You think you know that an SR20-swapped S14's more capable than a '94 Civic with an LS-VTEC transplant and you're mostly right. But what you think you know will never be as good as firsthand experience, and that's exactly what Vick Chandra's got after eight builds, three engine swaps, and a handful of turbo kits.
The story isn't anything you haven't heard before and starts with a fourth-generation Civic that broke down as often as it ran. "It forced me to learn about my car," Vick says about the tired D-series mill he tried finessing before moving on to an early model GS-R in the early '00s, a '99 Civic Si, and, ultimately, an Evo IX that made him forget just about everything he ever knew about things like VTEC, B16As, or the SR engine he'd later make friends with in a 240. For Vick, it's the Evo's ability to make so much more power so easily that caught his attention. "I love how nice you can make them look and the amount of power they can make with minimal modifications," he says. It was enough to make him lay down funds for a second Evo IX after unforeseen circumstances led to him selling his first.
It's the second Evo that you care about anyways, though, which lays down 471 all-wheel-drive horsepower by way of a Garrett 3076R turbo and a whole lot of boost. Match that with a set of 10.5-inch-wide TE37Vs, Falken rubber, Voltex over-fenders that've been grafted into place, and JIC Magic coilovers, and forgetting about anything you ever held dear from Honda land just got a whole lot easier.
Vick says he's nowhere near finished with the semi-daily driver that's logged a healthy 130K miles and that gets driven just about every other day. Ask him what his plans were when he bought the Evo, though, and he'll have a hard time giving you an answer without a laugh. "It always starts as it just [being] my daily," he says about the dozen or so projects he's owned, "but then you start with minor bolt-ons, well, you know the rest." Or maybe that's just something you pick up once you've owned just about every tunable compact from the last two decades.