Modified Honda Civic Type R EP3
Graham Morecroft’s modified Honda Civic Type R EP3
It’s not rocket surgery to know that your own car says a hell of a lot about you. Just take our very own “JDM yo!” Initial G and his hardcore, in your face, totally batshit Civic EP3. They’ve got plenty in common: having been on the scene since forever, G and his Civic are slightly mental masters of UK car culture – not to mention the fact they’ve both gone grey in recent years.
That’s right, our very own statesman of the FC pack has been balls-deep in modifying since well before some of us were born: in fact our Chief Colouring-in Boy has literally lived my life twice.
All that means though is he has double the experience when it comes to nailing one of the best cars in its class, in the country. The stripped, caged, daily grid-look supercar slayer is without doubt one of the icons of the UK Civic scene after nine dedicated years of ownership.
It all started for our own Cap’n Slow back in 2002, when G parted company with 17-thousand of the Queen’s quids for his EP3 after a mate forked out on a new Mini. “I wanted a new car buzz too,” jokes the FC Art Ed. “I saw an ad for the Civic Type R, called in at a Honda garage and put down a deposit for a black one on impulse!”
G had to convince his missus of the time (more on her later) that the car was worth the wonga though, so plumped for the tried and tested ‘it’s perfect as it is’ approach. G explains: “At the time I thought I got round it rather well. I told my missus it came with a sporty engine, bucket seats and 17-inch alloys, so I wouldn’t need to do anything to it.”
G laughed off driving a bogo Type R sharpish though, after attending an owners meet and seeing other EPs spruced up with new exhausts and wheels. So began our favourite old chap’s Civic’s long, slippery slope to mod-dom.
Fast forward to today and there’s not one panel unfettled and not one spec that hasn’t had the JDM yo treatment, with a completely new Skunk2-inspired engine hiding under that slick and sexy carbon hood.
If you pulled up next to G your first impression might be that he’s having some sort of outrageous mid-life crisis – but he’s definitely winning, no two ways about it. “The nearest I got to a mid-life was when my then missus decided to do one,” he says. “But that was also the day I got my awesome Takata straps through the post, which I was just too made up about. I bloody love them straps.” How’s that for absolute dedication to the modding cause?!
“Besides, when I let my mates drive the car and see them shit themselves, that’s when I know I’ve nailed it.”
There’s no sign of G taming his wild side anytime soon either, insisting the Civic’s a keeper for a while yet. “I’m very attached to it – though it doesn’t matter what I do with cars in future, them Takata straps are coming with me!” Tamed old timer? More like scene-leader reborn…
G describes the fresh new lump as the cherry on the Civic’s cake, and for bloody good reason. With a K24-20 lump of a 2-litre Civic top end and a 2.4 Accord bottom half, G can get supercharged-like power from the 330 bhp unit while boasting N/A mpg. If, like G, your pension isn’t far off, N/A is high on the agenda. The chap explains: “I really wanted to keep it N/A. No one really pushes it over here. It’s so much more torquey now and the VTEC easily accepts the power hike. Northern tuning gods TDi-North did the work and, stone me, they didn’t do things by halves. It wasn’t just bolting parts together. Everything was assembled, shiny and clean, with maximum attention to detail, as the pictures show.”
These days, you can pick yourself up some Type R fun for under 3k – and that’s some serious whiz for your wedge. But if you wanna go a few steps further, you need TDi-North in your life. Based in Warrington, they’re specialists for race tuning and are no strangers to G’s Civic – they rebuilt it after his previous supercharged K20 went bang, and have pulled out all the stops to ensure our Chief Colouring-In Boy has one of the finest N/A engines currently sitting in a UK EP. TDi-North, hats off to ya!