Volk Wheels

This 4-door EF Civic takes me straight back to the late-80s & early-90s. A time when entry-level vehicles were affordable… but not lifeless. Because back then in the rad era, even economical vehicles were often functional, fun, & funky. But to be fair, our mindset was a lot different… 

EF Civic Sedan

We had lower standards… 

We didn’t need factory FOX shocks, 14-inch screens, 14 airbags, 400hp, and automatic-everything to have a good time. Rather… we made our own fun. And economical cars/trucks gave the youth an exciting entry-point into car culture. A blank canvas that begged for mods. The iconic era of mini-truckin’, Spring Breakin’, sport-compacts, and import-tuning ensued as a result. And it was an absolute sweet-spot for car culture & pop-culture. In comes Jon Redling with his 4-door EF Civic…

EF Civic hood bra

JDM US EF Civic

euro cars

Jon Redling wanted to restore an EF Civic Sedan…

But just as importantly, he wanted to restore & capture the essence of 1990s car culture. Even since he was a tiny kid, Jon was obsessed with the energy of the earlier-90s lowrider scene. And at that time, a lot of the lines were blurring. Sport-compacts had majorly gained popularity, and were intermingling with mini-trucks, air-cooled VWs, and the traditional bigger-bodied lowriders. But things hadn’t really been ‘defined’ yet. There was no official ‘import scene’. So in the lowrider world, the term EURO loosely applied to any slammed-out sport-compact… regardless of its country of origin. In other words, an early-90s Lowrider Magazine would’ve classified this build as a Euro. I guess it originated from the typical Euro stying influences of the day… and life before hashtags. Let’s get to it…

EF Civic Sedan

Jon Redling’s Euro Civic lowrider

Taking at look at the 4-door EF exterior

You might notice a bronze tint on the windows. The factory bronze-tinted glass (minus the windshield) was a rarer top-tier option on the sedans in Japan. Jon lucked-out & found someone in the Philippines who was parting one out, and had all the glass packaged & shipped to the US. 

late 80s civic

 

The power-folding mirrors, side markers, taillights, and rear fogs all came from Japan. And the hood bra & fender pieces were sourced from a Honda dealership in Canada. 

JDM EF Civic sedan

The OEM rear mud flaps & window visors were found brand new in their boxes here in the US. And the front lip came from an ’89 Civic Si hatch. 

 

You’ll also find single globe glass headlights sourced from Germany, and corner lights from Indonesia. A personal favorite: The new-old-stock smoked GT Styling headlight covers to keep those headlights & corners mint.

civic GTS headlight covers

This EF Civic Sedan sits in its original shade of YR88 Almond Cream. However, it was body-worked and repainted in 2013 by Garage Built Customs in Houston, TX. 

lowered 4-door EF

100 spoke wheels

The wheels… 

These are Mondera Eighty-Spokes in 13×7 -38. They’re also new-old-stock from ’98, finished in triple-gold & chrome with bent tri’s and bullet caps. The wheels are wrapped in 175/50 Nankang tires. Suspension is one part of the EF that’s been modernized, with set of Function+Form Type-1 coilovers and Function7 rear lower control arms. 

EF Sedan

EF civic stock D15 engine bay

Under the hood… 

Keeping the theme of period-correctness, this Civic still sports the factory Honda D15B2 engine with a 5-speed transmission. Motor swaps weren’t so much a thing in the late 80s. Hell – Honda’s glory engines hadn’t even come around yet. In fact, VTEC was only something you’d probably vaguely read about on next year’s Integra. The valve cover, however, has been swapped-out with one from a Rover (UK). 

lowered EF Civic sedan

EF brown interior

ACT clutch

Inside the EF Civic Sedan… 

Jon was adamant about finding an Almond Cream Civic with brown interior. But on US models, even the brown interiors came with black steering wheels. While it’s not obvious, this EF Sedan has been treated to a JDM brown steering wheel to match the rest of its coffee-medley interior. Luckily, a stateside Honda builder was putting a Nardi wheel in his brown-interior JDM EF… so Jon was able to snag this wheel in pristine condition. 

brown EF steering wheel

Other interior bits… 

Include a Honda of America shift knob, a gauge cluster from Japan, as well as multiple Honda Access items (like the lower console, personal box, arm rest, under seat tray, first aid kit and fancy dome light). The floor mats were sourced from Germany, and of course, you gotta have the fuzzy dice in the mirror. This EF Civic is all about the painstaking little details. And it seems like more countries have been involved in it than NATO. 

fuzzy dice

EF sedan 13x7

Rockford Fosgate sub

Cars that go boom

Big tunes are a must in any rad-era build. And it just-so happens that Jon Redling has a pretty sick collection of retro car audio stacked-up. So to that end, this EF flexes a Kenwood eXcelon head unit, Alpine speakers in the front, Gathers in the rear deck, and a pair of Rockford Fosgate Punch DVC 10” subwoofers… powered by a Rockford Fosgate Punch 500a2. The goal is to capture a moment in time, and to continue to lean into that style. 

EF sedan

90s civic

The late-80s & early-90s was absolutely a moment in time to celebrate…

I could go on-&-on about it… but honestly we’d both get lost in the words. Suffice it to say: There was an energy across the board. Lean into it, and you can feel it. 

Photos by Chris Gosda

Lowered EF Sedan

Civic low

euro lowrider

•Get the free S3 Magazine app•  (Apple)

Wooley S3 APP

•Get the free S3 Magazine app•  (Android)