David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/19/05 9:40 p.m.
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We admit that our Civic's paint is not in the best condition--never mind the car is four or five different shades of red--so we have begun taking steps to make things look better. In about six weeks, the car will head to the Advanced Technology Center (http://www.advancedtechcenter.org/programs/autobody.html) for a respray.

The ATC is part of Daytona Beach Community College, and students will get to hone their skills on our Civic. The plan is to repaint the car the original Milano Red while removing the assorted dents and dings.

Tom Prescott, an instructor at the school and the owner of Body Werks, our local high-end body shop, checked out our Civic yesterday. He said the front bumper cover can be saved, while the students will have no trouble with the dents. The roof and hood are the worst parts of the car, as both will need to be stripped before the new paint is applied.

Meanwhile, we're going to order some new plastic trim pieces for the exterior of the car. While we could refinish what we have, most of taken a beating thanks to the Florida sun and are a little tweaked. The ones we're finding at the salvage yard aren't much better. Fortunately we like the prices we see at Majestic Honda (http://www.HondaAutomotiveParts.com). Still, it's going to cost us about $400 to replace our various trim prices. The end result should be worth it, however.

In other Civic news, our BFGoodrich tires have arrived. We're going to run the g-Force T/A KD while autocrossing. We also ordered a set of g-Force T/A KDW tires for street use. The KD tires do work well on the street, but since Florida summers can be wet, we figured that running an appropriate tire wouldn't be a bad move.

In theory, the Civic will be autocrossing with the Central Florida Region SCCA this weekend. We ran with the Martin Sports Car Club Jan. 9. We finished near the bottom of the pack, but at least the only way to go is up.

Looks like some 15x7-inch wheels are in our future for autocross use. We're going to run something from Rota, and right now we're just deciding between the tried and true Slipstream or the new GT3. By the way, check out http://www.wheeldude.com for some good prices on Rotas.

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