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1995 Honda Civic DX - Going Legit

A near-death experience refocuses one man’s sights from the street to the track.

Aaron Bonk
May 14, 2012
Photographer: Henry Z. DeKuyper
Htup 1206 01+1995 honda civic DX+custom jimenez racing fiberglass front end Photo 1/10   |   1995 Honda Civic DX - Going Legit

For Jose Jimenez, that day in late 2006 began much like any other day—one with little fanfare, one with little reason to believe that anything out of the ordinary might occur. And for Jose Jimenez, that night in late 2006 began much like any other—one where he’d sneak away from his parents’ home as he often did and show face at the nearby street races. Well-known, Jimenez was—a crowd favorite. His 350 whp, turbocharged Integra earned him that reputation quickly. At just 16, Jimenez came hard, conquering most who’d challenge him, including street racing veterans a decade his senior. Respect came quickly.

The weather that night was perfect. It was the kind of weather that begs for throttles to be stabbed into floorboards, the kind of weather that allows machines like Jimenez’s Integra to operate about as efficiently as possible. The weather remained partial not just to Jimenez’s cause, though, and soon enough he was being called out by multiple parties, including a 600hp Subaru STi and a beefed-up Suzuki GSX-R750. “That’s when the real fun began,” Jimenez recounts of that night. His nervousness he doesn’t deny, nor the fact that he’d never raced a bike. Jimenez gave the boost controller a few extra clicks and went heads up against the Suzuki from a 40-mph rolling start. “I brake boosted my car like there was no tomorrow and jumped on him like a kid running from his parents before getting spanked,” he says. “I go through second, third, and fourth gear, and I can see myself pulling away. But I wanted to embarrass him, so I put it in fifth and kept on going.” Jimenez surmises that he was traveling upwards of 170 mph when he hit the small dip—a dip that would likely go unnoticed at reasonable speeds. In a heartbeat the Integra was airborne. Jimenez lost control. A pinball-like scenario began to play out, one where the 16-year-old driver and his Integra careened against highway-side barricades in the midst of multiple 360-degree spinouts. He awoke in a hospital bed, suffering physical harm little more than bruised ribs and minor scratches from shattered glass, but emotional harm that time has yet to heal. “That was it for me, and I’m blessed to still be here,” he says. “I kissed the street racing game goodbye and began my quest for a fast track car.”

Htup 1206 02+1995 honda civic dx+weld racing magnum series wheels Photo 2/10   |   Weld Racing wheels wrapped in 26x10 Mickey Thompsons on duty to pull the business end of over 1,000hp.
2018 Honda Civic
$18,940 Base Model (MSRP) 28/40 MPG Fuel Economy

Only one thought went through Jimenez’s head after his first pass at a legitimate race track: “Why wasn’t I doing this in the first place?” It was a feeling he’d never experienced. “I was nervous, sweating like I was doing something wrong. I felt a rush like no other,” he adds.

Needless to say, the transition from the street to the track didn’t happen seamlessly. At the behest of his father, Jose Jimenez Sr.—today an instrumental part of Jimenez’s team—he purchased a ’95 Civic hatchback that would later serve as a dedicated track specimen. Still in high school, Jimenez did his homework, spent the money, and has since logged more than 4,500 hours into his build. And when we say “build,” we mean it.

Jimenez’s FWD Outlaw sled is no show-going, parking lot-bound trailer queen that self-qualifies itself as “built” by throwing on a set of 20-year-old rims, a lip, and a strut bar. At its heart lies a 2.0L, turbocharged B18C1 feeding off of a Precision Turbo T4 PT7285 turbocharger good for 1,016 whp. Yes, that’s 1,016, which is good enough for Jimenez’s current best of 8.90 seconds at 170 mph. The turbocharger is accompanied by a dual-core, Garrett liquid-to-air intercooler and bypass valves from TiAL. Golden Eagle is responsible for strengthening the bottom end and ultimately bumping up its displacement with its 84.5mm sleeves that are filled with 10.5:1 CP Racing pistons and Manley connecting rods. Ferrea valvetrain, designed to work with the Web Cam roller rocker camshafts, and a cylinder head modified to Jimenez’s specifications round out the engine modifications. Jimenez then called upon renowned domestic parts manufacturers Mark Williams Enterprises, Weld Racing, and Mickey Thompson to help lay the power down effectively. Recognized as the leader in drag racing driveline components, the Mark Williams spool and axles ensure that every last bit of torque that the Liberty dog box transmits through its gears gets used up and properly applied to the pavement through his Weld Racing rims and 26x10-inch Mickey Thompson slicks.

Htup 1206 07+1995 honda civic DX+BMC racing intake manifold Photo 6/10   |   High flow, monster power, and gorgeous welds—must be BMC.

Inside, a 10-point rollcage surrounds Jimenez and is accompanied by other safety mechanisms, like a Stroud window net and Stroud five-point harness strapped around a Corbeau FX1 Pro seat. Within arm’s reach of the driver rests Jimenez’s engine management system of choice—a Pro EFI Pro128 control box—and a fully functioning Pioneer head unit—the only one you’re likely to see in a full-blown FWD Outlaw car like Jimenez’s. “Since this is a so-called ‘street car,’ why not have a working radio?” he says. “I listen to it in the staging lanes to calm my nerves, but as soon as I approach the burnout box, I turn it off and I’m all dialed in.”

Htup 1206 10+1995 honda civic DX+arc model 4000 control panel Photo 7/10   |   1995 Honda Civic DX - Going Legit

Some might argue that the Honda performance industry’s roots were laid as firmly as they have been and exist today because of the golden age of street racing. It’s difficult to argue against the impact that late-night, industrial park drag racing had on Honda performance, but perspectives change when you’re the one being wheeled into the emergency room. “Just stop and think about what could happen with your life and to others,” Jimenez warns. “I’m thankful that I’m still alive.”

Bolts & Washers

Propulsion
2.0L B18C1 engine
Avid Racing Pro Series engine mounts
Wizards of NOS direct-port dry nitrous system
Precision Turbo T4 PT7285 turbocharger
Garrett liquid-to-air intercooler cores (2)
Custom intercooler piping
Vibrant Performance V-band clamps
Vibrant Performance Vanjen clamps
Accufab 90mm throttle body
BMC Racing Products intake manifold
TiAL BV 50mm blow-off valve
Full-Race Motorsports twin-scroll exhaust manifold
TiAL 44mm MV-R wastegates (2)
Custom 4-inch SSA Race Technologies up-pipe
Custom SSA Race Technologies dump tubes
Golden Eagle 84.5mm sleeves
Golden Eagle O-ringed deck
CP Racing 10.5:1 pistons
Manley Performance Turbo Tuff rods
Non-VTEC B-series crankshaft, coated, knife-edged
ACL Race engine bearings
Custom Web Racing camshafts
Jose Jimenez–spec cylinder head
Ferrea valves
Ferrea valvesprings
Ferrea retainers
Ferrea roller rocker arms
Fuel Injector Clinic 1,000cc/min, 2,150 cc/min fuel injectors
Custom BMC Racing Products fuel rail
Jegs AN fittings and Fast-Turbo lines
Aeromotive Pro Series, SS Series fuel filters
Weldon A2047 fuel pressure regulator
Weldon 2345-A fuel pump
Custom SSA Race Technologies 6-gallon fuel cell
Custom aluminum radiator, Bell intercooler core
Jegs -16 AN fittings and Fast-Turbo radiator lines
M&W Pro-Drag4 ignition
Honda CBR coils
T1 Race Development ignition coil harness
Liberty 4-speed dogbox transmission
G-Force shifter
T1 Race Development shifter kit
Mark Williams Enterprises spool
Tilton carbon clutch
Tilton lightweight flywheel
Mark Williams Enterprises axles
Pro EFI Pro128 engine management
Pro EFI Pro boost controller
Racepak datalogger

Htup 1206 05+1995 honda civic DX+B18C1 engine Photo 8/10   |   Clean enough to eat off of, yet powerful enough to break the 8-second mark.

Power
1,016 whp

Htup 1206 09+1995 honda civic DX+fuel cell Photo 9/10   |   1995 Honda Civic DX - Going Legit

Suspension
Custom Strange Engineering coilovers
front BC Racing coilovers
rear Avid Racing traction bar

Resistance
Mark Williams Enterprises brake system

Wheels & Tires
Front: 15x10 Weld Racing Magnum Series and 26x10 Mickey Thompson tires
Rear: 15x3.5 Weld Racing Magnum Series and 24.5x3.5 Mickey Thompson tires

Exterior
Custom Jimenez Racing fiberglass front end
VIS carbon-fiber hood
VIS carbon-fiber rear trunk lid
Custom aluminum rear wing
Golden Eagle rear bumper diffuser
Stroud parachute
Custom belly pan
Custom Jimenez Racing aluminum “Texas” plate, for up-pipe

Interior
10-pt chromoly rollcage
Corbeau FX1 Pro seat
Stroud 5-pt harness
Stroud window net
Pioneer head unit
NRG Innovations Race Series steering wheel

Props
Family: my inspiration. Father: backbone of the project. Cristel S.: best friend and supporter. Chris Chang and crew: SSA Race Technologies. Fuel Injector Clinic, Wizards of NOS, Chris Delgado: Bugermass, BMC Race Products, Huy Tran: Inline Racing, Jeff and Crew: Westside Performance Machine Inc., ASAA Racing, Charlie: CNS Custom Works, Redline Graphics, 360 Graphics, Alexander “Sheepey” Soto: Web Cam Inc., Aaron Lopez and crew: the Few h22 Crew, Ahobbs Racing, Turbo Elements, Avid Racing, Reno Chum: Advance Garage, Charles Perry: Chuck P. Motorsports, Tony Palo: T1 Race Development, Christopher Miller: Chris Miller Racing, Dave Zientara, Aldo Mireles: The beginning

Owner Specs

Daily Grind
Owner/partner Houston Painting Contractors (family business)

Htup 1206 04+1995 honda civic DX+golden eagle rear diffuser Photo 10/10   |   1995 Honda Civic DX - Going Legit

Favorite Site
facebook.com/jimenezracing

Screen Name / Nickname
htx_jr.95eg / Texas

Building Hondas
Since I was 13, and I’m 22 now, so figure it out

Dream Car
NHRA Pro Stock race car

Inspiration for this Build
To race against the biggest names in the industry and beat them

Future Build
Twin-turbo, daily driven 1,000hp Chevy Silverado short bed

The Sidekick

Following the accident, sending his son off to the dragstrip in a 170-mph Civic wasn’t exactly priority-one for Jose Jimenez Sr. But, as his son puts it, “My father knew I would not completely give this up, so we talked and agreed that I would only race on the track and not in the streets.” Soon after, father and son set out to build a car that would be as safe as it would be fast, and Jimenez Sr. has gone on to serve not just as an integral part of the team’s operation, but as his son’s inspiration. “He has always instilled in me the fact that anything is possible if you really apply yourself,” Jimenez says. “He’s been instrumental in allowing me to realize my dream. He’s always there to lend a hand in the shop, on the track, and on the road. He’s my biggest supporter.” Jimenez tells us his father isn’t the most technically savvy, but he’s learning as the car and the team progresses. “It’s always a learning experience,” Jimenez says. “As far as the track goes, though, he is one of the important ones who gets everything ready before the car makes another trip down the track. This old man looks like a kid running around at the public park!”

Sources

Ferrea Racing Components
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
888-733-2505
http://www.ferrea.com
Garrett Turbo
Denver, CO 80216
800-822-4332
http://www.turbobygarrett.com
Precision Turbo & Engine
Hebron, IN 46341
219-996-7832
www.precisionturbo.net
Golden Eagle Manufacturing
San Dimas, CA 91773
909-592-4311
http://www.goldeneaglemfg.com
By Aaron Bonk
405 Articles

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