To follow up the entry on Alex’s ITR from a couple of days ago, this is the second spotlight from Sunday School 2017…or, it was. It started as just that – a quick look at the car in question – but ultimately shifted to more of a ‘proper’ feature, thanks to the owner Gugliano. I had asked for clarification on a couple of the details when I was writing this up, and without hesitation he sent over his entire mod list! With all of that extra information on hand, plus the fact I also had some photos of not just the car when it was in progress but its predecessor as well, I figured I’d expand this just a bit…
I’m sure that some of you expected this but today’s spotlight/feature is of Gugliano’s M&M Honda Racing Hyper widebody Civic.
I’ll start with the backstory to this – Gugliano had an EK before this which I had the privilege of seeing in the very early stages when the shell came to the body shop I worked at, at the time. It was a custom caged, flat-floored shell that ended up being fully resprayed inside and out in Porsche’s Grey Black. In 2016 I was able to catch up with it a couple of times and see the ‘finished’ product, but sadly it didn’t last for long.
A massive hail storm came through (a yearly threat for us Calgarians nearly) and absolutely destroyed the shell. Working at dealers and the body shop, I had seen plenty of hail damage on cars over the years (again, Calgary thing) and this was without a doubt among the worst I had ever seen. The shell was deemed to be beyond the point of being worth saving, even considering the time into the floor, interior, and bay.
For months the car sat, golf-balled, and I was starting to wonder if he’d ever rebuild. Then, one day Mike from Alpine sent me a message with a single photo showing a fender of an EK. He told me to keep it under wraps but that they were rebuilding and had just picked up the new shell.
I happened to swing by their shop a few days later to deliver some decals and when I pulled into the lot I immediately spotted the car and my jaw dropped. In the teaser photo I had seen that it was going widebody, but I hadn’t recognized which kit it was…
I could not believe I was looking at the new M&M Honda Racing Hyper widebody! As far as it is known this is the first and only kit in Canada, one of two in North America, and one of just four currently installed in the world. I hadn’t known if I’d ever see the kit in person, let alone this early! Gugliano and the rest of the guys at Alpine and Blackbird always have something up their sleeves though, so while I was surprised to see the kit, I wasn’t surprised that they were the ones with it.
Fast forward to Sunday School ’17 and this is how the EK sat, in the Sincedayone booth. The kit is likely the most distinctive part of the car given its rarity but don’t think the other areas were overlooked; the car was rounded out as best as possible so that the rest of it lived up to the exterior.
Now, this build would be great regardless – the extent of the work, number of quality parts used, attention to both large, substantial modifications and small, dress-up items; but the timeframe in which it was built elevates it beyond that. Think about what took you two weeks on your car. A wrap perhaps? An engine swap? How about the entire build from top to bottom?!
Yes; this was a bone stock, ~79,000 km Civic DX that the guys picked up about two weeks (two and a half to be exact) before Sunday School and by the show it was a lowered, widebodied, wrapped, engine swapped, caged, 5-lug converted (you get the idea) car!
Naturally the car’s original D-series had been plucked and in its place sat the heart from the previous EK; a hybrid of a B18C1 head on a sleeved Bensen Signature Series B20B4 block, with a mile-long list of supporting mods (Eagle rods, 84mm CP pistons, ARP studs, Bosch 1000cc injectors, Skunk2 intake manifold, custom intercooler piping, and on and on and on) allowing it to crank out way more power than Honda had originally intended. Reportedly 450-500 whp is the target from this animal.
Sitting under the massive flares and providing traction were 265 and 255 (F/R respectively) Zestinos, wrapped around 18×10 Volk TE37SLs. The car was converted to 5-lug as mentioned (with a rear drum-to-disk conversion) and braking upgrades came in the form of a DC5 Brembo caliper/S2000 rotor combo up front, with RSX-S rotors out back. For suspension, Form and Function coilovers were installed while all of the bushings were replaced with polyurethane.
Given time constraints the car didn’t have a welded-in and gusseted cage like the last version, but rollover safety had still been addressed via a 6-point Cusco unit. The original seats were ditched in favour of Vision Technica Kevlar pieces; Crow Enterprise harnesses hold Gugliano firmly in place while he stares at a Race Pack IQ3 digital dash for his information.
If anything was a ‘shortcut’ to get the car completed in time for the show it was the wrap, as obviously it’d have been impossible to colour change the car with paint in time when they had to do literally everything else, but even then it was an extremely high-quality wrap in a colour that suited the car perfectly. Not to demean the wrap at all but I imagine it’ll eventually get painted so that the interior and engine bay will be refreshed and match the exterior, but there’s time for that down the road. The car is basically complete, it’s insane, and Gugliano can now enjoy it (hopefully) for real this time. A massive round of applause goes to the guys for not giving up after watching the last one get destroyed so soon after completion, and for pulling this off in such a short amount of time. The logistics alone must’ve been a nightmare but the man hours to pull it off were also insane. This is one of the most incredible local builds of the year without a doubt, not just for what it is but equally for how it came to be. It represents not giving up and also buckling down and just getting to work. We can all take notes from that.
*Incidentally, if anyone is interested in a caged EK shell that needs some TLC (perfect excuse for some carbon doors and roof skin!), Gugliano has one that’s looking for a home. Haha