Year9 Coverage… Part 1 of 2…

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It’s crazy to think, realistically, that it has already been nine whole years since I decided to create this thing called “The Chronicles”. I never could have possibly conceived that it would have gone this far and now heading into Year 10, I am still very much invested in the idea of continuing to push this thing forward. I can’t say there were ever any expectations for this. It was a fun little side project that somehow became a “thing”. I told Tiffanie one day that if there was one line that could summarize this entire nine year-long project, the first line that could start my book (if I ever started it), it would say…

“I was background noise that acquired an audience…”

This wasn’t supposed to be anything, and I think that’s what makes it fun. It’s been a journey filled with a lot great memories and interesting times. I can’t say I would do anything differently. People have come and gone, car builds have been completed and sold, plenty of food has been consumed. These nine years have been a revolving door of sorts. I think in that span of time a lot of things will and have changed, but the constants that remain are The Chronicles and the group of people who continue to support this moving forward. I look at Year9 as sort of a ‘gap’ year, in that everyone is expecting the tenth year while just sort of accepting that nine comes before ten and you just have to do it. It’s a stepping stone to a decade, you know what I mean?

The second year of existence is cool, because it means you did something important enough to do it a second time.

Five years is even better, because it means you’ve made a footprint. That foundation is there. People give a shit.

Ten years is the big one. You’ve built on top of that foundation and it hasn’t crumbled. You’re ‘established’ now. What you’ve done means something to someone. The dream has been realized.

I’m almost there I think. One foot is in the door to ten years. The other, still hasn’t fully understood how it got here. If I walk through that door, what does it mean? Is it all downhill from here? Do things get easier? Will people stop caring? I don’t know. I think about these things some times but I never really fully develop those thoughts. Maybe it doesn’t matter you know? I think getting to five years was a big enough deal already where that weight of expectations from others dissipated. I don’t have that want or need to prove anything to anyone anymore. I imagine at one point I must have had a pretty big chip on my shoulder trying to prove something to my peers because I was going up against a bunch of other sites who were trying to get a piece of that proverbial pie, but I knew deep down inside that I shouldn’t be worried about them. I’m in it for the long-haul. ‘It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon’ as they say. Many will have come and gone, but in the end, I would still be there to stand tall as the one that had been there from the beginning and rode out the storm of wannabes and never-weres.

Ten years is a breath of fresh air. Years 5-9 was me taking in that huge gasp of air before exhaling.

It’s not easy doing this whole thing. I’m not saying it hasn’t been any less fun, but man, in this span of time, so much has changed. Social media has completely taken over everything that we know and the automotive tuning industry has adapted to that. The numbers have changed. Site hits aren’t what they used to be and people are always moving forward with the idea that the next big thing is coming. They don’t know what it is, but they wait impatiently with their smart phones in hand waiting for that notification to pop-up to tell them. Things are so different now than they were in 2008. People don’t like to read, video has catapulted into the main stage of media, and more often than not, you have anywhere from 15 seconds to a minute to tell a story. We’re so concentrated on brevity that people are literally complaining about Twitter now allowing 280 characters as opposed to the original 140. How insane is that?

Nonetheless, I’m trying to keep up with things as much as I can, ‘things’ meaning social trends of course. It’s impossible not to if you’re trying to continue to be a media person in this industry. If you don’t keep up, you’re going to be left behind. There are things I’m still struggling to understand but I think I have a good grasp of it. I’m not a numbers guy, I don’t think that will ever change. I have a good support system, both in real life and on the digital front, so I’m content with wherever that takes me. Personally, I’d rather just concentrate on developing my craft and continuing to be better as a writer and photographer. I made a promise to myself in the beginning of this year that if I don’t produce the best content I ever have, I’d stop this whole operation. There’s no point is doing this if I’m not going to continue to do better year after year. That’s why I made it a point this year to go to Australia and to explore new places and see new things to keep me inspired. With that as-mentioned foot in the door of 2018, I’m happy to say that I have accomplished my goal. I feel like I’m still producing at a very high level, continuing to get better with the same gear I’ve been using for the last 7+ years. Eventually when I do get a better camera or whatever, I think I’ll appreciate that new technology so much more because I’ve taken so long to learn the ins and outs of my old equipment.

What has provided me with such longevity and the willingness to continue on this path are the people. It sounds incredibly cheesy but it really is the company that you keep around you. Human beings are the best motivating factors. They don’t even have to say anything most of the time. I think it is interesting to have a demographic that is largely based around my own age group compared to some of the more ‘current’ sites which survive just based on social trends or whatever is popular. Many of the individuals that continue to keep up with what I do are my age, so they have grown with me through the years and seen the development. I in turn have seen their’s as well. That’s pretty cool. We are all getting older and experiencing changes in our lives. Some are starting families, some are trying to further establish their careers, and with life changes comes a shift in priorities. Cars and this hobby of ours just don’t sit very high on the life-priority list anymore. What once consumed our daily lives is now something that we have to make time for. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. That’s just how life is. If it is important to you, you will make time for it. If you’re a car enthusiast, you’ll always find your way back to cars. It may take you some time, days, months, or years even, but there’s no rush. You’ll find your way back. I have a lot of friends who stop by and chat with me every now and then and tell me about how they would love to get back into cars but it just doesn’t make sense for them right now. I always tell them that it’s always going to be here. This hobby isn’t something that is just going to disappear. Even if this whole car culture movement grows smaller and becomes more of an underground thing again, it will still be there. Sure, it is popular right now but it might be even more fun when it isn’t as mainstream. That is when life will weed-out the people who were never truly car enthusiasts. The ones who are in it for the hype will move on and do other things. The real car people will stick around. They will get together with their friends, tinker with their cars in their garages, and go on a cruise somewhere to go grab a bite at their local fast food joint. It doesn’t have to be a gathering of a thousand cars. It was never about getting it to be as big as it can be. People did it for the pure enjoyment.

I think that is why people like coming out once a year for The Chronicles meets.

From the start of it all back in Year 2, I always just wanted to keep it small. Let’s have a gathering at the Eibach Springs facility with people that were interested in The Chronicles and what it was about. If you didn’t know anything about it, don’t come. I’ve always said that. I don’t care if it becomes a major event that people strive to go to or a meet that generates so much hype that people just want to be there because they want to desperately be a part of something. I don’t want that energy. It’s always been something for people to just gather and enjoy one another’s company. I remember in the beginning I didn’t even want people to bring their cars. That doesn’t make sense in the grand scheme of things because at the core of it, it was a CAR MEET, but I really just wanted everyone to hang out and not have to worry about shit. Years later, I’m so very proud to say that nothing has changed. It is still a very relaxed environment with good people…and cars of course. The weather isn’t always the most friendly but people look past all that to come celebrate. I love the vibe. I hope it doesn’t change and I don’t think it ever will.

It comes down to the people. They are the core of what makes this fun and great. I’m always excited to go to new places and to meet new people. As anti-social as I try to be, I can’t help but appreciate everyone that has the confidence to just come up and say ‘hi’ because I don’t think I could ever do that. It has been an incredible ride and I hope that you stick around to see it move forward, wherever it may go. I don’t know where or when it will end. I assume I’ll know when the time comes, but for now, we look on to Year 10.

Cheers and as always…

Thank you.

-Joey aka ‘Stickydiljoe’

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Year9 marks the first time I ever had Mackin Industries/Rays Wheels in the U.S. as a vendor. Pretty cool to have them onboard since they’ve been around so long and have been such an established company in North America. To be perfectly honest, ICB Matt set the whole thing up, lol. I gotta thank him for always being so supportive. I remember when I first started the site, I thought I’d try to bring on advertisers without any understanding of how to actually code a site with advertisements. ICB was one of the companies I was trying to have come on board and I like, try to charge Matt some insane amount. I don’t even know if he remembers. Nine years later, he is still supporting The Chronicles without ever asking for anything in return. What a good dude. We’ve also gone nine years advertisement-free…

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It’s appropriate that Mike Schietroma’s EM1 build was parked at the Rays booth. His car was perfect to be posted by the front entrance of the event because he’s had one of the better builds that I’ve ever seen in this span of nine years. What a great run he has had bringing this car all over the country and rightfully earning accolades at every event he attends. RC and Mike did a spectacular job with this Civic build and there’s not much left for this car to prove….

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What’s also great about this build is Mike himself. The guy genuinely enjoys being at different events everywhere he goes and just has a good time having his car on display wherever he goes. He doesn’t really look like he is in it just to win trophies and his demeanor has never changed even when he has faced the amount of success that he has from 2016 until now…

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Also parked at the Mackin booth was Jorge Hernandez’s timeless Civic build from Arizona. I still remember some ten years ago when we both parked next to each other at the Eibach Honda Meet in this same facility. We were parked around the side of the building and couldn’t even get a spot in the front where all the nice cars were, haha. Now I’m hosting the meet and he’s sitting pretty up front with what might be considered one of the best West Coast Honda builds of all-time…

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Sean Lucas from Narita Dogfight was out of the country exploring Japan, but the guys brought out his EM1 Civic build which is finally nearing completion. He’s been working on this car for years now and is actually the original owner. Sean’s been both busy with regular life as well as with the success of NDF so the car has been coming together slowly. As it sits now, the car is about 1900 or so pounds with carbon doors, completed gutted interior, gutted trunk, carbon rear windshield replacement, and sans front fenders as Sean was on his way back with a set to fit those massive Volk TEs up front…

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Under the hood is a naturally-aspirated B18C1 block, B16 head, TODA B cams, valvetrain upgrades, B16B pistons, and Kinsler individual throttle bodies…

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GPW AP2 S2000 running an OEM hardtop, Amuse front bumper, Spoon Sports side mirrors, and bronze Mugen MF10 wheels…

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Teddy Timoteo’s Civic may look familiar to many of you older Honda guys, as it was once the famed “dagreenek” build owned by Steve Kwan from Washington. Teddy acquired the car some time ago and has been busy transforming it in his own vision. The chassis is still the same Sage Metallic hue but currently runs a Mugen SS front lip and rare Keiichi Tsuchiya-designed KS-CE wheels produced by Kei Office…

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Under the hood is a K20A swap with Jenvey ITBs mounted on a Hayward manifold…

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A look at the individual throttle bodies from another angle….

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Yuta’s been on this whole 90s-themed Civic build idea lately with his daily driver and got his Wings West front lip painted just in time for Year9. He has a DTM style rear spoiler for it too buy hasn’t really found a way to mount it correctly just yet. Tucked under the wheel wells are some 90s-era 17-inch Enkei Zenkei wheels that he just loves. I like to remind him every day how ugly I think they are but hey, people love what they love.

“You accept the wheels you think you deserve”…

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Meanwhile, the white Volk TE37 wheels that he had on his Civic before have now found their way onto Muoi Tran’s B16B-powered Civic, which you guys may remember seeing on the track when she was competing in the 2017 Super Street FF Battle competition…

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Alex Alfaro’s Mugen-themed DC2 Integra Type R with the newly re-released Mugen MF10 wheels in 16×8 format…

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Chen Huang surprised everyone when he showed-up in California not on a private jet but in this complete Mugen NSX. This car originally was sold in the U.S. but later ended-up in Japan, where it received a full Mugen makeover. I saw it for sale one day on Facebook and decided to repost the ad on The Chronicles Facebook page because Mugen NSXs are so rare. Chen saw the ad, decided to go ahead and buy the car, and did all the paperwork to bring the car back to North America. You’d think he wanted the car as is but he actually already has an NSX and just wanted the kit and parts off of this red NA1. Before parting it and handing the chassis over to its new owner here in the U.S., he decided to take the car for a cruise down the Southern California where he ended-up at Year9…

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Dave Chik and one of the best DA builds EVER EVER…

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This small section of the front row at Year9 was a murders’ row of clean Honda builds with hoards of nice parts. Not too far away from Dave’s DA was Darryl Lamano’s Mugen EM1 build, which to many, is also considered one of the better EM1 Civic builds ever…

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In the cleaned-up engine bay prepared by both Darryl and Rywire is a supercharged K-series swap…

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Doing its best John Cena-impression was the Sportcar Motion supercharged Integra race car on SSR Type-F wheels. Loi from Sportcar Motion is another one of the guys that I must credit for helping The Chronicles become successful in its early years…

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Harvey and Stephanie Flores came down from the Bay Area to hang out in their bagged Mugen TSX on Volk Racing TE37SL…

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Christie Miyasato’s Civic Wagon build which was just recently imported from Japan to California. The car made a stop at Year9 before eventually going to its new home with Christie in Hawaii…

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Southsiiiiide Auto Customs LHD Civic running a unique colorway developed by Tomohiro Sudo…

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Sudo and the Southsiiiide guys have a very distinct style much their own and I always enjoy seeing what they churn out using old Civics from the 80s-90s era…

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Integra with a JDM ITR front face swap, Spoon Sports carbon front lip, SW388 wheels, Spoon Sports front brakes, Recaro Tomcat seats, and a J’s Racing rear wing…

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Jose Del Villar’s RHD Civic SiR looking great with its candy red paint job. He’s been making the rounds throughout 2017 at a majority of events all over California…

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K20A swap sitting tight inside the EF engine bay with Kinsler individual throttles…

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Chuy Navarro’s Phoenix Yellow Integra Type R running AP Racing big brakes behind his 16×8 Mugen MF10 wheels…

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DPK David’s Mode Parfume Phantom GaMu Lexus LS430 on Superstar Leon Hardiritt Orden wheels. David will always be a diehard Honda guy but he’s currently working on this VIP platform as well as an E46 M3 coupe…

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Alex Zhao’s Kraftwerks supercharged S2000 which makes just over 500HP on a new E85 fuel set-up…

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Leon Casino and his NSX are always one of the first on site at any of my anniversary meets. He’s been a big supporter for years and helps me with the gate at my events as the enforcer/gatekeeper without ever asking for anything in return…

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I could have sworn I took a photo of the outside of this J-swapped EM1 but I must have been distracted by someone or something and just forgot…

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Right next to it however, was this purple Civic hatchback running a Spoon Sports carbon front lip, Chargespeed front fenders, and Mag Blue Volk CEs…

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In the bay is a B-series swap running a Spoon Sports header, cooling hoses, kevlar wire cover which is signed by Ichishima from Spoon, along with a polished intake manifold with custom intake arm and welded velocity stack…

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Son from Hasback brought out a 10×20 display to push his merch along with his black Civic hatchback build which he’s had for what seems like an eternity…

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Luis Jaimes’ Civic wearing C-West aero, an Exceed carbon hood, J’s Racing rear wing, and Dunlop Formula Hart wheels…

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Margarito Juarez is developing into a pretty good photographer himself lately, but it hasn’t distracted him from maintaining his clean coupe build with BYS front lip and Sprint Hart CP-R wheels…

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Clean and simple execution in Margarito’s engine bay…

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The most amazing thing about Year9 was the fact that the Jaimes brothers finally got together and made a decision to paint their Battlecraft hood. Long gone are the days of flesh-colored Battlecraft hood, noted as one of the worst trends within the past 9 years…

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Casino’s widebody NSX with NA2 face…

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One of the more interesting builds of Year9 was Rowell’s RHD DA Integra from Members Only car club. It featured an OEM optional lip kit, Wilwood big brakes, Volk Racing TEs, which were great…

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…but the engine bay of the Integra was what really caught my eye. The RHD DA9 hosted a B17A1 engine which has been thoroughly cleaned-up and refinished with a polished intake manifold and Go-Autoworks intake arm/velocity stack. The engine bay has been smoothed and resprayed with the front core support hiding a tucked Rywire/CSF radiator utilizing -AN cooling hoses…

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This Integra Type R featured a set of Mugen sideskirts, a Mugen Gen. II rear wing, Mugen MF10 wheels, and EDM front face.

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Gabe’s “Rival Machine” S2000 build…

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One of the old FF Squad Civics better known as “Goldie” alive and well, now with new owner John Cruz…

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John went ahead and resprayed the engine bay before dropping this B-series engine in with ITBs…

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15×8 Volk TEs fitting snuggly on this black Integra running a P1-Spec front lip/splitter combo…

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There were plenty of white EH Civic hatchbacks at Year9, this one sitting on 949Racing 6UL wheels…

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Looks like a B18C swap in the engine bay of the white EH….

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One of my favorite builds from Year9 was Johnny’s B18C-powered Civic sitting real low on Spoon SW388 wheels. I love the color and the EK4 SiR bumpers along with the Spoon Sports front lip. Just a perfect combination of parts and the car sits just right…

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Another white Civic hatchback, this one from The Junkies, sitting on 15-inch Desmond Regamaster EVO…

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Another favorite of mine is Randell Ang’s Civic coupe which always looks frozen in time. He rarely ever drives the car and seems to just bring it out every year for The Chronicles meets…

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He still rocks this old school Drag turbo kit with some GReddy and Skunk2 accessories in place. The car is a perfect representation of everything that was great in the early 2000s Honda community and I’m glad he’s decided to keep his car the way it is…

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Yet another favorite of mine is Carlos Palafox’s white hatchback build, which is a daily cruiser for him I believe. The car is like Randell’s in that it is a throwback to what made Hondas so great and so fun a decade or so ago….

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The exterior is basically stock, with no side moldings, stock mirrors, and black door handles. The car sits nice and low but with the hood closed, you wouldn’t think much of it other than how clean it is…

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Even the 15-inch Desmonds have been recoated in black to be more lowkey while resembling the Desmond-produced Spoon SW388 wheel. I love how he coated the wheel with the original ‘EVO’ decals in place. It’s a nice touch to indicate that it isn’t a true SW388 and that there is more than meets the eye with this build…

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It wouldn’t be a great Honda meet without at least one Midori Green Civic with EK4 SiR bumpers….

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Ho Dao’s DA Integra looking great on Blitz Type 01 wheels, Mugen rear wing, and JDP carbon front lip…

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K-swapped Midori Green Civic with a shaved engine bay and First Molding front lip…

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I don’t know how people feel about Brando’s M&M Honda Hyper Widebody Civic but I personally really like it. The kit fits very well and I dig the unique color choice that he has had even before he acquired this kit from Japan. I think I might be one of the few guys that actually like this body kit but I think people sleep on it because the whole bolt-on flare thing is so overdone right now. In terms of execution, this Civic does everything very well. I think all it needs are some aftermarket side mirrors and the car will flow even better…

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In the shaved engine bay is a H2B swap and it’s worth noting that the Civic is also right-hand drive…

There is still another batch of photos to come but I just want to thank everyone once again for all the support over the years. Please come back and look at Part 2 of 2 when it goes up. Thanks for looking!!…

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