Civic Hatch EK9 Clone Is Our Kind of Restomod

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Honda Civic

Transforming a beat down Civic into an EK9 Type R clone was all in a day’s work for one Honda-Tech member.

When it comes to special Honda Civic models, we’ve all got a soft spot in our hearts for the EK9. The very first Civic to receive the coveted Type R badge is significant for being the first in a long line of beloved performance models carrying that moniker. So when Honda-Tech member .Grimace was dreaming up his latest build, it quickly became clear that that was the logical way to go.

“I am going to focus on a well prepared street car that can handle all the autocross and road racing I can throw at it. My main goal is lightness, unlike the CRX I will be keeping the full interior, A/C, and even adding some nice creature comforts like a double DIN stereo with Apple car play, power windows/ locks, tint, etc.

Small stuff like that which makes a car easier to drive despite being so old. I will be really focusing on getting all the weight out of basic parts like brakes and wheels that I can. Other than that, it’ll just be a stock 98+ R swap with some easy bolt-ons and I’ll go from there!”

Honda Civic

But the idea isn’t exactly to build a 100% faithful replication, mind you.

“Once it’s painted I originally wanted to go for a full on PY EK9 clone minus RHD. But I have since shifted to a slightly more restomod approach. I still want it to look very similar. But things like 5 lug might be a waste of time and money.”

A smaller wheel swap and OEM grille were the first order of business. Grinding gears necessitated a transmission swap. Throw on a polished set of used OEM headlights, and this old Civic was well on its way back.

Honda Civic

And the parts kept rolling in. Buddy Club coilovers were just the start of a suspension refresh. New brakes were next on the list. And when a tasty drivetrain opportunity came knocking, the OP couldn’t resist.

“Decided to go K-series again. Found a buddy with a k20a2 transmission for $200. Also included another almost complete a2 transmission so I’ll likely sell off all the pieces and have a free transmission. Another friend has a k24a2 sitting in his garage with an RBC manifold and DC subframe. So those will help get it rolling. Now to get some small upgrades for it like a 50 degree vtc and k20a2 oil pump upgrade. Gonna be the cheapest 240whp you could ever imagine.”

In the meantime, the entire Civic was torn down and sent off for paint. And after an extended delay, it was back in the OP’s garage looking better than ever.

Honda Civic

An amazing transformation, no doubt. But this restomod Civic project is far from over. Future plans call for a B16 swap, which looks like it’ll happen soon. Be sure and head over here to get caught up on this sweet build and stay tuned for what the future holds!

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Brett Foote has been covering the auto industry for over five years and is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ popular Auto Group websites, including Corvette Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among others.

Foote has been an automotive enthusiast since the day he came into this world and rode home from the hospital in a first-gen Mustang, and he's been wrenching on them nearly as long.

In addition to his expertise writing about cars, trucks, motorcycles and every other type of automobile, Foote had spent several years running parts for local dealerships.

You can follow along with his builds and various automotive shenanigans on Instagram: @bfoote.

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