Car modification was a big thing in the '90s. It allowed owners to personalize their rides from how it looks to how it runs.
Nameplates like the Honda Civic were staples in car-tuning communities mainly because of its reliable engine and good looks, especially after a few upgrades. Moreover, products from the manufacturer’s in-house and partner tuning and motorsports divisions gave the car a legitimate boost in performance.
With a sporty look and a ton of potential, the Honda Civic, especially the 93 ESi model, became one of the decade’s most iconic cars. But is modifying Honda’s old sedan as good a project car as it was after nearly 30 years?
For its price, the '93 Civic ESi seems like a good place to start.
On the second-hand auto market, you can find one in good condition for P120,000 to P150,000. Those that require more love and attention sometimes go for P80,000 or even lower. Just make sure to check for the "rusty roof syndrome," one of the perennial problems experienced by '92 to '95 Civic models.
Also, be warned that it will be hard to find a bone-stock ESi, as most owners have at some point made modifications of their own.
Nevertheless, it’s a budget-friendly option for anyone planning to start car modification, or for anyone looking for a decent ride for a good price.
It’s an old car, let’s give it that. So, finding parts could be a little challenging (and expensive). That’s why many 1993 Honda Civic ESi owners join car groups to meet other enthusiasts who might have a few parts to sell.
Some of the more popular modification components such as shocks, suspensions, coil oversleeves, and mag wheels can help give the decades-old car a modern stance. Aerodynamic body kits like rear spoilers, side skirts, and lip chins can add to its sporty look. You can also hunt for parts only made available on the Japanese domestic market, but the prices might surprise you.
And because the '93 Civic ESi from Honda is almost three decades old, you will have to source other components like auxiliary fans, AC, batteries, rubber mats, steering wheels, seats, and seatbelts.
Depending on the look, performance, and modifications you want to achieve, it could set you back P30,000 or more.
So, is modifying the 1993 Honda Civic ESi worth all the money and the trouble? Well, aside from knowing that you drive a car once endorsed by Jodie Foster in Japan, you simply couldn’t put a price on a modification that has become an extension of yourself.
As long as you’re passionate about it, modifying a '93 Civic, or any car from the '90s for that matter, is well worth it.
Photos from Ryan Isana