Blake Foster's '93 Civic Ex Coupe
When you've got your heart set on something it's easy to get let down. Plans fall through, agendas change, and like the song says "you can't always get what you want." Well, you can't always get what you want. The options in that situation are either to get bummed and start pouting, or to make the best of with what you've got. For builders, many believe that to achieve perfection, things have to go according to plan. But not Blake Foster of Tulsa, OK. He goes with the flow, rolls with the punches, and always manages to come out on top. Track, show, or street, it doesn't matter; Blake's got 'em all handled.
Growing up, Blake always had a thing for hatchbacks. Something about them caught his eye at a young age, and he somehow knew that one day he'd get behind the wheel of one. "I fell in love with them," Blake said. "I just always wanted one." But sometimes the paths we lay out for ourselves lead to dead ends. Blake soon smashed head-on into a brick wall along his hatchback highway. Shopping around one day, he stumbled upon a super mint Civic coupe. Despite wanting a clean, reliable hatch he could throw a few parts on and have some fun with, something about the coupe intrigued him. Not only was it a garaged beauty without a scratch on it and had really low mileage but it was also offered for an unbeatable price. Scrapping his hatch plans, he threw down some cash and headed home in his new ride-a coupe.
Blake began modding almost immediately, picking up new wheels and tires, some Tein springs, and a set of clear corners. "Let's just say I went through my ricer stage with the big lights, big wheels, and whatnot," Blake chuckles. For the first couple of months he was satisfied with just cruising it, but his contentment was short-lived. He soon developed an insatiable craving for more power under the hood to shake things up. He searched high and low, eventually finding a complete B16A2 close by, but had no idea how to stuff it in the engine bay. "This was my first swap and I had no clue of what to do, so I had my friend Balonyyy help me out." Needless to say, the swap went off without a hitch. After all, Balonyyy was there to help. With a name like that how could you think things would go wrong?
Fast-forward to 2007 and Blake was clued in to a relatively fresh and emerging trend: shaved engine bays. "I did some research and decided to just do it," Blake said. "I welded every hole I could think of and just went at it." Even though the hours of sanding, filling, and welding were exhausting, the finished product was perfect. Blake was inspired now to take his build to the next level. "I decided I was going to tear down my motor and totally redo it," he said. "I was in love with the all motor sound and just wanted it to scream!"
For what Blake had planned, his B16 wasn't going to cut it anymore. Not wanting to scrap the engine entirely, he decided to keep the head so he could maximize flow when paired with the swapped-in B18C1 block. He added CTR pistons and a full valvetrain to the mix and dropped everything off at Watt's Shop Race Engines to have everything assembled. Once everything had been rebalanced, micropolished, and reinstalled, Blake could hardly contain himself. "I finally had this entire teardown and rebuild done after almost two years!" he exclaims. Wasting no time, Blake continued to upgrade everything he could, constantly buying new parts and trying new things. "I always wanted more, so I kept going and kept building," he said.
After installing a full Energy Suspension kit and some Function & Form Type 2 coilovers, Blake had the crazy notion to transition the car to autocross. "I had the suspension tuned pretty well, so I moved on to the brakes," he said. After installing some Brembo blank rotors with EBC green pads and Goodridge steel braided lines, the car stopped on a dime and handled perfectly.
Itching to get his feet wet in the autocross world, Blake entered his first event in the spring of 2008 just to go out and have some fun, as well as to see what his car could do. He certainly didn't expect to win anything, "I had no idea what to do," Blake recalled. "I just pictured the track as a go-kart track and me as the go-kart." Whether it was divine intervention or beginner's luck, Blake pulled off a win in the Street Modified class. "At first I was like; did they just call my name for First Place?" Blake remembered.
From that first win on, Blake became head over heels involved with the SCCA. To this day, at every event, people always ask him "Why race such a nice car?" To which he smugly replies, "Why waste money on quality parts and not use them?" In Blake Foster's book, it's all about the function of the vehicle-looks are just a bonus.
B16A2 cylinder head
GSR connecting rods
Multi-angle valve job modifications
Fluidyne full core radiator
Supertech Flat Face valves
Skunk2 Pro Series intake manifold
BDL 68mm throttle body
Pro-Fab 4-1 header
Apexi World Sport exhaust system
Blox test pipe
NGK Iridium spark plugs
NGK plug wires
Skunk2 short shifter
Exedy Stage 1 clutch
Brembo blank rotors
EBC Green pads
ATE Super Blue fluid
Goodridge SS lines
Wheels & Tires
Street: 16x7 Advan RG (+35 offset)
Yokohama Prada Spec 2 205/45R16
Track: 15x7 Enkei RPF1 (+35 offset)
Falken RT615 205/50R15
Wings West RS front lip
Hondata S2000 ECU
S200 data logger
Auto Meter gauges
Buddy Club Racing seats
Simpson Racing 4-point harnesses
Nardi Deep 350mm steering wheel
Buddy Club shift knob
Converted all black interior
My girlfriend Audriana, aka AUDZ
My mom, Sharon, and brother Alex
Tony, aka Balonyyy
Kevin, aka Giang
Watt's Shop Race Engines
Matt, aka Rodrez
Screen name or nickname
Building Hondas for how long
Your dream car
Ferrari F430 Scuderia
What's playing in your iPod/CD/MP3 player right now
Pink Floyd - TIME
One way To A shaved bay
Few cosmetic modifications look as clean as a shaved engine bay, and though it serves no other purpose than to highlight what's under your hood, when done well, a shave can transform your bay from a hole-filled scrap of metal to a streamlined, hand-polished piece of engine eye candy. This timely procedure starts with filling in every unnecessary factory hole, followed by rigorous sanding and precise welding, finished off with a nice coat of paint for beautification. Sound easy? It isn't-and even though the beauty of a shaved bay can be tempting, if you don't have the skills to pull it off yourself, you may want to leave this one to the pros. Welding can be complex, especially around flammables like fuel lines and delicate glass. If you insist on a do-it-yourself shave, do your research or ask a knowledgeable friend for help. Don't kill yourself or your car trying to make your engine stand out.