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Racing The Sun: Jonathan's 1990 CRX

Back in November of 2017 I attended my first show in Arizona after making the move over from California. Having been thoroughly spoiled by what LA and the surrounding areas had to offer in the way of car builds and garages, I have to admit I was still pretty impressed by the heavy hitters that made it out to the expansive lot behind Tempe Diablo Stadium. (Shameless plug, here’s some of the favorites from that show).

One of my favorite cars from that show was a CRX draped in a full livery that I spotted while leaving (and immediately regretted not stopping to take photos of). Through the power of social media I found the owner, shot over a message about getting together to shoot, and fast-forward a year and a half to July of 2019, we finally got some time to meet up… about 45 minutes while the sun was quickly dropping behind the treeline.

A couple months ago, the rex got a brake upgrade: a big brake kit with 11” rotors and ITR calipers up front and CRX Si rear disk brakes out back. With a B16A under the hood full of Type R cams, valves, and pistons hitting 193 hp at 8200 RPM and with the car weighing 2,068 with Jonathan in the driver’s seat, this thing is a veritable go-kart.

The Ksport suspension brings the center of gravity even lower, while everything from the B pillars back has been removed.

A little backstory on this build before the huge gallery of detail shots: This was originally Jonathan’s older brother’s daily. One afternoon his brother took the car to a local mall where it was stolen and stripped for parts. What was left of the CRX was eventually recovered, after which Jonathan took ownership and traded for a running 4-door Civic to get to college classes. Skip ahead 6 years and while searching for a shell worth pouring some money and parts into he finds one… turns out it’s the same CRX he traded away for the Civic years ago. The prodigal Rex returns, gets a bunch of new parts and upgrades, and voila - we’re caught up to today’s build. It’s crazy how the car community is huge but way too small all at once.

Below are some great details from this setup - there’s so much character in this car - but definitely keep your eyes peeled because rumor has it Jonathan’s ‘96 Civic is due a shoot and it looks like it just rolled out of the showroom… Until then, enjoy!