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1997 Honda Civic - Arcane Asylum

Remember, kids, every hero needs a villain

Micah Wright
Jul 7, 2017
Photographer: Cody Lind

Spat out of hell like some misbegotten bone that Satan couldn't stomach, it lurches to the line, hellfire and brimstone pouring from its exhaust port. Being sinister never felt so good, and for certain baddies, it's this sort of rhetoric that makes them smile as they leave caped crusaders shaking in their spandex.

1997 honda civic seibon rear hatch Photo 2/29   |   1997 Honda Civic Seibon Rear Hatch

Not everyone wants to be the protagonist, and for all intents and purposes the Civic you see here is a shining example of what an archetypical anti-hero looks like. There isn't a single portion of this car that says, "I'm the daily driven friendly type. We should have cupcakes together and be friends." Screw your cupcake. Eddy (Thongvone) Choumphimmasen built this Civic to spank asses and snap necks before leaving everyone in the goddamn dust.

2017 Honda Civic
$21,500 Base Model (MSRP) 31/40 MPG Fuel Economy

When Eddy first purchased the car back in '07, it was silver and sported a mild B16A. Being that he always favored hatchbacks and liked the lines of the sixth-gen, Eddy figured a simple build would make for an ideal setup. And, oh, how simple things were for those first three years, all the way up until our story's leading man began hanging out with the sort of super villains that prefer to push things like custom carbon fiber and K-series engines on unsuspecting individuals.

Seven long years later and here it sits, an 873hp Civic with sinister urges and a laundry list of awards. This isn't some sissified shop build, either, but a bona-fide, self-made project car that's only seen assistance from friends and family. Almost everything assembled on this little ass-kicker was conducted within Eddy's garage, including the RHD conversion, which he undertook on his own.

All the custom carbon touches inside really help set this ominous Civic apart from the rest of the rabble, like the specialized manifold, exhaust, piping, and intercooler to match. What was supposed to be a fully built GS-R swap, complete with a 6262 turbo and OEM aero, had officially turned to the dark side. However, longtime friend and purveyor of all things fast, Brent Leivestad of Colorado-based PFI Speed, talked Eddy into putting a K-series engine into the car, which subsequently sparked a series of events.

1997 honda civic dc5 recaro seat Photo 6/29   |   1997 Honda Civic Dc5 Recaro Seat

As for the notion of utilizing carbon fiber, that side of the story begins with Eddy's father, who accidentally scratched the hell out of his quarter panel one day. It had not even been a week since the car had emerged from the paint booth and things escalated quickly. Pissed off beyond words, Eddy kicked and crushed the door panel in.

Upon seeing the damage, his painter told Eddy he would need to get the entire vehicle sprayed again, which is where the carbon fiber doors fit in. From that point forth it was a slippery slope, and carbon fiber pieces quickly became a fixation for the Honda fanatic.

But it was dark times for the evildoer and its master. Eddy had given up on the car due to the rarity of the conversion parts required for finishing the right-hand drive configuration. Electrical bits, like power window conversion pieces, the wiring harness, and floor harness cables were nowhere to be found for the right amount.

All seemed lost for almost an entire year, and as the Civic sat, Eddy continued to make connections. His final big break came when he met Steve from H-motors, who helped him find the missing pieces he needed, and from there it was on to finishing touches and tuning.

1997 honda civic ek9 taillights Photo 10/29   |   1997 Honda Civic Ek9 Taillights

Nowadays you can find Eddy's evildoer spending its free time taking home first-place awards at events, swiping Best-in-Show ribbons, and grinning sinisterly at anyone dumb enough to think it still sports a baseborn powerplant. It may not be the kind of ride that makes you love it right away, but then again, where's the fun in being the good guy?

1997 honda civic sidwinder turbo manifold Photo 14/29   |   1997 Honda Civic Sidwinder Turbo Manifold
1997 honda civic custom carbon fiber headliner Photo 18/29   |   1997 Honda Civic Custom Carbon Fiber Headliner
1997 honda civic k24a2 swap Photo 22/29   |   1997 Honda Civic K24a2 Swap
1997 honda civic 99 front end conversion Photo 26/29   |   1997 Honda Civic 99 Front End Conversion
By Micah Wright
35 Articles
1997 Honda Civic - Arcane Asylum
Tuning Menu
Owner: Eddy (Thongvone) Choumphimmasen
Hometown: Denver, CO
Occupation: Owner of E-Werkz, LLC
Power: 874hp; 682 lb-ft of torque
Engine: K24A2 block; AEBS sleeves; Arias pistons; Manley Turbo Tuff rods; ACL race bearings; Skunk2 Ultra Stage 4 camshafts, Alpha valves, Pro valve springs, titanium retainers, Ultra intake manifold; Supertech bronze guides; stage 5 port job; Golden Eagle headgasket; K20Z1 head; ARP head studs; K-Tuned 90mm throttle body, fuel rail, fuel pressure gauge, water pump; custom air induction system, sidewinder turbo manifold, downpipe, 2.5"-to-3" exhaust; Vibrant V-band clamps; Burns muffler; TiAL MVR 44 wastegates, blow-off valve; custom Belle intercooler; Injector Dynamics 2,000cc injectors; Aeromotive A1000 fuel pump; Sump gas tank; NGK plugs; custom MoFab radiator; Davies Craig electric water control; ERL oil pump; AEM wideband, oil pressure sending unit, boost gauge; EFR 9180 T4 twin scroll compressor; 1.45 A/R T4 twin scroll turbine housing; Downstar engine dress up kit; Rywire mil-spec harness
Drivetrain: Five-speed RSX transmission; Competition twin-disc clutch; PBG gears; 4.1 final drive; Driveshaft Shop Level 2.9 axles; K-Tuned full race spec shifter with cables
Engine Management: AEM Pro Series 2
Footwork & Chassis: Skunk2 12-way adjustable Pro C coilovers (10kg front, 8kg rear spring rates); Type R front sway bar; Function 7 lower control arms, subframe brace; MPC drop forks, strut brace; SPC upper control arms, rear camber kit
Brakes: Type R calipers and rotors; Hawk pads; stainless lines
Wheels & Tires: 16x8" +25 AG wheels; 215/40R16 Kumho tires; ARP extended studs; Titek lug nuts
Exterior: '99 front-end; Mugen front lip; Top1 splitter, side splitters, rear diffuser; carbon-fiber canards; Seibon carbon-fiber fenders, hood, side skirts, hatch, doors; Type R carbon-fiber rear lip and spoiler; EK9 headlights, taillights; Spoon carbon-fiber mirrors; carbon fiber grill, Maroon Red paint
Interior: Right-hand drive conversion; CTR door panels, rear panels, floor mats, gauge cluster, backseat; custom six-point rollcage; DC5 Recaro seats; Takata harnesses; MOMO 280 steering wheel; LTB quick release; custom carbon-fiber headliner, shifting console, arm console, gauge pod, steering column cover, A-pillars, rear window pillars; Skunk2 shift knob
Thanks You: Brent Leivestad of PFI Speed for being my mentor, friend, and helping hand; Dustin Morris of Performance Porting for the amazing porting job and mental support; Scott Molitor of Mofab for all the custom fabrication; Cody Lind for the sensational photos; Mike Hackett at K-Tuned for sponsoring the build; Yuya at AG Wheels for the custom rollers; Tony at Carbon Fiber Element for all of the custom carbon pieces; my wife Mary and son Tylen, who always believed in me. Even though you give me headaches at times, you're always there for support. Without these people the car wouldn't be where it is today, which in a way allowed me to follow my dream of opening up my own shop

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