There's nothing better than when a die-hard enthusiast of some lesser manufacturer finally sees the light and finds himself in a Honda. Joey Lee is one of these turncoats. Lee grew up in a family full of Toyota drivers and when it was time for him to start modding a car, his choice was obvious.
His first real project car was a '90 Toyota Camry built to the limit. But while building the Camry, Lee decided that he needed a daily driver to beat on for everyday commutes. So his uncle, who may be the only guy in the family who's not a Toyota loyalist, sold him a '92 Accord EX for $4,000 and following that, Lee's outlook on the automotive world forever changed.
The stock F22 engine finally gave way after 240,000 miles, so Lee opted for an H22 swap with a Trust header and APEXi intake attached. Still, except for its daily commute, the Accord mostly stayed in the garage. But when Lee found himself the mint set the of Sprint Hart CP-R wheels he'd been lusting after for years, his plunge into the Honda world was complete.
"The driving motivation to build this car came [from] the Sprint Hart CP-Rs," Lee says simply. "With a really rare set of wheels on such an unsuspecting car, I began searching for parts that were super rare and hard to come by, to make the car stand out while maintaining its sleeper look."
After a set of Omni Power coilovers gave the Accord the aggressive stance Lee was looking for, the aesthetic transformation was on. First on was a pair of JDM back-housing headlights of the one-piece variety, an HMotorsports front lip and an extremely rare Chargespeed grille complete with attached eyeliners-the latter piece being Lee's favorite part on the whole car.
To complete the front end, Lee got his hands on a Carbon Fiber One hood and custom trunk lid to match. With a JDM CB3 front bumper, Euro-market rear foglight and a set of JDM Stanley sidemarkers in hand, Lee took the car down to Gold Crest Autobody in San Diego for a full coat of Lamborghini Mucielago Verde Hydra paint.
With the car in the body shop, Lee put in a call to Tee's Japan for a set of Bride Brix 1 seats. Three months later, the seats, a set of Bride's Super Low seat rails, a Nardi steering wheel and the harnesses arrived-just in time to install them in the freshly painted CB7.
But the Accord started running into electrical problems, prompting Lee to remove and rewire the engine harness. With the harness out, Lee had the engine bay re-sprayed to match the body color, and followed up with a wire tuck to clean things up. Lastly, Lee replaced the stock H22 ECU with a chipped P28 computer.
Not done quite yet, Lee sourced the gray interior from a '93 Accord EX to match the Bride seats.
Lee is eyeing a manual transmission swap and boost in the future. Another swap he's considering is a K series transplant, maybe a K24 from a TSX/current Accord. But first, on goes the RS-R Ex-Mag exhaust-received shortly after our photo shoot-to complement the Trust header. The last part on Lee's mod-list is a rarer than rare Chargespeed lip to match the grill.
Readers often ask us why we don't feature more Accords. Our new answer is "because none of them are THIS good." Accord owners, we await your angry and indignant responses. As for Lee's Toyota, it still sits in his garage, probably never to be touched again.
"I'm a Honda guy now," he says. "Yeah, totally a Honda guy."
Bolts & WashersJoey Lee's 1992 Accord EXPropulsionThe go behind the show is a nearly-stock JDM first-gen H22A. Bolted onto the H22's intake manifold is a Prelude intake pipe and APEXi Dual Funnel air filter. On the hot side is a rare Trust H22 header that dumps into a stock exhaust that will, by the time you read this, be replaced with an RS-R Ex-Mag cat-back system. A Walbro 255-lph fuel pump feeds a USDM H22 fuel rail and stock 290cc/min injectors, the latter of which is controlled by a chipped P28 ECU. A stock H22 distributor uses NGK plug wires to deliver current to Denso Iridium spark plugs. All of the power is put down to a rather unconventional MP1A tranny-an automatic JDM H22 transmission. Controlling the tranny is a P0F transmission control unit, also from a JDM automatic H22.
Rims & RubberThe white 16x7 Sprint Hart CP-Rs are the Accord's centerpiece and the components that inspired the whole build. The Sprint Harts are shod in Yokohama Parada Spec 2 tires, sized 205/45R-16.
StanceOmni Power coilovers sit in all four wheelwells of the CB7. Under the hood, a rare Cusco OS type shock-tower bar reduces chassis flex, while a DC Sports bar does the job out back.
FashionInside: The first things to catch your eye when you open the front door are the beautiful gray-gradation Bride Brix 1 seats, bolted to the floor via Bride Super-Low seat rails. The rest of the interior, pulled from a '93 CB7, is also gray. The driver's side has a coveted Takata MPH-340R harness, while the passenger straps into a Willams four-point. Lee gets the distinct pleasure of wrapping his mitts around a since-discontinued Nardi Challenge steering wheel.
Outside: The exterior mods are extensive and tasteful, and include a custom, one-off carbon trunk lid made by Carbon Fiber One in Norwalk, Calif., to match the company's carbon hood in the front. A gas door by CFType rounds out the carbon fiber body parts. The front lip, made by Hmotorsports, is attached to a JDM CB3 Accord front bumper.
Also from the motherland are the one-piece black-housing headlights, Stanley sidemarkers and CB3 foglights. Out back, an EDM rear fog light says "JDM-shmay-DM," although the JDM headlights are enhanced by a MCCulloch 8000k HID system. The crown jewel of this sedan's body mods is the fber-rare Chargespeed grille, one of maybe a handful in the U.S.
I.C.E.The brain of Lee's audio setup is a JDM Addzest double-DIN DZM415 head unit with CD player, MiniDisc player, and a frequency converter so that the Japanese tuner can pick up US radio stations. The head unit's signal is pumped through a Zapco Reference 350 amplifier into JBL GTO936 3-way component speakers. An Exide Orbital deep cycle battery supplies the juice for the jams.view mirror for some eye candy.