As Below, So Above | Mimms Honda Day 2021 @ Three Sisters Circuit

September is usually the month that can’t decide whether it’s done with summer, or isn’t yet ready for autumn. It’s like that transition period between good times in not-bad weather, and the kold seasons of hibernation and/or winter projects. The ninth month of the years also happens to be suitable timing for an “end-of-show-season” show. Dav and co. came back up north to Three Sisters Circuit in Wigan to put on exactly that.

With the Civik being “fully” road-ready with its recently calibrated ECU courtesy of Jesse ‘JCal’ Halford, the event was an opportunity for me to give the car a proper-ish shakedown. So on 26th September, over to Lancashire I went, camera gear and Arai lid in hand, to check out what Hondas other Northerners would bring out to the show.

You might have spotted the title and are wondering what I mean by it. Well, I’m gonna have to admit that maybe until only recently – say, a few months ago – I had a pretty cynical and negative view of the “scene” here in the north end of England. I’ve always had a somewhat bleak perception of how cars are modified up these ways. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware that high-quality builds do exist, but I still do think they’re either few and far between, or they just don’t really see the light of day that often.

It’s been a classic case of “greener grass on the other side” and all the sick cars I’ll see online based in the UK, will be down south, up in Scotland, or over in Ireland. I’d say my awareness has expanded, especially since the Mimms event put on at Croft. For years, all I’ve ever really consumed in terms of car-related information has been via the worldwide-web. The events and meets I’ve attended locally haven’t really ever blown me away. I mean, there’d be a few cool things that I’d never seen before and happen to be owned by someone in a neighbouring city/county, but I dunno, here in the UK not many people have the disposable income to invest into their builds (or the patience to save up funds). But this also makes me appreciate those that do have the persistence and patience to hold onto their hard-earned money for those genuine parts, instead of blowing it all on shoddy rep wheels and eBay bodykits.

That leads me on to this nigh-on perfect example of a pre-facelift EP3 Civic Type R.

I hold my head in shame for not taking more photos of this, as it was undeniably one of the cleanest seventh-gens I’ve ever laid eyes on.

EP3 is a chassis code synonymous with the UK Honda scene, unsurprisingly, as the car was assembled on our nation’s land. Unfortunately, a lot of them are either hideous thanks to the owners’ and their bad choices in modifications, or the sills have shit themselves beyond repair.

At Mimms, it was nice to come across one that the owner truly cared about, and it showed. I’m sure the owner told me the odometer read around 80,000 miles, but the paint looks like it’s got half that figure on it.

K-Tuned dress-up bits all over the K20A2.

I booked a 20-minute track session as soon as I parked up in the back corner of the car park (can’t blame Mimms staff for putting me there, the paint was/still is a shambles). Whilst I waited until it was my time to put the stock suspension to the test on the go-kart track, I went for a stroll and browsed the show-and-shine stand.

Carl Plant’s EG Civic has a trick or two up under its bonnet, so don’t let that mellow Carnival Yellow paint fool you.

The car’s front end features moderately aggressive modifications consisting of a Mugen lip, custom canards and foglight blanking plates, along with the classic swap-in of the JDM amber-indicators.

Uber-rare rims made by Work Wheels back in whatever decade, these Pietra Corse items are JDM gold dust no doubt! Looking at other sets online, they featured a centre hub cover that resembled a centre-lock nut, so I’m guessing these are from the mid-to-late 1990s.

Dunno if that was litter or the owner was saving his drink for later?

Pretty unsuspecting interior with a pair of blue Recaro SR4 recliners *hint hint*…

…and a Spoon Sports steering wheel. But peep that AFR gauge made by AEM to the right-hand side of the steering column.

Oh, and the wastegate exit-pipe showing it’s teardrop-shaped tip out the bonnet’s matching cut-out.

This FF terror in fact moves under K-series power. Not only that, but the engine conversion has been treated to a few more molecules of available oxygen by way of a Pulsar GT3071R turbocharger, effectively doubling the stock K20 output to ~400bhp @ 13psi.

I can imagine this boosted EG wakes the driver up better than any type of caffeine-containing beverage can.

On the subject of EG Civics, Nav brought out his Bayside Blue K-swapped hatchback.

If you also thought that yellow one was sleeper status, this one is a proper under-the-radar build.

Sparco L999 wheel with thumb-positioned horn buttons gives me that nostalgic 2000s feeling. Only just pictured in the same frame is the Pioneer Carozzeria double-DIN headunit with the remote control resting in a vent-mount.

OZ Futura Monoblocks are being rocked in a 17″ sizing under car, and they don’t look bad for a size-up wheel setup.

GReddy decal on the hatch representing the Supreme tailpipe exiting below the rear bumper.

Elmo wasn’t ready for the ‘TEC.

I believe Nav has since let the car go to a new owner, but this scale model will remain in his hands as a memory of the modern classic Honda he put together.

A few Mugen-looking bits on this DC5 Integra Type R.

The morning started off good, only to be made great once I saw Mr. Restomod Compulsion’s NA1 NSX parked – by default – in the show & shine line-up.

Voltex wing sits sky-high atop the custom-CNC’d stands.

Real rekognise real.

Pearly whites break up the deep black bodywork.

The angle of attack of the wing has been intentionally crafted with knife-edge precision. Not too tall, with just enough rake.

Stainless exhaust tubes visible thanks to the modified rear bumper and the minimalist diffuser set-up with its carbon fibre support rods.

VIP-style elements in the interior with the Junction Produce leather neck pad cushions. Seems he’s associated with the bloods, too.

Gold sticker = winner winner.

Moving on (it was difficult) from the NSX, here we have a CR-X VTi with nothing much going on, except…

… a snail to provide that supplemental kick up the arse.

Half-size radiator must be doing a good enough job to keep coolant temps in check, even with a load of boost chucked into the mix.

I like how the owner just strapped the turbo onto a custom manifold and left nearly everything else in sight stock. Even the location of the oil catch can is subtle enough to go by unnoticed.

This driver looks like he took a detour through Racoon City.

Wouldn’t normally pay much attention to an FN2 – unless maybe if it happened to be a Mugen 20 – but I like it when video games are used as inspiration for car modification.

Geeky, I know.

The vegans of the automotive community, haha.

Emotion XT7 in bronze WORK well on this OEM+ DC5.

Bonnet was missing, so I went over to have a nosey in the bay.

EP3 electric power steering conversion was odd, but each to their own, eh? It kinda cleans up the frontmost part of the engine bay, to be fair.

First and only big whoops that occurred on track that day.

I’ll insert this interlude amongst all the Honda content.

Mimms Honda Day magnetizes quality, regardless of manufacturer.

The original Gojira can’t get turned away, that would be plain silly.

Not like Mimms would turn anybody away, but the carpet has to get rolled out for JDM royalty.

Nardi Personal Neo Grinta sits centre stage in the driver’s position.

White armor, bronze gauntlets.

Okay, back to regular programming.

A pretty clean second-gen CR-X pictured, with its owner in the right of the frame. Glad he went out on track for a little play, after all, Hondas are for driving!

I had to scratch my head a bit after recognizing the plate on this EK. Turns out I saw it the month before at Japanese Performance Show! Looks kool, especially seeing what it sports under the bonnet. Ride height is also very korrect.

Not a bad choice of wheel, even if I do say so myself. Brakes look a bit dwarfed behind those 16″s though.

Business up front…

… business out back, too, from the looks of it, with the busy busy half-cage rigged up behind the Corbeau fixed-back driver’s seat and OEM passenger chair.

Atleast he’s doing it right running disc brakes in the rear, whereas I’ve left the original drum brakes in place on the Civik.

Old boy brought out his pride and joy, a BB8 Prelude VTi with that fancy four-wheel steering.

I’m not a Prelude nerd or anything, I learned what chassis code the car was based on from looking at the VIN plate rivetted right on top of the front cross member.

Coating on the heatshield looks factory fresh!

Stay klassy…

… or not.

Olly Ward made an appearance, this time entering his EG3 Civic into show & shine.

A 15 inch wheel that’ll look as good as TE37s do on anything, prove me wrong.

The guy leaning on Olly’s Honda is not Olly. I don’t know if Olly was friends with him or what, but the guy obviously has no manners, as he just interrupts me having a convo with Olly.

I won’t say much about this car, because I’m planning on leaving that for a full feature that’s yet to be shot whenever the stars align and the shit weather pisses off.

Self-fulfilling prophecy, as Olly’s Civic DX went on to win the award for best wheels IIRC.

Spoon N1 not looking as disgraceful as the one on the Civik.

Mine melted the rear bumper, so it has hardened plastic stuck to it. I’ve since lowered the tailpipe using rubber hanger mounts with wider hole spacing.

Hopefully see more of this machine and its owner in the near future.

Classic by design.

Plenty Personal steering wheels fitted to a lot of the cars at the show, what is this like the fourth one now???

Very OG 57CR by RAYS’ Gram Lights brand.

Other than the black NSX you saw earlier, this DC2 Integra Type R wore a set of Desmond Regamaster EVO wheels in Satin Black.

The car let off a very aggressive vibe, shame the driver took off so soon as I didn’t see it hang about for long.

OEM Recaro SR3 seats retained whilst TRS harnesses are hooked up to anchor points behind.

The only EF that caught my eye at the show.

Could it have been the OZ Racing split rims with gold centres and plain lips…

…or maybe it was just the ShirtTuckedIn decal on the rear side-window.

Whatever it was, it looked damn spiffy.

That time came around quick, where Dav picks up the mic and announces the award-winning contestants.

I’m shit at remembering names, but congrats to you, Restomod-Man, and your NSX taking the prize home yet again for 2021.

As the show started to wind down after the awards ceremony, I made a B-Line for the reception to book yet another track sesh in the Civik.

Check out the clip of some of the good laps from the day 🙂

A few FD2 Civic Type Rs came out to represent the 4-door VTEC klub.

FEEL’s stainless muffler tucked under all cosy beneath the FEEL’s rear diffuser with integrated LED fog/rainlight.

Infinite Power.

18″ CE28 by RAYS Volk Racing with polished lip guarding the Brembo caliper and disc assembly.

Under the cloudy sky, Premium Purple Pearl didn’t look as great as it could.

A lad in another red (actually red, should I say) EK hatch was lapping the carpark trying to find a spot, and he kept eyeing up my car and the empty space beside it. He eventually pulls up beside mine whilst I’m sat in the car charging my phone before I hit the track so that I was able to pair up my Hondata app to monitor coolant and oil temps whilst giving it a rip. He approaches me and for whatever reason sensed that there was something amiss with mine, so I popped the bonnet and revealed the non-surprise (I mean, it’s a K-swap, it’s kinda expected in this day and age).

Seeing someone else get excited about the Civik – whom I’d known for about 35 seconds – was cool, especially considering the sorry state the exterior was/is in. But, then again, it’s what lies beneath skin-deep that matters most, and Hondas are renowned for their inner workings. I’m going to begin the chassis/suspension enhancements in 2022, to start tapping into that FF potential.

Hope you enjoyed the read and pics, continue for more!

| B O N U S G A L L E R Y |

The H Factor – Part 3 | Mimms Honda Day @ Croft Circuit 2021

My aim is to give the UK car scene some prominence on a bigger scale. I’m not doing this for anything other than the pursuit of capturing the best of what we have over here when it comes to enthusiast culture. Immortalising the product of peoples’ passion and dedication to what some may consider “just another hobby”. For certain individuals, this is their life.

Likes and followers ought not to be a matter or quantity, but quality. What I mean by that is, if I waste my time chasing after “reach” or similar stats, 1000/10000/100000/1M won’t mean anything if: 1) What I’m providing is generic; 2) My work doesn’t have a direct effect on the reader, giving them some insight into the subject of an article or perhaps some inspiration to do what I’m trying to do; 3) I feel that it becomes a chore and end up doing this purely to strive for social media relevance.

If what you’ve seen and read resonates, then I’ll be glad to have put the work in wrapping up this event coverage piece for all of you.

On the day, track sessions were running throughout, giving everyone with a helmet and a sensibly-loud [is that a thing] car the chance for some seat-time. I think they ran for about 20 minutes at a time, so it wasn’t an open pitlane, trackday type of deal, but drivers could sign on more than one session. I suppose that’s convenient, because you and your car could let some steam off and then take a breather without pounding on it all day and being concerned about tyre/brake wear. It was fairly priced too, so if you didn’t take your machine out on track that day, you missed out! There’s always next time!

That morning, a pair of E92 M3s were garnering a bit of attention, unsurprisingly. Both wore mostly matching parts from what I remember, inside and out. Although, I think one was a Type R Limited or something…

BBS E88s measured 18″ in diameter, half-cage fitted behind the B-pillars, and functional stance gave these two BMWs that Euro Clubsport look.

The E92 3-series coupe is struggling to age.

I take it the owners of both M3s like to frequent the Green Hell. Croft Circuit probably felt like a playground to them.

The weather took a little dip around lunchtime, so that’s why some photos aren’t as sunny and colourful as others. Didn’t have an effect on how much presence this monochromatic R32 showed though.

FR machines took a back-seat that day, but a Skyline is a Skyline after all.

Bolt-on overfenders give the car some beef without the obnoxiousness, and also room to fit the Work Meister S1 split-rims.

Ridox bodyparts is all an A80 Supra really needs to ask for. But then to go and sit it on an iconic set of 3-spoke wheels in flat bronze! I don’t think you need a dictionary definition for the word sick-as-fuck.

A white EK hatch with painted USDM side mirrors appears! And then I saw a guy walk out and sit on the front wing, so I decided to go have a chinwag.

Every Civic I saw with that unmistakably shaped oil dipstick, I’d be on it like a fly to shit. Okay, that’s the wrong metaphor, but you get what I mean. If you don’t, all will become clear in a future blogpost *hint hint*. The owner planted a K24 engine from an Accord, and the numbers this thing allegedly churns out sounded like it could be a weapon for a nat-asp motor. To be honest, I just admire how nice that camcover looks 🙂

I’m pretty sure this EG was for sale.

OEM optional extras mixed in with aftermarket bits.

Gave me a USDM throwback kinda vibe, dunno why.

One very fast teal CR-X being hammered round Croft by owner Colin.

That K-Tuned shifter assembly is a clue as to why I said very fast.

Tidily swapped in a K-series, not a bad idea eh?

Whatever was in this EK coupe, the driver was exploiting every measurable ounce of it.

Tom – whose old NA MX-5 was hands down the sickest I’ve ever come across in the UK – was someone I followed on IG because you could tell by the execution of his every idea was done with precision and tact. Then all of a sudden, I stopped seeing his Advan-liveried Roadster on my timeline. Well, this is the reason. A Datsun Sunny Truck with a Honda heart transplant. Even if you’re against the whole “inter-brand engine-swapping”, you’ll have a hard time criticizing Tom’s work of brilliance.

I didn’t know wtf I was looking at, but it ripped every time it passed by out on track. As we were leaving, I made sure to grab a snap of it. Upon closer inspection it was a Corolla GT, whatever that is. Sat pretty on RE30s though.

Strictly B-series here.

Sep and his Accord Euro-R on their way out.

All in all – as if it weren’t obvious – a good time was had by all…

…except that one EP3 that got trailered off track.

JDM CR-V with some hench OEM-spec rainguards.

That day happened to also be the Euro 2020 final, which as we know, a lot will be trying to forget about. Anyhow, everybody seemed to, not be in a rush, but packed up their belongings earlier than expected. The weather looked like it was taking another turn aswell. Let’s hope this minter of a yellow EK9 here got home dry.

Finally, all that I have in my “Mimms Croft 2021” folder has been uploaded and shared with you who’ve held on ’til here. Extra bonus photos will be posted up on my Facebook and Instagram pages.

Thanks for tuning in, share the blog if you want, and I hope to katch your attention next time!

Japanaholik’s Journal | Lowstars Meeting 2019 @ Nikko Circuit

So here we are, on day #6 according to the name of my folder where all 600+ photos are kept from the first half of the holiday. In retrospect, it didn’t feel like a typical holiday. I don’t really like to lounge much when I am abroad. I obviously had a free day here and there, but for the most part, I had events or places lined up that I couldn’t miss. Especially when we had flown thousands of miles to a country with an abundance of fresh culture and beauty.

The ryokan (traditional-style inn – it had the vibe of a franchise hotel instead of a humble family-run establishment, but even still it was nice for the night) had such a glorious view of the surrounding mountains, it made me forget about my camera hence no photos. That, and I was busy getting prepared for the day ahead early that morning.

Usui-san, who I met in the last post, informed me of the show-and-throw event: Lowstars Meeting, held over at Nikko Circuit. A lot of you will know/recognise this course from the Best Motoring videos online, as it was, and probably still is, used by Option magazine for filming MyCar Challenges and countless drift demonstrations. This ~1km long track is half the length of the coveted TC2000 in Tsukuba, but I reckon Nikko is just as difficult with its tight consectuive hairpins and narrow width.

The circuit grounds itself aren’t huge, and I only spotted one signpost directing us to the drift haven. Pulled up into the overflow car park and I already found an array of machines belonging to the spectators who came in pretty high numbers.

We enter and exit the tunnel to get to the paddock, and pure mechanical noise hits you with increasing volume as the cars slide around the long right-hander. As we walked towards the track, intermittent views of the machines whipping their rear-ends wide could be seen through gaps in the safety fence.

Something I could not help but notice was the unusually high number of Subarus and Mitsubishis. At a drift event? I know its Japan but… oh okay, I guess its expected here. They looked good going sideways, and that is all that matters.

Once you walk out into the main paddock/pit area, theres a wide variety of metal, some just sitting pretty with the cleanest engine bays I have ever laid eyes on, whilst others have their bonnet up to let some steam off with no intention of showing off any bling under the hood.

The show was very relaxed, a few vendors here and there, but it was just a really chill, non-competitive atmosphere, guys and girls simply coming together to enjoy their cars, in whatever fashion they choose. There was a timetable for all the different sessions, but I was just floating about, trying to soak it all in as it was the first track-event I had attended in Japan.

Thanks for passing through, hope something caught your eye and made you smile with glee, or maybe you were horrified at some of the cars you saw, either way its all good.

This post was going to be a 2-in-1 job, but this already looks like a hefty enough album to publish, so the second half of that day will be uploaded in a separate entry.

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