The Chronicles Top Ten Hondas of 2012…5-2…


Welcome back to the second half of the 2012 Top Ten Hondas presented by The Chronicles. I know things have a very different feel this year considering the lists have been released on back-to-back days in the past but with the new layout this year and the added content, it’s taking me some time to put the posts together. From the feedback that I’ve received, a majority of you really like how things have played out this year and are more than understanding of the lengthy time it has taken to produce this content and I appreciate it. It is always good to hear back from you guys to see what you guys are thinking and it has been overwhelmingly positive. Another very minor feature I’ve added this year is that I’ve also attached the owners’ locations since there are always some out there who complain that all you ever see are “West Coast Hondas” on this list. As you can see, I’ve taken careful consideration into looking at everything (as much as I can, anyway) and keeping track of Hondas from all over the world…

I know you all really like the addition of the build photos as well and I’ve included them where I could. It is just tough sometimes to get build photos from certain cars because not everyone documents their builds or have build threads on forums. It wouldn’t be right not to consider them just because they lack build photos so you will find some of the cars who have made this list without them. Alright, I’m sure you guys are anxious to see the rest of the list so here we go…

*All respect goes out to the photographers whose photos appear throughout the Top Ten list. Without you guys I wouldn’t be able to complete this list, thank you….

If you missed the first half of the list last week, click the link below to check it out before you get into the second half of the list…

The Chronicles Top Ten Hondas of 2012…10-6…

…And here are selections #5-2…

5. RC Chacon | Location: Arizona and Mike Trevino | Location: Northern California (TIE)

These two share the number 5 spot because they both had a huge year in 2012. They also share a similar path even though they are actually opposites of one another. Trevino and Chacon both have 4-door 92-95 Civic chassis’ but Trevino’s is right-hand drive, naturally-aspirated, and features a K20A swap. Chacon’s 4-door, on the other hand, is a more conventional left-hand drive lay out, also K-swapped, but turbocharged. RC’s sedan is his second Honda build while Mike has decided to stick with this particular chassis and completely redone the entire car after he was featured in Honda Tuning a couple years back. The two of them hold this spot because their builds have both been significant for the past two years and were very close to making it onto the 2011 Top Ten. They both had a really good year and have made some significant improvements in ’12 and are very worthy of this list.



Why It Made The List:

RC is the only person of everyone on this Top Ten list that has been here before. He was a member of the 2010 Top Ten Hondas list with his previous build and he’s taken his talents into 2013 with yet another successful project. His formula for building Hondas has always been very specific; find a clean shell, keep it relatively simple on the outside, and dump a majority of the effort into transforming the engine bay into something completely unique. His white EG caught a lot of people by surprise. There wasn’t anything really special on the exterior but the engine bay made it very memorable. RC took the success from his first Honda and took that positive momentum into his second build. Unlike his white hatchback however, he decided to add some more style aspects to his 4-door by going with a all-Mugen theme. The result was a completely timeless exterior with a very modern custom engine bay set-up…


A side by side comparison of his two Honda builds…

You can definitely tell the similarities between the two but with the sedan build, you can see his natural progression in terms of aesthetics and the continued intricacies of the engine bay. I think he realized the short comings of his first Civic and did a much better job of creating a much more well-rounded build…


Engine bay customization has definitely become a signature of Chacon’s. For the sedan, the engine bay was mostly complete by the end of 2011 until he changed up his turbo and manifold set-up entirely in the early quarter of 2012…


Larger Version (1400×836)

Above is a short compilation of his build process… Even with just a few photos you can already tell that he builds with a high level of attention to detail. One of the reasons why he didn’t immediately jump into the 2011 Top Ten list was because of the fact that the car wasn’t 100% complete by the latter part of the year. So after having a solid 2012, he was a virtual lock for the list…


He made it out to practically every major event in his home state of Arizona as well as events in Southern California. I should also add that he didn’t just show up, he also collected awards when he did. Even with the accolades, one of the reasons why he ranks high on this list is because he has contributed in the creation of other builds for fellow enthusiasts from his state. He runs a shop as his daily grind where he helps build project vehicles for others as well as providing his knowledge and expertise. Though he is a relatively quiet, his influence is evident within the Honda community…



2013 will be an interesting year for RC. His sedan has been out and about for almost two years now and knowing his track record, he may be in the process of putting something new together for this year. Who knows, maybe the hatchback will re-emerge with an even crazier set-up than the 4-door. For now, all we know is that RC holds the #5 spot on the 2012 Top Ten Hondas…



Why It Made The List:

Mike’s Honda is probably the only Honda on this list that I honestly would have preferred in its previous state…haha, until the end of the year of course. I’ve told him that a million times in person already but his sedan in its black-on-black stage was simply the most aggressive sedan I’d ever seen. That and the bright accents in the engine bay along with the individual throttle bodies and B-series motor were just perfect. In 2012, he went through a complete transformation and debuted at Wekfest SF with a whole new look. It was received with mixed emotions throughout but it was encouraging to see that he continued to work on this chassis. Many would have just sold this car and started on a new project. What Mike did was build an entirely new car…he just happened to use the same platform to do it. He went through the year with various changes here and there but the car wasn’t 100% dialed in until the end of 2012. The black Blitz 01 wheels and black accents in the bay just topped off his project so well in comparison to the blue he was using before. He makes this list this year because of his work collectively through the last couple of years and because he wasn’t afraid to take risks with his build…


His previous set-up prior to the major changeover in 2012…


Besides the obvious color change, Mike also ditched the ITB’d B-series set-up and swapped in a K. The bay just needed some minor clean-up but it was otherwise ready for the K20 to call it home…



Towards the end of 2011, Mike and his crew, Bandits, set forth to do something entirely unique and decided to make all of their cars really colorful so that they stood out in a vast field of Hondas. Though it may not be a method that everyone would take, they definitely accomplished their goal and garnered a ton of attention all year…


Trevino is a very hands-on type of enthusiasts who also does a majority, if not all, the work on his car on his own. He even spends a lot of time working on his fellow Bandits members’ builds and was a key piece in helping Danny Hernandez complete his Civic sedan rebuild in 2012. A few of you are even wondering why Danny’s sedan isn’t on this list and the answer is simple; his car just doesn’t seem like it’s 100% complete yet and didn’t appear until the middle of 2012. Mike’s sedan has been out for much longer even while lending his services to helping Danny finish his rebuild.


Mike’s Civic at the end of 2012…

Both Mike and RC belong here because they both share a commonality in building a pretty uncommon platform. The hatchback has always been the sought after 92-95 Civic chassis to build and both took the sedan to places where most wouldn’t dare to attempt. Quality and individuality are monumental in achieving success in this community and these two are great representatives of those ideas. Add to that a ton of hard work and you have your number 5 selection(s)….


4. Alex Pope | Location: Australia



Why It Made The List:

Alex Pope’s Civic is what I would like to call “The Ultimate Enthusiast’s Honda Build”. High acclaim yes, but I absolutely love this Civic because of its functionality and the owner’s willingness to push his car, both figuratively and on the track. On the outside, it is a very, very simple car. Nothing over-the-top or irreversible and holds its place in time no matter the era. There isn’t even a K-series in it yet which is highly popular these days. It’s a minimalist’s approach on how to build a Honda in favor of functionality. It is an ideal build if you plan on holding onto a Civic and having fun with it forever. You just haven’t heard of it yet because he’s all the way on the other end of the Earth…


His build story, like the finished product, is simple. He originally had a silver EG hatchback and had done some stuff to it, tracked it, and enjoyed it. Alex one day was presented with the opportunity to own a Carnival Yellow EG, and leaped at the opportunity. He took some essential parts off his silver hatchback, sold it to a neighbor and thus began the evolution of his yellow EG. He began collecting parts for it while also repairing and restoring parts of the Civic that he wasn’t satisfied with. A lot of attention was devoted to overhauling the suspension and finding the necessary pieces to make his Civic a more performance-oriented car. The original B16A ran great on the track until he blew his motor. Pope than swapped over to a B20 VTEC motor and it has been running strong ever since…


Larger Version (1400×1852)

His build actually reminds me a lot of another Australian enthusiast, Yonas Liu, who is also a member of The Chronicles Top Ten alum. Both Australian-bred builds were catered to functionality and they just happen to look good as a by-product of that. Nothing was done to achieve a particular look, it was function that produced the result you see today. Also noteworthy (and obvious) is that all work performed on this Civic was done only by Alex and his friends in a garage…


There’s no shaved bay or any power-adders that ruin the overall balance of the car. This build could exist anywhere in the world and be totally relevant…



The interior of Pope’s EG…



Pope’s Civic doing what it does best…perform…

While a B20 VTEC is nothing to rave about nor will it ever set any record-breaking lap times, it doesn’t have to. Alex takes his Civic out to the track for pure entertainment purposes and the only lap times he sets out to break are his own personal bests..


Alex has a huge passion for collecting old Japanese wheels, as seen in this photo that was heavily circulated in 2012…


Though his Civic was set-up for circuit racing, it didn’t stop him from taking his Civic out for a couple of quarter-mile runs just for fun…


Pope’s final set-up of 2012 with Spoon Sports front lip, J’s Racing duct, Voltex wing, and 15×8.5/8 Gabsport wheels…

Alex ranks high on the 2012 Top Ten list because of the aforementioned above but also because he is a great representative of the Honda community that exists in Australia. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from following Yonas and the JDMYard crew, it’s that Australia produces very well-thought out Honda builds that double as weekend track toys. Alex is proof that his country has a very strong community of Honda heads and that they should not be overlooked…



3. Derek Covington | Location: New Jersey



Why It Made The List:

Derek makes this list because his S2000 is a very unique, one-of-a-kind creation. The parts are very familiar but he certainly put his own twist on things. We didn’t start off at a very good place. After seeing his S2000 in person at the 2011 Import Alliance Summer event, I felt that he had a very similar style to that of Angel’s S2000 from ATS Garage. Just the wheels, color-way, and execution resembled Angel’s a bit…many others will agree. When he decided to go with the custom turbo set-up, it also looked a bit familiar. He and I had a conversation about it and we agreed to disagree. When the final product debuted in 2012, I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with the final outcome. The exterior remained the same but the completed engine bay and turbo set-up really set this car apart. It is by far one of the most customized Honda S2000s in the country and he had just an absolutely killer 2012, gaining a ton of exposure and winning multiple awards…




It covers all facets when it comes to being a complete custom show vehicle but the turbo set-up also makes big power, boasting over 700HP….


Larger Version (1400×2087)

His S2K build started out like many others… it was relatively stock with just a couple of bolt-on modifications until he decided to just go absolutely crazy on it one day. The chassis was stripped and all-custom metal fenders were created, with both front and rear bumpers extended to match. The build photos above are misleading because he had a CT Engineering supercharger before going with the twin-scroll turbo set-up and shaving his entire engine bay clean…



Above is a better look at the engine bay. As you can see, a ton of work went into executing a truly naked bay with a floating motor and custom fabricated boost set-up. By far one of the cleanest S2000 engine bays of 2012…



The overall styling may not be for everyone but its important to consider the amount of time and labor that went into the car. It represents a vision that one enthusiast had and he did what he had to to build his own dream S2000. In a day and age when we try so hard to please everyone else, it’s good to know that there are guys out there who are still trying to build a car for themselves. Like Steve Thomsen, his car is a very extreme example of how to build a Honda by your own standards. He’s made huge strides in 2012 and is a great representative of the East Coast car scene. The S2000 chassis is one of the most sought after Honda platforms to build nationwide and Derek possesses one of the most recognizable S2Ks anywhere…



2. Josean Maldonado | Location: Puerto Rico and Fernando Huerta | Location: Texas (TIE)

Knocking on the door of the #1 spot on the Top Ten Hondas of 2012 list are two individuals who land at two for very different reasons; Josean Maldonado’s “Dream Killer EK” is a signature build that opens our eyes to the existence of a Honda community in Puerto Rico and Texas-native Fernando Huerta has built what might be the best Honda del Sol in the country…



Why It Made The List:

Maldonado and his EK hit the Top Ten because he created the archetype of how to get a build in an otherwise forgotten place recognized. Not only that, he also used his build as a key to open the door for the rest of the Puerto Rican Honda scene to be noticed. If you haven’t had a chance to see what Puerto Rico has to offer, then you are missing out because PR produces some sick Hondas. They may have once been known as an area who were loyal to old school Toyotas but things have changed astronomically in the last couple of years. Josean’s Civic is just one of many high caliber Hondas from Puerto Rico. There are a couple who could have very easily made it onto the Top Ten list but Josean’s efforts in the progression of the PR Honda community is what earns him the number two spot in 2012…


Larger Version (1400×1200)

His build is not unlike the others. He had a car that he had already lightly modified and later rebuilt entirely with new parts. Maldonado, like many of his fellow Puerto Rican enthusiasts, isn’t rolling in money and doesn’t have endless resources. In fact, many of them have regular 9-5 jobs with average or below-average income. Josean and friends just produce very high-quality builds because they appreciate quality and authenticity. They work and save up and then scour the U.S. or Yahoo! Auctions Japan for rare, sought-after parts. Everything about Josean’s EK is built from the ground-up in a backyard. He is constantly looking for new rare authentic Japanese parts and adding them to his build…





When starting his build, he came up with a way to market his car so that it would attract the attention of his fellow enthusiasts. He dubbed the project the “Dream Killer EK” and used the marketing strategy of his build to also create hype for the rest of the Puerto Rican import community. He noticed a lack of any major car events in Puerto Rico, so he and some friends decided to start the “Los Duros” event series. In its fourth year now, it has transformed into one of the premiere events there…




Though he has put heavy emphasis into making his car community better, it shouldn’t discount the efforts he put into his Dream Killer EK project. The EK features some very rare parts like the carbon fiber Mugen fuel cell cover. Under the hood is a beautifully-done engine bay that features a Spoon-spec B16B CTR motor…

The Dream Killer EK and a number of other well-built Hondas in Puerto Rico are also beat-on at the track for fun. They get the most out of their cars and put all the rare Japanese parts they collect to great use…

Below is a video that Maldonado captured when he tracked his EK…

Nothing crazy fast about it at all and like Pope’s EG, it doesn’t have to be. They just do it for pure entertainment….


When selecting Maldonado’s EK, global impact had a lot to do with the decision. Sure there are others on this list that are great representatives of their country but there is no one else on this list that has practically taken a whole community on his back like Josean has. He is very proud of where he is from and what his fellow Puerto Rican Honda enthusiasts have to offer. To him, success would mean nothing without his friends and that is why it was so imperative for him to ensure that his community grow with him. I have nothing but respect for Josean and his “Dream Killer EK” and there is no doubt in my mind that it is a top Honda build in 2012….


And counting down to the number one position is the other Honda that tied for #2….



Fernando’s del Sol has earned the number two spot with Josean Maldonado because he’s taken an under utilized, unappreciated Honda chassis and transformed it into one of the best Hondas in the world. You would be lying to yourself if you thought that the del Sol was sought after in the eyes of Honda heads worldwide. The only people that appreciate del Sols are the people that own del Sols. That is, until now of course. Besides Will Wang’s Mugenized del Sol, there’s no better Sol anywhere. The execution and parts selection make this del Sol a top tier Honda and Fernando’s spot on the The Chronicles’ Top Ten has been waiting for him for awhile now. He just needed to come and claim it….


You may remember Huerta’s del Sol back when it had an H22A swap. It was already a very nice build at the time but when he finally decided to swap in a K-motor and acquired an authentic Mugen aero kit, it was the icing on the proverbial cake…


I had a chance to see this car in person when I flew out to Texas last year and I can attest to its quality. The engine bay is as clean as it gets and it is very complete in terms of interior, exterior, engine bay, and suspension/brakes. If you’re looking for a well-rounded Honda project, it may not get any better than this. Huerta shows that you can do a lot to a car and still make it flow seamlessly with a collection of aftermarket parts that will last the test of time…


His Mugen aero kit is one of only a handful of truly original, authentic Mugen kits in the entire nation…


Though he hails from the great state of Texas, it didn’t stop him from making the trip out to Socal for the annual Eibach Honda Meet in 2012…



When you consider all of the other amazing Honda builds that have appeared on the Top Ten list in previous years, you’ll understand why Huerta’s del Sol belongs here. There are some great builds out there with flaws that you try to ignore because you appreciate the car so much. With Huerta, you don’t need to ignore anything because his del Sol is near flawless. This EG2 is living proof that you can take an unpopular Honda platform and turn it into a complete stunner.



That’s a wrap for 2-10 of the Top Ten of 2012…who holds the crown? It may be obvious to some and oblivious to others but stay tuned and you’ll find out soon enough. Thanks for looking!…

13 thoughts

  1. Wow! The picture of Alex’s car with those trees are beautiful! Now someone needs to get a car picture in the green forest with fog and a waterfall in the background on top of the mountains. HAHA Oh yeah, with some birds flying away.

  2. Really glad to see Alex Popes EG in here, definitely for me the car of 2012. I enjoyed the write-up too, and the way it is appreciated for being a long-term enthusiasts car, rather than an intensive all-out project.

  3. Felicidades Josean from Chupin–La humildad tiene un precio y te lo has ganado y a los criticones q se “Refugien en Sabiduria” and to Rodrez thanks for showing what this little spot in the world can do PUERTO RICO # 1!!!

  4. Pingback: The Chronicles Top Ten Hondas of 2012…#1… « The Chronicles© – No Equal Since 2008 |

  5. “There are some great builds out there with flaws that you try to ignore because you appreciate the car so much. With Huerta, you don’t need to ignore anything because his del Sol is near flawless. This EG2 is living proof that you can take an unpopular Honda platform and turn it into a complete stunner.”

    Oh yes you do, what about the color-matched grille? That alone should disqualify it from the top 10 list, let alone a no.2 spot. Calling an EG2 unpopular is like calling an EF8 unpopular, both are Civics but with a shorter-wheelbase.

  6. Pingback: The Chronicles 2012 Honors…Part 1 of 2… « The Chronicles© – No Equal Since 2008 |

  7. Pingback: The Chronicles 2012 Honors…Part 2 of 2… « The Chronicles© – No Equal Since 2008 |

  8. Pingback: The Top Ten Stories Of 2013 According To You… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 |

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