The TD3 Racing Mission
Our mission is primarily about having a good time and learning about our vehicles inside and out. When my son first approached me to build a hybrid Honda in 2002, I thought he was out of his mind. I had been buying new Hondas since 1983 for their reliability and fuel economy. I never dreamt that Honda and performance could ever be used in the same sentence. I already had a 1991 Civic Si with 202,000 miles and was parked in storage. He had some wild idea about importing an engine and doing a motor swap with an engine not available in the U.S. I was quite skeptical and thinking that it might be more trouble than its worth. We spent a considerable amount of time acquiring all the items needed to make this swap go correctly. This was our first ZC swap. And was three years ago, the custom Honda movement hadn't exactly taken hold of the Chicago area just yet. However the east and primarily the west coast were way ahead, so all of our parts and technical help came mostly from California.
After a weekend of wrenching our first project Honda Hybrid sprang to life. I mean it fired right up on the first crank. Nobody was more surprised than me. I took it out and re-familiarized myself with my old car. Wow, this thing really pulled hard compared to the stock setup that had served me well for so many miles. At this point we had the confidence and satisfaction of doing something we had not seen in person. The virus of modifying a Honda had just been released in our area.
I enjoyed driving the Si hatch so much that I began to look for a straight rust-free chassis to do another swap. Older Hondas in the Midwest lose the battle to salt and corrosion, but I found a '93 EX coupe to do the B16A2 swap. Many shipments arrived and we had everything we needed again. Another weekend of wrenching produced amazing results again. We had two hybrids in our driveway. We had almost overnight become the local authority on swaps. Other young men realized they could do what we did too. We lent many a tool and provided advise if we knew the answer. My son Tom was (and still is) absolutely amazing at finding technical information pertaining to swap knowledge on the internet. To this day, I'm the wrench and he's the technical advisor. An excellent partnership.
And before too long a couple of reputable tuner shops opened in our neighborhood. A new market had opened up and they were eager to oblige the hands off import enthusiast.
My step-son, Jason, was next to catch the Honda performance virus........and then there were three.
Drag racing was a natural transition for us. Taking a light-weight chassis and adding some horsepower made our once mundane vehicles extremely fun to drive. Plus there is a personal satisfaction that I cannot put into words about building your own "one of a kind" vehicle. Mixing and matching performance parts from various vendors to come up with your own hand picked street-rod is part of the mystique. Sometimes successful, other times not. Its okay if we learn from our mistakes, but not to make the same ones over and over again.
My daughter Sam was next. She watched all this stuff going on and probably wondered what was wrong with us......and maybe rightly so. But after a trip to Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove Wisconsin, she caught the bug and was wanting something fun to drive too.
I want to stop here and make note of the wonderful and beautiful wife/mother that has also allowed this madness to continue. But she feels if this is something that unites her family to go out and do something as a group, so be it. We love her for it. And I think I'll be building her drag-car next.
At some point we will be building a full-blown trailered drag civic. We have wanted to do this for quite some time. The financial means and logistics for storing the car and trailer have not been worked out. But we will get there and run with the boys in the Quick 16. The time frame I've allowed for this project to mature is "before I die". We've watched enough Nopi Tunervision and been to enough IDRA events to know what we'd like the finished product to look like. Building it strong enough and correctly to endure repeated whippings will be the ultimate challenge.
So for us (TD3 Racing) and Hondaddy.com, we're having a great time building our cars and even a better time racing in the safe environment of Great Lakes Dragaway.
We're not nearly the fastest, running consistent passes and equipment longevity is more of a priority.......we're just happy to be part of it.
This family is fulfilling its mission already....with much more to come.