Sitting at the bar, buried beneath the abdomen of my resort stay for the day, I listen to the aging businessmen bitch about e-commerce and the ways in which millennials have turned their sales game upside down.
"Kids these days just wanna shop online and look at pretty fuckin' pictures on social media. They are into these Jap-traps and don't understand the significance of real power..." As the nonsensical diatribe continues, I grab my top-shelf tequila and split, knowing deep down that these fuddy-duddies would be flabbergasted if they ever got behind the wheel of a proper build.
For Brian McCoy, impression through improvisation has brought him to a point where he can shut geriatrics like this up by merely pulling up next to them. What began with a college budget and an RSX that had been loaded with replica parts has transformed into the widebody, right-hand drive, turbocharged beast you see here today, and it all started with a stranger asking if he'd ever considered putting premium-grade parts on his car.
On a whim, Brian agreed to check out this stranger's shop and browse his inventory, and from the moment he cast his gaze on that authentic carbon-fiber Mugen hood, everything changed. Within a few weeks, both the bonnet as well as a healthy handful of other Japan-exclusive goods were in his possession, and at that point Brian knew he needed to go legit or just flat-out quit.
Brian's RSX eventually became loaded with premium parts, but there was a problem. If you know anything about East Coast car culture, the name "Team Emotion" is probably a recognizable title. Tackling builds that are both gargantuan and gorgeous, these guys are renowned for having an unwavering attention to detail that borders on obsessive. But in order to join, you have to first be invited, and Brian still had a long way to go before they would even begin to take notice.
Eventually, enough mods earned him an invitation, but it only made matters more maniacal. Around this time, Team Emotion teammate Kiet Hong was crushing anyone who stood in his way in the DC5 class, and Brian knew that in order to have the most hard-core RSX, he had to do something drastic. So he parted out his prized possession and picked up an '05 Type-S and set to the task of transferring over most of his old parts.
Naturally, there was also a sizable manifesto of fresh upgrades that had been drafted up, and while waiting on some of these parts to arrive, Brian found that his good friend and fellow Emotion member Byung Choi was selling his car. Being that the RSX in question had just recently encountered a complete right-hand-drive conversion, the Type-S was abruptly out the door so he could expedite the process.
Since Brian had always been a huge fan of the J's Racing aero package for the DC5, he began the time-consuming task of building a full-blown catalog car. Parts piled up, and longtime high school friends Paul Eck and Hyatt Mumaw were enlisted to help create a track-inspired and completely streetable weekend warrior.
The engine bay became the primary focal point. Meticulous layers of sheetmetal covered strut towers, filled in gaps around engine mounts, rounded out creases below headlights, and extended sidewalls. With ugly gaps like the one commonly found between the bay itself and the fenders eliminated, it was time to tackle the propulsion portion.
The stock throttle body had all of its plugs relocated and its top shaved down to a mirror finish. While the motor and trans were out, Paul sprayed both of them with flat black enamel to help make other parts pop visually. Lots of Downstar hardware came into the picture around this time, along with an S2000-spec Full Race intercooler for improved appeal by allowing the piping to go to both sides of the car for a more symmetrical look.
Maybe the old-timers sitting across from me never will understand modern import car culture, and that's perfectly fine. Instead of sticking with one RSX and building it from the ground up, Brian went through three, and in the process created one of the most memorable Honda platforms in history. The algorithms that go into making a mean, teal green, Corvette-killing machine are long and loaded with uncertainty, but blast past one of these geriatrics on the interstate and maybe they too will get a clue.
Meeting Mr. Murakami
When I first met J's Racing President Hisaaki Murakami, it was well before most people knew who he was, and quite frankly, due to the formal nature of our first meeting, I didn't think much of him. At the time, I was on assignment for Honda Tuning Magazine, which wanted me to interview the new head honcho over at J's. Neither of us knew this would create a friendship that would last a lifetime, and to this day we stay in close contact with one another.
The undeniably humble Mr. Murakami (aka, Mr. Uwabaki) is a riot to be around and can be found at events all across America, signing autographs and talking shop on a street level. Being that Brian always loved the signature teal look of J's Racing valve covers, he had his build sprayed in a similar pigment to match. To commemorate his unwavering dedication to the brand, Brian also got Mr. Murakami to sign his steering wheel, a finishing touch that is impossible to replicate and makes for one hell of a great conversation piece.