This is Osaka JDM’s official race car—a third-generation Civic hatch. While it may look like a beat-up old plaything, trust me when I say this is no toy. Sporting a modified B16/B18 swap, enough Mugen goodies to make the snootiest of elitists envious, and some seriously slick Osaka JDM originals, this AH is a little monster. And by monster I mean that this little “breadbox” has kicked countless asses up and down Suzuka Twin Circuit and is always itching for a new battle. Combined with some cunning driving and great tuning, this tiny troll has bested the biggest names in racing, and you would never have known it… until now. So how can something so minuscule climb the ranks to the top, you might ask? Well, allow me to enlighten you.
In its natural state, this car weighs next to nothing, and with its gutted interior it now weighs even less, tipping the scales at just a tad over a ton. Throw on some EG6 brakes, a rear disc swap, much stiffer suspension, and one beastly built B16, and you’ve suddenly got a menacingly micro machine. Furukawa-san of Osaka JDM knew this when he built it, but he needed to make sure that his driving style went right along with the car’s hybrid mannerisms. So with the help of their ever-valiant team driver, Franck Decadi, Osaka JDM’s owner pulled off quite a few upsets over the last few years. Want an example? Two years ago at the annual Historix Race, the crew at Osaka JDM pulled off one of the craziest maneuvers in recent race history. For those of you unfamiliar with the Historix Race, rest assured in knowing that it’s one of the more “contact oriented” races in Japan. This means that no-no’s like pushing are acceptable, as long as it’s not too malicious or excessive.
So, at the time Furukawa-san was driving the AH Civic you see in front of you and Franck was behind the wheel of the Temple Racing EF3. (This was way before the B16B swap you see in the snaps, so both of these cars were merely plodding along on ZC power at the time.) The boys ended up on the starting grid in sixth and seventh position, with Furukawa-san in front, due to Franck having problems with the EF during qualification. In front of this “gruesome twosome” sat a number of treacherous challengers, including an acutely built B18C-powered Type R and an RX-7 rocking the infamous SR20DET swap. The race began with a rolling grid, and they were off. It didn’t take long until they started running into an immense issue. The RX-7 listed above was excruciatingly slow in the bends, and blocking any chance of advancement for the Osaka JDM team. They needed to find a way around this roadblock, and time was running out.
Every time the boys attempted a pass on the RX-7 in a turn, it would slow to a crawl and drive sporadically to prevent anyone from passing. Then, when a straightaway would present itself, its SR20DET engine would rocket it way out in front. Furukawa-san was getting pissed to say the least. In a single, desperate act, he decided to nudge the lumbering RX-7 out of the way in a turn with the front of his car. His plan worked, and the RX-7 spun off-course with profuse profanity echoing from its cabin, leaving the Osaka boys just enough time to sneak by and get closer to their next quarry. Overall they finished third and fourth that day, surprising all in attendance with their avant-garde driving style. Franck got a handsome-looking trophy, while Furukawa-san took home a souvenir in the form of a massive dent in his hood. But this decision to clout the RX-7 out of their way ended up winning them a spot in the winner’s circle. So to venerate their momentously dangerous triumph, Furukawa-san opted to keep the dent as his own “custom trophy.” To this day it serves both as a conversation piece and as a warning to anyone who looks in their rearview mirror only to find a little innocent, white, dented, and scratched Civic breathing down their neck.
Osaka JDM’s team racing driver, Franck Decadi, has led an interesting life and continues to do so without any form of respite. Originally from Pontoise, France, Franck was a pro driver in the 1990s and has owned 47 Hondas in his lifetime! He met Furukawa-san of Osaka JDM in 2009 when he was shopping for an EG6, and they quickly became close friends. Franck eventually started helping around the shop both as a mechanic and as an advisor, and before long, he was spearheading their import/export division. From there he started racing their ZC-powered cars against multiple K20 monsters and beat the snot out of the likes of, well, everybody! With a B16/B18 heart under the AH’s bonnet, it seems like Franck and the Osaka JDM team are quite an unremitting force in their division. Last year alone they clinched the Historix Race Championship, finishing first overall and shocking a lot of big-name tuners in the process. Franck currently lives in Osaka, Japan, with his wife and son, and dreams of one day racing here in America.