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1994 Honda Civic DX - Fortune Favors The Bold

Suspension built to win races, not shows.

Brian McGurk
Sep 20, 2012
Photographer: Faiz Rahman
Htup 1209 01 o+1994 honda civic DX+FAST custom front air dam Photo 1/9   |   1994 Honda Civic DX - Fortune Favors The Bold

Have you ever seen a post on a forum stating, “What coilovers will let me go the lowest?” Well, Fortune Auto never built any of those. It has never bothered tucking tires, and certainly has never looked at cars in a “hellaflush” state of mind. In fact, Fortune Auto Service and Tuning has never modded any of its cars for the sake of hard parking. The only trophies it has ever gunned for are awarded to podium place finishers after an intense Time Attack event. Essentially two sides of the same coin, one side of Fortune builds custom coilovers systems, the other handles the service and tuning duties. Together they’ve built more than one high-priced, high-horsepower Evo competition car and have been quite successful. So what’s with the Civic? The company decided to build a Honda in order to make a point. That with the right suspension and aero bits, a winning race car could be built for cheap…well, relatively cheap.

“We wanted an achievable car for everyone, one that anyone could build and race. We don’t have wind tunnels or huge budgets, and we wanted to show that you don’t need all that to build a winning car,” says Terry of Fortune Automotive when asked about his choice of a Civic platform. This particular hatch spent the last few years serving track duty already. Terry adds, “This car was a Club Racer car for years. It already had a turbo K series in it, which we wanted.” After delivery, Terry from Fortune Auto handed the keys to Matt Purvis, owner of Fortune Auto Service and Tuning, located conveniently right next door. The Honda already had a mild, built K20 setup with Type R camshafts, a ported Type R intake manifold, and an ACT clutch and flywheel setup. It was also rocking a GReddy T517Z street turbo kit. The setup netted a respectable horsepower figure, but after some tuning tweaks, Matt squeezed a solid 330hp out of the two-liter. He then proceeded to tear the interior apart to prep it for Global Time Attack, starting with stitch welding the chassis and installing an Autopower rollcage. Custom mounting brackets for the Sabelt racing harness and Sparco Pro ADV Hans racing seat came next, beyond the necessary safety and monitoring equipment the interior remained completely stripped out.

Htup 1209 12 o+1994 honda civic DX+full auto power cage Photo 2/9   |   1994 Honda Civic DX - Fortune Favors The Bold
2018 Honda Civic
$18,940 Base Model (MSRP) 28/40 MPG Fuel Economy

Being that Fortune is a formidable suspension company, Terry and Matt turned their attention toward the suspension next. Terry states, “We use the car as a rolling R&D center to make better products. We get to try out everything in real life situations, not simulations.” After a long process of trial and error, Terry designed custom Fortune Auto 500 Series coilovers with Swift 60mm springs paired with SRR sway bars front and rear. The tired factory bushings were swapped out for Energy Suspension bushings, and the OEM rear LCAs were replaced with SRR alternatives. While designing the custom coilovers, Terry took into account the new Team Dynamic wheels wrapped in Hoosier slicks as an integral part of the suspension theory. He adds, “We take everything into account when making our coils—tires, intent, brakes, you name it.”

With Terry’s suspension installed, Matt took the reigns again, focusing his attention on the aerodynamics of the vehicle. “You have to go through a lot of failure to get to success; what you see here is the most successful of our previous designs and hours of tweaking.” Starting at the rear, Matt installed an APR GT200 adjustable wing using a custom bracket that he designed. Matt tried to emulate the designs he’d seen on F1 when designing the custom quick-release rear diffuser. “I liked the idea that things were easily removed to access the car. I did that with as much as I could in the Civic.” The front end received the same treatment and more so, being designed around an independent tube frame that could be removed easily, allowing access to the front of the engine compartment. The custom front end features a unique front air dam, one-off canards, custom side dams and a front splitter that mate to the full underbody tray that runs the entire length of the car. What does all that fancy front-end work get you?

Htup 1209 05 o+1994 honda civic DX+FAST one piece quick release front bumper Photo 3/9   |   1994 Honda Civic DX - Fortune Favors The Bold

When the guys ran at the Global Time Attack competition in 2011, they landed a time of 1:13.1, nabbing second place in their class and seventh place overall—a huge feat for a team new to the FWD GT scene. They’re not done by a long shot. Terry and Matt have a list of mods in line for the Civic, including a new drivetrain configuration and more aero tweaking on Matt’s part. They’re always going to stick to their original intent for the car; Terry states, “Aside from taking podiums, we love the ability to test and make a better product for our customers. This car highlights what good suspension and good aero can do for a car. We want to show that anyone can do this.” Matt adds, “That and to look cool!” The coolest thing you can have is your name in the win column. Keep on pushing, Fortune!

Bolts & Washers

Propulsion
OEM Honda K20A2
OEM Honda RSX 6-speed transmission
HaSport engine mount kit
Fluidyne full-size radiator
OEM JDM Type R camshafts
OEM JDM Type R intake manifold
Bosch in-tank fuel pump
RC injectors 720cc
Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator
GReddy T517Z street turbocharger kit
GReddy street turbo manifold
GReddy Type S blow-off valve
Custom intake
Custom side exit turbo back exhaust
Custom modified Civic axles
NGK spark plugs
ACT race clutch
ACT flywheel

Htup 1209 07 o+1994 honda civic DX+turbocharged K20A2 engine Photo 4/9   |   The heart of the Fortune Automotive Civic is a GReddy turbocharged K20.

Suspension
Fortune Auto 500 series coilovers with Amsoil synthetics
Swift Springs 60mm, 14kg front, 18kg rear
SRR sway bars, front and rear
SRR rear lower control arms
Energy Suspension bushings
Skunk2 alignment kits

Resistance
Custom modified Prelude brake rotors
Custom modified Acura Legend calipers
Raybestos brake pads
Castrol SRF brake fluid
Earl’s stainless brake lines

Wheels & Tires
Team Dynamics 15x8
Hoosier R6 slicks, 225/45-15

Exterior
Custom vinyl wrap
FAST custom one-piece quick-release front bumper
FAST custom underbody tray
FAST custom front air dam
FAST custom front splitter
FAST custom canards with end plates
FAST custom side air dams
FAST custom quick-release rear diffuser
FAST custom rear wing mount
APR GT200 rear wing

Htup 1209 14 o+1994 honda civic DX+sparco pro ADV hans seat Photo 8/9   |   1994 Honda Civic DX - Fortune Favors The Bold

Interior
Full Auto power cage
Sparco Pro ADV Hans seat
Sabelt 5-pt harness
Grant 3-spoke steering wheel
Fortune Auto titanium shift knob

Electronics
Hondata K-Pro
Turbo Smart manual boost controller
HKS Type 1 Turbo timer

Props
Reidspeedinc.com for getting us the chassis
Todd Reid for his amazing Yoda driving skills

Owner Specs

Daily grind
Suspension manufacturer and badass race car builder

Htup 1209 02 o+1994 honda civic DX+FAST custom side air dam Photo 9/9   |   1994 Honda Civic DX - Fortune Favors The Bold

Favorite sites
Fortune-auto.com, Reidspeedinc.com

Screen name
None!

Building Hondas
7 years

Dream car
NSX

Inspiration for this build
Building a very capable Time Attack car focusing on suspension and aerodynamics

Future builds
A VQ56 s13

Making Moves

Fortune Automotive started out with a simple concept: make the best coilover suspension they could without cutting any corners. Terry at Fortune spent a long time getting all of the pieces to fall into place. He explains, “A lot of our staff has almost 20 years in the industry and take pride in providing a hand-built, quality product.” The Fortune guys aren’t new to the scene, but they’re not tuning guys. That’s where Matt Purvis, owner of Fortune Automotive Service and Tuning, comes in. “I’ve been doing this since I was 18, and worked with Terry in the past. When it came time to open my own shop, it only made sense to link up.” As a team, Terry and Matt have a few wins under their belt with their big-horsepower Evo, and hope to have the same success in the FWD genre with this Civic. Best of luck!

Sources

Energy Suspension
San Clemente, 92673
888-913-6374
http://www.energysuspension.com
HASport Performance
Phoenix, AZ 85040
602-470-0065
http://www.hasport.com
GReddy
Irvine, CA 92618
949-588-8300
http://www.greddy.com
By Brian McGurk
47 Articles

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