A Nostalgic Moment…”The Dragon Unleashed”…

I was glancing at my old photo albums the other day and couldn’t help but notice the enourmous amount of Accords back in the day at shows. Nowadays, it’s rare to see one or two Accords at shows or even meets. Of course there isn’t much debate as to why…Once the whole “JDM” style took over, more and more Civics and Integras that had more parts readily available took the place of heavily modified Accords. So many Accords were getting modified in the past because the lines of the car were so simple. Any headlight/taillight and body panel modification would easily alter the entire look of the car. If you stepped foot into any car show in Socal back in the early 2000s, you would undoubtedbly run into a 4th (90-93) or 5th (94-97) generation Accord with either a Skyline or Altezza conversion…

The Altezza conversion was so popular at that time because the IS300s had just made it’s way to U.S. shores. We all know how popular the taillights were. So popular that it changed the entire import scene at the time and companies began introducing “Altezza-style” lights for every car in sight. Before APC had their way with the style, people were doing real Altezza taillight conversions. The headlights were also very popular. I remember seeing them on Del Sols, Preludes, etc. You name it, someone probably attempted it. The Accord you see pictured was one of the more notable showcars of the time. Sure it didn’t have a lasting impact of say, L.J. Garcia’s FEEL’s EK, but it was a big deal back then…

This Accord, deemed “The Dragon”, originally appeared on the cover of Import Tuner in January 2001. It had all the modifications that were popular at the time: head/taillight conversion, white vinyl interior, flared body panels, and big ass wheels. 5, 10, 20 years, it doesn’t matter…Racing Hart C5s will always look good with a decent size lip on them. I imagine the owner must have forked out a pretty penny for some 19×9/19×10 Hart C5s back in 2000, but judging by the custom gas filler behind the taillight, money wasn’t really an issue….

The thing that kinda ruined it for me was the whole “dragon” theme. In my opinion it kinda cheesed-up the build. I remember thinking that even back when I first saw it and back then I was pretty open to seeing some cheesy shit. I mean, the dude had dragons EVERYWHERE. Even his custom hood has a transparent section of it where it’s cut to resemble a dragons head…

Alot of you might be kinda thrown off by the color more than the dragon stuff. According to the magazine, it was a Ferrari red with a mix of white and blue pearl. I call it pink pearl. The color wasn’t that big of a deal for me. During that time, cars were either pink, baby blue, white with gold/blue pearl, umm..fuckin neon green, or like yellow. Most of the time it would have some pearl in it, it was also one of the hot things to do at the time. All the bodywork and paint was done by JT Autostyle. JT was huge back then. They were doing alot of custom kits as well as putting their “JT EVO” kits on every car that went into their shop. The owner also had that Miata with the motorized lambo doors and the orange juice maker wheels that looked like Racing Hart F24s….

There’s a shot of the engine bay in the mag also but I forgot to get a picture of it. Nothing really spectacular, it had polished pieces and colored silicone hoses and what not. It was also on air bags. Would have bene cool to see a boosted H in this thing but it wouldn’t have mattered anyhow. I doubt this thing really ever drove anywhere fast…

Say what you will about this Accord but alot of work was put into it and the execution was great. I know alot of people will talk shit about it but that was the “look” back then. I’m sure alot of kids are gonna be like “oh it’s rice” and “Haha, that’s stupid”, etc. But guess what? Some of these guys are rollin’ around in their Rotas and tow hooks with dolls hanging off of them and trying to front like their shit is tight. These kids are basically the new “rice”. The only difference is that back then, they used better quality parts and their cars were complete inside and out. I guess it’s one of those “to each their own” situations but I mean, you can’t really deny the attention to detail back then. I think that alot of times, people are more concerned with “JDM” parts that they don’t ever think about attention to detail, which is something that was very prevelant in the past. You always hear people nowadays complain about why they don’t get features and what not even though they have JDM this and that part. It’s because of horrible execution. You can’t just throw random ass parts together, be the nice or not, and expect people to understand what you’re trying to present.  Yes, the 94 Accord above is pink and it does have Toyota lights, and dragons all over it. But that’s the central theme, and it’s carried out in spectacular fashion…I mean, the owner calls it “the Dragon”..you look at it, and it’s a fucking pink dragon car. He’s not frontin’. You got guys nowadays calling themselves “JDM” and they got nothing but fake wheels and knock-off faux JDM stuff. Your parts are definitely from out of the country homie, but it ain’t Japan….

“The Dragon” – no lie. Circa 2001…

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  1. SO true… It bothers that civics and tegs has taken over so much with JDM stuff thats made in india or taiwan… I actually have that magazine and i was going thru it a while back when i was throwing out old mags… that accord was def sick and a great build

  2. hahaha I was just over at JT last week. They do “phantom” front ends on 300C’s, trucks, and SUV’s now

  3. i actually think the accord looks pretty good. excluding the tail lights and the scary interior. speaking of which, there actually was a accord-skyline at HIN. He just kep driving around in circles in the parking lot. heh.

  4. i STILL have this magazine

  5. This thing was HOT back then. You’re right about execution though, back then cars were done complete, not half assed even though it’s cheesy.

    “You got guys nowadays calling themselves “JDM” and they got nothing but fake wheels and knock-off faux JDM stuff.”

    Amen to that….

  6. The only thing I miss about everything back in the day is how legit parts were and how complete the cars were. Rice or not, they didn’t floss fake shit or OEM rims like they were hot.
    Guess that’s one good thing about being old. You can remember the times when cars were completely done and it wasn’t a shop car either.

  7. Nice post!!! I think I even had this issue

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