I guess I should apologize to all the residents of South Carolina for referring to their state as the “Worst Carolina” in the headline there. I’m from North Carolina, so there’s a lot of sibling rivalry between us and Garbage Carolina happening. Shit. I did it again. I’m sorry! I’m especially sorry because there’s a resident of South Carolina who has built something remarkable and put it for sale on Facebook Marketplace, and I want to share it with you. It’s technically a 2007 Honda Civic, but it’s really so much more. Just look at this thing.
What we have here is a 2007 Honda Civic Si coupé with a “custom grafted steel body,” and it certainly looks like absolutely all of that. The overall design of the Civic has been changed pretty dramatically, ending up as something that resembles a mid-engined car, complete with what looks like an air intake scoop just aft of the door:
The original Civic was a handsome little car, but it played things a bit safe, and as a result ended up a bit more bland than it needed to be. This customized Civic definitely solves that problem, especially when you look around back:
See what’s going on here? The clever builder has worked in a tailgate! And a hatch! And there’s still a back seat! This thing is actually more practical than how it started from the factory, and that’s saying something, especially when you take into account the more dramatic looks. Look at all that room in the back there with the rear seat down! And, thanks to the sort-of-kammback design, there’s room for a substantial roof/trunk (the difference here is pretty hard to determine) rack, which you can see is occupied by that roof tent up there. And down here:
This was sent into us by a reader named Ricardo, who went above and beyond and even reached out to the seller/builder and interviewed him! Wow! That’s the sort of thing you absolutely should do when writing a little story about a strange car you saw for sale online! The owner/builder is named James DeLorme, and this Civic is the result of some big dreams, now largely abandoned, as dreams often are, but is still an impressive bit of backyard fabrication. Here’s that full interview:
Ricardo: Hi James, this is a very interesting car. Could you tell me a bit more about it?
Did you graft a truck bed to the back?
How much of the Civic was removed to accommodate the new rear end?
Was the plan to make fiberglass kits for other Civic owners?
Thanks, Ricardo.James: The running gear and exo structure are all civic. I grafted a lot of parts onto the car. All just skins either over or replacing factory panels. I really only used the back section of a truck bed to integrate the tailgate. My plan was to make kit bodies but really was not intended for stock Civics. The design was to use Civic from doors forward but make a rear frame to incorporate a mid-engine design. Essentially replacing the current hard to find Fiero design.Civics are so plentiful and cheap. It only makes sense to utilize it for a donor.Currently the front clip and doors could be replaced with stock bolt-on Civic parts. The rear clip and roof however is all welded on and the trunk area was cut out to make a hatch and tailgate system, which are factory from other cars so all it seals and functions properly
RDA: Wow, that’s incredible work. About how many hours did you put into this? Did you do all this work yourself?
JDL: Probably 150 hours broke up Over a few years. I did it all myself when the guy I was going to have do the fiberglass work died. I lost interest in finishing it or copying it.
Sure, the build quality is a bit rough, but considering this is one person’s work, I think it’s pretty incredible. The revised character lines in the hood and body all work remarkably well, and I think the proportions, especially in profile, are quite good!
This is a fun build! Somebody could clean this up a bit – it does appear to be quite happily well-used – give it some nice paint, and have a fun, reliable exotic-looking car that would baffle absolutely everyone.
And, deep down, isn’t that what we all want?