Ask 50 people in the street what they think of when you say "Civic Type-R" and they'll probably get a few eyebrows raised, mentions of McDonalds car parks on a Saturday night and underage girls in the passenger seat.
With the introduction of the EP3 in 2001 and retailing it at just shy of £17,000 it was bound to attract the new age hot hatch owners as it was seen as the ultimate hatch; 197hp, slick 6 speed box and the legendary K20A all available on finance. It sold. A lot.
However, many hardcore Type-R fans were disappointed with the lack of LSD (even as an option) and were left feeling "meh". Especially as the Japanese got the DC5 Integra Type-R with LSD (not an option, factory standard), Recaro seats and a better power plant. The DC5 was considered the far superior car (and still is).
The boffins at Honda Japan weren't happy with the EP3. No doubt lots of shouting in Japanese ensued and lots of bowing. The result? Honda Japan shipping the JDM K20A all the way to Swindon to be fitted to the cars destined for Japan. Along with Championship White paint and better Recaro seats the JDM EP3 was head and shoulders above the offering we got here in the UK.
Ask a Honda salesman why the EP3 didn't have an LSD and they'd not even know what one was; let alone how it would improve the car significantly.
I digress, The EP3 ran for 4 years and in 2006 we started seeing designs for the new Type-R. In 2007, the FN2 launched. This time the 198hp K20A powered the 3 door hatch but again. No LSD. No white paint option and again the hardcore were left feeling "meh!".
Again the boffins in Japan weren't impressed. "Sod this shit, torsion bar? WTF Karen. We'll make our own from this 4 door sedan".
In March 2007 the FD2 Civic Type-R launched in Japan to rave reviews. Almost instantly importers (including ourselves) began marketing the FD2 and it was safe to say, plenty made their way over to the UK, Singapore and various other destinations outside of Japan.
If you are reading this Honda UK, this here. This is what Type-R owners wanted. Not something to price point against a VW Golf!
Roll on to January 2019 and one of our best clients (who has spent a fortune on high end parts for his Accord Euro-R) introduced us to a friend looking to bring over an FD2 and he himself was keen to import an EP3.
He had test driven a few UK models and most were wrecks or had huge gaps in service history and covered well over 100k miles. Knowing his Hondas; Andrew wanted a good base to work with and we sourced a Mugen'd car from CAA Chubu. Grade 4 with Mugen suspension, intake and muffler. We are yet to determine if it has a Mugen header.
To go with that Andrew opted to use us for more goodies from Japan. Employed were Spoon Mono calipers, Acre brake lines, Dixcel discs and finished off with Dixcel pads. He now has a great B road machine and a fast road setup is on the cards soon.
Onto the FD2. I've always been a fan of flagship colours. Especially with Honda. But there is something fantastic about a black FD2. The lines look incredible in person and this example was a spectacular find. Finished off with a Mugen Front Lip (installed in Japan pre-shipping) it looks immense on the road. And I am sure Gordon won't have any grip issues with the Bridgestone RE71-Rs.
The shopping has already started for this FD2 with Mugen grille and Spoon mirrors (on LOOOOOOOONG back order) and I am sure brakes will be next on the list of upgrades.
Enjoy fellas. Been a pleasure. You are lucky to have some great roads up in Scotland to enjoy these machines.