Once upon what feels like another lifetime ago, I had a fantastic teacher who taught me that sometimes the best photo is behind you.
What he meant wasn’t that you’ve already taken your best photo, but that sometimes it’s literally behind you. When everyone else is pointing their cameras in one direction, it’s worth turning around to see what they’re missing.
It’s advice that serves well for anyone interested in hunting speed. It teaches you to look twice, to be aware of your surroundings, and to look at things that others might overlook.
Here’s a perfect example… Back in August at the Showa Racing event at Mondello Park, sat an immaculate Honda NSX on Enkei RPF1s. They’re a rare sight here, so naturally it attracted a lot of attention throughout the day (and rightly so).
Parked beside the NSX was this Honda Stream, which didn’t receive even close to half the amount of interest. I had a poke around and was fascinated by it, so much so that I planned a spotlight.
After the event, and on the way home from Mondello Park, the Stream exited the motorway ahead of me at pace. It was one of those surreal sights that you sometimes see out in the wild, and in this case the silver MPV absolutely screamed its way past the other commuting appliances. Right away I knew that it needed more than just a quick look.The 46th
As it happened, this particular Mugen Stream M7 Sport was built and owned by a previous Speedhunters feature car owner. I’m pretty sure that feature was lost to the great site migration in 2013, but Darren Fawcett’s Honda Integra DA6 sticks in my mind as one of those cars worth remembering. Also, remember rig shots?
This was over a decade ago, and I still think that Darren’s Integra would stand up to scrutiny today.
Of course, time marching on is one of the only certainties in life. While Darren might be 10 years older compared to when we originally featured his DA6, his love for Hondas hasn’t waned in the slightest. In fact, this is his 46th Honda.
With a couple of kids now in tow, the days of half-cages and stripped interiors might behind him (for the time being, anyway), but when it came time to buy something more family-friendly, he went straight to a Stream.
That first Stream was a 1.7-litre automatic example, which Darren planned to K-swap. But when this K20A1 Stream came up for sale – which would make his planned conversion much more straightforward – he jumped on it.
That original K20A1, which was also mated to an automatic, is considered an ‘eco’ engine by Honda. It produced around 156hp and 139lb-ft, which fell significantly short of Darren’s expectations. He knew this, of course, which is why the engine swap plan was still in play.
Writing this, it does sound strange to say he swapped a K20 for a K20, but the difference between a K20A1 and K20A is significant.
In this particular case, the K20A was sourced from a 2005 Honda Civic Type R (EP3), and courtesy of a rebuild and an upgraded parts list, now produces around 246hp.
A shaved CL7 RBC intake manifold is fed air through a custom 3-inch air intake with a Hybrid Racing velocity stack and filter mounted behind a cold air feed at the bottom of the front bumper. A Hybrid Racing fuel rail, Tegiwa EP3 radiator, and a DC Sports exhaust manifold with a custom 3-inch cat-back flowing into a Mugen Gen I rear silencer are the primary highlights, along with a Doctronic ECU managing things. Mugen dress-up pieces are aplenty, too.
Continuing the EP3 theme, the automatic gearbox was replaced with the Civic Type R’s 6-speed manual transmission, outfitted with a 5.1 final drive and a Wavetrac limited slip differential.
Darren was keen to point out the addition of the EP3’s centre console, complete with the donor car’s Type R identification plate. It might look like it was always there, but the console took a significant amount of work to install as the handbrake had to be moved for it to fit.
Not to mention that the original dashboard was grey. That wouldn’t do, so a rare black dash and interior trim from a face-lifted RN5 Stream was sourced and fitted.
The use of an EP3 donor wasn’t by accident, because if you squint, you can see a resemblance between the two.
While it might look like a big car, it was surprising to me how compact the RN3 Stream is. Darren told me that it’s essentially the same floor and chassis as an EP3, just with an extra 100mm at the rear to accommodate the third row of seats.
It took a lot of effort to source the parts required for the Mugen M7 Sports conversion, a kit which is incredibly rare outside of Asia.
The kit includes a Mugen grill, front lip, side skirts, visors, rear roof spoiler and rear lip. There’s also been a couple of OE additions, including a factory specification headlight washer setup and Honda Access rainbow fog lights.
Naturally then, Darren matched the kit with a set of Mugen MF10s in 16×7-inch +43 with 205/55 Nankang NS2-R semi-slicks fastened with Mugen black lug nuts.
Incidentally, his winter setup is another set of Mugens, but this time M12s in 17×7-inch +50, as detailed in the Mugen catalog.
To keep things Honda, the 300mm front disc conversion is from a K24 Accord Type S and the callipers are Mugen Active Gate items fitted with PBS track pads. The rear brakes also use the Accord’s larger 282mm discs with factory callipers and PBS pads.
Suspension is handled (pun thoroughly intended) with adjustable YellowSpeed coilovers.
It shouldn’t be understated how difficult this whole build process was. Maybe not the actual installation of the parts, but identifying and sourcing them required a massive investment of time and research.
Try searching online for ‘Mugen Stream M7 Sports’ and see what comes back that isn’t the sales brochure or small die casts.
Speaking of which, it would have been rude not to…
When the kit was sourced and fitted, the entire Stream was repainted which then raised the challenge of replicating the M7 Sport decals. It would be easy to make something up, but they needed to be as close to the real thing as possible. Not just in the accuracy of the replication, but with regards to sizing and positioning as well, so it was quite an ordeal.
The interior is a bonafide treasure trove of Mugen parts. Honda’s performance and motorsports offshoot is responsible for the shift knob, the vivid blue rear-view mirror cover, handbrake cover, sill plates, pedal covers, start button and the Race3 steering wheel with blue stitching (you might have noticed the subtle blue theme throughout the car).
The only non-Mugen parts of note are the blue Recaro Trendlines mounted on custom low rails, and the Spoon rear-view mirror glass.
The 260km/h speedo cluster was sourced from a European EP3 Type R, and it proves far more useful than the Japanese 180km/h equivalent.
Darren’s commitment to keeping things period correct has thrown up some unexpected obstacles, such as trying to source to MiniDiscs at an affordable price some 20 years after they were popular. Well, popular-ish.
Considering his history of Hondas – cars which aren’t exactly famous for being quiet or subtle – Darren has been enjoying the sleeper nature of the Stream.
When he completed the K20A conversion (on his driveway might I add), he went for a ‘spirited’ drive around where he lives. Upon hearing him coming, an on-duty cop stepped out into the road to stop the source of the noise. When Darren arrived into view, the officer clearly not expecting a silver MPV, waved him on, obviously thinking something else was causing the racket. Some say the officer is still waiting for that car to show up…
There’s more planned for the Stream in the future, with Darren currently being tempted by a few boost-making options while also trying to calculate how much front tyre he’s going to need to make sure the Stream keeps moving forward.
It might not be an NSX, but that’s absolutely fine by me.