Love ’em or hate ’em, there’s no denying that the Honda Civic has played a huge role in creating the Japanese tuner car scene we all enjoy today. The reasons are plentiful: small and lightweight, nimble handling characteristics, ease of modification, race-bred pedigree, and bulletproof reliability. Although some of us may throw our hands up and cry out “wrong wheel drive,” it’s hard to deny that the Civic is by and large the dominating force of the FF performance world, or that Honda had anything other than an absolute smash hit with the ’92–00 Civic platform.
Brian Bullock has had his eyes on a ’96–00 3-door hatch for quite some time; he remembers his younger years when the EK was the new kid on the block and the object of his desire. “I chose to build this car because when I was in high school, the EK hatch was still new and was something I wanted to build, but was out of my price range,” Brian says. “Luckily, a few years ago, I was able to find a straight-frame, rust-free example to work with, which is really hard to get here in Ohio. The only downside was the trans was shot, and it was sitting on bent Mugen wheels with eBay coilovers and blown struts.”
Good thing Brian didn’t plan on keeping the car in that condition for very long — the factory motor and transmission were soon ripped out to make room for another love or hate type of transplant: the Honda H22A, a motor hated on by most, yet revered by a few. Paired with a JDM Accord Euro R transmission, the JDM 2.2-liter certainly has enough guts to get Brian’s Civic motivated to get out of its own way on track, which is where the car spends most of its time. A fully gutted interior with a really cool custom “half dash” scream “track duty” to anyone who looks, and the rollcage is so heavily built it would look at home inside a NASCAR — a small FWD NASCAR, but you get the point.
Paired with a JDM Accord Euro R transmission, the JDM 2.2-liter certainly has enough guts to get Brian’s Civic motivated to get ...
The outside of Brian’s EK isn’t exactly subtle. The brightly hued 3M Vivid Blue vinyl wrap grabs your attention quickly, and although it may be a bit Smurf-ish for a street car, we like it. Track cars are supposed to be loud (both visually and literally), so Brian’s choice of color looks just right with the tasteful and function-based aerodynamic parts selection. The ever-classic Sprint Hart CP-035 wheels have been finished in a custom flat gray and wrapped in Falken Azenis RT615K tires, a perfect choice for a light track car.
Brian is unrelenting about his passion for taking racing off the streets and onto a track where it belongs. “I am very vocal in the local hobby when it comes to street racing,” Brian says. “I am always trying to show others that there are much better ways to quench your thirst for performance driving than street racing. My wife is into drag racing and I hope to get my kids into karting at an early age, which my son will start doing next year.”
With so much passion and so much persistence going into this build, we have to tip our hats to Brian for doing a good thing for himself, and the community. Hopefully, more people will follow suit and get off the streets and on track.
Why We Picked It
We like Brian’s EK because it has everything it needs — and nothing it doesn’t. Good power, clean looks, good taste in parts and, in a nutshell, it’s a great function-based build. Since the car is a dedicated track car now, we hope that Brian takes the safety equipment a step further in the near future.