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1995 Honda Civic CX - Small-Town Hero

A Civic that’s got all you’d expect from where you’d least expect it.

Aaron Bonk
Mar 22, 2011
Photographer: Sean Bradford

Ben Torres '95 Civic CX
A shabby flatbed pickup traipses along Alabama’s Interstate 65 at the height of midday traffic, through rural Millbrook, past its veritable landmark, a Walmart Super Center that looms as a reminder of the city’s unofficial arrival, until finally, after just three turnoffs, Millbrook is but a spot in its dangling rearview mirror. Miles away from tuning shops with any sensibilities of VTEC, engine swaps, or the K-series movement lies the humble crossroads that is Millbrook--the last place you’d expect Ben Torres’ Goldy to hail from, and yet, at the same time, the only place.

Htup 1105 01 o+1995 honda civic cx+driver side front view Photo 2/11   |   1995 Honda Civic CX - Small-Town Hero

The bad thing about towns as small as Millbrook is the lack of like-minded Honda heads. The good thing about towns as small as Millbrook is the lack of like-minded Honda heads. Turns out that what the city lacks in terms of performance and tuning services, local meets, and overall camaraderie more urban locales share, it makes up for in more ways than one, like the simple fact that Ben’s then-daily driven ’95 Civic CX retires peacefully in its own driveway each night. And it does so without so much as a bead of sweat trailing from its owner’s brow. The truth is, thievery and nefarious ways of the Honda variety are problems seldom experienced in these parts. Ben has since moved on, though--his current digs within Atlanta’s suburbs, a place where he’s understandably not quite as comfortable leaving his hatchback so vulnerable at night, what with its genuine, Mugen M7 wheels--the one mod Ben admits is among his most prized possessions.

2018 Honda Civic
$18,940 Base Model (MSRP) 28/40 MPG Fuel Economy

Like much of Ben’s build, the once-rare Japanese wheels are a product of the 24-year-old’s determination to have what he perceived to be the best of the best. As such, Ben conditioned himself to manage three jobs, working more than 80 hours a week to fund the $20,000 money pit that he so endearingly refers to as Goldy. Dining out, going to the movies--these are things Ben painstakingly trained to forget about. I wanted to prove that you don’t have to be baller-status’ to afford good parts, he says.

Htup 1105 02 o+1995 honda civic cx+momo prototip steering wheel Photo 3/11   |   1995 Honda Civic CX - Small-Town Hero

What few hours in the day were left after swiping his time card at the greater-Montgomery area’s local heating and air-conditioning company, followed by busing tables, and pumping gas, Ben spent tending to Goldy. The hours were arguably well spent, though. Ben says that this particular Civic is his sixth or seventh and that B-series engines are nothing new to him. It’s no surprise then that he wanted to do Goldy justice. Like many successful Honda projects, Ben was determined for his to be well-rounded. The story begins with a complete color change courtesy of the Lexus IS 300 color palette. I’ve never owned a good-looking car, he says in an unapologetic, matter-of-fact sort of way. I wanted to build something good that supports the scene I love.

Sentimentalities aside, Ben was also interested in more power. A B16A changeover and limited-slip gearbox were sourced along with Innovative engine mounts, an RMF header, and a Skunk2 intake manifold.

Let’s face it, thoughit’s Goldy’s exterior that made you stop and stare. Complementing the Subulba Gold Metallic hue is a color-matched Back Yard Special front spoiler juxtaposed by a carbon-Kevlar rear duckbill. The modifications are simple, but are enough to guarantee that others acknowledge them. The whole well-rounded agenda is further promoted with Wilwood six-pot brakes up front, D2 coilovers all around, and a Hondata S300 engine management system that helps squeak out those last few horsepower that, alone, Honda’s ECU couldn’t.

Htup 1105 03 o+1995 honda civic cx+passenger side rear view Photo 4/11   |   1995 Honda Civic CX - Small-Town Hero

You might think that living so far removed from where the majority of Hondaphiles hail would otherwise prohibit such a builda place where backwoods street racing replaces, well, street racing. Ben will tell you otherwise. The Millbrook and surrounding parts scene is small, discouraging at times, he says, but it’s those shortcomings that afforded Ben the motivation he needed, all but forcing him to work on Goldy himself and in a timely manner. And work on it himself he has. Save for the paintjob and stroking the keyboard to tune with the Hondata S300, Ben’s had his hands in every aspect of the build.

Millbrook is small so much so that Craigslist doesn’t even acknowledge it. Somehow, though, Ben’s proven that where you’re from mustn’t always be associated with the caliber of what you drive. East vs. West. I don’t really even care about any of that, Ben says of the often silly, geographically centric arguments that unfold online. I live on the East Coast, I built my car in the South, and I share the same mind-set as a lot of those from SoCal. A geographic renaissance man? Not so much. Just a guy with a car named Goldy.

Htup 1105 04 o+1995 honda civic cx+shift boot Photo 5/11   |   1995 Honda Civic CX - Small-Town Hero

Millbrook is small so much so that Craigslist doesn’t even acknowledge it. Somehow, though, Ben’s proven that where you’re from mustn’t always be associated with the caliber of what you drive. East vs. West. I don’t really even care about any of that surrounding parts scene is small, discouraging at times, he says, but it’s those shortcomings that afforded Ben the motivation he needed, all but forcing him to work on Goldy himself and in a timely manner. And work on it himself he has. Save for the paintjob and stroking the keyboard to tune with the Hondata S300, Ben’s had his hands in every aspect of the build.

Millbrook is small so much so that Craigslist doesn’t even acknowledge it. Somehow, though, Ben’s proven that where you’re from mustn’t always be associated with the caliber of what you drive. East vs. West. I don’t really even care about any of that, Ben says of the often silly, geographically centric arguments that unfold online. I live on the East Coast, I built my car in the South, and I share the same mind-set as a lot of those from SoCal. A geographic renaissance man? Not so much. Just a guy with a car named Goldy.

Bolts & Washers

Htup 1105 08 o+1995 honda civic cx+passenger side profile Photo 9/11   |   Clean, simple, functional. Three words that best describe BLT’s pride and joy.

Propulsion
JDM B16A engine
Innovative engine mounts
Go-Autoworks intake
Go-Autoworks velocity stack
Skunk2 68mm throttle body
Skunk2 intake manifold
Skunk2 oil cap
RMF header
A’PEXi World Sport B-pipe
Benen fuel rail
Rywire fuel line kit
Rywire fuel filter
B&M fuel pressure regulator
Walbro 255-lph fuel pump
NGK spark plug wires
Hondata S300 engine management
Mishimoto DC2-spec radiator
SamcoSport radiator hoses
Skunk2 radiator cap
Exedy Stage Three clutch

Stance
D2 Racing coilovers
DC2 ITR rear antisway bar
Beaks antisway bar bushings
Skunk2 front camber kit
Skunk2 rear camber kit
Carbing rear tie bar
Function7 rear lower control arms

Resistance
Wilwood 11.2-inch rotors (front)
Wilwood pads (front)
Wilwood 6-piston calipers (front)
Goodridge steel braided lines
Wheels & Tires
16x7 Mugen M7 (+50 offset)
205/40-16 BFGoodrich KDW (front)
205/40-16 Falken Azenis (rear)

Exterior
Subulba Gold Metallic paint
Back Yard Special front spoiler
Spoon-style carbon-Kevlar rear spoiler

Htup 1105 09 o+1995 honda civic cx+eg6 sir gauge cluster Photo 10/11   |   1995 Honda Civic CX - Small-Town Hero

Interior
Mugen S1 bucket seat with S1R rear cover
EG6 SiR gauge cluster
Momo Prototipo steering wheel
Momo steering hub
Mugen shift knob
DC2 ITR shift boot
Password:JDM carbon-Kevlar airbag delete
Kenwood head unit

Props
The Lord
My mother
My brothers Shonn and Josh
My NWP homies
Ryan at Rywire
Mike at JDMspeedworx
Greg at Go-Autoworks
Matt at ICB Motorsport
Aaron Bonk
My ex-wife, for letting me focus on what’s more important (lol)

Owner Specs

Htup 1105 10 o+1995 honda civic cx+mugen m7 wheels Photo 11/11   |   1995 Honda Civic CX - Small-Town Hero

Favorite Website
www.nwp4life.com

Screen Name or Nickname
Baconlettucetomato

Building Hondas for How Long
Seven years

Your Dream Car
NSX-R

Build Inspiration
Mike G’s Tank

Current Stable
Just Goldy

What’s Playing In Your iPod/CD/MP3 Player Right Now
Lil Wayne

Greatest Movie of All Time
Pulp Fiction

The Economics of Honda’s B16A
Once considered among the most expensive engine changeovers in a wrecking yard’s stash, B16A engines, transmissions, and accompanying electronics have ridden the wave of economic ups and downs like no other. Not long after the B16A3’s arrival to America under the guise of the ’94 del Sol VTEC did older, pre-OBD versions begin to arrive from Asia. Despite their being relatively new engines, the del Sol’s B16A3 fared no better than likeminded Mazda, Nissan, or Toyota four-cylinders--about $2,000 for a complete changeover. But then the swap phenomenon began. Prices rose accordingly, as high as $4,000, until 1.8L engines gained prevalence, which inadvertently reduced the cost of the average B16A by more than $1,000. Prices remained consistent until H22A swaps began to regularly surface in 1997. Once again, 1.6L B-series costs shrank as H22As now demanded premiums. H-series swaps never quite took off the way anyone expected, though, which drove all B-series prices back up again. A few years later Honda released its K-series lineup. As you’d expect, B16A prices dropped yet again. Today, though, B16A prices remain steady--slightly inflated perhaps, and not nearly as inexpensive as they once were--as enthusiasts continue to look for simpler, more cost-effective--not to mention more efficient--ways to fly under Big Brother’s radar.

Sources

Mishimoto
Wilmington, DE 19803
877-466-4744
http://www.mishimoto.com
Innovative Mounts
Placentia, CA 92870
714-524-5246
http://www.innovativemounts.com
Wilwood Brakes
Camarillo, CA 93012
805-388-1188
www.wilwood.com
Rywire
Garden Grove, CA 92843
240-479-9473
http://www.rywire.com
By Aaron Bonk
405 Articles

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