AES Auto: A Civic for Street and Strip!
Two years ago we first met the AES Auto team at Mission Raceway Park. That chance meeting has resulted in many hours of joint work on projects and the enjoyment of a great group of car enthusiasts. At the centre of it all is the shop – AES Auto. This performance facility works on all vehicles, but the dominant brands coming through the doors are absolutely Japanese. While that can be narrowed down even more to Honda – that would be too limiting. In the time that we have been involved with the shop, major projects have included BMW, Datsun, Nissan, Toyota, Plymouth, and, of course, Honda. Behind AES Auto are partners Paulo and Ellaine. Ellaine handles the front desk and paperwork. Paulo handles the fabrication, mechanics, tuning, and just about everything else required in the shop.
AES Auto takes a lot of pride in their work and enjoys celebrating with their customers. It is more than an owner/client rapport. Friendships are developed as Paulo and Ellaine take the time to get to know the owners of the cars that they are working on. They then celebrate the car and driver's results at the track. It is quite common for the team to gather at or near the shop then head out together to compete at the local dragstrip, Mission Raceway Park. Paulo gave us as much access to the Civic's build as we could take advantage of – well, Paulo stopped short of giving us the keys and sending us down the track!
Paulo started drag racing in 1999 with his 1990 Mazda RX-7 Turbo 2. On this car, he had done a JDM motor swap and was a very fun car. He has been working in the performance automotive industry since the year 2000. He and Ellaine have owned AES Auto since 2012. In 2014 when we first saw the Civic at the track, it was doing 125 mph runs at 11.4 seconds. Over the past two years improvements to the car have moved it to 145 mph runs at 10.4 seconds. AES Auto is not finished, as they are looking for a car that can run nines while still being able to drive it to and from the track.
The car community is a close group. While individuals may have a preference for a specific drivetrain, make, or sport, everyone appreciates the work that goes into making a car – any car – perform well. In 2014, we met up with a long time internet contact Carlos Jos and wrote about his incredible Nissan NX2000 drag car. We will have an update on this NX in the not too distant future, but mention it now because AES Auto does all of the work on this beauty. That connection led to Paulo and AES Auto working on the NX GTiR that is this author's personal vehicle and favourite automotive subject.