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Thread: Papz's EK9

  1. #1
    Administrator Justin Fox's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    MKV R32 Golf
    2nd Car
    R32 GT-R

    Papz's EK9

    Papz's (Michael Papandrea) EK9
    Photography by djXCENTRiK

    JDMST: So what's it really like to be the senior designer of Auto Salon Magazine?
    MP: A lot of really hard work has paid off in the past few years and I'm happy to say that I'm very proud of my position. Many people out in the industry and also readers would love to be in my shoes, not only because I work in a popular automotive title, but also because our magazine is just getting better and better every issue. This is because of the team I work with, and the amount of time and effort we all put in to create the best magazine possible.

    When it comes to the design perspective of the job, I do have a good deal of freedom when it comes to integrating my own personal style with the rest of the magazine. This can be quite rare in magazine design work, and it is a great example of where Auto Salon Magazine finds its strengths; we are all just die-hard modifiers so we basically just give each other a bit of space and know that the end product will generally work well.

    I love to be different and always try new things to keep my art as fresh as I can; I try to complement the subject of the article I'm designing as best as I can each time. I have a deadline to meet every few weeks and that basically involves finishing months worth of creative work in that short time. I sometimes have to be strict with the designs though, because it is possible to go overboard. I need to think clearly and responsibly, just as the other team members do, in order to really make an article speak for itself.

    As you may notice from time to time, our competing publications can be very blunt and maintain one basic style throughout their magazine. With Auto Salon Magazine we are fortunate enough to be able to trust each others ideas and this means we do not need a super-strict design template showing us what to do. The same is true of our photography, so when we mix the two things together, along with the awesome stories from our writers, the whole article ties in together to become an artwork on its own. A lot of people don't realize the number of hours we all put into our work. We treat each feature like it's our baby. We all love our jobs and try to show readers how much we care about the modifying industry. All magazine and car stuff aside, I'm a designer and it's my hobby and my life long passion. Mix together both my car-modifying addiction and my design hobby and it's not hard to be passionate about what we are doing with the magazine.

    JDMST: You had a pretty modified EK before, why did you sell that to buy a dead stock EK9?
    MP: Ahh yes, my old EK1. Well, seriously, I still don't have a sensible answer for why I bought the EK9, but I guess the main reason was just my passion for track driving and performance cars in general. The guys at work still tease me for swapping over to the Type R because it is actually an older model than my first EK1 Civic. After all the shit talking though, they do like the car a lot.

    From a technical aspect, the Type R is just a much better base to start with when it comes to circuit driving. Not everyone will know this, but the Type R comes standard from the factory with extra welds throughout the chassis. It also doesn't have the usual sound deadening of the commuter models. If a Civic enthusiast had this work performed on their car, along with the re-painting to keep the bare metal all covered up I, think they will actually end up spending more on their car than I have on the purchase price of the Type R. Considering Honda designed this car with racing, rather than just commuting in mind, it makes sense to start here.

    The Type R is also a part of Honda's racing history. It is a part of Japanese racing history in general because there aren't many manufacturers out there that have delivered such a focused racing-based car to the public.

    JDMST: Describe the driving experience with the EK9, both the positives and the negatives.
    MP: When I first bought the car and first drove it I seriously thought it was a nugget. No offense Adrian (previous owner) though it had no balls. I don't know why? It was a warm day but that shouldn't have made a difference. I seriously thought I made a mistake. Then again I did have the whole car filled with a big tool box and suitcase and all this other stuff weighing it down. The EK9 had a 5.0 final drive fitted. That I thought was really good. The bottom end was way better already than my old EK1, until I chewed my gearbox down at Wollongong, shooting the GANGSTA Toyota Soarer. So luckily I had my spare standard final drive to help fix that damage.

    The car drives a lot smoother on the street. It's not as noisy as my old car and still has some balls with a full trim. I think because I changed the air box over to my old Mugen air box I purchased with my old EK. The suspension setup is quite amazing from factory. I was quite impressed.
    In my old EK I had spent a lot of money with Whiteline to set my car up for track. All that I added to my CTR was a Mugen front and rear strut braces and the Top Fuel C-Pillar brace. The handling of the car at the track was a lot better then my old EK. I say this because first up my EK9 is under powered, a whole 10kw under power from my old EK and I didn't run semi-slicks or an empty trim at Wakefield. I clocked a 1:17. A little disgusting I think thought im proud to say that I'm not the best driver out there. In my old EK with numerous amounts of time on the track I clocked a PB of a 1:16 with that above-mentioned setup. So I think with my new brakes and some tyres I believe I can take a couple of seconds from my PB.

    Other then that I think the car is quite enjoyable. It's subtle but gets enough attention to make me feel good about my ride. It's different and I feel it's a whole billion times better then my old EK1 even though I miss it so much!

    JDMST: We've noticed that your EK9's not stock anymore, considering how rare these cars are in Australia, how did you feel about modifying it?
    MP: Well I don't like to be in the same boat as others. Though many people would think right now, that how am I following other modifying styles when the car is so rare?

    It comes down to the amount of replica style CTR's there are in Australia. I'm not saying that's a bad thing because look at my old EK1 for example. I was in the same boat. At the time I thought I was different. Then before I knew it I was in that boat of all these other people. I've seen so many great examples of EK civics with CTR running gear.
    Most of them rebuilt with their own personal touches making the car even better and looking very different to the CTR itself anyways.

    EK Civics are great street cars. Building them like how Honda built the CTR was probably the best way to build a civic. It was reliable, comfortable and fun to drive. It wasn't cutting it for me though. I still wanted to be different.

    I bought the EK9 and made stupid plans already. I wanted new wheels. Rims those aren't so popular and hard to source. Though keeping the car looking as Japanese as possible. So the Spoon SW388's was the way to go. I wanted to still track my car so I replaced the standard Drivers Recaro with my old SPGII seat in. The steering wheel is already too good to replace, though nearly everyone owns a CTR steering wheel today as well so I changed it to my favorite of all steering wheels Nardi deep corn with quick release. The ride height was too high. So my old Zeals fixed that. I didn't have to buy any reinforcement goodies because the car came standard with good enough sway bars and struts. I'm over the look of the standard CTR wing. There are too many fiberglass ones going around anyways so I bought an original Spoon wing to match my panda theme I'm going for. Also keeping the theme I needed a carbon hood so I spoke to Buddy Club to help me out there too. I was already happy with that. Then one afternoon I was on GT4 and raced around Tsukuba in the Spoon EK9 and noticed that my car was looking too similar to that. So I had to change my car just to make it look like I haven't replicated the Spoon EK9.

    I always loved the Max Racing kit. Though a full kit is a little too crazy for the lines of the CTR. I also love the Backyard Special front bar. I think everyone does. It's shape and how it doesn't kill the standard lines makes the bar so good to look at. Though the price scares people away quite quickly. I didn't care. I'm talking like I'm a high roller, though this loan I got is doing me good. For now anyways until I have to pay it back. So I bought it. Everybody knew I got it. I denied it for ages to stir a few people just so I could keep it a secret for as long as I could. I couldn't lie any more so I had it at parked next to the Auto Salon Magazine stand at last year's final battle. The response was great, more then what I thought. It gave me more inspiration to build the car more then what I already have. Up until Auto Salon I thought I was done. No way. I'm in the same situation now to my old EK1.

    JDMST: So what are your next moves then Papz?!
    MP: Well, last but not least. The engine. Working at the Magazine stand I had Street Car of the Year winner Tim Mackie the owner of the awesome K20A fitted Lotus Elise. I couldn't stop thinking about the engine. Haha, people would think, wouldn't you be thinking about the girls walking around all weekend or the Nismo Z-tune point blank in front of me! Well not exactly. I spoke to heaps of people of my stupid idea. I even made up some stupid situation.

    Here is an EK1 with identical set up as my CTR. Both have same interior, same suspension, same everything. Though.. The EK1 has no bling bling CTR stickers or red Honda Badges but a built K20A possibly running around 160kw at the threads or my cute little CTR over there with a built B16B with only around 130kw if that at the wheels, still slower then most of those physco EG's built these days.

    The question I asked was 'which would you buy if they were the priced equally?' The bastards all said the EK1 with the big balls. Damn. So know I'm tied up in a knot thinking of my next move. K20A to be mega different and mega stupid and mega broke or build a neat B16B with quads and all that cool shit! Who knows, if anyone wants to sponsor me and give any donations. Please do so. Haha

    Thanks JDMST for the interview.


    B16B 1.6 litre 4 cylinder

    Port and Polish Head
    Mugen Air Box
    K&N Air Filter
    NGK Plug Leads
    Fujitsubo Power Getter Exhaust
    High Flow Cat
    TODA valve springs
    TODA lower metal head gasket
    TODA heavy duty timing belt

    O.S GIKEN Single plate Clutch
    O.S GIKEN Lightened Flywheel

    16x7 Spoon SW388's
    Yokohama DNA GP 205/45/16
    Buddy Club Racing Spec Nuts
    APR extended wheel studs

    Endless Zeal Coilovers
    Mugen front and rear strut braces
    Top Fuel 3 point c-pillar brace
    Spoon forged 4pot monoblock calipers
    Project Mu SCR-Pro slotted rotors
    Project MU HC+ Pads
    Project Mu braided lines

    Drivers side RECARO Red SPG2
    Oil temp, oil pressure and water temp Defi Gauges
    Nardi Deep Corn Steering Wheel
    Splash Boss Kit with quick release
    short shift kit
    Mugen pedals
    Spoon titanium gear knob
    Alpine MP3 headunit
    Focal front splits
    Focal rear 6x9s
    Precision power 4 channel amp

    Backyard Special front bar
    Stock CTR grill and rear lip
    Spoon style mirrors
    Spoon carbon fibre wing
    Buddy Club carbon bonnet
    Last edited by Justin Fox; 16-09-09 at 05:19 PM.
  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    I haven't bothered to add my location
    92 Civic

    This car would munch up the twisties!
    A real car....
  3. #3
    Member VTECMACHINE's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    London, UK
    Honda S2000 (AP2)
    2nd Car
    London Underground

    Such awesome pictures, and what a sweet car for a feature.
  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    NA8 Clubman

    Quote Originally Posted by VTECMACHINE View Post
    Such awesome pictures, and what a sweet car for a feature.
  5. #5
    Member FAllenAngel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    00' DC2R

    Very nice..
  6. #6
    Member lo0se3r's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008

    ohhh Snap!
    Thats hot!
  7. #7
    Member somos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Bussin' it
    2nd Car

    So nice.
  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    good read. papz.. still looking sweet man. hope it runs better than you expected.
  9. #9
    Member eg5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Civic FN2R
    2nd Car

    Saw it at ISMR yesterday
    Looking good with new wheels set up
    JDMyard Pty Ltd / Hardrace Australia
    25 / 317-321 Woodpark Rd , Smithfield , NSW 2164. Contact : 97572364
    Email : [email protected]
  10. #10
    Member wngo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    2nd Car

    This needs to be updated.
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