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1989 Honda Civic DX - Brotherly Rivalry

This flat back is set to go flat out!

By , Photography by Matthew Jones

“I never really liked the EF chassis, it’s ugly.” Those are the exact words that left Aaron Allred’s mouth when asked about the off-the-wall hatchback you see here. In actuality, he didn’t start out with the car you see pictured—it took a lot of work to get to this point. “The car was a roller, no engine or anything, but it was already track prepped, so I figured, why not?”

When Aaron picked up his ’89 hatch almost two years ago his plans were fairly straightforward; build a car to smoke his brother’s ride. “My brother had a Mustang, and I wanted to blow its doors off.” The formula was simple enough: “little car plus big turbo equals losing ’stang.” The gutted Civic already had KSport coilovers and a single Bride racing seat, perfect for Aaron’s needs. In his garage, he’d already pieced together a B16 stuffed with CP pistons and Crower rods from a previous car, so the heart of his new project was already decided. Once the EF was running, the hunt for go-fast parts eventually led him to AFI Turbo. Aaron adds, “Initially I only wanted one part…that blew up into a full turbo setup.” Over the next few weeks, Aaron put together a full setup through AFI, and everything was going just fine until fate stepped in.

“I found out I was going to be a dad, so everything I just bought, well, I had to sell. I never even got the car running with it.” After piecing out his brand-new turbo setup, Aaron was bummed, but after talking with Brad from AFI, things seemed a bit better. He adds, “Talking to Brad made me realize that my bills were caught up and I didn’t have to sell my car, I just couldn’t go full turbo.” After some collaboration, Aaron and Brad designed a one-off B-series exhaust, and from there the project was off and running. With the block already built, Aaron had the head ported and polished, then replaced the OEM running gear with upgraded Supertech components and cams from Brian Crower. Deciding the bay could use some attention, the engine was pulled and a few hurdles were hit along the way. “The chassis and engine harness were both shot. Instead of just replacing it, I upgraded them both with mil-spec alternatives.” Hidden wiring needs a bay to match, so Aaron got to work shaving all the unnecessary holes and welds, then put the Civic back together.

Initially Aaron was planning on running an Edelbrock Victor X intake manifold, right up until he came across a deal he couldn’t pass up. “I was on the forums and found a set of Jenvey tapered ITBs and the price was insane—so I snagged them.” The hatch was no doubt coming together nicely, but Aaron knew that a budget-built, naturally aspirated B16 wasn’t going to destroy a well-sorted Mustang. Aaron knew he needed a power-adder, but he’s not rolling in dough, so forced induction wasn’t happening. He went back to something from his D-series days and opted for a custom nitrous system. He said, “Most Honda guys don’t run nitrous. I never knew why because if it’s done right, it can be super effective and inexpensive.” Aaron opted for a custom direct-port dry shot of nitrous that injects the NO2 into the intake manifold (in this case the velocity stacks on the ITBs) and lets nature take its course, mixing with the fuel on its own.

With that much power under his foot, traction would obviously be an issue, but one that can be overcome with the proper set of tires. Nitro Performance 13x9-inch wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson radials are on duty up front. Meaty 9-inch tires can’t fit comfortably under a stock fender without the weenie boy crazy camber effect, so swapping out the factory front clip for a Strada Industries front end was next on the to-do list. A fresh coat of almost OEM paint and a CCC Racing EF drag wing rounded out the mod list.

Aaron’s in the process of upgrading the Civic (again) in pursuit of the nitrous Honda world record. He told us, “This thing turned out just how I wanted it. Now we’re going for the world record, and if we don’t, we’re just going to run it ’til the top blows off!” Oh, and in case you’re wondering what happened with Aaron’s brother and his Mustang, well, things didn’t work out so well. He adds, “Since it’s a Ford, he blew it up (I think he was scared). He’s building a full-race motor now which just means that I’ll be going turbo for the 2013 season, lol!”

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