(Ed note: Casey Dhnaram is a cool cat from Australia who we’ve gotten to know quite well since following him @shirtstuckedin on various social media platforms. This young photog has a unique eye for finding really cool yet obscure cars in Japan that mostly go unheard of. Here’s a little something he found on his most recent trip…)
Earlier this year I was lucky to find myself back in Japan for a good two months, and as you can imagine, I found some incredible automobiles—like this one. It wasn’t at a drift, track, or even a show event that I came face to face with Seita-san’s CB3 Accord. As a matter in fact, it was a small group of friends that decided to put on a little meet-up for me just north of Tokyo in Utsunomiya, consisting mostly of older cars similar to this. Seeing the car parked I didn’t really think twice about it but after riding shotgun to the local Lawson convenience store, I completely changed my mind.
Seita Takano is young, and when we say young, we mean only 20 years young. He bought his first Honda two years ago, but of all the possible styles and methods that are out there, it was Seita’s passion for street, touge and circuit racing that led him to build this USDM-inspired CB3. Though there are obvious styling cues that might have the masses pigeonholing it from these photos alone, there’s more to this car than meets the eye.
The first thing you’ll notice is how low to the ground the car really is. To achieve this stance, Seita used a set of coilovers made for a fourth-gen Accord to drop it like it’s hot. Another way he adds more visual drop is by throwing in a modified front lip from a fifth-gen Accord. As of late, it’s been becoming increasingly popular for these older Accords to go slammed with aggressive wheels to fill the gaps—not Hellaflush, just offset properly. It sports 15-inch, classically-styled Volk TE37Vs, pushing 9-inches wide up front and 8.5-inches on the rear for a smooth street look. Seita-san also takes his Accord up to Mount Hakone (a popular touge spot, located about 1.5 hours from central Tokyo) several times a month, so he’s upgraded his tires with grippy Dunlop Direzza Z1 rubber to make these trips more enjoyable. Since he looks to the US for inspiration, he’s added carbon-fiber mirrors and hood from VIS to help break up all of the black; he also swapped the front fenders and rear taillights with USDM pieces. One of those fenders have been purposely rusted out—odd, yes, but his ode to the USDM scene; we think it adds an interesting bite that only few palettes can handle.
The heart of this old cruiser is where the excitement comes from. Originally powered by the standard F20A, Seita-San upgraded to an H22A from the JDM Honda CL1 Accord Euro-R after the original motor blew up. Left fairly stock, there are a few upgrades bolted on, like a Fujitsubo header, a half-size aluminum radiator, oil cooler and a fuel pump from a Nissan Skyline. Seita upgraded the gearbox with new ATS gears and a 1.5-way limited-slip differential, heavier duty clutch from Exedy and a lightweight JUN flywheel.
Inside, what once was a family sedan has been completely gutted. Everything behind the dash has been removed, including the air conditioning, heating, power steering and power windows. Two Bride bucket seats have been installed to keep Seita and whoever is game enough to ride shotgun (like me) with him safe and sound. Like we said before, this Accord’s built purely for touge and circuit racing—Seita’s best lap time at Nikko Circuit just happens to be an amazing 44-seconds. Probably not what you were thinking when you read ‘super low’ and ‘rusted out fender’, right?
Engine 2.2L H22A CL1 Accord Euro-R engine; Fujitsubo header; Nissan Skyline fuel pump
Drivetrain ATS gears, 1.5-way LSD; Exedy clutch; JUN Auto flywheel
Footwork & Chassis Eibach springs; custom-modified coilovers; Megan Racing control arms
Wheels & Tires 15x9" (-15)/15x8.5" (-5) Volk Racing TE37V; Dunlop Direzza Z1 tires
Exterior VIS Racing carbon-fiber hood; carbon-fiber mirrors; custom-modified fifth-gen Accord front lip