A Honda Civic Type R is not only a rare car to come by in the United States since it was never offered here, but to find one as clean as Tim Dempsey’s is next to impossible. Having worked on cars since he was 16 years old, Tim is definitely no slouch when it comes to building Honda Civics, especially those of the hatchback variety. Every Civic that he has built has been a hatchback, with a prior build even consisting of a 1997 Honda Civic CX with a full Type R conversion. This car, however, stands above them all as a true JDM Civic Type R. From the particularly straight body with the undeniably clean paint job to the fresh and straight forward interior, this car has the JDM sex appeal that other cars will always strive to achieve.
Tim searched high and low for a legit RHD Honda Civic Type R before Norman Tong at N1 Concepts informed him that the long-lasting search was over. He purchased the car from N1 and had it transported to his house in Illinois, and the car began a long journey across the country, eventually finding its way to Illinois. As anxiety set in and the delivery date drew near, Tim couldn’t help but be concerned about his purchase, which was more or less sight unseen. Beyond a smattering of images provided to him by Norman at N1, there were no assurances given as to the true condition of the vehicle. When the car finally arrived, Tim immediately found that the car was in below average condition and needed some tender loving care on the inside and out.
Not to be easily discouraged, Tim went right to work on the car by tackling perhaps the most difficult task of getting the frame back into showroom stock condition. He pulled off the front end and welded on a new core support as the first matter of duty, then went on to put the car on a frame machine to make sure everything was within factory specs. As is sometimes the case with JDM imports, Tim found more issues with the car as he tore it down, eventually getting down to the bare chassis for a more absolute inspection. Everything that was not in perfect condition was then scrapped and replaced with brand new OEM parts. If any of the body panels were bent or damaged in any way they were either cut out or removed and replaced, as Tim felt this was the proper way to restore the car, rather than bending back certain pieces and thus weakening the metal. Throughout the process Tim was proud about the fact that no knock off parts were used and absolutely no bondo or other fillers saw the exterior of the car. Most of the true JDM parts on the car came from Spoon or Mugen, while almost all of the work on the car was also done by Tim, including all of the vehicle’s wiring.
One of the hardest things about building and restoring the Type R was locating all the parts necessary for the full build. Tim was extremely picky with what parts went on the car, not only in the cosmetic sense, but with both form and function; everything had to be nothing short of perfect.
The engine in the car remains the factory B16B, which was then supplemented with a tasteful selection of modifications from the likes of Spoon, HKS, and Top Setup. Helping out the top end is a Spoon 4-1 Header, while an HKS drop-in filter keeps the car breathing well. A Top Setup intake elbow and a Mugen Twin loop catback exhaust with test pipe were also installed. The factory ECU was converted from OBD2 to OBD1 and then reflashed with a Top Setup program to keep things running smoothly. Keeping the car planted in the corners is a set of A'PEXi N1 coilovers, while color matched 16 inch AME Tracers and a set of Toyo T1R tires allow this Civic to carve the corners. Hawk HPS pads with Goodridge Stainless Steel brake lines bring the car to a halt as a set of Recaro seats prevent any serious chaffing issues from developing. Making it easier for fat kids to get in and out of the car, a Momo steering wheel with NRG quick release was installed. Topping off the aesthetic appeal, a carbon fiber horn delete and radio block off plate were also fitted.
With extensive experience building anything from Civics to choppers and everything in between, Tim has amassed a wealth of mechanical and fabrication experience that he looks to soon capitalize on in a big way. Working for Top Setup as their former Lead Technician has also allowed him to gain valuable industry experience and develop a strong network of clients and friends. With big plans for starting his own custom fabrication shop in Illinois, Tim has made the decision to put the car up for sale to fund his new business venture. While we are sure that Tim will sorely miss the splendor of this minty fresh JDM Type R goodness, we wish him the most success in his new endeavor. Who knows, maybe the next Tim Dempsey creation will be meaner, leaner, and sexier than ever!
SPECIFICATIONS AND DETAILS
1999 Honda Civic Type R
Honda 1.6L B16B Inline-4
Spoon 4-1 header, CTR airbox with HKS drop in filter, TopSetup intake elbow, Spoon Valve cover, Test pipe, Mugen Twin loop catback exhaust, OBD2 to OBD1 conversion
B16B Type R gearbox, OEM LSD, ACT Pro-light flywheel, EXEDY Stage 2 clutch kit
A'PEXi N1 with Type R hats, CTR sway bars front 24mm / rear 22mm, Mugen Upper front strut bar
WHEELS, TIRES, BRAKES
AME Tracers 16x7 w/Toyo T1R 205/45/16 (Wheels color matched Champ White), CTR 5 lug, Hawk HPS front and rear, Motul RBF600 Fluid, Goodridge SS brake lines
Power folding mirrors, thin moldings, OEM rain guards, CTR front and rear lip, CTR rear wing, fresh coat of Champ White paint
Complete CTR interior w/cluster, carpet, climate control, floor mats, door panels, RECARO front seats, rear seats; Momo Steering wheel, Spraco hub, NRG quick release, CF horn delete, CF radio block off plate, Spoon Shift knob, ITR shift boot