The late ’90s and early 2000s were a very good time for Honda in North America.
On the Acura side of things you had the Integra GSR, the legendary DC2 Integra Type R and of course the later model years of the original NSX. On the Honda side, a new rear-drive roadster called the S2000 had just shown up. And in 1999, Honda released an all-new version of the Civic Si – a handsome two-door coupé that was powered by the capable B16A DOHC VTEC engine.
While it wasn’t quite the knife-edged circuit machine that the Japanese domestic market EK9 Civic Type R was, the USDM EM1 Civic Si would go on to become one of the most desirable Civics ever sold in America. And they’re still very sought after today. Knowing the importance of the EM1 Si to the American Honda scene, the crew at Nemo’s Garage decided to use an Electron Blue EM1 as the base for their latest build, which was displayed at the recent Wekfest Long Beach event.
Although it was immediately identifiable as an EM1, this car has been thoroughly altered from a stock Civic Si. The original B16A is long gone, now replaced by a K20A that sits inside an immaculately detailed engine bay.
Along with radical looking intake and exhaust manifolds, the K20 has also been fitted with a large Precision turbocharger. It’s a setup which should be a nice little upgrade from the EM1’s original 160 horsepower.
There are so many cool, bespoke details on the car too; like the one-off titanium exhaust system.
And inside, a custom suede center console and dashboard with integrated tablet, push button start and a digital dash cluster.
No ridiculous wheel poke or tire stretch here, just a custom-finished set of RAYS Volk Racing CE28s wrapping around Endless brakes.
Not only does the Nemo’s Garage EM1 build show us how the Southern California Honda scene continues to evolve and push the envelope, it’s a very fitting take on one of the most popular USDM Honda models of all time.