As a matter of fact, the car's original intent was that of a daily driver, putting through the snowy winters of Colorado. However, after relocating to Riverside, Calif., with his trusty beater, the notorious performance bug proceeded to sink its razor-sharp teeth deep into his neck and the whirlwind began.
After a quick GSR engine swap, a chance meeting with legendary builder Jason Whitfield (Rage Performance) prompted Alex to add a nitrous kit and hit the dragstrip. Running consistent high 12's at Palmdale with just a few bolt-ons and a dose of laughing gas quenched his thirst for time slips, but he felt the little CX came up a bit short in the appearance department. Sporting a set of bright orange fenders after a small collision, and a crushed roof due to the factory hood unlatching under acceleration, there was no doubt that a facelift was well overdue. Alex recalls, "I was sitting in my garage on Thanksgiving Day last year looking over the car and just thinking about everything it had been through. I figured it was time for a change. I guess I just wanted a car that looked good and ran hard. Jason [Whitfield] always built fast cars that looked as good as they ran, and I wanted to do something like that." Almost immediately, Alex enlisted the help of his brother-in-law, Aberham Ramirez, to help tear the Civic apart in hopes of starting fresh.
With the chassis completely stripped, the car was ready for a fresh coat of paint and a new attitude. Friend and fellow car builder Jay Smith suggested that Evans Autobody in San Bernardino, Calif., be trusted with the bodywork. After a month at the body shop, the car was taken home where the rebuilding process was to begin. Feeling that he had bitten off more than he could chew, Alex took a step back and reconsidered the project. "I brought it home, looked it over and realized I didn't even know where to start. I think I'd lost my motivation. My girlfriend Elsa pushed me to get it going; she knew how much I wanted to finish it. Without her, I don't think this car would have ever been completed." Over the next three months, the couple traveled throughout SoCal picking up various parts to add to the build. One of those stops was the Honda dealer parts counter, where OEM replacements for every plastic piece and rubber seal both inside and out were purchased to update the 13-year-old commuter. Keeping the exterior as simple as possible, a Mugen EG6 front lip was installed along with a set of SiR headlights and Vision Smoked Amber corner lights. Honda window visors were then clipped to the doors and a SiR wing was paint-matched and bolted up to add some flavor to the rear.
The simplicity of the exterior continues throughout the interior as well. The Integra Type-R passenger seat and rear seats are matched perfectly by tweed door panel inserts with custom red stitching. The coveted Mugen S1 bucket seat with Mugen rails was selected for driver comfort, with a Mugen shift knob and aluminum pedal kit thrown in for good measure. Keeping the car stable on the straight and narrow is a Nardi 350mm deep corn steering wheel, also black with red stitching.