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Projects: Shifting Our Tealtoe2 Civic Plans and Bringing In Youthful Perspective

  • Posted: 01-22-2019 12:46 PM
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As a proficient idea-man, I'm constantly finding new ways to get behind on things. A quick review of the landscape of partial-projects in my garage reveals that I've got a proclivity for biting off more than I can swallow. (WerdWerx Daniel can attest to the literal truth of that statement.)

I'm trying to get myself a little more into forward progress of late. Coincidence has it that this post comes in January, although I wouldn't call this effort a resolution, because I don't believe in resolutions. I've made them in the past an they burn off faster than a quart of oil in a J37A4 TL engine. Rather, I have recognized the problem of follow-through and want to do something about it.

Staring me down was a 2017 Honda Civic EX-T that I bought on New Year's Eve 2017, in the hopes of having a great platform for playing and learning about Honda's unintended halo-car. Avid Heeltoe followers will recall that the car was totaled on the way home from the dealer. I bought the car back from insurance at what I figured was a "good" price of about $4400. I mean, who wouldn't want a 300 ft-lb powertrain for a swap?

Buying back that rear-ended wreck naturally led to the purchase of a host for the L15B7 in the 10th gen Civic. What better car than another Civic, of "EG" vintage. A lightweight stripper-model 1995 CX presented itself on Craigslist and soon became another addition to the Heeltoe stable, it's Paradise Blue-Green shade making this car an emotional connection to the past. Some may recall that more than a decade ago our project Tealtoe earned a lot of fans on Another "teal" Civic felt oh-so right. The promise of turbocharged 1.5L power connecting even farther back to a previous EG the Elise and I had, which had been mini-me'd and boosted.

Doldrums set in slowly and before long the 2018 year came to a close and we were no closer to installing the L15B7 into the EG than we were to resolving it's leaking taillamp. What the actual—heck. That's right about when it became clear that something had to go. The first something I looked at was offloading the shit-show that was a 2017 Civic. Everything went onto Craigslist, including my beloved Ducati ST4, which I seem to like looking at a lot more than riding.

So far only the 2017 Civic has sold, at a healthy loss.

The other stuff hasn't really moved. The Ducati is a fair weather friend and so it could be hanging out for a good long while here. Faced with the stunning reality that I might be asking a bit more for the CX than it is worth—a feeling I am growing accustomed to as I routinely make these sorts of money-recovery sales attempts on cars that I myself likely paid too much for—the decision feels right to take a new perspective on the entire landscape.

I start thinking, why can't this 95 CX yet become Tealtoe2?

I mean, it doesn't need a L15 swap to be cool. Some would argue that isn't a cool swap anyway, compared to a K-Series. We can do lots of stuff to this car. Honda has blessed us with many engine options that will improve upon the stock 70 hp unit. Even a lowly mini-me D-series setup will welcome a small turbo and multiply the funfactor; I know that from experience. So ok, I can justify keeping this Civic if nobody wants it. That fine.

But, this is no solution to the problem I started with which is starting a new project when I have a 85 CRX a solid two-thirds through restoration, and an amazing looking TSX which has been driven to the brink of roadworthiness as most of it's suspension bushings are turning to crumbs and the engine is dramatically overdue for maintenance.

I am sorry to say that this writing doesn't resolve those issues at all. No: I will need to march forth, and will do so with great confidence because I have—a plan. And it all started with Grand Theft Auto 5.

The last time I gave any kind of a crap about Grand Theft Auto was back at GTA2. But I've got a pre-teen now in the specific form of a Michael Aiello, and he is really in to GTA5. To save embarrassing myself [further] by explaining my 40-year-old marvel at how far the game has advanced without me, it should suffice to say that it's pretty cool that in the latest version of the game you buy and own cars and buildings and businesses, and you can upgrade these things as well. Aiello has been playing the game and making some cool progress. He's having enough fun with the cars in the game that his love of little things like Hot Wheels is flourishing in a way I am genuinely surprised by. The game's really turned him into somewhat of a collector of cars and he's really gotten familiar with them. He's got shades of "car guy" that are coming encouragingly into light.

Now you might think that, naturally, this kid growing up in the house of Heeltoe must be into cars. He's been interested, but I would not really say he's been hooked. I don't push him.  I've started teaching him the ways of the clutch, as he's done a few parking-lot laps in the Tealtoe2. He's interested in driving and cars in general, but he's never really grabbed on to hot-rodding.

And then one day last week I picked him up from school in Tealtoe2 and he starts telling me about this cool Civic he saw on a field trip. It had wheels, a carbon hood, canards—wait, what? Canards? My 12 year old kid knows what canards are. #prouddad moment to say the least.

Just then, I though "I just found my partner in crime" for the slow, informative build-up of Tealtoe2 into a fun, reliable, practical street machine. I proposed it to him: he'll pick the parts with my guidance, I'll buy them, we'll put them on and blog about them together. And he's agreed!

I just can't get over it.

The baby that the Mrs is holding in this picture with the original Tealtoe in 2006...

Is now super huge, and is going to help Heeltoe make Tealtoe2 a reality:

He's needed some nudges and pokes. I am clearly more excited about this than he is. But that's ok. We've already learned a lot about wheels, which, according to him, are the first major eyesore to correct.

I can't say I disagree. I think this is going to be fun!



Extra Credit! I decided that it would be kinda cool to get Ello's comments in his own little snippet-supplements to my posts. He's 12 and could use the writing experience. Here's what he had to say for his very first commentary:

So first of all, I have never experienced something like this and I like to try new things and experiment. Secondly, I love cars! And if I hadn't, this would not exist, I would not help my dad out, or go on trips with him. No car meets or anything.

Well enough about myself, now it's time for the benefits of this project. This helps me interact more with my dad, which would help build our social personality. This also would improve our general relationship and everyday behavior with others and each other. Also, I can't recall the last time i did a long term project with him like this.

Anyway, the point is that I like hanging out with him and opportunities like this don't come around often, so I prefer to take them.


About the Author

Marcus di Sabella Marcus is the founder of Heeltoe Automotive. He's been working with cars (mostly Honda cars) since 1996, and has been providing enthusiasts with excellent products, services, and web experiences since 2002. He's been published in Honda Tuning, and holds a degree in Engineering Technology.


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