I'm excited to see Big Mike's Prelude and AutoFashion's Rocket Bunny Civic at the annual SEMA show, not only because we're Honda fiends and both cars are special builds in their own right, but also because over the last 10 years the steady decline in a Honda aftermarket presence at the show was painfully apparent. Sure, I like checking out everything SEMA has to offer, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss the old days seeing Civics, Integras, and more perched proudly in various booths throughout the Las Vegas Convention Center halls.
On my first day of SEMA, as I'd just finished my 789th meeting of the day, I made my way to the parking lot to see some of the cars that didn't park inside the show. Heading down a row, it's big truck, big Jeep, muscle car, bigger truck, bigger jeep, and more muscle cars — but something caught my eye. Thinking it was the sugar free vanilla latte talking, a double take was in order, and sure enough there it was: Arturo Parker's Hush Performance Civic ED. Few things Honda-related get me as excited as a spotless teal, turbo B-series-powered fourth-gen. hatch, and I'm pretty sure I bumped into a few people on accident as I went straight to the car for a closer look.
The front of Arturo's Civic is over two inches wider than stock, thanks to the Hush Performance three-piece kit that includes, along with wider fenders, a front bumper that grants you an additional 4.5 inches of forward facing space and a lower lip that extends 2.5 inches further as well. And rather than giving you a sack full of woodscrews and sending you on your way, the Hush kit includes 62 pieces of quality Downstar hardware with beauty washers. The front end kit comes in handy when you want to run slicks but also works very well with these 17x9-inch Konig Hypergram's that Arturo installed, wrapped in 255/40-17 Falken Azenis.15x7.5 Hypergrams and 205/50-15 Falkens bring up the rear, and though a 16-inch would be ideal for the back, Konig hasn't pulled the trigger on that size option just yet. Nevertheless, the wheel style, color and feel go perfectly with the iconic fourth gen.
Ok — *rubs hands together* — let's get into that engine bay. The LS bottom end was loaded with 84mm Darton sleeves, Eagle rods, and Endyne pistons, while the VTEC head was fitted with Skunk2 Pro 1 cams and their valvetrain, and then topped off with Whitfield Racing cam gears and a cam seal. Feelings are hurt once the Comp Turbo Triple ball bearing snail, attached to a Hush Performance Spec EF Boost Junkyz Turbo Kit, starts making a little trouble. And before you question the transmission situation with a snide internet remark, Arturo chose an ITR LSD for his Hush Performance hydro-converted B16 trans and opted for an LS fifth gear in the process. Add to that a Competition Stage 5 clutch and lightened flywheel and you too can have the ideal LS/VTEC set up in your hatch.
Seldom do you see a car that can hold its own on the track and look this damn good in the middle of the largest car convention on the planet. An event that, in case you forgot, is essentially 90 percent domestic. Here's to a job well done Arturo and Hush Performance — Honda nerds like myself will never get tired of seeing a proper, purpose-built, multi-faceted project car like this.