You've seen half a million 6th-gen. Honda Civic hatchback builds over the years and, for the most part, many carry a similar theme and mix of upgrades. The chassis has long served as a favorite among Honda fans who admire its quaint, rounded '90s styling as much as they do its modularity with other Civic and Integra chassis.
Run down the parts list that sits just to the right of this paragraph and there's nothing inherently unfamiliar—from the K-swap to the complete respray, the TE37s and smattering of Spoon goods throughout, there's really no reason for this particular build to stand out in a field of others. But dammit, it stands out every single time it makes an appearance at a show, meet or a local track event—all of which it's attended over the past few years. And whether it's this exact combination of parts, the color combo, or the power-to-weight estimation, even the most enraged anti-Civic activist would be willing to admit that this build goes a long way in making a case for the EJ hatch being one of the most tuner-friendly.
The Mystery Build
Typically, I'd dive into the history of the build, how the owner got started with the car and any details along the way. This time around, however, I don't have any background to provide. After countless attempts to get the owner or the builder to grant a little info over a 6-month period and countless email and DM attempts, we gave up, but didn't want these photos to go to waste as this is one of our favorite recent builds. We know that this car is from the Slaughterboys Worldwide crew and that Afterhours Garage is the source, but that's the extent without getting any info from its owner.
The info that I was able to dig up after some social media lurking and making notes whenever I caught the car in person proves this build cuts no corners. Everything on or in the Civic is of high quality and carefully chosen. The heart of the build is an RS Machine K24 block stuffed with Wiseco pistons and Saenz rods, and topped with a Drag Cartel CNC ported/polished K20 head, held in place with black anodized Innovative engine mounts and Downstar hardware.
As you peer under the hood, or at least where the hood would be if it had one, your eyes are going to head straight for the bright yellow valve cover, but only for a moment, as the carbon fiber topped Drag Cartel ITB setup is the bay's main seller. On the backside of the head you can trace the smooth contour of a Myers Competition header that snakes its way under the car where it meets a GReddy exhaust system with a sizeable canister to keep the inherent rasp down as much as possible.
Surrounding the deep breathing set up is spotless, semi-shaved sheet metal that perfectly matches the exterior and anything deemed unnecessary is long gone to keep the look simple and tidy. As if the tasty visuals weren't enough, the mechanical orchestra that spills out of this EJ hatchback at full throttle is the stuff of naturally aspirated dreams.
Power to Weight Phenom
Based on the list of parts and how they interact with one another, we'd expect somewhere in the neighborhood of 300whp pumping through a chassis that probably tips the scales just north of 2,000lbs, which, if you're using modern mathematics, carry the 1, divide by 3 ... well, it results in ridiculous acceleration while screaming to a sky-high redline in a compact, tossable chassis that looks every bit as good as it goes.
No widebody extensions or massive wing structures tacked on to the rear of this build, its owner keeping with mostly factory body pieces, other than the Kevlar-trimmed Backyard Special front bumper and Spoon Sports carbon fiber hatch wing and side mirrors. What look to be 15x8-inch TE37SL are wrapped in sticky 205/50 Toyo R888R tires. Ride height is completely subjective, but for our money, this is picture perfect—sporting minimal tire gap while remaining at a manageable height. Along with the coilover setup, an ASR rear subframe brace and sway bar combo is found in the rear and custom front lower arms are on call up front.
The stripped-down interior that you expected is in fact in play here, with the car's shiny paint finish carried over into the cabin that's free of any carpet. Checkerd Sports dimple-die foot plates are used up front, along with a pair of rarely obtained Bride/Illest collab bucket seats.
The Spoon theme continues inside with a requisite steering wheel and shifter along with a highly sought-after gauge cluster. Completing a '90s-era Civics interior with little more than a dash, seats and front door panels has become the norm for weekend warrior builds, but much like the real estate under this Civics hood, the attention to detail is a prime factor in the finished product.
By today's standards, this 6th gen. Civic carries most of what you'd expect from a high-level Honda build, but again, it's the level of execution that successfully separates it from the pack. From the lethal all-motor setup to the strategic combination of parts and color finishes, it stands as a point of reference for the ultimate hatch build.
Our only regret is not getting a full rundown from the car's owner and how they got the build to this point. Perhaps we can revisit in the future if he's willing, but we weren't about to let this photoshoot rot away—this car is just too good not to share with you.