“I own 37 cars.” That fact was unmentioned for most of the conversation between myself and Eric Tsoi of San Francisco, California. That statement, in a nutshell, sums up Eric. He wants the best, won’t settle for less, and stays humble about it all. Actually, that sums up his project cars as well.
Eric’s collection ranges from Mercedes to Porsche, but in his own words he’s a Honda guy. “The Type Rs are always in the garage, the rest of the cars are on the street, or in my warehouse. Bottom line, I love my Hondas.” Eric has always wanted a DC5R, and when he started shopping to import one, he knew what color he had to own. “The DC5 is all about the red, it had to be red. No exceptions.” Eric splits his time between the U.S. and business obligations overseas, so once he had the car imported in ’08, it had some downtime. He adds, “The car sat in storage from ’08 to ’10, and people forgot I even had it by the time I came home with it.” Modifications on both cars were only done on brief returns home, and had a year or two’s worth of pileups of the best parts Eric could find. In one shot, the RSX was treated to an exhaust manifold and valvetrain courtesy of Buddy Club, and a cat-back exhaust by HKS. The stock suspension was swapped for a full Tein setup, and the OEM parts were put on the shelf since Eric wasn’t foolish enough to throw away any stock R parts.
Eric’s choice of 18-inch Iforged Flux wheels raised a few eyebrows from purists and JDM crowds. “This car isn’t going to see a track, it’s just too rare…besides, the wheels look good!” Eric’s desire to maintain the original integrity of the DC5 spread even to the Chargespeed aero pieces, which were painted separately from the DC5 as to not have overspray on the 100 percent original paint. The stock interior isn’t lacking in the rare department, so Eric only swapped the stock wheel for a Mugen FG360, and added some gauges on the A pillar to monitor the K series under the hood. The DC5 is one of Eric’s favorite and in his own words, “I love the DC5, but I’ve only put 2,000km on it since 2008. I’m not home enough to drive it!”
Another gem in his collection is this immaculate yellow hatchback. Type Rs are rare, but Type Rx’s are the rarest of them all. “I had to have the Type Rx, it took a long time to find, but I had to have it.” For those not in the know, the Type Rx has all the high-revving goodness Type Rs are famous for along with some creature comforts like automatic air conditioning and automatic power folding mirrors. The two-year waiting period that the DC5 was treated to carried over to the EK9 as well, so the stockpiling of parts was just as big. “I was sending so much stuff home for the cars from overseas that my wife had to convert our guest room into a storage garage! She wasn’t very happy to say the least.”
The Civic received some Spoon Sports valvetrain bits along with a J’s Racing carbon-fiber intake and a Fujitsubo cat-back exhaust, all in Eric’s first week back! Eric isn’t and hasn’t modified these Hondas for any “scene,” so he caught some flak for swapping out the stock five-lug for a 4x114.3 setup just to run a set of wheels. Eric said, “I had these custom Volks on my ’96 Type R, and really wanted to run them on the EK9, so I swapped the older Type R four-lug setup.” Behind those custom Volk TE37s are Project MU rotors, pads, and lines helping Eric slow the beast when he throws the anchor. Cusco took care of all of the suspension and bracing duties on both the top side and the underbelly, while Buddy Club gets the camber straightened out. All of the stock parts for his cars are tucked away safe and sound, so the exchanging of stock fenders for J’s Racing wide fenders, and a carbon-fiber hood and trunk from Inspire-USA didn’t take away from its authenticity one bit. With the EK9 sporting a bit more in the go-fast department, Eric decided to replace the stock seats with Bride Brix-I seats in red gradation to match the red interior accents already present.
Eric’s entire collection ranges from European super cars to ultra-rare JDM pavement pounders, but the Hondas hold a special place in his heart. “Though I’m a car guy in general, Hondas have always been my favorite and will always be.” As far as Honda goes, Eric has everything from previous Type Rs to NSXs and a Spoon’d-out S2000 that’s in a constant state of build. He has never sold any of his cars, and even his first Honda, bought almost 16 years ago, is still in his stable. By the time this hits stands Eric will be overseas once again, and his cars will be hibernating. Keep your eyes peeled for more super-rare imports in the Bay Area because Eric doesn’t plan on calling his collection “complete” anytime soon!