The epitome of Civic ownership for many is a white EK9 Type R. The Type R is simply the cream of the crop, and because it was never available on this side of the world, owning one isn't realistic. That is, unless you somehow import one from Japan, which is no easy task. Up until the imminent turbocharged '17 model, a Type R of the Civic variety was just a pipe dream. The only way to own anything close to it is to build something similar.
Franklin Woo's '00 Civic is by no means an EK9, but his dreams set him on a path to build something as close as possible to it - perhaps even better. While it may appear simple at a glance, this particular Civic has been a labor of love for Franklin over the course of eight long years. "This Civic was built around my favorite EK9, which was the original white Spoon Sports Civic Type R," Woo explains. "It has always been my favorite and a real inspiration growing up."
The Spoon Sports CTR was a very tame build visually, absent of the traditional yellow/blue graphic livery. All of the magic was really hiding under that carbon hood, where a Spoon-prepped K-series resided. Woo's Civic follows suit in a similar fashion, but many could honestly say it's even better and a further development of Spoon Sports' vision.
Under his hood is a similar 2.0L K20A; however, Woo's setup benefits from years of aftermarket K-series support and makes 235 whp. The bay has also been reworked to have a much more simplistic view. You most probably won't remember the Spoon car, but the engine bay was just a crusty old black finish, while Woo's bay is quite the looker. Except for the brake booster and custom brake lines, the only thing left on the firewall is a Mil-spec quick-disconnect plug with a full Rywire custom engine harness. A full catalog of Hybrid Racing pieces also cleans up the bay nicely.
Though it may never be a true "R," some Honda factory Type R parts have found their way onto the car. A 24mm front sway bar from an Integra Type R has been installed to give the chassis a bit of stiffness and the original brakes have been swapped out in favor of a five-lug setup from a junked DC2 R. With the five-lug in place, Franklin was able to get a set of Mugen MF10 wheels on his Civic in their signature bronze finish. Offering a lower, more aggressive ride are classic Koni Yellow dampers paired with Ground Control springs. Much of the other dated original adjoining suspension arms and joints have all been modernized with Skunk2 parts.
Honda NH-0 Championship White was the obvious color choice for his Civic, paying homage to the CTR and all, but the visuals also place it very far apart from anything Spoon envisioned. JDM EK9 CTR headlights, front grille, signal lights, and rear bumper give Woo's build an R-like appearance, and his homage even extends to the car now wearing the "Type R" decals in their appropriate factory-intended locations. A stylish First Molding front lip, also known as a "Flugel Plate," mounts snugly to the front bumper and C-West skirts give the Civic an overall lower appearance. If you're wondering what company makes Franklin's double-vented front fenders, you won't find them for sale as they are custom-fab'd by the same body shop that sprayed his entire car. The OEM rear hatch was removed in favor of a lightweight carbon-fiber version with the addition of a J's Racing 3D GT wing.
Inside, bright red Status Hockenheim bucket seats contrast nicely against the white paint that also matches the red inserts of the EK9 CTR door panels. Everything within the cockpit is executed with the same precision as the rest of the build, with modest intentions paired with parts only a true Honda aficionado would spot. The center console, for example, comes from a Canadian Acura 1.6EL, a center vent/airbag delete from a LHD EK4, and the instrument display has been digitized with the retrofitting of a cluster from an AP1 S2000. There had to be some Spoon Sports equipment somewhere on this Civic and we find that in the form of a Gen. 3 steering wheel that's mounted to an ASR steering spacer.
Honda detractors will scoff at the idea of a "no-frills" build taking eight years to complete, but any true Honda enthusiast will know by going over the details that it just isn't that easy. As Franklin explains, "It is important to understand how components that you put into a build interact with one another. Execution is key. Problems are going to be endless, one after another, and just when you think your build is complete, you'll find yourself tearing the car apart again in a few weeks. I think that's why it has been such a long journey for me. I keep learning and wanting to improve."