Published May 15th, 2016
It was a chilly April evening when we shot Harry’s car. We had the photoshoot planned for a while, but it took us a bit of time to finally pull the trigger and organise for Harry to pop down. For once the weather was on our side, and it was dry enough here in South London for me to whip out the camera equipment. As we’re all quite busy during the day, and I work weekends, we had no option but to shoot the car in the dark. I organised to meet Harry at a near-by location and headed off to grab Sonny whilst Harry was making his way down. We were always aware of Harry and his old MK4 Golf, however the first time we met properly was a couple of months ago at a small house party where we got our first chance to have a look around Harry’s EK9. Back then Harry had only had his hands on the EK for a handful of days, but it was already freshly dropped on a set of coilovers. Other than that, the car was basically bone stock, still sitting on the steelies it came on. I and Sonny were keen on the plans Harry had for the car, and mentioned we’d be more than happy to write up a feature of it for our website when we got stuff sorted on our end. The next time we saw the car was at a small Krispy Kreme meet, where we got a nice idea of what Harry was going for with the build.
The car itself is an absolute gem. Harry managed to find the classic ‘single lady owner + low millage’ combination all car enthusiasts hunt for when buying a new car. With the car having only covered 29,000 miles since it rolled off the production line in 1999, the engine run flawlessly and the manual gearbox and transmission were still in great shape. The whole precise Japanese engineering feel was still there alive and unspoiled by the past owner, who judging by the state of the paint work most probably garaged the car. The car is mint and drives like a dream, and Harry hasn’t looked back since getting rid of his MK4 and picking up the EK9. Since we saw the car at the Krispy Kreme meet, it has gone through a fair amount of notable changes, which we’ll get back to later.
With this being our first photoshoot, Sonny and I were all of a sudden submerged with the job of organising a location. Here in South London we’re lucky enough to be surrounded by a healthy amount of green parks and areas where the scenery is generally great for photos. However we did have to think a bit deeper than that. To start off with, by the time we got everything organised all of those parks have already been closed. We then had to consider that we had basically no light to play about with, as during the 5 minutes it took me to drive down to Sonny’s, the sun had already fallen. We then had to consider the amount of speed bumps in the way if we wanted to get anywhere other than the main road leading into our small town. The last thing we wanted was for Harry to damage the EK whilst doing us a favour and driving his car to a location we thought would be suitable. Luckily, the place we finally decided on was no more than half a mile from Sonny’s house, and gave us the back drop we were after.
A single lamp post on a dead road, a tripod, and a lengthy shutter speed gave me all the lighting I could possibly get at our location. Although ideally you’d want daylight for photos, the dark sky and deep shadows gave me and Sonny the look we were after. The back drop suited the black EK perfectly. The pictures don’t do the car justice, and flicking through these photos makes me wish I was somehow able to take you guys there. The chilly April evening and the dead quiet road let the car purr away at idle whilst me and Sonny wandered around it, chatting away with Harry about everything we needed to know about the car. Walking around the car and inspecting it from every angle gave me some ideas on what photos I want, and it wasn’t long before I was asking Harry to reposition it whilst waving my tripod around trying to get it flat on the uneven pavement.
Believe me when I say after I took that picture the sky turned as dark as it gets. I’m confident in saying that the number plate lights themselves gave me more light to play about with than some of the lampposts further down the road. This neatly brings me onto the rear of the car. First thing that stood out to me was the wing Harry got for the EK. First time I saw the wing it had no paint on it, and stood out for its size in its obnoxiously bright white colour, especially on a black car. Now the paint is on, it really tidies up the roofline of the EK’s body shape. It flows with the rear boot lid and gives it the sporty look by covering up the slanted rear window of the hatchback. Interesting thing about the wing is that even Harry himself has no idea what it’s called, but he managed to get his hands on it and everyone agrees it looks mean. The wing therefore is definitely staying, and rightly so. There is other little touches worth mentioning, such as the square nameplate which carries on with the Japanese nature of the car. The rear tow hook in the middle of the bumper also adds to the proportions of the car and acts as a reminder that this is no longer your ‘single lady owner’ civic, and definitely doesn’t get driven like one. The underneath is something special, although you cannot see in the pictures, Harry painted the under carriage of the car a hot florescent pink. When you’re driving behind it you often catch glimpses of it, and shining your headlights at it at night really shows off the classic squatting look that decked EK9s and other older Civics are famous for. Harry has also made sure that if you can’t see the car, you can definitely hear it. His current set up is a clean straight pipe as he’s currently saving up for a B18 exhaust to finish off the sound. The straight pipe definitely makes this car unmissable when Harry opens the throttle body, and allows it to purr when it’s turning over at idle as I’ve mentioned before. The sound isn’t too overwhelming like some straight pipes can be, and is a nice mod to round up his build.
The front of the car is a continuation of what I loved about the rear. The first thing I noticed about Harry’s car when he arrived was the Mugen front lip. As you saw in the first picture, before the photoshoot I remembered Harry’s car as rocking a humble spec’d front bumper which we saw at the Krispy Kreme meet. The Mugen lip definitely switches up the pace from humble to road ready. With Mugen having a rich history amongst Honda, the lip is a part of the car I can truly appreciate. Not only does it look absolutely stunning, but it also wears a badge of a motorsports company that is highly recognised and respected around the world amongst Honda owners and other car enthusiasts, such as myself and the rest of the crew behind Candy. With this covered, I did noticed the left headlight kept on flickering throughout the night. Harry did mention that the flicker has happened before, but it really caught my eye as one of those silly little details that add character to the car. Whereas your average person would see it as a faulty headlight, to me it gave the car a sort of street-esque feel which fit in snug with the mods Harry has done to the car. The wheel set up Harry has going on is one which can’t fail on an EK9. The 15 inch XXR 527s complete the whole Japanese package that Harry is aiming for with the car. They’re not too in your face, nor are they pretentious. I’ve been a fan of the XXR 527s for a while now and think of them as a wheel which can tie together a lot of cars. The wheels are hugged by P195/40R15 sized Nakang NS2 tires on all corners too for those wondering.
We’re a big fan of Harry’s EK. I’m going to be honest and admit that before Harry first bought his car I didn’t think much of the Civic. Harry used to say that he wasn’t going to sell his MK4, however as we can all relate plans always change, and before he knew it he had the opportunity to own this EK9. It was an opportunity not a lot of people would pass down, given the millage and condition of the car. Without a doubt, he made the right choice. Harry explained to us that he felt that there was only so much he could do to the MK4 before it lost his attention again and despite driving well, the car lacked that special something. The EK9 on the other hand has always got him thinking what he could do next, with an endless list of possible future mods and constant room for further improvement.
I hope you enjoyed my article on Harry’s EK9, if you’re interested in seeing more of the car be sure to follow Harry on Instagram by clicking here.
Click here to read our previous post from Early Edition
Our next blog post will be our coverage of Dubs At The Park, so keep your eyes peeled on our Instagram page where we’ll share it first.
Words and Photography: Michal Fidowicz