The Eibach Meet: The Good, the Bad, and the Senseless


Myles Bautista (left) and Archie Madrazo (right) helped deliver the Honda performance movement to the mainstream, beginning in the early 1990s. Bautista founded Rev Hard Manufacturing, one of the first companies to offer Honda-specific, turn-key turbo systems, and became a fixture among the import drag racing community. Madrazo is remembered mostly for his infamous if not formidable red CRX with its yellow front bumper that proved to be a force both on the streets and at the track throughout the first half of the 1990s.
Today, Bautista can be found cooking up all sorts of new projects from his Temecula, California, workshop, MakSpeed, like his daily driven Odyssey minivan that features a turbocharged Prelude VTEC engine. As it turns out, the Odyssey, Accord, and Prelude all share similar engine bays, which means swapping engines and transmissions between them just got a whole lot easier.
Another recent MakSpeed project, this one for a customer, Bautista and Madrazo fitted the RSX's K20A2 with a custom turbo system.
Speaking of Rev Hard, nothing harkens back to the 1990s turbo system maker better than this B-series exhaust manifold. Rev Hard and competitor DRAG were the first to manufacture log-style exhaust manifolds for popular Honda engines that featured provisions for an external wastegate. Despite the bad rap that log-style manifolds often get, Rev Hard systems helped set numerous world records throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, before custom, tubular exhaust manifolds became more attainable. The problem wasn't so much their inability to accommodate more power, but their inability to bypass enough exhaust gases past the wastegate.
More NSXs showed face at this year's Eibach meet than any other. Honda updated its all-aluminum supercar multiple times—first in 1995 when its cable-actuated throttle body was updated to drive-by-wire; in 1996 when it received its larger 3.2L engine and six-speed transmission; and again in 2002 when its bumpers were updated and its pop-up headlights replaced with fixed versions. The NSX featured drive-by-wire technology more than a decade before many automakers even thought of implementing it.
Like Mugen's aluminum-magnesium RnR wheels, the company's multi-piece MR5 line has become just as popular and can command just as much money.
The seventh-generation Civic Si was arguably the first Si to not be widely accepted by the performance community. That's mostly because Honda didn't bother fitting it with its top-of-the-line K20A2 and, instead, paired it with the eco-friendly K20A3 that, for one thing, doesn't even feature VTEC on the exhaust side. Honda fans who've come to expect more from the Si nameplate took this personally and, as such, the 2002-2005 Civic never received the same sort of following that earlier versions have.
Supercharging in Honda land has become a whole lot more popular than it used to be. That's mostly because of the simplicity of Roots-based systems like these. Let's hope an air filter gets pushed onto the end of that intake tube sometime soon, though.

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