Breaking In The New Year With Seita Takano’s CB3…

Today is gonna be slightly different than what you’re accustomed to seeing here on The Chronicles. While I’ve always been one to really push the idea of a finely-built automobile done with great precision and execution, I’ve learned to embrace the many different styles of automotive builds that exist in Japan. Hondas are an interesting animal. In North America, we do things a little differently than what you would see in Japan because we focus a lot of our attention on hiding things in the engine bay and executing an incredibly well-rounded vehicle. Attention to detail is key and the top tier Hondas here are very refined. We’ve assembled our Hondas in such a way that they are envied worldwide and have helped to develop a “USDM” subculture within the tuning community in Japan. I think the way we do things has helped to breathe new life into the Japanese Honda world and has helped paved the way for mutual inspiration. In Japan, Hondas have always been more about circuit racing and building machines that are specifically tailored to be race cars, whether it be on the street or at one of their many famed race tracks. These Honda are detailed in their own way but are far from what you would consider to be “refined” in comparison to our builds here, which many are built specifically for car shows and street cruising. One thing that I’ve always enjoyed about Hondas in Japan is how aggressive they are and how raw they can just be. They are raw in such a way where I could easily embrace how rough around the edges they are because I know these cars are built for a specific purpose. I sometimes feel that the rawness doesn’t translate over here to the States because I feel people take more shortcuts to be “raw” here and not because their cars represent a certain type of raw aggression that is only meant for race-specific or race-styled builds. I think people are starting to get it over here and I can easily think of a number of Hondas in North America today that understand the “look” of a aggressively modified Honda in Japan…

I could continue to talk about it for hours and hours but it is really hard to explain unless there are pictures that accompany the words. Even still, I don’t think that many people would understand. Seita Takano’s CB3 Accord represents what I am trying to explain to you all. It is far, faaaaarrr, from refined and it is just utterly RAW. In fact, it’s pretty fucking beat-up to be honest but there is just something so incredibly interesting about it. First off, it is an unlikely platform to be modded in such a way. The CB Accord chassis holds a special place in my heart because it is a car that I first started modding when I got into Hondas and I just have a genuine love for CBs. I think I did everything I possibly could to the car to push the platform forward here in the U.S. but it just isn’t a popular car to build. In Japan, this is even more so because the Accords that aren’t wagons just aren’t popular, period. You rarely even see these on the road anymore because of their age. To see a build like Takano’s is intriguing because he took an otherwise unwanted platform and turned it into an aggressive street car and weekend circuit monster. If you’re really wondering, yes, he does indeed track this car. When I first saw it, I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. It had a completely rusted fender that was a terrible eyesore but I was willing to look past it because I understand how much work it takes to build these things and make them look and perform well. I didn’t think anyone could really pull off a circuit-styled CB Accord but Takano proved me wrong. The car was even featured in Super Street magazine last year, making it only the third CB Accord worldwide to be fully-featured in print since my car back in 2006 and then followed by Ricardo Juarez aka Primesniper’s last October. You may hate the car, it’s understandable. But I’d like you to take a look at the car and try to appreciate it for what it is. It’s very unique in its own way and I’m happy to see people still modding these Accords. Seita Takano’s CB3 sedan was down for most of 2013 because he was busy cleaning up the engine bay and adding new parts to his H22A Euro-R motor. He found some inspiration from some American Honda builds and really wanted to clean-up his engine bay. I follow him on Facebook and he seems to have taken a liking to some of the engine bays here that feature the H22/F20B motors like Big Mike’s Prelude. It is a little odd to see because his whole car is still pretty raw with the exception of his bay, which came out pretty great. He recently got the car running with the individual throttle bodies and my friend and Japanese contributor Shota Mori was around to capture the fire-up and first drive. Mori is an Accord aficionado as well and recently just picked up a CB Accord also, which you will see in some of the photos below. Mori’s is a CB1 5-speed and is completely stock at the moment. It is cool that he included his own CB in the photos because you get to see the dramatic difference between his and Takano’s. Enjoy and embrace the pure rawness of a Japanese Honda build with just a touch of American influence…



Shota Mori’s Rose Brown CB1 Accord 5-speed and Seita Takano’s H22A CB3 Accord…


Takano-san’s CB3 was featured in Super Street magazine in 2013 and you can view the online version of the feature HERE…It’ll provide you with some older photos of it that you can compare with its current incarnation…


Pretty cool to see that it has a carbon fiber trunk because I was the one that originally had these molds made for these trunks back in late 2004/early 2005. I really wanted one back in those days and group buy after group buy kept falling through. My buddy Billy Shea was working for a carbon fiber parts manufacturer then and he agreed to have them made as long as I supplied the trunk. I took my OEM trunk off since it was in great condition, and delivered it to Billy where they used it to create the carbon trunks that you all see today. I remember having to go to the junkyard too to get another trunk just so I could continue to drive the car around while the trunks were being made. After the first batch went out to the public, the carbon fiber place I went to went out of business and the mold was sold to another company which continued to mass produce them….


Volk Racing TE37Vs with a meaty Dunlop tire up front…


Old school SSR MKII in the rear….


The car has been sitting for months while Takano worked on the engine bay so the interior is a little messy, haha… Every bit as raw as the outside with all air vents blocked-off and no audio or A/C controls. The purple piece by the driver’s door is actually a cup holder….

Someone taking Mori’s CB1 for a cruise while he continued to shoot these photos…



Wire-tucked bay with minor filling and shaving. Valve cover is also shaved and as you can see, the H22A motor from a CL1 Euro-R Accord features individual throttle bodies…


Random passerby’s would glance at the Accord in confusion and awe….


Great shot of another patron checking out his CB3 as Seita Takano answered questions…



Love how this thing sits with the aggressive tire/wheel combo in comparison to stock height of Mori’s Accord…



A couple more, here you can see the roll cage inside the CB3…


What’s crazy is that what you see above is not only Seita Takano’s parking space, but that is also his garage where his entire build took place. There isn’t even a garage door! The culture in Japan is definitely different. You can tell that Takano is a die-hard Accord guy with a CL7 also in his stable as well as an older Euro-R Accord owned by his wife…. 

That’s a wrap for today. Hope this keeps you occupied as I continue to work on this Top Ten Hondas of 2013 list… stay tuned for updates…

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  1. Really great pictures. Love the site! I just had a question about these older cars in japan. I’ve heard once cars reach a certain amount of miles they can’t be driven anymore. And that’s how we get all these jdm engines. How does that work? Thank you

  2. That is a great take on a vastly underappreciated platform, instantly made me want to pick one of these up. One question, any chance you know what oil cap that he has on the H22? Truly the first time I’ve wanted to buy an aftermarket oil cap.

    Thanks for the coverage.

  3. Really humbled by the details on the history of the carbon fiber trunk. Opened my eyes as to the fact that I have only ever seen a 92/93 version. I make complete sense to me now.

  4. I’ve been into CBs for a few years now (just got rid of a sedan shell to build my H for an all-out wagon project), and it’s always nice seeing a quality build get attention. The chassis has, in effect, seen some real aftermarket growth recently – a godsend for those of us without fabrication skills. Thanks for this feature, Joey! The car’s sick, and I share the same love as you for the rawness of Japan’s more functional builds.

  5. Now THIS is content! Mad props to you Joey, i really enjoy these type of articles even if its a bit on the short side.

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