Authenticity Is Key To This Kanjo-Style Civic


To the best of my knowledge, the Osaka highway loop in Japan does not stretch to Goodwood Motor Circuit in the UK.

So you can imagine my surprise when presented with an EF Honda Civic that looked like it was straight out of a 360p YouTube video at last weekend’s 2024 Retro Rides Weekender.

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In fact, I will go as far as to say that Andy Boswell’s EF Honda Civic is the single most authentic Kanjozoku-inspired build I have ever seen in person.

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As per most highway racers, the most striking visual touch is the JTCC-inspired livery highlighting the Civic’s sporting intent. Team CABIN ran this livery in the 1988 season of the Japanese Touring Car Championship, and it is relatively simple compared to others of the same era.

This is complemented by the aggressive aero options that Andy chose for his EF.

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There’s a Chargespeed front lip on an EF2 front bumper, with a matching Chargespeed spoiler that complements the JDM EF9 SiR rear bumper. EC Works-style mirrors round off the Honda’s race look.

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The SSR MK-III wheels may scream Zokusha more than they do Kanjo, but I think they are spot on. The fitment with chunky Yokohama Advan A048 tyres and style go so well with the rest of the car, giving Andy’s Civic more personality than many Kanjo-inspired builds out there.

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A considered approach has also been taken inside the Civic. Being a UK-built car, based near Edinburgh in Scotland, it made sense to use European brands where it matters.

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The Bride Zeta II bucket may be straight from Japan, but Willans harnesses running through its belt guides and a Safety Devices bolt-in roll cage to reinforce the shell. An Odyssey dry-cell battery and fire extinguisher reside in the back of the stripped cabin.

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Behind the Momo Montecarlo steering wheel lies a Honda CR-X VTi gauge cluster reading up to 150mph, for reasons that will soon become clear.

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Andy wasn’t satisfied with a Honda that just looked fast, so when the opportunity to purchase a B18C4 engine presented itself, he knew he had to jump on it.

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“I would have ideally liked a B18C or B18C6, but being only 19 at the time and on a very tight budget, I went with what I could afford,” Andy recalls.

The engine hasn’t been left stock though, now breathing in through a Skunk2 Pro Series intake manifold and throttle body and out via a Tegiwa exhaust manifold. There are Type R camshafts in the mix, and a Honda P28 ECU to give the firing orders.

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The B18C4 is mated to an S9B LSD-equipped gearbox, converting the EF Civic to a hydraulic clutch with a Girling reservoir. “I had two out of three of the correct engine mounts, however for the gearbox side I had to fabricate a custom mount due to the hydraulic gearbox being different,” Andy explained.

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This ‘proper’ approach goes beyond the engine bay. “I took the car back to a bare shell, which had been previously restored and resprayed, and reconditioned all of the suspension and fully poly-bushed it along with fitting a host of custom suspension arms. The underside was treated with Waxoyl in the hopes that it will keep out the worst the Scottish climate has to throw at it.”

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Alongside the partial restoration, Andy’s chassis upgrade consists of a mix of Hardrace and Skunk2 arms connected to Tein MeisterR coilovers. A little ‘big brake’ upgrade of EBC rear EF9 discs and 262mm fronts combined with EBC Yellowstuff pads and a CR-X VTi master cylinder do a fine job of stopping the featherweight Civic.

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I really can’t get over how good Andy’s Civic looks. There’s just something very cohesive about this car that ticks boxes that others don’t.

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Small touches, such as the wheels. In Andy’s own words: “I settled on the MK-IIIs as I was able to order them brand new, which was a requirement for me as I wanted a specific spec to achieve perfect fitment and in a 4×100 PCD, rare for this style of wheel.” 

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Details like that combined with the authenticity of the build and little touches such as stickers from friends’ brands and his tribe of mates make this build very ‘real’ in my eyes. It’s very impressive for a 21-year-old lad.

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I’ll leave you with a passing comment of Andy’s, highlighting his approach to the build with better praise than I can bestow upon it.

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“I’ve even received compliments from some OG Kanjo guys in Japan, Including Roughsmoke themselves, who said it was ‘finally a Civic over there that looks right’. To me, this was the ultimate gratification.”

Need I say more?

Mario Christou
Instagram: mcwpn
mariochristou.world





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