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1993 Honda Civic Si - Street Soldier

A Modern-Day Hotrod With A One-Track Mind

Rodrez
Jan 14, 2009

Danny Violante's '93 Civic SI
Nobody's condoning it, but street racing's long been a factor when it comes to customized cars. When American soldiers returned home after World War II armed with the technical know-how to turn everyday cars into competitive performers, an entire network of car builders emerged with an out-of-the-box mentality and a thirst for progression. Soon, the dry lakebeds of Los Angeles played host to heads-up racing, which served as the beginnings of many Chevy vs. Ford rivalries. Abandoned airports also lent themselves to quasi-organized racing that eventually spilled into the streets, becoming a staple of American culture. More than four decades later, the torch was passed on to a new competitor, one that relied more on technology and power-to-weight ratios than big-block muscle. Southern California's carbon-copy business parks ultimately replaced the lakebeds and abandoned airports, and similar activities spread throughout the country. This new phenomenon brought with it an entire subculture that helped spawn a multi-million dollar industry. But all was not perfect. Suspended licenses, impounded cars, accidents, and fatalities have always loomed as the black cloud above street racing's head. With many cities implementing zero-tolerance laws and unfair profiling, some enthusiasts' confidence, not to mention comfort, levels dropped. As a result, concluding that street racing is dead wouldn't be entirely outrageous. It's wrong, but not outrageous. Indeed, street racing is alive, albeit not as common as it once was. The spectator sport that it was during much of the '90s has been reduced to small gatherings of hardcore speed freaks that meet at discreet locations for impromptu battle.

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Many will deny participating in such activities, but Danny Violante makes no qualms about where he got his start with Hondas. "I was a sophomore in '98 and I went to the races and saw this hatchback out there smoking everyone and taking their money. I fell in love with racing. I dropped a GS-R in my Civic and I was out there every weekend until like 3 a.m., it was so much fun back then before all the dumbasses started going and ruined it," Danny says. His newfound love would come at a high price though. Over a short time period, his license was suspended no less than three times. Despite the driving revocations and countless stories that are simply too sketchy to repeat (think: high-speed chases), Danny is indeed fortunate that things turned out the way they did.

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2018 Honda Civic
$18,940 Base Model (MSRP) 28/40 MPG Fuel Economy

Over the years he's managed to buy, build, and sell several project cars that found themselves in the midst of numerous street encounters. Danny says, "I remember setting up a race against a couple of Skylines one time, but when I showed up and they recognized my car. It was all over. They knew my car was way out of their league and they pulled out of a money run. After that it was getting really tough to find anyone willing to race me so I parted it out and made most of my money back." However, Danny couldn't stay away forever, and four years later he was back at it again, this time purchasing a less than desirable '93 Civic Si. "It looked really bad, my buddy Jason from Sonic Racing tried to convince me to forget about it because it looked like garbage, but I knew from my past Civics that this one had potential." Despite the hesitation, Danny brought the car to Southern California's Jerry Built where the engine bay was stripped and prepared for paint and a fully built B-series monster. The car was then scheduled for a dyno tuning session with nearby Do It Dyno's Bubba. With his magic touch, Bubba caressed nearly 650 whp and more than 370 lb-ft of torque out of the B16A, a staggering number for such a lightweight street-driven hatchback. With the power equation out of the way, a custom paint job was followed by a chance encounter with Nastie Garage's Nate, who helped tuck and manage the engine bay for a spotless appearance. "I wanted the car to look as good as it ran, and the paint job was a must. I met Nate at the Norm Reeves Honda event and he offered his wire tucking skills. The old school TEs just finished it off. I only wish the engine had held up. It ended up blowing and I decided to go to RS Machine for a new build. Good thing I did," Danny says. A good thing indeed-his best run to date took place at a Sacramento event where he managed to click off a solid 10.7-second pass at 135 mph. Not bad for a street car that once looked as though it was destined for the junkyard. Next up for Danny is a full race car that's got its sights set on the 9-second mark.

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Nobody's condoning it, but street racing isn't going anywhere. There's no denying that it helped the Honda movement grow from its infancy into what it is today. Danny's just one example of a hardcore enthusiast that understands the dangers and repercussions of his actions, yet fully accepts the consequences. The fact that Danny takes responsibility for his actions says a lot about who he is. The fact that Danny has trouble finding willing opponents says a lot about what he does.

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Bolts & Washers

Propulsion:
B16A engine
Innovative engine mounts
RS Machine sleeved block
B17A1 crankshaft
Arias 10.1:1 pistons
Manley rods
Skunk2 Pro 1 camshafts
Portflow cylinder head
Ferrea valves
Supertech valvesprings
Turbonetics T70 turbo
XS Engineering intercooler and piping
HKS blow-off valve
RevHard exhaust manifold
TiAL 44mm wastegate
Hondata S300 engine management
MSD Digital 6AL ignition
MSD Blaster 3 coil
MSD spark plug wires
Walbro 255 lph fuel pump
1,600cc Bosch fuel injectors
Earl's fittings and lines
AEM fuel rail
AEM fuel filter
SX fuel pressure regulator
Koyo aluminum radiator
SamcoSport silicone hoses
Exedy twin-disc clutch
Exedy lightened flywheel
Driveshaft Shop Stage 5.9 axles

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Stance:
TEIN Super Street coilovers
Skunk2 camber kit
Beaks rear subframe brace

Resistance:
Brembo slotted rotors
Endless brake pads

Rims & Rubber:
16x7 first-gen. Volk TE37 (+42 offset)
205/45-16 Falken Ziex

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Outside:
Custom World Auto body paint
Spoon style rear spoiler
Spoon style mirrors
EG6 sidemarker lights
EG6 headlights
Vision amber turn signals

Inside:
APEX'i electronic boost controller
Recaro SRD seats
Sparco "go cart" steering wheel
Mugen shift knob
EG6 gauge cluster
Custom-wrapped door panels
JVC head unit
Auto Meter gauges (boost and oil pressure)

Props:
Team Wrath Racing
Mecha and Louie
RS Machine
Nastie Garage

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Owner Specs

Hometown:
Rosemead, CA

Daily Grind:
SoCal Edison lineman apprentice

Favorite Website:
www.racefwd.com

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Building Cars For How Long:
10 years

Favorite Kicks:
Rare Jordans

Dream Car:
Bentley Flying Spur

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Build Inspiration:
Street racing

Can't Miss TV:
Girls Next Door

From Old To New
The term "hot rod" was first used as a negative connotation thrown at cars that really didn't blend into everyday society. Most had modified body panels, front grilles, and swapped engines that didn't fit the cookie-cutter image that automobiles of their time should have. Many of these cars started off as low-budget models that were hardly worth their weight in scrap metal. Owners put hours of labor and as much money as they could muster into building what their idea of the ultimate car was: pieces of their personalities. Peer competition, ingenuity, and the will to build something better than the next guy was the drive that pushed hot rodders of yore to a whole new level. Sounds a whole lot like our world, doesn't it? Today, hot rods are admired and adored worldwide. Whether or not the next generation of hot rods will obtain such notoriety has yet to be determined. Only we can make that call.

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Sources

Innovate Motorsports
Irvine, CA
714-372-5910
http://www.innovatemotorsports.com
Ferrea Racing Components
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
888-733-2505
http://www.ferrea.com
By Rodrez
656 Articles

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