The circumstances surrounding Tony Salcedo, owner of this K20-swapped ITB 1995 Honda Civic DX, and why he built the car are becoming increasingly common within the enthusiast circle—especially with 30-plus year olds. A reemergence of sorts, it's not at all uncommon for us to see long-time Honda builders moving away from these types of projects in order to focus on life, family, maybe even grab a luxury sedan or sports car, but eventually they find their way back to a Honda build for a rematch—this time equipped with far more patience, a more stout bank account, and a clear path to the finish line rather than building paycheck to paycheck as they did in their younger years.
At 16, once Tony got his license, he wasted no time in modifying his '94 EX coupe that he'd lowered with Ground Control suspension and added an A'PEXi exhaust to. Like most, it would satisfy him for a short period of time, but eventually he ditched the single cam for a GS-R swap and not long after, bolted on a turbo kit for "street activities" of that era. While some leaned more toward style and expensive appearance parts, Tony's focus was always centered on going faster.
A little later he'd move on to a sixth gen. hatchback and things got far more serious. Tony adds, "Not many were doing it then - everything was so new. This was before boost-by-gear or anything with traction was big. Car made 520hp at 27psi spinning 1st gear to 5th, lol!" The hefty power output and lack of traction would come back to bite him, and after crashing that car he was lucky to come out unscathed and even luckier that the salvageable parts helped recoup the money lost.
Pulled Back In
Over time, Tony decided to venture out and try something other than Honda once he began making more money. "As I got older, I started trying different cars; Audi's, Infiniti, BMWs ... but I missed the Hondas and ended up back in an S2000." That S2K was soon boosted but didn't last very long, so a stock engine was sourced, the car sold, and Tony decided to jump into a newer model. "I picked up a 2018 Civic Type R and I really liked the car but wasn't in love with it. I wanted something pure and raw, so I decided to do one more hatch with all the authentic parts I couldn't afford when I was younger."
The hatch search led to this '95 EH2 that was originally blue and in decent condition, but Tony wanted to put his spin on it, so he brought the car to Mike's Autobody in Malden, Mass., where the car's exterior was sprayed BMW Laguna Seca Blue. Once returned, the car was brought to Jorgie and Steven of Bamboosted Garage who would swap in a K20 Type R engine and transmission.
While that was underway, Tony reached out to Gotuning Unlimited and ICB Motorsport for a list of Spoon goods that included their iconic carbon fiber roof spoiler, front lip and mirrors and a set of Volk TE37s. He also made the drive to New York's VRaceworks to pick up a set of Spoon Kevlar bucket seats—a move that he made just prior to the original bucket seats being discontinued.
Better the Second Time
Tony's hatchback had modern power and those quality aftermarket exterior and interior pieces that he was never able to fit into the budget in his younger days. Along the way, he joined forces with Team Emotion, and with so many high caliber builds within the group, felt he needed to step things up. "I decided I really wanted to perfect the car and take it above and beyond what I originally wanted. A well-rounded, well executed build, but different."
The Civic went back to Bamboosted Garage for complete disassembly in order to start from scratch. The chassis was delivered, once again, to Mike's Autobody so that the engine bay and the interior would match the recently painted exterior to complete the color change. To capitalize on the car's new finish, Tony sourced brand-new headlights from Checkerd Sports and as many factory fresh parts as he could from the OEM parts specialists at AFHKparts.com. Looking for a mix of Spoon and Mugen parts, the re-release of Mugen's MF10 in more modern sizing was the ideal choice and the textured anodized bronze finish plays well with the LSB paint.
As the car was reassembled, Tony opted for a Myers Competition header and J's Racing muffler for the exhaust and 55mm Hayword ITBs on the intake side. A chat with Dominic of Chasing Js resulted in a unique set of titanium velocity stacks to customize the set up. TracTuff's signature swirl pot and Speedfactory Racing's tucked radiator handle the cooling and help further the clean and very functional engine bay.
Tony Salcedo certainly fits the profile of the life-long Honda enthusiast who sometimes takes a break, handles life, then comes back stronger with a better understanding of what they want and the means to make it happen. The builds of his teenage years compared to his current DX are worlds apart and sure, much of that is due to available funds, but more can be attributed to his maturity. Today, Tony reserves his hatchback for weekend adventures while daily drive duties are designated to his Porsche 911.1 GT3—further proof he's as diehard as it gets and will no doubt be sticking around for years to come.