SP Rides: Something From Nothing


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Owner: Philip Balisacan
Age: 38
Occupation: A/C Mechanic
Hobbies: Paddle boarding, cars, darts and work
Year/Make/Model: 1991 Honda CRX
Color: Starfire Pearl
Engine: B16A Swap, AEM fuel rail, tucked fuel and brake lines, OBD1 conversion, Xenocron computer, Fluidyne radiator, Blox intake manifold, throttle body and more.
Interior: Re-upholstered, Blox shift knob, Blox Short Shifter,
Drive Train:  Polished LS Trans
Suspension: Tein Super Street pillow ball mounts and lowering springs, Blox lower control arms, Energy Suspension bushings.
Wheels and Tires:  SSR Hasemi, Falken 195/50R15s

In many ways, the CRX is the old school Honda that many of us who grew up in the ’90s still dream of. Fortunately for Philip Balisacan, his days of dreaming are long gone.

Like most automotive enthusiasts, Philip has always had a special place in his heart for that special ride. Since high school, he’s yearned for a Honda CRX. At that time, the Honda was in its heyday, and Philip was making do with his Nissan truck and a 100-shot of nitrous. It wasn’t a bad situation, but it certainly wasn’t the same as owning a CRX.

Philip acquired this gorgeous 1991 Honda CRX in a slightly reverse fashion. His friend gave him a free B16A and, well, the plunge began. Soon after, he picked up a dime store special: a bare and battered shell for $800.  It seemed like a cheap deal, but what followed was a full rebuild with practically every part of the car having to be replaced. Philip, who’s worked at Norther Auto Air since 1996, credits his boss, Larry Liu, for allowing him the hours to finish building this sweet CRX.

The entire car was stripped to the body and was painted Starfire Pearl at Shon’s Auto Body. The next step was to put everything back together, so Philip hit the online trail and started ordering parts like a madman. Although the general trend is to go all-out Japanese Domestic Market, Philip opted for the Euro route.

“Everybody was doing JDM … I didn’t want left-hand drive, so I went Euro,” says Philip. And just like the JDM inventory, the Euro beat had its own select variety of twists on the Honda CRX. In fact, this CRX has quite a few tricks up its sleeve, like a super-awesome engine bay. No child of the ’80s can forget the iconic NES controller, which just so happens to be plastered all over Philip’s valve cover. I had to laugh at seeing the super-secret “Konami Code” (sic) emblazoned on the lower half.

The entire engine bay has been worked over. In fact, it’s tucked and so clean that you can eat off it. The engine itself features a large selection of modifications including an AEM fuel rail, tucked fuel and brake lines, OBD1 conversion, a Xenocron computer, Fluidyne radiator, a ton of Blox components including an intake manifold, throttle body and more. Both the block and LS trans have been hand-polished by Philip.

This CRX runs on a choice group of suspension components, including Tein Super Street pillow ball mounts and lowering springs, Blox lower control arms, as well as an entire set of Energy Suspension bushings. The wheels are SSR Hasemi S5s fitted with Falken 195/50R15s, which give this nimble vehicle a perfect step.

Both the exterior and interior were lovingly restored, and feature new components such as the moldings, adjustable front lights, J’s racing front lip, rear duckbill and re-upholstered seats. In addition, unique components were added: adjustable front lights, remote folding mirrors, a glass top roof as well as a unique rear euroseat.

Philip would like to simply thank all of his family and friends for their support during this momentous build. It may have started from nothing, but this CRX is surely something now.