"I can still kick your ass." Brothers around the world have been known to issue this challenge at the onset of puberty, or when one brother begins bulking up and Nature's balance of power is disturbed. But what happens when the brothers are basically twins and have developed equal power, but in different ways? We recently found out in our shootout between James Paick's '93 B18-powered Civic SI and Sam Nou's K20A2-powered '92 Civic CX.
"I was just looking for a daily driver and I always liked the body style of the EG Civic," says Nou. Initially all he wanted to do was drop in a B-series for some added oomph and be done with it. As the owner of Access Motors in Signal Hill, California, Nou was able to do just that and had an LS block with a GSR head into his Civic in no time. All was going well until the clowning began. "I was building engines for my customers and the regulars began telling me that the engines I was building for them were faster than my personal one," recalls Nou. Not one to take matters of pride lightly, Nou "went all out" and built another LS-based VTEC motor to turn his peppy daily driver into a beast. Unfortunately, despite a month of breaking in the new motor, it spun a rod bearing on its first trip to the dyno.
For the complete story on the B18 vs. K20 shootout, pick up the September 2006 issue of Sport Compact Car, on newsstands now!