Retrospective: A Look Back At The Chronicles’ Top Ten Hondas Of 2011…

Today we’re going to take a look back at the 2011 class of The Chronicles’ Top Ten Hondas and ask ourselves; “Where are they now??” The Ten (Eleven) who were in the 2011 group were by far the most well-rounded list of all the years we’ve been doing this and it is interesting to see what these guys are up to now that we are in the later part of 2012. In the past I’ve had a couple of people just glance at the site and think that this is this year’s Top Ten list and IT IS NOT. So don’t go calling your friends and shit and congratulating them because you wouldn’t be doing anything more than bringing up some old shit. It’s like telling your friend it’s their birthday 9 months after it actually happened….

If you are new to the site or have at any point missed out on our annual Top Ten list, please catch up before going further…

The Top Ten Hondas of 2011… 10-6…

The Top Ten Hondas of 2011… 5-2…

The Top Ten Hondas of 2011… #1…

I repeat, THIS IS NOT THE 2012 Top Ten list. I’ve actually started to compile a list already for the 2012 group but it is honestly really tough this year because I don’t feel like anyone has really stood out above and beyond all others. I can probably name a handful of guys that would be a lock for the list but it doesn’t really give me all ten. I’m going to have to do some real deep thinking to try to figure out this year’s list. 2011 was a great year with so many great Hondas and of all the year’s I’ve done the list, last year’s might have been my favorite group. In any case, I still have a couple of months to consider so I’m not really sweating it. Until then, let’s sit back and take a look at what the guys from 2011 are up to these days…

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From 2011…

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

Where they are now: Kazu Imai has remained relatively quiet in 2012. His Integra Type R was one of the most recognized Honda builds out of Japan last year and he hasn’t really made any major changes to it. A huge accomplishment for Imai this year was appearing in U.S. print when his ITR was featured in Super Street magazine’s annual “Honda Issue”. It was cool to see a privateer build from Japan in a major U.S. publication and I’m confident in saying that his appearance in last year’s Top Ten Hondas list had a lot to do with it. Not really sure what Kazu has planned for the future but you can’t really do much more to his ITR in terms of that type of style. Perhaps he will start on a new build and prove once again why he’s one of the more recognized Japanese Honda guys in our community. Time will tell…

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A shot of Kazu Imai’s ITR as it appeared in Super Street in 2012…

9. Jordan McCord’s Honda CR-X… 

Where they are now: Jordan McCord’s CR-X has probably been out only a couple of times this year. He didn’t part the car out or sell it but has put his hobby aside in the meantime to focus on bettering his own future. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2012 has left for boot camp a couple of months ago. I had the chance to meet Jordan last year and he is honestly a very nice, well-spoken guy. I’m happy for him and his big life decision and I hope the best for him. I’m sure when he gets home he’ll be happy to open his garage and see his CR-X in the same pristine condition that he left the car in…

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Jordan McCord’s CR-X at the 2011 Wekfest Chicago event…

8. Loreto Garcia’s 2000 Honda Civic CX… 

Where they are now: Loreto has been out and about this year with his Civic in Norcal. He appeared at various events up in Norcal but I’m sad to report that he’s made the decision to part-out his car. It had been posted up for sale for most of the year but he recently began taking it apart to get rid of parts. He also picked up a Lexus LS which he intends to go all-out on with the ever-growin VIP scene here in the U.S. Sad to see it go but it’s understandable. Everybody needs a new challenge and it was the right time to start something new….

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Loreto’s EK after the motor was pulled out and sold. I believe the shell is still for sale if anyone is interested…

7. Mike G’s Honda Civic aka “Tank”…

Where they are now: Mike G has been around in 2012. He hasn’t been at every big event this year but he’s usually busy with work and taking care of his son. His Civic has remained basically the same as it appeared in 2011 but he finally got around to putting his re-barreled and refinished Sprint Hart CP-Rs on. The last event he appeared at was at the 2012 Nisei Showoff event where he participated in my “GENERATIONS” line-up. Mike’s had his Civic for as long as any can remember so I don’t think he’s going to get rid of it any time soon. Not sure what he has planned next for it but it’s just one of those builds that you can really do much else to. He’s already done everything you can and I don’t see the car changing in 2013…

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Mike G’s “Tank” at this year’s Nisei Showoff event…

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

Where they are now: Like Mike G., 2012 was a relatively quiet year for Matt Tucker and his EK9. He’s popped up a number of different events on the east coast but hasn’t made any significant changes to his car. He hasn’t really had to because his CTR looks perfectly fine the way it is. Matt is one of the most recognized enthusiasts out there and people are usually happy just to see his car. Not really sure what he has planned for 2013 so we’ll just all have to wait and see…

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A shot of Matt Tucker’s EK9 in 2012…

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

The most intriguing thing about this retrospective is looking back at how both Mark Sutakajana and Jeremy Duarte’s Integra sedans were placed together at the 5th spot. They possess the two builds that have probably seen the most significant amount of progress since 2011 so it is almost fitting that they were put together on this list…

Where they are now: Mark’s always been one to switch little things up here and there to freshen up his build. 2012 saw a turning point in the aesthetic appearance of his Integra when he went with a more aggressive look. He retrofitted a Mugen Ferio wing to his trunk as well as a front splitter to provide more downforce when he tracks the car. He was most recently seen with a new set of Volk TE37SLs as well so it looks like he has intentions to continue with his builds where others on this list have moved on. One of the more notable accomplishments for Mark in 2012 was his spread in Honda Tuning magazine. It was shot for the mag before he did a majority of his changes in 2012 so it almost looks like a different car now when he shows up at events. Mark has never been one to go out and claim the spotlight or internet recognition so it is always good to see that he does things to his car only to please himself…

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Here is a photo of Mark’s DB from just a week ago so you can get an idea of how it looks towards the end of 2012…

Where they are now: Of all the Hondas on the 2011 Top Ten list, Jeremy Duarte’s has seen the most obvious change. He’s also been the most active, going to practically every event he can with the Bandits crew. He completely rebuilt his DB8R for 2012 and re-emerged at the Norcal Wekfest show with a whole new paint job. He has had this car as long as I have known him and it doesn’t look like he has any plans of getting rid of it. His Integra is always an attraction at every show so he is living up this his place on the list. It’ll be interesting when it is all said and done this year to see if he ends up on the 2012 list. It’s rare for cars to repeat but since he has redone the whole car, it almost serves as a whole new build….

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The green stage for 2012…can’t say I really love the wheels but it is a drastic change from how the car looked when it landed on the number 5 spot on the Top Ten…

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

Where they are now: Like Jordan McCord, Jay has taken this year to step away from car stuff to focus on real life matters. Jay took the leap and moved his entire family out to the west coast in 2012 and has been taking the time to get adjusted to life out here. Before moving, Jay parted out a majority of his S2000 in hopes of rebuilding it completely when the car was transported out to California. It took a while but the car is now here in his possession and 2013 might mark a reappearance of his S2K whenever he gets around to working on it. Right now he’s too busy eating and spending time with his family to really worry about car stuff. I heard his rebuild will be a much more subtle than the previous variations of his S2K but we will have to wait and see….

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Jay’s S2000 as it sits now incomplete and awaiting his love and attention…

3. Jay Powers’ Honda CR-X…

Where they are now: It’s always a love/hate relationship with Jay and his CR-X. In 2012, it was more of a hate relationship. He ran into a couple mechanical problems with the car that has really deterred him from moving forward with the car and he spent most of the year focusing on his EK Civic build. The Civic has been out and about at many events this year and has seemingly taken the place of his CR-X build. I and the rest of our mutual friends kind of get the feeling that he’s done with the car because he’s just had too many bad experiences with it. Not sure if he wants to get rid of it or not or just put it away in the garage until he finds motivation to mess with it again. It’s almost too perfect to sell and it would be a shame if he just let it sit there and collect dust. Besides dealing with cars, Jay and his wife Lisa have recently welcomed a new baby into their family. Congrats to the Powers family and The Chronicles wishes them the best in 2013…

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A shot of Jay Powers’ EK since it has been his most active build in 2012…The CR-X remains unchanged…

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

Where they are now: Sheepey’s S2000 hasn’t been seen since late 2011 and is believed to be sitting in his garage, parted-out. His focus in 2012 has been drag racing all year and the further evolution of his DC2 Integra drag car. There are a lot of different factors to consider for a drag car to be successful in the competitive world of sport compact drag racing so it makes sense that all his attention has been on making his Integra better…

Here’s a video below to give you an idea of what he’s been up to. There are no photos of the S2000 around because it has been missing in action all of 2012…I didn’t make the video so credit goes to whoever put it together…

1. Gil Salazar’s 2001 Acura Integra Type R…

Where they are now: Gil’s ITR is one of those cars that has always been lurking in the shadows. He rarely does events unless they are race events or to promote the Circuit Hero brand so it was almost a forgone conclusion that we wouldn’t see much of it in 2012. The good news is that the number one Honda in the 2011 Top Ten Hondas list has recently received some new upgrades. I believe Gil pulled the K20R motor out of his ITR and has since moved up to a bigger K24 powerplant. The K20R then went over to another ITR that he was building that he picked up this year. The last time his black ITR was spotted was at the ASC Speed Metal meet a month or so ago and still looks nearly identical to how it appeared in 2011. Maybe we will see more of his new white ITR in 2013 or possibly the black one at some more track events next year.  He and his brother are always up to something but aren’t really the type to announce it. They are usually busy with the business side of Circuit Hero as well and don’t have much free time to pop up at shows and what not…

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Gil’s Integra Type R at a rare public appearance in 2012 at the ASC Speed Metal meet…

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His new side project that I’ve spotted at ASC various times…

Well that’s pretty much a wrap on that. Thanks for looking and I hope you enjoyed a retrospective look on the Top Ten of 2011. Who will be on this year’s list??… Your guess is as good as mine…

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