STROKED AS­PI­RA­TIONS

MATT KOT­SI­FAKIS MAY HAVE HIT THE HOLY GRAIL WHEN HE BUILT A RAPID YET RE­LI­ABLE CAR. BUT GET­TING IT RIGHT TOOK TIME, AS WE FOUND OUT

NZ Performance Car - - Contents -

MELT­ING THE EN­GINE IN HIS DC2R WASN’T GO­ING TO DE­TER MATT KOT­SI­FAKIS, WHO PUT TO­GETHER A TODA-EQUIPPED B SE­RIES TO TAKE ITS PLACE.

There’s no use in­vest­ing money in the cylin­der head with­out ac­com­pa­ny­ing in­take up­grades. A ported Skunk2 Ul­tra Street man­i­fold and S90 74mm throt­tle body took care of that in this case

Change is a good thing. It keeps things in­ter­est­ing, leads to progress, and opens up op­por­tu­ni­ties and new ex­pe­ri­ences. Change forces us to chal­lenge our­selves and adapt to new sur­round­ings and life­styles. How­ever, this prin­ci­ple doesn’t al­ways seem to ap­ply to the game played out by most of you read­ing this. When the time comes to de­cide which four-wheeled can­vas to work with next, many seem to stick with what they know: an­other four-wheel drive, the next drift weapon, or a ro­tary with more dis­place­ment than the last. While some move on to a fresh idea once own­er­ship is signed over, many go back for sec­onds, and, ar­guably, this is par­tic­u­larly the case for Honda own­ers.

There must be some­thing ad­dic­tive about them, a the­ory that def­i­nitely rings true for Welling­ton-based NA en­thu­si­ast Matt Kot­si­fakis. Hav­ing grown up sur­rounded by Hon­das thanks to an older brother and his crew, Matt climbed aboard the high-revving train and hasn’t yet found a rea­son to jump off. “Re­search­ing the mo­tors and see­ing their po­ten­tial and how they per­form, I wanted to fol­low suit,” Matt says, and, “See­ing my brother and his mates progress with their cars and do them up made me want to do the same.” Matt’s pre­vi­ous rides were an EF Civic and an Ac­cord Euro R, which served as build­ing blocks for the ’99 In­te­gra Type R week­ender we see here to­day — a cul­mi­na­tion of in­spi­ra­tion, ex­pe­ri­ence, and re­search-fu­elled ex­per­tise.

Orig­i­nally, he was set on the later model K20A-pow­ered DC5, and Matt searched high and low for one that would jus­tify part­ing with funds, be­fore he be­came dis­tracted by an un­mo­lested ex­am­ple of the DC5’s pre­de­ces­sor. “Noth­ing was catch­ing my eye,” Matt ex­plains. Then, “I stum­bled across this DC2R, and I thought I’d check it out as it looked ex­tremely clean in the pho­tos. Sure enough, af­ter see­ing the car in per­son and tak­ing it for a test drive, I was sold on it.” Scor­ing a clean ex­am­ple of any 16-year-old car is al­ways a chal­lenge, and, be­ing close to stock, with a cou­ple of taste­ful mod­i­fi­ca­tions, the In­te­gra was some­what of a rar­ity — the per­fect can­vas for his next VTEC pro­ject.

Af­ter he’d bought the car, he squir­relled away funds while slowly chip­ping away at the build. Be­ing a stu­dent, Matt worked hard and savoured the bulk of his earn­ings while re­search­ing, de­lib­er­at­ing, and not too hastily com­ing to a con­clu­sion on what would make his In­te­gra dif­fer­ent from the rest.

Mean­time, he saw to nec­es­sary aspects of the car. BC Gold ad­justable sus­pen­sion re­placed low­er­ing springs to cor­rect the ride height and im­prove the Honda’s han­dling, and a cou­ple of care­fully se­lected braces com­ple­mented the new shocks. Be­cause the in­ten­tion was to even­tu­ally add a good amount to the power and test the car’s lim­its on the track, an upgrade in stop­ping

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