Name: Jono Deleeuw // Age: 27 // Location: Auckland // Occupation: Automotive sales
NZ Performance Car: Hey, Jono. Killer EF. We understand the catalyst for building it had something to do with a memory from your childhood?
Jono: Hi, guys. Yeah, that’s right. The first car I ever remember was my mum’s white EF hatch; that was when I was about four. Since then, I’d always had a soft spot for the EF chassis. A lot of my friends own and race Hondas too, and I wanted to get in on that fun. It seemed only natural to hunt down a white EF9 for nostalgia reasons. This one was sitting in a shed in Palmerston North for 10 years with the registration on hold. I purchased it with the idea of a quick and cheap(ish) fix-up to have fun with, but it quickly spiralled in to an 18-month project. Underneath, the car is basically brand new, having [had] all braking, steering, suspension, and fuel components rebuilt or upgraded.
So, it’d be fair to call you a bit of a Honda guy then?
Yes and no. This is my first Honda, and I’ve always had a big appreciation for the brand and heritage, with my parents owning a few growing up. Though, in saying that, I can’t really see myself owning another one. I’m a BMW guy at heart. My first car was a facelift E30 with coilovers, BBS RS, manual converted, etc. Most people will know me for the red BMW 3.0CS that I also own.
Fair call. If any example was going to tempt someone over, it would be this. It gets driven regularly too, right?
Definitely. It gets driven to work a couple of days a week and plenty of driving on the weekends, plus the track days. I wanted a fun street car that I could bolt a fixed back into, put on some semis, and have some fun at the track in. The first track day in this car was Jerkfest last year . I was understandably nervous, but the car went fine, didn’t give a problem all day. It had been on the road for a few months at this point, so I had [had] a bit of time to get used to it.
Is there anything you’re looking to upgrade since putting some kilometres on the clock?
There’s a few things I’d like to improve; the box is getting a bit of the typical Honda crunch, and I wouldn’t mind giving the engine a bit of a birthday at some point. But, until then, I’m just going to continue having fun with it until something goes bang [laughs].
Being a Honda, that’ll be a long way down the road, no doubt. Cheers for the yarn.
1989 Honda Civic SIR (EF9)
Engine: Honda B18C, 1797cc, four-cylinder; Skunk2 camshafts, Skunk2 adjustable cam gears, Type R double valve springs, Blox intake manifold, Private Label Manufacturing (PLM) headers, baffled sump, OBD1 conversion, Chrome ECU
Driveline: Honda J1 five-speed manual, ’96-spec ITR ratios, Quaife limited-slip diff (LSD), four-puck clutch, lightened flywheel, manual steering-rack conversion, Mintex front pads, slotted front rotors, braided brake lines
Interior: Momo steering wheel, adjustable shifter, Broadway mirror
Exterior: Aero wing mirrors, J’s Racing–style front lip, Top1 Motors number-plate bracket, active aero roof
Wheels/tyres: 15×6-inch Mugen MR5, 195/50R15 Toyo T1R
Suspension: BC Gold coilovers, K-Tuned front traction bar, Skunk2 front camber arms, Cusco front strut brace, Hardrace sway bar links, Nolathane sway-bar bushes, Hardrace re-bush kit, M’s Racing Z-bar, Ultra Racing rear sway bar, Ultra Racing rear lower tie bar, Hardrace rear camber arms, Truhart rear toe arms Fuel: 98 octane
Tuner: “Brent’s magic ITR tune”
Thanks: Circle Jerk Crew, Banter Boys, MMS Motorsporting Services Ltd by David Miller, Brendon at Platinum Refinishing, 7 Squad, Adam at Speed Science