Mar 7, 2005 update to the Honda Civic SI project car

Getting rid of the vinyl

Our 2002 Civic Si project car last appeared in the Nov. 2003 GRM where we pitted it against the then-reigning Solo 2 National Champion 1988 Civic in STS (the Street Touring Street Tire class for which we built the 2002 Si to compete). The comparison showed that the heavier 2002 Civic is simply outgunned by the lighter, earlier model in National level Solo 2 competition. Still, we were proud of what we accomplished on a local level with the car in autocross competition.rnAs the car is a preproduction model, it was on extended loan to us from Honda, and we’ve been waiting for the day that they would want it back; from there it would likely be crushed. Even after its editorial usefulness had waned, we’d drive the eager, reliable Civic from time to time, taking it to lunch, just out for a spin or attending events with our support booth (which fits in the large hatch without need of a trailer).rnIt amassed a variety of nicknames: The Bread Wagon, Shuttle Pod, and even Penalty Box on long trips where the exhaust would tend to boom. Regardless of the look or sound, anyone who drove the Si hard down the off-ramp or around a tight corner usually got out of it saying, “you know, this thing is a heck of a lot of fun.”rnWe were going to be sad to see it go to the crusher.rnWe must have scored some karma points somewhere along the line this year, because it turns out that Honda is going to let us keep the Si, although it can no longer be driven on the street. This suits us fine: It started life as a show car, cut its teeth between the cones, and will now become a full-on track car.rnOur plan is to build the car to run and compete in as many different track events as we can, from NASA’s HPDE program and Honda Challenge H3 class to SCCA PDE’s and Club Races.rnBefore we can get to the fun stuff, there’s the matter of preparing the car. While we’ve loved the BFGoodrich g-Force tires for street and autocross, we’re going to be using some R-compound rubber for the track, so it’s time to remove the decals that have been with the car since it had just 300 miles on the clock.

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