The Chronicles© – No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

There Is No Rival, Because There Is No Equal.

Welcome and happy new years everyone. I’m sure anticipation has been mounting for the past couple weeks so I’ll jump immediately into the Top Ten Hondas of 2011… I started doing this list right around the time the site began in 2008 and over time, it has become one of the most popular topics on The Chronicles. It was never meant to be taken too seriously…I just wanted to spotlight some of what I feel were the best Honda builds every year because I think that all too often, we take a lot of really well-built Hondas for granted and fail to give them the proper recognition that they deserve. The community is just so vast though that of course, there will be a lot of differing opinions regarding what’s good, what’s better, and who should be where on the list. I have always said and will always stand by the fact that this list is created solely by me and does not reflect the opinions of anyone else but me. My criteria for the list has also been to always consider not only the builds themselves, but also the build’s impact and presence within the Honda community. Functionality is also something I look into but since different people build their cars for different reasons, it’s very hard to make that a determining factor as to whether or not a build should be placed higher than another. Many of you who follow the site closely knows how this whole thing works so if you talk to someone that doesn’t understand, please help me educate them. For those of you who want to find out for yourselves and read more about the previous year’s Top Ten selections, I have attached links below so that you can go through those before jumping head first into the 2011 list. After the first two years, I made a decision to add one essential rule to the list; every year, the list will consist of completely new builds and the Hondas that have won the previous years will not be eligible for contention unless the cars have been completely redone, which essentially makes it a “new build”. This eliminates repeats of previous years and keeps the list fresh. No matter how I try to do things, there will always be some sort “bias”…there’s just no way around it. Some people have met me and spoken to me before, some people I know personally, and some cars I have only seen online. By having a fresh list every year with new builds, I hope to eliminate as much ‘bias” as possible. If you don’t see a particular build on here that you feel deserves to be on the list, either I didn’t feel it qualified to make the list, or I just may have never heard or seen the build before. I try to stay in touch as much as I can, being that I run this site and work for the magazine industry, but there are literally tons of enthusiasts out there and it’s very possible that I may not have encountered these said builds…

This year was a bit of a difficult one to figure out. There were a lot of great builds, but everyone seemed to be on or at about the same level…it was essentially, even across the board. There were some builds that really stood out in my eyes and some cars the previous years that were on the fence, but didn’t do enough back then to really make the cut. If they didn’t make the cut, then there is still potential for them later on to make it onto the Ten Best list. For the most part, I’ve taken everything into consideration for the 2011 year, but like I said, there were some Hondas that I felt were great before and I’ve also taken into consideration what they have done also in 2010-2011. The majority of the list wasn’t too difficult to finalize, it was just where everyone would go that would become an issue. I don’t think I’ve ever been challenged as much in previous years as I’ve had for the 2011 selections. The top five were arranged, re-arranged, and I even slept on it a couple days and moved some of them around to get them just how I wanted the list to go. The top three are a very interesting bunch, and it was so close, that I really had to consider everything these builds have been through over time. When it was all said and done though, I was very content with how the list is from 10 all the way to number 1…

Obviously, there are some builds that you expected to be on the list…and they just aren’t. That’s why it’s my list and not your list. It’s okay to disagree, but allow me to explain when the time comes. Maybe we both had the same cars in mind but these cars were eliminated for specific reasons. Like every year, I will also have a list of noteworthy builds that almost made the list but didn’t aka “The Honors List”. These builds were great, but they just didn’t do enough compared to the ten of 2011. The toughest part of doing a list like this is that many times, some really amazing builds don’t come out until the middle or the end of the year. This is either because the builds just didn’t get done or that they were major projects for SEMA or some other major event. They won’t make the list this year, but I have my eyes on them for the following year. There are also probably a bunch of race cars that you felt should be on here because some car is “hardparked” or whatever the fuck you want to call it. I love the fact that there are a lot of race-bred Hondas out there, but many of them are strictly built for racing, and they could give a shit less about a list like this. Some guys just want to race and online presence and car shows/meets just mean nothing to them, and I respect them for that. I wouldn’t want to waste their time by putting them on a list that is of little importance to them. I just want to see great builds. Top quality builds with great attention to detail. Builds that inspire others to do even better on their own Hondas. If anything, you should look to these list of cars as motivation to make your’s better, you know? It’s not that you can’t do what these guys do, you definitely can. I always see people saying “man, I wish I could build something like that”. Guess what? You fucking can! Set aside a plan and do it. Oh and if you don’t like the Top Ten list, you can fuck off, haha. I don’t care. I’m not running around blasting this on every website or forum. You come to The Chronicles, you better want to read what I have to say, because there’s nobody else here putting shit up on stickydiljoe.com. I don’t go to your site to not want to hear what you have to speak your mind about, that’s ridiculous…Anyways, let’s get crackin’ on this 2011 Top Ten list….I look forward to what 2012 has to offer. From what I’ve seen and heard, 2012 might be the most interesting year yet in terms of high caliber Honda builds…

With the tenth selection in the 2011 Top Ten Hondas list, presented by The Chronicles, stickydiljoe.com selects….

10. Kazu Imai’s 1996 Honda Integra Type R from Okayama, Japan…

Why it made the list: Kazu Imai’s Integra has been on my radar for quite some time now. Much like Yonas Liu’s EG from Australia last year, it’s just one of those international builds that captured my total attention the moment I saw it. The build quality is top notch and it’s a great mix of Japanese tuning style as well as their interpretation of our “USDM” style. The aesthetics are clearly intended to be a representation of something you would see in North America, but the guts are all Japanese….

I can honestly sit here and tell you that when I first saw this DC2 in online coverage of an event in Japan that I had no idea it was an ITR. The fact that it’s a 96-spec Type R makes it even better, in my opinion anyway. I know a lot of you would scoff at the idea of modifying an ITR to this extent, especially with the “Hellaflush”, stanced-out look, but take a look at what these thing has to offer; It’s a 96 R, but with an 98-spec ITR swap, 4.785 final drive, ATS LSD, 5Zigen header, and Mugen exhaust…Not only that, the bay has also been shaved and tucked, and still retains the A/C, where the A/C lines have also been tucked. The execution is on point…

If you’ve been keeping an eye on this R as well, then you probably recognize it more with silver Work Meister S1s on it. It wasn’t until the inaugural Hellaflush Japan event when it debuted with these custom 17×9, non-staggered, BBS LM wheels. The body has been re-painted Red Mica Crystal from a Lexus and as you can tell from the photo above, it also has U.S.-spec Rotora big brakes. I love the way the car looks as a total package. It’s a nice fusion of Japanese style with American influence. I saw this ITR in photos from one of  Tetsuya Yamaguchi’s USDM Jam events early last year and have been running around looking for photos of it ever since. Japan doesn’t have too many meets or car shows, especially for US-themed Hondas, so it’s hard to really keep track of builds out there. Events are often times not very close either so Japanese enthusiasts often have to drive hours just to attend a meet/show. From what I’ve seen, Kazu has made the trek out to every event he possibly can and his Integra has a following on the web as well. It appeared on Fatlace’s Hellaflush as a featured vehicle as well as numerous Japanese websites covering events overseas…

Kazu himself has proven to be a little difficult to get a hold of but luckily I was able to contact one of his close friends, Yuya Yasunari, and he’s been able to provide quite a bit of extensive information for me on this R. From what I have seen in terms of build quality and execution, to the amount of events he’s participated in the last couple years, he’s a shoe-in for the 2011 Top Hondas and a perfect build to kick-start the list at number ten…

You can see more of Kazu Imai’s Integra Type R here…

9. Jordan McCord’s Honda CR-X…

Why it made the list: One of the key reasons why Jordan hits the list at number 9, is because I was able to see this build personally at Import Alliance during the summer, and I can attest to the quality of his work…

The build itself is very simple…it has Mugen M7s, a B16A swap, and a JDM EF9 front end conversion. What I liked about it was that it was more of a restoration build than it was say, a crazy track-themed build, which seems to be all the rage these days. The body has been repaired, repainted, and the bay itself is where Jordan’s CR-X really shines…

Again, nothing over the top, it’s just a well-done, very simple, tuck, shave, and swap. Often times, less is more, and Jordan McCord’s CR-X proves just that…

What I liked most about Jordan McCord’s CR-X, is not necessarily the car itself. I had a chance to speak to him a couple times while I was out there in IA, and he’s a nice, well-spoken individual. He also has a great enthusiasm for the automotive community as well. He’s made multiple trips out here himself during the year to attend major events like the annual Eibach Honda Meet, as well as the SEMA Convention. He didn’t bring his CR-X out here, but he did drive his car down from Indiana to Nashville, TN for Import Alliance and also to the Wek’Fest event in Chicago, IL. If anything, he’s the true definition of an “enthusiast” and that definitely matters. He’s built himself a Honda CR-X that doesn’t abide to any of the current popular trends that will eventually fade away and the car would be relevant whether it was around 5 years ago or even 5 years later…

Some of you will argue that Renard Mauricio’s CR-X should be on the list, but I didn’t even see his CR-X in 2011 and have no idea whether or not it’s even around still…Either way, they are both great for different reasons and Jordan McCord’s was definitely a recognized Honda in ’11…

You can check out Jordan McCord’s complete build thread here…

8. Loreto Garcia’s 2000 Honda Civic CX…

Why it made the list: Loreto’s Civic makes the 2011 list because he came out and surprised everyone in the beginning of the year. Many, including myself, had no idea he was even building an EK so when the car popped-up at Wekfest SF in February, it was quite a surprise. The guy has always been known more for his interest in drag racing so it was interesting to see him pop-up at a car show with a very clean, “San Jose Shark” teal EK…

His car was the talk of SF Wek’Fest and it also captured the attention of Super Street magazine, which would later place his Civic on the cover of their annual “Honda Issue”. It’s quite an honor considering how the car was only out a relatively short amount of time and didn’t possess a K-swap, or any forced-induction. The bay, much like the previous two cars on the list, just houses a B-series motor in a community when the K-swap is king….The motor, in this instance, it built, but you wouldn’t even know just by glancing at it…

Little details like the black chrome accents in the bay and black chrome TE37s are a nice touch. The Bomex wing and side mirrors also help to add a little more aggression to an otherwise simple exterior. Loreto just built himself a good-looking car in general…The color itself just makes it pop and stand-out in a sea of black and white EKs….

Making such a huge splash early on and landing on the cover of Super Street is more than enough for it to make the list, but I honestly wanted to place it higher. The only reason I didn’t was because I felt that he had so much momentum and then disappeared for most of the year. He cruised down to Socal to do a spotlight feature over at Skunk2 but then that was about it. Loreto didn’t start making an appearance again until the end of the year. He had a great build and not enough people got to see it in person to appreciate his hard-work. He had one of the better Hondas of 2011 and I don’t even think he realized it…

You can check out Loreto Garcia’s Super Street cover feature here…

7. Mike G’s Honda Civic aka “Tank”….

Why it made the list: Mike G’s car makes the list just based on history and impact on the community. The Top Ten Hondas list isn’t a popularity contest, because if it were, Mike G. would win it. The car broke down like, 6 years ago, and people were still talking about it and posting photos of it like nothing had ever happened to it. It’s an internet legend. I was on the fence about “Tank” making the list because I can honestly say I’m not a fan of it’s current look but based on what Mike and his car have meant to the online Honda community, it almost HAS to make the list. The Tank broke down and literally sat for 6 years and when it re-emerged in 2010, people went absolutely nuts over it…

The fact that he still has the car is pretty cool though, considering how long it has been around. He re-did basically the entire car, minus the paint and interior. The once turbo’d B was re-built and is now naturally-aspirated, and the front half of the Civic has been upgraded with Chargespeed fenders and front lip. The wheels are what kind of throws me off about the car, considering all the great wheels he had on there years ago. The good news is that he’s having some wheels restored and re-barreled so that will just give the car a new look in 2012…

The bay sees a lot more custom fabricated pieces than in year’s past and houses a lot of attention-grabbing components…

Mike also did his fair share of events this year. I was also on the fence about putting him on the 2010 list but at that time, I think he had only made it out to one event, which was the 2010 Eibach Meet. This year, he popped about almost everywhere, including events like Eibach, Motion Auto Show, and Nisei Showoff. At the Nisei show, he was kind enough to park with my gathering of other recognized Honda builds from year’s past. The Tank has always been a well-built car, but it’s online status and what it represents to the younger crop of enthusiasts is why it makes the Top Ten of 2011. It has an almost historical presence whether we want to admit it or not…

6. Matt Tucker’s Honda EK9 Civic Type R…

Why it made the list: Matt Tucker’s CTR is another Honda that I’ve had my eye on for quite some time. It wasn’t until I traveled out to the summer IA show where I was finally able to see it in person and appreciate it. I had seen plenty of photos of it online before when it had Starks on it and was still B-series but had no real idea of how it really looked. When it showed up at IA and I saw it had a K-swap and new wheels, it instantly became one of my favorite Hondas of 2011…

I’ve always had a particular taste for EK9 Rs but even if I wasn’t, I would be a fan of Matt Tucker’s CTR. I loved everything about it, the yellow against the F-Zero blue CE28s, Air Walker front bumper, the engine bay, etc….Very well done. I even like the cut-outs in the rear bumper that everyone seems to complain about, it just works…

I was a fan of it back in ’09 when it was featured in Honda Tuning magazine, but the current look is the best look to date. All the black in the bay works out really well and leaves the bay with a more understate appearance, unlike in the past with ARC induction box, red valve cover and what not. I’ll be perfectly blunt, the engine bay looked kinda shitty before, haha. Now, it’s nice and clean, with a harness that’s neatly tucked-away and the overall package is just how I would want a CTR to look…

I found myself going back to it repeatedly while I was in Nashville and it’s just one of those builds that you see in magazines but appreciate more when you can take a closer look at it for yourself, you know? I didn’t get a chance to talk to him but apparently, he’s a pretty popular guy out there so I’m sure one of his fans will tell him about his spot on the Top Ten Hondas of 2011 list. He was also everywhere in 2011, making appearances at meets and shows in all parts of the east coast and the south. He made a good effort to be seen and I made note of that….

Seriously though, out of the thousands of cars at IA, easily, this CTR is right up there as one of my favorite Hondas in the country. I’m also very happy to see that he wasn’t one of those guys that just got his feature and cashed-in on his car and walked away. He continued to work on it, and made it better. He sits a couple spots higher on the Top Ten than Mike G. and Loreto because he drove his car everywhere, attended events regularly, and also because he’s one of the more recognized Honda enthusiasts outside of the west coast. He sits higher than Jordan McCord on the list simply because his build has been around longer, been published, and his build is more intensive in terms of modification. The guys been doing it big for a couple years so it’s good to finally recognize his accomplishments here on The Chronicles Ten of 2011…

You can see more of Matt Tucker’s re-build here….

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15 thoughts on “The Chronicles Top Ten Hondas of 2011…10-6…

  1. Jesse Caeiro says:

    I, too, love the rear cuts in Matt’s CTR bumper!

  2. dsrxloreto says:

    woooo!!! i made the list! i knew my attendance would hurt my chances though, but with school finishing early in the year i promise to make more appearances and changes in 2012 =)

  3. Charles says:

    Where number 1,2,3,4 and 5

    1. Big Mike says:

      Hahaha. I like this guy.

  4. Chris says:

    I grew up with Matt, he’s always been a perfectionist when it comes to cars and he is beyond dedicated. I’m glad to see him getting positive recognition.

  5. Congrats on first five on the list! All well deserved….can’t wait for top 5!

  6. dmlemus says:

    Very impressive builds! The EK9 is just money and I can always appreciate a very clean and simple build like Jordan’s CR-X.

  7. felipe says:

    congrats to # 6-10. great builds! can’t wait for 1-5!

  8. Wil says:

    Someday I will get on this list. :)

  9. Brother's EK says:

    Nice !!! Good Cars 10-6 wait for 5-1 !!!

  10. BonB says:

    GOOD JOB MATT!!

  11. adrian says:

    not a huge fan of hondas, but i visit this blog since you always display the best renditions. loreto’s car is probably my fav honda of the year.

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