Whether it's an entry car into the tuning world or a full-on, high-end build, the Honda Civic has always been a popular platform for enthusiasts. It's the car that became a phenomenon and helped set up the entire foundation of our industry. You hear about it all the time, how a bunch of Southern California kids in the late '80s made their Honda engines less restrictive, expressed their style with body kits, and took part in illegal street racing. Fast-forward to today, and Honda is returning to its sporty roots with the Civic Type R and the NSX. With so many fine examples, it's no surprise that we've featured an extensive number of Civics throughout the years. In no specific order, we've come up with some of our greatest hits.
Signal Auto EK9
When: April '98
Why: Taking a page out of the American hot rod builder's playbook, the guys at Signal Auto did a chop-top conversion on their EK drag hatch. It had a SARD turbocharged 1.6L Type R engine with JE pistons, Crower rods, and custom valvetrain components. The 4.7-inch reduction of height was done to reduce drag and weight. To lose even more weight, the entire front end is made up of fiberglass.
JUN Auto EJ6
When: July '01
Why: Renowned Japanese tuner JUN Auto customized two Civics—one was a dedicated road race car nicknamed the Solo Racer, and the other was a 13-second drag car. Both had built B16A motors and rocked classic TE37 wheels. But the dope thing about these rides is that we actually gave them both away in a reader contest!
Top Fuel EK9
When: August '03
Why: Back in the day, this Top Fuel Civic held a Tsukuba Circuit lap record. The EK retained the original 1.6L motor, but the guts were replaced by Top Fuel along with a healthy dose of boost with a Blitz K3T turbo. Also at that time, Super Street staffers were still making fun of Nads' man boobs.
TRA Kyoto EF
When: December '09
Why: For those of you who don't know, Rocket Bunny is only one line of Kei Miura's company, TRA Kyoto (Top Resin Art). His EF rocks a 6666 Customs body kit and a set of 14" Mugen CF-48 wheels. Kei Miura says he added the window nets because they reminded him of NASCAR, but it also helps cover their faces when doing top speed runs on the kanjo.
Spoon Sports E-AT
When: September '15
Why: Even before Spoon Sports was established, it was called Tatsuru Ichishima Company. Spoon president Ichishima-san's E-AT would become the first Civic to enter the Japan Touring Car Championship series. Built to strict Group A specs, under the hood was a 230hp, 1.6L DOHC ZC engine with PGM-FI (programmed fuel injection and the rival to Toyota's 4A-GE motor). The third-gen Civic was subtle, meaning no canards, with an oversized splitter or even a massive rear wing.
Steve Kwan EJ6
When: September '09
Why: This Civic has been through many different renditions, but this is owner Steve Kwan's favorite setup. What makes this one special are the rare and top-shelf parts such as the First Molding front lip, Mugen FG360 steering wheel, and Spoon SW3888s. Honda aficionados will find authentic JDM CTR elements throughout the car and a potent K20 motor in the engine room.
When: October '13 (Honda Tuning)
Why: If there's a guy on the leading edge of innovation, it's Ryan Basseri of Rywire Motorsport Electronics, one of the original dudes to take custom engine harnesses head on. He developed this authentic right-hand-drive E-AT with a theme of "new age tech meets old-school chassis." For the first time, a B-Series with ITBs was operated under an electronic drive-by-wire system that he created in-house.
Matt Bouchard ED6
When: July '15
Why: The Civic DX shell in this restomod project is the only North American element you'll find. Every other bolt-on part, like the bumpers, fenders, and even the glass, are all from an EF9 SiR. Look deeper and instead of the B16 you'd normally find in an SiR, Matt opted for a B18C from a '99 Integra Type R. The rest of the components are those rare parts that'll make you jelly.
When: July '10
Why: Bisi Ezerioha is a living legend. Give this guy any car and he will somehow transform it into a something faster than Yeezys being sold out. Take, for example, this '88 2WD Wagon. It's certainly not the most popular platform to build. And if you think he did a typical K-swap, you'd be easily mistaken, too. With some Bisi magic, the wagon makes 708 whp from a D16Z6 motor. Civic level: Bisimoto!
Spoon Sports FD2
When: April '15
Why: Even before this sedan was coated with Spoon, it was campaigned by 5Zigen and clocked Tsukuba in the 58-second range. The Spoon mechanics redeveloped the car to be more in line with their philosophy of being lightweight, reliable, and efficient. That meant taming it down a bit to 430 whp and improving the aero. Spoon Sports USA, along with hired wheelman Dai Yoshihara, broke the front-wheel-drive Buttonwillow record in '15—that's even without a fourth gear. Guess you can say this car is something special...