Everyone remembers his or her first car. The nostalgic memories can transport you back to how the steering wheel felt, the scent of the interior, or the sound of the motor firing up. Unless you were spoiled and your parents were filthy rich, chances are your first car was a pre-owned that could've used some help. After all, a first car was usually a stepping-stone to something better, right? Well, not in the case of Christopher Warren and his first ride.
Originally, Chris wanted a Mitsubishi Eclipse GS-T that his mother promised him as graduation gift. But with a smaller budget in mind, he settled for something from the Honda family (Thank goodness! - SD). Either way, Chris knew he would be modifying whatever he'd end up with. At 16 and without a license, he took this EH2 hatch home. While he still couldn't drive yet, he began dumping all his earnings into parts. He switched jobs to America's Tire—something more car-related and with better pay. This helped him save up for his first B16A2. With a great build in the making, his world came crashing down during the mid-'00s when the crackdown of illegal street racing was making everything difficult for modified car owners in California. One night, while not even racing at the time, he was pulled over and his car was impounded. To make matters worse, Chris' Civic wouldn't be released after the originally planned 30 days due to a pending investigation of a stolen motor. It wasn't until after 90 days that the authorities returned his car; however, he was unable to prove the motor was purchased legally. It was crushed and he was left with storage fees.
Filled with disappointment, Chris picked himself back up and continued the build. He re-sprayed his car a distinct shade of gray and got a loan to purchase a legitimate JDM B16A along with paperwork that goes with it. He saved up for a set of rare BBR Comps that were eventually re-barreled to 15x8". After a few years in the show scene, the flame for his Civic began to dwindle. The parting-out process began and the car sat for three years until a good friend convinced Chris to resurrect the car and make a comeback in '14. And after much reflection and realizing all the things he's overcome, a comeback is exactly what he did. With the flame reignited, the first order of business was the exterior. Chris knew he had to top his previous wheel setup, so he acquired RAYS Garcia Tune Speed Choppys, not easy wheels to find by any means. A tasteful Sergeant front bumper is paired with an Invidia carbon-fiber lip up front. In the rear, a Backyard Special carbon-fiber wing sits above a VIS carbon-fiber tailgate. Since the Civic's primary use would be for flossing, the interior had a clean, minimalistic approach with Recaro seats, a Nardi steering wheel, and a few JDM finishes like the gauge cluster and coin pocket.
Of course, no Honda is complete without a cleanly executed engine bay. The legit B16A received a quintessential wire tuck and Rywire tucked radiator. Flirting with traditional lowrider shine, Chris chrome-dipped his valve cover, heat shield, and intake manifold. But Chris also has the basics covered with an Injen intake and a Buddy Club Spec II exhaust. "I have grown to love the car again, and I have met a lot of cool, down-to-earth people because of the car," Chris concluded.
Despite a harsh and uncomfortable past, an enthusiast like Chris is a shining example of the Honda scene's bright future. The type of person who will put love and dedication to his or her build against any negative stereotypes. Of course, it wasn't easy, and his build had some major setbacks, but isn't it all about what you do after you fall? Rise up to the challenge, and you'll end up like Chris—with a build that doesn't suck.