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SP Rides: In His Element

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BY MICHAEL KITCHENS

Year, make, model: 2006 Honda Element
Owner: Bobby Valera
Age: 24
Occupation: Retail
Hobbies: Cars, making mochi
Color: Toyota Nautical Metallic Blue
Interior: Kenwood AVH double din, Rockford P3 subwoofer, sounds and alarm by A+ Audio
Exterior: 2008 Honda Element SC front end swap, JDM rear spoiler, HPS cold air intake, action clutch Stage 2 with lightened flywheel, HID headlights and LEDs from Got HIDS, tinting done by Flawless Tinting, custom paint by Lanchones Garage
Suspension: Universal air suspension on Ksport coils, dual Viair 444c air compressors, Accuair 5-gallon seamless tank
Wheels/tires: Weds Kranze Bazerias at 19-by-10 19-by-11, Federal 595 tires

Not every vehicle is a show queen. Sometimes, what you’re looking for is a daily driver — a commuter that’s comfortable that not only looks nice but also gets the job done. This modified 2006 Honda Element hit the spot for Bobby Valera.

Valera is a fan of modding. This is probably his 20th vehicle at a young age of 24. He’s into the constant upgrade. He loves starting from scratch, building it up and making it his own. This ride originally looked entirely different. It was a shockingly bright green with the original blackened 2006 front fascia.

The first step was giving it a new exterior look. That involved a sweet deal with some leftover paint and a friend who knew how to paint. The end result is this gorgeous Toyota Nautical Metallic Blue. This was layered over the svelte hips of this boxed up ride. The front fascia really needed a change and another fantastic deal on a 2008 front setup made everything sweeter.

Personally, I find the front-end swap absolutely perfect. The OEM headlights and grille/bumper were a massive upgrade to the model as far as looks are concerned. Paired with a bright red Honda emblem taken from a Civic, it looks positively cool. A slick JDM rear spoiler and tinting by Flawless Tinting gives it a bit more of an aggressive look as well. HID headlights and LEDs by Got HIDS round out the exterior package.

This baby is lowered on a Universal Air Suspension on Ksport Coils. It’s powered by dual Viair 444c air compressors and an Accuair 5-gallon seamless tank. It’s a manual setup and the gauges and buttons are located in the front cockpit. However, Valera has switched over to a key fob now. All of this is slammed onto Weds Kranze Bazerias sized at 19-by-10 in the front and 19-by-11 in the rear with Federal 595 tires all around.

Engine modifications in a vehicle like this aren’t a priority but some attention has been paid to it with the HPS Performance air intake that’s been added to the K24 engine. An action clutch Stage 2 with lightened flywheel has also been added for more performance-oriented shifts.

This bad boy is used not only daily, but as a delivery driver for Tambry and Mochi, so some tunes are a perfect complement to its looks. That’s handled by a Kenwood AVH double din and a Rockford P3 subwoofer.

Although most of the people who know Valera would have expected him to build a more race-worthy vehicle, he’s defied their expectations. He’s done what he wanted to meet the demands of his life while still being in his Element — excellent.

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