There was a point in the historical timeline of import tuning that the Honda Civic was reviled, a pariah to anyone who gave a damn about the future of the sport. Though the car helped spread the word and served as the silhouette representing an entire generation of gearheads, it became an instant nuisance once anybody and everybody began adoring it. As the industry grew, the Civic grew as its champion. When kids ran out of the DMV, driver's license in hand, they jetted to the nearest used car lot, to cop the latest H-badged two-door they could find. From those jumping on the bandwagon, to those who don't know the difference between an EK and an EF, the Civic was always the car du jour.
Once it garnered the attention of other car manufacturers, big namers like Ford and Dodge decided that they needed to compete, and created a slew of "comparable" cars in an attempt to throw salt into the Civic's game; automotive cock-blocking, but to no avail. And when the Civic's traction turned into a smoky burnout, the aftermarket stepped in, serving a product for every available part of the car: axle to joint to bolt to gas cap cover. With cheaply modded Civics and their doppelgangers roaming the streets, it was easy to hate the iconic car, which made it difficult to own one and actually stand out from the crowd.
Its dominance eventually began to wear off, especially once everybody crowd decided that power to the rear wheels was more intriguing. There were less Civics on the show floors, dwindling features in publications, and the once-movement morphed into a joke. Any braggadocio starting with "My Civic..." would incite laughter. It was seemingly the beginning of the end. Until recently. A quiet resurgence is taking place. Maybe a new generation of tuners is growing up; maybe the old generation is trying to relive the past. Maybe the crappy economy is helping revive this budget-friendly car-who knows? The point is the Civic is back and it can only get better from here. Marc Tindoy's K20-powered JDM-inspired '00 Honda Civic Coupe brings the magic back to where it belongs-the center of the stage. It's weird to say but, damn it, Civic... we missed you.
A product of the Philippines, Marc began his love for Civics in high school. Before he immigrated to the States, Marc and his friends were known in their neighborhood as slick street racers, using their parents' cars to weave in and out of the tiny streets. His hobby soon grew too much for the family whip. He begged his parents for a Civic SiR. "A '00 Honda Civic SiR was my dream car for my graduation," he explains, "But my parents didn't want to get an older model, plus the dealer told my parents that SiRs are too fast." The dream took a backseat until they moved to New Jersey, where Civics grew from trees. Marc bought an EK coupe, registered a username at Honda-Tech.com, and quickly decided that his goal in life was not to have a D16Y8-powered daily driver.
Having stepped into the game so late, he figured that the only way to catch the attention of the tuning community was to build one of the first K20A-powered Civic coupes on the road, with style inspirations from the renowned Japanese parts boutique Spoon Sports.
"At first, I was really aiming to get a hatchback," Marc says, "But, I found out that they were really pricey. Plus, the hatch is all manual, with no power accessories, so I ended up with a Civic EX coupe with power everything." His first mission was to swap out its D16. The options for a replaceable motor were plenty, but Marc decided on the K20A swap; not only the latest trend, but also rare to find one inside a Civic coupe of the day. Once in place, he made sure to adorn it with a Spoon Sports intake, throttle body, exhaust, hoses, radiator cap, drain bolts and more. Its signature yellow valve cover meets the eye as a stamp of pure JDM. Along with a DC Sports header, Aeromotive fuel regulator, and the omnipresent K20A's partner-in-crime Hondata K-pro ECU/fuel management system, the Civic manages to pull svelte 226-horsepower dyno runs all day long.
The exterior and interior of Marc's Civic is an authoritative list in JDM-ology, an unequivocal basis for judgment, standard, and criterion. In the front of the Civic is an early-model Spoon Sports lip, customized to fit the late-model bumper. The side mirrors, tow hooks and rear foglight all come from Spoon Sports. The set of JDM OEM Type R side skirts flanking the car may be overlooked to the untrained eye, but if someone failed to spot the JDM SiR headlights, side markers, grille, foglights, and emblems, their sin against JDM would be unforgivable. The Civic sits atop a set of rare, 16-inch limited edition Volk CE28N wheels. Inside, the cabin contains even more rare JDM pieces; a custom console, pedals, carpet, airbag delete tray, air vent, coinholder... it's hard to imagine this car wasn't shipped directly from Japan. The Spoon Sports cluster and the navigation are just plain works of beauty; a testament to Marc's pursuit to stand out in the details, which is hard when it comes to Civics.
Despite enjoying a late-found re-birth of sorts, being lost in a sea of Civics is still prevalent in 2009. It's really not hard to imagine modifying a Civic, from roof to tire, in a matter of days if not hours. That's why Marc's Civic is so remarkable; rolling proof that the right ways to modify a tried and true import will stand it apart from a sea of poorly hashed out hack jobs. Mark's is not only a game changer, but ranks high among the elite; a Civic above all Civics.
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'00 Honda Civic
Output 226.8 whp @ 8,200 rpm
Engine JDM ITR K20A; Spoon Sports air intake, throttle body, N1 exhaust, valve cover, radiator hoses, engine theme, radiator cap, spark plug cover, oil cap, covers, drain bolts; DC headers; Fluidyne radiator; slim fan, Hondata K-pro ECU; Aeromotive fuel regulator; Walbro 255 LPH fuel pump; BDL Rails fuel rail; full wire tuck
Drivetrain JDM ITR LSD, DC5 axles, shift lever, flywheel; Karcepts shift kit; Exedy stage 1 clutch
Suspension Skunk2 full coilovers, rear lower control arms; Spoon Sports front and rear strut brace, rear lower tie bar; Autopower 4-point roll cage, painted lime green; ETD racing traction bars
Wheels/Tires 16x7 Volk CE28N limited edition wheels; Falken Ziex 205/45-16 tires
Brakes JDM ITR 5-lug conversion; Spoon Sports brake brakes; Russell SS brake lines; Power Slot front and rear rotors; Hawk brakepads; Work Wheels lugnuts
Exterior '96-'98 Spoon Sports front lip modified to fit a '99-'00 bumper, mirrors, decals, two hooks, rear fog; JDM Type R side skirts; Mugen rear spats; VIS carbon fiber hood with color matched hood pins; JDM SiR headlights, side markers, grille, foglights, emblems, window visors; JDM Type R thin moldings;
Interior JDM DC5 Recaro front seats; Takata racing harnesses; OEM DC5 rear seats; JDM Type R carpet, door panels, navigation custom console; pedals, matting, cupholder, ashtray console, airbag delete tray, shiftboot, airvent, coinholder; SiR armrest; OEM DC5 shifter knob
Electronics Spoon Sports EK cluster; Pioneer MP3 head unit, speakers]