The late ’80s and early ’90s are looked upon as the golden age for many car enthusiasts around the world. It’s not surprising either, given that some of the greatest performance cars ever were produced in this period. In its fourth-generation guise, the humble Honda Civic isn’t likely to be on everyone’s top 10 rad era cars list, but Japan’s B16A-powered SiR (EF9) variant is worthy of note all the same.
Dmitry ‘Dima’ Chugunov‘s Civic isn’t one of those, but its spirit is well and truly channeled from the JDM tuning scene.
The left-hand drive Honda hatchback came to Russia via Germany where it had been sold new as a D15B2-powered ED6. It was stock when Dima got his hands on it, but it didn’t stay that way for very long.
In 2014, Osaka’s kanjo automotive culture appeared in Russia, and at the same time some amateur time attack events were held locally. Combined, these two things became the inspiration for Dima’s project.
Initially, it was all about bolt-on modifications. A performance intake manifold, Honda Accord brakes and MTS Technik coilovers were fitted.
Being someone new to modifying (this was Dima’s first car), mistakes were made along the way, but with each wrong Dima’s experience and knowledge grew, and that helped him to understand the technical side of the culture he wanted to be a part of, and subsequently develop his own style.
As a result, every modification made to the Civic is Dima’s doing. Except the paintwork; this was handled by Dima’s friend Sergey, a well-known Honda enthusiast in Russia.
Freshly painted, attention was turned to the 1.5L SOHC engine, which by now was just not cutting it. In its place went a 2.0L DOHC B20B pulled from a CR-V.
At the same time, Dima ordered a new rear spoiler from the US, grafted on an EF9 SiR nose-cut, and fitted TOM’s wheels. Inside, he upgraded the front seats and stripped out the rear of the cabin.
In this setup the car attended track days and other local circuit events, but ultimately the gearbox blew, which led to a new chapter in the Civic’s life.
Dima’s first decision was to fit a CR-V SBXM gearbox complete with LSD. Then the front brakes were replaced with R32 Skyline 4-pot units, and the still-drum rears upgraded to discs. New coilovers and Enkei NT-03 wheels also found their way onto the car. This was Dima’s setup for 2016.
Since then, there’s been even more work. The Civic was been fully stripped down to redo some of the work Dima wasn’t completely happy with, and then built up again with yet another respray and the kanjo-inspired livery the car wears today.
Final exterior touches came with a front lip, rear diffuser, and some custom LED headlights.
Dima is not done yet either, although he’s unsure exactly what the future holds for his Civic. He does have some some advice for people just starting their modifying journey: “It’s not a problem if you don’t have knowledge and skills. You can do all you want and build your dream if you have a wish. That is the key to everything!”
Photos by Alexey Sedurin
How To join the IATS program: We have always welcomed readers to contact us with examples of their work and believe that the best Speedhunter is always the person closest to the culture itself, right there on the street or local parking lot. If you think you have what it takes and would like to share your work with us then you should apply to become part of the IAMTHESPEEDHUNTER program. Read how to get involved here.