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Introducing Project 81 Civic

Introducing Project 81 Civic

By Brian Gillespie


When you think of fast Hondas, do you think of the boxy 80-83 Civic Hatchback? Probably not. You just don’t see a lot of these second gen Civics blasting around the track, or even on the street for that matter. We thought it was time for something unusual. We found this 1981 Civic in a side yard  of a friend and decided to bring it back from the dead.

What do we have in mind? Not 100% sure yet, but we know we’re going to swap the engine. Maybe a CR-VTEC engine swap, or how about a turbocharged black top ZC. Shall we set it up for track day or maybe throw some slicks on it and bring it to the drag strip. What ever we decide to do, it’s going to be wild.

I’d like to drive this to the Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach next September. The key to getting any project done is to set aside some time on a regular basis. So every Tuesday night after we enjoy some tacos we’re going to do a couple of hours work and see if we can get it done.



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Brian Gillespie
Technical Editor at VTEC Academy
Brian Gillespie fell in love with the Honda brand in 1974 when he owned and raced a CR 125 Honda Elsinore. Many Hondas later he started Hasport Performance with his brother Keith. The last 17 years have been spent developing all sorts of engine mount kits, paving the way for nearly every Honda engine swap that's since taken place.