Track-Bred Show Pony: The Yanagi Civic

Not many track-spec builds make it to show car levels of finish, and if they do, it often ends their days of circuit racing. Not for this Civic.

With its perfectly manicured, shaved and tucked engine bay and gleaming white paint it may look like a show pony. But look a little closer and you’ll notice the delicate anime decals are actually whispering whimsical secrets to a race-ready set of Yokohama semi-slicks.


When Yanagi-san approached me for a shoot, I must admit, I wasn’t sure I had the energy for more Civics after the onslaught of our K-series themed month back in October. But after scrolling through his Instagram, I realised that Yanagi-san actually had something a bit different to all the Hondas we’ve previously featured.


The main difference is that his Civic is pure minimalist perfection. While we’ve seen plenty of super-clean street cars and numerous race-prepped lap-hogs, here’s a build that selects the best from both worlds, then throws out all the unnecessary clutter.


The Civic was purchased back in 2017 as a bone-stock 1994 EG6 Civic SiR II. It was blue, dusty and I’m guessing had been sat in someone’s driveway for over 10 years. The asking price was a whopping ¥70,000 (approximately US$616 in today’s money).

Yes, really.

I don’t need to tell you that the values of EG Civics have grown exponentially in the past few years, especially if like Yanagi-san’s car they’re of the desirable JDM EG6 breed. Still, even for 2017, he got an absolute bargain.


Yanagi-san was 20 years old when he bought the Civic, and luckily it went to the right owner. Working in an automotive-related field, it’s safe to say he’s got the vision, skills and a few knowledgeable friends who have all helped him along the way.


If you put as much time and energy into your engine bay as Yanagi-san has, you’re going to want to show it off, right? But why wait for the next show ‘n’ shine? There’s no better cold air intake system than simply removing the biggest air-flow restriction of them all. Suns out, guns out.


A B16A block remains at the heart of the Civic, but now benefits from high compression Toda Racing forged pistons. The cylinder head was processed by our friends over at NAPREC and fitted out with cams (and adjustable cam gears) again from the Toda catalogue. Fresh air is supplied via a Skunk2 Ultra manifold and Alpha throttle body, while nasty gasses exit post haste through a Toda Racing header.

It’s a simple-yet-effective setup, all controlled by an A’PEXi Power FC engine management system.


As the car sees track use, Yanagi-san has wisely made upgrades to the transmission, namely an ATS cross mission gear set and a Spoon LSD. In the suspension department you’ll find A’PEXi coilovers.

I told you this thing was not just a pretty face.


Inside is very much what you see is what you get: a single Bride bucket seat, TAKATA Racing harness, an OMP wheel and IRP shifter, and a Chasebays brake balancer to add bias adjustability between the front and rear stoppers. There’s a roll cage for safety and shell rigidity, a small dry-cell battery, and some stickers – because we shouldn’t take anything in life too seriously.


The exterior has seen just the right amount of modification. There’s a Sergeant front bumper running a rare US Racing lip, Spoon mirrors, a Spoon rear spoiler, and Enkei RPF1s in a 15×8-inch fitment with 205/50R15 Advan A050s. In case you know next to nothing about anime but are curious about the figure adorning the right front corner of the car, it’s Katō Megumi from the series Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata. 


I think it’s safe to say that any doubts I ever had about Hondas has now fallen to the dirt like a red Japanese maple leaf at the end of autumn – my absolute favourite time of the year here.

I’m especially drawn towards these early-’90s hatchbacks and all their high-revving, stick-to-the-road quirks. I just wish I could travel back in time to grab myself a bargain.

While I dream, check out the very nice video above from Anstir Media to see and hear Yanagi-san’s Civic in action.

Toby Thyer
Instagram _tobinsta_

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NA B-series motors just look so right correct. MOAR PLEASE. Nice build that's both showy and restrained. Nice photos, Toby!


This is great timing. I literally just found Yanagi-san's civic on insta this past long weekend. This article answers a lot of my questions! Thanks!


Features like this are what make SH such a treasure. Great stuff!


How the hell he keeps it looking good and thrashing it around tracks seems insane... I mean, from my experience keeping a car clean with all the rubber being thrown at the side of the car and sticking to it is virtually impossible. Not to mention the odd bump of a tire stack here and there when driving hard.

Overall it looks awesome. I'm surprised about the intake though. B-series are known to work best with long intakes and he basically stuck a filter on the throttle body. I'd like to see a dyno run of this car.

Still, a pleasant read. MOAR EGs PLEASE!!!!


Thank you Toby. Nice Pics of a classic Japanese sport compact.

Does anyone know who makes that radiator? And if there is a half-size version or one compatible with A/C?


Hey Davy
It’s a Speedfactory radiator, I’m sure they a few different sizes!


I have to say this Civic is pretty pretty clean
I prefer it with the hood on but still this is well done build
Just simply done right


Besides this being an absolute banger of a build! I would like to give credit where it's due. Toby! You took some amazing shots and really made the car come alive through the screen man. You took photos that really did the car justice. I have been scanning Speedhunters almost every day for years. Not that this means much but this is my first ever comment on the site. Well done!!


Thanks Casey, really appreciate the nice (and first) comment!


With the No Good Racing jacket to match. Very nice.


Awesome photos, cool article and astonishing car. But it's Osaka JDM Devil Wing, not Spoon.


I love that car,that stance with those beefy tires ❤️❤️
The video is so great to watch