Honda-Tech Archives: Forum Moderator Tom Hornsby’s B18C5-EH2

By - Forum Moderator Tom Hornsby B18C5-EH2 B18C5 Swap EH2 EG Civic Hatch Story

It’s all been done before, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

We’ve heard this blanket statement at some point in our lives. Wherever it applies, it always stings to hear. But, does it really matter if something has already been done? I don’t know, but I feel positive energy when I look at this 1992 Honda Civic CX, built by Tom Hornsby, A.K.A. “B18C5-EH2” . While not a new recipe, but it’s one of those flavors that ticks off all the right boxes.

You might think I have a thing for 5th Generation Civic’s with SW388/Regamasters…and you would be completely right. This one is special because of the level of detail Hornsby went to. Back in the day, builds weren’t as complicated as they are now. A complete tear down, respray, and better-than-OEM quality was not common practice in 2001. Add on a B18C5 engine swap and you’re at forum god-like levels.

We never got Vogue Silver Metallic EH2s in the US market if you were wondering.

This build began it’s life as a step towards Hornsby’s desire to go faster. At the time he had a Black EH2 in Si trim with a B16 swap and grew tired of being left behind by his friends in their CX/VX hatches. An overnight trip to Florida from Georgia led to a new red shell that would eventually turn into what we see today. It goes without saying that no expenses were spared.

Hornsby achieved this by riding his 1988 GT Pro-Series (a BMX bike) to and from work for a while. Like many of us, this project was also a daily driver. The shell was treated to a complete color change after a few months and fists full of cash. Meticulous levels of care (or OCD) for the perfect paint job was the only option. Brand new OEM gaskets and moldings were used top everything off. What were you doing in 2001?

Thank goodness for rich kids.

If there’s one thing to take away from this article, please don’t ever drink and drive. An odd transition, I know, but this is important. You won’t hurt just yourself and the car, but you will put innocent people at risk. A young wealthy customer of Hornsby’s old shop wrote off his low-mileage Integra Type R after being rear ended by a drunken driver. Fear not, the only suffering it’s old owner experienced was picking out the color of his new M3. Hornsby made an offer on the entire car and the work began. The rest of the ITR was sold off in pieces to pay off debts and maybe pay for some groceries.

Racing is the fashion.

Hornsby, motivated by groups such as “FFSquad” sought out to build an overly clean, track-inspired Civic. A target of sub-2000lb curb weight and autocross capabilities lead the charge. Occasional spirited drives on the street and races to the next intersection were also important goals. The motor was installed along with extras like switch-activated two-step,  Spoon SW388’s, Falken Azenis tires (the OG tread), carbon fiber hood, and Vision amber corners.

Everything happens for a reason.

At some point more things were added to the car but it remained simplified, raw, and fun. Hornsby was growing tired of service writing at a dealership and was given the opportunity to change the pace of his career. It actually started on Honda-Tech, a private message about swap information successfully guided a B18C5 swap into this person’s Civic. Months later while being at the end of his wits at work, the Honda-Tech member offered to refer Hornsby to his employer, a major technology company.

Leaving his job as a service writer meant taking a heavy initial pay cut. With risks stacked up against him, it was a no-brainer still that this move would be best for the long run. However, life threw a curve ball in the form of a damaged hot-water heater. Posed again with a tough financial decision, the legendary hatch was sold to ensure his wife and children were good.

Still, never owned a trunk.

The original VSM hatch was sold and lives on today with a K-series power plant. It still exudes the raw, street-warrior energy that made it so special. Hornsby’s career choices led him to a comfortable life with a very happy family. More hatchback-like cars were added to the stable overtime. The most recent acquisition is this green supercharged K-series EG hatch, previously featured here. For more information about either car, please drop by our forums to follow their whereabouts.

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