"Life got in the way..."
Once a car guy always a car guy
For many of us life interceded. One can't say life got in the way, because starting a career and a family is not "in the way", it is just a different phase of this wonderful journey. Scott is a prime example of this returning to our early loves.
Back in the day, when Muscle Cars ruled the earth, Scott Harris was a guy in Southern California who was more interested in Datsun 510s, BMW 2002s and Fiat 124 Sport Coupes. Small, light and nimble, these cars were ideal for canyon racing that was an underground sensation in Southern California during the Nixon administration.
Go fast cheaply!
College, career, marriage and children all put the car hobby on the back burner for Scott. A sensible family guy, Scott drove some pretty boring cars while he did the commute/kid hauling thing. But the flame never died inside. Scott kept an interest in the car hobby even if he was not actively involved.
Ten years ago, twenty years after his last "performance" car was sold, Scott spied a headline on Grassroots Motorsports that declared, "Go Fast Cheaply!". Frugal to the core, Scott could not resist the need for speed on a tight budget. Inside the magazine they listed ten used cars that could be bought cheaply and be used competitively in SCCA Autocross, including the 1st Gen CRX Si.
The ugly side of 40 years old
Scott found his 1987 CRX Si sitting sadly on a suburban driveway. Once the proud ride of a swinging Southern California blonde babe, when the second kid had arrived she no longer drove it and it was taking up space that was designated for the new mini-van. A simple transfer of title and Scott was back into the car hobby again.
I did not start looking for a "hobby" car until my career and my family were well established and I was looking at the ugly side of 40 years old. The article in GRM magazine about going fast cheaply (I am a family man with responsibilities) and the 1st Gen CRX in particular sold me on getting an early Si".
Scott gets the best part of his satisfaction from this car project in creating a solution to a problem that is not readily available on the after market. "That semester spent in Metal Shop in Junior High School", Scott says, "has prepared me to fabricate many bits and pieces." Scott fabricated his own rear diffuser, radiator block plate, battery mount in the cabin and many more one-off parts. And he has reached back into the Old School Hot Rodder's play book to recurve his distributor. The ECU does not control ignition advance on this car so he had to put lighter springs into the distributor's centrifugal advance mechanism for a quicker timing advance. "Along the way I have learned so much more than I thought I knew about cars."
["A car project is never finished"]
Winglet and diffusor
A car project is never "finished". There is always a detail that can be improved. "I will not declare that my CRX will not see any major changes from its current form, but the opportunities are narrowing for big changes. In the back of my mind is an idea for some form of splitter for the front air dam."
For Scott, the best part of owning this car has been the camaraderie of fellow enthusiasts. Racing, showing or just hanging out in person or on line has been great. Scott Remembers: "I have met so many really great people, most of whom are young enough to be my children. The irony is that when I first embarked on my return to active participation in the car hobby I was expecting that the "Honda Club" would be organized along the lines of the Ferrari owners club or the Porsche owners club. I was imagining white linen, wine tastings in the country and leather elbow patches on tweed sport coats. Needless to say, the Honda community is really not like that."
Public service announcement
Perhaps the most important contribution I can make to all of the Auto Enthusiast Community is to discourage illegal behavior on public roads and to encourage participation in organized speed events on sanctioned tracks. There is NO excuse for stupid driving on the street, it is dangerous to innocent bystanders and brings disrepute to our hobby. My message is that everyone has access to a drag strip, a race track or an Autocross event nearly everywhere in the US.
Nuts and bolts
- RC Engineering billet aluminum 66mm throttle body
- RC Engineering balanced fuel injectors
- AEM adjustable cam sprocket
- Dan Paramore Racing ported and polished head,
- - shaved .040
- Dan Paramore Racing port matched intake manifold
- - and plenum
- Mugen valve springs
- Webcamshafts Cam .394/.412 Lift,
- - 242/252 Duration, 226/232 Duration @ .050
- Moroso extra capacity/baffled oil pan
- TurboRex fuel pressure regulator
- Lightened and balanced flywheel
- Re-curved distributor (home made)
- B&M fuel pressure gauge
- AutoMeter air/fuel ratio meter
- Magnecor plug wires
- MSD coil
- K&N air filter
- ACT clutch
- Bosch plugs
- Mobil One Synthetic Oil
- Red Line Water Wetter
- Epoxy filled motor mounts
- Cold air intake (home made)
- Cold air barrier (home made)
- DC Sport 4-2-1 header
- DEI header wrap
- Custom cat-back w/ generic glass-pack, side exhaust
Body and cosmetics::
- GReddy front strut brace
- Cusco rear strut brace
- JEM Motorsports B pillar brace
- OPM camber plates
- Fender Braces (home made)
- Heel Toe Automotive Carbon Fiber Hood
- - (#1 in the series)
- Heel Toe Automotive Carbon Fiber Sun Roof Panel
- - (#1 in the series)
- Heel Toe Automotive Fiberglass Rear Spoiler
- - (#1 in the series)
- Pegasus Racing Hood Pins
- 4 Air Dam (home made)
- Fiberglass-reinforced front fenders
- Raydot spun aluminum racing side view mirrors
- EDM OEM clear corner lights
- EDM (LHD) OEM headlights
- SCCA-style tow hooks
- Aluminum bumper brackets (home made)
- Vented rear bumper cover (home made)
- Rear Diffuser (home made)
- '87 Toyota Truck clear turn signal lens
- 95 JDM Integra Type R steering wheel (made by Momo)
- '86-'87 Integra PowerSlot rotors
- '86-'87 Integra calipers
- Porterfield R-4 pads and shoes
- Goodridge steel brake lines
- HF aluminum rear drums
- HF backing plates
- Vacuum Assist Removed
- Energy Suspension bushings
- Tokico Blue struts and shocks
- Ground Control rear coil-overs
- Eibach rear springs, 350lbs
- 24mm Sway-A-Way front torsion bars
- Lightspeed Racing Panhard bar
- Lightspeed Racing Rear Sway Bar
- DC Sport short shifter
- Mugen Limited Slip Differential
- Amsoil MTF fluid
Scott "cbstd" Harris
Rancho Park, California
Best driving road location (may be track instead)::
Pacific Coast Highway, North of Malibu
Television Broadcasting Engineer
Worst occupational hazard::
Too much TV
Worst wrenching injury::
I have had my ego crushed many times
Total time in project::
How long is recorded history? Maybe a bit longer than that
1959 VW "bug," 36hp
Equipment violation, exhaust
Would never buy::
Automotive? Nothing made by the British, followed by the Italians or French. The Germans and the Swedes are vastly over-rated as car builders as well. Frankly, unless it is made by Honda I would be hesitant to buy it.
My dad, the Orginal Hot Rodder
Best automotive invention since the round wheel::
Japanese electronic engine management
Favourite part on the car::
Sometime in the early part of the Lyndon B. Johnson administration, helping my dad hot-rod a '63 Plymouth Valiant with a Slant Six
Would give up what, to buy parts::
Bottle, force feed or gravity (boost, nitrous or NA)::
Call me Mr. Natural Aspiration because I like my connecting rods where they belong.
How much would you spend on wheels::
Form Follows Function, I get'em cheap and light
Best car movie::
John Frankeheimer's Grand Prix
Best car song::
Paradise by the Dashboard Light
Special thanks to::
All my homies (and haters) on the web
The CRXCommunity thanks our February member, cbstd::
First gens are a dying breed, but Scott has been at it saving them for longer than most of us can walk. His relentless drive to tinker, modify and adapt has led to automotive innovation, and his assistance has even led to some new commercial products.
If that isn't giving back to the community, frankly we don't know what is. Thanks Scott, for being part of our little world and keeping the niche of the first gen alive!
We'd also like to thank the wicked dudes over at wickedinnovation in supporting the CRX community features, and volunteering great give aways!