I was incredibly reluctant to enter this challenge as I knew the financial impact it would have on me. I was on the right track towards building a savings account of some sort and having a little bit more comfortability, and then, in steps Yuta issuing this challenge and ruining my life. I put the blame on him, but in retrospect, I have nobody to blame but myself for this challenge coming to fruition.
I remember the first time Yuta pulled up in his new sedan, I thought it was great that he no longer had to daily his Corolla that is devoid of every feature known to man other than a stereo system which can play Taylor Swift songs loudly and clearly. His commute is much longer than mine is to the shop so any form of luxury is sure to make his commute a bit easier. But while he now had a car much newer than the previous and with a bit more functionality, the exterior was lacking a bit, and I made sure to let him know it wasn't easy on the eyes. He then began going off about some set of wheels that were 17x5.5 and I told him there was no way he could ever make them look good. He proceeded to issue the challenge, telling me that they would indeed look great, and challenged me to build something that would look better if I was so confident in my own personal styling versus his. The parameters of the challenge were only a couple weeks of time and a $3000 dollar budget to see who could build a better car, which would be judged by some well respected people at a date yet to be announced. I won’t quite call it a mistake, as the project has been fun thus far and should continue to be, but this is the whole reason the challenge came to be.
The platform I started with was a 1999 Civic Coupe EX. I had recently got it from a friend in a trade, as I gave him some cash and my automatic 1996 Civic DX in exchange for a car with power windows and doors, a sun roof, 5 speed, and the 99-00 front/rear end which I was a much bigger fan of. The paint was clean and with black being my favorite color on a car, I was sold. I’ve always told myself a daily should never be a project, but I was at an impasse, and I accepted the challenge and vowed to do my best to build a daily that had style.
For those that don’t know, the project car I have had for the past 8 years or so has been an Acura RSX Type S. While it has been fun to build, the parts available for it are not always as nostalgic or unique as the parts of the previous generation. As my taste in things evolved as I occupied this hobby much more, I began to get weird ideas or develop genuine interest in pieces I didn’t see utilized too often, and I guess this 99 Civic became my platform to utilize these ideas. I started with a wheel pairing I hadn’t really ever seen done and was interested to see on a car. An SSR Type V and SSR Type X stagger.
Though I was unsure of how I felt about a 16”/15” stagger, I realized that these were two wheels made by one manufacture which utilized the same style yet were totally different. The spokes are similar and their 5/4 pattern is reminiscent of, well, Volk 5/4’s. Always being an interestingly odd set of wheels, I wanted to recreate my own version in SSR form. Luckily, I found both pairs fairly quickly and I had a set of wheels ready to go.
Then, while lurking on the NWP4Life message boards, I came across a very mint condition Bride Artis II bucket seat. I’ve always loved the boxy shape of the Bride seats of that generation, and I figured it was finally time for me to get one for myself.
(This photo would not turn the correct way no matter how hard I tried so I gave up. Apologies in advance)
Upon installation, however, I realized one was not enough and two was necessary to complete the look. A friend at the time was selling a Bride Zeta II in red and I realized I needed it to match the driver seat. So what next to nobody would ever sit in it, I just needed it bring unity to my interior as the mismatching with one stock seat and one bucket would just never have been sufficient for me.
I also decided to slightly upgrade other bits and pieces of the interior by renewing and refreshing them. My rear seats were a bit faded so I swapped them out for stock Civic Si seats.
The climate control text was fading in various places and the lights were pretty much burnt out, so I replaced them with an amber lit Si control unit, making the climate control appear to be celebrating Halloween whenever it was night time.
(This one too. Sorry)
Also replaced the floormats with brand new OEM Honda floor mats which I was surprised were still in production!
Added a Personal Grinta steering wheel to upgrade the stock unit and as it was deteriorating. The Personal feels great with the grips built in to its design, adding comfort for daily driving
(Oh my God I cannot figure out why these are all coming out sideways)
Also added a Dimes shift knob to replace the ARC one I was using and had stolen from my other car. The feeling on this knob is amazing and is incredibly comfortable for daily driving use.
Shifting in a bucket seat quickly became a problem due to the arm rest in the center console so a CX center console was installed to add some comfort.
Now with the interior finished, I also did a couple small exterior additions. Nothing major nor will it be major, but just some small additions. I swapped out the OEM hood as the paint was bad and replaced it with another OEM hood with better paint. I also revamped the front end with an Si front grill, Civic Type R head lights, and an Si lip which is just waiting to go on. The doors and passenger fender will also be replaced soon to remove some dents and paint blemishes in favor of some pieces with much better condition.
In the end, it’s been fun up to this point and I can’t wait to see the finished product. Hopefully it will be done sooner rather than later. The next update should include the installation of the following pieces so I cant wait to see how they look on the car! Stay tuned