Super Street Network

 |   |  Legends, Defined - Road Rage
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

Legends, Defined - Road Rage

Honda performance—an oxymoronic phrase of sorts if there ever were one.

Aaron Bonk
Sep 30, 2011

Legends. There is perhaps no better word to describe the chosen band of trailblazers who pioneered Honda performance. Their stories date back to the mid-1970s, to a time when Honda the motorcycle company was wholeheartedly transforming itself into Honda the car company. Honda performance—an oxymoronic phrase of sorts if there ever were one—was insignificant but to a few just 30 years ago. The following decade and a Honda Civic that enthusiasts actually began to care about initiated the modern Honda performance movement. By the early 1990s, Southern Californian tuning shops with ties to the motherland and that catered to the Honda brand sprouted, greater Los Angeles industrial parks played host to dramatic, high-dollar street-racing spectacles, and a host of shows and organized drag racing events—predominantly Honda by nature—began to develop.

Htup 1110 01+ledgends defined road rage+aaron bonk Photo 2/2   |   Legends, Defined - Road Rage

They say that credit must be given where credit’s due. It’s time to pay homage to those who’ve laid down the figurative patches of rubber for Honda performance as we know it. Beginning this issue, I’ll reveal their stories, their contributions—one by one, month by month. And what these legends have to say, well, it just might surprise you. Some of them you may have heard of. Most you likely haven’t. Some of them have been interviewed before. Most haven’t. You’d do well to follow their stories.

It’s no secret that I’m quick to discredit most who lay claim to the “old-school” pseudonym. Indeed, I’ve yet to stumble across an online “old-school” photo thread that deserves its namesake. Make no mistake—the legends you’re about to learn of deserve their titles if not define them. Some date back to a time when I first began tinkering with the Honda brand nearly 20 years ago. Others can be traced to the mid-1970s—before I was born. Some are acquaintances, former colleagues, even friends. Others are—despite the fact that I along with them have lived and breathed Honda passion for the better part of two decades—strangers. These interviews mark our and, incidentally, your introduction to one another.

Close your web browser because you won’t find their stories on the Internet. Yet. Online usernames among those we’ve interviewed are few. Do you really think you know who did the first Honda engine swap? Do you really think you know who was the first to ditch their factory ECU for a stand-alone system? What about the first nitrous kit? The first built Honda engine? Who’s really responsible for that, or for getting those predominantly domestic parts manufacturers to take an interest in Honda-specific forged pistons and rods? What about Honda drag racing? How exactly did it segue from the streets to the track? It’s time to tell their stories. It’s time to redefine old school.

They say that credit must be given where credit’s due. It’s time to pay homage to those who’ve laid down the figurative patches of rubber for Honda performance as we know it.

By Aaron Bonk
411 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE FEATURES

The production version of Nissan's 700hp. million dollar-plus GT-R50 by Italdesign stays true to the concept
Kelly PleskotDec 7, 2018
Toyota will debut the Supra at the Detroit auto show, and it turns out Lexus has a treat for us as well
Kelly PleskotDec 6, 2018
Marcel Lech used to think 450 hp was all he needed to enjoy his Supra. Instead, he ended up with nearly 1,000 hp that, at best, gets used, weather permitting, only a few of days and just 2 seasons out of the year.
Aaron BonkDec 6, 2018
The Regera-based Koenigsegg Naked Carbon is said to be impervious to weather and less likely to pick up rock chips, as well as being 44 lbs. lighter than the painted version.
Collin WoodardDec 6, 2018
A hot front-wheel-drive, turbocharged hatch that comes with the right kind of balance: not as "grown up" as a VW GTI, but not as aesthetically loud as a Civic Type R.
Austin LottDec 5, 2018
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP