Regional influence plays a major factor in the majority of Honda builds across the country, even yours. Whether you know it or not, subconsciously, all of the hours you spend clicking through the web have unknowingly placed a certain bias toward particular styles or trends that might come from any corner of the world. Freethinkers will often ignore the birthplace of their favorite modifications and instead focus on putting their own spin on things.
Hailing from Quezon City—one of 17 cities that make up Metropolitan Manila, the country’s most populous region—Michael Angelo Gonzales-Lim has pieced together a four-door Civic that pulls bits of inspiration from just about everywhere. In fact, look past the right- or left-hand-drive aspect, and this sedan would seem right at home in countless regions of the U.S., Japan, or any other country with a hint of Honda aftermarket enthusiasm.
What started out as a second-hand daily driver for his father has developed into a long-term build for Michael after the sedan was handed down to him. However, his father still plays a major part in the build. Early on, basic mods were thrown at the car that included custom headwork, and even some time on the dragstrip with a very respectable E.T. of 12.83. In 2007, two major events pushed the sedan to the back burner. The first being that Michael and his family purchased an EK9 with aspirations of building a neck-breaker, and all attention was turned toward the hatchback. The second, and unquestionably the most intense, was a flood that drenched the entire city with a waterline that reached the seat level of the Civic! Down but not out, the car was salvaged from nature’s wrath but still sat off to the side as more time and money was put into the EK9. In 2009, a visit from Ondoy, a tropical typhoon that wreaked havoc on the entire Metro Manila region, claimed three of Michael’s chassis. But once again, the sedan made it through the onslaught.
After a number of car shows and trophies with the EK, Michael couldn’t help but pick up a wrench and turn his focus back to his beloved sedan. He adds, “This was officially the start of its engine bay transformation. We had a local shop fix some of the damages from the storm, and some of the wires were tucked away, but it wasn’t enough for my Dad! The engine bay was still cluttered. One day we saw a picture of a tucked engine bay in Honda Tuning and thought we could do it ourselves. It was a slow and tedious ordeal, and the SiR totally became my Dad’s guinea pig.” The father and son team ordered a number of parts from the U.S. and continued cleaning up the engine bay from top to bottom.
“It was a lot of hard work, but my dad really wanted to pursue this since none of the cars in the Philippines were doing such a thing. We think it might have been the first.” To enhance the look of the ultra-clean bay, a fresh coat of white paint would provide contrast to the Passion Orange exterior paint and highlight all of their hard work. And all of that hard work paid off as their SiR took home a few trophies during its unveiling at the Manila Auto Salon, the Philippines’ largest auto event, and the car has caused quite stir.
After daily driving, a bit of drag racing, surviving two major storms, and eventually a complete makeover, we asked Michael what was next. “We plan to keep the car as long as we can. Maybe we’ll enter it in a car show again in 30 years, when it can qualify as vintage!”