It’s been about five years since the guys at Spoon USA organized their first I Heart Honda festival here in the states and it was exciting to see it make a return last Sunday. If memory serves correct, this event originally debuted in 2008 at the legendary Tsukuba Speedway in Japan, and was meant to serve as what the Eibach meet has come to epitomize here in the states. A gathering of likeminded Honda enthusiasts getting together for one day to celebrate and appreciate the machines that the Honda brand has put out over their years and to bring those together who specifically love to build them beyond what Honda ever intended.
With that stated, the guys at Spoon USA have once again brought the meet to U.S. soil without anything lost in translation and at a time of the year where there aren’t too many events going on. While it isn’t entirely sure why the event never came back around after it’s inaugural event in 2014 at California Speedway, we are just glad it triumphantly came back and cemented itself as yet another great show in the Southern California scene and we were happy to have been apart of it. We are looking forward to once again participating next year!
This meet was special for us because it was our first event as Art of Attack. Sure, we see the store growing and evolving every day, but it was exciting to be out in the public eye with our new name and setup to get feedback and reaction from those that matter most to us: the enthusiast! So with that on the docket, we packed up the Sprinter with the EZ-UP, some merch, and embarked on the strenuous 10 mile trek from our shop in Rancho Cucamonga to the far away land of Fontana’s California Speedway.
We set up shop bringing an arsenal of our personal shop cars and those of friends of the shop. First in the line up was Pat’s blacked out NSX sitting on a set of 21/20in staggered Advan GT’s specifically made for the new generation of NSX (NC1). I remember we first saw these wheels on the HKS NSX Demo Car at Tokyo Auto Salon about 2 years ago and once we showed Pat some photos, he was all for the look. That was back when Pat was just a customer and not an integral part of the shop, so it’s crazy how much has changed over the years. Regardless, we are still ecstatic we got Pat onboard with these Advan’s as they make an already mean car look have so much more presence.
Probably our most easily recognizable car, the Art of Attack EG, was also on display at our booth. Not much has changed on this car in recent years, but it's finally about to get some small changes in preparation for Global Time Attack's Super Lap Battle. Stay tuned to our Instagram to watch changes.
Friend of the shop CHINO BLING brought out some of his own toys from the collection. First up was his real deal DC2 ITR which was sporting some Spoon goods to allow it to fit in perfectly at a Spoon Sports event. SW388 wheels wrapped in Falken Azenis, with Spoon mirrors, front lip, calipers, lug nuts, and more to help tie it all together. Notice the yellow DC2 Recaro’s in the interior as they were only optional on the Japanese Type R-X Model and have become increasingly rare and valuable as years pass by.
Next up was Chino's EK9 CTR which also sported a set of Spoon SW388’s and even more Spoon goods throughout. Phoenix Yellow in color scheme, the EK9 had a Spoon hood, Spoon valve cover, Spoon high tension Spark Plug wires, and so much more. Definitely brought out some of our favorites from his collection and we were happy to have him.
And that was without even mentioning his NA2 NSX.Featuring some NSX-R exterior goods as well as a set of Volk CE28N’s that were containing a set of Brembo calipers, it was a welcome addition to our booth. It was only right to position it next to Pat’s NSX to show the evolution over the years as the cars have their differences but you can really see the similarities when looking at the last two generations of NSX next to one another
Just a taste of some of the cars the guys at Spoon USA brought out for the occasion. If you’re familiar to the SoCal events scene then neither need much introduction, but if you have been living under a rock, allow us to break them down. The S2000 pictured features the prototype Spoon hard top that is a one of one. The aerodynamic hardtop is not fully enclosed and provides a great improvement over every other hardtop out there in terms of aerodynamic output. The reason it never came to market is simply due to shear cost alone, as it was estimated the product would cost between $15,000 - 20,000. Also take note of the fairly new quad tip Spoon N1 exhaust system that features four Spoon N1 canisters as opposed to the standard one.
The FD2 is best known to those in Time Attack circles as a record breaking car that continuously sets new boundaries for what a Honda is capable of. The FD2 set the fastest FWD time at Super Lap Battle a few years back and created an uproar within the United States Honda tuning community as race teams from all over set forth to break their record. What ensued was a competition of the best drivers yearly at the Super Lap Battle, continuously trying to further lower the number as low as it can go. Though multiple cars have set faster times than the Spoon team in recent years, I am sure they still view it as a major victory as Honda tuning in America never set a high emphasis on the actual road race aspect itself. But since they inspired tons of teams to try to make their mark, a new crowd of enthusiasts passionate about time attack has emerged and breathed new life for those who are trying to reach as high as the guys at Spoon Sports did.
Tatsuru Ichishima and Dai Yoshihara are perhaps the two faces best known at Spoon Sports currently. Tatsuru for being the brainchild behind the brand, and Dai for piloting the aforementioned FD2 to the plateau’s it has reached in recent years. If you’ve ever attended any import event, you’ll know that the lines of grown men huddled up just to get a glimpse of a certain model or to take a selfie with them is usually one of the biggest spectacles. But would you believe us if we told you that the line to see these men dwarfed those lines entirely? You may not, but it is entirely true. Now that we have made this post incredibly awkward, lets just move on to looking at some of the rides of those in attendance
Phil Robles is rarely one to bring his track car out to a show car haven, but his EG is always a welcome site no matter what the turf. Sporting a brand new set of the recently reissued Desmond Regamaster Evo’s, Phil’s EG made a wheel that can look so subtle and fitting on an OEM+ build look so mean and aggressive on his insane EG hatch. You may know this car from it’s appearance in the Gran Turismo series, or you may know it for the many years that it has been in your Top 5 best EG Civic’s ever built list. Sporting a full Pandem wide body kit, custom modified First Molding hood, Nascar spec Brembo racing calipers, and literally a list of cool shit that is longer than the whole beginning dialogue to a Star Wars movie. Truly happy Phil made the trek out from Arizona to come kick it with the show car guys for a day
Jorge is another Arizona native with perhaps the complete opposite of Phil’s hatch. Remember that comment about Phil’s EG making the Regamasters look mean and sinister? Well Jorge is the counterbalance to that. Sporting a set of Rega… I mean Spoon SW388’s, Jorge’s simple yet timeless golden EG hatch is another infamous 5th gen that has always maintained it’s presence even without many major changes through the years. Incredibly rare Vision IMUS bucket seats grace the interior while Jorge came decked out in Spoon exterior goods.
Long time friend of the shop Jeremy Allgier brought out his BB6 Prelude that features ARC insignia everywhere you look. We captured this rare photo of Jeremy with the hood on his Prelude, and that isn’t a slight at Jeremy for boasting his Engine Bay whenever he can. Under the hood is perhaps one of the best Engine Bays in recent years, and that is with all Honda makes considered. You could easily say “Best for a Prelude? Not a lot of people put them together that isn’t really an accomplishment” But when the car you’re building isn’t as high on the national stage as say an EK Hatchback or AP chassis S2000 and you still manage to compose an engine bay that embarrasses plenty of the “popular” chassis, you have done something special.
Another close friend of the shop, Nalgas as we all call him due to his 10 out of 10 Instagram handle, brought out his S2000 dawning a plethora of ASM goods. Front bumper, front hood, and a piece that he and only a handful of others stateside have obtained. The rear trunk and wing setup on Moses car costs literally one arm, one leg, one spleen, one gallbladder, one kidney, and two knee caps, rendering the owner nearly incapable of living. Thankfully Moses got lucky and only sacrificed one kidney to acquire the fully dry carbon ASM trunk and chassis mounted wing setup, and it looks absolutely killer.
Perhaps one of the best examples of the CL7 chassis belongs to Angel Pena as he has one of the best examples SoCal has to offer. His TSX is more track warrior than show queen, so don’t let the J’s Racing front bumper, Craftsquare side mirrors, or AP Racing calipers fool you and make you think this car was built for only parking lot pimpin. We have helped Angel acquire tons of nicknacks here and there for his build and it’s always nice to see just what they were used on.
The Milestone Collective has been pushing the DA9 chassis hard these past couple years in SoCal and started a revival of the 2nd generation Integra. A car that isn’t for those with a penchant to make the most extremely modified vehicle ever or to comfortably be able to buy everything off the shelf, the DA almost always looks best with an OEM lip kit and a nice set of wheels. Ollie’s DB2 looking right on Racing Hart Type C Tracers, Anthony’s jasper green on Mugen M7’s, and a third DA on ultra cool Hakuto Racing Thunder wheels. Whether you go with an orthodox option (Mugen M7’s) or an unorthodox option (Hokuto Thunder’s), all the DA chassis needs is some period correct wheels and a nice drop and you’re in business.
Tommy Ha from Go Tuning USA brought out his fully ASM equipped S2000 CR to display with the guys at Titan7. This car doesn’t make it out too often but the shear amount of ASM goods comprised within this AP chassis is something you likely won’t see on any other S2K. Featuring the full aero kit from front to rear for starters, Tommy’s CR also boasts tons of ASM trinkets in the engine compartment all the way back to the exhaust system.
Another small clique from hailing from the suburbs of the Los Angeles area are the long time legends of The Junkies crew. Dre’s EJ civic and Rafa’s DC2 have always been solid time capsules of the era of Honda tuning that helped pioneer the craft to what it is today. Dre’s coupe boasts tons of rare OEM and optional OEM goods on an under built chassis and ties them together with often unseen Volk Racing Group AV wheels tucking the distinguishable blue hue of Spoon calipers behind. Never to far away from Dre’s coupe is Rafa’s DC2 which has long dawned the rare European front end before it was a trend and the insanely rare Canadian ITR rear bench seats which are full red. Those two pieces alone may be enough to put a starving young adult through college for at least a year, if not longer.
The Hasback crew has also become a staple of the SoCal Events circuit, usually lining up with Danny over at PitCrew Motorsports. Margarito’s EK coupe came in on more Spoon SW388’s which proved to be the shoe of choice for a Spoon event (It’s only fitting, right? Get it? Fitting? If the shoe fits? Aight imma head out…). Next to him was Jose Jaimes with his EK project he has taken up in recent years to fill the void while his CR-X is out of commission, and Son’s EK hatch which has always been one of the most memorable 6th gen hatches out there. Both sporting their favorite choice of Volk wheels in CE28s and TE37’s in the classic bronze hue, the Hasback crew continues to rep the EK chassis and showcases it’s fullest potential.
Kenji from Greddy USA’s EF build which debuted within the last year and is still quite the machine to look at. A resto mod that looks to be trapped in the early 90s yet still has tons of modernization and new age flavor to showcase an improvement upon the 30 year old chassis. Sitting on incredibly rare SSR EX-C Neo’s, you can’t ask for a more perfect wheel to grace the EF chassis.
Can you believe we made it this far without a single mention of the FK8 Civic Type R? It isn’t because there was an underwhelming presence of them (Trust me, there was a plethora of them), but more so it speaks to just how much variety there was at this years I Heart Honda fest. While the FK8 is still fresh and closer to inception than most of the aforementioned platforms, people are still putting some great builds together that will set the same bar that some of the previously mentioned builders have done for their chassis for so many years. Look for these chassis to continue the Honda legacy and make their presence known in the years to come as the community grows as years go on (See: 8th Gen Civic / RSX / EP3 resurgences in recent years). As time goes by, examples like the HKS CTR, Tyler Utterberg’s J’s FK8, and more will be the ones remembered for pushing those limits as they can only build as fast as parts manufacturers can innovate and supply new goods.
Hector of TrakRats has put his EG6 on the back burner to play around with his new track toy DC5. Equipped with a Volk TE37SL/Advan RGII Stagger, J’s Fenders, C-West front bumper, MRacing mirrors, and more, Hector is using this car to have his fun at the track before his real track monster is ready to hit the streets once again. Not bad for a car that Hector possibly calls his side piece.
This image could have been taken on a Fuji Film camera that was datestamped 1992 and you would have been convinced, face it. This CR-X was fully equipped in Mugen Pro 2 aero with fitting Mugen MR-5’s in the wheel well’s. I know, I know… this is a Spoon meet, stop talking about the Mugen stuff.. but the premise of the meet is to appreciate ALL tuned Honda’s so back off.
Tony’s EK hatch has been one of the most talked about over the past 2 years or so. After he and Manny at Afterhours Garage worked long nights to put this hatch together countless times, it may have finally reached a point where Tony has run out of things left to be done. Recently converted from an enclosed intake manifold to a ridiculous Kinsler ITB setup with carbon trumpets, it makes an already perfect engine bay even more perfect if such a thing is humanly possible.
And it wouldn’t be a Spoon meet without one of the most influential Spoon themed builds in recent years, now would it? Jesse Temores labored for years to find most everything he could from the Spoon catalogue for the CR-X chassis after it had been gone since before the ice age. There are too many details to point out and it would literally lead to me writing a novel equivalent of a work by Hemingway if I had to go on and on about it, so I will just keep it simple: Spoon Calipers, SW388’s, Spoon bucket seats, Vision/Spoon EF specific mirrors, Spoon EF Cluster, etc, etc, etc.
I will end it on that note, but there was definitely so much more there worthy of credit. We will drop some more shots from the event below, and if you see your ride or your friends ride, or your baby momma’s ride, or your baby mama’s mama’s ride, please feel free to shoot these photos their way! We would love to go on and on about everything we saw but to not sound like a broken record, we will keep it short and sweet. Thank you for stopping by the booth at the Spoon IHeartHonda event, and if we didn’t catch you there, we will catch you at an event near you soon!