Juan Serrano's '00 Civic Si
Way, way out in the Pacific Ocean, far beyond any reasonably sized mainland, the tiny island paradise known as Guam can be found-if you look hard enough. This hot, humid place, surrounded by sandy beaches and coral reefs is home to 178,000 citizens, a few grocery stores, the world's largest K-mart (seriously), and a handful of dedicated tuners who have slowly been dominating the Honda scene among the Guamanian population. Juan Serrano just so happens to be one of those tuners, and has literally put Guam on the Honda map with his clean builds that always remain "reliable and comfortable".
In the early days, Juan found himself pulling a '96 Lexus ES300. Through a Japanese connection and the convenience of Yahoo! Japan Auctions, he transformed it from standard midsize luxury to "one of Guam's most recognized rides". Though stoked to be driving a car like the ES300, he was quickly fed up when it came to sourcing new parts, at times waiting years for parts that fit his ride.
In college, Juan hooked up with a crew, Menace 2 Society, who happened to be knee-deep in the Honda movement, and quickly became enamored with their lifestyle. "It was just drag, show, cruise. I loved the community and camaraderie. Those were the days," Juan said. Needless to say, the Honda bug had bitten Juan, and all he could think about was parting his Lexus and getting behind the wheel of a Honda.
A few months of searching later, Juan got his hands on a somewhat decent 2000 Si for under seven grand; "a steal" according to him. Despite the good price, the Civic didn't come without its share of problems. A huge dent on the driver's side quarter panel had been cleverly disguised with a large sticker, the interior was a mess, and someone thought it would be a good idea to wire up some household speakers in place of standard car-sized components. Under the hood, Juan found the power steering hose cut nearly in half, and he discovered a lack of A/C; a necessity for any daily driver in Guam. Damage aside, the previous owner left a couple of his aftermarket parts on board, including a Quaife LSD, Skunk2 manifold, and a Powercore header; a big come up, and parts that would stay with Juan until the end.
Juan's goal was to make the car as clean, reliable, and comfortable as possible. "This was the clean-up phase," Juan said. "Most of the basic work was done at the Menace hangout LA's Garage." The crew re-sprayed the original electron blue pearl and threw on some irresistible Regamaster rims. It was, in Juan's words, "the perfect daily driver".
It was less than a year later that the urge to mod struck once again, and this time it was serious. In a whirlwind of part shopping, Juan was quickly spending way too much without thinking. He didn't bother going with expensive parts, settling instead for knockoffs, from his "Mugen" wing to his "Spoon Sports" mirrors. After a quick, sloppy, thousand dollar re-spray the Civic had transformed from electric blue pearl to custom red. But he was happy, and even managed to pick up a few trophies from some local shows. With that, Juan figured his build was finished. "I'd done what I wanted to-make her clean and reliable with a little flash." Little did he know, the real modding had just begun.
In March of 2008, Juan found himself on a spring break trip in Tokyo with his girlfriend. After visits to all the requisite tourist spots, the idea to visit Spoon Sports popped into his head. Equipped with an extremely limited grasp of the Japanese language, the pair doggedly trekked through the crowded Tokyo streets for over two hours before finding the shop-right at closing time. But the ever-crafty Juan noticed the Spoon van still outside, and a small crack of light coming from a partially open garage. He quickly ran around back, up a flight of metal stairs, and found an open door. And just like that Juan and his girlfriend had successfully snuck into Spoon Sports. A long, self guided tour of the R&D workshop later, and the pair ran into an unsuspecting employee. Though surprised to see strangers, he was hospitable nonetheless, giving them a quick tour of the storage facility downstairs. Even though Juan was severely broke at the time, he came back with some stickers, a catalog, and the idea of a Spoon-themed build for his Civic.
With Spoon built images spinning around his head, Juan began collecting parts once again. From the moment he returned from his adventure, until December that year, Juan was in a free-for-all shopping spree. This time there were no knock-offs, just some carefully researched parts he knew would fit the build perfectly. "Parts came in from all over the place," Juan said. "Weaksauce provided the Buddy Club N+ suspension and Nardi steering wheel setup. My CTR mirrors, Benen tie bar, and Skunk2 LCAs came from N1concepts. Many of my other parts came from the online classified forums, especially nwp4life.com."
After dropping the car off with his friend Jun at Redline Motorsports in Guam to get all his goodies installed, Juan dove head first into another paint job. "This was to be the final hurrah for me," he said. "I decided to go for a full yellow re-spray, this time with more attention to the engine bay. Then I went hunting for any Spoon parts I could get my hands on." Even Juan's license plate got the Spoon treatment as he cleverly combined SI with SPOON to make SIPOON. "A lot of people clown on it because it means 'having a cold' in my native language, Tagalog, but it makes me happy, and that's all that matters."
The newly yellowed, Spooned out Civic has since graduated to nighttime cruiser. Its daily driver duties have been taken over by a less flashy Tacoma truck, providing Juan a little more peace of mind, knowing that thieves, haters, and self-rolling shopping carts don't have as much access to his car. "After all the time and money I've put in to it, I'd like to preserve it for a while," Juan said. "There are a few more things I'd like to do before I ever give her up, but for now, I just want to keep her clean and comfortable-and it wouldn't hurt to break some necks too."
STR cam gears
Spoon Sports oil cap
Spoon Sports radiator stay
Spoon Sports Kevlar spark plug wire cover
Spoon Sports elbow intake arm
Skunk2 intake manifold
Tanabe Hyper Medallion catback
NGK spark plugs
Spoon Sports high tension spark plug wires
ACT HDSS clutch
ACT Streetlite flywheel
Brembo cross drilled/slotted rotors
Spoon Sports reservoir socks
Buddy Club N+ damper kit with upper mounts
SPC alignment kit
Spoon Sports front upper strut bar
Benen rear lower tie bar
EM triangulated trunk bar setup
Skunk2 rear control arms
Recaro SRD seats
6.5-inch Valor double din
MTX Thunder speakers
Nardi Deep Corn 350mm w/ NRG
slim hub steering wheel
Spoon Sports duracon shift knob
CTR shift boot
Phoenix yellow paint
CTR side mirrors
CTR thin moldings
Honda OEM mudflaps
Honda OEM moonroof visor
Honda OEM rain guards
Spoon Sports decals
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Jun & Redline Motorsports
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Nearly 6,000 miles west of San Francisco and 3,700 miles southwest of Honolulu, the tiny island of Guam has been considered a U.S. territory since 1898. Guamanians enjoy all the same liberties as other Americans, except they can't vote in national elections, a small price to pay for a lifetime in an island paradise surrounded by coral reefs, coconuts, and lots and lots of sand. Despite its small size (30 miles from end to end), and distance from the parts-rich mainland, the Honda community in Guam has been slowly expanding over the last several years. With a handful of shops across the island doing swaps, springs, and paint, Guam is no longer just an island paradise-it's a tuner's paradise as well. Clubs like Menace 2 Society keep the movement alive, and an underground drag scene pops up from time to time, although heavy, monsoon-like rains often cause races to be canceled. With Japan right around the corner, shops like Spoon Sports and Mugen are just a hop, skip, and jump away, giving enthusiasts in Guam a convenient way to get high-end parts right from the source, without the hassle of a sixteen-plus hour plane ride. How many mainland Americans can say that? That's right-none.