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1996 Honda Civic - Goin' Bananas in Thailand

The family car that packs a 450hp punch

Micah Wright
Jun 9, 2017
Photographer: Streetmetal

My grandfather was a Cadillac sedan man as long as I could remember. Forget the Coupe DeVille, the Caddy wagon, or the convertible El Dorado. For some guys, nothing has more appeal than the lines of a hardtop four-door.

1996 honda civic ek sedan type r lip Photo 2/19   |   1996 Honda Civic Ek Sedan Type R Lip

Some say certain genes and characteristics skip a generation, and in the case of yours truly, I too am a bona-fide sedan man, just like my grandfather. Don't get me wrong, I still find immense appeal within many hatchbacks and station wagons, and any generation of the Acura NSX is guaranteed to give me the feels, but heavens am I a sucker for a well-built sedan.

2017 Honda Civic
$21,500 Base Model (MSRP) 31/40 MPG Fuel Economy
1996 honda civic ek sedan dc2 rear spoiler Photo 3/19   |   1996 Honda Civic Ek Sedan Dc2 Rear Spoiler

Thai-based Honda-head Nopporn Jibdaswad apparently shares the same mindset, and instead of going the Type R route or sourcing a B-swapped Beat, he opted for a '96 Civic sedan. From the moment Rodrez dropped this feature on my desk I knew I had to cover it, likely to the tune of: "Holy bananas, Batman! That's one hell of a bright yellow beauty!"

1996 honda civic ek sedan mugen bucket seats Photo 4/19   |   1996 Honda Civic Ek Sedan Mugen Bucket Seats

Coincidentally, once I began researching this build, I unearthed that Nopporn owns a garage with a most befitting title: Monkey Garage. Primate puns aside, there's a lot to be said about the way in which this unloved chassis has been assembled. This potassium-packed puppy puts down a respectable 450 horsepower courtesy of a simplified turbo setup and some fine-tuning, and still has plenty of practicality to spare. Not trying to reinvent the wheel has allowed Nopporn to build a badass K24-powered four-door that's fun to drive and surprisingly reliable - something that few enthusiasts ever get to experience.

1996 honda civic ek sedan volk te37 Photo 5/19   |   1996 Honda Civic Ek Sedan Volk Te37

However, today's tale doesn't begin with a K-series and boost, but rather way back in the early to mid 2000s, when Nopporn's little sedan was putting down peanuts for power. For over a decade, he drove his family car with little intent on turning it into a demigod-grade street monster, and by Zeus' beard did it deliver the goods and put up with some punishment. It all started when temptation got the best of the sedan's owner, and the chassis' willingness to receive genuine EK9 Type R components prodded Nopporn to play with his pristine OEM machine. Mild modifications aside, it wasn't until he opened Monkey Garage the notion of swapping in a K24 came to light, along with the idea of utilizing a turbo setup for "marketing purposes."

1996 honda civic ek sedan dc2 rear wing Photo 6/19   |   1996 Honda Civic Ek Sedan Dc2 Rear Wing

As of now the car still sits on a stock block, but down the line Nopporn intends on modifying the vehicle in order to reach the 500-600 horsepower mark. While aspirations like these are impressive, it's the idea of hacking off everything from the C-pillar back that will likely cause enthusiasts to raise an eyebrow, including yours truly. Nopporn's plan is to eventually chop off the rear of the car and turn it into a true five-door EK, something that makes my inner sedan-loving-self shudder, but my hatchback wagon appreciating ass rejoice.

1996 honda civic ek sedan downturn exhaust tip Photo 7/19   |   1996 Honda Civic Ek Sedan Downturn Exhaust Tip

So regardless of what kind of Honda you like, kudos to this man for both his creativity and his dedication to a fairly unloved chassis. It's the sort of extreme enthusiasm and practical ingenuity that I like to see when I get out in the field and learn about what enthusiasts in other countries are up to.

1996 honda civic ek sedan type r lip Photo 8/19   |   1996 Honda Civic Ek Sedan Type R Lip

Keep at it Nopporn, your dedication to the Honda badge and interest in going off the beaten path in order to keep things as practical and performance driven as possible are an inspiration. Maybe someday we'll get to see your custom chopped hatchback so we can "go bananas" all over again.

1996 honda civic ek sedan turbo k24 swap Photo 12/19   |   1996 Honda Civic Ek Sedan Turbo K24 Swap
1996 honda civic ek sedan type r front lip Photo 16/19   |   1996 Honda Civic Ek Sedan Type R Front Lip
By Micah Wright
38 Articles
1996 Honda Civic - Goin' Bananas in Thailand
Tuning Menu
Owner: Nopporn Jibdaswad
Occupation: Monkey Garage (owner)
Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand
Power: 450 HP
Engine: K24A2 engine; Holset HX55 turbo; Bangmod Racing Intercooler, intake manifold, rae fuel system and exhaust manifold; Walbro fuel pump, HYB fuel pressure regulator; Denso 1200cc injectors; AEM ECU; Golden Eagle "Six-Shooter" oil cap
Drivetrain: BRC Single plate clutch
Suspension: Öhlin DFV coilovers
Brakes: EK9 Type R
Wheels & Tires: Volk TE37 15x7.5 +25; Toyo R1R 205/50/R15
Exterior: Type R lip and side skirts; DC2 rear spoiler; Spoon mirrors
Interior: Nardi steering wheel; Mugen bucket seat; K-Tuned shift knob and shifter; Type R gauge cluster

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