When we talk about the Honda Civic, it stirs up thoughts of the Kanjo runs in Japan and the massive Honda scene in the USA. These little machines have taken down many of the bigger boys both on the track and on the street. Regardless of age, the passion for these machines burn strong. There will always be Honda enthusiasts that will dedicate their time and money to make these cars faster and better. The Civic name has been on the road for nearly two decades and even till today, the Type R badge carries a lot of weight in signifying its performance heritage. The Ek9 Civic type R is one of the most endangered Type R models left on Singapore’s roads.
There weren’t many authentic EK9s to begin with. Just a handful of them ever made it to our shores and this is one of the final surviving few. To take the performance of this endangered species up a notch higher, the owner of this EK9 Yong Tian put his own personal touch to the car, adding plenty of his own blood and sweat into the mix to build what lays before you. Keeping such a model on the streets certainly has its perks. While you might bask in the envy other Honda enthusiasts have for owning this car, it does not come without a price. Apart from the additional taxes and surcharges encountered for keeping a car beyond 10 years, it requires a lot of time as well as money to constantly replace the old and aged components of the car to maintain its reliability. I might hit a raw nerve by saying that this car would out perform many modern cars in terms of safety, reliability and performance. It is actually true though, because owners like these actually make it a point to understand their vehicles and take great care in keeping them in tip-top condition.
So why the EK9? “It was my dream car from the start” – Yong Tian, as he recalls the first time he set his eyes on an EK9 around his neighbourhood. “It was sort of love at first sight”. As a Honda lover, its no doubt that the rarity of the model with its B16B Vtec engine would stir the feelings in his heart and made him aspire to own the one for himself. But a true blue driver would never settle for the fundamentals. The desire for various aspects such as performance, speed, power, handling and aesthetics need to be brought to the next level. The Ek9 just stood a step above every other EK model out of the box and that was the platform he wanted to begin with.
I got to know Yong Tian many years ago since we share the same love in the B-series engines and I watched as he continuously made improvements to his somewhat stock EK9 into what it is today. It may not look like an actual EK9 because of the 4 lug conversion, but the lack of wheel choices for the 5 lug pushed Yong tian into making this rarely done conversion.
It has undoubtedly been a challenging journey for him too, from his long years in a workshop to the entrepreneur he is today. He actually worked at a local workshop just to be able to look after and work on his beloved EK9 personally. Long hours, fatigue, getting his hands dirty and taking in plenty of fumes at the workshop was not an easy job, but one he felt was a necessity in order to have the time and opportunity to personally work on his car. Everyone has a dream about how they want their cars to be, and how it gets there. Not everyone fully does everything in their abilities to make that dream a reality.
His desire was to make his EK9 a track machine, countless trial and error attempts swapping between parts and engines, a H22 was even transplanted at one point but reliability become an issue. As time passed he steered towards a more sustainable street ride, swapped that out for a more reliable Spoon blueprinted engine and from a D2 super racing coilover to a Ohlins DFV which brought him so much more comfort for his daily usage.
The car might not look exceptionally different from the outside but its what lies on the inside that is the envy of many Honda owners.
Just keep rolling Sad to mention this but this rare gem was sold and may the new owner continue the legend of this Civic Type R. And I heard that the new owner is already tracking it already!Do check out the wallpaper section for this article’s collection!