Ever walked into your local Honda dealer's showroom looking for the car of your dreams only to find out it simply doesn't exist? In the early '90s, many sought B16A EF power only to end up with a few different SOHC offerings. Later, Americans weren't blessed when it came to B16B-powered Civic Type Rs or Integra Type R four-doors either. Or how about a late-model Accord with the CL's J32A2 six-cylinder and LSD-equipped, close-ratio, six-speed gearbox? While this may not be on the top of everyone's Honda wish list, the combination is undeniably enviable for some Accord fans.
Such was the story for Dave Hazenfield, from Knoxville Tenn., the exception being that the '01 Accord V-6 was in fact his dream-that is, until he realized the potential in mating that perfect body with the perfect soul of an Acura CL Type S. Unlike the 3,525-pound CL, the Accord is 300 pounds lighter, so the reliable 260hp factory setup is much more meaningful when paired with the Honda chassis. Consider the variety of problems Honda owners faced with certain '00-'01 automatic Accord transmissions. For Dave, exchanging one for the six-speed manual gearbox mated to a helical gear limited-slip differential in and of itself was a move in the right direction.
Dave credits himself for the idea to swap in the J32A2, telling us he'd done the swap long before others had even pondered the idea. At the time, a transplant donor was difficult to find given the Type S' recent introduction. The time it often takes for insurance companies to declare total losses when concerning newer vehicles with high replacement costs is not an overnight affair. Still, the engine and transmission were finally delivered in time to do a quick swap and head out to the '05 NOPI Nationals where Dave secured a Second Place victory in the Honda engine swap class. He did so again the following year.
Things to like about Dave's J32A2 swap: For one, it maintains the driveability one would expect from a Honda but with a more aggressive perspective than the ones provided by executives. After a bit of porting and cleaning up the intake system, with some help from AEM and K&N, the wheels now see the horsepower the flywheel once did. Post-combustion gases leave the engine through OBX headers and a Tanabe Hyper Medallion exhaust system. This is no B16A brawler of an EF but it gets the job done. Keeping Dave entertained on the 2,000-mile roundtrip between Knoxville and Middletown, R. I., where he's stationed as a member of the U.S. Navy, is a powerful combination of Rockford Fosgate and Alpine audio components.
One Accord coupe feature in particular, which continues to attract so many like Dave, is the NSX-inspired taillight design. Don't tell us you've never made the correlation between the two. Oh, and the narrow headlight design was the last of its kind until the recent concept revival in Honda's newer models, including the latest Civic, TSX, TL, and '08 Accord. Someone must have realized it was missed. Some might even go so far as to say they were angered by Honda's mainstreaming designs in the interim period. Fortunately, all is back to normal and nobody got hurt.
Dave's Accord is not a race car. It wasn't meant to be. As such, it is not the fastest car in Tennessee. It's not a show queen either. Sure, it may have earned two years worth of niche-class trophies, but it won't exactly be snapping necks anytime soon. None of this was intended of Dave's Accord. The man set out to build something he wanted, something he thought Honda should've built to begin with and, since they didn't, he took matters into his own hands. There should be a trophy for that.
BOLTS & WASHERS
CL six-speed LSD transmission
Innovative mounts (not shown)
Port matched intake and exhaust
Fastech Motorsports EGR block off
OBX 6-into-2-into-1 headers
Custom test pipe
Tanabe Hyper Medallion exhaust
AEM short-ram intake
Custom air ducting
Custom radiator overflow tank
GReddy oil catch tank
CL fuel pump
H&R Sport Springs
Koni Sport adjustable dampers
Comptech antiroll bars
OBX front shock tower brace
Hawk HP pads
Motul 600 fluid
Goodridge steel braided lines
Rims & Rubber
17x8 Blitz Type 01 (+40 offset)
225/45-17 BFGoodrich g-Force Sport
VIS carbon-fiber hood
'02 Civic Si seats
Personal steering wheel (not pictured)
Custom door panels and interior inserts
Custom shift boot
ARC shift knob
PLX M300 wideband controller
Rockford Fosgate 9210 head unit
Alpine Type R 6.5 speakers (front)
Rockford Fosgate 6x9 speakers (rear)
Family and friends
Most Played in the iPod:
A little bit of everything
Converse low tops for comfort, Danner Fort Lewis for work
300, The Warriors, and Grandma's Boy
Bogus traffic ticket:
Mac or PC:
Porn star pick:
Don't really have one, but it would be a girl
What is this a new reality show? Just kidding, probably Marisa Miller