Honda has built something like 19.4 million Civics. So that's 19.4 million chances to get some groceries. Or, looking at it the Import Tuner way, 19.4 million opportunities to create something unique. Every little cookie from that giant cutter can be fashioned into so many different visions.
This is Andre Bourne's vision, a key to his identity: a '93 EH2 model in Milano Red, converted to right-hand drive, and given a K20A2 swap from an RSX Type-S. Bourne first bought the car as a rolling shell, built it loosely to stock specs and used it for transport around Miami. Then he grew bored and gave himself an ultimatum: to build his idea of a dream Honda-one that could hold its own on the street, be quick around a track, and look good enough for shows and magazine features. In other words, to achieve Civic supremacy.
Bourne admits to having gone through several motors. But we must assume he is fairly happy with the one currently secured on Hybrid Racing engine mounts in his bay, judging by the RBC intake manifold and P2R throttle body adapter, and extensive fuel-delivery system he's prepared for it-consisting of a Walbro 255 lph fuel pump, Hybrid Racing fuel rail, Russell Performance inline filter, Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator, Marshall liquid-filled pressure gauge, and soon-to-be upgraded injectors. Could someone be planning a little forced induction in the coming months? If so, the car's custom Rywire harness should be a little easier to navigate around, while installing the goods.
Bourne likes a touch of relocation, too, shifting the homes of the radiator, power steering and air conditioning units with kits from K-Tuned. In this instance, the radiator is topped off with a Cusco cap and augmented by a Summit Racing aluminum overflow tank. Bourne has also taken the valve cover and had it custom powdercoated in white. On the exhaust side, a modified DC Sports 4:2:1 TSX header (shortened to fit) goes into a Magnaflow exhaust.
Neither is Bourne averse to looking elsewhere in the Honda/Acura range for parts, hence his use of a DC5 Integra Type R crank pulley and Civic Type R ECU. A look further along the driveline reveals axles from a base-model RSX, used with the K20A2's original six-speed transmission, upgraded with a Karcepts shift box. Such work is rarely carried out in solitude, and Bourne's right-hand man during the installation of nearly all go-fast bits was Carlos Silva of Label One Garage, in Plantation, FL.
To any car that needs to hold up to brutal street driving and occasional track use, a solid, reliable and adjustable suspension is a must-have item. Fitting that description is the set of aluminum-bodied, fully adjustable KSport coilovers at each corner of Bourne's EG, joined by a Skunk2 front camber kit, Ingalls rear camber kit, Blox adjustable endlinks, and OEM DC2 sway bars-an Integra GSR piece in the front, and Type R 24mm provision in the rear. And because a good setup depends on a rigid body, Bourne installed a first-generation Carbing three-point front strut bar (resplendent in white) and an ASR subframe brace.
Not only has Bourne been through several engines, he's tried on a few sets of wheels, too. Right now, though, he's happy with his CCW LM16s, sized 16x8 and secured with Volk Racing Formula lug nuts. The chosen rubber is Nitto Neo Gen 205/40.
Snuck in behind the front wheels are Wilwood Dynalite calipers (held by Fastbrakes brackets) biting onto 11.1-inch slotted and drilled rotors. The rear stoppers are again from a GSR, and again with slotted and drilled rotors. The whole system benefits from a GSR brake booster, 15/16 -inch master cylinder and 40/40 proportioning valve, Hawk Performance pads, and Earl's stainless steel lines.
When it came to the exterior, Bourne got down with his bad JDM self, sending a lot of business SiR's way, in the form of yellow fog lights (protected by Password:JDM carbon fiber covers), headlights, corners, side markers, thin moldings, window visors, amber hatch glass, and a rear spoiler. If that wasn't enough, there's also a set of SiR Euro domestic market taillights with integrated fogs. A Backyard Special carbon fiber lip sets the OEM mixture apart from factory stock, possibly the only exterior component that does, save for matching APR carbon fiber mirrors and something even more unique: SRR quick-release fasteners for the front bumper, a preemptive modification to shorten down-time any track-prepped car will definitely see in battle. While attending to the body, Bourne asked AAB Customs of Pompano Beach, FL, to shave the badges, antenna and windshield washers, for good, clean measure.
There's more SiR stuff inside, including a full dash (with instrument cluster, clock and climate control), a center console with a storage box covered in rare amber-colored material, and lowly-but-useful floor mats. The remaining cockpit candy represents, for the most part, some fine and understandable selections. For example, the Personal steering wheel set onto an NRG quick-release adapter and Splash short hub, the SRR pedals, Status carbon fiber bucket driver's seat and the Integra Type R Recaro front passenger seat. And who could find fault in the custom-made harness bar or dispute the choices of an Alpine head unit and Infinity Kappa door speakers? Certainly not the Hot Import Nights Miami judges, who awarded this car a First in the "Hottest JDM OEM" category. Bt maybe that was before Bourne fitted what might be his most controversial choice.
We now come to the elephant in the room. Or in the cabin, to be more precise. Study the picture featuring the headliner. It's covered in a custom fabric Bourne calls "sashimi" and it also covers the door panels and armrest. Chances are it looks great on a child seat or as a pair of pajamas. Then again, there's nothing wrong with a bit of healthy self-expression.
The $20,000 or so spent on this project could have bought a brand-new, cookie-cutter Civic. But that's not the point. Following that route, Bourne would have missed out on the learning experience of building a car nearly from scratch, the joy of snagging an HIN gong with it . . . or the embarrassing moments that inevitably come with it all: "In 2007, when I first got the car on the road, I went to the alignment shop and it broke down on the lift," he says. "Everyone at the shop was trying to help me get it started, but the car just would not turn over. I even sent my friend over to a Honda dealership to buy a new main relay, thinking that was the problem. Little did I know the original gas gauge was broken and I was just running on E. I put a few gallons in and she started right up."
So, apart from avoiding a certain alignment shop for evermore, where does Bourne go from here? "A limited-slip differential and Hondata K-pro ECU," he says, "then, it's off to the track to get 'er dirty!" He might even be angling for a feature in our sister magazine, Lowrider: "I'll always have Hondas, but I want to get into a '73 Chevy Impala drop-top or a '62 Lincoln Continental." Just one piece of advice: think twice about the pajama material.
'93 Honda Civic
Engine K20A2 engine; Hybrid Racing fuel rail, engine mounts; Walbro 255 lph fuel pump; Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator; Marshall fuel pressure gauge; Russell Performance inline fuel filter; P2R throttle body adapter; RBC intake manifold; K-Tuned A/C, PS, radiator relocation kits; Rywire harness; Cusco radiator cap; Summit Racing aluminum overflow tank; Magnaflow muffler; DC Sports header; Integra Type R crank pulley, Civic Type R ECU; custom powdercoated valve cover, fuel line tuck
Drivetrain RSX Type S six-speed manual transmission, base RSX axles; Karcepts shifter box kit
Suspension KSport adjustable coilovers; Carbing three-point front strut bar; Skunk2 front camber kit; Omni Power rear lower control arms; Ingalls rear camber kit; Blox adjustable endlinks; Energy Suspension trailing arm bushings; ASR subframe brace; GSR anti-roll bar (front); Integra Type R 24mm anti-roll bar (rear)
Brakes Wilwood Dynalite calipers, 11.1-inch rotors (front); Fastbrakes brackets; GSR calipers, drilled/slotted rotors (rear), master cylinder, booster, proportioning valve; Hawk Performance pads; Earl's stainless steel lines
Exterior SiR fog lights, headlights, corners, side markers, thin moldings, window visors, rear spoiler, hatch glass, taillights w/fogs; APR carbon fiber mirrors; Password:JDM fog light covers; Backyard Special carbon fiber front lip; SRR quick bumper release system
Interior SiR dash, center console, floor mats; Personal steering wheel; NRG quick-release adapter; Splash short hub; Status carbon fiber driver's bucket seat; SRR pedals; Integra Type R Recaro front passenger seat; custom harness bar, headliner, door panels, armrests
Electronics Alpine head unit; Infinity Kappa door speakers
Gratitude My beautiful girlfriend; my family; Carlos at Label One Garage; JDM Rick; the whole Beast Coast; Sunworks
Behind The Build
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Mercedes-Benz sales assistant
Cars, cooking, sports
Two and a half years
"I've had so many problems with this car, I wouldn't even know where to start. Even simple suspension changes became a mission sometimes."