Super Street Network

Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
 |   |  1999 Honda Civic EX Sedan - Manila Vanilla
Subscribe to the Free

1999 Honda Civic EX Sedan - Manila Vanilla

Hooked In The Philippines, Inspired By Japan, Built In The U.S.

Aug 25, 2010

Jay Valle's '99 Civic EX sedan
Inspiration can strike from any angle in the automotive world. Some take cues from the past, relying on clever tricks and patented crowd-pleasers from the never forgotten Hot Rod era, while others might draw ideas from present trends that are often white-hot one week, and quickly disregarded the next. The idea behind building a standout vehicle stems from finding that delicate balance; one that flirts with a variety of styles, without blatantly going overboard. If you can somehow avoid the money-related roadblocks, you might catch a stick in your spokes from the regular day-to-day trials and tribulations. As if that wasn't enough to fill your plate, imagine being over 7,000 miles away from your wife and children for a span of six years, like Jay Valle of Lake Elsinore, CA.

Htup_1009_01_z+1999_honda_civic_EX_sedan+side_view Photo 2/11   |   1999 Honda Civic EX Sedan - Manila Vanilla

In 1997, Jay took the sixteen-plus hour flight to the Philippines to continue his scholastic career. Spending the next four years in college opened his eyes to a whole new world. "Thanks to the night life, street racing, and the rich college kids with built Hondas, I was hooked. I pretty much fell in love with Hondas while living in the Philippines." One model in particular really struck a chord with Jay, and his infatuation today is stronger than ever. The '99-'00 Civic sedan, particularly the Vi-RS model, is the one that held Jay's attention over the past 10 years. As the urge to build his own Honda continued to grow, a funny thing happened; life. Finishing college, he married his significant other while still overseas, and was soon faced with a tough life choice. "I basically had no choice but to come back to the states in order to find a good job and support my family. Leaving them in the Philippines was by far the worst moment of my life," he sadly recalls.

2019 Honda Civic
$21,450 Base Model (MSRP) MPG Fuel Economy

As the days, followed by months, and eventually years, crawled by, Jay found an outlet to keep his sanity while away from his loved ones. A Civic hatchback occupied his alone time and kept his mind steadily focused to avoid depression. He adds, "the hatch was fun with its ITR swap, and with that project, I made some really good friends. But the whole time I owned it, I just kept thinking about getting a sedan to build." After selling his hatchback in 2006, Jay found a silver '99 sedan collecting dust at a local dealership. Bone-stock, his thoughts of modifying the four-door platform were enhanced with the idea that it would serve as the perfect family car after the migration of his wife and kids. Actually, let's back up. Jay didn't just "have thoughts" of turning this car into a family-toting project car-he'd already spent the last few months carefully planning and stockpiling parts. With the car in his possession, he started, like most enthusiasts, with the bare necessities. "I added wheels, tires, suspension, and a few little exterior pieces here and there," he says. Just as things were starting to gain momentum, Jay ended up at the wrong place at the wrong time. He bitterly states, "the car was turning into a clean daily driver, and then one day a woman driving in front of me decided to make a complete stop at a yellow light. I rear ended her car, and the Civic didn't look too good." With his spotless thirteen year driving record now a thing of the past, Jay had to decide if he should start over from scratch yet again, or try to fix the now crumpled front end of his beloved '99. "After the accident, I was about to sell the car since it looked so bad, but the insurance company looked at it and covered everything. It was completely cosmetic, and since the car would keep its clean title, I just decided to keep it."

Htup_1009_02_z+1999_honda_civic_EX_sedan+ Photo 3/11   |   This family rolls in style; their sedan's profile is a jaw dropper. Just the right amount of mods to highlight the clean factory lines without going overboard.

The next stop in Jay's journey would involve boosting the factory SOHC motor. Running a conservative amount of boost, he was able to squeeze over 230hp from the little 1.6, but after abusing the car every day, Jay suspected some engine damage. Rather than risk his daily driver, the turbo kit was removed and sold, with the money going to a new paint job for the four-door. "I chose an off-white color that resembles the dirty ice-cream color from my days in the Philippines." Adding and trading out new parts almost weekly, Jay searched high and low for a new heart. He missed ripping on his old hatchback but was having trouble finding an ITR swap. On nothing more than an impulse, he saw a wrecked '06 RSX being parted out on and hastily laid down the cash for the complete swap. "I really didn't know anything about the K series swap, other than it was fast. But since I'd recently purchased a second sedan, I figured it would be a good time to learn. Also, I'd run into a mechanic buddy who had plans to open a new shop, and he offered to give me a hand with everything." A little over a month later, not only was the engine installed, but the hard work that accompanied the transplant was apparent. An expertly laid mil-spec harness accompanied by quality upgrades from the likes of Skunk2, KTuned, Spoon, and HaSport are sprinkled throughout the bay. "We got everything completed and I couldn't be happier. I didn't go too crazy, just kept it daily-friendly and reliable. My next stop is Chuckwalla Valley Raceway to have some fun on a road course."

Htup_1009_03_z+1999_honda_civic_EX_sedan+drivers_seat Photo 4/11   |   1999 Honda Civic EX Sedan - Manila Vanilla

As if the everyday trials and tribulations weren't enough, Jay Valle somehow managed to balance his career and a long-distance marriage, while simultaneously building one of the cleanest sedans that have ever graced the pages of Honda Tuning. Now that he's been reunited stateside with his loving family, built his personalized version of the Vi-RS, and landed a feature, what could possibly be next? "Well, there is that other sedan in the driveway..."

Bolts & Washers

Htup_1009_04_z+1999_honda_civic_EX_sedan+steering_wheel Photo 5/11   |   1999 Honda Civic EX Sedan - Manila Vanilla

HaSport EKK2 mounts
KTuned 4-1 header
Greddy B-pipe
Spoon axle-back exhaust
Blackworks half-size radiator
KTuned radiator hoses
Walbro 255LPH
KTuned fuel rail
KTuned fuel pressure regulator
Greddy 70mm intake pipe
Greddy B-pipe
KTuned shifter mount kit
Gripforce 6-puck clutch
Gripforce flywheel
Sparks Racing conversion harness
Chasebays custom white harness with Mil-spec connector
Hondata K-Pro management

K-Sport Kontrol Pro
GS-R front sub-frame and anti-sway bar
Suspension Techniques 21mm rear anti-swaybar
Suspension Techniques rear reinforcement kit
Function7 lower control arms

Htup_1009_05_z+1999_honda_civic_EX_sedan+engine Photo 6/11   |   Replacing the factory SOHC is the potent K20Z, complete with Skunk2 power adders, which sits inside a spotless, mil-spec-equipped engine bay.

Spoon calipers
Re-drilled ITR front rotors w/OEM pads
Rear EM1 disc conversion
Fastbrakes 11-inch rear rotors w/Endless Vita Nuova pads
EM1 brake cables

Wheels And Tires
Spoon 16x7 +45
Hankook Ventus RS-2 215/45-16

JDM RS gauge cluster
Bride Zeta III (gradiation)
Vision ultra-low seat rails
Custom wrapped rear seats
(black and cobblestone)
Spoon steering wheel
ARC shiftknob
CTR shiftboot
Circuit Hero shift extender
Passenger airbag delete tray

Sherwin Williams "vanilla" paint
OEM Si lip
OEM Si grill
CTR headlights
OEM red/clear tail lights
Vision Type "MC" mirrors
Mugen style spats
M3 style trunk lid spoiler
Honda Access window visors
EGR rear window visor
OEM thin side moldings

Htup_1009_06_z+1999_honda_civic_EX_sedan+pipe Photo 7/11   |   1999 Honda Civic EX Sedan - Manila Vanilla

I want to thank my wife Michelle, my sons Miguel and Martin, Mom and Dad, my brother Vincent and his family, my sisters Gia and Rizza, all my relatives for all the love and support. Big Thanks to Daniel, Junior, Tito, Jose at D's Auto; John at Williams Machine Inc; Dustin and staff at JLBmotorsports; Mike at KTuned; Matt at ICB; Myles Bautista at MAKSPEED; Corey at Sparkks Racing; Mike at PlanB; JHPUSA; JDMSpeedworX; RODREZ; Hybrid Racing; DCH Honda Temecula Parts Dept; My friends Ryan O, Scott, Larry, Mike, Dee, Joel, Bryan, Jason, Alan, Norman, Diego, Rod, Jonathan, Karlo, the whole set in San Diego, my family, my sedan family and the sons and daughters of Tuguegarao City.

Htup_1009_07_z+1999_honda_civic_EX_sedan+anti_sway_bar Photo 8/11   |   1999 Honda Civic EX Sedan - Manila Vanilla

Owner Specs

Favorite website
NWP4LIFE; Honda-Tech;

Screen name or nickname

Building Hondas for how long
nine years

Your dream car
Pagani Zonda R

Build inspiration
Philippine Civic SiR and JDM Vi-RS

What's playing in your iPod/MP3 player right now

Greatest movie of all time
Die Hard

Chuckwalla Valley Raceway
Recently opened to the public, this raceway was developed to provide yet another facility for motorsports enthusiasts to enjoy their passion in a safe, controlled environment. Located one hour East of Palm Springs in Desert Center, CA, the new track was laid out by master designer Ed Bargy. While track sessions are already available, the building continues. Once construction is complete, the 400 acres will be home to three road courses, an 1,800-gallon fuel farm, 120 short and long-term parking garages (including hot pit and paddock garages), a two-story 10,000-square-foot clubhouse with restaurant, lounge, and a pool! Log on to: for more details.


Skunk2 Racing
Norco, CA 92860
HASport Performance
Phoenix, AZ 85040
Brea, CA 92821
By Rodrez
699 Articles



This June, ENEOS will send driver Dai Yoshihara to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with the Evasive Motorsports-prepped 900HP, 2JZ Toyota 86
Bob HernandezMar 20, 2019
How does a Corvette guru pick up Nissan's beloved Z?
Sam DuMar 20, 2019
A jam-packed day of all things STI topped with a glimpse at the 2020 WRX STI S209 bound for U.S. soil.
David IshikawaMar 19, 2019
Four doors, four cylinders, 201 hp, and an eight-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT) with a starting price of $25,900—what's not to like?
Richard FongMar 18, 2019
The U.S. will debut the engine in the new car, as the rest of the world will have to wait until the first quarter of 2020 to get their mitts on the twin-turbo eight, or any new Conti for that matter.
Rory JurneckaMar 18, 2019
Sponsored Links