You blinked, and in just a few days, a whole new decade begins. As sure as death, taxes and at least a handful more of those terrible Fast and Furious movies, time absolutely flies. It seems like just last week we were kicking off the beginning of 2019 and boom, the year's major holiday season is almost over.
Nevertheless, a new year means new builds and plenty of features, but we wanted to take a moment to glance back at some of our favorite Honda builds of 2019—listed in no particular order.
Nothing says Honda enthusiasm like the 80s/90s era when the Civic hatchback and CR-X were the "go-to" chassis for a blossoming import movement in the U.S. In Japan, the phenomenon was already well under way and, even today, groups like Five Mart/Osaka JDM continue to focus on these classic chassis.
Try as you might, you're not going to spot a large number of '84 CR-X builds and chances are, they aren't going to be as cool as Hoshi Kaoru's Ballade Sports example, fitted with a B18C Type R heart.
No widebody fenders or aggressive pieces tacked on to this slim '80s hero, instead, the original body lines are left untouched and other than a set of Number7 Racing mirrors and the minor font lip and hatch extension, its pure 1st gen CR-X goodness.
Even more iconic than its older brother, the 2nd generation CR-X had an even larger following. Harada Yuji's example carries the highly sought after Mugen Pro.2 kit that's been knocked-off more times than a Jordan 3.
Reworked Mugen MR5 rollers and fresh paint combine for one of the cleanest CR-Xs we've seen in years and we couldn't find anything that we'd want to change.
On the Civic hatchback end of this trio, this livery-laden SiR is as much a throwback build as it is a modern example of what's going on in Japan's street scene.
Stripped down to the bare necessities, it's all business, powered by a B18C.
Inside the cabin, you'll find little else beyond the seats and door panels along with a custom-built carbon dash, all surrounded by a full cage.
We've seen more and more original NSX builds popping up, but few have as many slick touches and overall "restraint" that Jeff Nguyen's '91 has. Restraint because many tend to go for the wild, wide and extreme look whereas Jeff has chosen to keep Honda's lines as sleek as possible and focus on a complete build.
A red and black theme is tied together by Volk's TE37 SAGA Time Attack rollers in a traditional staggered 17/18in set. The fronts get a little more breathing room thanks to the Downforce USA fenders that don't stray far from the original shape of the factory arches. A carbon fiber roof cap, side diffusers and front splitter, rear diffuser and unique Do Luck spoiler are the obvious carbon upgrades but look closer and you'll spot a carbon fiber trunk lid and vented hood, both of which were painted with only touches of their carbon shell exposed.
Science of Speed individual throttle bodies now sit atop the C-series V6 and those too have been modified with Mazterpiece Automotive's custom titanium trumpets. Spotted at the Lot USA/Bride booth, the centerpiece of the interior is of course the bright red Bride buckets joined by a suede Mugen wheel and carbon fiber console trim. A timeless build that doesn't go over the top yet forces you to take a closer look.
Simple, clean and effective are three words that best describe Taku Kusugami's EK4 build. The outside features a CTR rear wing and bumper lip in the rear, as well as the front grill that sits just above a Tactical Art carbon fiber front lip. 16x8 TE37 Sonic in matte black cover Endless brakes and the exterior was treated to Sepang Bronze paint borrowed from BMW's color palette.
Inside, a roll cage was boxed and welded into place before a layer of flat grey was sprayed and Bride Zieg3 Type R Japan seats bolted in place.
The original 1.6 was ditched in favor of a B20B block and B18C head complete with Toda ITBs and adjustable cam gears and a Rywire engine harness. The engine bay is functional but would have no problem nabbing a trophy at a car show if the owner chose to take part.
We'd been keeping an eye on Raul Ramirez' EG4 build throughout the year as he was set to debut the car at SEMA. Having built a number of 5th gen. hatches in the past, some of which graced the pages of Honda Tuning years ago, he took all of the knowledge he gained from those previous builds and apply it to this track-focused hatch.
Other than actually spraying the car, Raul did pretty much everything himself at his Checkerd Sports facility in Nevada. From the custom cage to the massive swan neck wing that passes through the car's carbon Kevlar roof, to the reworked engine bay that now sports K20 power—even the display stand that accompanied his Civic at SEMA was something he built from scratch.
Known for the precision dimple die parts that he offers through his Checkerd Sports website, you can find the majority of his off-the-shelf goods added to the build as well as a host of one-off creations that he came up with to complete the car in time for its visit to Vegas.
Prior to SEMA 2019, Daniel Wu's 1968 S800 is one you'd never seen previously. Sure, you've laid eyes on Honda's tiny coupe with its loveable curves before, but this version reimagined the chassis in a way no one could have seen coming.
Completely restored by DG Vintage Coachworks, this S800s rebirth included a painstakingly reworked body that's been slightly bulked with a set of Pandem flares and its front brought closer to earth with the aero-makers front air dam.
Rebarrelled stock wheels slathered in a matte gold with red center cap combo provide a picture-perfect contrast to the car's pristine paint work. You'll find plenty of red inside the RHD cabin where the upholstery, much like the rest of the car, is brand new without losing that '60s era charm.
This stunning Electron Blue Pearl Prelude SH is the result of 10 years of saving, searching and slowly piecing together one of the best examples of a 5th gen. Prelude we've ever come across.
Chris Huitron was enamored with the last generation of Prelude from the moment he spotted a brochure back in '97. Years later he scored his dream car and never looked back.
Most are smitten with the Mugen goods on the outside that include a complete aero kit and wing as well as bronze MF10s, but we think you should take a look at that engine bay. Rarely do we see so much detail invested into this chassis and Chris didn't cut any corners, removing anything deemed unnecessary or meticulously relocating it. Add to that a Jackson Supercharger fed by a GruppeM carbon fiber filter cover attached to GoAutoworks' intake piping and this Prelude certainly made its mark over the last 2 years.
Two Preludes made the list?! That's right, 2019 saw another incredible Prelude build feature, this one coming out of Thailand. Coincidentally, both Prelude stories garnered enough views from fans to also place them on Super Street's top feature car stories of 2019 list, as well.
Satit Suwantong's 1988 chassis is unique for a few different reasons. First, we don't see many of these cars being built these days and when they are, they're usually not sporting 17in wheels. Often considered far too large for the sleek, cutting lines of the 3rd gen.
Prelude, Satit chose these wheels to highlight his wheel brand, Gaia Wheels, and also to give his build a little more ground clearance to fit an intriguing swap.
With a trimmed hood to fit around the valvecover and exhaust exit, it's not hard to tell what's lurking under the slanted hood of this build. Armed with a K24 complete with 64mm Kinsler ITBs atop a built block, the 2.4L relies on Motec M800 management to get the job done.
Rather than reinvent the Preludes body lines, Satit kept it about as simple as you can, adding only a custom front lip and a pristine paint job. Being an avid, long-time drag racer, the interior is sparse, with little more than a cage and dash, and a custom mix of silver to contrast the black paint while complimenting the silver body moldings.
He may have infiltrated the Porsche ranks with a number of builds that have received international attention but that doesn't mean he's left the Honda community behind. Bisi Ezerioha of Bisimoto made headlines a few years ago with a wild turbo Odyssey build that shocked many with its horsepower numbers, though it didn't feel to us like a traditional Bisi build. This 1991 wagon, however, is 110% Bisi!
His previous wagon build featured a powerful SOHC turbo set up but this time around, K-power was the order of the day. However, in classic Bisi fashion, he took a different route on the engine choice, opting for a fully built K24Z3 block/K24Z7 head combo instead of the more popular early K-engine options.
The single port exhaust design lends itself to the 72mm billet Turbonetics snail. As of the story publishing, the car was making a little over 770hp with an expected jump in power after break-in.
Though the car started life as a FWD model, Bisi converted it to AWD with CR-V components and a Quaife sequential trans. What's really interesting is the use of Automotive KND's quick-spool and clutch packs that are called into play anytime the front wheels start to break loose, meaning the car can cruise in FWD status until the power is applied.
More '80s goodness showed up in 2019 thanks to the Rywire-built AH5 perched in the Toyo Treadpass sector of SEMA week. It's not easy to stand out against a few dozen other hand-picked cars at the biggest event of the year, especially in a 30+ year old chassis in factory colors. This version was resprayed by Willywerx, maintains the original 2-tone treatment and was fitted with a Purple speed front lip and Live Sports rear wing.
Like all of the cars that come out of the Rywire facility, the engine bay is the main attraction and this one stars a B16B that's been sleeved and bored to 85mm, then stuffed with a GS-R rotating assembly to reach 2.0L status. Controlled by AEM Infinity and Rywire's PDM system, the little Civic belts out an easy 240hp/165tq.
Seganti Metalworks created a roll bar with x-bars and it, along with the rest of the interior were painted red during the car's makeover. Mugen seats and steering wheel were installed and any OEM parts that remained were reconditioned.
Finding a mid-80s Honda chassis at SEMA is uncommon to say the least. Finding one not only parked in Toyo's Treadpass but also stealing quite a bit of the spotlight throughout the week parked alongside exotics and high-dollar customs is unheard of.
The 4th gen. Civic was a major player in the import community since its inception. Three decades later and it's still the chassis of choice for many dedicated builders, like Nick Higgins.
Having already built this car years ago and landed in the pages of Super Street, Higgins went back to the drawing board and completely reworked the car inside and out. This time it was a K24/K20 combo to replace the previous B-series and the tricks and details associated with modern Honda building are scattered throughout the bay that actually looks spacious, all things considered.
A JDM front end conversion with Chargespeed lip and Birchwood front splitter takes care of the front, PCI sideskirts and MRacing mirrors handle the sides and, in the rear, Chargespeed is once again tagged for its large hatch wing.
As good as the engine bay and exterior are, the interior is what really pulled us in. Unabashedly racecar inspired, an 8pt. roll cage dominates a stripped interior that carries just one bucket seat, Whitfield Racing aluminum door cards and a half-cut dash that's been re-covered. The combination of well thought out mods landed the Higgins-built hatch back in Super Street but this time it was front and center, on the cover.