Tim Schultz cares more about what kind of cereal he’ll eat two weeks from next Thursday than what you think about his car. The forum notoriety, the Facebook album posts, the magazine spreads, they’re all just byproducts of a ’97 Civic CX hatchback that Schultz just so happened to pour his heart and soul into. And most of his money.
The paint and body shop that hasn’t grasped the concept of answering the phone, the tuner who’s convinced himself that Paul will someday pay Peter back, the mechanic who’d do his customers well were he to never touch a wrench again these are all life experiences Schultz withdrew himself from once he embarked on his path solo, and chose to build up his Civic without outside help. Being a jack-of-all-trades for longtime Honda swap and performance parts manufacturer Hybrid Racing, instead of having the appropriate connections, likely had nothing to do with Schultz’s path of solitude. He’ll tell you that it’s more about the pride that swells up inside of him: I built this car from the ground up. In my garage. By myself.
Not unlike storied tales of how long-forgotten, almost-fabled mid-’60s Mustang fastbacks or later Chevelle Super Sports are found stashed within storage sheds hidden throughout the cracks of the Midwest, Schultz zeroed in on his Civic from its original owner not but five years ago, buried within the pastures of the Bluegrass State of Kentucky. Although not as well kept as the seller’s photos would’ve led him to believe, the 4-hour drive had been made and Schultz was in no mind to return empty-handed. Predictable body damage gave Schultz the necessary leverage to strike a deal that wouldn’t lead to regret halfway home. The car’s initial modifications remained simple, expected: coilovers, multiple sets of rims and, later, a paintjob and a 2.0-liter B-series swap. The mods fell short of exciting for Schultz and, to be sure, were anything but unexpected, which is precisely what makes the following turn of events all the more poignant. Says Schultz: Little did I know that the car was going to change my life. Life altering it was.
Such monumental changes weren’t even blips on Schultz’s mental radar yet. I never intended for the car to be like this, he says as he puts into words the original build blueprint’s simplicity, which began with a simple paintjob and ended with a relatively stock B-series engine with little to fill in the gaps. To be sure, Schultz never even had his sights set on working for a company like Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Hybrid Racing either. I never dreamed of working in the industry, he says. Raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Schultz was content with his car’s current state, his job, and his life.
The mellow Music City native admits that he’d always wanted to put together a car from the ground upa Civic hatchback to be specific. Unsatisfied with routine bolt-ons, Schultz, along with friends, tore into the chassis just months after purchasing it, prepping it for paint and a future engine transplant. As is often the case, funds became scarce, which prompted Schultz to make use of the Honda CRV Green Tea Metallic paint that had been lying in wait for a previous project. Once money began trickling back in thanks to the sale of miscellaneous parts, Schultz replaced the damaged body panels and collected the necessary parts. It had been six months since he’d stripped the hatchback and rendered it useless until he and his father finally reconvened under its hood. The Schultz family patriarch bent, fitted, and tucked each of the Civic’s brake lines in such a manner that’d make even seasoned engine bay pros second-guess their own techniques. The remainder of the assembly process went together as you’d expect.
As is often the case with fate, Schultz had little say in the matter. After a chance encounter with Hybrid Racing personnel at the now-renowned Import Alliance summer meet, Schultz left that day with a line on a new job and the urge for a K-series swap despite his sense of being out of the loop as far as K transplants were concerned. Hybrid Racing’s courtship with Schultz began shortly thereafter, as did his soon-to-be employer’s willingness to share the information he needed to ditch the B-series and step up to a K. With the idea to yet again transplant a new mill into the Civic finalized, Schultz’s original blueprint was all but null. An RSX Type-S engine later found its rightful place under the hood with help from Hybrid Racing mounts and shifter goodies. Today, the semi-daily driven hatchback measures in at 215 hp with help from a Karcepts cold-air intake, an RBC intake manifold, and exhaust components from Skunk2. It isn’t much, but the Hondata K-Pro ensures that each bolt-on reveals its full potential and is good for consistent 13.8-second passes down the quarter-mile.
After three-and-a-half years, Schultz’s hatchback hasn’t earned him any sort of trophy. There are no plaques, no awards displayed throughout his apartment. Don’t assume that Schultz cares either, because he doesn’t. This car’s been built on hopes and dreams, not for any person or award, he says. All I ever wanted out of it was for my friends to see what went into it. The satisfaction of building it myself means more than any trophy ever could.
This car’s been built on hopes and dreams, not for any person or award, he says. All I ever wanted out of it was for my friends to see what went into it. The satisfaction of building it myself means more than any trophy ever could.
One Thing Leads to Another
Bolts & Washers
Hybrid Racing engine mounts
Karcepts cold-air intake
RBC Civic Si intake manifold
MagnaFlow catalytic converter
Skunk2 MegaPower exhaust
Karcepts A/C & power steering delete kit
Buddy Club oil cap
Walbro 255-lph fuel pump
Hybrid Racing fuel lines and fittings
Hybrid Racing fuel filter
Hybrid Racing fuel rail
AEM fuel pressure regulator
Chase Bays engine harness
Hybrid Racing conversion harness
Hondata K-Pro engine management
Hybrid Racing half-size radiator
Hybrid Racing radiator hoses
Hybrid Racing shifter box
Hybrid Racing shifter cables
S2000 clutch master cylinder
Hybrid Racing clutch line
Competition Clutch Stage 4 clutch
Competition Clutch lightweight flywheel
Driveshaft Shop Level 2.9 axles
PIC Performance Select coilovers
Buddy Club front camber kit
Comptech rear subframe brace
PIC Performance RR rear lower control arms
’92-’95 Civic front subframe
EK9 Civic Type R brake conversion
EM1 Civic Si brake master cylinder
EM1 Civic Si brake booster
Wheels & Tires
16x7 Volk CE28N (+42 offset)
205/45-16 Nitto Neo Gen
Green Tea Metallic paint
Mugen front spoiler
Bomex rear spoiler
EK9 Civic Type R mirrors
EK9 Civic Type R door moldings
EK4 Civic SiR headlights
Bride Low Max seat (driver)
DC2 Integra Type R seat (passenger)
Personal Neo Grinta steering wheel
Momo hub adapter
NRG Innovations quick-release adapter
EK9 Civic Type R gauge cluster
Hybrid Racing shift knob
Hybrid Racing shifter
Custom door panel inserts
Grandpa, parents, God, Hybrid Racing family, Drnek, Mike at Track.One, Thomas, Drew N., Eli, Garrett, Nick, Nac, Matt T., Chris V., Dav, Aaron
Screen Name or Nickname
Building Hondas for How Long
Your Dream Car
’96 Civic CX
What’s Playing In Your iPod/CD/ MP3 Player Right Now
Greatest Movie of All Time
One Thing Leads to Another
As Tim Schultz packed his bags for the short drive to the 2009 Import Alliance summer meet in Nashville, Tennessee, thoughts of life-altering career changes and gnarly K-series engine swaps he did not have. On a chance encounter, Schultz’s impressive photography equipment caught the eye of vendor Hybrid Racing’s personnel, who later asked if he’d be interested in shooting the company’s Del Sol on site. Schultz complied, and the innocent photo shoot soon led to him cutting vinyl remotely from his Nashville sticker business for the Louisiana-based company and later talk of a possible sponsorship. And when Schultz found out that the growing Honda-based company was looking to add to its sales team, talks between the owner and him immediately commenced for several days. A month went by until the company officially welcomed Schultz aboard its sales and marketing team. The Nashville native soon after relocated and has been gainfully employed at Hybrid Racing for more than a year.
He’ll tell you that it’s more about the pride that swells up inside of him as he says I built this car from the ground-up. In my garage. By myself.