Form Over Function: Honda Civic (Elevated)


Being able to spot a stanced car in Canada isn’t exactly a rare and unique sight, as it’s been a growing craze in the past 6 years continent-wide. However, preventative measures to driving stanced cars such as snow, icy or salt coated roads and frigid temperatures leave Canadian tuners with a brief 6-month window where they can truly enjoy their cars. Although most complain about not being able to drive during these times, a handful of individuals seize the opportunity to put themselves and their cars into a garage and build what they may perceive as ‘perfection’ in the winter months. This is not what Torontonian Brian Requena had in mind when he picked up his 1996 Honda Civic hatchback initially, but much had changed unexpectedly. This particular version of his Elevated Civic is the first of its kind having changed since, but it is leap in the right direction.

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Just like the majority of all other Civics, the purpose of this car was to help transport his tools to rough, bumpy construction sites to the daily grind. For a handful of years, Brian’s Civic was covered in mud, dirt and dust until his expanding tool collection forced him to buy a larger second vehicle. It was at this point the civic was parking inside a garage, and Brian and his friends Jon and Sherin (R.I.P.) started tearing it apart over the winter months and replacing nearly every part it had been equipped with to rare Japanese Civic Type R counterparts. By receiving their help, many of the Civic Type R panels, interior and H22 Engine assembly was a direct influence given their track and race history, however Brian never cared for having the fastest trap speed or putting down the fastest lap times. He always saw the future of this car as being a cornucopia of car scenes, and the aspects he appreciated most about each.

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“Everything I love in cars I tried to put into this one car. I always loved low-riders, German cars, and hot rods. You can see the touch of low rider style when looking at my crew’s plaque and the car being as low to the ground as possible. The BBS wheels and clean OEM body panels show the love I had for European style cars, and finally my engine bay was heavily inspired by hot rods. All hot rods have a built, polished, tucked, high displacement motor in a very clean engine bay.”

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Being more of a form > function kind of guy, not wanting to destroy the hard earned hours of blood sweat and tears to bringing his car to what he perceives as perfection; Brian never wanted to use his car at track events but rather to kick back at car meets and shows with friends and just have a good time, admiring what had been put together in his garage. Despite this, the suspension components on his car could not remain stock if he indeed wanted to fit the wheels he had in mind. The ASR plate, Beaks bar, and copper control arms in the rear are just a tease of what the car is sitting on when driving behind. Meanwhile, Buddy club ball joints are outfitted on the fronts, skunk2 upper cambers kits in the front and rear and PIC coil overs (10K upfront, and 8K in the rear) provide a stiff controllable ride as this EK battles the pothole filled streets of Toronto. To provide enough braking power to harness the monstrous H22, an SiR rear disc brake conversion, Hawk HP+ pads and Centerline Rotors all around bring the car to a dead halt when needed. As much of a functional setup this could have been to slap down some good numbers on the track, Brian chose to utilize the money he could have spent at track events, new tires, new brake pads and broken parts into modifying his wheel setup instead.

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One late night at a local coffee shop, a 6 hour conversation with Brian’s best friend Jaz took place regarding camber, offset, stretched tires, stance, and specific ride heights. With this information, and the transformation of his car being nearly complete, Brian saw the next step he had to take to get his car to where it is today. After a long 10 hour drive to grab his newly acquired BBS RS wheels that were 15”x 6.5” at the time, Brian and Jaz started taking measurements once he got home to figure out what kind of “rebarreling” was needed. Once the measurements and specs were done, an order for 2.5” lips for the front and 3” lips for the rear was placed, along with an order for new barrels, new BBS branded APR bolts, BBS valve stems, caps and sealer. Upon their arrival, Brian was able to find a set of four flat faced BBS polished covers for his wheels. Once all the parts were gathered, the cars beastly engine was pulled out, along with everything in the engine bay, and the car was sent to Pheonix Autobody in Brampton to have any unused holes welded shut and filled. Both the BBS RS faces and the engine bay were resprayed to a custom copper 3 stage paint.

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Upon its retur n, the engine bay was so fresh, that anything that went back in it had to be perfect or otherwise replaced. With this in mind, Brian got down and dirty and grabbed his alternator, valve cover, mounts and series of brackets and started working on his elbow grease to get them polished himself, as well he bought brand new bolts to replace any rusted hardware from Boltboys/Downstar INC. A new custom tucked engine bay harness was built for the car, along with custom stainless steel brake lines were fitted under the dashboard to make the engine stand out in the bay.

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This engine bay is the pride and joy of Brian’s car, and if ever spotting it at shows or meets you are bound to see it hoodless, however no build can be complete without a revamped interior. With the insides feeling a bit neglected and dull, a pair of EK9 recaros, and matching EK9 carpet, door panels, cluster and electric power windows made the car feel more sporty. The motto “Business up front, party in the back” was definitely in mind when Brian put together his own matching red Recaro wrapped subwoofer enclosure to replace his trunk and rear seats. In the back, a powerful 500watt Alpine Type R subwoofer was installed to drown out the sounds of the loud engine and exhaust.

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When looking at Brian Requena’s 1996 Honda Civic, you start to appreciate the fine line between being different and trying to be different. A true appreciator of the west-coast style of building Hondas, Brian’s dedication to taking bold steps was able to help him attain the look he has today: radical color scheme with mismatched engine bay, rare wide, low offset wheels sitting on stretched tire. From a very critical and often competitive scene here in Canada, Brian is one of the few with a heart who loves his build, but more importantly how it came together and the friends he met from doing it. “Me taking home first place at a show doesn’t mean anything, I like doing it. Going to shows, seeing people and the whole vibe is what I love. I’m mostly there to see my friends, taking home first place means I’ll be able to help someone out eventually, someone who is looking up to me. I’m the guy that will always be straight up with you if I get approached, and you can ask me anything about my car and I’ll tell you. It’s not a competition, it’s what we do for fun and a hobby that brings us together.”

The Specs

Brian Requena
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1996 Honda Civic


– 2008 Java Black Pearl paint, painted at Pheonix Autobody
– Shaved antenna emblems
– Brand new quarter panels, rolled and pulled
– Complete Civic Type R front-end conversion
– Civic Type R doors, side skirts, rear bumper, power folding mirrors
– Civic Type R Front and Rear Lip
– Endless Zeal wing
– Alex built riser brackets
– 2000 Civic Type R Taillights
– Civic SiR Fog Lights
– EDM DC2 Rear foglight
– Carbon fiber hood
– 10k HIDs
– BENEN tow hook


– Apex’i controller
– EK9 Cluster
– JDM EK9 Recaro Seats
– CTR door panels
– CTR red carpet
– CTR Shift Boot
– Blox Neochrome Shift Knob
– Miracle rear X Bar
– Nardi Steering Wheel
– NRG quick release hub
– Hella Dry Cell Battery
– Mugen Pedal Assembly

In Car Entertainment

– SiR tweeters
– 7″ LCD screen
– Clarion 6×9 rear speakers
– Kenwood 6.5” front speakers
– Alpine V-Power mrp-m500 Amplifier
– Alpine Type-R 10″ 500RMS Subwoofer

Wheels | Tires | Brakes | Suspension

– BBS RS (front 15×8.5 +6 offset with 2.5 lip, rear 15×9 0 offset with 3″ lip)
– 8mm Spacer
– Custom Short Valve Stems and BBS Valve Caps
– Brand New BBS Engraved Bolts
– BBS Polished Flat Caps
– Resealed with BBS Wheel Sealer
– H&R extended studs

– Toyo T1R 195/45/15 tires

– Centerline rotors
– Hawk HP+ pads
– SiR rear disk conversion

– Buddy Club Lower Ball Joints
– PIC Coilovers: 10K Front/8K Rear
– Skunk2 Front Camber Kit
– Skunk2 Rear Camber Kit
– Blox Rear Control Arms
– ASR Polished Subframe Brace
– Beaks Tie Bar
– Benen traction bar


– 1994 Honda H22a
– Port, Polished, Milled Head
– Eagle Knife Edged Crankshaft
– Blueprinted
– ARP Headstuds
– Super Tech Flat Faced Valves
– Super Tech Valve Springs
– Super Tech Aluminum Retainers
– Super Tech Keepers
– Eagle 13:1 Compression Pistons
– Eagle H Beam Connecting Rods
– Walbro 255lph Fuel Pump
– RC370 injectors
– Skunk2 Short Throw Shifter
– Exedy 3 puck Clutch
– Fidanza Flywheel
– Cusco 1.5 way LSD
– 5.15 Mfactory Final Drive
– Energy Suspension Bushing Kit
– Nitrous Supply 150 shot Wet Kit
– Engine Bay Shaved and Painted at Pheonix Autobody
– S2k clutch master
– Downstar Spike Bolts
– Innovated Alternator Relocation Kit
– Carbon Fiber spark plug cover
– Custom Tucked Wire Harness
– Custom Tucked Brake Lines
– Mishimoto half rad
– B18C ECU Chipped
– YONAKA race drive shafts
– Spoon Oil Cap
– Password Jdm bolts and washers
– Password rad stay
– Password vtec cover
– AEM Fuel pressure regulator
– 4-2-1 headers
– 2.5 Straight Pipe
– Polyurethane mounts
– Stainless steel Russell hoses
– Russell fittings
– Russell -6 fuel filter
– Steel braided clutch lines with Russell fittings
– B&M fuel Gauge
– Unorthodox Lightweight Race Pulley
– 12″ Blox rad fan

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