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Wheel Whores - Our Garage

Us Editors Are Too Busy To Work On Our Own Cars... But Never Too Busy For New Wheels!

Charles Trieu
Jan 9, 2009
Photographer: Sean Klingelhoefer Writer: Sean Klingelhoefer

My Midori Hatch AKA Leroy AKA Flearoy AKA Flea Bag AKA The BagWell ladies and gents, here he is in all his majesty, my 1996 Civic CX I lovingly refer to as "Leroy." I purchased this car in the spring of 2006 after my previous car, "Reggie" an EG hatch, was stolen and completely stripped. After getting screwed by my insurance and bumming rides for a month, I finally came across another car I could see myself building. Rather than jumping right back into another EG, although that was my first thought, I felt like doing something a little different. 240s had crossed my mind along with a few other cars from various makes, but I knew that deep down inside, it would be very hard to break myself away from my love of Honda.

Searching Craigslist like a crazed maniac that I checked every hour, sometimes more frequently, until one day I found the listing I was looking for. It was very vague and had no photos. It said something to the effect of "For sale, 1996 Honda HB, 5 spd, AC, no accidents, green." And that's all I needed to know. For those of you not as obsessed with the H as myself, Midori green was a color only available on '96s and I knew the moment I saw "5 spd", "96" and "green" that I had found my car. I quickly called the number and tried to play the car down as much as possible for some haggling room. "Hi I'm calling about the Civic listed on Craigslist" I pressed "it's not that ugly lime green color is it!?" I did all I could to keep from laughing.

I met the owner that night and after a brief look I knew I wanted the car he referred to as "booger green." The owner kept pointing out how he just paid $300 for tint two weeks ago, to which I replied "I really don't care, I'm just going to rip it off" which in fact I did the very next day. He looked at me as if I were crazy but after removing some stereo gear the car was mine for under blue book. At first I had lots of plans for the car and quickly amounted a collection of wheels and Mugen parts. At one point I had nearly everything in the catalog for an EK, 2 Mugen front lips, 3 Mugen grills, a Mugen wing, Mugen side skirts, Mugen rear lip etc.

After I had amassed a large collection, I started thinking and came to the realization that the car I was on my way to building would be very unpractical.

I later came to another conclusion, that I just wasn't as fond of EKs as I had initially thought I was, and thus I sold nearly my whole collection of Mugen parts, along with SiR bumpers, EDM headlight covers and some other rarities. After considering a black ITR for a short while, I then determined that Leroy was the perfect daily driver. I decided to keep the EK and started collecting EG parts for a project car that still has yet to be purchased.

And a perfect daily driver/camera car Leroy is. I have been nothing but neglectful to say the least, changing the oil maybe every 6 months, and never changing the air filter since I've owned the car. He has made trips up and down the West Coast and has never let me down yet. The photos you see on these pages aren't anything extraordinary, but rather shots that were taken either on location while shooting another car or just for the hell of it. While I didn't get too deep into the build you can undoubtedly see my passion for wheels (not to mention the wheels not pictured: Mugen MR5 Final Version, white Mugen RNR, red Mugen CF48, white Mugen MF10L, silver Dunlop CPR, red Sprint Hart CP, another set of white Sprint Hart CPR, white BBR Competition, white Enkei RC-S, white Work RSZ-R, blue Work RS-Beta... some might say I have a problem).

130_0901_23_z+wheel_garage+honda_civic Photo 10/11   |   Wheel Whores - Our Garage

But now that I am a member of the Super Street staff, I will be continuing my lost journey. I can assure you that you will see plenty more of Leroy in the future. There might even be a K swap around the corner and who knows what else. Possibly some fabrication work will be in order, maybe even some track prepping. Anyone that knows me can tell you I'm a sucker for JDM bling, especially Mugen so that should be on the horizon. One thing you can count on is that the wheels won't stop changing. I can see it now... the possibilities are endless!

130_0901_34_z+wheel_garage+toyota_cressida Photo 11/11   |   Wheel Whores - Our Garage

Slow And Low
I haven't been able to do much to the Cressida lately. Been too busy covering events for this issue. And on top of that, I got recruited to work on the Ultimate Buyer's Guide for 2009, which should be on newsstands next to this issue. The only things I did were new wheels. I guess you can call Sean and I, wheel whores. My old wheels were Work Equip 02s. As much as I like these wheels, the fitment was not very aggressive. At 15x8 +0, they didn't fill the fenders enough. And being only 8" wide, a tire stretch was pathetic. My new wheels are Speed Star MK-III, 15x9 +0. These did fill the fenders as calculated, but tire stretching didn't work out as planned. Toyo T1-R tires have a nice round sidewall that generally stretch nicely. And from what I've seen, 195/50R15 on a 9" wide rim usually looks great, but mine didn't work out that way. Maybe it was just the lip design, but I need more stretch. Maybe when I finish restoring my 15x10" SSR Formula Mesh they'll be up to standards. Props to RB Motoring for being the local shop I found that had the skills to do the stretch. Yes, I know stretching tires is ridiculous, unsafe and has probably zero performance gains. (but it looks cool! - SK)

By Charles Trieu
161 Articles

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