Exclusive: Gugliano’s M&M Civic, Before the Reveal

You’d think that with the 2017 ‘car season’ more or less over, I’d have considerably more time to devote to writing and editing these days. Apparently that’s not the case (yet) but for today I’m able to get this live for you all as an update to the site and to share something that I hope many of you will find interesting.

These are photos I’ve been waiting to share (and have been looking forward to sharing) for a little while; additional pictures of Gugliano’s M&M Civic, but not of the finished car. Instead this is the set that I grabbed when I first saw it sitting outside of Blackbird, with the freshly-installed widebody and a mix of other parts as the guys were in the midst of trashing to get it together for Sunday School.

If you read the feature (if you haven’t, please CLICK HERE to understand the full story) or know the car you’ll know that in about two and a half weeks it went from a stock DX to the complete build as seen at Max Bell this summer, and these photos specifically were taken 11 days before Sunday School. ELEVEN. I wonder how many cups of coffee and cans of Redbull were consumed by the guys during the build – and how many were consumed simultaneously? Surely too many.

Personally, I always greatly enjoy seeing photos of builds in progress. If nothing else they provide a good illustration of some of the work that ends up going into a build, and it’s always entertaining to see how a car has evolved. I was actually able to see the EK twice while it was being built up, but I’m afraid I don’t have any photos from the second visit when it was being wrapped. Still though, I hope you enjoy these from the first visit; as the guys were busily working in the shop at the time I was left to my own devices, and so I happily fired away for a little bit while also taking the time to study and take in the details of not just the car but also the kit, since seeing one this early really was a treat. I’m a fan of the M&M widebody and look forward to seeing more builds utilize it, but being one of the very first cars in the world to have it will always make Gugliano’s something extra special.

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To start off the photos I’m going to use this pairing again – as I did in the feature – as a refresher of what the finished car looked like and just because it’s such an excellent way to illustrate the extent of the transformation.

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Of course this build consisted of much more than a body kit, so there was a rather lengthy list of mechanical modifications to carry out along with the cosmetic and interior changes. At this point the guys had already fit the front 5-lug conversion, so the car also had its new TEs and brakes to go along with that…but apparently not all of its lug nuts. Haha

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The 18s looked somewhat big at this stage but when the car was complete it all balanced out visually; smaller wheels likely would have gotten ‘lost’ against the aggressively-flared body.

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Moving backwards, underneath the new rear arches were the original 4-lug hubs still, which meant that the old wheels were still bolted on. If this doesn’t illustrate just how wide the kit it, I don’t know what will!

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Also, while we’re on the wheels – the car ended up utilizing spacers for Sunday School so here the TE37SLs were slightly sunk as they hadn’t been installed. You’ll also note – in case you hadn’t in the feature – that the front bumper was carried over from the prior chassis to this one; you can see the Porsche Grey Black paint on it here.

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Under the hood the B18/B20 hybrid was already nestled into its new home, thought not yet in a running state, and the intercooler could be seen peeking out from behind the bumper. Given the looming deadline, all areas of the car were being worked on at the same time.

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One thing that surprised me was that the carbon headlight duct had survived the hail storm; another component that got to move on to the new shell!

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I guess it would be chalked up to luck but the old chassis’ cut rear bumper nearly perfectly lined up with the rear flares, so that was another piece that was able to be re-used. As sad as it was to see the old shell get hammered, I suppose the silver lining in that cloud was that the damage was mainly limited to just that – the shell. That may sound odd to say (given that the shell is, well, the car) but at the end of the day, that was only one part of many that made up that build so there was quite a collection of pieces that were untouched and ready for a new home.

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At this point in the build (I mean thrash) the interior had also seen some work but similar to the car’s mechanics, had a mix of new and stock parts (for example, a cage paired with stock seats); it was also temporarily serving as a bit of a storage bin for various bits and pieces.

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Admittedly, despite the fact that even at this early stage the car was already so much more than ‘just’ a Civic with an M&M kit, I ended up spending most of my time looking at just that – the kit. I was extremely impressed with what I saw too – note here how every inch of the flare was tight against the body. According to Mike the fit out of the box was perfect; another reason to always buy authentic parts!

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A closeup of the fitment around the tail light; it’s safe to assume with body parts that some minor work will be usually be needed but it wasn’t the case here. I’ve seen OEM panels fit worse than that; heck, I’ve had OEM panels that fit worse than that (on the GP mind you, not the Focus).

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Given that the body had to be disassembled again in a few days, the kit wasn’t fully bolted on (you may have noticed some of the empty bolt holes in previous photos). Since there were only a few bolts in to locate this front flare, it wasn’t fully sucked up against the body or skirt here but it helped to show the rather tidy mounting system for securing it to the latter.

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As the driver’s side more clearly showed, the kit’s front flares slid over the side skirts and a bolt would then secure them together. This is a super clean and tidy way to fasten the panels together and have fairly well-disguised seams!

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The rear flare however did have a bolt in place – look at that fitment! Again, this was all as it was right out of the box.

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An interesting detail of the kit was the fuel door as M&M utilize a lock and key for security and holding it in place. I haven’t seen it opened but would assume it unlocks and then lifts out, as opposed to hinging.

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It’s probably a good time for another shot of the full EK – you know how odd a car looks when it has a tiny spare donut on one corner? Yeah, that had nothing on this; it was just a little unbalanced looking here…but it wouldn’t be for long!

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While there wasn’t time for paint of course the guys weren’t going to wrap over poor bodywork, so some attention had been given to that as well. The kit was, as mentioned, exceptional right from the start and while the shell was pretty clean overall, it did need a little bit of attention before the wrapping could begin.

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Even as I look over these for the umpteenth time, while I write this up, I still find it hard to believe how this car was transformed so extensively as quickly as it was. I really would have loved to document this entire build from start to finish and witnessed its progress every day, but I am glad that I had the opportunity to see it briefly at a couple of points during the process at least.

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I do hope that you all enjoyed this additional look at the EK and that it served not just as an interesting follow-up to the feature, but also as a good point of comparison. I also hope that Gugliano gets plenty of opportunities to really enjoy V2.0 of his EK and that we get to see it out and about more often in 2018. With the car at the level it is already, just imagine where it’ll go from here…



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