I love this car.
I have no reasonable reason to like this car in the slightest. Traditionally, I've hated front wheel drive cars. I thought all Honda Civics were just driving pieces of bondo with a spoiler straight out of Fast and Furious on the back. I was into drifting, giant Japanese "VIP" sedans, things like that. But when this car popped up on Craigslist for $250, I couldn't resist.
I had recently been doing research on a group of street racers in Japan known as the Kanjozoku. If you haven't heard of them before, I highly recommend doing some reading/watching. "The Kanjozoku, Osaka's Famous Street Racers" is probably the most famous documentary on the topic, and one of the only sources of information you'll be able to find without putting in some heavy research. While they're getting more popular as time passes and information on them is becoming more and more readily available, it still boils down to them being a few small car shops in Osaka who haven't quite made the transition to the internet yet. (That being said, they do have a small internet presence - email me if you want a list of some Mechadock/Temple Racing/NoGood Instagram and Twitter accounts to follow)
So who are the Kanjozoku? They're street racers in Japan who almost solely race Civics. They strip them, cage them, and used to run from the police so often they would have to paint them nightly. Shaved off VIN numbers and no license plate so they can abandon the cars if they're caught. Everything about them sounded straight out of a movie. What really caught my eye was the use of their cars as a tool. They pushed small economy hatchbacks to the absolute limit and then pushed them a little further, pushing the envelope of modifications people had tried with that platform. It was inspiring to watch and really showed me the DIY potential of a cheap econobox car and some ingenuity, something that instantly appealed to me, coming from a security background. One of the things I've loved about security is utilizing a normal computer to do things "outside of the box" that aren't usually supposed to happen, so the attraction of racing a $250 economy car was too great to ignore.
While I could write paragraphs on the different modifications I've done, problems I've run into, or annoyances I've had, it would be wasted space as I maintain a build thread on Honda-Tech! The link is at the bottom of the page, you can follow my updates from start to present and see the current state of the car.
Check out this picture from Day 1. Yeah, I spent my hard-earned money on that.