Somewhere around 47 B.C., Gauis Julius Caesar of the Roman Empire met Pharnaces II of Pontus in a heated battle. The exchange between the two armies was short, with some historians reporting that it lasted no more than four hours. In the end, Caesar walked away the victor, and in his report of the battle back home in Rome, it’s documented that he confidently stated, “Veni, vidi, vici.” Those Latin words translate to a famous saying that has lasted over 2,000 years: I came, I saw, I conquered.
Julius Caesar had a goal, and to achieve that goal he had to assess the task before him, develop a plan of attack, and execute. It’s quite clear that he did just that, yielding a victory in a relatively short period of time. Caleb Wong of Markham, Ontario, Canada, and the buildup of his beautiful ’09 Civic Si conceptually parallel this historical figure and event on many levels.
It starts with the goal. You begin anything you do with the end in mind. If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? For Caleb “the goal was to give the car a unique look and personality while keeping it simple and not overdoing things.” Looking at this gorgeous Civic makes it crystal clear that the goal was reached. The vehicle commands attention through subtlety and carries a look all its own. It’s a testament to the less-is-more mantra. Many enthusiasts these days try way too hard to be unique and stand out among the masses. They overdo even the smallest aspects of their build, and their desperation is evident in the final product. Their vehicle looks exactly like they tried too hard—because they did.
It was late ’08 when Caleb purchased the Si sedan. After four years of ups and downs with his Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V, he finally decided it was time to get rid of that car and get something better. “I ended up picking up this brand-new ’09 Si because of the bang-for-the-buck value and reliability factor,” he states. Although a car enthusiast, Caleb was new to the world of Hondas and at first didn’t know where to start with the vehicle. “I didn’t know exactly what I was getting myself in to when I bought the car.” What he did know was that he wanted to modify the car, and like a general preparing for battle, surveyed the task before him and began to map out what to do and how to go about it. He began by drawing inspiration from various sources. Looking through Option magazines, Google images, and parts catalogs from companies such as J’s Racing and Mugen, Caleb began to formulate his plan of attack for the build. Every general has experienced supporting officers who contribute to the battle plans, and Caleb was no different. “I was fortunate enough to know a fair amount of Honda owners in the area who have put together a lot of nice builds. I was always pointed in the right direction.” With the plan of attack decided upon, he set about executing it.
Within months, the vehicle was fitted with Volk SE37Ks, Spoon brakes, Bride seats, Defi gauges, and some bolt-ons, but the vehicle’s aesthetics were lacking in Caleb’s eyes. He decided very early in the build that he wanted to do a CTR conversion, and as more and more vehicles popped up with it already done, Caleb felt some pressure building. “I knew I had to do a little something extra to make the car special.” The CTR front end with a J’s Racing front lip and air intake ducts, Mugen grille and a strategically paint-matched Seibon hood make for an absolutely killer combination, while the rear CTR conversion coupled with the J’s Racing carbon-fiber rear diffuser stow up the rear beautifully. The OE exhaust does not clear the CTR rear bumper, so a rare Toda Racing FD2-specific cat-back exhaust system was sourced to not only solve that problem but free up a little power and look great at the same time. Caleb felt that a fresh set of rollers were mandatory, so he chose a set of non-staggered SSR Type F wheels sized 18x9 with a +32 offset wrapped with Yokohama Advan Neova AD08 tires. The larger wheel size made the existing front brake setup look far too small, so a much larger, S2000-spec Endless six-piston big brake kit was chosen.
A massive transformation occurred in just three years, sending the vehicle from bone stock to well done to timeless. Caleb’s Si sedan is a prime example of what can be accomplished when individuality, quality parts, and patience in the decision-making process are applied to a build. The end result can do nothing but stand out and stand taller than the rest, even when put up against the top tier of comparable vehicles. It’s proof that a car doesn’t have to be over-the-top to be over the top. He came in to the Honda scene a newbie, saw what was before him and what he wanted to do, and he conquered the task facing him.
If the U.S. Civic sedan and the Japanese Civic Type R sedan were to create a love child, the Acura CSX could very well be the result. The CSX is Acura’s entry-level luxury car exclusively designed for the Canadian market. It’s an interesting mix of the North American model Civic and the Civic Type R from Japan. It has the same taillights and trunk, and although the front headlights take the same shape of the CTR’s headlights, there are subtle differences, such as the presence of an orange reflector. The vehicle debuted to the Canadian market in 2006 with three trim levels available: Touring (base), Premium, and Premium + Navi. The base model was equipped with a K20 versus the U.S. R18-equipped Civic. The Premium trim level came with features such as HID headlights, leather seats, and heated front seats, while the Premium + Navi trim included a bilingual voice-activated navigation system, illuminated steering wheel controls, as well as a digital audio card reader, all clearly giving it a more luxurious feel. A Type S model arrived in 2007, using the same powerplant as the U.S.- and Canadian-market Honda Civic Si, but with extras like leather seating available. The apparent success of the CSX has allowed its continuation and evolution from its debut in 2006 to the present day. We look forward to seeing what Honda/Acura does with this unique vehicle in the future.
Bolts & Washers
Spoon Sports 70mm throttle body
P2R throttle body spacer
FD2 Toda Racing cat-back exhaust system
Ingalls torque damper
Mugen short shifter
JDM valve cover
JDM spark plug cover
Skunk2 Pro-C coilovers
SPC front camber kit
SPC rear camber arms
S2000 Endless 6-pot calipers
S2000 Endless Inch-Up rotors
Endless CC-Rg brake pads
Motul RBF600 brake fluid
Goodridge SS brake lines
CTR brake ducts
Wheels and Tires
SSR Type F, 18x9 +32
Yokohama Advan Neova AD08 225/40-18
Project Kics R40 Neo Chrono lug nuts
CTR front end conversion
J’s Racing front lip
J’s Racing air intake ducts
J’s Racing carbon rear diffuser
Mugen window visors
CTR side skirts
Charge Speed Bottom Line carbon side skirts
CTR rear end conversion
Bride Gias driver seat
Bride Ergo II passenger seat
Buddy Club seat rails
Bride gradation door inserts and center console cover
Personal Neo Grinta steering wheel
J’s Racing quick-release
Works Bell hub
ARC shift knob
JDM start button and hazard switch button
Defi BF oil pressure, oil temperature, water temperature gauges
Defi Control Unit II
Buddy Club spec condenser
Pioneer AVH-P4200 double din head unit
Focal 165V30 front components
JL Audio C2-650X rear speakers
JL Audio 300/4V2 amplifier
Entire Level One crew, Backstage Productions, Advance Powerhouse, Nextmod, Speedstar, KHF, KC Auto, Studio 2.8 Productions, Donavan Griffith, Dave Tormey, Alic Kwan, Vincent Woo, Daniel Wong
Inspiration for This Build
To build a unique-looking car
A new house!