Text by Adam Jabaay    Photos by Chris Cullivan

Dennis Duff has owned 19 of these dumb old Hondas. He’s obsessed. In fact, he recently sold one of his Wagovans… and he was an emotional wreck afterwards. Even now, if you mention it, he’ll fall apart.

Dennis bought this particular 1989 Civic hatchback from Mikey at Profunction. The car is #1282 of the 1989 year of hatchbacks… making it one of the lighter, stiffer, more desirable Japanese-built shells. Mikey from Profunction is a renowned Honda tuning pro. The real deal. He can usually work his magic to extract every last possible horsepower from a build. He’s also well-practiced at the art of the internet troll, and can simultaneously upset someone dumb on the internet between dyno pulls, while eating a hoagie. This car’s current mostly-stock B16 made 165whp and 123wtq at the hands of the Mikey the ninja.

165 HP might not seem earth-shattering, but it is for a stock B16 with bolt ons. And it’s more-than-plenty for what Dennis does with the car. While the EF sees some street duty, the majority of the miles put on this hatch are to-and-from, and ON Midwest racetracks. This lil black oddball gets thrashed, and thrashed, and thrashed again – and loves it! Dennis has been driving with groups like West Michigan Honda Meet, Gridlife, ITRexpo, and GPS Track Time for 8 years – and also recently started instructing. It isn’t uncommon to see multiple drivers in this thing on track, as everyone needs to feel a super close-ratio Synchrotech trans, LSD, and just the perfect amount of crisp HP.

If a car could give high fives, this little EF would make your palm sting.

I have adored this car since the first time I saw it. It’s affectionately called Ugly Ed. And it’s a simple car really – there is nothing extravagant, expensive, or rare bolted to it. Anyone could build something like this if they could think it up. But it’s so unique to see a cheap, capable little car with so much thought and passion put into every detail… which is why it gets so much attention in the paddock. The photos show how unique & different it is, with inspiration clearly taken from Mad Max movies, hot rods, and touring racecars… with a little old school Japanese tuner / Kanjo influence in the mix.

The custom louver-punched steel hood was hand built. I just LOVE that hood; it makes the car. The hood might be an eye-catching part of the Civic build, but it’s also full of function. The louvers pull air from the engine bay, allowing the radiator to work more efficiently. It’s quite the opposite of the ‘JDM hood lift’ mod you so commonly see – which can actually create a high pressure zone in the engine bay. See – the area at the base of the windshield is a high pressure tumbling air zone when at speed – and it can backfeed that air back into your engine bay. In other words: it can trap more air under the hood. And that hurts flow through the radiator, because air flowing over the front of the car chooses the path of least resistance. If you’re sucking air OUT of the hood, it’s going to allow fresh/cool air to be more easily sucked IN through the radiator. SCIENCE! There is a reason why the OEMs seal it off on most cars, or feed the engine’s intake tract with that air.

If a car could give high fives, this little EF would make your palm sting. Cars don’t always take on a personality – some seem so bland, and mail ordered. Not this one. I’ve had so many conversations with people about this car, usually starting with “Did you see that black hatch over there?! I just noticed the………”.

It just seems to inspire people, and put off a good vibe. Most of us got into this hobby for fun, and because messing with cars satisfied an urge to tinker with things. But then we started taking ourselves too seriously, just to try & impress some outsiders, or to try and convince the world that our Hondas are rare serious business because we put a few rare-ish parts on them. This car has been endlessly tinkered around with, and each mod continually seems ‘just right’. Maybe we all need to go take off our rear bumpers, hack the lower half of our front fenders off, and get rid of the turbochargers. Dennis and Ugly Ed are having more fun than 99% of the automotive community. Keep it simple. Go faster. Spend the money on track day entry fees and go hang out with your friends.

EXTERIOR

John Deere Blitz Black paint

Custom louvered hood, cut fenders, spoiler, splitter, hood latch delete, bumper light deletes,

Shaved antenna, hatch lock, washer nozzles

PCI sideskirts

Aerocatch hood latches

LED light bars with lexan covers

Ceramic tinted windows

 

SUSPENSION / BRAKING

PIC select

Full poly bushings

K-Tuned traction bar

Suspension Techniques rear sway bar

EX knuckles

Cobalt xr2 pads

Brembo blank rotors

Full SS braided brake lines

Skunk2 upper control arms

CRX rear disc brakes

EBC yellow stuff pads

Brembo blank rotors

Moog upper rear control arms

SPC toe adjuster

 

WHEELS

Enkei RPF1 15X8 +28 (track setup)

225/45 BFG Rival

15×8 +36 Traklite Gear (street setup)

205/50 BFG Rival

 

TRANSMISSION

SynchroTech built YS1

YS1 1-4, with an LS 5th gear carbon synchro

MFactory helical LSD

Competition Clutch Stage 4 6-puck

11lb flywheel

4.7 final drive

IPG metal shifter bushings

FLP shifter

@ShaySpec custom delrin shift knob

 

ENGINE

B16A2 – mostly stock

K&N filter

70mm throttle body

ITR intake manifold

Hondata gasket

5Zigen header

2.5 exhaust with resonator

AEM fuel rail

B&M regulator

Walbro fuel pump

Custom fuel lines

HASport mounts

Shaved valve cover

Mishimoto aluminum radiator

Smoothed engine bay

Lizard Skin ceramic coated fire wall

175hp 123tq @mikeyspec tuned

 

INTERIOR

Gutted dash – no heat, no a/c

Black dyed dash and door panels

Autopower rollbar

G-Force 5pt harnesses

BuddyClub seat

Momo Monte Carlo steering wheel

NRG hub

Wagovan sun visors

Dual 12v outlets

Painless GM wiring

Lizard skin coated fire wall and floor

Werker battery with custom mount

Baby foot gas pedal

Custom floor plate

 

FUTURE

1.8 or 2.0 block

LHT Jackson supercharger & cooler

Rear pushbar with tow hook

LED taillights and smoked turn signals

Sunroof delete

Rear diffuser

Lexan windows

Kirkey seats

Shave rear wiper and logo holes

Spherical bushings

New exhaust

 

THANKS TO…

Mom, Rich, Grandma & Wanda

Mikey B @oheymikey and his dad Bob

Mikey Singhaseni @mikeyspec

Cris Parra @acuraparts

Adam Jabaay @adamjabaay

Tall Kyle Brontosaurus @tall_kyle

Ralphy Diaz

Mark at One6

All my track buddies!

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