Car enthusiasts always think they're slick when they try to convince themselves a beater car will always remain just a beater. "Promise it's staying stock. Only a set of lowering springs and wheels....OK, I swapped the engine." We've heard our fair share from friends who bought beaters to replace their once-daily-drivers-turned-dedicated-track-cars only to have the beater become the secondary track car. Simply put: Racing fanatics just can't leave good enough alone.
Allan Tung from Vancouver, Canada is the proud owner of this beater Civic hatchback, which, as it turns out, is also crazy fast. It used to be his winter car...about 10 years ago. Purchased from a friend, it had already been swapped with a 2.0L B20 with a B16 transmission, to which he later bolted a GReddy turbo kit since he had one sitting around at home. He drove it like that for a couple of years, until the engine gave out, then he swapped it with a built LS motor for which his friend no longer had use.
"I wanted more power, so I looked into converting the motor to an LS-VTEC," Allan says. "I went to Independent Speed Shop looking to have the crew install a built/ported B16A cylinder head and tune it. Turns out it had become damaged by another shop, so I had Independent order me a 4Piston Racing CNC ported head instead." After spending tons of money on the cylinder head, Allan went ahead and built the bottom end himself. However, he wasn't sure if it could hold lots of power, so he went back to the Independent team to have them order a long-block from 4Piston Racing to match the cylinder head. Sure, he thought about going K-series, but the cost originally held him back. "I eventually built this LS-VTEC so much that I could've built a K," he says with a laugh. "But I'm glad it's B-series, so I can keep it more period correct with the chassis."
With more than 700 whp at his fingertips, Allan focused on making the exterior styling more aggressive. "The look just came to me, exactly how I pictured it in my head," he says. "I took inspiration from other builds and changed it based on my personal taste." The front bumper is unique; he took the OEM bumper and molded a J's Racing replica lip to create his own one-piece bumper. He even removed the factory roof for a carbon-fiber replacement from Five Mart/Osaka JDM, which not only saves a bit of weight but looks pretty damn cool.
A 30-year old economy car's suspension was never intended to support a 600+hp increase so to that end, Allan's list of suspension upgrades is lengthy, and packed with purposeful changes like a set of KW V3 coilovers, a slew of PCI goods and even a Honed Development rear trailing arm gusset plate and geometry correction kit. FWD staggered Work Meister CR01 and Toyo R1R rubber do their best to combat the power output.
Allan's Civic is a perfect hybrid of North American and Japanese styling—the type of car equipped with enough power to satisfy a hardcore racer or the enthusiast who thinks a beater car needs a "couple of upgrades" to make it perfect. In Allan's case, going overboard was the right move.