The shiny new FK8 Civic Type R that dominated social media and served as the top story of just about every automotive journalism outlet—and was pelted by every Negative Nancy on the face of the earth—has finally settled itself within the enthusiast space. It wasn’t easy, though, as it faced an uphill battle from the very beginning. With a long production lead, a hatchback that incorporated five doors rather than three, and an overtly aggressive yet seemingly necessary body treatment that lends itself to blistering laps around the Nürburgring, the Civic Type R has certainly been the talk of the town for a few years now.
The Type R badge has been a crucial part of the popularity of the Honda community since the ’90s. These days, enough money and a decent credit score can have you sliding behind the wheel of your very own R—warranty and all. Still, there’s something altogether different about the ’90s-era Type R models that separates them from the modern version. Sure, they don’t have nearly the same power or advanced electronic suspension, but they do forgo those additional pounds and seem to translate driver input in a more visceral fashion. Add to that an iconic shape and a more traditional three-door platform and, well, it’s tough to deny just how good things were a few decades ago. Due to the overwhelming fascination with Honda’s hottest hatch of yesteryear, a staggering number of lookalikes have been built over the years, and more often than not, someone describing their dream garage will typically list at least one of Honda’s R models. Adam Elghriany, owner of this ’99 CTR, was lucky enough to make his dream a reality.
About four years ago, Adam got word that his friend Billy Hoang was open to selling this EK9. He adds, “Even before I got the car, I was always in love with the Civic Type R. When I was presented with the chance to own one, I jumped right at it.” Adam’s immediate changes were mild, consisting of nothing more than basic maintenance and a set of bronze TE37S. That’s not to say he didn’t spend as much time as possible behind the wheel to enjoy the rare breed.
With a Civic Type R, some could go on without so much as adding an air freshener and remain completely content, but Adam had other thoughts. “After about eight months, I decided to clean the car up completely. The goal was always to try to keep it as close to original as possible. It’s a very special car, and I didn’t want to take away from its original look.” With that said, Adam has always had a fetish, like most Honda fans, for Spoon Sports' yellow EK9 and wasn’t shy about taking inspiration from that iconic hatchback and adjusting it to his personal taste.
What started as a simple cleanup quickly transitioned to a serious restoration, which got underway after Adam, along with a few friends, pulled the engine and began disassembly of the entire car. The chassis would remain its original yellow, but in Adam’s eyes, it really needed a fresh look, so the shell went to his friend Raul of Litos Customs in Long Island for a respray inside and out. With the EK9 looking better than ever, Adam started to feel the crunch of locating OEM parts for a 20-year-old chassis. Fortunately, he had some help in his hunt from the purveyors of OEM goods: Ryan and Collin of Afh-parts, along with Joey of Nemo’s Garage. In addition, when it came time to bring in some of those hard-to-find JDM goods, he reached out to Matt of ICB Motorsport and the local delivery man began making frequent stops to drop off more and more OEM and aftermarket goodies. Those visits included a long list of Spoon bolt-on parts, like a header, throttle body, Kevlar intake, radiator, and hoses. The headlight harnesses were tucked out of sight thanks to a kit from Wireworx, and to reap the full potential of the high-revving B16B, Hondata’s S300 ECU was added.
The yellow and black combo that’s become synonymous with Spoon’s EK9 wasn’t lost on Adam’s buildup. Spoon SW388 wheels are joined by an authentic carbon hood, power mirrors, and rear wing to make sure of that. The lone carbon separation from the Spoon catalog took place under the front bumper, where a First Molding lip was chosen. To get the car down a little lower without getting into regrettable ride height territory, KW Variant 3 coilovers were installed and dialed in along with JUN camber arms, Hardrace bushings, and Function 7 control arms to help the already well-sorted CTR handle even better.
Things began to come together when, as the Civic was shaping up to make its triumphant return at the next major show, without warning, tragedy struck. “The biggest setback I experienced through the whole build process happened a few weeks before Wekfest East,” Adam recalls. “I was involved in a head-on collision, hit by someone under the influence of heroine going 100 mph. I literally lost all hope for finishing the car in time for its Wekfest debut.”
This is the part where you realize just how important good people are and you get a sense of that when you hear Adam’s friends, Sam and Albert of Certified Racing, showed up at his house day after day to help wrench on the build, knowing how important it was to Adam to complete it and understanding just how much he’d been through recently with the accident. “Without them, the car would’ve been sitting for another year as I recovered from the accident.” The team effort paid off as the final touches were applied and the restomod EK9 was back on the road again—where it belonged.
There are a thousand different directions you can take with Honda’s sixth-generation hatchback, but when someone like Adam Elghriany gets ahold of the most coveted version of the chassis, you quickly realize he’s not going to veer far from Honda’s original intentions. The modifications are simple, effective, and, if history is any indication, they’re also timeless. He adds, “I definitely have plans of traveling with the car, bringing it back out to Cali, and maybe a couple of states in between. I also plan on switching up the look eventually and maybe going a little more aggressive. The biggest and most important thing to me is to stay with Japanese parts only. I’ve always been against replica parts, because quality [is greater than] quantity.” We expect the future updates will be far less stressful, and we’re confident the look and feel will be just as age-defying as this version.