Eibach Honda Meet 15: The Hottest Hondas in the West
I have a secret to confess. I’ve never really been in love with the Honda scene.
Don’t get me wrong—I love Hondas. My first car was a Honda, and my first engine swap, nitrous installation and trip down the 1320 were all in that same Honda. I currently own a Honda project car (maybe one day I’ll actually work on it). Regardless, I’ve always loved how well Hondas seem to do everything with the right work, and how they can still surprise owners of much more expensive born-and-bred sports cars.
But for every clean, highly tuned and respectable Honda driven hard at the track or strip, there have always been hundreds of H-badged jalopies slammed on cut springs, with knock-off wheels and terribly fitted “aero,” hollowed-out cats and raspy exhausts trying (and often failing) to buzz through freeway traffic as if they were in a Super GT race. Call me crazy, but I’ve just never liked that.
Fortunately, that’s all changing.
One of the Best Keeps Getting Better
This year’s 15th-annual Eibach Honda Meet left me with two lasting impressions. First, that the West Coast’s biggest Honda meet is continuing to grow and evolve. Second, that the Honda scene at large is evolving into much higher quality, much more respectable territory.
Like last year, this year’s event combined the usual vendor area and top-flight Honda builds with a full day of drag race competition and test-and-tune sessions, as well as a huge general-admission meet. The vendor area was absolutely top notch, bringing out the cleanest and most skillfully built Hondas anywhere outside the SEMA Show, including several debuts of all-new projects.
The two sickest cars of the show (in my personal opinion) were veteran time-attacker Ryan Novak's race-prepped and absolutely flawless EK and EG Civics. Inside and out, these are just about what I imagine the perfect Honda build to be.
Coming in a hot second were Hybrid Racing’s matching FK8 Civic Type R and EK Civic hatch. We all know by now just how startlingly fast the FK8 is around a racetrack, and SP Engineering tuner Kristian Wong’s EK is really starting to look to be a worthy challenger to its Type R offspring.
GReddy’s ridiculously clean, period-correct EF hatch was also awesome to finally see in the metal, along with event MC Big Mike’s endlessly clean Prelude.
One outlaw Wangan-looking, turbocharged, street/track EG Civic hatch stole a piece of my heart, though. It might not have been as clean or crazy as others around it, but was definitely loved and rocked proper JDM Nitto rubber (ma’ man!).
FCS Fabrication’s long-nose “ghostrider” DC2 stole the show in the unofficial drag-prepped category among vendors (having blasted 8.2-second ¼-mile ETs in previous competition), but following closely was the monster 4Piston Racing EG Civic on display by Eat Sleep Race.
Time-attackers will recognize Spoon Sports’ center-drive FD2 from Super Lap Battle competition, as well as “Damn Gina” Miller’s S2000 from its battle against Meng Tea’s DC2 in a past episode of our Driver Battles series—both were in attendance at the Eibach meet.
Every Model and Generation
Moving up toward the gen-pop area, these trends of clean street/performance modification largely continued. Unsurprisingly, Civics and Integras were still the most popular models present, and no matter how much the lines have evolved over the years, it’s safe to say their mid/late-'90s chassis will remain the crowd favorites.
There were plenty of street and track builds, turbo and supercharged, naturally aspirated, and swapped with venerable Honda B, K, H and J-series engines.
Despite however much of a black sheep the ninth-generation Honda Civic may prove to be, SoCal 9s' crew brought probably more of them to the mat than any other generation of the model, most with very strong show-car approaches to their builds.
Likewise, the impressive number of FC Civics, Civic SIs and FK8 Civic Type Rs we saw seemed to grow as well.
There were fewer S2000s in attendance, but the ones that did come out were by and large very clean. We’re hoping this trend continues, with prices of clean, well-maintained S2000s down significantly over what they were just a few years ago.
While nowhere near as affordable, the same could be said of NSXs and their apparent uptick at the Eibach Honda Meet. Today they sell for less than ever, with most having lived an even cushier first life and make for great project cars or even daily drivers.
One of the coolest thing about a meet the size of Eibach is how many odd and rare models it pulls. From EP3 Civics to CRZs, Accords, TSXs, a bunch of CRVs and even a perfectly restored second-gen Civic hatch, nearly every cool Honda was in attendance.
Along with the mix of chassis came a healthy mix of styles. As more of a performance-head, I loved seeing the multitude of track-prepped or track-inspired builds in attendance…
...But also as someone who appreciates creativity and hard work, there were plenty of “odd” builds that caught my eye. Not saying it was all my cup o’ tea, but there was a lot to see and respect.
Quarter-Mile Proving Grounds
Let’s talk more about that performance aspect. For the second time in as many years, the Eibach Honda Meet’s drag race competition and open test-n-tune sessions have given Honda straight-liners a place to test their cars’ limits, settle grudges or add another title to their lists of accomplishment.
Although not as hotly attended as, say, the annual Import Faceoff races that happen at Fontana twice a year, the event did bring out a number of the area’s fastest turbo and all-motor competitors, as well as dozens of surprisingly fast street cars.
This is another area where the growing reliability of Honda owners’ projects should be highlighted. Where a half-dozen years ago broken axles and blown motors were the norm for a Honda drag racing event, I can’t remember seeing a single one of either this time around. Just lots of low ETs with very little incident.
If you’re a Honda fan to the core, or your business has to do with Hondas, you simply have to make it out to the Eibach Honda Meet. But if you’re a fan of performance, modification, style and sport-compact power in general—even if you’ve never been a fan of the Honda scene—you owe it to yourself to check it out, too. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.