Formula 1 racing, movies, and Forza. They all let us
experience the thrill of speed and place ourselves in in a world where cars become
larger than life. That world can be a place to escape to, a place to gain
perspective on the real world, or a place to draw ideas from. This week in Heavy Metal Affliction we meet Guido Knuistingh
Neven of Alkmaar, Netherlands—Gamertag dinobreezy.
His home town of Alkmaar is the home of supercar builder Spyker. This is a
story of how real life racing, car movies, and Forza can drive someone to build
something in real life that makes a statement, performs soundly, and doesn’t
break the bank.
Knuistingh Neven is a 30-year-old married father of two who
works for one of the largest steel manufacturers in the world. He earns a
comfortable living but, like most of us, has a limited budget. Knuistingh Neven
has always been a car and racing enthusiast; he loves Lamborghinis, Ferrari’s
Formula One team, and Top Gear. He has even spent some time behind the wheel of
a Lambo, done an exhibition run at the drag strip, and drifted with a pro, all
for fun. He has been playing Forza since Forza Motorsport 2 and had to drive 14
hours to France to get his Xbox 360 — which he proceeded to play for five hours
straight once arriving home.
As far as cars go, he has always loved tuners. When the original
“The Fast and Furious” movie came out, it only drove his tuner tastes and love
of cars further. He soon began attending car shows, going to Formula 1 and
European Le Mans races, and a dream began to emerge. In 2007 he finally took
the leap and bought his own tuner project. In keeping with the inspiration of
“The Fast and the Furious,” he sought a 1992-1995 Civic Coupe like the ones
driven by Vin Diesel’s truck high jacking crew.
The first step was to sell the practical and nearly new
Chevrolet Kalos (Aveo) the family currently owned to raise the cash for the
project. (This is where we all bow our heads in recognition of the coolness and
understanding of Knuistingh Neven’s wife and mother of his two children.) She
gave him the leeway to pursue the tuner project dream and abandon the
reliability and simplicity of the family’s little city car.
After searching far and wide his eye fell upon the candidate;
a 1994 Civic 1.5 DXi coupe with a Wings West kit. You don’t see many Wings West
kits in Europe, and you see even fewer done right. Love it or hate it, the kit
is done properly and exemplifies the look and feel of the “Fast and Furious”
cars. As any Final Fantasy fan will be able to tell you, the decal is of Rikku
of Final Fantasy X (something I had to research to learn). It takes a bold
individual to choose a car that makes a statement and will get reactions. The
key when doing something unique—something that begs for critics to voice their
considerable opinions--is to do it well, take your time, and hit all the marks.
When Knuistingh Neven got the Civic, it was a solid base for
Knuistingh Neven’s goals, but it lacked attention to detail and was in need of
some TLC. The interior had an amateur and ugly, blue and silver paint job. Its
imitation Mugen seats were sagging and damaged. The rims it came with were
cheap, ill-chosen in fitment and were damaged from the previous owner’s lack of
driving ability. In addition to these cosmetic deficiencies, the exhaust was
rotten and fell off just after hitting the first speed bump.
Knuistingh Neven addressed the simple things first by replacing
the stock headlights and taillights with a nice set of Angel Eyes headlamps and
Lexus look rear lights, completing the exterior customizations. Then, a couple
weeks after driving it, the Civic blew a head gasket due to a defective cooling
system that warped the head and damaged the ignition module. Knuistingh Neven
had a Honda dealer remove the engine and shipped it to racing engine specialist
Hurricane Racing. They
overhauled the motor and reconditioned the top-end. Knuistingh Neven replaced the cooling
system and upgraded the standard air intake with a Tenzo-R cold air intake.
Before the rebuilt engine went back in, a Mugen ECU chip was added—all these
improvements cost Knuistingh Neven more than $7000. For that investment the car
was now running like new and had about 20 more horsepower.
Now Knuistingh Neven had to focus on work and family while
saving up for the next step in the makeover. Eventually, with help of a local
tire and suspension dealer, he got the worn out and poorly set up suspension
sorted, with a new Koni (made in the Netherlands) coil over set. In the process
of replacing them, the rear suspension bolts broke and new ones had to be
shipped in while the Civic rested on the rack. When the suspension came back
together Knuistingh Neven added a Tenzo-R stabilizing strut to the package
resulting in a much improved, more responsive ride.
Now that the car’s reactions to the road could be properly translated
to the driver, the last bit in handling improvement was to replace the cheap
rims and worn tires. A set of 15-inch Wolfrace Matrix wheels with Yokohama AVS
Sport tires did the trick. The look and ride was now right, down to where the
rubber meets the road.
Having repaired the exhaust once already, after it fell off,
Knuistingh Neven understood a new and proper exhaust was needed, so he had a
custom 3.9 inch dual exhaust fashioned. This provided a mean-looking rear end,
a very proper, deep exhaust note, and a few extra horses.
The last item to get the car right was the inside. He did away
with the cheap imitation Mugen seats and less-than-tasteful interior paint
work. The seats were replaced with
stylish alcantara sport units, the paintwork and upholstery was updated to
match the exterior purple, and a custom dash was fabricated by none other than
the shop from MTV’s Netherland version of “Pimp my Ride.” It all came together
with some new ICE to provide more than just driving pleasure.
That’s where the Civic currently stands. In the future,
after some more saving and family focus, Knuistingh Neven hopes for an eventual
B18 swap with turbo that will give it the juice to walk the walk. Until then
the Civic has got the “Fast and Furious” look nailed, drives properly and is
Here is a complete
build list including what was done to the car when he got it:
Wings West Avenger body kit
Shogun rear spoiler (single plate)
ABS Dynamics Mugen style carbon fiber bonnet
Angel Eyes headlights
Lexus look rear lights
Total engine overhaul
Mugen ECU chip
New cooling system
Tenzo-R cold-air intake
ACT Sporting clutch
Custom exhaust system
KONI Coil-over kit
Tenzo-R front strut
Brembo MAX front-brake disks
EBC Redstuff brake pads
Wheels and Tires
15 inch Wolfrace Matrix wheels with Yokohama AVS Sport tires
New alcantara upholstered sport seats
Custom made dashboard
New upholstered/painted door panels and headliner
New sport steering wheel
New aluminum sport pedals
New A-pillar with oil temperature and water temperature
JVC KD-DV7402 Car radio/DVD player
Clarion DVD screen
Alpine 480 watt 5-channel amplifier
Ground Zero 500 watt 4-channel amplifier
Kicker 12-inch 400 watt subwoofers
Kicker component system
Rockford Fosgate 4x6 inch 2-way speakers
Multiple neon lights
Here are some more shots of the Civic:
With the old wheels.
With the new wheels
If you have a sweet ride you are working on and would like to be considered for a feature in Heavy Metal Affliction post about it in the request for community rides thread.
If you have a comment or compliment about dinobreezy’s ride discuss it in the HMA Thread.