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1994 Honda Civic EX - Modern Day Classic

Nearly Two Decades Later, This Civic Coupe Remains Every Bit As Relevant As It Did When It Was Built In The ‘90s

Joey Lee
Jun 24, 2011

There are three important facts that you must know about this Civic coupe before you read any further: 1. Kane Chan is not only the current owner of this coupe, but also the original owner, 2. This is actually the second time that this Civic has graced the pages of Super Street—the first time dating back all the way to May of 2002, and 3. There’s a really strong possibility that his Rockford Fosgate amplifier is older than you are. Yes, you read correctly, Kane Chan is the original owner of this 1994 Honda Civic EX coupe and he’s been working on it ever since then. In a day and age when holding onto a project car for more than a year is rare, it’s almost unbelievable to think that there is someone out there who has had their car for nearly two decades. If you can wrap that thought around your head, now consider this; Kane’s Civic is every bit as relevant today as it was back in the day. He’s consistently maintained a simplistic method of tuning and modification since the very beginning and what he’s done has never gone out of style. To put it simply, this Civic is timeless. Not only has the entire vehicle remained in immaculate condition, the B16B motor also makes a substantial amount of power that allows it to keep up with enthusiasts who have turned to the newer technology of the K-series engines. Kane has even participated in our FF Battle series the last two years and has done very well, even finishing second overall in last year’s competition.

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“When I was growing up, I always watched all the old school car crews build their cars. Bosozoku, Advance, Street Image, all those guys were a great influence on me,” Kane says. “I really wanted to build a car that was not only good-looking, but also performed well and made good power.”

2019 Honda Civic
$21,450 Base Model (MSRP) MPG Fuel Economy

The ‘90s were a different time; Street Fighter 2 was not yet a classic video game, skinny jeans were worn only by women and modifying Hondas was still very much an underground thing. If you had a nice set of wheels, PIAA foglights in your bumper and a nice sound system, you were set. Enthusiasts didn’t have to worry about aggressive wheel fitment and custom engine harnesses because they were busy saving money to buy JNCO jeans and compact discs (and mostly because such things didn’t exist). In the early 2000s, the “scene” if you will, started to take a gradual shift. Modifications became more heavily reliant on what fiberglass body kit you could acquire and what taillights from another manufacturer could you mold onto your Honda. While that madness was going on, there were guys like Kane and others who geared their modifications towards hard-to-find parts from Japan. These guys/gals were the ones who were into “JDM” before “JDM” was cool and now often misused. Within the last decade, Kane has been able to amass quite a collection of parts for his Honda. You’ll notice that he has the Spoon Sports carbon front lip installed but he also has both the Mugen and Back Yard Special front lips in his possession. If you like his trio of front lips, than you’ll really love his wheel collection. Kane actually has two sets of now-discontinued 16" Advan RGs in white and gold, respectively, a set of Volk Racing CE28s, SSR Super Mesh and 15" Mugen RnRs. The 17" Racing Hart ZR-Mesh wheels from his 2002 feature are still a part of his collection as well. Having all these different sets of wheels and front lip combinations have helped to keep the EJ1 coupe fresh throughout the years.

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Under the now-defunct Fiber Images carbon hood is where Kane’s coupe sees the most significant amount of modification. Where the aesthetics have given it a much more timeless appeal, the B16B heart transplant has pumped new life into the car and reinvigorated it. Built by Kane and his close friend, Elton Lo of Raceline Development-fame, the Civic Type R engine has been stroked to a 2.0-liter and features components of only the highest quality by companies such as HKS, TODA Racing and AEM. The fuel system even contains an incredibly rare SARD fuel rail and fuel pressure regulator. Port Flow and Tom Fujita completely reworked the cylinder head ensuring maximum efficiency while RS Machines was given the responsibility of machining the block and fortifying it with Darton sleeves, Arias pistons and Eagle connecting rods. Wire tucks and custom engine harnesses have become all the rave with today’s generation of Honda builders but there are no indications of any of that in this engine bay.

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This bay has very much of a “straight to the point” type of feel and if anything, there’s been additional wires added via an HKS “Circle Earth Grounding System” for improved drivability and idle.

The interior of Kane’s coupe is much like the exterior where it carries a certain style but with a subtle, minimalist approach. It’s been carefully maintained and at a glance, it would look like the interior of a Honda that’s probably less than a year old. It’s hard to imagine that Kane spent much of his adult life cruising around in this coupe because it’s in such a preserved state. The factory seats have been replaced by Spoon Sports kevlar buckets and a MOMO steering wheel sits in place of the OEM unit. Additionally, a Mugen pedal set is installed as well as an OEM optional center console and armrest. Sitting within the SiR instrument panel is a Stack tachometer, a novel idea which came from his buddy Elton. “We were looking at it one day and Elton eyed it, said that it might fit, so we tried it,” Kane explains. “At that time, there was no template or specific way of doing things because no one had ever done it before. That’s how cars were built then. It was all trial and error. There was no ‘right’ way of doing things.”

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It’s been quite a journey for Kane Chan and his Civic coupe. In the 17 years that he’s owned his Honda, the two have created memories that will last a lifetime. There have been some great moments, like hanging out with his crew, Street Image Performance, and also some really bad ones. “There was a moment a couple years back when I almost had my car taken away from me,” Kane says. “One night I was leaving Elton’s place and when I pulled up to a stoplight, I was carjacked at gunpoint. Luckily I had a device installed where once I hit the button, the car would become disabled. I had the presence of mind to push the button before they took off in my car and I ran back to Elton’s to let him know that I’d been carjacked. He hopped on his bike and went down the street and I was able to get my car back. I still remember that night like it was just yesterday.” Today, his Honda lives a much less exciting existence compared to the days when guys were pointing their guns at Kane and trying to steal his prized possession. It sits in the garage almost frozen in time with his collection of rare parts and wheels. That’s not to say that the car isn’t still driven on occasion, it’s just in a constant state of preservation. Sometimes you’ll see him rip through the streets of Southern California or you’ll see his car pop up at a local meet or track event, like the Super Street FF Battle. There’s no need for it to carry the “daily driven” moniker because it’s a modern day classic. It’s a rolling time capsule that will show generations to come exactly how a Honda should be built.

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Tuning Menu

1994 Honda Civic EX
Owner Kane Chan
Hometown Monterey Park, Ca
Occupation Support Team Manager
Power 240hp/172lb-ft TQ (Church Automotive Testing)
Engine 2000 Honda 2.0L B16B; 13:1 compression; 85mm bore/87.20mm stroke; ported/machined cylinder head by Port Flow; Port Flow valve springs and retainers; TODA Racing camshafts, timing belt and oil pump gear; HKS cam gears; ARP head studs; block machined by RS Machines; Darton sleeves; Arias pistons, piston rings; Eagle Specialty Products H-beam connecting rods, 4340 lightweight crankshaft; Hasport engine mounts; AEM cold-air intake; Spoon Sports 70mm throttle-body, thermostat, fan switch, radiator cap and oil cap; ITR intake manifold; Walbro 255lph fuel pump; SARD fuel pressure regulator and fuel rail; RC 550cc fuel injectors; Earl’s fuel lines and fittings; DTR 2.0 street header; HKS hiper exhaust and circle earth grounding system; J’s Racing test pipe; 2.5" exhaust piping; NGK spark plugs; Ultra Wires sparkplug wires; Odyssey battery; Hamp oil filter; Motul 300v motor oil; Fluidyne radiator; Samco sport radiator hoses; Benen Industries radiator stays; Moroso oil catch can w/valve cover breather; “Rollcage Mike”-built oil catch can for engine block breather (designed by Faircloth Racing); Hondata intake manifold gasket; gunmetal powder-coated valve cover; Backyard Special sparkplug wire cover; JDM EJ1 VIN badge
Drivetrain ’94 Honda Civic SiR Y21 transmission w/LSD; 4.40 final drive; Integra GS-R axles; Clutchmasters stage 3 kevlar clutch; JUN Auto ultra-lightened flywheel; Gear Speed carbon syncros
Engine Management AEM EMS tuned by Elton Lo
Footwork & Chassis TEIN RE coilovers; ’98 ITR 25mm front sway bar/23mm rear swaybar; Spoon front shock tower bar; GAB sports rear shock tower bar; Buddy Club front and rear camber arms; Cusco front lower arm brace; Neuspeed rear lower arm brace; J’s Racing c-pillar bar; Alex trunk floor bar
Brakes Integra GS-R front and rear brake calipers; Project Mu front brake pads; Powerslot front and rear brake rotors; Earl’s brake lines; Integra RS master cylinder; Motul brake fluids; ITR brake booster
Wheels &Tires 16x7" Work Ewings RS Beta (+38 offset); 205/45-16 Yokohama Parada spec 2; RAYS Engineering aluminum lug nuts; 16x7" Volk Racing CE28; 17x7" Racing Hart ZR-Mesh; 16x7" Advan RG (gold), 16x7" Advan RG (white); 16x7" SSR Super Mesh; 15x7" Mugen RNR
Exterior Spoon Sports carbon-fiber front lip; Fiber Images carbon-fiber hood; custom flared/pulled front fenders by Special Projects Motorsports; JDM headlights, corner lights and taillights; Raybrig bulbs
Interior Spoon Sports carbon kevlar bucket seats and steering wheel hub; Bride seat rails; Takata safety harness; MOMO Monte Carlo steering wheel; Signal Auto quick-release; ITR shift knob; Mugen pedal set and horn button; SiR gauge cluster; Stack tachometer; OEM optional center console, arm rest; EG6 clock and climate controls; interior sound deadening material and firewall insulation deleted (entire car weighs 2200lb w/driver); Alpine 7525 head unit; Boston acoustics front speakers; MD Quarts rear speakers; Kicker 10" subwoofer; ADS amplifier; Rockford Fosgate amplifier; Monster cable audio wiring
Props To my girl Annie; Elton Lo and the Raceline Crew; Andy at Streetlightz; Sheng at JHP USA; Mike at Pit Crew Motorsports; Eddie at Mackin Industries; “Kiwi” Owen at Special Projects Motorsports; Henry at Temple City Auto Repair; Eric Valdez at Street Image; Adam Tat; Phoon Chan; Wilson “Tiger” To; Garvin Tse; Wilson “Brotha” Tam; Andy Hope; Pyng Thai; Ken Myoshi; Kyle Lake; Clinton Faircloth; Jonathan Wong; To all the old skool crews that helped and influenced the build; Bosozoku; Advance; Macross 7; Kyosho; My Crew Street Image Performance; And also to the Chronicles for all the kind words; You are all awesome!!! Once again, thank you!

By Joey Lee
243 Articles



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