accompanied by Eagle rods. The K20 head flows freely after a port and polish, while the guts have been replaced with a Supertech valvetrain. At the center of the ported head are potent Drag Cartel Stage 4 billet camshafts. Wedged underneath the rear bumper is a Magnaflow muffler linked to a K-Tuned header with 3-inch piping. Tuned with a Hondata K-Pro on E85 fuel, the K20/K24 mash-up churns out a brawny 280 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque.
More important than producing those horsepower numbers is getting all of it to the ground. The K20-R six-speed transmission was solidified with carbon synchros, but there was still a matter of putting the rubber to the tarmac. The wheel and tire combination was significant in that regard, but it also determined what Albert would decide to do with how the car looked. As he explains, "I chose to run a wider 'square' setup with the 17x8-inch Volk Racing wheels so it would allow me to run a bigger tire all around. I had 255-wide [Hankook] RS3s in the front and 225s in the rear, but they were rubbing against the body like crazy. To alleviate this problem, I added Sportcar Motion flares to the front, which already had wider J's Racing fiberglass fenders, and had the same flares re-shaped to fit the rear of the car. This provided me with much more clearance, but the thicker tire also made the car sit much higher. My C-West front bumper was too high, I felt, so my buddies and I thought it would be interesting to mold in a front lip to the bumper. This added some height to the front end, and as such, the carbon Voltex Racing front canards also made more sense. The canards were an integral part of this build because I found a lot of visual inspiration from the Japanese time attack 'Cyber Evo' race car."
Bolted to the right-hand-drive converted body are also a host of more traditional aftermarket body panels. The metal hood was replaced with a vented fiberglass First Molding hood from Japan, and the rear features a modified carbon rear diffuser meant for an S2000. The headlights, taillights, rear lip, and doors are OEM products, but from the Civic's Japanese counterpart, a more race-bred EK9 Type R model. Mounted to the top of the rear hatch is a rare J's Racing GT wing. The color—sharp and peculiar as it appears—is from a new M4 model BMW.
"I wanted the overall look of my Civic to be unique since everyone in the Honda community tends to typically use the same popular colors all the time," Albert says.
The interior, or his self-proclaimed "office," shows its true race-ready intentions. A majority of the interior panels have been removed along with the rear and passenger seats. Every exposed area of the inside has been re-sprayed in the matching Austin Yellow to match the exterior. The front door panels remain to provide some semblance of comfort, but he won't be welcoming passengers into his Civic any time soon because the only seat available is the Bride Zeta II for the driver. The dashboard remains intact but the factory cluster, once purposed for an automatic D-series, has been supplanted for an EK9 CTR cluster. A Spoon Sports steering wheel finds a home inside his hatchback after making the jump over from another Civic he previously owned, while a K-Tuned billet shifter box controls the six-speed manual. Mounted directly behind the Zeta II bucket is a four-point Autopower rollbar.
"My goal with this build was to just build a fun track car, which I could also enjoy on the street," Albert says. "Life has its share of obstacles, however, and my plan to fully test this car has yet to happen. My workload at my job is insane right now so I'm hoping to have the car out on the track again by this summer. Average people who don't know me might think this is just another track-inspired show car, but I definitely did track the car in the past and plan to in the future, when time permits. Trust me when I say that it is a capable track car with the power to back up the looks. For me, personally, I just put this car together because it's so hard to differentiate a lot of Honda builds these days. Everyone is just trying to build the same car. When you look at this yellow right-hand-drive Civic with an aggressive front end and big Voltex canards, you know that it's me."