Pimped Civic and the TriFive Chevy: I took this picture a few years ago in Reno during Hot August Nights classic car festival while stopping to enjoy an ice cream at the DQ under the buzz of the neon while embracing remnant solar heat from the asphalt. Collectively these two marquee cars from Honda and GM represent a goodly portion of the aftermarket enthusiasm of their eras.
As long as cars existed there have been aftermarket vendors for all needs automotive real and perceived, utilitarian and vain. Shortly after Ford’s first Model T “Flivver” rolled off the line at Piquette their owners were “rodding” and “tuning” them in the perpetual quest for better performance.
For one surreal week its like Doc Browns Flux Capacitor went haywire and brought all the cars of the 50s and 60s to Reno. While all makes can be found representatives of the high water mark of the General can be found en masse; TriFives and Pony Cars become as common as Civics and Corollas on the street.
While separated by half a century and radically different spec sheets they are something of kindred spirits in the roles they played in the car culture of their respective eras. They are both practical midsize family cars with optional hot engines that had a strong influence on the direction market. Both were enthusiastically embraced by the enthusiasts of their day. The SBC dethroned the Ford flathead as the hot rodders engine of choice and supports an entire aftermarket ecosystem.
The Vtec Civics and Integras brought us into our current era of the 100+bhp/L daily driven 4 banger. While they are truly a century beyond the Model T in terms of refinement this quartet of cars very much expresses the soul of the T as a car for the everyman, embraced, modified and enjoyed by its owners.
Agreed. Seeing a hopped-up Honda makes me kinda sad, but I’m glad they’re interested in cars anyway.
Why would seeing a hopped-up Honda make you sad? Their owners are having just as much fun wrenching as any kid with a ’55 Chevy ever did. It is just that times change. Dual fours and six packs have given way to chips and turbos.
What exactly is wrong with that?
I acknowledged there’s nothing wrong with it when I said “I’m glad they’re interested in cars anyway.”
I have an issue with anyone who takes a sweet-running little car like a Civic and turns it into a backfiring, poor-running buzz bomb. I’m not saying they can’t, I’m just saying it bothers me.
I wish they’d stick to just gluing the wrong number of fake venti-ports to their fenders instead of destroying driveability. (I am an ex technician, if that sheds any light on my perspective…)
I worked in the car repair business for longer than I want to remember and I can understand where you are coming from in regards to shade-tree mechanics.
Alors, plus de change, c’est la meme chose!
That’s what I was going for. I suspect that my grandchildren will be hopping up their EVs with better ultracaps from Summit of Jegs and lusting after “hot” JDM Power controllers that unlock another 30% of the battery pack.
I’m just happy people are still modifying cars instead of just racing them in video games.
Yup, a hot rod is a hot rod, thank god the kids are still into it.
I think the 1992-2000 Civic Si coupes/hatches were the true ‘tuner cars’. When the 2001+ Cvics lost the double wishbones, then kids moved on to the WRX and EVO’s.
Today’s Si is merely a trim package, I think, like the Corolla S, sold mostly in 4 doors.
Uh, no. My 4dr. si has a 197 hp 2.0 with a redline of 8000, (I-vtech just kicked in yee hah! Not only multiple cam profiles but variable timing on the intake), six speed, limited slip, bigger brakes, bigger tires, bigger wheels…and I absolutely love it. And I’m an old guy. The 2012 has a 2.4 and 200 and much more low end torque, but the SI will always be a real performance package.
Wow, you’re sitting far across the atlantic, writing a story about hopped up civics, and you just happen to find a picture of a group of mofified cars taken just a couple of miles from where I sit, on the North-western coast of Norway :O The white CRX in that picture happens to have a 1.8 Integra type-R engine in it btw 😛 And I think I know who owns that WRC Escort Cosworth. Imprezas and newest gen euro-Civic aren’t as rare, and don’t seem too modified, although I think the Impreza lives in the same town I do. The world truly is small 🙂
Browsing though a Google Image search I went with it as it was A) An awesome photo and B) had a good sampling of tuned Japanese Cars with hot 4 cylinders.
Well the geezers were probably upset when I rodded my flathead fords. They really did not like it when I screwed up the handling by flipping the shackles on the 55. I get a kick out of it all. Those kids that are experimenting on their own dime will be the winners (race and life)of the next decade.