The Chronicles 2012 Honors…Part 2 of 2…


Back now with the second half of the honorable mentions list of 2012. Now that you guys have had a glance at some of the great builds that didn’t make the Top Ten of 2012, I think you have a better idea of how difficult the decision making process was when it came to finalizing the list. There are a ton of really great builds out there and I’m sure I missed out on a couple of them. I encourage you guys to continue doing your thing because there are people out there who appreciate what you have to offer to the community and even if I may not have spotted your car, somebody will and will become inspired by what you do. The great thing about this hobby is that it is very diverse and there are so many different styles to incorporate. There isn’t a definitive “right” way to build a car and your vehicle should serve as a platform for you to express yourself in whichever way you choose. Just because you don’t make the Top Ten or the Honors list, it doesn’t mean that you’re not “good” enough. This list is the opinion of only this site so you shouldn’t let it dictate how you build your car…

Here are the links below for those of you have have missed out on the first part of this list as well as the three-part Top Ten Hondas of 2012…

The Chronicles 2012 Honors…Part 1 of 2…

and the Top Ten of 2012…

The Chronicles Top Ten Hondas of 2012…10-6…
The Chronicles Top Ten Hondas of 2012…5-2…
The Chronicles Top Ten Hondas of 2012…#1…

…and here is the second half of the 2012 Honors…

Zach Hazelbaker | Location: Ohio


Why It Made The List:

Zach’s NSX deserves a mention on here just because it’s a bad-ass looking car, haha. It’s been around for a couple of years now but it’s cool to see that he is still active. His NSX remains super clean and just looks so incredibly menacing on the road. The above shot captured by Eric Badis was one of the most circulated automotive photos on the interwebs in 2012…

Roberto Gonzalez | Location: Puerto Rico


Why It Made The List:

Much like Josean Maldonado, the #2 on the Top Ten Hondas of 2012 list, Roberto Gonzalez possesses another very high quality build from Puerto Rico. It is builds like this that really direct our attention to what PR has to offer and how quickly their community is developing. If there were a listing of top 5 builds that originate from Puerto Rico Roberto’s would definitely be on it. I love what they are doing with Hondas in the last couple of years there and I look forward to what they have to offer in the future…

Daniel Banh | Location: Canada


Why It Made The List:

Banh’s S2000 has the perfect combination of parts that I would want if I were to build an S2000. It is a great looking street-themed build and Daniel pulls it off very well in yellow. Canada, I feel, has been long ignored when it comes to beautifully modified vehicles and Daniel, along with his crew LEVEL ONE, have been producing these great builds for some time now. The only thing missing on this S2000 was a really nicely done-up engine bay, otherwise it would have been in close consideration for being a Top Ten Honda. Last I heard though, this car was already parted out so it’s unfortunate to say that we probably won’t be hearing much from this S2 in 2013…

Jeffrey Diaz | Location: Washington

d90testing 222 (1)

Why It Made The List:

Jeffrey aka Citrus, has an Integra with all the potential in the world. It is still in its early stages but he’s on the right path so far. I love the execution and the parts he’s chosen to use and the only reason why he didn’t make the list was because his build was barely operational towards the middle of 2012. This year should prove to be a good one for him as he tightens up the rest of the car and puts the finishing touches on his build…

Daniel Hernandez | Location: California


Why It Made The List:

When it came down to deciding the final spots for the Top Ten of 2012, Danny’s sedan was high on the consideration list. The car has quite a bit of history behind it, it’s seen track time so it shows it’s functionality, and the car also went through an extensive rebuild in 2012. The only factor that prevented it from making the final 10 was that I felt like it still needed some work. The build didn’t debut to the public until the late summer and there were still minor things with it here and there that needed to be figured out. Once the car is dialed in, I think we’d all be happier with it and I’m excited to see if Danny has any other changes planned for it this year…

Will Wang | Location: Illinois


Why It Made The List:

Much like Jeffrey Diaz and Danny Hernandez, Will Wang’s del Sol fell just short of the list because it didn’t appear until late in the year. As I stated when I described Fernando Huerta’s Sol, Wang has one of the top del Sol builds in the country and is definitely deserving of a nod. He too went through an extensive rebuild and while very basic and nothing mind-blowing, the Mugen theme is a classic one that will always catch the attention of others. His del Sol recently landed on the cover of Honda Tuning magazine so he has a lot of positive momentum coming into 2013…

Adam Phan | Location: Florida


Why It Made The List:

We didn’t hear a whole lot from Florida this year…I’ve always looked at Florida as one of the top 5 states in the U.S. in terms of the production of high quality builds but they definitely took a backseat in 2012. One of the better Honda builds from Florida in 2012 was Adam Phan’s hatchback from V2Lab. His Civic reminds me a lot of DSR Loreto’s EK in that there really isn’t anything crazy about it that sets it apart but it is still a notable build because of how clean it is. The car was put together right and he’s never been hesitant about changing things up to keep his car fresh. While it wasn’t very high on the considerations list for the Top Ten, because there were just so many great builds, I did think that it was a memorable Honda in 2012…

Steve Brown | Location: Florida


Why It Made The List:

Steve’s Civic is noteworthy because it’s a highly regarded build from Florida that has even been featured before in Honda Tuning magazine. When he reappeared in 2012, he changed things by rocking a full Spoon Sports theme, ditching the BYS parts and aggressive CCW wheels previously. Like Phan, it wasn’t exactly at the top of my list but I like when other guys going with complete theme changes because it shows that they have a solid game plan instead of just putting random parts on their car and hoping things work…

Satoru Hasegawa | Location: Japan


Why It Made The List:

Hasegawa’s Ferio was a huge highlight for me personally in 2012 because it showed the leap in progression in the Japanese USDM-styled Honda community. When the style became popular in Japan, enthusiasts naturally gravitated towards the exterior aesthetics only and didn’t see the serious work that went into Honda engine bays here in the U.S. There wasn’t enough understanding of the whole process then but when I saw Hasegawa’s bay, I knew that the Japanese Honda community was turning a corner in terms of understanding our style. Japan has always been the mecca of automotive tuning so they’ve always excelled at everything they’ve done car-wise. We’ve always looked to them for inspiration so when the roles were reversed and they were looking to the U.S., it was interesting to see what they would adapt and how they would execute it. When it came down to figuring out which Japanese builds would land in the Top Ten, Hasegawa’s Civic was in strong consideration. The only reason it didn’t was because I felt that Kei Takafuji’s EG was a more refined vehicle….

Jessica Rodriguez/Unique Auto Squad | Location: New Jersey


Why It Made The List:

Rodriguez’s Mugen EK4-inspired Civic was one of the cleaner, well thought out builds of 2012. There wasn’t anything unique about it that shocked anyone but I liked the use of classic Mugen products as a theme in combination with the more modern CCW wheels. The wheels weren’t overly aggressive so it didn’t look awkward with the Mugen theme. I felt that they did a good job in putting it all together and the final product works.

Larry Luster | Location: California


Why It Made The List:

Similar to the Loi-Spec Garage ITRs, Larry Luster’s ITR was refreshing because it was a track-bred Honda that just happened to look good enough to also double as a “show car”. In a time in our scene when you see so many show cars attempt to transform into weekend track vehicles, it was nice to actually see a Honda that is raced often that isn’t concerned about winning awards or trying to prove anything to anyone…

Erik Mercado | Location: California


Why It Made The List:

Mercado has one of the more anticipated S2000 builds coming into 2013. If all goes through as planned and the car comes together in time to have a full season in 2013, it might automatically be a lock for the Top Ten list of this year. It was already a really good build before and a strong candidate for the ’12 list but I see so much more room for improvement for Mercado’s S2000. He’s got some pretty insane stuff planned for it and I’m sure you’ll be hearing more from this build shortly…

Daniel Herrera | Location: California


Why It Made The List:

Daniel Herrera’s Honda CR-Z was THE most slept-on Honda in 2012. His CR-Z appeared on the cover of Honda Tuning magazine, competed in the annual Super Street FF Battle event, and made appearances at shows/events all over. The only reason why it didn’t get as much notice as it deserved was because of the fact that it was a CR-Z. The chassis is still not a very popular platform to mod so the idea of having a K-series CR-Z was just a little over peoples’ heads. There were no real negatives to point out on this build and as a package, everything flows nicely. The car is driven often so it shows that it was built right and Herrera seems to have a keen eye for style. I think that this car was a little ahead of its time and one of those builds that we’re all going to look back later and regret missing out on. There seems to be a stigma that exists when it comes to people modding the newer Honda chassis’ and we take the really well-built ones for granted. It’s a shame because this KR-Z was undoubtedly one of the highlight builds of 2012…

Well, that wraps up the 2012 Honors list. I hope you enjoyed our look back into 2012 and look forward to what the new year has to offer. Everything you see from this point on will be new content so be sure to check back often. Next week we’re going to dive into my trip to Japan and the opening of the Tokyo Auto Salon 2013 coverage. Thanks for looking everyone!…


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