VTEC Throwback: A Period Correct EF Civic

When I was a youngster and my dad took me to car shows full of stuff like ’57 Chevys, ’32 Fords and ’69 Camaros, aside from being amazed by all the old school machinery, I used to wonder if ‘modern’ cars would ever be considered classics like the ones I was looking at.

This was back in the early 1990s, and now 25 years later I can report that a lot of those modern cars have indeed become classics. At least by my own definition.

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That brings me to this 1990 Honda Civic SiR owned by Carlos Galindo that I spotted at the Street Neo Classics Show in Torrance back in October. Not only would I consider it a legit classic, this EF9 is the perfect throwback to a bygone era of Japanese-style tuning.

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And that retro feeling becomes apparent the moment you set eyes on the tri-spoke Team SSR wheels, which are perfectly suited to the Civic’s period correct modifications. Look closely and you’ll also see NSX brake calipers behind the spokes.

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In the import styling world, the latter part of the 1990s might be remembered for its excessive body kits and loud graphics, but this EF keeps it a lot simpler with mostly OEM parts and accessories, including rain guards and a rear fog light.

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Under the hood sits a B16A motor with a few bolt-on upgrades. When combined with the lightweight Honda chassis, the 1.6-liter DOHC VTEC powerplant is the perfect recipe for fun on the street.

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‘Parts need only have high quality and high performance to obtain superior form,’ as proclaimed by the decal on the rare intake from Feel’s in Japan.

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Inside, the right-hand drive cockpit has all of the expected modifications like a Momo steering wheel and Bride seats, plus cool JDM bits like the ‘Personal Box’ and the Gathers cassette deck.

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It might only be a quarter-century old, but I can already see that cars like this EF9 are well on their way to becoming the ’57 Chevys of a new generation.

Long live the good old days.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia_media



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EF guys STAND UP! this is my 1990 Civic hatch daily driver. Me and her been through a lot. A lot of wrench time in it and worth it. Currently building up a b16a with eagle rods. but might be picking up a b20b instead and selling the b16. We will see this weekend.


EF Squad! Great feature Mike. I love the simplicity of these little cars. Wish I'd never sold mine!


I'm desparate to get my hands on some three spoke wheels, either these or some Super Advans in 5x114.3.


I vaguely remember a video that was done on a Civic that had its engine rotated 180 degrees. They did this to physically lower the engine in the engine bay as the exhaust did not need to run under the engine. Also the engine tilted so the centre of gravity was lower and further back. Does any know more about this and where I can find that video again. The guys from Spoon did the conversion, I think. Those guys tried many things with these cars!!


I love Datsuns, and probably would never go to another marque(nissan is forgivable).

But the civic has grown in my heart ever since ugaiz at speedhunters did several features like this.


RacingPast Are you sure you're not just thinking about the design change between the D/B/H series engines and the K-series? Honda designed the K-series engine to rotate clockwise (for the reasons you listed), whereas all previous Honda engines had counterclockwise rotation.


Interior is pretty similar to my Rover 200


DominicAtkinson You'll love the B20b! I have one in my '91 sedan putting power through a DA cable clutch LS transmission, and it is the perfect amount of torque to make that car super fun without revving up to 9k+


Yes, truly classics. Just had to sell mine this week. :-(


Ef Rulez :D


A lot of the parts should look familiar to you in that case.......


Speedhunters brandonlandon11


Near my house (the car isn't mine).


TarmacTerrorist Except for the mirrors and the door handles it's completely different on the outside


Speedhunters ef sedans for days


Greetings from a german EE9!! Love that cars so much!!


I miss mine....had 4 pumps, 10 switches, 2 ton springs, chrome 3 spoke wheels, limo tints and wings west lower wing...Rest of the car was stock...haha people said I was nuts to daily a lowrider


Hello from AZ. They don't make them like they used to.


That face you get when your 1st car is a manual. 1990 Civic si. Original minus wheels. rust free. He shares it with his twin brother.


@Zach H RacingPast People have modified B and H series engines to flow in reverse, i.e. spin clockwise. Sorry I don't know the video you're looking for, but I do know it has been done. http://www.superstreetonline.com/how-to/engine/1307-reverase-head-h22-conversion/


@chris chabre You know you have to post a pic!


Brace yourselves... Honda fanboys are coming.


JojoJosen that golf1 tho


SidIcarus Good choice!


ernie2492 Wow, never seen anything like that before.


KeithCharvonia haha idk if I even have any on my computer...


Mike Garrett ernie2492 In Jogyakarta..


Some more EF love, my brother's bulletproof B16A.


Yes, that's a rover 200 :)
I meant some of the internal trim (dash I believe can be swapped out) and a lot of the engine are Honda derivatives. There's a book out there in the internets called "when Rover me Honda" that details the history and how it came about that Honda held a 20% share of rover and rover owned 20% of rover. The percentage is from memory, but the books title is correct.


I loved mine, regret selling it every day


I need these wheels. On anything...


Looks like a Kanjo civic with an interior, aka Honda perfection.


Thanks so much for this info.


PierreBelliveau_ I too regret selling mine. Had 5 EF's and the CRX and 2 hatches were all keepers. :(


ernie2492 please tell me you have more pics of this thing to share




I was a youngster in the 90s, all the older guys who could afford to own and mod their own car (basically my current age, then) had tri spokes on their hatchbacks.


DominicAtkinson reminds me of my old hatch


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