Over the last month, I’ve been pretty busy trying to acquire this beast. As you know, I had the FRS up for sale for quite some time and there were a few nibbles but no one that was actually serious about buying it as it was. I get it, it’s not easy to sell a car that’s done up like that – there might be some parts a buyer doesn’t want or something that doesn’t jive with them – so I just forgot about it for a little bit. The more I forgot about it, the more I came to develop a distaste for the FRS… Not in a bad way, but just in a way that made me feel like it was becoming more and more “useless” to me in the sense that I couldn’t ever drive it unless I was alone. This is no one’s fault – it’s just not a family-friendly car. Sure, I could fit both seats in the back for the kids but it would just be a pain in the ass to take it everywhere. Not a fun time.
Alas, I made the decision one day to just throw up a part-out list on Instagram (of all places) and see where it got me. Turns out that it happened to be the quickest part out anyone has ever seen – everything was called for in 8 hours – all through one Instagram story post. So, the tedious work began and I dropped it off with Balance Auto Garage for them to start the work on putting it all back to stock. I loaded up all the stock pieces and made multiple trips to the shop to bring parts, or get parts, or sell parts. I’d tell you about how much I hate putting a car back to stock (even though I didn’t have to do any of it) but that’s another story…
While the FRS was undergoing surgery, I made a visit to Calgary Honda to talk to Trung – who recently moved down here and is now the GM of Calgary Honda. He already knew what I wanted, the problem was getting it. He had a black one slated to come in but I had my heart set on Championship White. As much as I love a clean black car, I really hate cleaning a black car so I won’t put myself through that torture again. I left the dealership with Trung’s promise that he would find a CW CTR if it was the last thing he’d do. There was some tough luck trying to convince other dealers to trade a black CTR for a white one and another where a deal to trade fell through. I wasn’t in a rush, but I was still bummed that other Honda dealers were such assholes LOL. Finally, the call from Trung came one day and he said he got one and it was going to be delivered within a week. Bingo. Huge thanks to Trung for the awesome service and helping me get exactly what I wanted plus more so quick.
Friday, May 24th was the day I picked up the CTR and I haven’t looked back since. What FRS? I don’t remember owning such a car. If I were to put it simply – it is one of the best cars I’ve owned and driven and although each car I’ve owned has put a smile on my face while driving, I don’t think I’ve smiled as much as I have in this one. Do I miss the FRS? No, but I do miss the image of it. I felt really good about how I built it up and where I ended with it, but I don’t physically miss the car. I think that says a lot about the Type R and its presence.
The Type R is a fantastic, well-rounded car. It seats 4 comfortably, it has the power to get you where you want to go and it has room in the trunk to fit a remarkable amount of things you wouldn’t think you could fit into a Civic. Oh yeah… It’s a Civic. Despite the easily abused and thrown around name and reputation that the car has – it is quite far from the Civic you and I are so used to. It is a beast in disguise and it’s used the mask of a car we’ve so fondly grown to know as a fuel-efficient, reliable and cheap commuter. I think that’s why this Type R has grown to be such a game-changer and has surprised many – including myself.
“You paid over $40k for a Civic?” is quite often the question that gets asked. Hell yes I did and it often only takes one ride in it to understand why. I often compare the Type R to my previous Subaru STI Sedan and while on paper, the numbers are pretty much the same, they are two very different cars. The STI to me was fast but it was bland and boring. It didn’t have the ‘oomph’ or the ‘wow’ factor to make it a fun car. Simply put, the STI was fast but it was not fun. The Type R on the other hand has all the creature comforts and the extra ‘oomph’ that one might be looking for. The boosted K20C1 combined with VTEC is really something you need to experience once to understand why everyone praises Honda. It’s in a league of it’s own in this class and I’d be hard-pressed to find a competitor that matches it. There are some that come close, but not one that beats it.
Before I even had the car, I had a vision of what I wanted the car to look like in the end. I like to do that with all my builds – if I can’t envision what I want it to look like – then I probably don’t really want to buy it. I think it’s important to know what the endgame looks like so your journey there is easier. I’m not one to build a car willy-nilly by throwing random parts at it and hoping it works. I made that mistake with my first car and I’d never do it again.
The JDM clear sidemarkers was one of the first things on the list – although small – makes a big difference on Championship White. It removes the offsetting amber and cleans up the profile of the car. One of the things I was really excited about was that Honda basically had LED’s all around the car (except for the sidemarkers). The headlights, the foglights, even the license plate lights – all LED. Changing out the sidemarkers is just an obvious change to me.
Another thing I was torn on was the red pinstriping along the bottom perimeter of the car. It looks good, but I was 50/50 on it and I really wanted a clean look so I pulled all that off too. It can easily be replaced if I change my mind down the road, but for now – the black/white tone of the car is something that I dig. Less distracting and cleaner lines.
I mean… if your wife cuts decals, you get her to cut you a decal of your blog. Why not. I need to support myself too. 🙂
Another subtle addition to the car – Spoon blue wide-angle side mirrors. A very understated and underestimated mod but one of my favourite pieces. A few of us that have them all agree that we really love these. They look great on CW too.
While there seems to be a great divide on the looks of the rear, I love it. It’s a little boy-racerish but I’m still a ricer at heart so I can dig. The absence of the red stripe on the rear also makes it a lot cleaner.
When Trung called me that day to tell me he was able to acquire a CW CTR, he told me that there was an illumination kit on it. Admittedly, the first thing my mind thought about was underglow and I told him “I don’t want underglow LOL”. Trung replies “No no, the OEM interior illumination kit”. hahahaha
I’m not one to add extra bits and pieces like that but I’m glad it came with the car. It’s a very slick looking piece (don’t mind the plastic that’s still on it – I have a hard time letting go as you already know). The above picture is of the door sills that say “Type R” with the “R” lighting up in red when you open the door.
On the inside, the illumination kit is also under the center console and in the footwells. It’s very mild and I haven’t driven in the dark yet but it looks super slick. The interior cabin is super comfortable and has everything you need at your finger tips. There’s enough in here that makes me OK with not needing to change a thing. At first, I wanted to change the shift knob but after using it for a bit – I quite like it. It’s not gaudy or shaped oddly – it feels nice although it could be a bit heavier.
The steering wheel is thick and wrapped in leather. Controls are comfortable and easy to use. The dash is user-friendly and has a wide-array of information for you to go through as you’re driving. From pedal/brake pressure, to G-force measurements to nav/fuel economy. All this technology after coming from the FRS makes me happy.
To match the Spoon side mirrors, I also decided to do the Spoon rearview mirror as well. A nice combination of the three.
One thing that kind of sucks though is that I got the car tinted all the way around with Xpel XR Ceramic tint to keep the girls cool when we’re driving. In the rears, I got 5%, in the front I got 50% and on the windshield I got 70%. Because the rears are so dark, I can’t really tell the Spoon rearview mirror is blue but it does have a nice and wide field of view that lets me see the girls in the back as well as outside the rear window.
The Ceramic tint so far has been a blessing and worth every penny. When the sun is shining mid day, you don’t get that burning feeling on your arms and it keeps the car cool longer – sometimes I even have to turn the AC off for a bit despite the temperature outside being 20+C. No regrets.
Another small change was to the shift boot collar – Zokusha Tuning had a J’s Racing collar in stock so I just picked it up. It’s really just a useless piece but it allows the boot to be adjusted height-wise so it can accommodate other shift knobs. The good thing about this is that I was able to remove the stock locking collar and have the knob sit a few CM’s lower. Looks a bit better and the red matches the interior nicely.
Lastly, the R badge. It really means nothing to me – but the Type R has been nothing but great so far. I know I’ve been telling all of you that the CTR was really just to replace the FRS because it was more family friendly and that I was keeping this stock. I may have mislead you guys (and maybe myself and Diana too…) but I’d be kidding myself if this car was going to stay stock forever (let alone 2 weeks).
My plans aren’t to go all out with this (I hope) because I need it to remain a daily driver for the summer when we go out as a family… There’s something in me that can’t drive a stock car. I need to change something to cure the itch… LED’s are usually the first thing that helps LOL
I’ll get some more shots when it looks cooler – until then, it’s just a regular CW CTR like everyone else…. Thanks for reading!