Jun 20, 2016

SHG_DASC's 1988 Civic EF | Blue Hills Touge

Getting back into the flow of things, I knew that I had to get back to shooting religiously if I was to continue mastering this elusive art and bringing you high quality content. Days off are few and far in between and so opportunities can be scarce but every now and again you get to sneak in a day with a tad more freedom. Dan and I both had an afternoon open a couple of weeks ago where we linked up and went about running some errands while I leisurely took shots along the way.

When it comes to owning a modified Honda, most are well aware of the challenges that accompany maintaining its road legal status. Here in Massachusetts, Dan Saldivar's 1988 Civic hatchback is exempt from any emission or ECU testing due to its year of manufacture but it still has to pass the basic safety inspection. 

Under no sound judgment would a Buddy Club Spec 2 equipped vehicle ever pass the exhaust portion so Dan had to find a "guy" which was proving to be a challenge. With an upcoming trip to visit family down south in a couple of days then, meant that it had to be parked for the time being.

Before heading out Dan gave it a quick rinse as pollen season is here and coating cars overnight. The paint is sealed which makes the whole process a breeze as the water beads together nicely for quick easy drying.

We hit the skreets and headed to Pro-Spec Autosport where they specialize in custom wheel mounting and fitment with over 15 years of experience. Definitely the place to go if you've got a prestigious set of JDM wheels or for your daily bread-getter as was the case on this visit.

The white Enkei wheels that you see in the center of the shot is for his girlfriend's Tia lightly modded Honda CRV which they share for daily duties. What better way to set off on a trip than on brand new rubber and maintenance up to date?

Whilst there a couple of customers had stopped by including this bagged WRX that honestly was rather well put together. I'd have a lot more appreciation for the stance oriented crowd if they put as much emphasis on details and quality as this. 

Right as we were about to leave another showstopper pulled up. This time a fully built Evo 9 that looked straight out of the motherland sporting quality parts from top to bottom.

Orange exterior with blue Bride interior is a bold choice but I dig it. Once again, execution is absolutely critical!

As a photographer, I always enjoy tagging along and having an inside look at my subjects world. For Dan, the Blue Hills "Touge" as we call it, is his home turf. A 6,000 acre park that overlooks the city 10 miles away with a stunning view.

For the average human, it's the place to go for outdoors activities such as hiking, mountain biking, jogging or lakeside sports. For a gear head however, it offers freshly laid pavement and is comprised of touge like twisty bits and little traffic perfect for stretching the EF's legs just a tiny bit.

What makes this golden era Honda so special and unique can partly be attributed to its nimbleness thanks to the suspension mods and sticky AD08s. Build up a little temperature onto them and they come to life, keeping the handling predictable and glued to the road.

The other aspect that makes this EF so unique is its simplicity. The EC Works Type-94C mirrors and Chargespeed front lip are pretty much the only non Honda exterior parts that you're going to find. 

The EF's boxy and straight lined styling cues are to blame for this car being so photogenic. From any angle it is simply stunning.

Previously a West Coast car built by ATS*Garage, Dan's managed to continue developing the car over the recent years and most changes being so subtle that only him and friends would know. Thankfully we have the SHG blog to get that exclusive insider look!

It couldn't possibly all be described in this post and it also wouldn't do it justice. There's a lot more to it than meets the eye which warrants another article in the future. Afterall this meetup was more to hang out and do hoodrat things than feature a build.

The sun was soon to set so we headed to storage where another beauty awaited...

Lurking in the background is Tia's recently acquired project car, a 1986 Civic EA, the predecessor to the EF in Honda's chronological timeline. 

A pristine 270k mile specimen with mostly original parts and only 2,100 miles since its motor rebuild. We can't wait so see what she's got in store for it.

Should Tia keep the well conditioned 1.4 liter fuel injected motor or swap in a B16A? Let us know in the comments below but for now, we'll just have to drool on this EF to get our old school fix. See you next time boys and girls.