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Special EK Feature -
Special Ek

Written by Brandon Hopkins
Photography by Brandon Hopkins

Name: Dionne Mascunana   
Location: Cerritos CA
Age: 23
Cars:1997 Honda Civic CX Hatchback


Southern California. It seems like you can't go a few steps without seeing a modified Civic.  Most are pretty mellow looking, nearly stock, maybe lowered with a nice exhaust and wheels, but occasionally you'll see one that leaves an impression on you.  It'll make you want to stand there and look at every inch of it.  Then you'll want to know more about it, about how it went from a regular old Civic to the beauty that's in front of you. 

That's the story of this EK hatch.  The car first caught our attention at Hot Import Nights in Anaheim, CA.  A place where it's not so easy to stand out, but this car managed to do just that.  The custom orange paint certainly helped, and after feasting our eyeballs for a while we just had to find the owner.  Luckily, we were able to, so lets hear what Dionne Mascunana of Cerritos, CA has to say about his sweet ride:

Launch Special EK Feature photos
Orange Ek Hatchback front shot
  • Q: Why did you decide to modify this particular model? How did you find this car? What is the story behind it?  

A: Since I was in middle school I always wanted an EK hatch. My brother’s first car was a Blue EM1 and I always thought those years were the best looking. I found my car in an online classified back in 2007, since then it has gone through a massive transformation, inside and out. I picked up the car from the old owner back in 07, it was in pretty decent shape, fairly stock, the motor had to be rebuilt because of a blown head gasket, overheating and such. The engine bay had to be blasted and cleaned. After the usual fixes, I decided that I was going to track the car. I took it out to the canyons every other day out in GMR CA39 area near the 210. After a couple of months I built my own braces such as the double X brace in the back, front and rear towers, side bars, square cabin bars; along with the front diffusers, canards, side diffusers and rear diffusers. I retrofitted those stock crappy reflector headlights with FX45 Bi Xenons 150% better than stock and built the motor from the ground up, with all bolt ons and at one time ITBs..  Needless to say I stopped taking her to the canyons since she was too pretty to go up and get nicks and scratches, haha...

  • Q: How did you get into cars/Hondas? 

A: Growing up my brother was all into Hondas, so it was just a natural thing to fall in the craze. My dad collected cars, and was super adamant about have a clean car, I remember the time when my brother bought and installed a set of Euro tails on his EM1! Man, we thought it was the best looking tail lights around! Of course my dad was furious! LOL, but back in the day we were all ricers.

  • Q: What was the most challenging aspect when it came to modifying your car?

A: I wanted my car to stand out from the crowd, stand out in a good way, or a bad way, either way it was going to be different.. Be a little bit different from the usual JDM cliché of a hatchback, and also I wanted to make my car the epitome of DIY. I pretty much did everything myself, made everything at home, other than the ASR and sway bars, LCS etc. I have made everything for this car from scratch in my backyard.

D16Y8 engine on an orange civic hatchback
Orange civic hatchback bars
  • What are your future plans for the car? 

A: Supercharge my SOHC, I am very adamant about keeping my SOHC, they don’t get enough credit. K’s and B’s are awesome motors, but when was the last time anyone has seen a clean D16Y8!?  Interior work, such as seats and carpet is also on the way.  Also I will be making some engine covers for the engine bay, to cover up the mess a bit, just like how they do it on new BMWs! Cleaner look!

  • What else would you like to share with us? 

A: Thanks for featuring my car! Thanks to John Choi at Falken tires for the set of Azenis, thanks to Q @ Speed Syndicate Racing for getting my car into the booth at HIN Anaheim, Also if anyone is interested on any of the DIY parts will be making them soon, email me at

We loved what we saw and can't wait for future projects coming from Dionne, but until then keep an eye out for an orange EK lighting up the streets of Southern Cali.   

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Note: mods list updated after the initial photoshoot.

Exterior: 2000 Civic Front End.2000 Civic Taillights, FX 45 Bi Xenon Retrofit, Type R Front/Rear/Lips/Sides, Spoon Mirrors, Spoon Wing, Front, Rear And Side Diffusers (DIY), Front Canards (DIY), JDM Side Window Visors, Euro British Badge, Pearl White/Gold Polished Wheels, Depo Foglights, Rear Red Foglight (DIY, Crew Atari Members Badge), Rear H Red Badge

Interior: SI Interior, Custom Red Headliner, Type R Door Panels, Red Arm Rest Delete, Red Interior Inserts, Red Aerodesign Seats, CTR Carpet, CTR Floor Mats, Carbon Air Fuel Meter From Autometer, EX Cluster With Red LED Mod, MOMO Monte Carlo 320mm Wheel, Works Bell Quick Realease, PSP Mount On Steering Wheel (DIY), MOMO Extended Wheel Hub, Razo Carbon Shift Knob, Sparco Pedal Set, 8” Bazooka Tube, Full Size Fire Extinguisher, Alpine AcousticsAll Around + Head Unit, LED Lighting All Around

Engine: D16Y8 Mild Built, Head Has Some Minor Work On It, Jackson Racing Supercharger Kit @Psi, AEM CAI, Reground Cam, Custom Valve Cover, Wrapped Radiator Hose, Jackson Racing FMU, DC Headers Wrapped, Arata Motorcycle Exhaust, -2.5 Piping  With Two Resonators/Catless/No Rasp On Redline!, P28 Chipped W/ Skunk, Minor Wire Tuck, Super Charger On The Way, B&M Short Shifter, Set of ITBs For The Track

Suspension: (DIY List, Fabricated By Me), Dual X Braces (DIY), Box Trunk Brace (DIY), B Pillar Harness Brace (DIY), Headlight Reinforcement Brace (DIY), C Pillar Bar (DIY), B Pillar Bar (DIY), Side Window Bars (DIY), Side C To Lower B Pillar Bars (DIY), Front 3 Point Strut Tower (DIY), Rear 4 Point Strut Tower (DIY), Harness Bar (DIY), Front Bumper Bar Reinforcement (DIY), Floor Bar, Fender Brace, H Brace, Rear Beam Brace (DIY), EX Front Sway Assembly, ASR Sub Frame Brace (DIY Painted), ASR 24mm Rear Sway Kit (DIY Painted), ASR Spherical End Links, Blox Gold LCA, Beaks Lower Tie (W/ Crew Atari Star), Skunk Sleeve Coils / HR Shocks (MFG. Koni, Same As Yellows), Skunk Camber Kit, Front And Rear