Juan Serrano's '00 Civic Si
Way, way out in the Pacific Ocean, far beyond any reasonably sized mainland, the tiny island paradise known as Guam can be found-if you look hard enough. This hot, humid place, surrounded by sandy beaches and coral reefs is home to 178,000 citizens, a few grocery stores, the world's largest K-mart (seriously), and a handful of dedicated tuners who have slowly been dominating the Honda scene among the Guamanian population. Juan Serrano just so happens to be one of those tuners, and has literally put Guam on the Honda map with his clean builds that always remain "reliable and comfortable".
In the early days, Juan found himself pulling a '96 Lexus ES300. Through a Japanese connection and the convenience of Yahoo! Japan Auctions, he transformed it from standard midsize luxury to "one of Guam's most recognized rides". Though stoked to be driving a car like the ES300, he was quickly fed up when it came to sourcing new parts, at times waiting years for parts that fit his ride.
In college, Juan hooked up with a crew, Menace 2 Society, who happened to be knee-deep in the Honda movement, and quickly became enamored with their lifestyle. "It was just drag, show, cruise. I loved the community and camaraderie. Those were the days," Juan said. Needless to say, the Honda bug had bitten Juan, and all he could think about was parting his Lexus and getting behind the wheel of a Honda.
A few months of searching later, Juan got his hands on a somewhat decent 2000 Si for under seven grand; "a steal" according to him. Despite the good price, the Civic didn't come without its share of problems. A huge dent on the driver's side quarter panel had been cleverly disguised with a large sticker, the interior was a mess, and someone thought it would be a good idea to wire up some household speakers in place of standard car-sized components. Under the hood, Juan found the power steering hose cut nearly in half, and he discovered a lack of A/C; a necessity for any daily driver in Guam. Damage aside, the previous owner left a couple of his aftermarket parts on board, including a Quaife LSD, Skunk2 manifold, and a Powercore header; a big come up, and parts that would stay with Juan until the end.
Juan's goal was to make the car as clean, reliable, and comfortable as possible. "This was the clean-up phase," Juan said. "Most of the basic work was done at the Menace hangout LA's Garage." The crew re-sprayed the original electron blue pearl and threw on some irresistible Regamaster rims. It was, in Juan's words, "the perfect daily driver".
It was less than a year later that the urge to mod struck once again, and this time it was serious. In a whirlwind of part shopping, Juan was quickly spending way too much without thinking. He didn't bother going with expensive parts, settling instead for knockoffs, from his "Mugen" wing to his "Spoon Sports" mirrors. After a quick, sloppy, thousand dollar re-spray the Civic had transformed from electric blue pearl to custom red. But he was happy, and even managed to pick up a few trophies from some local shows. With that, Juan figured his build was finished. "I'd done what I wanted to-make her clean and reliable with a little flash." Little did he know, the real modding had just begun.