The Chronicles Top Ten Hondas of 2011…5-2…

Welcome back to the ongoing countdown to the number one Honda build of 2011. The response to the first half of the list has just been overwhelming and I’m happy to see that so many people have come on to The Chronicles and have taken interest into seeing the breakdown of some of the best in our community today. What is even cooler is how the people who have made the list so far have responded. I love to see how happy they are and how some are surprised and overjoyed to have been a part of the Top Ten. In reality, they shouldn’t be all that surprised because they have put in the man hours and labor into creating such amazing Honda builds. It is good to know that there are people out there who are humble though and truly appreciate the recognition that they have garnered for their hard work. Today we will continue with the top half of the list, which are selections #5-2 and will culminate tomorrow with the announcement of the number one build of 2011. Like I stated yesterday, all the Hondas that made the list this year were pretty even across the board…all were equally great and are of the utmost quality, just other factors presented themselves that put certain cars and their owners ahead of the others. I’ll try to explain to the best of my ability how and where the builds landed where they did… With that said, let’s move on to selection #5….

At the fifth spot on the 2011 Top Ten Hondas list, stickydiljoe.com selects….*by virtual TIE*… Jeremy Duarte’s right-hand drive 1998 Acura Integra sedan and Mark Sutakajana’s 2000 Acura Integra GSR sedan…

5. Mark Sutakajana aka Chalesfoo’s 2000 Acura Integra and Jeremy Duarte’s 1998 Acura Integra….

A tie exists in this scenario because I felt that both of these sedans belonged on the Top Ten list for different reasons. While Jeremy’s DB8 has become one of the most recognizable builds of ’11, Mark has played the underdog role and quietly captured our attention by doing everything that fits the criteria of what I am looking for an a great, overall build. Duarte’s sedan is obviously the more flashier of the two, there’s no doubt about that, but I think that many have simply looked past Mark’s 4-door because of it’s otherwise simple aesthetic appearance. If you just glanced at his Integra, you probably wouldn’t think that it had anything done to it other than some suspension and wheels, but there is just so much more…

Why it made the list: Mark’s Integra makes the list because it is a fully-functional, multi-purpose build. The guy has been everywhere this year, appearing in every major event in Southern California as well as a majority of the smaller meets. You will usually find him on a set of black 949Racing 6UL wheels but there are times when he will put on his Sunday best and throw some polished Sprint Hart CP-Rs on his sedan for a major show. To be perfectly honest, when Mark’s Integra starting appearing on my radar as well as a couple of other close stickydiljoe.com associates, we thought that they were two different Integras. He would show up at one event with the 949s and then at the very next one, he would have his Sprint Harts on and we would be scratching our heads wondering if they were two different vehicles with two different owners…The guy would always pop on a different valve cover as well so it could have easily been mistaken for another car. There are a couple 4-door white DBs floating around in SoCal so there was probably a chance that even you were confused…

The exterior itself is mint and almost as OE-looking as possible. The only indication that there is probably so much more beneath the subtle exterior is the red Bride interior. Above is Mark’s DB on his polished CP-Rs…

…and this is the look that we often times see this Integra in with the 949Racing wheels…

What I absolutely love about this build is that he not only drives this thing everywhere…

…he also likes to beat on the car at road racing events… He built this thing with intentions to have the best of both worlds; an Integra that he can take to car shows and floss but also take out to the Streets of Willow and smash on it. I love the fact that he enjoys every aspect of building a Honda. If anything, I would have placed this build higher on the list but he still remains a relative unknown to many people outside of Socal. Don’t let the simple exterior fool you either, he’s not simply taking a stock B-series and tracking it….the motor is built….

Under the hood is actually a 2.1-liter stroker B-motor with full valvetrain upgrades, Profab header, Spoon N1 exhaust, and Mark also gets the power to the ground via a CTR transmission. The motor was tuned at Church and makes right around 252hp and 180lb-ft tq. The car rides on PIC Select coilovers, has Spoon brakes, just everything you can think of in a very capable street car/weekend track toy. It’s just a very well thought-out build with the best aspects of both function and form combined…it’s not flashy and over the top, and it’s also a sedan, so many people will be quick to glance and walk past it, but you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t take a closer look at it. Maybe he was the underdog of this entire class of Hondas in 2011, but he’s definitely going to be a recognizable figure now. Well done Mark, you’re every bit as deserving of recogntion as anyone in our community and I applaud you for building a car that you can enjoy in every aspect…

Why it made the list: Jeremy’s right-hand drive DB8 makes the list because from the beginning of the year, up until the very end of it, it was easily one of the most recognized Hondas of 2011.  The guy was everywhere….he did a majority of the big shows in California, north and south, attended meets regularly and the car itself is very unique in its own way. Sometimes I think Jeremy is bat-shit crazy but he built the shit out of his 4-door…

The fact that it’s a 4-door definitely makes it stand-out more, because there aren’t many Integra sedans built to this level. The exterior is aggressive with the Chargespeed front lip and bright green Enkei NT03s on the contrasting blue chassis, but the engine bay is where it really catches the attention of the masses…

The neo-chrome accented bay with the big turbo gives Jeremy’s bay a very one-off look. That in combination with it being a not-as-commonly-built sedan is a big reason why it was a staple in our community in 2011. There are a lot of unique little bits on his car too that also help to make it different, like the Porsche brakes…

One of the main reasons why it made the Top Ten list and why it’s at the number 5 spot is because Jeremy has continued the evolution of his build. He still continues to add new things to it and it’s currently going through a makeover as we speak. He’s had the car for a couple years now and it’s been featured in Super Street in the past, but it hasn’t stopped him from working on it. He even got himself a nice little feature on the Wek’Sos blog this year because they liked his car so much…

Whether you’re a fan of Jeremy’s DB8 or not, you have to admit that it’s definitely an attention-grabber. Anytime you see this car online or walk past it at an event, you almost HAVE to look at it because of how much it pops. The quality of work is also right up there too so it’s not like the car isn’t worth looking at. I put Jeremy and Mark’s sedans together at number five but for different reasons…For one, if it came down to me only selecting one sedan out of the two, I just wouldn’t be able to. Jeremy’s been more of the poster child between the two, and it’s definitely a show car, but I like Mark’s because it’s a multi-purpose build that does both shows and road racing. They both enjoy their cars for different reasons so I can’t exclude one of them because they didn’t both accomplish the same goals. In many ways they are similar, but they are also polar opposites of one another. Ones a flashy, turbocharged Integra with neo-chrome everywhere and very loud colorful wheels, while the other is very simply-stated, with nothing to indicate that it’s actually a very capable car with a naturally-aspirated-motor that makes really good power. Both sedans, both different, both deserving of number 5….

4. Jay Thammavong aka S2KJay’s 2005 Honda S2000…

Why it made the list: Just to throw it out there so that there is no confusion, Jay’s S2000 is the only car on this list that has made the Top Ten list before in previous years. If you read part one, then you will know that I have a rule where I won’t have the same build on twice unless the car has been completely redone, which essentially makes it a whole “new” build. Jay’s S2000 is basically a different build, just on the same chassis. He hit the Top Ten list in 2009 but back then, his S2000 was yellow, turbocharged, and had different aero. He re-did the whole car the following year and repainted it the shade of blue you see now with a whole new arsenal of aero and ditched the forced induction…

This was the S2000 in 2010, after he did the re-spray and brought it out to the west coast for the second time. He also came out in 2009 and drove his turbo S2000 all the way from Georgia to Cali. If there’s one thing to say about Jay, he’s probably an ambassador of sorts to the tuning community outside of the west. The guy has a very good understanding of how the entire community is because he’s been all over the country and has seen how things are through his own eyes…

In 2011, he continued add to his S2000 and also continued to bring it out to events. His F20C gave out after years of boosting so he rebuilt the motor, and now it’s naturally-aspirated with individual throttle bodies. He’s also now on his like 68th different set of wheels. The guy has never been shy of spending money on his car…

One goal that he had set out to accomplish entering 2011 was to finally take his car out to the track and have a little bit of fun with it….He’s had the car since 2005, driven it across the country to attend a meet, so why not thrash on it?

Jay’s S2K makes the Top Ten list easily because he’s another one of those guys that has always held onto his car and never stopped changing things up to keep it fresh. In a time when building a feature car and cashing in is the ‘cool thing to do’, Jay’s S2 is refreshing. It looked absolutely stunning when it was yellow on bronze TE37s, and you wouldn’t even think that it was the same car now from seeing it’s current incarnation. Jay himself belongs on this list because it’s the epitome of a great enthusiast in our community. He’s always been willing to travel across the country to attend events and he’s always been nothing but helpful and welcoming when people travel out to go to events out east or in the south. His S2000 is probably the most nationally recognized Honda build outside of the west coast and it should be. It’s the only S2000 that you’ll see in event coverage from both coasts…if you really think about it, that’s pretty wild. Jay is down, and that’s why he hits the number 4 spot on the Top Ten…Great build, great owner, willing travel….it doesn’t get any better than that when you try to describe a true Honda enthusiast….

Amazing…

3. Jay Powers’ Honda CR-X…

Why it made the list: When it comes to being one of the great Honda builders of our generation, you probably wouldn’t name Jay Powers….not because he doesn’t build great Hondas, because he definitely does, he just isn’t all that often in the public eye. You’ve probably seen the builds he has produced with his wife. He had a 1998 Honda Civic CX and 1994 Acura Integra that he built with his wife Lisa that was featured in Honda Tuning in 2010. Both great cars…the Civic I believe he is rebuilding now, and the Integra is sitting perfect just the way it is after they did some more work to it in 2011. His Honda CR-X is probably the flagship Honda of his collection and is his personal favorite. Jay is probably the only guy that makes the Top Ten Hondas of 2011 list just based purely on build quality alone. His CR-X is just fucking immaculate and almost has a collector’s sense of timelessness to it. It is MINT in every sense of the word…

You don’t really get a grasp of just how anal he is about this car unless you’ve had a chance to see him work on this car or watch him detail it in person. You could eat off of this car if you wanted to but you wouldn’t because of how mint it is. The body is flawless, has all the right parts, and the engine bay looks as if the car has never been turned on before…

There’s no point of deception here….Jay doesn’t drive this car a whole lot, but it runs and was tuned by Bisi Ezerioha from Bisimoto Engineering. Still it’s just one of those Hondas that you wished would just stay in this condition, as if it were placed in a time capsule to show future generations how a great Honda build looked in our time. Jordan McCord, who was number 9 on the list, is also a prime example of a very clean CR-X with a timeless look, Jay’s just happens to be on another level in terms of sheer quality of work and aftermarket parts selection…

In 2011, Jay’s CR-X made appearances at all the major events in California…Wekfest Norcal, Wekfest Long Beach, the annual Eibach meet, and even to other events like the It’s JDM Yo!! Anniversary show. If you were able to attend one of these events, then you can probably vouch for the quality of his CR-X…

As a whole package, it would be safe to say that this was one of the best-assembled CR-X builds of all-time. The exterior has been completely restored, the JDM EF9 SiR conversion looks like it came with the car, and the motor and bay are just flawless. It’s definitely cleaner overall than the number 2 and number 1 picks for the Top Ten of 2011, but it sits at number three because Jay doesn’t really drive the car at all, which allows the car to remain in this state. I mean, it’s literally frozen in time as it sits in a garage under multiple car covers. It’s a show car and he’s never tried to make people think otherwise. If you get a chance to see it in person, appreciate it for what it is, a piece of Honda art built by an artist with an almost O.C.D. like mindset…

2. Alex “Sheepey” Soto’s 2003 Honda S2000…

Why it made the list: …Well, because you probably expected it too…haha. No, I’m just kidding. When I typed up a question regarding who you guys felt should be on the the Top Ten list a couple weeks back on Facebook, a lot of you brought up Alex Soto’s name…and for good reason. His S2000 was one of the more “surprising” builds of 2011. He has a reputation for having a flare for the dramatic, but nobody outside of his circle of friends really knew that he was building an S2000. He popped up during the beginning of the year at Wekfest SF but at that time, it wasn’t much of anything more than a stock AP1 with suspension and aggressive wheels. It wasn’t until Wekfest Long Beach when it re-appeared and had jaws dropping because of the custom turbo set-up under the hood…

To call it a unique turbo set-up for an S2k would be the understatement of the year…Just the amount of fabwork and customization under the hood gave Sheepey’s S2000 a completely different persona…it went from being a stock S2000 to an absolute beast, and the exterior still retained a basically stock appearance…

His S2000 was just another notch on his belt and another great Sheepey-built Honda. For the rest of 2011, it was one of the main attractions at events and in November, it landed on the cover of Honda Tuning magazines winter issue…

If there was one critique about the car, it was that there wasn’t much focus paid to the exterior aesthetics. It had aggressive CCW wheels on it, front lip, and carbon side splitters, but it wasn’t much to look at, compared to the rest of the S2000 community, who places heavy emphasis on aftermarket Japanese-made aero. It didn’t matter though, because people that came to know Sheepey’s builds, knows that the engine bay has always been of the utmost importance to him. His Civic in the past was very simple, as was his Integra, that’s just his style and way of building cars. The way the bay was set-up, you didn’t really concern yourself what what was going on outside, almost as if it didn’t matter. Would it would have been even better with aero? I would be inclined to think so, but that’s not Alex’s prerogative…it stands out in a crowd of S2Ks regardless of it’s lack of aero…

I love how the oil catch and oil breather cans have been fabricated to fit the shape of the engine bay. Everything looks like it “belongs” there, even the dump pipes that exit through the hood…

Sheepey’s S2000 shocked the world in 2011…it made all the important events of the year…and the quality of the build is equal to none…with that said, why isn’t it the number one Honda of 2011 you ask? Well I had to do a lot of thinking when it came to selecting the number one build. Sheepey just didn’t seem like the right choice.  From the moment I started to consider everyone for the list, I knew right away that his S2000 belonged here. There was never a point in time when I ever thought that Sheepey would hold the number one spot. Why? Well, because I know Sheepey and I know how he is…I’ve known him for a couple years now, back when he first started becoming a “household name” within our community. Back then he was just a kid and had all the confidence in the world. Over time, he’s grown up a bit, his builds have gotten better, and he’s become a more knowledgeable guy. He’s always been one of those guys who was quick to learn and many times self-taught. You see as time goes on how his builds have grown-up along with Alex. I appreciate what he does because I like his enthusiasm and I’ve learned to like his flare for the dramatics. He shock-value is what makes his cars great, you know? If there’s one criticism that I can make about Alex, being that I’ve watched him grow in our scene, is that he’s never been able to stick with one project and really see it through. Where the other guys on the list have been able to consistently evolve their Hondas over time, Alex has been quick to set aside his cars and forget about them, and build something else. Now you may be thinking that there’s nothing wrong with that because it sounds like he just has the itch to build something new, I question his ability to stick with his cars because I’ve watched him cast his cars aside whenever something happened to them…His Civic, which was his first “baby” of sorts, he rebuilt it, turned it into a drag car, made a couple passes with it, and blew it up. Instead of taking the time to fix it, he got rid of it…nobody ever heard from it again…His Integra was once turbocharged, until he parted it to fund his Civic and S2000…Now that his Integra is up and running again, and there’s been no signs of his S2000, I am pretty confident in saying that the motor on his S2000 has probably seen better days. That’s why he’s turned his focus away from his S2000 and back on his Integra….That’s just his MO, it’s how he works. Is there anything wrong with that? No, absolutely not…but it would be a discredit to the rest of the guys on this list, especially the guy that holds the number one spot, if I were to give Alex the crown. Alex’s ability to build a Honda is something I will never doubt…the guy knows how to build a quality car that makes power and that has the shock value to propel the “Sheepey Built” name straight to the top. I’ve always been a fan of his cars. When the times get tough though, I often find myself wondering if he has the ability to persevere…does he have the proverbial “heart“?…It’s not a criticism per se, more like an observation….that’s why he just falls short of number 1….

That’s the 9 best Hondas of 2011, with only one spot remaining….who holds the crown as the best Honda build of 2011? Stay tuned….

About these ads

14 thoughts on “The Chronicles Top Ten Hondas of 2011…5-2…

  1. Im sure I speak for a lot of people when I say it takes a certain kind of character to criticize your friend in such a public light. A kind of character that demands respect, though, and only makes your list hold that much more validity. Can’t wait to see number one…

  2. Pingback: 3. Jay Powers’ Honda CR-X… « KlanHonda

  3. Hahahahahahaha. I got it right. I was thinking along with what u said and what u believe in. A Honda that has been around for some time. Is known and been seen. Support the community events etc. Has lots of custom parts. I guess a well rounded build. Perhaps driven on streets and tracked. I don’t know Gil but his car does deserve a good spot on your list Joey. I’m a regular on your site and all things automotive. Good pics overall and agree with you on each car why they deserve their respective spots.

  4. Pingback: The Chronicles 2011 Honors…The Best of the Rest… « The Chronicles…ver.3 – A Honda Dedicated Blog/E'Publication

  5. Pingback: Retrospective: A Look Back At The Chronicles’ Top Ten Hondas Of 2011… « The Chronicles© – No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: