As a Speedhunter it’s quite literally our job to go around and stare at mind blowing cars day after day, a very tough job no doubt. I won’t bore you with tales of becoming increasingly unsatisfied with cars, but I will say that when I visited TYPE ONE last month I was expecting to see the same kind of stuff that I usually encounter (nevertheless incredible in its own right), but this year I was taken aback to see an EK hatchback on the rack!
While Spoon has certainly become a very serious force to be reckoned with in the tuning industry, it’s the iconic ’90s hatchbacks of yesteryear that I and many others treasure dearly that boosted them into super stardom. In recent times it has seemed like Spoon had completely lost interest in the Civic and Integra chassis from Honda’s golden era.
Hell there were even times when it seemed uncertain that Spoon was even going to stay dedicated to Honda when they began their campaign of Rigid Collars available for cars like Dino’s R34. So when I walked into TYPE ONE and saw this beautifully prepped example it was truly heart warming.
Seeing how passionate Ichishima-san was about the project also had a real impact on me about the brand and my previous premonitions about their seeming shift in focus. It’s become clear to me now that Spoon is just as excited by the older chassis as its fanatics around the world are.
Here we see Ichi getting a good look at the progress of the build and giving future work orders to two of his employees while Dino looks on. Even though it’s not a monster GT-R, I’m pretty sure that Dino likes what he sees…
I don’t care who you are, a Spoon brake kit is dead sexy! From the underside of the car you can really start to appreciate the amount of work that has been done to get this chassis up to competition spec. Any other guys out there that are serious FF Honda heads will also notice the rolled and tack-welded upper fender seam – a must for track cars. Also, take note of the air jacks…
There are two in the front and one more in the back to get the car up in the air quickly during a pit stop. The car also uses proper welded tow hooks instead of the lightweight aluminum pieces Spoon Sports sells… sorry fan boys!
Many of the suspension components have remained standard, most likely as part of the rules stipulation for the ST-4 class in Super Taikyu which the car is being built for. However, certain optional factory components like Civic Type-R N1 crank pulley which lacks a groove for the A/C and P/S belts are allowed.
The main modification to the footwork is a set of Spoon’s sport damper system. Spoon has pretty deep connections within Honda’s parts bins which extends to many of the OEM suppliers who in turn also make Spoon’s components; in this case Showa dampers and Nissin calipers. It’s the little details like this that keep Spoon one level above most aftermarket brands.
Around back I found a very interesting rear sway bar reinforcement bracket. It’s common these days for people to use a piece of billet that runs the entire length of the subframe from which you can mount the swaybar, but I would presume this little section is about as far as the rulebook will let you deviate from the standard fitment.
Overall, the entire underbelly of the car is lightly modified but restored to perfection. My god how I wish that the bottom of my EK looked like that! The exhaust system is one of the more loosely regulated items in the S-Tai rulebook, so that sucker shoots out straight as an arrow…
To the rear where it has a single bend to kick up over the control arm before terminating out of the rear bumper sans muffler. Although I didn’t hear it fire up, I can assure you this slip-fit exhaust is extremely loud and raspy, just the way a B-series should be!
The outside of the car follows suit in a very similar fashion, with a few small components changed out from stock. Here we see an extremely rare EC-Works type C mirror, only diehard JDM nuts will recognize these. Perhaps a little strange that they didn’t use one of their own Spoon mirrors, but very cool all the same. The little circular lens affixed to the mirror is for the infrared receiver for the on-board lap timing unit.
Another legendary Spoon piece that seems to have gone missing is the iconic duckbill rear spoiler, but this time around I’d suspect that’s more of a rules and regulations issue. Since the ST-4 class requires the cars to carry a very close shape to the factory vehicle I’d bet that a major aerodynamic component like a rear wing change is forbidden.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t tune it! Ironically, this wing belongs to a lower-end EK4 model rather than the Type-R, so technically it isn’t “stock” but I’m sure Spoon has their reason for using it. TYPE ONE applied their motto of “we know the meaning of light weight” to the rear wing by cutting out the underside and removing the third brake light and all the other plastic bits, leaving a clean metal shell. Pretty clever eh?
Of course a fuel cell isn’t only an allowed modification for endurance racing, but is actually a requirement. The more fuel you can carry on board, the less you have to refuel and that adds up to precious time on the circuit.
Ensuring proper fuel feed is also critical as starvation can damage an engine quickly. Therefore it’s not uncommon to see clever surge tanks and other failsafe techniques applied to cars like this.
The cockpit is pretty stripped down, as you’d expect of a race car. Yet again, another holy grail amongst Spoon collectors – the ultra fancy blue-faced, green-needled EK cluster – is missing. In its place is a no-fuss digital readout which is capable of quickly and reliably displaying any parameters the driver might need. At least the Spoon steering wheel is there!
There’s also a very lightweight Spoon Sports carbon-Kevlar bucket seat installed which should add some saving grace amongst Spoon fanatics. Those with a very keen eye will have noticed the roll-up windows which was a feature on not common on the Type-R and found only on the N1 base model, a car sold by Honda as a more complete version of a body-in-white for racing.
If you’ve been taking notes on the car thus far, you’re probably not surprised to see that the engine compartment is also fairly tame.
As I mentioned in the TYPE ONE article earlier this week, Spoon has long been criticized for selling parts that don’t make gobs of power, like the Kevlar intake elbow seen here. But the reason for this part is because that’s about the only section of the induction system that the Super Taikyu rules allow you to change, and any improvement – even a very small one – is worth investigating in Spoon’s eyes.
One of the things I was most intrigued about was the full length radiator with a funky double-waterneck. When I asked Ichi about this I expected he’d say it had something to do with cavitation, but apparently they’ve built the radiator in a way that it effectively has two separate banks and they can only use one half of the radiator at colder events. What a trip.
So there you have it (Spoon) sports fans, a completely new build on an old favorite from one of Honda’s best known tuners. Not a bad way to start our FF mini theme wouldn’t you say? Stay tuned as there’s plenty more FWD awesomeness to come!
Front wheel drive crap! I want nothing from this car. I rather piss in the gas tank than drive this car
@rbliberty08 I would like to see whatever car you have take a lap around any track as fast as this, sorry not going to happen
Hey Sean - do you know what wheels they are planning to run on this? Those calipers look like monoblocks so 17" wheels then?
Yep, I saw a more recent photo of the car after I left and it was wearing a set of Spoon CR93s.
also, nothing like B series drivetrains with shaft linkages, the double wishbone front setups and featherweight chassis'. Love old hondas.
So sick. I love seeing polished, in depth Honda content on SH. Thanks for the solid read and desktop backgrounds, Sean.
Another Takata harness install that been done wrong and unsafe! Dosent anyone read the instructions that comes with them?
Very poor, exp. when there is a cage in the car aswell.
As odd as it sounds to say, I'm a Spoon/ Type One lover who has never owned a Honda. Not that I don't like them, quite the opposite really. I would take a CRX, EF/EG/EK or s2000 any day actually but I've tended to stick to awd vehicles. All of that being said, I've always admired the level of perfection that Spoon Sports takes with there cars and products. Nothing is cobbled together and everything has a purpose. I think it's how they make a car work as a complete unit rather than collection of parts. I can't wait for more from the FF theme.
iamnotemonster Yep, they certainly take a very serious approach to what they do. In a sense I would say they look at the car similarly to the OEMs in that they want to increase performance without sacrificing anything, which is very difficult. Sure you can make a car go faster, but often in the sake of reliability for example. You know the whole "change is easy, improvement is difficult" mantra.
sean klingelhoefer iamnotemonster Agreed wholeheartedly. I think that's what set them (and Mugen) apart from other aftermarket brands. It's performance that doesn't compromise reliability and in most of their products, street-ability of the cars.
Great article Sean; as a fellow Honda-head myself, I always enjoy your in-depth Honda articles. Most people would never notice stuff like the rolled fender seam, N1 crank pulley, or the compact rear sway bar mounts. Plus, and I don't know why, but I totally get a boner over all the JDM OEM goodies like the CTR N1 door panels, EK4 wing, etc so I'm glad you highlighted them.
hushypushy I'm very glad to hear that! I have to keep in mind when I'm writing a lot of these stories that many of the readers aren't familiar with Hondas so I try to point out the stuff that could easily be overlooked. I've been tinkering with these cars since before I could drive and I've probably forgotten more than I can remember lol.
Phil Robles Thank you Phil, can't wait to see what the audience thinks of your car ;)
Must be a pretty inspiring car for you as well...
I was lucky enough to have a quick chat with one of the mechanics/team members when they were at the 24h race at the Nürburgring back in 2004 or 2005 with the Accord. Despite the language barrier and the the car not doing so well at that point in the race, he was very nice to answer a few questions. Good guys, that really love motor sports!
Too bad they have never returned since ...
Indeed they are a very friendly bunch, actually most Japanese are quite good about spreading information about their passions. It was really nice seeing this car and it definitely inspired me to go take the cover off my EK and start making some improvements of my own!
Just noticed on the rear picture of the car on the lift there's a mean dirtbike (Can't tell the model.) creeping in the corner haha. The Honda deal goes full circle haha... Once again awesome post.
Knarley post! Incredible car! I wouldn't neccesarily say Spoon has drifted away from it's roots in older Hondas though. It honestly depends on who their customers are and what theyre interested in. Demand in development and so on. So as cars like the DC5, S2K and FD2 Civic became more affordable the cars became even more popular to tune. In a sense I find that fascinating with their builds. From EG Civics to NSX'S, S2000's to CRZ's Spoon gets their feet wet with just about any fast or fun car in Honda's lineup. Very diverse stuff!
xracer6 I know exactly what you're getting at, but the majority of Spoon's business comes from overseas customers - not walk-ins at TYPE ONE. For every oil change they do at the shop they probably sell 1,000 stickers to Americans at $5/each. Do the math. And all of those types of items from key chains to steering wheels to carbon fiber wings are mostly going on Civics and Integras... it would be nice to see them doing more in the way of current development and introducing new pieces for these cars that are still doing the majority of the work to keep the roof over their head. That's my opinion at least.
So awesome! So many improvements made, while yet staying within spec of their particular racing series! Go SPoon!
KeithCharvonia Well if they lifted the damn thing higher! Also, Sean's wide lens does absolutely nothing for my athletic figure. Damn you and your Nikon glass Klingelhoefer!!
speedhunters_dino KeithCharvonia LAMO yes everyone Dino is not shaped like that, that is a very wide shot hence all the distortion at the edge of the frame!
Dino please please do a feature on the Spoon EA-T. He loves showing off that car and I would love to see some good shots of it. The K20 EK is a awesome machine as well. Great article's!
speedhunters_dino zackspeed333 That one should already be in the bag by now lol.