NZ Performance Car - - Construction Under -

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.

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