This weekend I stopped by my local Autozone to return some parts. As I pulled into the parking lot, this red beauty was the only car in front of the store. I swear there was a golden beam of God-light piercing through the Pacific Northwest cloud cover, shining directly on to this JDM wonder. I heard angels singing; somewhere in the world, blind people were seeing for the first time. It was an Autozone Miracle.
I found the owner inside -- his name is Brian B. and he was more than happy to talk about his ride. I knew immediately he had a story behind this very clean second gen CRX which he affectionately calls "Suki."
Brian was more than happy to share -- and it's clear there was a lot of love put into this CRX. Love, combined with a few rear-ender heartaches that he persisted through. Here's his story in his own words:
My dad first got a CRX when I was 6 years old. I remember fond times of him taking me around town and on long road trips in that car. Since then, I wanted a CRX of my own.
My dad called me up early 2006 and told me he had a friend that had an abandoned one located on his property. I inquired the story about the car, what year it was (since I wanted a second gen) and what color it was. He told me he had no idea about the details on the car, except for the fact that the previous owner drove it out on to his friends property and got out of the car and killed himself. I was reluctant to pick it up after hearing such a horrific story. He decided to pick it up and possibly flip the car after he did the maintenance work. He sent me photos of the car after he received it and I became very interested. A Rio Red 1988 Honda CRX DX.
I purchased it from him for $1,000, which is cheaper than any of the mods I later did to the car. At first I drove it around as a daily driver, just enjoying having a car I have longed for. After a year's time, I became bored with the stock d15b2. I had the itch for more horsepower. I started saving as much money as I could while still attending college. After a year and a half of owning the car, I had the money ready to start my motor swap and my first set of suspension parts. I decided on the B16a because I felt it fit the chassis and style I was going for since it came that way from Japan. I mistakenly cheaped out on suspension and went with Megan Racing coilovers and KYB AGX. This was reversed years later.
I spent a month swapping the motor in along with a minor wire tuck. The big hurdle was modifying the stock Japanese harness from the B16a to work with the stock DX harness, since the old harness was tired and brittle. I wanted most of the Japanese harness to look untouched. I tucked the fuse box to right above the ECU on the passenger's side and tucked both headlight harnesses. I was starting to make some progress with the car.
One advantage to being a poor college student with a car project is funds are limited. Now that might sound odd, but it makes you think multiple times before you hastily make a purchase on a part for style or performance. This gave me time to figure out all I wanted to do to the car, without making it look over the top or so similar to the rest.
My uncle (a frame puller at a body shop in Kennewick, WA) offer to paint my Rio Pink / faded car as long as I helped pay for supplies. I would be stupid not to agree. It was really easy to get it started and place the primer on, but the downside was is getting the time for him to finish up the car. Especially since I lived in Boise, Idaho at the time. The car stayed in its primer state for one whole year before going under the gun.
Two weeks before heading up to my uncle's for the paint, I was rear ended by a semi at a traffic light. His excuse was that he couldn't see me and forgot I was there. This is after he hit my rear bumper 5 times before stopping.
Luckily, this is what my Uncle did for a living, so it was no big deal to pull it out.
Car was then painted and all of the pieces put back together:
I had the itch to make it look as OEM/USDM as possible...
A few weeks away was a local car show called Shakotan Matsuri (Lowered Car Festival). I felt I was all ready for it, and then I was rear ended by my roommate's sister.
I spent another year waiting for insurance money and the time to get this damaged fixed. I also picked up a new set of wheels, which still happen to be my current wheels. These were originally going to be a temporary solution until I could afford a rebuilt set of BBS RSs or a real set of Work Equip 03, but then ended up staying with the car a lot longer than I wanted them to be.
One of my buddies gave me this old (but now very popular) 5 panel Wink mirror back in 2008. I like to think I was on the cusp of everyone and their moms' owning one.
Once I finally got the the rear end fixed again, I decided to upgrade the tail lights to the 90-91 EDM tail lights with the EDM center piece with fog light. This means the fog light is on the driver's side, rather than the passenger side like the JDM fogs.
Mind you this project car was also my daily driver throughout all of this.
Finally got around to purchasing the Koni Yellows + Ground Control sleeves with top hats.
Went out with my friend and his Fit for a photo shoot.
Coming up to the more recent mods, I decided that the stock bushings were old and tired as well with over 220,000 miles on them, so I spent the winter of 2010 replacing everything.
I finally got the car to a nice spot. It was the perfect blend of daily driver and tough machine that I always wanted. Since 2011, not much has changed on the car. I went back to a Broadway convex mirror because I was tired of seeing the Wink 5 panels everywhere. Future long-term plans include Hondata tuning, more aggressive cams, REAL wheels, Bride racing seat and harness bar, and a Nardi Racing woodgrain steering wheel with quick release hub.
More of this shoot here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nateshrum/sets/72157628388718047/
B16a from Hmotorsonline
Si steering rack
Hasport Motor Mounts
Hasport Shift Linkage
2.5 inch cat back with magnaflow exhaust and dual tip
Koni Yellows + Ground Control sleeves and Ground Control top hats
Complete bushing overhaul
ODB1 conversion (With Ostrich chip emulator)
EDM flush wing
EDM tail lights and center fog light
GT Styling Solarwing II
DA Integra Front and Rear disc brake swap
OEM VW MK3 VR6 Euro lip
** Thanks Brian for sharing this awesome build and pictures with us!! **
You can find a full range of parts for the first and second gen CRX at the King Motorsports store!