Level Up: Arif’s Honda Civic – The Final Form?

Ah yes, another photoshoot in the bag – and a rather special one at that. This one is of Arif’s Civic and it’s been quite a long time since we’ve gotten together to shoot. Lots has changed since the last time we shot it and there always seems to be a period of several years between our shoots and while it feels like it’s only been a year or two – this time it’s been 4, and prior to that, it was 5 years. Here’s the link to the Fall shoot we did some time ago if you’re interested:

https://lifewithjson.com/2014/10/08/arifs-honda-civic-ek-2-0-aka-hollie/

This time was special – no, not because we had a candlelit dinner with Jina-spec entrees or anything like that. Don’t get any wrong ideas. It was because this time when Arif asked me for a shoot – he was able to get access to CH Toyota all to himself on a Sunday and one other person. Luckily, that other person was me. You don’t really think about shooting inside a dealership until you’re asked to shoot inside a dealership. I’m not going to say it’s a rare opportunity because I’m sure many others have the same ability to do so, but it doesn’t come around all too often.

It’s an eerie place when it’s empty and there aren’t salesmen walking around, or phones ringing, or machines running and tools banging. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. There’s no pressure to say “no thanks, I’m just looking” or “umm, I’ve got an appointment at 3?”. You could stand and stare at that 4Runner TRD Pro all day if you wanted without the pressure of someone asking you questions. Speaking of 4Runner’s… Before we get on with this pic-heavy post, there was one gem sitting in the showroom that I was able to snap pics of with nobody around to bother me…

This 1,000,000 km 4Runner. Yup, one million…

The interior – despite the mileage – was in fantastic shape. The seats looked better than most used cars you’d find that have 100k on the odometer. Although the steering wheel has taken quite a beating, it hasn’t stopped the car from running.

A shot of the back seats and carpet – still quite immaculate.

And just look at the condition of the body and paint. This could pass as an old, low km car if you judged a book by its cover.

Some of the suspension components have been replaced as expected, but the rest of the car still looks great.

The original wheels – although scathed and starting to age beyond repair still holding strong.

And finally – a shot of that odometer just to prove it. Man… Glad I got to see this.

And so now as we move on and Arif gets the car ready, I took a couple shots of the inside of CH Toyota – when the lights are off and everything is at peace.

The M3 kind of out of place… But adds to the picture as decoration…

So we begin… Arif’s car in the flesh. Very different than 4 years ago when we shot it and very much evolved into something better.

A lot of the shots I took were with the lights off. I felt it gave a very unique feel with a slight blue colorgrade added to it. Almost like it was in the pits getting ready to do some hot laps…

One of the most notable changes are his yellow CE28’s which demand a lot of attention to the car.

Arif said that he had the car all cleaned and ready to go on Friday when he was confirming if we were still good to shoot on Friday. My mistake was believing him. I took this pic and for a split second, I second-guessed what I saw through the viewfinder only to have my doubts confirmed when I reviewed the picture again after taking it.

“Arif – I think you need to clean your wheels again” I said. Arif gave a hesitant “what?” trying to sound like he didn’t know what I was talking about even though he knew damn well. “Your wheels are still dirty here…” I replied again. “You know what, I’m just going to leave it so that you can take a picture and call me out cause I know you will” he says. Deep down – I know that he thought his wheels were as clean as could be. Why else would he have left his car in the dealership overnight and not drive it there on the day of the photoshoot? Because he didn’t want it to get dirty. This is the problem with multi spoke wheels, man. You clean the top half of the spokes because you’re looking down on them but you always miss the underside. As Arif reads this, I know going forward he’s going to start cleaning the underside of the spokes. Mistakes happen.

One of my favourite additions to Arif’s car is the newly retrofitted headlights done by Aldrich. Rich has done many retrofits for our friends cars and they’ve always come out impeccable. It’s a much appreciated update for older cars with halogen reflector headlights and if done nicely, it can look very OEM. No unnecessary LED bars or strobing/changing colours all over the place – just a nicely placed projector and housing.

Another notable change is the BYS bumper. Another welcome addition to bring the package together nicely.

Interior wise – not much has changed. Good ol’ Tigger still hanging from the cage as you can see by his tail…

Lots of big changes as I go through these pictures – another is the Project Mu big brake kit you see behind the yellow CE’s. Surprisingly a very fitting colour combo.

This photo in the washbay had a sort of neckbreaking angle but I liked it. Also, Arif was holding the hose that you see over to the right of the picture there. Just thought I’d give credit where credit is due…

Getting set up to move around

In my opinion, Arif’s car has really “grown up” in the sense that it’s evolved from a “boy-racer” look to a more sophisticated and rounded out look. The much tamer Seeker wing, the BYS bumper, the clean retrofitted headlights and the J’s hood.

Another addition are the Tracklife Composites fenders. A much more aggressive look up front.

The TiBurnt valve stem caps with Project Mu and Volk.

The panda theme that Arif had going on for a long time is more or less gone. Everything is paint matched now – the hood, the roof. The only “black” you see now is the naked carbon accents on the lip and the side mirrors.

Close up of the BYS badge on the front lip…

Another shot of the retrofitted headlights

The bolts holding the hood latch are a gold titanium. A nice touch to match the wheels IMO…

Under the hood now sits a K20 that replaced the F20B which was the heart of Arif’s Civic since I’ve known him.

One of my favourite pieces under the hood was this titanium hood rod.

Mugen bolts…

The rear of Arif’s civic also sports new LED tail lights with a slight smoked finish as well.

Inside, the iconic STACK cluster

Quick intermission – the owner of CH Toyota’s Ferrari sitting in the corner collecting dust… I mean, my house is free to let it “collect dust” too, ‘namsayin…

Getting ready to move to the final area…

I think a lot of my favourite shots were done here in the tire storage area. We’re lucky that he was able to squeeze in nicely. That’s what she said.

I dubbed this “Speedhunter” style… It was unintended but I guess I achieved it nicely lol.

Getting some higher angle shots shows the awesome lines of the J’s Racing hood…

Another shot. Menacing.

OK last one I promise… Once again, good job Rich!

A shot of the cut off – the most important part. Check that blue/purple.

The teaser shot I posted earlier this week… My favourite shot of the bunch still.

And just a few random shots before we ended it for the morning…

Time to hit the track…

Hope you enjoyed this one as much as I enjoyed shooting it! It’s nice not having the pressures of people and other cars around – although not huge pressure – it’s still distraction and things you need to work with. An empty dealership and all the time you need provides ample opportunity to get a multitude of shots. Adios!

Hype R?

I don’t know why, but all of the sudden, I’ve had an itch that I’ve needed to scratch. The problem is that I don’t know whether I should scratch it or just leave it alone. It’s kind of like a mosquito bite – you know if you scratch it, both good and bad things will happen – it will feel good, but it’ll also get worse. If you don’t scratch it, it’ll just go away with time.

That itch is the Honda Civic Type R. I’ll be completely honest – I don’t actually know when or how the itch started. I think it was just a seed that was planted long ago when the Type R was announced and in the last few weeks, it’s been sprouting and growing like a weed in my head. You know when you get the idea that you need something, you’ll come up with 1,001 reasons why you need it and literally 0 reasons why you don’t need it. Going back to the seed analogy – it’s just been in the back of my brain for months and it only recently got watered when Josh told me he’d throw me the keys one day and I could take it for a spin. That’s the worst thing that can happen – someone encourages the growth of a seed you didn’t really want or need to grow. This is my problem right now.

The Beyond meet was on Wednesday and truthfully, I wasn’t planning on going but when Josh said that Wednesday was the day – I couldn’t have said no, right?! So I went… And as soon as I saw Josh, his hand reached into his pocket and out came the Type R key, and he said “go for it”. If there’s anything that makes any car guy giddy (no homo), it’s when someone hands you the keys to their car and tells you to just go have fun.

This was it. I was going to see what all the hype was about. You can’t just walk into a dealership and test drive it cause you “wonder what it’s like”. You have to be serious. I’m not at that point yet – I’m toying with the idea – and there’s a very clear line between the two and so Josh’s offer was pretty much THE next best option for me.

There she is, ladies and gentlemen. The Type R right beside my ol’ gal. There’s something to be said about the Type R compared to my FRS (my opinion only because it seems like people get butt hurt about my opinion). My FRS looks better than a stock Type R. I know, I know – super subjective opinion – but from someone who is either

A) going to sell the FRS

B) keep both

It’s just what I think and If I were to go with option A, I would be totally sad about it because of all the cars I’ve gone through, I’m still not tired of looking at the FRS. And BTW, this has nothing to do against Josh – I love the guy – but I’m talking about Type R’s in general.

The interior is nice. It’s refined, it’s clean, and it’s got all the usual things you’d expect from a 2018 model. There were some things that Josh pointed out like – only the front door cards and other misc pieces is wrapped with suede/alcantara, while the rear is all fabric. Not a deal breaker – but kind of weird to have excluded the rear altogether on the Type R.

The seats are a loud, flashy red – I guess somewhat expected with the Type R. They’re comfortable and hold you well. Nice side bolsters – slightly comparable to Recaro SRD’s.

Instrument cluster is nice – all digital and reminiscent of when Honda first brought that design in 2006.

Brembo brakes up front with 20″ wheels. A bit excessive IMO…

Around the car, there is A LOT going on. It’s very aggressive and as many have already stated – is kind of like an STI.

The LED headlights are also one of my favourite things of the car. I’m glad almost all companies now are understanding and catering towards the aesthetics, function, and form of headlights. If you’re still in the halogen game in 2018, you’re out to lunch.The

The rear is one angle of the car that I’m quite fond of. I like the triple tip exhaust, I like the STI-type spoiler, I like the big rear non-functioning vents. The rear as a whole works for me, the lines all flow well and it just screams “kid racer!!!” and I love it.

The top vortex generators are funky and weird and I know if Honda left this empty and then offered it as a Type R add on – everyone with a Type R would have bought it, me included. So I’m not going to complain about ricer add-ons, because I would buy ricer add-ons.

The lip looks home made, to be quite honest. It’s got those funky batman ear things, it’s fake carbon and looks like it’s wrapped – but it’s still cool as hell. It’s just a combination of such weird and quirky things that kids would make in their garage that make the Type R so Hype R. It’s amazing how something that’s OEM can be so acceptable to me versus something that was home made. There are a lot of other factors (actual testing, proper fitment, etc) that change my opinion but Honda… You basically created a Honda ricer dream car!

Josh’s CTR was outfitted with a more aggressive carbon EVS deck and it looks great.

And so ends my quick thoughts on the CTR and before you go look at the rest of the pictures I was able to capture before my camera battery died, I’ll leave you with where I stand right this minute on the CTR because it seems everyone is wondering what I’m going to do. (Who knows, it might change as soon as this post is published…)

There’s really two options:

Option 1: Sell/part out the FRS and getting the type R.
Option 2: Sell the RX and get the type R.

I think I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’d be too devastated to let go of the FRS. I know what the pain of regret is like and I’ve decided that option 1 is not the way to go.

You are probably saying “well if you only have one option, why don’t you have the type R yet?”. It’s because if I sell the RX, the CTR becomes my new daily… Which also means I drive it in the winter and I’m not sure if I can come to terms with putting the CTR through our winters. I would also miss AWD, but that’s an issue for another day…

Anyway – the conclusion is this: if I can be OK with putting the CTR through winter, then it may happen. If not, then someone has to convince Diana that having 4 cars makes perfect sense. Back to pondering…

Here is extra content:

This Datsun was sick. I kind of liked the look of the white flares… Either way – it’s hard not to appreciate an oldschool Datsun – flares or not.

M3 on TE37’s

Drift Squad came through too… Pretty rad to have all three show up with the same livery. Here’s Noel’s S14.

Work VS-KF’s

Rear quarter shot.

Here’s one of the 240 that went off for a test drive before I was able to get a shot of it…

And the last one – R32 with an LS swap I believe. Rowdy.

Titanium!!

And literally the last shot I was able to get before the camera died. I’m happy I got this one – This was super clean and I dig the red!! Good job!

Extras: Civic x NSX

Been a while since I had time to get on here again. Time is hard to come by nowadays… Anyway, I found a few more extras from Ben and Chris’s shoot where I took some shots of their cars together. Not a whole lot, but enough for some content 🙂

I’ll hopefully have some updates on the FRS soon… I’m awaiting one more piece to the puzzle after almost 2 months of waiting… If I’m lucky, it’ll be here near the end of the week and I’ll be installing on the weekend! Until then, enjoy some shots of two of Victoria’s best together.

IMG_8057 copy

IMG_8060 copy

IMG_8063 copy

IMG_8416 copy

IMG_8404 copy

Limited Edition: Chris’s Boosted J-Swapped EG

At long last! The first of my two photo shoots from my visit to Victoria, and the first one up is Chris’s boosted J-swapped Civic… It’s quite different from the everyday K-swaps that are ever-so-popular in the Honda community. How could I have passed up the opportunity to shoot one of the island’s cleanest and most unique builds? I couldn’t – and the best thing about Chris’s car is that it’s a car that you’ve probably never even heard of unless you’re close to him or his friends.

I’ve seen Chris’s cars through pictures that Jackie has sent in some of our chats and could really only admire through those pictures. It’s one thing to appreciate a well-built car through iPhone pictures, but it’s a totally different feeling to see it up close and admire the work that has been put into it. My trip to Victoria was well worth it and the two cars alone show that the island literally at the end of Western Canada does have something to show, and they aren’t any half-assed builds either.

Chris hasn’t really had a true photoshoot that has been shared on social media or anywhere for that matter, and it’s surprising because a build like this deserves recognition. Chris is a super low-key guy and I get the sense that he really just does what he does because he enjoys it and nothing more. Him and his wife, Tiffany, were super friendly and accommodating while I was there – I’m looking forward to coming back during the summer!

Enough of my chatter… I’m sure you guys are dying to see this as much as I am dying to show you!

IMG_8221 copy

We’ll start off with a roller to get this going like always.

IMG_7793 copy

The best thing I found out about this build was that it was Chris’s first car that he purchased back in 1997. Great builds take time and patience and this is another great example of exactly that…

IMG_7803 copy

The biggest head turner of Chris’s Civic is the massive J-series engine from a TL Type-S bulging from the center of the hood and a Vortech charger connected right beside it…

IMG_7805 copy

Part of the LEVEL one family.

IMG_7807 copy

Password JDM canards on the front bumper to help make the front end aggressive.

IMG_7812 copy

Chargespeed wide fenders

IMG_7813 copy

IMG_7826 copy

Even from the side, Chris’s EG is mean as hell. You can see the piping from the hood, the canards and First Molding lip flow to the Chargespeed fenders and the lines flow all the way to the rear Spoon wing.

IMG_7838 copy

With the hood opened, Chris replaced all of the stock plastic bolts for some better hardware…

IMG_7840 copy

And the custom Vortech power plant in all it’s glory.

IMG_7843 copy

The J-series straight from the 2003 6-speed Acura TL Type-S.

Another cool tidbit about Chris’s car is that this obviously hasn’t always been the only engine Chris has ran… This is actually his fourth engine. His first engine was a D-series, the second one was an turbo LS, his third was a built B16 turbo, and now a boosted J-series. Quite the progression, if you ask me!

IMG_7853 copy

The back has been gutted for room for his Auto Power drag cage.

IMG_7857 copy

For you diehard Civic fans out there, you might have noticed by looking at his front bumper that it’s not a typical EG front bumper… Any guesses? Look carefully – if you scroll down, you can confirm your guess or find out if you’re stumped…

IMG_7859 copy

The answer is – the vents are from a 99-00 EK bumper. Chris actually does body work and molded those in himself and they look seamless as you can see from the above two pictures. You’ll also probably notice the Vision type DC mirrors swapped in too.

IMG_7876 copy

Another look at how aggressive and beastly this car looks from afar…

IMG_7943 copy

Jackie and Chris swapped cars to get to the next spot so he could give me a ride in it. The car is currently pushing about 400whp and in a light and small chassis like the EG, that’s no joke. Jackie mentioned that it was difficult to get traction in the lower gears but once it gets going, it goes…

Side note – you can see the JDM EG6 cluster as well.

IMG_7889 copy

The Spoon SW388 wheels suit any classic Honda perfectly and this is no exception.

IMG_7895 copy

Here you can see a perfect shot of how massive this engine is in the EG chassis.

IMG_8116 copy

IMG_8127 copy

We ended up finding a nice spot near the entrance to the area after the Ferry that made for good spot lighting.

IMG_8134 copy

Some behind the scenes shots… The group is trying to find the best dual lane road to take rolling shots on. Turns out Victoria doesn’t have many dual lanes but we ended up finding some good stretches of road! Sneak peak at my next subject… 🙂

IMG_8135 copy

The chariot for the day was Jackie’s lowered TL on some spacers that even rubbed! LOL… Jackie is notorious for just dumping everything.

IMG_8335 copy

A pit stop and another preview shot of the second photo shoot to come…

IMG_8342 copy

These rolling shots were next to a nice and peaceful lake. Suited these shoots perfectly.

IMG_8357 copy

IMG_8401 copy

One last shot to end it for Chris’s car. I will admit that I do have a few more, but I will have to revisit those later and repost them up when I get the chance. I know Chris and Ben have been itching to see the shots… The other shots will serve as a good refresher later!