A track-bred Civic from Honda's golden era

Staff
By Staff Writer
Oct 24, 2021 | Honda, Civic | Posted in Features | From the May 2021 issue | Never miss an article

Photography by Tara Hurlin, Build Photos Courtesy Evan Weider

Story by Tara Hurlin

Evan Weider says that he will always remember his very first time at the track: the 2010 West Michigan Honda Meet at GingerMan Raceway. The people, camaraderie and energy instantly ignited a passion in him that still shines so brightly that his eyes light up with just one word: Honda.

Add “EG-chassis” and you’ll be rewarded with an ear-to-ear smile. He left a piece of his heart at the track, he says, which later led him to buckle into the driver’s seat of his first car–a teal Honda Civic coupe–for the (since departed) 2012 WangFest Track Event, also held at GingerMan. 

Evan was hooked. He leapt down the rabbit hole of upgrading his vehicle’s performance and handling to match his growing skill set as a driver. He participated in various HPDE events held at GingerMan each year, and only five years passed before he jumped into time attack competitions. 

From Sub-1:40 to Scrap

Evan greeted us with an aura of enthusiastic energy when we ran into him at Gridlife Midwest in October 2020. We asked to check out his latest build; he’d just met a major goal by having it ready for its first shakedown in time for the event. The car, a 1995 Honda Civic DX known as EG 2.0, had been a bare shell just five weeks earlier. 

Actually, there’s more to the story, so let’s back up a smidge before diving into Evan’s current build. It all started with his previous pride and joy, a 1993 Civic CX hatch.

“I had that car set up so well in early 2020 that I ran a 1:39.78 at GingerMan Raceway,” Evan reminisces, noting that he did it on 200-treadwear tires pushed by a naturally aspirated four-cylinder. The Sub-1:40 Club, a phrase coined by the Midwest track community, welcomes those who beat that benchmark time at GingerMan. When a driver earns the right to be initiated, it’s kind of a big deal; they even get a cool little “<1:40” decal as part of the bragging rights. 

Early in the 2020 season, however, Evan was hit–through no fault of his own–and thrown off the track. Only the car’s engine and transmission were salvageable. 

The Gridlife community–led by John Koster, who started the GoFundMe–rallied together so Evan could pick up the pieces and get back on track. Evan soon found the right donor car. 

As far as he knows, EG 2.0 spent the majority of its life on the central East Coast, particularly in the Virginia area. He purchased it as a bare rolling shell. “When I say bare,” he explains, “I mean it came with absolutely nothing installed: no chassis wiring, interior, drivetrain–nothing. All of the interior bits, wiring harnesses and miscellaneous items were located in five 45-gallon totes.”

Evan Weider has a thing for Hondas, especially ones bearing the ever-popular EG chassis code. After his other EG hatch was wiped out on track, he built this replacement. 

Build Back Better

Evan envisioned replicating what he’d started–after all, he’d implemented eight years’ worth of track development in that wrecked Civic. “It was a lot of trial and error, figuring out what works best and what can be set aside,” he says of the first car. “I also reviewed and studied many other guys that run the same chassis as me. I did a lot of internet searching, I can tell you that.”

But Evan also wanted to make this second car even better than the first. 

He transformed the bare shell into a fully operational track car mostly by himself in just a few months. Cody Loveland of Affinity Aerodynamics built the six-point roll cage and completed all of the fab work, but Evan handled the rest of the build, including the required paint. The project was exhausting, Evan confirms, but visualizing the final product drove him to the finish and kept him sane along the way. 

“Earlier in the year, I did a whole slew of upgrades with EG 1.0,” he explains. “Doing all of those modifications, tearing down EG 1.0 after the crash, then assembling the EG 2.0 was an immense amount of building and rebuilding in one year. It was the most car-related work I’ve ever done in such a short period of time, hands down.”

Hardware comes from some of the usual suspects: big StopTech brakes, Fortune Auto coil-overs and a Nine Lives Racing Big Wang. Cody Loveland, whose own EG is the stuff of legend, built Evan’s cage. 

Something Old, Something New

The heart and soul of EG 1.0, a 2.4-liter K-series engine mated to a Civic Si six-speed transmission, lives on in version 2.0. 

Evan first built the silver hatch–and then it got wrecked. The lessons he’d learned were applied to the Paradise Blue Green car, its replacement. “I am in love with the spunky and hyper color palette that came out of the ’90s Honda platform,” he says. 

Evan was determined to retain the factory dashboard, though, so furnishing the interior around the roll cage was a challenge.  Luckily, good car friends never disappoint. His buddy Adam Buchanan stopped by with his TIG welder for a few nights after work to build custom mounting brackets for the dash. “Everyone that helped contribute to this build fabricated and produced top-shelf components,” Evan says in a thankful tone.

Something Paradise Blue

“I gotta say, aside from handling and performance, that my most favorite thing about this car is the color,” Evan says. “I am in love with the spunky and hyper color palette that came out of the ’90s Honda platform, also known as the ‘golden era’ chassis. 

“This particular color is called Paradise Blue Green Pearl. It was also worn by my first car, a ’95 Civic EX Coupe. The color has so many characters and is absolutely beautiful. It will practically change before your eyes depending on the ambient lighting conditions.”

Now that EG 2.0 is complete, Evan is just looking forward to more seat time: “I plan to just have fun with it. That’s what I’m all about.”

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