Weekend Warrior: track-spec Euro R

Posted in Cars, People

We don't only feature fully modified vehicles in NZ Performance Car magazine — the mildly modified daily drivers get a look in too! It doesn't matter what it is, if you're passionate about it, modify it, and drive it to work every day, we'll showcase it.

NZ Performance Car: Hey Jon-Paul (JP), that’s one serious Accord you’ve got there — when did you first get into Hondas?
Jon-Paul: Hey guys, I’ve liked Hondas since I was about four years old. My mum had a ’79 Honda Civic RS (EB) and then an ’88 Honda Prelude Si, so it really started from there. 

How long have you owned this CL1 Accord? 
I’ve owned the Accord for seven years; I was its first owner in New Zealand and it was completely factory. 

Tell us about the history of this car and what different stages it’s been through. 
Initially, I didn’t want to modify it. Then, I installed an intake, and so on, and so on. Before I knew it, it was on adjustable suspension and had wheels. I entered it in some car shows, but unfortunately one day some little scumbags stole it and totally destroyed it. Insurance would only cover the minor stuff so I had to start all over again. 

Is it at a point now at which you can enjoy it?
Definitely! I’m putting that R badge to good use and enjoying it on the track. I’ve done about six months of tweaking the suspension, brakes, and aero. I’ve had a few hiccups, but it’s an awesome car that makes good power and handles extremely well. The best thing is that it’s reliable; I can always count on the car to race all day and drive me home afterwards. 

What plans have you got for the Accord, or is it finished?
Nope, the Accord will never be finished. I’m always looking at developing more bits or changing things — it might receive a special K-series diet soon.

Thanks for your time, JP — hopefully we’ll get to see you cutting some laps one day.

Driver profile

  • Owner: Jon-Paul Ferguson
  • Location: North Shore, Auckland
  • Occupation: Mechanic at Convert Motorsports

2000 Honda Accord (CL1)

  • Engine: H22A, 2200cc, four-cylinder, custom three-inch tuned-length carbon-fibre intake pipe, Top Fuel 0-1000 three-inch pod filter, intake manifold divider plate, 10.5mm spark plug leads, MSD coil, 2.5-inch HKS Hi-Power exhaust system, twin HKS exhaust tips, Fenix alloy radiator, Samco radiator hoses, 1.3-bar radiator cap, Gizzmo CamFC, modified ABS computer, Pivot speed-cut defender, Pivot fan controller, custom battery box, Phase oil cap, carbon fibre–coated rocker cover
  • Drivetrain: Five-speed LSD gearbox, custom hand-cut synchros, Exedy heavy-duty clutch, Skunk2 shifter extension
  • Interior: Stripped interior, low seat rail, Vision carbon-kevlar seat, Sabelt harness, Sony head unit
  • Exterior: Custom front splitter, Zeal side skirts, custom rear lip and diffuser, custom wing, custom rear guard flares, stainless front splitter supports, modified factory front guards, carbon-fibre bonnet, carbon metallic roof paint, Mugen fuel cap
  • Suspension/Brakes: HKS Hipermax coilovers, Ultra Racing rear strut brace, CL7 camber arms, DC5 Brembo calipers, S2000 discs, Formula pads, CL7 rear calipers, Project Mu rear pads
  • Wheels/Tyres: 17x8.5-inch Advanti Tenjin, 215/45R17 Nankang NS2-R

This article was originally published in NZ Performance Car Issue No. 229. You can pick up a print copy or a digital copy of the magazine below:

René Vermeer

Dutch, French, or just a Kiwi, René isn’t quite sure, but he does know he has a passion for Japanese vehicles like no other. A well-seasoned Gran Turismo player dating back to his single-digit days, René has a comprehensive knowledge of a wide range of performance vehicles and has owned more than 30 performance cars here in New Zealand, ranging from Nissans to Hondas. A lover of photography, you’ll find him either peeping under someone’s bonnet to snap a detailed shot, or on the side of the racetrack, perfecting his panning.