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1992 Honda Civic CX - JayDM

If Jay Smith's were any more JDM, this magazine would be called Option 2 and you'd be living on Mt. Fuji

Morris Daniel
Apr 1, 2002
Photographer: Jonathan Wong

Jay’s got Honda in his veins. “I’m a Honda fanatic,” he says. And we say, “Yes, you are Jay, you most definitely are,” afraid that if we say otherwise, he’ll beat us with a JDM strut bar. Basically, Jay thinks about Hondas constantly, and when he goes to bed, he sets his alarm to go off every half hour just so he’ll wake up and think about Hondas some more. A ’90 and a ’91 Integra and three ’91 CRXs comprise his vehicle ownership history. His latest Honda is this ’92 Civic CX, built in the hallowed JDM tradition. Now, while the JDM term sometimes gets tossed around a bit too casually these days, in Jay’s case when we say, JDM we really mean JDM.

Most of the work on this Civic (it was completely stripped and the drivetrain was removed and replaced) was completed by Jay himself, who owns his own shop—One Honda Specialist. Why the CX? How convenient you should ask. Jay wanted to set the car up for drag racing, so according to him, “Chassis design and weight were major factors during the buildup. Factory weight is perfect on the CX—you basically get a Civic shell, four wheels, no A/C, no power steering, no luxuries, and a piece-of-sh*t-gas-saver 1.5L 70hp motor to pull it around with. The fact that there are similarities among the GSR, Type R, and JDM Civic SiR chassis was also nice.” So, basically it was a bare-bones Civic with lots of Honda crossbreeding potential—the perfect canvas for an EG6 makeover.

“After about four months of looking, I found the CX [and purchased it from] the original owner,” says Jay. “The car had original paint, body, and interior pieces. It was basically perfect. Then the guy tells me he didn’t want to sell it to someone that was going to ‘race it out’. I had to make up some BS story about it being for my girlfriend to use to go to school.” Damn original owners always trying to meddle. It’s a good thing that Jay can think quick on his feet, although personally we’d have known he was lying as soon as he mentioned having a girlfriend. Ha, ha, just kidding, Jay. Put that strut bar down.

But enough nonsense. What about the car? Well, the Mugen body kit is a good place to start. JDM purists will also appreciate the SiR rear wing, headlights, marker lights, and taillights and the Vision amber corners. Plus, this has also got to be one of the cleanest paint jobs we’ve seen in a while. The DuPont pewter metallic paint is flawless, and it glosses the baby smooth bodywork like lingerie on a 100-year-old granny—err, wait… sorry, bit of confusion—like lingerie on a Victoria’s Secret model, rather! Uh, we’ll be moving on then.

Inside the CX there’s plenty more authentic Japanese automotive niblets. In one fell swoop, Jay ripped out the old gauge cluster with a single bare hand and slapped a JDM SiR cluster in its place. See that clock? That climate control? That steering wheel? All JDM SiR pieces. Sit a homesick Japanese exchange student in Jay’s Civic and he’d probably feel right at ease… that is, until a raving Jay chases him out and threatens him with a JDM strut bar. If you like what you’ve seen so far, you’ll absolutely salivate over the ’92 Civic SiR transmission with LSD. Also, please be sure to admire the vintage Racing Hart CP-F wheels. Admire them, damnit! The red powdercoat, too. We really have to hand it to Jay. The guy’s got a dead-on sense of style, as this is truly a fine-looking car. It’s just too bad this style sense doesn’t extend to Jay’s taste in clothes. Ha, ha, we’re just messing with ya, Jay. Really.

Jay’s a JDM purist, and with him it’s all a way of life, not just a fashion trend. Mention the weather, and Jay will launch into a tirade about “cheap robot kits” and “Taiwan aftermarket parts.” But don’t take our word for it, take Jay’s: “JDM sucks—just kidding. Build a car that reflects your own personal style and driving preference, whether it be drag racing, road racing, drifting, and the like. Build a car that suits your purpose and enjoy it! Have fun with it, and most importantly, never forget function. Everybody wants to get JDM this, JDM that, but why? Because of its function? Or because it’s the new trend? Build a car that’s you, and choose parts for your particular style and function, not because it’s a fad or the new cool thing to do.”

We couldn’t agree more. Be yourself. Do your own thing. Like in those afterschool specials. To the extreme!

By Morris Daniel
5 Articles

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