It’s difficult to be satisfied as a builder. Happiness is frequently fleeting, there is always an issue to address, or a shortcoming that can be overcome. Perhaps it’s just a change, nonetheless things are rarely complete.

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“I’m happy with the car, maybe upgrade the suspension and the seats but not much else,” was Marc’s response to what’s next on his blue EK. “A lot of people have been doing K-swaps, it is tempting for more power however I don’t need it”.

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It’s true, K-swaps are the rage in today’s Honda game and for good reason. More torque, easy to modify and entire businesses dedicated to supporting the swap and enhancements make it a no-brainer for many enthusiasts looking to freshen up their tiring Honda chassis.

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I was also contemplating a K-swap on my EK before just recently opting for another route, but for Marc going down that path might be more than what it’s worth, “it’s not cheap going K and I can put that money towards other things”.

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That’s not to say that he hasn’t invested into this EK over the past three years of ownership. The car is immaculate, the result of an enthusiast who enjoys meticulously putting things together and being centrally involved in the build. During the shoot he recounted his travel stories back to his home in the Philippines, “I’d go back home with an empty suitcase, and because the car scene is so strong there I would come back full of parts for this car”.

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Bespoke additions that make a Honda boy’s wet dream find a home in Marc’s car. The S2000 cluster made me long for my past AP1s, the B18C7 Type R head a popular Frankenstein combination with the B18C2 bottom end. Marc has options when it comes to his front lips(!), and his interior is an incredibly nice place to be.

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A definite talking point for anybody encountering his EK is the colour, I don’t believe his previous shoots had given the hue justice, and hope that this set by Peter is a more accurate reflection of what it actually looks like. We won’t give the colour away, but it is an OEM Honda blue, and when matched with this car I think it’s the perfect colour to suit Marc’s build philosophy. He agrees, “I wanted a simple look, and it’s great waking up in the morning, looking outside and smiling at what I’ve created”.

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This was a common theme throughout our morning shoot at Doonside. I couldn’t stop giggling, and as Marc would attest, was frequently jumping up and down, exclaiming how happy this car made me.

I didn’t even drive it.

Marc touched on this with a previous feature on Sydney Honda Club, “I just want my car to make me smile every time I drive it. Doesn’t need to be the fastest or the best looking, but if it makes me smile, then I’ve accomplished something”. When you put all the facets of his build together, it becomes an automatic conclusion that this EK is an absolute riot to drive, without spending a minute behind the wheel.

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Opinions are subjective and so many things are ultimately up to your personal interpretation, but Marc and I probably see eye-to-eye in our attitudes for building a Civic in 2020. His car isn’t going to be overly competitive doing laps, and although the exterior colour scheme is bright, the car isn’t at the level of complexity to be a standout at today’s car shows.

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AS719 in its current form however, is the perfect concoction to bring about positive emotions to those that encounter it, more so those that experience the vehicle. Each feature of the car that Peter and I frothed over, play a part in delivering happiness.

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Grinners are winners, the authenticity of this build and what Marc wanted to deliver – to himself before all others – is an approach we can all benefit from.

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Too often we look at large, landmark moments and accomplishments as the catalysts for happiness. It could be a financial goal, the purchase of a particular vehicle or even acceptance into a prestigious institution. However, happiness is a product of our own minds and is forever, right now. Marc has put together these small, yet significant pieces that when added together, create a symbolic machine that is enjoyed always in the present form.

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When brainstorming my current Civic build, it’s often laughed at by those that don’t get it, and I try to explain it like this:

If you’ve had a bad day, you want to jump into it, drive to and from the shops and get out the car with the biggest grin on your face.

Glad to have Marc as the reference point!

Artisan Ape – Australia Representing!
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Kelvin Chan

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