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1999 Honda Civic Si - Lesson Earned

Eighth time's the charm…

By , Photography by Henry Z. DeKuyper


"I was never planning on keeping the car." That's what Jake Blackman of Scottsdale, Arizona, told us about his new (to him) '99 Si all the way back in the early 2000s. Jake's hustle is flipping cars—buy low, fix up, then sell for a profit. Funny thing is, that's exactly how he stumbled upon this Si. He recalls, "I had an Integra that I got carried away with and after selling a few things, I ended up with this." Jake's coupe was a one-owner car already sporting an aftermarket turbo kit. It was Jake's first boosted Honda, and over nearly a decade, he's grown into this monster.

Who wouldn't love a boosted, numbers-matching '99 Si? No one, but for Jake, it just wasn't enough. "I used to take it to the track every now and again, but I got bit and wanted to go faster." Jake started with the standard upgrades like tuning and putting the car on a diet, but until he went to a Garrett 42R, it was always a street car. "I remember running my first 9. I drove to the track, changed slicks, ran a 9.99 first pass, then got kicked out and drove home! After that I decided to make it a dedicated SFWD track car." That was a few years back, and Jake went through a ton of engine and turbo combos before getting into a groove with his current setup. He adds, "It was always trial and error. I was always the guinea pig." Jake's test subject status came with some big-name help from the guys at Full Race, RC's Garage, Locash Racing, and others; all personal friends from his hometown.

Jake's eighth and current incarnation started with a full teardown to a bare shell and a full bay shave followed by a fresh coat of Milano red. In his eyes, what good was running single digits if the car didn't look good doing it? The front end was swapped out for a full Exospeed single-piece sporting quick-release Dzus fasteners to cut some weight, add some girth, and improve airflow. Beyond the front end and the addition of a carbon-fiber sunroof plug with matching hood and trunk, the rest of the body was left untouched.

Jake had previously swapped out the B16 bottom end for a Darton-sleeved B18C1 alternative, ditching the stock components for something that could handle the power he was going to throw at it. While he did contemplate going the K route, he wanted to stick with what he knew. "I always said I was going to sell it, so I didn't want it that nuts. Plus, I knew B-series cars." With his heart in a B block he called up some friends at Full Race who came through with a twin scroll top-mount turbo manifold to support the monstrous Precision 7280 turbocharger. Full Race's dual backdoor intercooler with custom 3-inch piping keeps the whole system at its proper temp range. The huge turbo shoves fresh air through a Kinsler intake manifold and 90mm throttle body before eight ID 1,000cc fuel injectors spew q16 into the combustion chamber creating an optimal mixture for the NGK plugs to kaboom. Jake's setup, paired with an aggressive tune has netted him over 1,000 whp. Putting all of that power to the tarmac comes courtesy of an Albins transmission stuffed with a Wavetrac diff and matching Competition clutch and flywheel. Custom Driveshaft Shop axles twist power to the 15x10 Exospeed dual beadlock racing wheels dressed in 26-inch Mickey Thompson rubbers. Drag cars can't run stock brakes, and after using the OEM pieces for half a decade, they were swapped out for Wilwood single-piston calipers clamping Fastbrake pads over matching 10-inch Fastbrake rotors

Jake put the Civic on a diet when it was still a street car, but when a 10th of a second can be the difference between winning or losing, he went to the next level, pulling all of the rear interior, carpet and plastic, leaving only the front section of the cabin intact, and installed a Kirkey drag seat and stylish Vertex wheel. Helping to keep Jake safe at 150 mph plus is a 10-point chromoly rollcage and a Simpson safety net.

In 2012, Jake didn't have a very heavy season in the SFWD game, but with the setup he's got now, he hit an 8.92 at a blistering 171 mph—an impressive time no matter what tire size he's running. Jake's already got the Civic torn back down for it's ninth build, and will be sporting a new turbo and some other custom goodies, so by the time you read this, summer in the Southwest will be long over and the racing season will be in full swing. That means this Civic should be chasing and possibly breaking records at a track near you!

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