I Think We Found America’s Raddest EF Honda Civic Hatchback

This little hatch looks like so much friggin' fun to drive.

One of the greatest things about modifying and tracking old Honda Civics is that since so many people do it, parts are abundantly available. But if you’re trying to stand out with something original, that advantage is kind of a disadvantage. You’ve got to get pretty wild to be different; if you’re after originality, there’s a good chance someone’s already done your version of customization. But that’s not the case with Adam Jabaay’s EF Civic hatch he’s prepped for GridLife Touring Cup road racing. It has so much personality for its tiny size!

Jabaay’s red little hatch was recently featured on the Hoonigan Auto Focus YouTube channel hosted by photographer Larry Chen. If the name Jabaay and GridLife ring a bell, it’s because he’s the Motorsports Director of this fine organization – I interviewed him a couple months ago about a different aspect of GridLife, Spec Fit/Sundae Cup.

He’s owned this little red hatch for a long time, 20 years in fact. During this time it’s gone through all kinds of iterations, including an angry turbocharged engine prepped for drag racing. Again, a testament to the versatility of an old Honda. But its current status is in my opinion the absolute coolest. Lambo doors, air jacks (that’s right, air jacks!), lots of custom, tall-guy friend fabrication, some fun styling designed into its livery, the only cool three-spoke wheels ever, high-end coilovers, and a torquey little hybrid motor. As in, a block and head that don’t match kind of hybrid; again, this is easy to do with old Hondas.

It’s topped off with a cool air intake, independent throttle bodies, and a standalone fuel management system… not a bad way to spend a pretty-decent amount of dollars.

The biggest chunk of brilliance behind it all in my opinion is the convenience factor. The cage was engineered to be as easy as possible to hop out of in case of fire, the way-pushed-back seating position ensures his tall stature can be as comfy as possible (something I, a fellow tall dude, always appreciate), and the Lambo doors aren’t just for giggles; they make it legitimately easier to get out of in tight spaces.

He also figured out how to throw an old Subaru Impreza front bumper on the front-end; has anyone ever done that before? It works so well!

Check out the full video with all the description and commentary, as well as track footage below.

Peter Nelson

Peter NelsonPeter Nelson has been wrenching on and playing with cars since he started driving them quickly between the cones at Chicagoland autocross events in his late teens. Nowadays, he can be found wringing out his Mazda2 at tracks all over California. His writing background includes Winding Road, Donut Media, and Autolist.com. He's also an avid cyclist and '80s/'90s action film connoisseur. Contact the author here.