King Motorsports Unlimited, Inc. - Mugen Performance Products for Honda and Acura

Honda Artwork

If you're like us, your passion for Hondas is reflected in the artwork you buy and display. We have a few to share:


Years ago we bought this cloth print at the Honda Collection Hall at Twin Ring Motegi- it hangs proudly in our office.



This mural featuring some of Honda’s most iconic racing machinery hangs inside Honda’s closed-to-the-public R&D facility in Raymond Ohio.


The 100 foot long mural was produced by artist John Frye.


The Mugen City Turbo race car!


Mugen and Honda ran a single make racing series using the City Turbos. The cars were based on the production vehicles as were the motors. The motors had larger exhaust, injectors, production type turbo (with 22psi), production type intercooler, and a modified camshaft. These cars did the standing 1/4 mile in 13.5 seconds (which isn’t bad for a frontwheel drive car set up for circuit racing).


They ran very fat tires (9” front and 7” rear). The official Mugen figure for power output is 138+hp @ 5500rpm but the torque is around 22kgm @ 3500rpm (standard twin cam VTEC 1600 has 16kgm, NSX V6 has about 28kgm). It takes little work to produce these power figure in a street motor. The cars from the one make racing series were bought by an Australian entrepreneur with the vision for continuing the series in Australia. Unfortunately all the vehicles were in a warehouse in Osaka waiting to be shipped when an earthquake struck and buried the lot.



Update 2/20/2013:


If you were racing your Mugen City Turbo II in the mid 80's, chances are are you had this Mugen competition oil cooler kit.



 

Classic Mugen Wheels: CF-48, MR-5, M7 (Updated)


Time for an "image tribute" to some classic Mugen wheels over the years. Let's start with the radiating-heat goodness of the CF-48. These are the uber rare black versions with black center caps. The black CRX ain't too bad either!



You have to have the black aero discs (and gold-colored logo / lettering) to go along with them! If you've ever owned CF-48 wheels you know there aren't many aero discs in circulation today...





The MR-5 was easily the most popular wheel of that era. The black-center version with polished lip is hard to beat!



Mugen CR-X Circuit Racer with Mugen MR-5 wheels.....



The M7 wheel is quite rare as very few were sold back in the day. It's all about the SUPER FACTORS!

1. SUPER PRECISION

2. SUPER DYNAMIC-BALANCED

3. SUPER DURABILITY

4. SUPER STRONG

5. SUPER LIGHT



*Update*

Here are a few more additions to our classic Mugen wheel tribute!


Mugen CF-48 wheels with the aero disks. American Honda provided the entire SCCA SSC class field with these wheels at the Runoff in 1985. Quite a sight! This brochure showed them available in GUN METALLIC, CHROME CUT SILVER and CHROME CUT BLACK.



A closer look:





From our image library. Old school shot of a Mugen-equipped EF with Mugen CF-48 wheels.



Update 2/14/2013:


Check out this Mugen 1985 Accord with CF-48 wheels! Brings back memories. Check out all the color and style variations, including a metallic aero disc version!



 

1968: Honda Racing RA301


The Honda RA301 was produced by Honda Racing for the 1968 Formula One season. It was introduced during the 1968 Spanish Grand Prix, the second round of the season. Like its predecessor (RA300), the car was co-developed by Lola Cars, and called "Lola T180" by Lola Cars.



The car was an update of the previous season's RA300, using the same RA273E engine. As Honda was also focused on developing the air-cooled RA302, the RA301's development suffered and Surtees only managed a best of second place in the France. Poor reliability saw him managing to finish just two other races.



The car was planned to be replaced by the RA302 at the 1968 French Grand Prix, but Surtees refused to drive the new car because of safety concerns. After the death of Jo Schlesser at that race, Surtees again refused to drive the RA302 at the 1968 Italian Grand Prix, and the RA301 was used until the end of the season.


With Honda's withdrawal from Formula One at the end of the season, the RA301 was the last F1 car raced by Honda until the 2006 Formula One season's Honda RA106.


 

** Thanks to Wikipedia for the history and Motorsport Retro for the pic **


Mugen Emblems: Power Collection, Mid 80's


The Mugen logo has always been to me a thing of beauty. I first saw it in the late 80's, on a white first-gen CRX that the popular kid at school owned. He had acquired a few Mugen parts and proudly showed off his Mugen badges. In those days, Robotech and Japanese anime culture were on the rise, so the Mugen logo represented a magic synergy of Japanese cool-factor and cache. The badge had it all: Power, bold kanji, simplicity and in "in the know" foreign flair; all built upon compact cars that were within reach to the average high-schooler growing up in Southern California. Come to think of it now, these elements make up a large part of the backbone of what we toss around these days as the definition of JDM car culture.


Nowadays we take it for granted that "imported from Japan" is synonomous with "high quality," "original" or "authentic" -- even if it isn't always true. But let's turn back the clock to the 80's, to a time when Japan was just starting to be seen as a country that produced high-quality, technologically-advanced goods, especially in the automotive and consumer electronics industries.



This newly-forged consumer credibility in Japanese-made goods was such a departure from decades past that "Back to the Future: Part III" pokes fun at how much things have changed. In the 1955 storyline, Doc and Marty dig up the USDM Fried-Time-Circuit-Spec DeLorean and have this memorable exchange:


Doc Brown: No wonder this circuit failed. It says, "Made in Japan."
Marty: What do you mean, Doc? All the best stuff is made in Japan.
Doc Brown: Unbelievable!


Can't blame Doc Brown for his incredulity. Let's put this in perspective for today. Right now, Chinese-made cars have the reputation of being low-quality, gaudy, inferior knock-offs hobbled together with shoddy workmanship, cheap labor and non-existent quality control standards. Whether that harsh reputation is warranted or not, when the Chinese car manufacturers show off their products at international auto shows, they make cringe-worthy appearances and somehow can't find a copywriter who helps their image instead of harming it. But you have to start somewhere, and in perhaps a decade a few stand-out Chinese auto makers will at last make a decent car, pay the big bucks for a proper ad agency to position and brand them, and they will eventually sell proper Chinese-made cars here in the USA. It sounds crazy now, but no crazier than telling 1955 Doc Brown that in just a few decades, Car and Driver Magazine would have a 10 Best Cars list that includes three cars from Japan (1985 Honda: Accord, Civic/CRX and Prelude). In my own lifetime I've seen Korean cars go from oddities to top sellers. So IMHO I'm betting the same can happen with China. Some day, your kids may want Chinese lettering on the vinyl stickers they proudly display on their super-smart, super-efficient CDM rides. Ni hao, mei guo!


All this automotive navel gazing spooled up within me this week when King Motorsports posted up a classic collection of Mugen logos and emblems from the mid 80's. This single full color catalog page reads a bit like the Rosetta Stone of the Mugen logo. The logos featured here bridge a certain visual branding language gap, capturing a precise moment of Mugen's visual identity transition from the 70's to what they would use in the 90's.


On this single page you'll find the well-established, classic kanji-focused stickers and emblems-- but you ALSO see some of their early uses of the red-gold-black stripes integrated with the logo. The san-serif version of the badge has transitioned nicely into the metal, tilted parallelogram badge they use today.



By the 90's the red-gold-black stripes were common in the printed logos, usually in the minimized dashes they still use today.



I love this terrific window banner that is properly curved to the shape of the glass and tucks the Mugen kanji into the black color bar.



Here is the full catalog page scan. Right-click to see the high res version.


 

And someday you'll have this exchange with your son:

 

You: No wonder the super e-motor volt booster you got off Taobao isn't working. It says, "Made in China."

Your kid: What do you mean, Dad? All the best stuff is made in China.

You: Dangit!

 

** Check out all of the currently available Mugen emblems and stickers at the King Motorsports online store. **







Mugen EG Hatch/Sedan & Aero Exhaust


It's EG Friday here at King Motorsports! Here's our roundup of Mugen EG models and the parts offered at the time! Above is the Mugen EG hatch with NR-10 wheels. Below is Mugen's red sedan with MR-5's.



The catalog offers additional details for the aero parts and a unique sports exhaust system called the Aero Exhaust.



More images from the catalog show wheel, valve cover, exhaust, steering wheel and suspension possibilities for both the EG hatch and sedan ...




This is the first-gen Aero Exhaust, which Mugen made specifically for the EG Civic. As usual, Mugen includes all the mounting hardware and bits to ensure a perfect fitment.


This streamlined and slim exhaust design was later replaced with the Mugen Twin Loop design around 1996. A version of the Aero Exhaust is also popular with the EF Civic crowd.



And here's how the Aero Exhaust looks bolted up under the EG sedan! We love how Mugen used to badge these exhaust systems. "If you care enough to look down here, then we want you to know this car is equipped with Mugen AWESOME."



And here's the exhaust on the Mugen EG hatch (thx Gerado D. for the find):



You can see all of our currently available performance parts for the EG Civic on our online store.


Mugen and the First-Gen CRX


There are few Honda enthusiasts who don't have a soft spot in their hearts for the CRX. We found a few rare pics in our photo archives of Mugen's influence on the first-gen CRX in the 1980's.


Here is one of the two Mugen prototype CRX's built for American Honda in 1984. These cars were used as a test bed to develop parts for the American market. Some of you may have never seen CF-48 wheels with the aero discs installed on them. So few aero discs have survived the years.



Test fitting the Mugen exhaust to a brand new CRX Si in 1986 at American Honda in CA. Damn- they were cool....We always loved the way the Mugen kanji badge peeked out from under the bumper!





The Mugen CRX (called the "CR-X" in Japan) demonstrated the huge tuning potential of the Honda platform and from that, a whole generation of Honda tuner enthusiasts were born!


We love the white on white look with the racing red equator line and clean gray door graphics!



When it was introduced in 1984, the CRX turned the automotive world upside down. A small, efficient package that punched far above its weight. The simple addition of a set of Koni shocks and a set of 175/70/13 Yokohama A001R tires would turn any CRX or Civic into a world-class handler with just enough horsepower to surprise the many unsuspecting driver of "marque" cars...



The Mugen body kit accentuates the simple design of the CRX without being over-styled.


Mugen SCCA GT-4 CRX (Updated)



The Mugen SCCA GT-4 CRX. This race car was very important step in Mugen history, as it introduced Mugen to the American market. It was designed and built in 1984 by the Special Projects division of American Honda in Gardena, CA.


This team was led by Dix Erickson, Charlie Curnutt and Mugen lead engineer Takashi Uno. The 1.5 EW engine was designed and produced by Mugen and produced 165hp. Design features included a dry sump lubrication and twin 45DCOE Weber carbs on a Mugen intake manifold. The transmission was a close ration 5 speed also designed and built by Mugen.


This car destroyed the GT-4 competition and won several SCCA National Championships between 1985 and 1989.


Yes- Mugen had arrived.....



Here is the exhaust manifold for the GT-4 CRX being made at Mugen. The Mugen technician that built this exhaust manifold also built all the early Honda F1 exhaust manifolds!




Here is a finished Mugen GT-4 exhaust manifold. Amazing craftsmanship!




Here is a very rare picture of the Mugen GT-4 CRX at a pre-race season test session. Notice no decals, numbers or race markings yet- early days in its life as a racer!




Update 8/14/2012: An old friend from American Honda "Special Projects Department" stopped by yesterday and dropped off some really great old articles on the Mugen GT-4 CRX. Check out this one from the 1985 Runoffs edition Sports Car Magazine:



Update 10/19/2012: Below are scans from an article about the SCCA GT-4 RACING PROJECT. The race car was a key promotion for the launch of Mugen performance parts in the US. It was quick, biblically quick ...


Here's the text of the article and specs:

 

The 1984 American Honda Motor (A.H.M.) and Mugen jointly decided to enter into Sports Car Club of America GT-4 racing using the Honda CRX. The CRX is the car that Honda produced as their second generation sports car. When the CRX started rolling off the production assembly line, A.H.M. and Mugen started making race plans. Mugen took care of engines and drive trains, and A.H.M. took charge of the suspension and body works, which were done by Dix Erickson and the Special Project Team.

 

In 1984 two prototype engines were made and sent to the United States. The engines were tested in the stock CRX body. Based on those prototype engines, 3 race engines were built by Mugen's Formula-II racing team. The engines were equipped with a dry sump lubrication system. This project was completed within two months. Even though they primarily worked on Formula-II V-6 engines, the team really enjoyed developing this in-line 4 cylinder engine.

 

Meanwhile, Dix Erickson's team was hard at work, stripping down the CRX and installing the roll cage. They believed in the CRX's potential and left the standard suspension layout on it. They did not use tube frame construction for the same reason. The body was painted in traditionaly Mugen colors.

 

In May 1985 the car won its very first race at Road Atlanta. After that, gears, exhaust systems, brakes, wheels, and suspensions were continually refined. In 1985 Doug Peterson won the National Championship in GT-4 driving the CRX and 1986 Parker Johnstone won the National Championship in GT-4 driving the Mugen CRX.

 

"On August 8th, 1985 we went Carlsbad Raceway with Mugen GT-4 car to attend SCCA National race. There we saw several GT-1, 2, 3 cars, and our GT-4 CRX had to race with them. But by Doug's Driving, at the qualifying Mugen CRX beat big cars and got the pole position. During the race it was repeated again, Mugen CRX finished First and became the overall winner."

 

QUALIFYING RESULTS

 

POSITION - CLASS - CAR - DRIVER

1 - GT-4 - MUGEN CRX - DOUG PETERSON

2 - GT-2 - FERRARI 308-GTB - HOWARD F. PYNN

3 - GT-1 - CHEV CORVETT - JIM DOUGHTY

4 - GT-3 - DATSUN 200 SX - JOE CARR

5 - GT-4 - DATSUN 510 - DEREK MCKESSON

6 - GT-1 - CHEV CAMARO - DAN CROFT

 

DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS


NAME: MUGEN XA-1 USR


TYPE OF ENGINE: IN-LINE 4 OHC 12-VALVE


DISPLACEMENT: 1529cc


BORE x STROKE: 75 X 86.5


COMPRESSION RATIO: 12.3 : 1


HORSEPOWER: over 165ps / 7800rpm


TORQUE: 17.0kg-m / 6000rpm


CARBURETION: WEBER SIDE DRAFT 45-DCOE


IGNITION: C.D.I.


WEIGHT: 111kg (with T/M)


GEAR RATIO:

1ST 1.824

2ND 1.474

3RD 1.227

4TH 1.047

5TH 0.920


FINAL:

4.067

4.267

4.429

 



 

Update 12/4/2012: We found this super rare photo of the Mugen SCCA GT-4 CRX race engine in our archives! The Mugen engine code for this engine was XA1 USR. 1592cc with a 75mm bore and a 86.5 mm stroke at 12.3:1 compression with dry sump lubrication, this engine made over 165 PS @ 7800 rpm. At first Webber 45 DCOE carbs were used, then switched to Mikuni 44 PHH. The Mugen GT-4 CRX dominated SCCA GT-4 competition for many years......

 

Right-click the image to see a larger version of this work of art!


Mugen MF-318 Engine and FJ 1200 Race Car

 

In 1973, the first racing project of the newly formed Mugen Co. Ltd. was the MF-318. Based on the Civic EB1 Civic 1200 engine features dry sump lubrication and Keihin 35mm CV carbs to make 135 ps at 8000 rpm. It was very successful race engine in both formula car and sedan racing. The team at Mugen completely remade or modified every aspect of this engine. Boring the engine to 1300cc, the Mugen MF-318 was victorious in its very first race in the Formula FJ 1300 racing series in Japan. It went on to become the dominant engine in this series for many years to come.



Here is a very rare picture of the Mugen FJ 1200 race car. Pictured here in 1973 at the first Mugen HQ.