For every one-off, completely custom, and masterfully fabricated build shoved down your throat via social media, there are a number of quiet projects that slip right under the radar. Their owners don't attend shows or meets, they don't have a 100-plus-page build thread on your favorite forum, nor do they feed off of "likes and shares" for motivation. Joey Kwan, owner of this 1993 EH3 Honda Civic Si hatchback, is one of those individuals who chose to lay low and build his car simply for the love of tinkering with the '90s icon.
"Ever since I was 16, I've loved EG hatchbacks. In high school, that's all I ever wanted. Now 34, I still have the same passion for the small car," he explains. That's not to say that Joey didn't spend a number of years testing the Honda waters. His resume runs deep with more than 30 models and includes a pair of NSXs, three S2000s, an ITR, and a few EKs. And though he's modified them all, it's the S2000 chassis and his "itS2Krazy" screen name that he became known for. "I've been servicing S2000s since '02. I spend a lot of my free time helping S2Ki owners in the Bay Area with building or repairing their cars.
But back to this hatch... A quick scan of Joey Kwan's tech sheet might have you scratching your head. There's no mention of a K-swap, no sign of forced induction, and no complex algorithm resulting in extreme camber settings. What you will find is the tried-and-true, legendary B18C with RS Machine pistons and Supertech valvetrain to complement the CTR cams. Some of the parts used for the build, like the Spoon cat-jack for example, sat for years collecting dust at Joey's shop—an Arco Gas Station in South San Francisco that's been in his family for more than 25 years. And while the B-series won't hammer out the peak numbers you might be accustomed to seeing from more recent Honda mills, the high-revving combination is no doubt smile inducing when combined with the lightweight fifth-gen chassis.
To match the performance of the B18C swap, the 22-year-old suspension was trashed and replaced with Spoon Sports coilovers and '98-spec Integra Type R antiroll bars. GS-R front brakes and a Type R master cylinder replace the anemic factory stoppers, and the original 15-inch hubcaps and rubber were swapped for 16-inch Volk TE37s on Falken tires.
Continuing the Spoon Sports theme, a company that Joey has looked up to as both a fan and an avid collector, the exterior of the Si was fitted with a Spoon carbon-fiber front lip and rear wing—both pieces that have been infamously replicated time and time again. Vision side mirrors and JDM side moldings round out an exterior that was purposely left as simple and timeless as possible.
As clean as it is, the car has never seen a car show or meet. In fact, those outside of the NorCal Honda collective never knew it existed—that's no accident. Joey closes with this, "It was like my own little gem. I was paranoid of it getting stolen, plus, I just wanted it to be my own special car."
Use the Force
So what's a guy to do once he's owned and modded all of his favorite Hondas, including the illustrious NSX and the little hatchback that he's been smitten with since high school? For Joey, it was time for something outside of cars. He explains, "I've always loved cars—Hondas to be exact, but it became such an expensive hobby. With a Grand Prix NSX and this Civic, I wanted to find a cheaper hobby. I've always loved Star Wars, and a friend sparked my interest in costuming." Now, before you make assumptions based on racy HBO documentaries about adults donning costumes, think again. Joey proudly joined the ranks of the 501st, a worldwide outfit dedicated to sharing a common interest as well as fundraising, charity work, and volunteerism. "The cheaper hobby actually became another expensive one as I built my own Stormtrooper armor and joined the 501st.com. What I love is that it gives back so much to the kids in the form or happiness or raising money for them.