Fernando Huerta's 1994 Del Sol
Things to remember about Texas; steak, the Alamo...& this sick Del Sol
The Lone Star State's got a lot of room for you to spread your wings and standing out in a crowd isn't very easy. So when San Antonio's Fernando Huerta picked up this neglected little Honda as a daily driver, his intentions were to own a cheap cruiser to rock around during the summer. "I had a 2000 Celica that I was installing a wide body kit on at my friend's house and needed something to drive. The Sol was his neighbor's. "I'd always asked about it, but the guy wasn't selling." Fernando's luck changed when the stork delivered a bundle of joy to the neighbor and he suddenly became hard up for cash. "The guy just called me up and told me to bring money and to come get the car." Fernando's new Sol had been housed out in the Texas sun for nearly a year, and hadn't been fired in quite some time, so after pushing the car from one driveway to another and swapping out a fuse or two, the little 1.6 liter sputtered back to life.
After cruising around for a week, the neglected little single cam decided to spit one of the rods through the block and the Del Sol went right back to the driveway; the downtime was minimal as Fernando found a smoking-hot deal on an H22 swap locally and wasted no time pulling the old engine. But, as the old saying goes: if a deal is too good to be true, it probably is. "I got ripped off! The H series head had bent valves, so I found another short block with a 100-percent startup warranty and we swapped it in and it fired right up." Fernando could have stopped there but when the engine came out for a re-spray, he decided to go all out. "I saw a new BMW one night in Arctic Blue and I just knew that was the color. That night I went home and started ordering parts." Fernando's JDM shopping spree dressed up the Sol in the finest the land of the rising sun had to offer; matching Japan spec bumper moldings on the front and rear and JDM side markers were only the start. One-piece headlights, auxiliary lights and front fogs were swapped for glass OEM alternatives from across the pond. The hood, roof, and trunk were replaced with lightweight VIS carbon fiber alternative. Completing the exterior is a JDM-spec rear fog light to match his new tail lights and rear plate filler straight from Tokyo. With the parts in the mail, Fernando's bay got all of his attention. It was stripped bare, and all brake lines and wiring rerouted so all eyes would be focused on Fernando's 2.2 liter heart.
A famous Texas quote goes something like, "that guy's all hat and no cattle." Fernando knew he wanted some cattle to back up his "hat" so the H deuce-deuce was freshened up with a Koyo double-wide radiator with Samco hoses to keep things cool. A custom intake system was installed to feed fresh air through a 70mm throttle body, down the runners of a Golden Eagle intake manifold, and to the fresh four angle ported and polished head. Everything is topped off nicely with a Euro R valve cover. Although not the fastest animal on the street, the little targa-topped coupe had no problem holding its own, and Fernando was happy with the engine....for now.
With the Sol in the spray booth and the engine in pieces, Fernando realized a fresh paint job and new motor needed an interior to match, so out went the credit card and he was at it again! A set of Bride Low Max seats straddling custom seat brackets and sporting Takata harnesses got Fernando warmed up, followed closely by a Spoon Sports steering wheel and shift knob. Mugen MT pedals and an NRG quick release and short hub combo rounded out the aftermarket accessories. An "airbag-free" '93 Del Sol dash was sourced locally and stuffed with a JDM CRX Del Sol Cluster and JDM fog light switch. The doors were treated to a pair of OEM (in Japan) map lights, and the less than useful visors upgraded to the JDM-spec derivative.