Every reader will know well the daily-come-project concept; however, this was meant to be the furthest thing from a project car that there is. Justin Pillay, who is not unfamiliar in the pages of NZPC, purchased this 1996 Civic Si sedan to take over daily duties from his recently sold EK sedan, which ran the single-overhead-camshaft (SOHC) engine. It had been around a few members of the NZHondas club in Christchurch and was in complete factory trim. Light aesthetic changes and a general tidy-up were on the cards, but nothing major. In reality, it ended up receiving a complete Type R front end, which includes the facelift bumper and Mugen wing from Anthony Wong’s old EK Civic. The panels, understandably, were initially all clad in mismatching colours, so the call was made to undertake a full respray in a nice steel blue from a late-model Mazda, and, along the way, a number of little issues were addressed, including more than a handful of Zebra trips to get the windows, door locks, and aerial all working.
After giving the engine bay a thorough cleanup ( shown here with blue rocker cover), Justin discovered that the compression on the factory B16A was a touch on the low side, and, rather than rebuild it, he went back to what he had previously known: an Integra Type R B18C conversion. The long block is being rebuilt inside and out to get it fresh and ready to be dropped into the hole, and that will give the understated stock aesthetics a bit of a kick for that all-round daily-sleeper goodness.
It should be a lot of fun to drive — maybe you’ll spot Justin blitzing past on the motorway.