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 |   |  1994 Honda Civic CX Hatch - Trial & Error (and Everything In Between)
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1994 Honda Civic CX Hatch - Trial & Error (and Everything In Between)

One builder, one dream, one accomplishment, and so much potential

Andy Anderson
Apr 13, 2011
Photographer: Henry Z. DeKuyper

For most people these days, when the cards are stacked against them they quit--because, let’s face it, it’s easier to quit and put the past behind them rather than forge ahead and face the possibility of failure. It takes a special breed of person to stare down adversity and laugh in its face--regardless of what may come their way. Sure, there are plenty of quitters who throw in the towel after a couple setbacks, but were they ever truly committed in the first place? Probably not.

Htup 1105 01 o+1994 honda civic cx hatch+driver side front view Photo 2/9   |   1994 Honda Civic CX Hatch - Trial & Error (and Everything In Between)

Michael Gonzalez of Prescott Valley, Arizona, doesn’t understand the meaning of the word quit. Just like the Energizer Bunny of past fame, this is one guy who keeps going and going, and going, regardless of what the future has in store for him. For Michael, the words quit and stop simply don’t exist in his vocabulary.

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

Starting out in what was nothing more than a beat up daily driver, he pulled a ’95 Civic coupe. From time to time he’d hit the streets with his friends in their built Hondas, all the while taking notes. When he noticed how fast some of these cars could go he was hooked--really hooked. When I saw my buddy picking up Type-R parts and fixing up his EG hatch, I really started to feel something, Michael recalled. After that, I was determined to get one. Trading up for a ’94 CX hatch that was basically nothing more than two seats and a dash, according to Michael, the car came complete with a mismatched hood, front bumper held on by staples (yeah, staples!), missing corner light, and a bad purple tint job. To Michael, the faults weren’t deal breakers as there was way too much potential to ignore. Starting off slow and steady, he picked up a carbon-fiber hood and spoiler, scrapped the nasty tint job, and swapped in an all-black interior. After a few minor engine mods, a little nitrous, and a new front bumper, the car was back at square one.

Htup 1105 02 o+1994 honda civic cx hatch+miracle x bar Photo 3/9   |   The coveted Miracle X Bar occupies the JDM interior-enhanced hatch area.

For the time being, all he did was cruise the streets, sitting back and enjoying his newly restored ride. And it’s quite possible that Michael would have remained totally satisfied with the car had it not been for a little trip out to Ontario, California, to check out the, well, not-so-legal races. Driving out to a local strip, Michael planned on checking out the cars at the scene--definitely no plans to do any racing of his own. While changing lanes to pass a slow-moving car he was caught off guard when the other driver decided to pull a U-turn directly in front of him. As what you’d expect, Michael T-boned the hell out of the other car, tearing off his front bumper, passenger-side front fender, and wrecking his brand-new carbon hood. If all that weren’t bad enough, his insurance company blamed him for the accident. Since the car wasn’t driveable and tied up in an investigation by his insurance company, he was forced to return to Arizona carless. Hardly discouraged, he began working extra hours and saving cash to pick up the name brand parts he’d always wanted. He picked things up one at a time, stashing them away for the day his car would come back to him.

Htup 1105 03 o+1994 honda civic cx hatch+passenger side profile Photo 4/9   |   1994 Honda Civic CX Hatch - Trial & Error (and Everything In Between)

Nine painful months of waiting passed and Michael bided his time checking out parts and forums, till one day he stumbled upon an event that would change everything for him: the Eibach Meet. After seeing photos of hatches just like his, Michael decided that he was going to start from scratch--going all out this time. When his car finally came back to him, he got busy installing the stockpile of parts he’d collected. After a full wire tuck, Michael quickly entered his first Eibach meet in 2008.

Htup 1105 04 o+1994 honda civic cx hatch+pulley Photo 5/9   |   1994 Honda Civic CX Hatch - Trial & Error (and Everything In Between)

What he saw there completely blew him away. When I showed up I didn’t have much into my car but I got so many ideas to make my car better, and thought to myself damn, there’s some really cool people in this Honda game.’ The second he got back from Eibach, he started planning out the next phase of his build. With a built motor first, he switched out the suspension and converted to a five-lug setup, along with a few new JDM parts for added spice. But disaster struck again when he tried to tweak his engine at home, beating the hell out of it in the process. Sure enough, the engine gave out and a cracked sleeve was the culprit. Back to square one yet again, he prepared to do whatever was necessary to get back up. Michael decided to switch things up a bit, and sold his turbo kit to pick up a K-series motor with plans for a completely shaved engine bay, void of any wires or visual obstructions. Soon after, it was back to Eibach in 2009 where, not surprisingly, things had changed significantly. Seeing the changes made me feel like I had to keep up, really go bigger and better if I wanted to stay up with the rest of the top dogs, Michael explained. I’m still not done. I’ve got a lot ahead if I want to make my dream car a reality.

While he continues on his never-ending journey to build, destroy, rebuild, and retool nearly everything about the car, Michael’s focused on another goal as well: putting Arizona on the map in the Honda community and inspiring others to do the same. It seems like the best cars come out of Cali, so I wanted to do everything I could for Arizona, he said. People around my town compliment my car and some are just starting out the way I did with my first hatch. I always tell them the same thing: you gotta start somewhere.

Htup 1105 05 o+1994 honda civic cx hatch+tucked engine bay Photo 6/9   |   The engine bay was completely tucked and shaved in order to highlight the K20A2, complete with an ITR crankshaft.

For a guy who started with nothing on three separate occasions, who better to motivate and inspire others than Michael Gonzalez. When disaster struck, he rebuilt--each time a cleaner, better build. With so much dedication, there’s no doubt he’ll help make Arizona a major player in 2011. Watch your back, California--and everyone else; there’s some competition coming your way.

Bolts & Washers

Htup 1105 06 o+1994 honda civic cx hatch+k20a2 Photo 7/9   |   1994 Honda Civic CX Hatch - Trial & Error (and Everything In Between)

K20A2 engine
Hasport K-swapped mounts
Type R crankshaft
Mishimoto radiator
Type R camshafts
RBC intake manifold
Walbro 255 fuel pump
Innovative rail
Steel braided lines and fittings
Edelbrock inline fuel filter
AEM regulator
BWR K-swapped header
3 mandrel-bent muffler with FlowMaster exhaust
NGK spark plugs
6-speed Type S transmission
Karcept short shifter with weighted 6-speed knob
RSX shift box
Centerforce one-off clutch
Centerforce flywheel

Omni Drag coilovers
Omni Drag shocks
ASR antiroll bars
ASR subframe
Full race traction bar
Type S 36mm axles
Energy suspension bushings

Type R discs
Type R calipers
Motul fluid
Custom bent stainless lines
Hawk pads

Wheels & Tires
Work Meister S1 15x7.5 (+42 offset) wheels
Falken Azenis 205/50/15 tires

Htup 1105 07 o+1994 honda civic cx hatch+passenger side rear quarter view Photo 8/9   |   1994 Honda Civic CX Hatch - Trial & Error (and Everything In Between)

VIS carbon-fiber hood
VIS trunk lid
BYS carbon-fiber spoiler
Vision carbon-fiber mirrors
Spoon Sports carbon-fiber lip
’96-00 coupe side skirts
Antenna block off
EG6 headlights and corners
EG6 foglights with carbon-fiber foglight trays
Benen tow hook
EG6 mudflaps
Clear EG6 side markers
JDM SiR decal
Fully shaved engine bay
Full wire tuck
Brake line tuck
Tein hood dampers

EG6 window visors
Miracle X bar
Benen C pillar
OEM Frost White paint
Custom green & gold pearl painted bay
DC2 Recaro 25th anniversary fold down seats
Type R carpet and mats
Kenwood flip out TV deck
Alpine front speakers
Gathers rear speakers
Spec R steering wheel
Hondata Kpro engine management

Props/Shout Outs
Mom and Dad for not giving up hope
My sister and my brother in law
My friends Jesse, Andy, Jake, Alex, Brandon, Evan, Zach, and Joey
Rhett for hooking me up with his connections for this feature
Matt at ICB
JHP and Password:jdm
Local shop RMS
Tim at Exact Dyno
Jim Holleman from Integrity
Speed Star Racing

Owner Specs

Htup 1105 08 o+1994 honda civic cx hatch+asr antiroll bar and subframe Photo 9/9   |   ASR antiroll bar and subframe brace aids in handling under the rear of this ’94 EH.

Favorite Website
nwp4life,, Honda-tech and icbmotorsports

Screen Name Or Nickname
jdmeg6 on NWP and jdmmike on AZHT

Building Hondas For How Long
Since age 16

Your Dream Car
I have my dream carI’m making it a reality

Build Inspiration
Dounut’s clean EH and Spanky’s EH from Phase 2

Current Stable
2000 Civic EM1 daily driver

What’s Playing In Your iPod/CD/MP3 Player Right Now
Rap, of course

Greatest Movie Of All Time Don’t really have a favorite

The Eibach Meet: Check it out.
Referred to by many as the ultimate Honda mecca, The Eibach Meet is one of the biggest and baddest meets in all of California, with hundreds of car owners gathering together to showcase the latest and greatest advances in the Honda world. From super clean shaved bays to outrageous paintjobs, and even full-time track cars on display, Eibach showcases some of the most innovative build concepts around, allowing Honda noobs and veterans alike a chance to check out the best of the best in the ever-evolving community. If seeing some amazing Honda builds in real life is up your alley, be sure to check out The Eibach Meet in May of each year. It’s just like Christmas, and only happens once a year.


Prescott, 86301
Eibach Springs
Corona, CA 92879
Omni Power USA
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
Xact Dyno
Tempe, AZ 85281
By Andy Anderson
22 Articles



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