Jason D'arts' 1995 Civic
It is extremely challenging to take one of Honda's most popular project cars and transform it into a truly unique and individual vehicle. The problem is really quite simple. There are thousands of highly modified '92-'95 Honda Civic hatchbacks. The EH group has strong aftermarket support, they're relatively cheap, and they're pretty easy to find. Herein lies the caveat: to stand out amongst the masses, it takes more work, more sweat, and more love. Jason and the D'Arts family out of Atlanta, GA, did exactly that. They worked hard, worked long hours, and most importantly worked together, to create this eye-popping, neck-breaking, '95 PPG Midori Green Civic hatch.
Jason's friends originally turned him on to Hondas. "It took just one round of acceleration in my buddy's GS-R-swapped hatch," he claims. He purchased a '95 Honda Accord LX as soon as he could drive at age sixteen. He still proudly owns that car today. The odometer may have stopped at 233,000 miles, but the F22 engine still runs fine. "I'm sure it's approaching 300,000 miles. It's never had any major problems," he says.
Jason specifically chose to build a Hatch because of a previously owned '93 hatchback that received a GSR swap thanks to he and his family. "I never got over that car after selling it. I had to have another hatch!" he says. Seller's regret actually worked out for the best this time around. His new '95 Civic enabled him to start the project with more knowledge, experience, and motivation. He wanted his second EH to be "clean, unique, and overall fast."
In late 2005, Jason picked up the '95 Civic that surprisingly went untouched for almost an entire year. Then, in early 2007, Jason's younger brother Jonathan began detailing the car. The simple detail session turned into a full blown restoration project. Every single nut and bolt was removed and eventually the shell was painted by Jason and his older brother Adrian. "I went with Midori Green paint because it's such a rare color and I wanted to stand out from the crowd," he says. This process lasted roughly nine months.
Then the Honda Gods struck, and struck hard. They sent a motivational lighting bolt and it struck the D'Arts family right on top of the the head. Jason and Jonathan decided that they wanted to attend the 2007 NOPI Nationals at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. However, the popular annual car show was merely two weeks away. If they missed this show, it would be another year until they could showcase the prized family possession. At the time, Jason was off in Florida working while Jonathan was also grinding out a full time job. The Civic sat at Jonathan's house in the meantime, and there simply wasn't enough time available to piece together the entire car. People afraid of ghosts call the Ghostbusters. People in need of overwhelming, underpaying labor, call their father. That's when Adrian D'Arts, Sr., stepped in.
Well, Jonathan's father actually moved in for two weeks. "My dad left his wife and work for two weeks because he knew his sons needed help," Jason says. As they say, blood is thicker than water. Adrian, Sr., worked 16 hours or more per day. Basically, Jonathan and his father would wake up before Jonathan's work day began in order to work on the car. And while Jonathan grudgingly headed off to work, Adrian, Sr. continued working on the project. After Jonathan returned home, he joined his dad and they continued on the Civic until the early morning. "Every nut and bolt was torqued down to OEM specs," he says. After the long hours, the family's hard work eventually paid off as the hatch was not only finished in time, but also took home Elite Class Second Place honors.
The Hatch went mainly unchanged for two years. Last year, Jason paint-matched the door panels, giving the interior that one-off touch. Despite the fact that Jason drives the Hatchback daily, the condition of the car remains pristine. "The undercarriage is so clean you can eat off of it," he says.
The build had some exciting and hilarious moments. After installing the K20A2 engine, Jason and Jonathan were more than eager to start the new powerplant. As soon as Jonathan turned the key, the engine revved until it hit the rev limiter and would not turn off due to an electrical problem. Jason eventually disconnected the battery, but managed to video record the ordeal. "My brother's expression in the driver seat is priceless," he chuckles. The video footage remains in the D'Arts' family files and might potentially end up on YouTube someday.
The sleek and stylish hatchback receives plenty of attention from bystanders. Jason is used to hosting Q-and-A sessions every time he steps out of the car. He even gets admiration from serious domestic owners. "It's a good feeling when the young and old are telling you how nice your car is," he admits. When asked if a specific moment of appreciation stands out, he pauses for a brief moment of recollection. "There are so many...it's like every time...I can't think of one," he laughs in amazement.
Jason enjoys the attention. "Beating any cocky V8 owner is quite memorable too," he laughs. The $9,000 build was paid for in plastic. "Discover card mostly. Visa if the store didn't accept Discover," he says. Of course, Jason was able to save on the project by distributing the labor pains throughout the family unit. Reflecting on the build, Jason can only think of one thing that makes his '95 Civic so unique: "Everything done to the car was done by me or one of my family members, and it was done right," he proclaims.
Jason, along with his father, older brother Adrian, and younger brother Jonathan, have created an amazing build. It's more than clean, it's more than JDM inspired...it's more than everything. It has all the right touches in all the right places. It's subtle, such as the lone exterior addition of a JDMshit.com duckbill wing, yet fierce with the proven K20A2 engine swap. All around, for lack of better words, it's a bad ass hatch. And for that, the D'Arts family should stand tall and proud.
Bolts & Washers
Hasport engine mounts
EP3 radiator hoses
Walbro 255 lph fuel pump
Earl's lines and fittings
Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator
Custom short ram intake
K&N air filter
DTR/SSR e xhaust manifold
Kteller 3-inch exhaust piping
Vibrant 3-inch exhaust
Circuit Works axle adapter
Hondata K-Pro ECU
Circuit Works axle adapter
Ground Control with extended top hats
Autopower antiroll bar
GSR brake conversion
Wheels & Tires
15x6.5 Mugen NR (+45 offset)
205/50-15 Falken Azenis
PPG Midori Green paint
Sparco Sprint 5 seats
Sparco seat rails
G-Force five-point harness
Nardi steering wheel
S2000 shift knob
CDM gauge cluster
Pioneer head unit
Alpine Type 6 6.5-inch components
PPG Midori Green painted upholstery
Adrian D'Arts (Father)
Jonathan D'Arts (Brother)
Adrian D'Arts (Brother)
Jill Anderson (Girlfriend)
Susan & Angie @ A.P.E.
All the forums that helped
Screen name or nickname
Building Hondas for how long
Your dream car
All the clean Hondas that roam the streets
What's playing in your iPod/CD/
MP3 player right now
Greatest movie of all time
Jason, along with his father, older brother Adrian, and younger brother Jonathan, have created an amazing build. It's more than clean, it's more than JDM inspired...it's more than everything. It has all the right touches in all the right places.
How To Take The "Lack" Out Of Lackluster
A strong bond exists between Honda enthusiasts and older Hondas; the '92-'95 Civic Hatchback and the '88-'91 CRX families to name a few. Although the love doesn't fade over time, the car's longevity does. To turn one of these aging, yet timeless projects into a neck-breaking, eye-popping machine, the lack has to be taken out of the lackluster. Begin with thinking about how the car should look and function when the process is finished. This is perhaps the most crucial aspect. First, if needed, disassemble the vehicle down to the shell. Next, have the shell prepped and painted by a professional. Obtain needed replacement items from websites, dealerships, or the junk yard. Install components that replace broken or worn parts in the process. A complete restoration on a 10-20 year-old Honda is difficult, timely, and costly. However, the results are usually amazing.