The Honda customisation scene worldwide has two major areas of inspiration: the Osaka kanjo racer crowd, the height of the JDM street racing scene, and the Californian import tuning culture, which was inspired by the JDM way of doing things, evolving over the years and encompassing many different phases. Elsewhere, in Thailand, Malaysia and Bangladesh, Hondas were built in a fusion of these two styles, and Saad Mujtaba Zaman’s red EH Civic is a perfect example of that. Saad’s Civic is just a small part of his automotive journey on the streets of Dhaka. While the other items in his impressively diverse collection of cars can vie for the attention of any gearhead, the Civic you see in this feature today is what he is seen in most of the time.
At the heart of the Honda is an engine choice that is becoming increasingly popular with Honda owners in Dhaka: the B20B. The high revving, non-VTEC 2.0 liter engine puts out somewhere around 150hp, and while the horsepower figures may not be that far off from that of the B16A, the bigger displacement engine has a lot more torque and infinite potential. As far as power output goes, the B20B has room for improvement when matched with the proper parts, and compared to the high-strung B16A, it responds much better to tuning. The engine modifications include a lightweight ZerOne lightweight crank pulley, Walbro 255lph fuel pump, aftermarket throttle body, intake system, and 4-2-1 header, the waste gases expelled through the custom 2.25 inch exhaust piping. Mated to the B20B is a beefy B16A 5 speed manual transmission, supplemented by an Exedy stage two clutch plate and lightened flywheel.
On the move, the Civic has the typical project car noise and smell. Its far removed from the clinical sterility it came with from the factory, and the Civic has dollops of soul and character because of that. The engine note at full hum sounds raw and savage, especially in the higher RPM range, and it is evident that Saad loves the mechanical thunk-thunk of shifting gears with the Skunk2 short shifter. The low slung, body hugging Recaro bucket seats keep you in place, helped by the extremely green, hundred percent JDM Takata harnesses. The duty of keeping an eye on the engine’s air-fuel ratio falls on the AEM AFR guage. Rounding up the interior is the magnificently appropriate Nardi-Personal Neo Grinta steering wheel.
On the outside, the red-white-black combo works so well, the Civic is instantly recognisable as Saad’s ride. Lowered and slightly cambered using a set of GAB coilovers, the Civic’s suspension setup eliminates wheel gap ad tightens up the handling, the white Enkei CR Kais tucking into the fenders neatly. The coilovers make it difficult to traverse smoothly over speed-bumps, but a little conditioning experience and planning ahead solves everything. The only body mods are the front bumper from the EF Civic hatch and the subtle rear spoiler. The whole appearance of the Civic takes after the Osaka Civic tuning scene.
When we ask Saad about his inspiration for the build, he laughs and says he fell in love with the black Civic coupes used in the truck heist scenes in the Fast and the Furious. As he was growing up, the automotive experimentation took his experience in building project cars to a whole new level, and now he’s thinking of ways to improve the Civic even further. It’ll have more power, more exterior pieces, and we’ll definitely be seeing him again. We can tell you this about his future plans: Saad will definitely feel a kick in the gut when he’s accelerating past 5,500 RPM.