JDM 1989 Honda Civic LX – Down Home Cooking, Sedan Style


Follow the masses, or make my own path, owner John Perez tells me. I feel that brave words such as these require ample substance to back them up. Please elaborate sir. Well I never really saw myself as someone who followed what others did. The trends always looked a similar, so I chosen to cut a new path and explore what I thought could possibly be some untapped potential. Just before that potential could be untapped, something first had to be cracked. As the old saying goes, You can't make an omelet without cracking a few eggs, and as a result of one monstrously fateful crack this JDM EF Honda Civic LX now has all of the proper fixings.from the mid '90s when John carelessly backed into a car and cracked a taillight. After stifling a fluid stream of expletives, John gathered himself and referred to as a supplier in California to source a fresh EF Honda Civic taillight assembly. Luckily' they had the replacement part he necessary for stock. There seemed to be only one stipulation: they were JDM taillights. John had no clue what this meant, all he knew was the retail price was right and he was getting both lamps, so he could have a spare lamp. But when his lamps arrived John noticed that something was amiss. These bloody taillights didn't include the parking light that was included with the USDM model! Also, the amber piece wrapped around the corner of your lens for no apparent reason, thus making it impossible to replace just one side! Just what a pain from the ass. Though with nothing to lose John gave it a try, and what do you know? Once installed, everything bolted up just fine, so John went back to his daily driving duties and forgot about his odd replacement lights. But after some time those little differences John noticed begun to weigh heavy on his mind and it also made him curious. The other options were out there just for this car? What in the seven hells does JDM mean? John's OEM Honda Civic sedan was just as plain as greasy over easy eggs, but suddenly these taillights he had landed were like throwing cheese in the mix. Little did John know, but his life was approximately to change forever. Most guys tend to pick up hobbies likefishing and golf, mountain biking, underwater basket weaving, or the extreme winter sport known as curling. But not John. He became areading this will note the JDM window visors, one-piece headlights, front bumper pole, and also the power folding mirrors. You can also notice the air refiner, a realistic Mugen steering wheel, and a Mugen shifter lying discreetly amongst other highly coveted items. People don't realize the staggering variety of accessories and options that were provided for this vehicle, John tells me. Items like the map light, the Honda personal box, and an under-seat tray are things you just never see on a 1989 Civic sedan. And then there are such things as the glowing rear EF Honda Civic garnish and the glowing Gathers speakers which are only recognizable when the sun sets. But to me the good thing isn't a part in any way. The simple simple fact that everything about this car works exactly the way it should, as if the vehicle's engineers had meant for a Civic to get this finger-licking good in 1989, absolutely thrills me beyond words.

So, let's back things up, and see what was occurring in John's kitchen back into the mid to late 1990's. Well before Fred Durst suddenly realized he was secretly in love with singing George Michael covers, John had come to a realization, although sometime after Kurt Cobain foolishly opted to blow his brains out. Everybody was swapping B16 engines inside their EF's in the past. Looking to buck the trend, John opted to look a different route, and his natural inclination was to make a naturally aspirated D-series motor, the meaty heart of his winning recipe. But John liked having his AC during those long, hot Florida summers, and his power steering made daily driving duties much simpler. So I acquired a 1991 Si motor, trans, and ECU to get a decent price from someone doing a B16 conversion, then took the motor to some shop and had it completely rebuilt from the beginning, John recalls. An ACT clutch here, SRP Pistons and Eagle rods there, a JG301X camshaft paired on top of JG springs, along with some titanium retainers to fill in up top. Then along came an AEM fuel rail along with a matching AEM FPR, accompanied by some porting, some polishing, a bit of blueprinting, and finally some swapping. Out came the DPI D15B2, and enter into the MPFI D16A6. But no sooner had the swap been completed, than all of it went up in smoke. A compact pinhole inside the radiator caused the vehicle to overheat, and down she went, like aNot one to quit, John sold his A6 camshaft plus some other items to recoup repair costs. Once converted to OBD-retuned and 1, the car used to be again running and back on the road. To this particular day you can get these same internals safely incinerating fuel and putting the power to the pavement. John never banked on having the fastest Honda on the market. First of all, just look at this car. It is not a track monster; it really is total VIP in a Mini-Me packaged format. Second of all, John isn't stupid; he knows that there will almost always be a faster car. Lastly, and above all, he knows that fast cars on the street can kill people. The worst thing that could afflict him is that if he backs into another Ford Aerostar while going a blistering 3 mph in the Whole Foods parking lot.

So, what follows is a man who's key focus for the last 2 decades has become finding the rarest JDM and OEM parts scattered across the face of the planet. If you will, a modern treasure hunter. An Indiana Jones of the Honda world. He searches for priceless Honda artifacts and then puts them on for the world to see. I really keep and check out the car period correct while incorporating appropriate modifications where possible, John informs me. With a little patience and time John was able to score some obscure OEM 35XT decals for that doors and trunk. Wonder why John hasn't resprayed his car within the last 12 years? Well there's your answer. John wants more though, How awesome would it be to have the umbrella holder, or the back arm rest? They are the thoughts that keep me up during the night. Gone are the days when you could open up a Honda Access order and Catalog certainly one of everything you find. After 24 years, every one of these items have long since finished their production runs, so when John finds a rare item, he grabs it up. A difficult lesson was learned 2 yrs ago, as he missed his chance at landing a rear bumper pole. For this day he is still beating himself up over that oneWhat inspired John Perez isn't what he sees, but rather what he doesn't see. Something has been missing from the scene, and he wanted to build somethingneat and classic, and completely classy. Rather to obtain something so subtly elegant, that only those who actually knew whatever they were checking out stopped, after which looked even closer, even though goal was never to be the center of attention. But what I find most fascinating though, is just how this whole rant of mine got started from the beginning. Way before everything you see today made its way onto the car. Way before John discovered his fascination with all of the available (and not so available) choices for this car. There was a parking lot incident in the early 1990's that left a man with a busted taillamp, and in desperate need of some replacement parts. And boy has he replaced some parts. Tasteful additions never looked so good.