Sunday, February 28, 2010

My 95 Drives Daily on I-95

So I was out for most of this weekend, and, though I tried, I couldn't successfully track down a feature for today. I apologize. However, I've got a very nice lead for next weekend, and you can expect not one, but two delicious features.

This is just a ""quick" sketch of my 1995 Civic EX. It's my beater, and since last summer it has reliably carried me the 70+ miles to work and back on a daily basis. It has also safely transported me throughout the three blizzards that hit my region this winter. I'm growing more and more fond of this car.

The only mods on the car are the AEM short ram intake that came with it, and a Magnaflow catback exhaust system. I have a Magnaflow catalytic convertor and a DC sports header waiting for warmer months in my room.

Honestly, this drawing doesn't really do it justice. By that I mean in real life it doesn't really look this good. The hood's a bit dented, the door handles don't match, etc. However, I'm quite pleased with it, and hopefully come warmer months, it'll turn into a car that truly deserves a feature on this blog that I call Clean.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Here's my sketch of the week. Enjoy!

I'd like to take a second to encourage anyone reading this to send me pics of their car. Asian, Euro, Domestic, I don't discriminate.

Since I'm already on this topic, I figure I should clarify what I'm trying to feature. Here's the four simple rules I run through my head when evaluating a potential feature:

1. Daily drivers only.
Garage-kept weekend toys are ok, of course, but it's got to be registered and street-driven. No trailer queens, be they for race or show.

2. Budget builds.
A potential feature can feature some high-dollar parts, but if it's built inside-to-outside with top dollar equipment, I'll pass. Not that I don't drool over such cars, but it's not my focus. There's plenty of publications out there, both online and off, who'd be happy to feature such a car.

3. Catching the Eye
There should be something notable about the car. I just featured a (relatively) stock 95 BMW in great condition. I won't feature an o5 BMW in the same condition. Why? There's nothing special about a clean, stock 05. Now if that 05 had some tasteful mods... That's another story altogether.

4. Is it Clean?
I know I'm going to be running the word "Clean" into the ground with this blog, but to me there's no better description of a nice car. I've seen a lot of cars with ratty engine bays, mismatched wheels, ill-fitting parts, or outrageous body modifications. I thought a lot of these cars were cool as hell. However, it's not the focus of this particular publication. Just like if I was writing a Honda mag, I wouldn't feature a Ford in it, no matter how awesome I thought it was.

I hope that clear up some of the questions I've received on what I'm doing with this blog. Hopefully in the future I can expand the influence, but for now it's about posting, sketching and writing about the clean street cars that come my way. I'll be posting once or twice a week, usually on the weekends, so catch ya next time!

Add the Facebook page to get the Clean Question of the Day. :]

Beem Me Up!

Finally, I've managed to feature a car both not Japanese and less than 20 years old. Who'd have thought that could happen, eh?

I've actually met Sam, the owner of this car, in person, and he's a pretty cool dude. I also met his very well-maintained 3rd-gen Honda Accord, which seriously looks no more than 5 years old. What I didn't know is that Sam also owns this very nice, equally well-maintained 1995 BMW 525i. When he sent me pics, I decided to pay my respects to it with this feature.

As a 19-year-old mechanical engineering student at Penn State, Sam doesn't have much money to spend on this gift from his dad, but he's definitely done the right things. He's completely replaced all the rubber hoses and fuel lines, redone the brakes, front suspension, and cooling system, and, perhaps most noticeably, converted the stock automatic transmission to a manual from an M3. I'm sure this car will be on the road for years to come.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Shag-tastic sketch.

No Clean feature would be complete without a sketch; Enjoy!


Why is William's car shag-tastic? Check out the dashboard.

26-year-old William lives in Malaysia, and gets around using the 1977 Toyota Corolla I'm featuring here. No, it's not exactly strong in the modifications department, which is understandable. William got this car from his dad, and he wants to keep it mostly original. Although the Toyota stickers, minilite style wheels and shag dashboard don't exactly jive with my own sensibilities, it's still a great feeling to know that this little car is still being used in the exact manner it was intended.

That's it for this week everyone, I'll be back to work tomorrow, and from this point on, updates will be weekend only. So far I've been very happy with the debut of this blog. I've learned a hell of a lot, and that's the most anyone can ask for. I can only hope it continues to grow from here. Thanks to everyone who's been giving it a shot so far; and remember: Tell your friends!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pico Sketch

And here's the sketch of Pico's Accord. As usual, I'm always looking for feedback or ideas on any aspect of the site, the Facebook, the twitter, or whatever comes into your head.

Accord-ing to Pico

Hailing from Vallejo California, Roger Pico, better known to his friends on simply as Pico, picked up this clean 89 Accord in 2005, to use as a beater. Pico quickly fell in love with the little sedan, and it's hard to blame him. As the former owner of an 88 hatchback myself, I can attest that it's hard not to be seduced by the charms of these simple but brilliant cars. Pico, however, is not your average car-loving baby boomer, and his build is living proof of that. While the mod list is far too lengthy to recount here, I'll do my best to give you all a basic idea.

To begin with, An Optima Red Top battery sits in the trunk to provide the starting power. Once the rebuilt and bored engine is spinning, it sucks air from an AEM cold air intake originally intended for a 6th gen Accord. Once the fresh air is mixed with gas sprayed from Bosch fuel injectors, and a Delta 272 cam controls the spark coming from the MSD coil and wires. Once burnt, the spent gases exit the engine through one of the last remaining DC Sports headers made for the A-series engine. A Magnaflow cat handles the important job of cleaning those gases and 2.25" pipe connected to a Magnaflow muffler ensure that Pico's car sounds as clean as it looks.

Pico's automatic transmission was sucking some fun out of the ride, so he swapped it in for a manual. An excellent decision in my opinion, as the manual tranny that came with these cars is one of the best I've ever used. Pico rows through the gears using a Skunk2 shift knob, which sits on top of a custom short shifter made by fellow 3geez member 89turbo'ed. To keep everything in place, Energy Suspension poly shift bushings have been installed.

Pico is currently preparing a full disc brake conversion, but for now, the Kumho Ecsta ASTs are slowed by Suzuka SS brake lines compressing the Trustar ceramic pads against Brembo front rotors. Meanwhile, the custom sway bars fabricated by 3geez member Justin work with the the DC sports strut bar, Goldline springs, and KYB dampers to ensure that those brakes can be used sparingly.

Inside, a Honda Prelude steering wheel and seats complement the black interior pieced together from various other 3rd gen Accords. A high-end Accord SE-i donated its cupholders and center armrest, and a JDM maplight illuminates the cabin.

On the outside, Hella foglights and headlights ensure that Pico can see the road in front of him, while JDM corner lamps paired with LED sidemarkers (wired by 3geez member Bitesize) make Pico's Accord equally visible to others. An 89 Integra lip adds a nice bit of aggression to the front end, and OEM window and sunroof visors complete the look of this car.

If you want to see the complete mod list, just click here. I'm sure you'll be impressed And if you're familiar with how hard it is to find out-of-production OEM accessories and aftermarket parts, well, then you just might be as impressed as I was. This car is another prime example of a Clean car done right on a tight budget.

As always, if you'd like your own car featured, just send me an e-mail or hit me up on Facebook. I'm always looking out for new feature cars. Until next time, drive safe, and remember to keep it Clean.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

One Clean DB2

So I apologize for not having a complete feature up. I had a few leads that I was following, but ultimately I haven't gotten good enough info to write anything good. When I started this blog I didn't anticipate it being this difficult to find cars to feature, but hey, you live and learn. I'm getting better at this already, and rest assured that I will have two complete features posted this weekend. I want to make up for not having one up today.

On to the car! The pics I've posted are a couple years old. The car is mine, or it was...

A while ago, I decided I absolutely had to have a 2nd gen Integra GSR. I took my time looking for a prime example, and eventually, I found it. Ever heard the legend about finding a pristine example of a rare model kept by some old lady in her garage? Well that's exactly what I came across. Well, sort of. The old lady wasn't all that old, and she knew her car had a higher street value than Kelley Blue Book would suggest, but you get the picture. I found a good deal on an incredible car.

For a while I was on top of the world. I loved the look of my car, loved the color, loved revving the B17A1 under the hood all the way up to its 8000 rpm redline... I just plain loved every bit of that car. Plans for a minor drop and intake/exhaust were carefully considered. I wasn't sure if I wanted to change it even that much. Those of you who understand just how rare a pristine DB2 is can probably relate to my situation. There's just something that feels wrong about messing with a classic.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, in my case, that end was rather abrupt. Not more than two month after assuming ownership, I crashed it. I was driving tired, and spaced out at exactly the time when the road I was on narrowed from two lanes to one. I hit the curb on one side, slid to the other side and hit that two, and completely ruined my front suspension. If this had happened to me now, I would have been able to get it repaired, but back then, I just didn't have the money to rebuild after my insurance company totaled it.

I'm not looking for sympathy by posting this, and it's not like I still lie awake thinking about it. I'm just telling a story well known to all of us who love our cars. The story of the one that got away.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Here's a picture I drew last week. I figured I'd post it up since I'm snowed in here anyway. Let me know what you think. I'm always trying to get better.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Extra! Extra!

Here's Hazwan's car in all its glory. Enjoy...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Some Love for the Old School

This 1981 Accord is as clean as they come. And in this case, it comes all the way from Malaysia. Twenty-three year old Hazwan got this Accord from his older brother a while back, and the work he's done to it is extremely impressive. Even more so when you take into account that aftermarket parts for an '81 Accord are few and far between.

Let's start with the exterior: The Smash Orange Pearl paint is the same available on the JDM Honda That's. Haven't heard of the That's? Neither had I until now. To contrast with the brighter paint, the side markers have been smoked, and the badges and antenna have been shaved for an extra clean look. The front bumper is a fabricated replica of the USDM version, with a JDM front lip added on for a good measure. For the finishing touch, a set of power folding mirrors lifted from a B13 chassis Nissan Sentra were laboriously wired in. Hazwan's had to lower his car the old-fashioned way, cutting the springs to the desired height. It's not the route any of us would choose, but some of us don't have a choice, and the lowered stance really completes the look of this car. I'd have done the same thing in his position. A set of hard-to-source 14" Enkeis matched to 185/60R14 tires fill the wheel wells nicely. Last but not least, a painstakingly polished engine bay, complete with wire tuck, makes sure this car looks good from at all times.

The work Hazwan's done to his interior is equally impressive. For a touch of class, the entire interior has been painted and/or reupholstered in black. The shift knob, JDM Prelude front seats and EF Civic steering wheel add some sportiness to the cabin, along with blue LEDs. LEDs aren't necessarily my cup of tea, but this is not my car, and considering everything else this man has done, he can be forgiven for that. Then there's the parts you can't see. To ensure that this classic can still be a comfortable daily driver, Hazwan installed power windows and locks, finishing his electronic update with a remote starter and 2-way alarm.

Hazwan's Accord doesn't have much in the way of power, and maybe that's for the best. That old engine probably can't take much abuse. Nevertheless, the attention to detail in every aspect of his car is extremely impressive. How many whiners have we all seen on the forums, complaining that they don't have the money for a body kit or a suspension? This guy has truly done more with less, he's done all the work himself, and what's truly remarkable is just how it all manages to come together.

To me, the real definition of a clean car is one that looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor, no matter how many or few modifications it may have. This car definitely fits the description. I honestly haven't tired of looking at it. Until next time, keep it clean.

I'm looking out for more cars to feature. I'll be posting one up every week. If you drive a clean-ass car, or you know someone else who deserves some credit for theirs, send me some pics. I'd love to see it.