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Ben Howard AWD Civic - Editorial

The Waiting Game

Apr 13, 2009
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I've fallen off my rocker. That's right, I've lost my marbles but for good reason. Somehow I've committed myself to another build-up on the Civic. With thoughts of transforming some other platform-like maybe an AWD or RWD beast-I've found myself torn on the topic of which car to choose. Of course, ultimately I chose the Civic.

As 2009 approached, the car sat patiently in the driveway, readily awaiting that high-compression K-series, and I sat and anticipated the fun I'd inevitably have driving it. Yet, I won't be able to turn just a few wrenches and go. No, a complete color change is in order, as is a grip of new parts that'll find their way onto the Civic. It's a feeling of joy, thinking of the wrench turning that'll be taking place in my buddy's garage. And with my parts collection growing like a small fight club, it really is Christmas all over again. It began with just a couple of parts and has reached the point where the UPS guy and I routinely joke about the size and numbers of boxes dropped off at my place. The pile-up of cardboard and bubble wrap is overtaking my room, and the build has barely begun. I still need my engine's internals, I'm awaiting a clutch and a flywheel, and I haven't even settled on wheels or brakes yet. Damn! It's crunch time.

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In light of my build, I should be in a better mood. I'm not though. You see, the Civic's my daily driver. At least it was, or will be. In the meantime I'm rocking my mom's Ford Windstar. Yes, it's a minivan, and no, it's not a chick magnet. Rolling up at the club in the family mobile is brutal, especially for a single guy like me. I mean, leaving the club after talking to that girl all night and walking her out at to take her home only to go fire up the hotness that is a soccer-mom mobile just isn't cool. To be sure, the baby seats in the back don't help either. Ah, how I miss the joys of jumping into the Civic's Recaros, but the build must go on. Laugh all you want, but the next time you're without your ride try and tell me you're not going through VTEC withdrawals. All of this makes me wonder how those who undergo even longer build-ups can take it. Seriously, having a shell sit in the driveway for a year while test-fitting parts can get old fast. I prefer to drive my Civic; I prefer to feel the action.

Fast forward a few weeks to the test-fit stage and I'll likely be complaining about something else. Such a stage can be a difficult one, especially when guys like me attempt to take his not-so-magical hands to make something special. Some parts will fit, some won't, and delays will be inevitable. Regardless, the next several weeks will be some of my best. The rewards of the entire build will culminate into a single moment: the start up. It isn't hard to relate to. The feeling of turning that key just after that last problem's been solved, just after that last stupid mistake's been taken care of, is priceless. I wouldn't trade anything for it. Not even my Windstar.
-Ben "Stunna Ben" Howard



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