It’s safe to say that the majority of us spent a good slice of our childhoods glued to some PlayStation controller, pretending to jump behind the wheel of our favorite Japanese dream machines. Though we always wanted to experience that one awesome car in real life, there appeared to be a never-ending list of reasons why we would never get that opportunity-an absence of funds, strict U.S. importation laws, and maybe the fact that we weren’t even old enough to operate legally. Whatever the reason, most of us stumbled on accept that we would probably never get the chance to own or drive one of these cars.
For Chris Parker, that digital dream ride was the EK9 Honda Civic Type R. No matter how a lot of time he spent playing Gran Turismo, he never seemed to grow tired with the wail of the B16 screaming through his television speakers. While it seemed impossible, Chris continued to desire someday owning and building his very own Championship White CTR.
The journey began when Chris turned 16 and got his license, as it often does. By using his close friends James and Mike, Chris managed to buy, sell, and trade his way up the Honda food chain. What followed was a natural progression that takes place among many diehard Honda-heads: a slew of numerous U.S. market Civics, an Integra Type R, and even an RHD-converted EG hatchback.
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After owning and working on several different platforms, Chris begun to think he would never locate a genuine CTR stateside. He settled for an EG coupe and began to get pretty serious about a much more involved build. Unfortunately, after taking his coupe to only two car shows, he was caught up in a bad accident that totaled the EG. It was at this time that Chris contemplated quitting on the car scene altogether.
As fate would have it, the car bug came to bite even harder than it had before. Chris begun to search again for a mint condition Honda canvas to develop from. Much to his surprise, the very car he had piloted countless times before in video gaming was on the market: a genuine Championship White ’97 Honda Civic Type R. Less than twenty four hours later, Chris came home with the Honda he have been dreaming of for many years.
Unfortunately, turning a 14-year-old chassis to the high-quality car you see before you decide to isn’t as easy as tapping the X button a few times within the virtual tuning shop. Once the car arrived at its new house in Virginia, it was in pretty rough shape. The outside of the aging hatchback was riddled with dents and dings. The once sparkling Championship White paint was yellow and dingy.
Eventually, all the basics were covered. The CTR was a decent street performer and was presentable enough to make an appearance at a car show or two during the summer months. Even though it wasn’t perfect, Chris was more or less satisfied with the mildly modified state of the car. But as we know, most of us is only able to be content for so long.
1997 honda civic type r MOMO mod 8 suede steering wheelSome day, while his Type R was parked at work, a contractor backed into the front end with his truck, damaging the top bumper and lip. Chris was beyond bummed, just days before a serious local car meet. He decided it was time to completely build the car from the ground up just how he had envisioned it from the start.
In November 2011, Chris stripped and gutted the Civic down to a totally bare shell. Nearly all of his aftermarket parts were sold to ensure a brand new, clean start from scratch. The very first item that needed to be addressed was the paint. The automobile was trailered to Four Seasons Auto Body to achieve the engine bay and exterior completely reconditioned. A fresh coat of paint was sprayed in the engine bay to freshen things up and take off years of grime. But being the purist that he is, Chris planned to maintain the OEM original exterior paint. Your body was treated to a full restoration to remove the dings and bring back the snow-white appearance and shine it had in the event it rolled off of the assembly line in Japan.
With the car back home, the time had come to drop the engine to the freshly painted bay. It absolutely was around this period that the this item happens to be on back order emails began to flood Chris’ inbox. His dedication to building a true CTR just like one you might see lapping Tsukuba Circuit in Japan meant he would strive to only install parts from the best Japanese manufacturers, hence enduring long wait times to find the quality pieces he wanted.
No Honda build could be complete with out a spotless engine bay, by today’s standards. Chris spared no expense to ensure his Civic’s bay was just as spotless as his exterior. The first thing you’ll notice once you pop the hood is a burning sensation in your retinas. This bay is shiny! More than a dozen different OEM and aftermarket components inside the bay have been polished, such as the valve cover and custom intake manifold. This Civic is still packing plenty of scoot, although don’t be fooled through the bling-bling appearance. A genuine Feels header is mated to your Buddy Club Spec II straight pipe exhaust for many good flow and a rather menacing exhaust note. Inside the B16, Eagle connecting rods and pistons ensure that the internals are around the task of cranking out a few more ponies than as soon as theinto the infamous black and red CTR interior with a polished Circuit Hero shifter extender and shift knob. Though the standard Type R interior is really a masterpiece by itself, Chris took things one step further with the addition of a couple of classy ultrasuede Status Hockenheim bucket seats and a Status four-point cam-lock harness. The factory controls has been substituted with something even more comfortable than a PS2 controller: a MOMO Mod 8 suede steering wheel.
This CTR’s aggressive stance is made possible by a pair of Function and Form Type 1 coilovers. A host of both functional and blinged out braces are already added to the chassis to stiffen things up a bit. Once again, Chris’ love of polished parts shines through in their choice of rolling stock for his Civic. A set of Work Meister S1 16×7 wheels wrapped in Falken Ziex 912 rubber make for a great combo and provide the CTR by using a unique look.
Because they build every aspect of it to the highest standards, though chris Parker has been able to do something few car enthusiasts will ever get the chance to accomplish by not only purchasing his go-to JDM video-game car of preference. Though it took him years of searching plus some different iterations to reach the state it’s in now, Chris has built himself something not $1M credits in Gran Turismo can buy.
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Specs & Details
’97 Honda Civic Type R
Engine Honda B16B 1.8L I4
Engine Modifications Eagle connecting rods, pistons; Wire-Worx Raychem engine harness; Mishimoto hoses, slim fan, fan shroud; Feels header, radiator, radiator cap; Buddy Club Spec II exhaust; K-Tuned fuel fittings, water-filled fuel gauge, fuel lines, inline fuel filter; Spoon oilcap and thermostatsteel brake lines
If this weren’t for him I wouldn’t even know how to focus on Hondas; and most of all, my loving fiancee, who always hops in the vehicle to ride for hours just to sit around at car meet, special Thanks Justin Nunnally; Forbes Auto Body; Mike Young aka @the_detailer; Chris at DressUpBolts.com; Wire-worx.com; my neighbors for never calling the cops and instead lending us a hand in the process; my best friend, James Braner, who is not really with us-s.