The Chronicles Top Ten Hondas of 2010…10-6…

For those first time viewers, this is of course is  The Chronicles’ Top Ten Hondas of 2010. I’ve done this for the past two years and have made an honest effort into making this into a list that people look forward to. It started out as just something I wanted to do just to give props to some guys who were doing big things and it’s turned into something that many people look forward too yearly. This year, Ken Myoshi from Import Showoff even asked me to do a Top Ten Hondas section at Nisei Showoff. It’s pretty cool to see how far this thing has come and how it has grown with the site. For someone like Ken, who has been so influential in the scene throughout the years to ask me to work with him was a big deal for me. I grew up being a huge fan of the Showoff series of events and now the guy who created it is asking me to headline his show and asking me for my input on how to make his show better. I remember a time when I announced the #1 Honda of 2008 and the owner of the car (Donut aka Mike) didn’t even know about it until a year later. I don’t blame him, the site was so small then and people barely tuned in to see what was going on. We’ve gone from it being relatively unknown to today, where people are hitting me up mid-way through the year just to ask me when the list is coming out. The fact that there is the slightest hint of anticipation is crazy to me. At the end of the day, it’s just my opinion…it could mean nothing, but I’m happy to give these guys the spotlight that they deserve. It was incredibly difficult to put this year’s list together because there have been so many great builds in 2010. The bar has been set so high now that it’s almost impossible to select just ten cars. The list will reflect that…

I’ve based my selections on the same criteria as years past….build caliber of course, amount of exposure, and impact on our community. There are plenty of cars that were close to making the list but there were limiting factors as to why they didn’t. Once the 10 have been announced, I will go through some of the cars that were close, just like last year. I called it the “Honors” list and I will do the same this year…

Before I officially begin, let me start off by saying that this is “The Chronicles” list. Not your list, not his list, not her list, none of that. That’s why it’s The Chronicles Top Ten Hondas of 2010. If you don’t care for my opinion or what I have to say, I really don’t know why you’re here and believe me, the feeling is mutual. So if you have something to say, feel free to start your own site and create your own list. Another thing I want to add is that people really need to stop being so overly concerned with the east/west bullshit. The reason these cars are on the list is because they transcend regional borders. What they have done matters more than where they came from. Stop being so concerned with stuff that doesn’t matter. What I have learned from creating The Chronicles is that the community is bigger than us. We have a worldwide audience and the people that view this site come from all over. These viewers are also enthusiasts just like us and look to us for inspiration. Do you really think they care about whether you’re from the eastern part of the U.S. or the west? Fuck no. They just want to see great cars, just like you and I. The list is who I feel are the best of the best of 2010. If you disagree, that’s fine. I can respect that, but try to understand why these Hondas are here. These individuals have dedicated their time, blood, sweat, and tears into their builds all year…ALL YEAR. This is why they are the ten best. I’m not taking anything away from other Honda builds that aren’t on the list, these guys just happen to stand out above the rest. With that said, let’s being the countdown to number one….enjoy….

10. Kane Chan’s Civic Coupe/Arn Reyes’ Acura Integra/Ejay Adriano’s DA via 3-Way Tie…

It took me quite a bit of time just sitting here and figuring out which one of these guys to exclude from the list…and there isn’t a reason why any of them should be excluded. They all deserve to be here for different reasons and I had no choice but to give these guys a spot…

Why it made the list: Kane’s Civic belongs here just because it’s stood the test of time. Not only has it been around for over a decade, Kane still continues to build it and change things up. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the car, it’s hard to grasp how great it is. The body is perfect, still retains it’s OEM paint, and is so simplistic in nature aesthetically that it is timeless. This Civic is equally as “in style” today in 2010 as it was when it got it’s Super Street magazine feature way back in 2002…

Kane’s coupe is a throwback to the days when guys built cars just for fun, and not for internet fame or popularity. He built this Civic for himself, takes it out to the track whenever he feels like it, and switches parts up because he likes it and not because it’s hot at that particular moment. The coupe even still has a B-series in it, no K-swap. Just a 2.0L B and it’s still competitive. He’s participated in the Super Street FF Battle competition for the last two years and it’s right up there with guys who are K-powered or boosted. Kane even placed second overall in this year’s FF Battle with his N/A B-series, something that no one expected. For it to not only be relevant, but still remain functional and competitive is a true testament to it’s timelessness as well as Kane’s ability to take care of his car.

No crazy shaved bay, wire tuck, or anything that by today’s standard, would be considered “the bar”. Kane’s Civic has been around long before trends existed and it doesn’t need to live up to any standards. For most of the newer generation, they might simply overlook this car at a glance. It doesn’t conform to anything that’s current. Kane’s Civic is great because of that. We can all learn something just be taking a moment to understand his build and why it’s remained a staple in our community.

Why it made the list: Much like Kane, Arn’s Integra makes the list because it also has stood the test of time. Arn is a true innovator and while Kane has left his Civic relatively the same throughout the years, Arn has continued it’s evolution. His roots are deep in the industry and his Integra has seen incarnations in both race and show form. He was plating parts long before import guys thought to and his Integra was the guinea pig in every experiment he’s attempted. He was the first to do 24K gold-plated Mugen M7s and this year he came out and shocked the world with his one-off hydrogen-powered K-swap.

Arn deserves to be on the list because he’s a true innovator. He’s managed to always freshen up his Integra and the little touches that he thinks are cool just somehow manage to become immensely popular among the rest of his peers. The guy deserves more credit than I think he receives for what he’s done for the community. He’s constantly switching things up and also making it out to events whenever he’s had the chance to. In 2010, he also developed working relationships with Skunk2 and other companies to open the door to new possibilities for his build.

2010 also marked the debut of another Arn Reyes creation, his first child, so 2011 looks to be a busy year for him as a father. I’m not sure how much time he’ll have to change up his Integra next year but he’s done enough for the last 5+ years or so to rightfully be on this list. 2010 was a great year for Arn and his DC2 and I don’t think he’s received as much praise as he deserves. Like Kane, he’s also a staple in our community and he will be for a long time to come. He just doesn’t seem like the type to sit back and slowly fade away. There are guys that are bitter about how the times have passed them by and there are guys like Arn who continue to grow and create.

Why it made the list: Ejay’s Integra makes the list because it’s probably the most significant DA-chassis build of 2010. If there was a “DA of the year” Ejay’s would be it. It’s a unique build that came out of nowhere in late 2009 and made a huge showing in 2010. What’s cool about his build is that there’s a really great story behind it. Ejay is a good dude who used cars to keep him out of trouble and his love of the hobby might have even saved his life. I had the pleasure of writing the story for his Honda Tuning feature this year and it was probably one of my favorite stories of the year, just because everything in his life translated over to what he did to his DA.

On top of getting his magazine feature, he also attended practically every event possible. He even drove to Norcal for Wek’Fest not to show his car, but just because he wanted to drive his car! If that’s not dedication, he even blew his H2B at one point and avoided any downtime by dropping a B-series motor back into his Integra.

With a Honda Tuning feature, an entire year’s worth of events under his belt, in a build that nobody expected, there’s no way I could exclude him from the Top Ten of 2010…

9. Phil Robles Honda Civic...

Why it made the list: One of the main reasons Phil makes the list is because he’s the enthusiast that nobody expected. He doesn’t fit within that 18-35 demographic of Honda guys and he’s actually an older gentleman who has a Honda because he loves to race. It just so happens that his hatchback is one of the sickest Civic builds of 2010. It has all the right combination of parts and Phil has them because said parts function on the track. When I met him at the Super Street FF Battle, he told me that everytime he hits the track, he’s having the time of his life. How can you not like that? He’s one of the rare enthusiasts he build with function in mind and cares little for aesthetics. The parts he uses just happen to be some of the best and most attractive pieces you can have for his particular chassis…

I asked Phil if he had ever considered doing car shows and he said he hadn’t just because the car was kinda beat up from track use. I told him that people love the fact that the car gets beat on and they can appreciate all the rock chips on the front bumper just because it was proof that Phil’s Civic was driven hard. People tend to appreciate a build more when they realize that it’s truly functional. Our talk probably meant nothing but sure enough, Phil brought his car out to California for the prestigious Nisei Showoff event.

His Civic isn’t the fastest and there’s no reason for it to be. Phil just loves to race and does it purely for the fun of the sport. When he heard that Super Street was having another FF Battle competition, he was more than willing to come out to Cali to compete, knowing that there would be other cars that might over power his. Phil also received a feature a couple months before the FF Battle event in Super Street’s annual Honda issue. Phil is a lowkey guy who built himself a track car that ended up being recognized by the entire community. He essentially built a race car that has all the parts that show car guys drool over. He covered both racing and show aspects in one fell swoop. It has to make the number 9 spot on the list just because it’s a badass build.

8. “DPK David” Andrade’s Honda Civic Coupe…

Why it made the list: I stated in last year’s Honorable Mentions list that DPK David’s coupe deserved to be on the Top Ten list, it just made it’s debut too late into the year to qualify. Well this year it is definitely on the list because it made it out to every event possible, even when David himself couldn’t be there. It had been down for the last 2-3 years before that and being that David was so indecisive, it just took him awhile to get the car exactly the way he wanted it. In 2010, he came out strong and even landed something that no one else on this list was able to do; which was to get his feature in Import Tuner magazine. In years past they have slowly moved away from featuring Hondas and David’s coupe was basically their “re-introduction” of sorts into the Honda market. Before him, there were a few that popped up occassionally but nothing built to the caliber of David’s car.

David’s coupe is probably one of the more popular choices of 2010 to make the list. Just because he’s popped up practically everywhere with his car and always introducing new things to keep himself active in the community. Whether it be switching over to a different set of Volks or just throwing on some classic Mugen wheels and front lip, the car can change looks at any time. He’s been busy contemplating whether or not he should switch the car up completely and re-do it but I always tell him that it’s not really necessary.

The car hasn’t really gotten old and the amount of work he put into it still garners him a lot of respect within the community. Plus the coupe chassis itself doesn’t seem to be as prevalent as the hatchbacks nowadays and it’s good to see the EJ1 chassis still represented. Most guys are either building up the hatches or doing up the newer coupes. David’s car still holds it place among the best and that’s why it was an easy choice for the Top Ten of 2010…

7. RC Chacon aka “Kingdingaling’s” Honda Civic hatchback…

Why it made the list: “Kingdingaling’s” Honda makes it on the list just based purely on what’s under the hood…or lack there of  a hood. The engine bay itself is what really makes this car what it is. Aesthetically, there isn’t much on the outside to look at and it’s relatively simple. Depending on how you look at things, the lack of mods outside may actually hurt the Civic’s appeal but I think that it actually helps bring out the bay even more. He goes the tried and true route of simply keeping things very minimal. I mean, the bay itself is very simple also, it’s just the way he put it together and how he positioned everything that makes it eye-popping. The whole “dump tube through the hood” look was very popular in 2010, both show and race, and Chacon does it one better and just ditched the hood altogether. The guy literally drives around with no hood, just motor and exhaust exposed.

His engine bay is a prime example of the direction that the Honda community is headed in. It’s bare and straight to business, allowing all the custom fabricated pieces to stand-out. Tucked radiators have been a big thing in 2010 as well and RC’s has been tucked away to make room for the giant turbo and dumptubes. Overall, it’s a good representation of what has been big this year and it’s executed to near perfection. Chacon’s Civic also makes the list because it was one of those builds that came out of nowhere and kinda surprised everyone. Nobody expected the build to make such an instant impact and be so recognizable. He’s also been very active in the community by making multiple trips and bringing his car out to the biggest events of the year. If you put this build into perspective, it’s one of the surprise hits of 2010…

6. Edwin Pagan aka “Midorieking’s” EK…

Why it made the list: Much like Chacon’s build, Edwin’s car is one of the biggest surprises of the year. You can actually flip flop seating among these two where some would place Kingdingaling’s car higher on the list than Edwin’s. I’ve seated them this way because Midorieking’s build is one of those projects that transcends regional borders and location. Like I stated earlier, it shouldn’t really matter where a particular build comes from. You want to talk about geographic location? This build comes all the way from Utah. Nevermind West/East, Edwin comes from a state that would otherwise be unknown for producing any known Honda build. He’s living proof that a great build can come from anywhere.

I’ve also seeded him slightly higher than Chacon’s build because I feel that he’s covered more aspects of a complete project, mainly due to the exterior. 2010 showed the re-emergence of aftermarket aero and where Chacon has lacked, Edwin’s EK has shined. A lot of builds have been big on Japanese aftermarket aero and this Civic is pretty much a catalog in itself of just that.

While the color combination is a bit of a mystery to me, it really shouldn’t take away from the bay itself. I’ve heard some rumblings on the net that people often mistaken this EK for a previous Top Ten Honda, Danville Dingel’s Midori hatch. Sure the color is about the same, as well as the chassis but the builds are very different. Where they do parallel eachother is that they’re both deserving of the honor and they both live in places where builds of this type rarely exist. I hear he’s already hard at work on the next stage of his build and I’m definitely looking forward to see what he’s got planned for 2011…

That marks the end of the first 5* on the Top Ten of 2010 list of Best Hondas. I hope you guys like this year’s layout better than the previous two years. Back with more as soon as I finish putting it together…

31 thoughts

  1. I met RC in Vegas at a bigmike food meet and ejay crashed at my hotel in Vegas. Both really cool guys and their builds deserve the recognition. Arns integra is amazing and seriously puts the bar way high. Still making this list must have been hard with all the amazing builds.

  2. man truly an honor. words cant describe how i felt when i got a text saying congrats on top 10. thanks for the love man, much appreciated. cant wait to be in cali for 2011 shows.

  3. WOW! its an honor to be mentioned among such great cars. Thanks for the support since my car’s debut and for writing a great story for my feature. I can’t wait to see the rest of the list. Congrats to everyone else and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

  4. Great lineup Joey, all vehicles and owners deserve to be on the list! Congrats guys! I hope to see Bisi’s Wagon this year, it seems like he’s been out in full force and it’s a great build aswell.

  5. i love the attention to detail and the quality of cars posted on this top ten list! another year has gone by and you have recapped it with some awesome cars! cant wait to see the rest of the list, great job!!

  6. wowww i am very honored this is seriously very exciting for me my first build in years and my very first year with the build and i get number 6 spot,i am veryyy trully from my heart thankful for this.Joey thank soooooo much for everything you done in the honda scene u inspire us all.
    i will always thank u for treating me like i was home at the chronicles meet,and it was a very awesome and unforgetable experience for me.
    i will be at the next chronicles meet but with my new surprise project 🙂 taking it back to “old school”
    again thank u all for the support and all the love,thank u!!!

  7. awesome writeup joey!! this is why i was inspired just because of your blog bro!! thanks for doing big things and taking the scene to a whole nother level!! i hope i can do the same for my countrys scene..

  8. Truly an honor to be mentioned among a class of cars coming from the Honda community…It’s an exciting time to be in an industry that raises the bar with every passing year!! Can’t wait to see what happens and who will make the Chronicles for 2011!!

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