Welcome to this week’s FC Throwback, where we take a look back at some of our favourite previous feature cars. This week it’s Shaun Quinn’s tuned Honda Civic EK from way back in 2016…
If any car could claim to have a soul it would be this one. Having been with Shaun Quinn for nearly a decade, this Civic has grown and evolved with him, very much like a reflection of his own personality. Like Shaun, it has been through many life experiences and gained some scars and ink along the way. There have been highs and lows, but it always comes back fighting and on this day it stands bigger, bolder and stronger than ever. It’s rare enough for a car to be re-featured in Fast Car, but this is the third time we’ve got up close with this amazing EK. And no wonder. There’s nothing else quite like it.
Back in 2006, Shaun’s dad surprised him with a slightly battered and bruised 1.4 Civic for his 18th birthday. Shaun was hooked immediately. He just couldn’t leave it alone and has been modifying it continuously ever since. Every year or two it’s taken off the road for a complete overhaul, resulting in different colours and themes reflecting his own unique style.
First time we dropped by it had the 2.2 Prelude VTEC conversion and it was as Shaun describes ‘a grimy street look’, painted white with graffiti on the roof. Next it was stripped completely and painted in a custom colour given the name ‘Donatello Ninja Purple’. This, along with some smoothing in the engine bay and an interior change, gave it a cleaner theme.
In 2013 the engine bay became gold and the stance game was turned up a notch with deep-dish OZ rims. At that point Shaun could have let things be and even now two years later the Civic would still look fresh. But, always looking forward for maximum impact, he took the Civic off the road again for what turned out to be the biggest challenge yet.
Although Shaun does most of the work to the car himself (with some help from mates), someone else was trusted with new engine mods and things went badly wrong. Shaun was devastated to get the car back in a lot worse condition than it was before. To top it all off, the 2.2 engine seized up almost immediately. It could have been a fatal blow for the Civic, but the emotional attachment meant there was only one option. Rebuild from scratch to be better than ever!
This time, Triple H took it on and, confident they would do the job, Shaun supplied them with lots of goodies. “It was turbo time!” he laughs. “I worked all the crazy hours possible to get money for parts and even sold my Honda Accord daily to fund the build.”
As usual, no corners were cut and the resultant engine spec is mindblowing. From the head work and uprated internals to the big custom Garret turbo, bespoke pipework and manifolds – it’s all nothing but the best.
While the engine was out, Shaun got busy prepping the rest of the car. He spent a long time learning how to plastic weld so he could customise a S2000 AP2 front bumper. The rear bumper was given similar treatment, having an EP3 rear lip and EVO10 diffuser all blended together, as well as removing the exhaust port as there ain’t no need for it! Along the sides you will find much smoothing, as well as EVO8 side skirts. Bolt on bits include an EK9 tailgate and lights, as well as lots of carbon items, such as the bonnet, mirrors, grille and that awesome rear spoiler on custom mounts.
The interior work was extensive too, as Shaun describes: “Everything was either re-trimmed, flocked or painted and nothing escaped”. A glance inside confirms this. Bride material covers most of what you see, such as the door cards, mats, roof, boot install and, er, the Bride Cuga seats. The dash is flocked and smoothed with custom gauges while purple colour coding on the roll cage, steering wheel and harnesses really brighten it all up. The tidy rear install boasts two spare wheels, no seats and guess what – no air tank! Yes, that’s because this beast is static. Wow!
Shaun saw his friends have trouble with air, so decided to go for a BC Racing coilover drop. He enjoyed the stance challenge. Well, kind of. “It was hellish, a real pain in the arse,” Shaun laughs. “Fitting big brakes with that girth of wheel (9.5in on front and 10.5in on the rear!) and trying to tuck them in was a nightmare.” But, after much pulling at arches, re-positioning of callipers, spacing the mighty OZ wheels and fiddling with suspension bits and geometry, he did it.
It seems to be the more difficult these mods are, the more Shaun wants to get stuck in! For example, when the freshly rebuilt engine was put back in place, there was a real space issue in trying to fit the turbo, manifold, radiator and intercooler all in behind the bumper. Instead of passing on the task, Shaun learnt how to tack weld and spent some time with a bag of bends before coming up with that amazing manifold, complete with bonnet-exit exhaust. Awesome!
These days you can perform a few subtle mods that make a big impact but this is far more interesting, exciting and real. This Civic shouts to tell you that Shaun has poured his life and soul into it, never choosing the easy path, always pushing the boundaries of himself and the car.
It’s the kind of build not possible without the level of risk and commitment shown by Shaun and his mates. The reward for him
is producing one of the finest UK projects we’ve seen, and nailing that prestigious Fast Car front cover too! Cowabunga!
TECH SPEC: HONDA EK CIVIC
Custom purple paint (Donatello Ninja Purple!); custom one-off S2000 AP2 front bumper and lip; custom carbon under splitter; custom EP3 rear lip flushed into bumper with exhaust port delete; Evo10 custom rear diffuser; indicator delete smooth wings; smooth mouldings; smooth radio pod; Ek9 tailgate; Ek9 tail lights; Ek9 shadow headlights; carbon walker spoiler with custom tilt brackets; custom carbon exhaust ports; Carbon Culture bonnet; NRG Carbon Spoon mirrors; Carbon Culture grille; Evo8 side skirt extensions; Wwind deflectors.
H22A1 VTEC engine from a Honda Prelude 2.2; ported polished and gas flowed head; Mahle gold series forged pistons; Manley rods; King bearings; Grams 550cc injectors; custom GARRET GT3073HTA turbo by Owen Developments; ARP head and block studs; Tial 32mm external wastegate; HKS SSQBOV, upgraded fuel pump; custom FMIC and pipework; Hasport Performance engine mounts; Skunk2 Pro Series intake manifold; Skunk2 70mm throttle body; AEM high flow fuel rail; AEM fuel regulator; Turbonetics fuel PSI gauge; custom twisted top mount bananafold and bonnet exit exhaust; Rywire tucked radiator; Chase Bays overflow bottle; custom radiator cap port and hoses; Password JDM carbon cooling plate; VTEC solenoid cap; Downstar washer kit; full engine and gearbox hex bolts from Downstar; alternator relocation; Skunk2 cam seal; HKS Pink oil filter; Mishimoto oil cooler; fully shaved and smoothed engine bay; relocated battery and fuse box; Downstar brake booster delete; S2000 clutch cylinder; brake line tuck; custom Hel gold flexi clutch and brake lines; Chasebays wiring harness; P06 ECU from Rywire; Custom windscreen water bottle; Stage2 Exedy racing clutch; Fidanza lightened flywheel;
DC Sports shifter; ATR shift linkages.
Custom OZ Futura three-piece 9.5×16 ET13 (f) and 10.5×16 ET13 (r) split rims; BC Racing fully adjustable coilovers; Cusco carbon front brace; fully polybushed chassis; fully powder coated subframe and suspension components; custom front upper adjustable wishbones; D2 rear camber arms; D2 lower control arms; C-pillar tie bar; custom B-pillar tie bar; rear top-mount strut brace; ASR subframe; Beaks lower tie-bar; 6-pot Wilwood front callipers 320mm discs; 320mm Wilwood rear discs and single pot callipers; custom pink braided brake lines.
Bride Cuga carbon recliner bucket seats; Team Tech 4-point harnesses; Mugen shift knob and extension; purple wood steering wheel; NRG quick-release boss; custom harness bar; custom 6-point roll cage painted in Donatello Purple; fully smoothed dash and trim; custom gauge pods and heater unit; oil temp,
oil pressure, boost Plasma dials; relocated CD player; S2000 push-start; custom painted OZ Futura wheels in boot.
Kenwood audio; relocated CD player.
Henry at Triple H for the engine rebuild; Simons Arc for all the amazing work, paint and help over the past years; Lomotion Team; Jonny at Elite Custom Exhausts for the killer manifold and up pipes; last but not least, Mum and Dad for being amazing parents. Much love to everyone!
Words & photography Steve McCann