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2000 Honda Civic CX - Accidentally On Purpose

The Guy Who Somehow Cheated Death And The Reincarnation Of His Hatch.

Joey Lee
May 20, 2010
Photographer: Sean Bradford

Jason Brewer's 2000 Honda Civic CX
No matter who we are or where we come from, we all have one thing in common; we're only human. What that means simply is that one day we'll all go up to that great big Honda meet in the sky. It's inevitable, and something that we just can't avoid. Try as we might, father time will eventually be nipping at our heels. With that said, there are those few miraculous moments where people have actually cheated death. Call it a higher sense of purpose or just dumb luck, but there are those who have stared death directly in the face and managed to borrow some more time. How or why this happens can never be explained, it just "happens."

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"I really shouldn't be here anymore, but I walked away without a scratch on me," he says with a sigh of relief. Jason Brewer stood toe-to-toe with death one fateful afternoon four years ago and lived to tell about it. Back then, Brewer had never envisioned his Civic to look like the one you see before you. He had recently traded away his Integra for a silver Civic hatchback and began working on it diligently in hopes of making its debut at the now defunct NOPI car show series. That never happened of course, and on a somewhat mundane drive home, the moment that would forever change Brewer's life reared its ugly head.

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

"I was on my way home from work one day on my usual route. On an interstate interchange, I was taking a downhill turn doing the speed limit when I hit a big bump and just lost control," Jason reminisces. "I've taken that turn a thousand times, but for some reason, on that particular day, I caught it just enough to get the rear of the car up in the air. My Civic finally hooked, swung left, and then sent me straight into a semi-truck in the lane to my right. I ended up under the trailer of that truck and was literally dragged down the freeway a few hundred feet while it was traveling at 45 mph."

To say that the Civic was ruined would be an understatement-it was completely mangled. It was bad. Like a Fast & Furious stunt double Civic gone terribly wrong kind of bad. "It took three tow trucks just to get it out of there; one to pull the trailer off, one to pull the car out, and another to take the car away," Jason says.

The impact from hitting the trailer left Brewer's Civic looking like a chop-top sardine can. How Brewer walked away unscathed is beyond any normal comprehension. The thought of what would have resulted had there been a passenger with him would send a shiver down anyone's spine, as the right side of his Civic took the most damage. Beams from the semi dug into the passenger side and literally kept the wrecked hatchback from being sandwiched between the concrete and rear wheels of the truck.

Now most people would probably be scared to step foot inside a car after such an event, but Jason was already looking to rebuild. He hadn't even had a chance to debut his project before it turned into a scrap heap. The Honda Gods above had smiled upon him by giving him a second chance at life and presented an opportunity to build an even better version. Brewer had a pile of parts that were still serviceable. He located a '00 Taffeta White Civic CX shell that would ultimately be the reincarnation of his project.

Brewer was going for the EK4 SiR look with his old build and already held the JDM pieces to boot. Even though the entire front end was salvageable, he went a different route. He sold all his 96-98 Civic pieces and used the funds to purchase a JDM Civic Type R front lip, grille, rear lip, and headlights. Before sending the CTR goods off to Automations Custom Paint to be color-matched, he decided to get the roof re-sprayed in black. A Seibon carbon-fiber hood and rear hatch were installed to complete the two-tone, white on black look.

Suspension and brakes were also recouped. If it were just a basic spring and shock setup, it wouldn't be a stretch to just ditch them for new ones. Brewer however was the owner of APEX'I N1 Type V coilovers and a quality suspension like that is hard to throw away. The wheels from his old build were definitely not reusable. Technically they were, but there isn't a company around that offers square tires. Brewer had a fondness for Volk Racing wheels and owned his fair share in the past. For this build, it would be no different. He located a set of bronze 17x7.5 Volk CE28Ns and knew he had to have them. The bronze on white is a classic look and stepping up in size to 17s definitely sets him apart from the rest of the crowd.

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"Everything from the door-line forward was still salvageable," Jason says. "Even though I went with a different look aesthetically, the ITR engine was complete and still in perfect shape. My old Civic was basically an organ donor."

After a life-threatening accident such as the one Jason experienced, you wouldn't expect that he'd be a speed demon on the streets. It wouldn't be wrong to think that he would probably drive like an 80-year-old woman for the rest of his life. Brewer was not deterred though, and even if he were, it wouldn't hurt to have some balls under the hood to help him escape any semi-trucks on the road. The potent ITR engine and all its bolt-on upgrades were pulled and transplanted into the new body. Chase of Chasebays, who happened to be an Alabama-native like Brewer, stopped by and helped re-wire and tuck all things electrical under the hood.

Though his ability to escape death may seem completely random and miraculous, Jason's survival definitely meant that he had a higher purpose in life-and it wasn't just to build cars. Some time after he walked away from his crash, Brewer received news that he would become a father.

"This car would have been finished a lot sooner but I quit my job," Jason says. "Life called and I decided to become a stay-at-home dad. It took me another year and a half before I could complete the car but I don't regret one thing. I'm responsible for two lives now and as much as I love cars, it takes a backseat to my son Joseph."

Bolts & Washers

Propulsion
JDM B18C5
Hasport engine mounts
'96-spec ITR cylinder head
'96-spec ITR camshafts
JDM CTR N1 crank pulley
ITR airbox
K&N drop-in filter
ITR intake manifold
ITR throttle body
Hondata intake manifold gasket
ANR compact exhaust header
Buddy Club Spec-2 exhaust
Walbro 255lph fuel pump
Polished fuel rail
S80 transmission
Exedy Racing stage 2 clutch
Fidanza 7-lb flywheel
Energy Suspension poly-bushings
ITR shifter
Stainless braided clutch line
Koyo radiator
Buddy Club radiator cap
Samco Sport hoses

Stance
APEX'I N1 Expert Type V coilovers
Suspension Techniques front anti-roll bar
Comptech rear anti-roll bar
Comptech rear lower tie bar
Omni Power lower control arms

Resistance
Brembo blank brake rotors
Hawk HP brake pads
Integra GSR brake calipers
Goodridge stainless brake lines
ITR brake booster
ITR brake master cylinder
Cusco master cylinder brace

Wheels & Tires
17x7.5 Volk Racing CE28N (+43 offset)
215/40-17 Fuzion ZRI

Exterior
JDM CTR front grille
JDM CTR front lip
JDM CTR rear lip
JDM CTR headlights
JDM thin side moldings
'96-'98-spec taillights
Seibon carbon fiber hood
Seibon carbon fiber rear hatch
Spoon Sports rear spoiler
Mugen tailgate fasteners
Vision CF side mirrors
Benen rear tow hook

Interior
Memoryfab S68 seats
Momo Monte Carlo 350mm steering wheel
Mugen horn button
Momo steering wheel hub
NRG quick release
Custom cow-print door inserts
Custom black suede armrest
JDM CTR red carpet
JDM CTR gauge cluster
JDM CTR double-din block-off plate
JDM CTR airbag tray
JDM CTR shift boot
Mugen shift knob
Civic SI armrest
Civic SI floormats

Electronics
OBD1 P28 tuned with Crome
JDM SiR gauge cluster
Odyssey PC680 battery
Chasebays engine harness
Chasebays ground wires
Chasebays battery wires
OBD2-1 conversion harness

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Props
dAng!
Chase from Chasebays
Taylor
Ryan
Shawn
Mike
Automations Custom Paint
My son Joseph

Owner Specs

Favorite website
NWP4LIFE.com

Screen name or nickname
Brewer

Building Hondas for how long
Nine years

Your dream car
Honda NSX-R

Build inspiration
Too many to list!

What's playing in your iPod/CD/ MP3 player right now:
DJ PradaG

Greatest movie of all time
Boondock Saints

Gone But Not Forgotten
Jason Brewer's '97 VSM Civic hatchback was quite the talk of the internet when pictures of it first appeared online. At that time, no one had seen the build or even knew of it. Brewer was going to debut it at a show and kept the car pretty well under wraps. He posted pictures of the accident online and it began to spread like wildfire. It showed up on a bunch of different automotive forums and the image of it sitting tilted and crushed under that semi-truck will probably resonate in the minds of many forever. What's interesting to note is that the Civic was still completely mechanically operational. There was even a video of it that Brewer captured that showed the engine still working after the car was pulled out from under the truck. Right after the crash occurred, the roof of the Civic was touching Jason's head and even the dome light was still working!.

By Joey Lee
243 Articles

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