Unfeatured: Brian McAvoy’s Honda Civic…


I suppose I should start off this latest entry to my “Unfeatured” series by letting you all know that Brian McAvoy’s Civic is probably only one of two cars that I have ever shot on two separate occasions that never made it to print like I had planned. Like the other features, how they ended-up not being in a magazine was not any fault of their own—it was all on me. This was a particular strange time for me as I found myself at a transitional stage of my life and ‘career’, I guess you can say, and a lot of the work that I had done which I had planned to submit just never came to be. Looking back at these photos now, I feel a bit of regret. These photos in particular came out pretty good, in my own opinion, and I was quite satisified with what I was able to churn-out on the color-toning aspect of my post-processing…

It’s also important to note that even though I shot this car multiple times, it was a car that I was actually never supposed to shoot. It wasn’t quite on my spectrum as I wasn’t familiar with the build. When I shot the car the first time, I was out on one of my annual trips to the state of Washington to scout builds to shoot for work. The car that I had my eyes on back then was Tomas Burns’ Civic hatchback, which you already saw here on Unfeatured. Back then, I didn’t even know he was planning on respraying the car a different color. I was pretty impressed with how it looked in its blue stage with the carbon kevlar BYS front lip and Mugen M7 wheels. To me, it was a good car to shoot and had a very pleasing aesthetic appeal about it that would look good in print. Messages were sent and relayed, we communicated and he informed me that he was still in the midst of getting his car finished. There were some other cars that I had on my schedule already so it wasn’t too big of a deal. At that point I was literally going out to the Pacific Northwest at least twice a year so I could always go back for it. If I could squeeze in another car on this current trip, it’d be best because I could maximize my time out there, so I asked Tomas if he had any recommendations. He told me he had a buddy whose car was actually relatively complete and ready to go if I wanted it. Tomas then sent me a couple photos of it over Instagram DM and it looked good. Certainly not the cleanest compared to some of the more notable builds out there but there were some unique things about it. It had a good flow to it and also had an H2B swap. That’s not something you really see too much of these days, especially in a magazine, so it piqued my interest…

An H22A swap in a Civic is nothing new, but getting the swap to look good and executed in a way where it would flow is something that is often overlooked. Not only did Brian have the swap, but he also turbocharged the set-up, cleaned-up the engine bay, and even used a K-series RBC manifold on the H22A to optimize air flow. It was a cool set-up. When I arranged to shoot the car early morning, Brian McAvoy wasn’t actually the one bringing the car to me, it was Tomas. I guess he had work and couldn’t get the car to me that day but Tomas made time to do so. It worked out because he was my point of contact anyway and the one who familiarized me with the build from the start…

The first set of photos weren’t bad. I wanted a backdrop that was very specifically “Seattle”, so I arranged for him to meet me in Alki Beach. Alki is a popular destination for locals and for tourists alike. It’s got a great backdrop overlooking the city and everything surrounding it had a very specific feel to it which I enjoyed. After I got home and went through the photos, I can’t say I was overjoyed with the outcome. The car in its silver-ish tone blended in a little too much with the overcast gray skies that the Pacific Northwest has become known for. It didn’t have that “pop” I wanted so I sat on the photos for a while until I could figure out if the set I had captured would be good for a magazine. When I say I “sat” on these photos, I mean I put them away and didn’t look at them for almost an entire year. I can’t believe a whole year had elapsed already and I was back in Washington for the annual Wekfest event. By that time, Tomas’ Civic was complete and Brian’s Civic had gone through a makeover. He added some parts, switched-out some stuff, and added some color to his build. I figured if I was going to come back and shoot Tomas’ Civic, I may as well reshoot Brian’s Civic since it had been improved and looked better than ever…

For the second shoot, I chose a completely different area of Washington. Tacoma was a bit more local to these guys since I was shooting all of their cars in the same weekend and while I was driving around scouting locations to shoot, I actually encountered this cafe in Downtown Tacoma that looked spectacular. It had a lot of color which would help contrast the more neutral tones of Brian’s Civic and the yellow of the building would also match the contrast tone that he had selected for some of the accessories on his car. There’s a lot more to photo shoots than you think. Photographers have these weird thought processes that sometimes work and sometimes don’t. On this occasion, it definitely worked. I loved how the second set of photos came out….but, again, this was a particularly strange transitional period of my adventures in life and some months later, work just didn’t seem important. I wasn’t as motivated by this type of work as I should have been and these shoots, unfortunately, went by the wayside. This set would have looked fantastic in print, I feel. The toning was good and though I hadn’t really been particularly motivated as a photographer at that point, I was still honing my craft…

I chose to show you guys the second set of photos first because, well…these are the better photos. I wasn’t even going to show you the first set because I enjoyed the later photos so much but fuck it. It’s not like we have an overwhelming amount of content lately to show you guys so why not just unload them all here. Enjoy. And thanks to Tomas Burns and Brian McAvoy for the opportunity. I’m sorry these never made it to print but at least we can finally bring these to light now…

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Time of day, natural setting, and colors were everything for this set. The setting sun brought out colors I was never able to pull out of the first set of photos under a overcast morning setting…

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I always feel like its important to have a good backdrop that shows some of the cities where the owners and their cars actually frequent…

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Hindsight being 20/20, leaving the front plate on was perhaps a huge oversight…

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Interior detail shots with some contrast of the building through the windshield to give it some more color…

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Classic Spoon Sports knob…

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The only thing that could have made this interior better was if it had yellow Recaro seats to pair with the roll bar…

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Three Stooges headliner was a strange was unique touch…

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The cage is actually welded into the chassis but the choice was made to give it some color instead of body-matching it to the gutted interior…

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Turbocharged H22A swap in the reworked engine bay…

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Yellow valve cover as a centerpiece of the bay to follow the color scheme…

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Exposed Skunk2 adjustable cam gears…

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Brake booster delete with a new master cylinder and C’s Customizing reservoir cover…

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OEM Honda K-series RBC intake manifold mated to the H22A for better airflow to the turbocharged powerplant…

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Speed Factory oil breather box where the OEM battery would mounted from the factory…

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Nice touch with the titanium hardware holding the turbo manifold in-place…

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Not the cleanest engine bay you’ll ever see but a very functional set-up that is very pleasing to the eye…

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Around the corner from Sam’s Cafe were these weathered buildings that served as a good back drop for some rear angle shots of McAvoy’s Civic…

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J’s Racing fenders, Enkei Racing wheels and custom yellow Spoon Sports brakes…

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These last few shots of the front of the Civic I wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about since it was getting a little too dark but I still think they flowed with the rest of the set. It was just tough to beat the “pop” of the earlier photos of the car I had captured while the sun was coming down…

Below are photos from my first shoot of Brian’s car. At that point it had a different set of wheels and the contrast color he was using was orange. The majority of the parts he used were still very similar but I think you’ll agree that the yellow made for a much better choice…

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That’s all of this set. Thanks for looking everyone. Be safe!…

Categories: Civics, Exclusive Content, UnfeaturedTags: , , , , , , , , , ,

1 comment

  1. I’m very much getting the feel of a mid-to-late 00’s build with this and I LOVE IT.

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