Mimms Honda Day: Performance Matters
What Is Mimms?

The Honda crowd gets a bit of a bad rap from the rest of the aftermarket and tuning community, I feel. I’m not sure why it is either.

Maybe it’s down to the fact that for many enthusiasts, Hondas are affordable first, or early cars to buy, run and maintain. They get a bit of a reputation for being the basis of cars modified to look and sound fast, but without the performance to back it up.

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After heading down to the annual Mimms Honda Day at Rockingham Speedway last weekend, this seems to be a complete fabrication – in the UK at least. Performance is very much an important element of the Honda tuning scene here.

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The story of the Mimms Honda Day event itself is a pretty cool one. The event started out life as a small scale Honda meet at South Mimms service station, a motorway rest stop where the A1 motorway meets the M25 motorway just north of London.

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Over the years a handful of Hondas became many, which then turned into hundreds upon hundreds.

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And as such, what started out as an unofficial gathering of a few friends quickly outgrew the service station in which they chose to meet.

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The South Mimms management were on board with the annual Honda pilgrimage too, allowing the organisers to use the adjourning lorry park and coach area, but the South Mimms meets continued to expand.

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Come 2013, the location was at capacity, and so the difficult decision was made to relocate the event for the following year. Everyone knew it as the South Mimms Honda Day, so the Mimms name stuck.

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After a brief stint at Bluewater shopping centre in Kent, Mimms moved north to Rockingham Motor Speedway near Corby. The move made perfect sense I think, because few venues in the UK have the capacity of Rockingham.

Plus there’s, you know, a racetrack there.

Mimms went from static meet to a car show/track day combo; from humble beginnings to a huge gathering of Hondas from all over Europe. I’m not exaggerating either. Mimms has become a known entity in the Honda scene all around the world, attracting cars from all over the continent. For this year’s event SoCal Honda personality Big Mike, whose famous Prelude we featured at SEMA last year, made the long flight over just for the show. Sadly without his car, this time at least.

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Big Mike was telling me that he has friends and followers in the Honda scene in the US requesting Mimms merchandise – stickers, t-shirts and hats. I wonder if they know it’s the name of a service station over here?

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Like I said when I was first sworn in as a Speedhunter, my mission was to infiltrate as many different and new factions of car culture as possible. And, despite owning a Honda myself, this was my first time at Mimms, or any Honda event in fact.

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What it wasn’t, was my first event at Rockingham, far from it. I feel like it might be wise to set up a caravan in the carpark; it’s potentially cheaper than driving back and forth so often. I can’t complain though, I seem to be having a spot of luck with the sunshine at Rockingham events, after a toasty Drift Matsuri and even toastier #TrackAddict event recently. The streak was set to continue at Mimms.

A Paddock Walk
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I started the day nice and early with a wander around the paddock before the track opened. Cars were still arriving in their droves, but it served as a good chance to see what was in attendance and to learn a bit more about the Honda scene before it got too busy.

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One of the first things that caught my eye was this bright red NSX on gold BBS wheels. This particular car was one of the original pre-order models, and has a ridiculously low chassis number, in the region of the 45 or so. I very quickly got very jealous, so had to walk away.

One of the first things that I noticed was how performance-oriented the attendance at the show was. Granted, there were a few slammed and stanced cars scattered around, but a large number of attendees had built their cars primarily for function. This was almost always integrated with form really nicely too.

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This DC2 Integra Type R on Advan RGs is a piece of me. Simple, clean body modifications, a functional ride height and a good set of wheels with meaty tyres on them. You can’t argue with that.

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I’ve got a real appreciation for the Integra; the DC5 is an incredible chassis too. Years ago I used to work at a Honda UK main dealer and, as the DC5 was import-only, we never got to sell it. There was the odd chance that you’d get a quick drive in one when they came in as part-exchange or for a service however. I always made sure I offered my services whenever one needed fetching or collecting from off-site.

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Heading out into the paddock my DC5 fix was well and truly catered for immediately, with rows upon rows of them neatly lining up.

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In fact, everywhere I turned there were DC5s. Either I’d underestimated their popularity or this was a concerted effort for an impressive attendance.

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Ol’ hawk-eyes over here noticed that this DC5 was running a set of rare first-generation Enkei NT03s in the same sizes as those I’ve just picked up for Project 2000. Being front-wheel drive, the owner was running the wider wheels on the front here, however.

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It was at around this point that I found a small camera shoved in my face by one of those newfangled YouTubers. Obscured from view is Adam from 6TWO1, who I first met in Ireland at an Irish Drift Championship round last year. Since then I’ve become an expert at procrastinating for far too long while watching his regular Honda and drift YouTube videos, so thanks for the decreased productivity Adam.

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Adam’s a Honda-head through and through, and quickly ushered me over to a car he was far too excited about; a genuine Civic Mugen RR had just parked up in a nearby pit garage. Apparently it’s pronounced ‘double R’ and not ‘arrr arr,’ in a pirate style.

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I’d admittedly not really heard about the model before, but I’ve since learned that Honda made just 300 of these Mugen-tweaked FD2 Type Rs for the Japanese market, and all of them sold within the first 15 minutes of sale. There’s apparently only two, maybe three, of these in the UK, so they are uber-desirable.

Track Action
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Leaving Adam at the RR with his thoughts, I could hear that the track was live, so I headed out onto the circuit to see what was making all the noise.

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There was a pretty eclectic mix of Hondas doing the rounds on track, everything from a humble EK Civic to a Spoon-liveried EP3 and yet more DC5s.

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I swear almost every DC5 in the country must’ve been here.

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Some people were receiving one-to-one tuition on the fastest lines around Rockingham. I’m imagining much shouting ‘TURN, TURN, TURN, NOW!’.

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While others were just out for the laughs. This stripped-out Accord Type R was zipping around the infield circuit all morning and the driver looked to be having great fun with it.

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It was definitely not an all-out naturally aspirated battle either. The telltale whistles and whines of turbochargers and superchargers were clearly audible. It didn’t do much for me fighting my desires to want to supercharge my own car.

I also spotted my first imposter of the day – that’s definitely not a Honda. Seeing as you couldn’t even park a non-Honda in the paddock, I wondered what technicality allowed this AE111 Toyota Trueno to be out on track?

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After spending much of the day trying to track it down in the pits I finally found out. Long gone is the 20V 4A-GE motor – a turbocharged Honda K20A sitting in its place. OK, we’ll let you stay.

Milling around nearby there was plenty of variety to hold your attention. Another Honda-engined non-Honda was this Ariel Atom, sporting a somewhat F1-esque nose cone. I wonder how much difference it makes at non-F1 speeds?

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I can appreciate the desire towards owning a super-clean retro Civic too. I can’t remember seeing this B series-powered example out on track, but it looked equipped for the task.

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Nearby, this K-swapped EF hatch was a work in progress, but what had been done so far looked incredible. I’m not sure on the owner’s plans for the rest of the car’s paintwork, but the red and cream work so well together right now.

Like we’ve said before, Speedhunters stickers are a surefire way to get a camera pointed in your direction; we’re easily swayed. There was so much love at Mimms for the movement too. Shucks, you guys!

How about this for something a bit different? This turbocharged Civic Shuttle came over from Holland for the event.

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Honda-R brought along this immaculate supercharged K20A-swapped Prelude Type S which I hope to bring you more info on in the future.

There were also plenty of newer-shape Civic Type Rs to ponder over. I’m still not convinced on the design of the newer cars; I think, for me, the FN2 was the last really good looking Civic Type R, and design decisions since then have been somewhat questionable. What do you reckon?

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When you compare them to the simplicity of where the Civic came from (perfect example above) they’ve certainly changed completely.

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It seems Honda’s ethos with the design of the Civic is to remove it as much as possible from the trend that most other manufacturers are following, with cleaner, more simple aesthetics.

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When it comes to the aftermarket and tuning sides, however, I think the UK Honda scene is in a really tasteful place. Sure, there’s a bit of a recipe forming for ‘how to style your track-inspired Honda’, but it’s a look I can get on board with. At least these cars are being used on track too.

If the turnout and reception at Rockingham is anything to go by, there’s plenty of appetite for show/track events like this. And with the Mimms event seemingly never standing still, and the scene progressing all the time, it’ll be interesting to see where next year’s event takes us.

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I’ve a couple of spotlights to follow from the event in the next few days, but in the mean time enjoy the Cutting Room Floor gallery below.

Jordan Butters
Instagram: jordanbutters
Facebook: Jordan Butters Photography
jordan@speedhunters.com

Cutting Room Floor
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48 comments

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1

These hondas driving me nuts... good to know it is well appreciated in europe... Owns a CG5 USDM accord as well :p

2

I wish I'd taken my S2000 now. Good shots, great day and nice to see it was dry!

3
ReallyForeverAlone

Finally! Someone Honda coverage on this site! It's ironic that Hondas get a bad rap for being all show no go when there's far more Honda-specific track events in the world than there are for the other cheap tuner cars (VW, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda - though Miatas alone might be higher in number).

4

There was truly a vast amount of DC5's, and i swear a good handful of them were running a supercharger or turbo. As well as 6two1, DannyDC2 is a big name in the UK Honda Youtube scene for anyone who's made it to the comments.

5

Exactly! I was thinking the same.

6
ThosePeskySkids

So nice to see so many fast, clean Hondas. I think part of the reason in the UK people sneer a bit at them, is they are so cheap, fast and reliable that it's easier to get away with young folks buying them cheap, driving them badly, and not looking after them very well than any other car - knowing they'll still cling on to life despite all that.

Also, the DC5 is far and away my favourite Type-R Honda and one of the nicest shapes - both it and the DC2 will age really, really well. You almost imagine that the FD2 could just as easily have been called the DC7 Integra... look at the shape of the RR.

7
Simon Coleshill

Enjoyed reading this after attending my first mimms since 2015. Loads more cars there than the last time I went!
The K swapped EF is built by a couple of guys not too far from me, Rob Fairchild & Dan Morgan. Their plan is to spray the car at a later date. You can find their build up of the car via Vlogs on YouTube, search for "hondas in south"
The Black DC2 with the Advan banner belongs to a good friend of mine as well.
Awesome pictures as ever Jordon.

8
Simon Coleshill

Oh and don't suppose you snapped any pictures of my DC2? Haha
Blue spoon banner, reg ending EAG

9

Not a single pic of Kevin's blue DC5 or my white one (black wheels, KTF on the plate), we were on track most of the day.

Great write up and pics.

Author10

I know, I'm far too kind.

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Author11

How's that for a 2-in-1?

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13

Thanks, appreciated.

14

Nice write up
Anymore shots of the blue 3G civic?

15

Really like the track focused, functional aspect of these cars.

16

Finally! I was thinking this site was all RWB and VW love (not that I don't want to see lots of RWB), Great write up Jordan, only just found the event by accident on Youtube, and was great to see some beautiful shots of the day. Would love to have seen some more EP3R's as they were built in the UK though, some wallpapers would be good for inspiration for my own EP3. The Honda bashing seems to be a worldwide thing but in the end, the DC2R and DC5R will be kept for a long time unlike a host of others I could mention. Wish they could organise something like this in Australia! Congrats to the Mimms crew for such a cool day, hope it goes for many more years so hopefully can see it live.

17

Loving the pciture of my shuttle, thanks!

18

that ariel atom was twin turbo, still the nose cone seems slightly strange before the addition of a conventional wing

19
Alex Hodgkinson

Race control reported that it spun four times in three laps towards the end of the day, so I think it needs balancing out with a wing at the rear too.

20

Stoked to finally see some Honda coverage on SH! I think the Honda scene gets a bad rap because people are so stuck in that early 2000's fart can exhaust on base model auto Civic mentality. The modern Honda scene seems very track and performance oriented to me, with many high quality builds all over NA, Eu and Jp. I might be a bit bias being the owner of an FG3 but I'm hopeful to see more Honda coverage in future. Great article Jordan.

21
Diarmuid Marsden

Disagree with the statement that the fn2 was the last good looking type r. I'm not sold on the new design language either, but I much prefer it over the fn2. I'd say the fd2 was the last really good looking ctr. That said, in black, the new ctr looks quite good, as the body work doesn't stand out as much.
Also, I never thought much of eg hatches, but that grey one looks fantastic. Good article Jordan. :)

22

Seeing that Prelude Type S brings back so many memories. I used to own a 97 Prelude. I'm still mad at myself that I sold it.

23
Alex Hodgkinson

I was there tutoring; that was me shouting brake brake brake! A good day, great group of boys and girls and an awesome turnout. Apparently much bigger than last year. There was a good selection of engine swapped CR-Zs which I'm surprised aren't featured more heavily here.

24

Thanks for the two great pics of my Mizuno CRX and what a great coverage of the event! When people ask me why i go to Mimms all the way from the Netherlands I will let them read this.

25

Jordan, what was your favorite car?

26

Anyone know what wheel are on the Dream Automotive CR-Z? Its pic #23 i think

27

Yes! Would love to know this too.

28

Found! Rota wheels Recce. I've had to ask directly to Dream Automotive

29

I definitely agree that the Honda scene is better in the UK than any other country. Everyone seems to have the same mindset about then it's great

30

Careful with the 'Hondas are slow' thing... I've seen an all motor 90s civic run 9's in the 1/8 mile. Also, how many have driven a featherlight b18 or k swapped flat out on a tight curby road?? I haven't but owning a miata I can only imagine it would be a butt clenching ride. Guess they're not really flat lander cars (without boost that is).

31

Since when is a 9 second eighth mile considered fast? Maybe if it was a quarter mile! lol

32

There are FWD four-cylinder Hondas in the 7s quarter mile, so....

34

*but it's still fun to hate on them LOL

35
@chris_scott_nsx

Wasn't it an epic day. Great people, excellent atmosphere and wow the cars. Thanks for the nice mention about my NSX. It's actually chassis 59. Originally sold to K Takemoto on 1st September 1990. Official release date of NSX in Japan.

36

Love the write up! Was an awesome day, track was a bit to busy at times for any decent driving, so glad I didn't go out. But it was good for the on lookers.
There is plenty going on in the UK car scene at the moment, with most weekends been taken up with great events.
Hope my DC5 (K20 BRP) is on Speedhunters next year!
Keep up the coverage Speedhunters, UK has a lot to offer.

37
Raineer Wolfcastle

Man i love my EK4, but the goddamn rust repairs are killing me!

38

The Mugen "arrr arrr" is sexy as hell

39

What are the wheels on the white dream automotive car? They look kind of like NT03s but with extra spokes on the top part of the rim.

40

Veeery nice, but where are the 4th gen Preludes? :(

41

Most car guys dont like honda guys for the same reason there are so many comments on honda posts. They are overly opinionated. And no, it will not fit on your honda... and yes i see the irony of my comment.

Author42
Jordan Butters

Thanks for your opinion… and comment.

43

2017.4.22Beijing.China

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44
Federico Barutto

There are too many FWD cars (I REALLY hate the concept of front wheels that make the car turn AND going forward at the same time), but otherwise some of them are good, and I've spotted some VERY clean engine bays

45

Well I See you again have not even bothered to include the Del Sol UK in your pictures, You managed to even photograph the Cube stand but couldn't even turn around an take our Stand picture. If you zoom in with n one picture you can just make out our cars alone in the distance.
Even our of our guest members moved to get attention with his Twin engined D series Turboed Del sol and then you only took half his car.

46

dude. don't get your knickers all up in a bunch. I use to race motorcycles and know the feeling of not getting one pic from the whole weekend. Can't really blame the photog unless you personally hired him.

You can always post up pics of your ride in the comment section. I'm still interested. Sounds like a fun ride you got there! Del Sol... love it no matter what!

47

Awesome shots and write up... wish I could have gone! Gotta say that the photography in general from Speedhunters is seriously on point... could spend hours just drooling over photos of beautiful cars!

48

Man the Euro Honda scene is strong there. Now if only the Accord's can get more love. (Gotta show my CD7 coupe, though I wish I could've gotten the wheels in...)

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