Michael Trevino's '94 Civic Sedan
In the Honda world, originality is the spice of life. Owning a "different" looking car that turns every head at a show can transform an ordinary driver into a grassroots celebrity, or sway the vote between a big win or a crushing defeat. Whether you're at a show, meet, or on the track, a little innovation and creativity can go a long way, and standing out in the crowd is rarely a bad idea. Michael Trevino of Santa Clara, CA is all about originality. Never one to follow the crowd, he takes a new route to work every single day, even if he has to make his own roads-and has never worn the same shirt more than once. In short, Michael's a guy who hates seeing the same thing over and over, especially when it comes to cars.
Back in 2005, Michael wanted to build himself a new car. Not just new, but different and exciting, better than anything else out there. After ogling the four-door Civic for some years (mainly because of the longer wheelbase), he got his hands on a mint condition sedan for dirt cheap. He also managed to get hold of a complete SiR interior a few weeks later for mere pennies, and a Type R five-lug setup with wheels and tires was thrown in the mix shortly after. Pushing the stock engine for a couple of weeks, he was over it and swapped it out for an LS that had Michael riding around in style. In the blink of an eye, the Civic was put on the backburner when Michael got married and had a kid. The Civic replaced with the seemingly endless project of being a father, added a financial strain that made working on the car nearly impossible.
Flash forward to 2009, where Michael came up on a supersized tax return, finally allowing him to get back to work changing the Civic from mundane family sedan to badass daily driver. From that point on, everything just took off as the fire was reignited. "I started making upgrades left and right," Michael said. "We picked up a Mugen front lip and Azect side skirts, tons of JDM parts, and had the car repainted." All just for starters.
Michael was on his way to a super clean build with lots of rare goodies. His parts were carefully chosen and painstakingly sourced, but something was still missing. From the start he had wanted something different, but anyone can swap parts and re-spray paint. It was going to take more than a few upgrades to make his Civic really stand out, but Michael was up for the challenge. He just didn't know exactly what that challenge would entail.
One afternoon, weeks down the road, Michael got an unexpected call from N1 Concepts. What they were offering him was so unusual and different; he just had to jump at the opportunity. If he was up to the task, N1 was willing to throw a full right hand drive clip his way, and Redzone Motorsports was on board to help him install it. "My ultimate wish came true that day," Michael said. "I would finally have my version of an EG9 right-hand-drive Ferio."
Transitioning a car from LHD to RHD is no easy task, and Michael was about to learn that firsthand. If he thought his build had been tough before, it was about to get a lot tougher. Launching the car over to Redzone, Michael got busy on all of the preliminary work. With the help of a friend, they wire wheeled every single drop of factory glue on the seams of the firewall and spot welding, basically making sure that when the new firewall was installed, everything lined up perfectly. "It has to be done just right," Michael said. "You don't want to have to fill up a bunch of holes in the end. After installing the firewall, the duo filled in all the leftover spot welds, and added seam welds for increased strength. A ridiculous amount of factory chassis glue held everything in place, and then came what seemed like a lifetime of wiring. "A BUNCH of wiring," Michael said.
It took a long, long time to finish, but when everything was done, he was driving his dream build, Japanese style, on the right side of the car; his baby boy resting his legs on the harness behind him.
Anyone who's driven a right hand drive knows full well that it isn't easy at first, and things were no different for Michael. Shifting, turning, even parking seemed incredibly difficult when the steering wheel is on the opposite side. "It was hard getting used to it," Michael said. "I found myself shifting from 1st to 4th a lot, and U-turns were really hard, I couldn't tell how close I was to the median." After a few months of practice, Michael got it down. Though he could now drive like a pro on the right side, he had forgotten how to drive on the left. "When the RHD was done I drove it daily, and forgot how to drive a LHD," Michael said. "I got into my Tahoe, went for the blinkers and hit the wipers!"
The hardest part of the build complete, Michael got busy on the engine. For starters, he had the block balanced and added P30 pistons, and a race ported B16 head with upgraded valves, titanium retainers, and dual valve springs. Blox cams and gears help take advantage of the high performance changes. "I picked this setup because I had a pretty much stock B16 and manifold setup that made 200hp," Michael said. "I liked it, so I just stuck with it." The main thing on Michael's mind was keeping the car stealthy on the outside, but dynamic on the inside. "I wanted people to notice the attention to detail I've put in," Michael said. "The engine and block really pop out." A complete wire, brake, and fuel line tuck brought everything home, and the Civic was ready to roll off the make-shift production line.
For Michael, all the hard work has more than paid off. He's got what he always wanted-something that turns heads wherever he goes. "I love driving around and having people neck breaking to get a look at the car," Michael said. Keep your eyes peeled for Michael Trevino and his four-door Civic, whether you're cruising through Santa Clara or pulling up to a meet. He'll most likely be driving in style on the right hand side, his baby boy behind him relaxing with his feet up.
Bolts & Washers
Honda P30 pistons
Blox Type B camshaft
Blox 70 mil throttle body
Blox velocity stack and filter
Blox Tri-y race header
Supertech dual valve springs
Supertech titanium retainers
Type R keepers
Type R rockers
Type R oiling system
Type R ignition box
Type R coils
Type R transmission with LSD
Type R differential
Walbro 255LPH fuel pump
Trick Flow universal filter
Redzone Motorsports custom intake
Redzone Motorsports custom test pipe
Redzone Motorsports custom Kevlar clutch
Exedy 7 pound flywheel
S2K clutch master cylinder
Tein Type Flex coilovers
Blox front and rear alignment kit
Blox lower control arms
Slotted and drilled discs
Rotora 4 piston front calipers
Prestone Synthetic fluid
Type R brake booster and 1-inch master cylinder
Wheels & Tires
Volks CE 28N Time Attack, 16x7 w/42 offset
Falcon Azenis 215/45/16
Factory Phantom Grey paint
Mugen front lip
JDM EG9 rear wing
JDM EG9 rear window visor
S2k gauge cluster with Speedo Healer
Pro Sport oil temp/pressure and water temp gauges
Bride Zeta III seats
EDM SiR interior
Redzone Motorsports harness bar
G-Force 5 point cam lock harness
Nardi Deep steering wheel with NRG quick release
JDM custom shift knob
Gathers long armrest
My wife Renee and son Isaiah, Pablo Padilla and Danny Hernandez (Team Bandits)
Brandon and Wayne at RedZone Motorsports
Collin and Norman at N1 Concepts
Kenneth, Adam, Brian and James at Wek'Sos
EG Ferio Squad
Screen name or nickname
Building Hondas for how long
Your dream car
All wheel drive, K24 turbo automatic
EG9 with paddle shifters
My dad, and Hondas are cool!
Whats playing in your iPod/CD/MP3 player right now
Greatest movie of all time
Nacho Libre and Don't Mess with the Zohan
Redzone Motorsports is a small shop in Fremont, CA, that's been making a huge name for themselves over the past several years due to their high quality work and friendly, non-threatening attitudes. Owners Brandon Budack and Wayne Sausan first threw open the doors to Redzone in 2004, and have since done all kinds of work from engine rebuilds and electrical repairs, to ECU chipping, custom harnesses, and transmission work. Their main specialty, however, centers on RHD conversions, and to date, they've completed fifteen different LHD to RHD swaps and had their work featured multiple times in magazines, as well as taking trophies at shows and creating a buzz on the forums.