We’ve seen a lot of crazy builds over the years, but few live up to the awesomeness of this custom third-gen Honda Civic. Inspired by the mid-engined Renault 5 Turbo, it’s been made by hot rod builder Andy Barcheck and features a central-mounted lump of its own and a widened body.
The first engine of choice was a 2.5-liter Acura V6, which required a lot of modifications to fit behind the seats. Barcheck had to cut the floor and create a tube frame from scratch, whereas other parts were manufactured to make sure that it can still corner properly. The gas tank was moved to the front and the radiator and brakes were sourced from a Corvette.
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With the Civic ready, its creator raced in different autocross events, winning several prizes. The car stayed with him until he found another project and sold it. It changed homes a few times over the years, eventually ending up in the possession of its current owner a decade ago. The man has kept it in perfect condition, both visually and technically, including an engine swap. The old unit has been replaced by an Acura CL Type-S 3.2-liter V6, with Barcheck giving his blessing.
“I built it to handle an extra 100 horsepower, and it always really needed that to be a neat car”, he said. “I’m glad someone finished it up the way I should’ve done.”
When he was still the owner of the mid-engine Civic, Barcheck used to trick people by telling them that it was actually made by Honda as part of a secret project for the era’s Group B WRC, and that only two were built, with the other one residing in a warehouse in Tokyo.
That would’ve been a jaw-dropping story, indeed, which you can view in the following footage that tells the tale of this old Japanese hatchback. The video has been released by Forza Motorsport and it’s the first episode of a new series called ‘Along For The Ride’.