SP Rides: ‘Clown-n’ Around
BY MICHAEL KITCHENS
Year, make, model: 2002 Acura TL
Owner: Brandon Pascua
Hobbies: Building cars
Engine: Cold air intake, Optima red top battery, custom cabling
Exterior: JDM UA5 Inspire grille, custom black housing headlights, yellow fog lights
Interior: Fusa knot, dash insert
Audio: Dual DVD head unit, Alpine Type R door speakers, DS18 super tweeters, two Soundstream 1800/4500 watt 4/8 channel amps, custom trunk installation
Suspension: TruHart air suspension, Vera air management, two Viair 444C compressors, aftermarket compressor mounts
Wheels: JNC 047 18-by-8.5 wheels, Sick Speed extended spiked lug nuts and hub spike, Achilles ATR Sport 205/40ZR18s
Brandon Pascua has had his share of modded rides, and his introduction to the import scene was the venerable Honda Civic. He’s owned some well-modified Toyota Solaras and has even had the pleasure of owning a 3000GT VR4, which was a twin-turbo and part of the “big four” of the 1990s import scene. The ride he has today, though, is all about his day-to-day enjoyment. The purpose of this 2002 Acura TL is to make his everyday commute interesting, drive nicely and be relatively affordable.
He’s usually busy with work, so Pascua chooses to hang out with his friends when he can, while skipping the show scene. He’s known as a joker at work and his license plates reflect that. His car is all about personality. He believes that a ride without that is boring and to be avoided, which is a mantra that helps to guide him on his builds.
In Japan, the car is known as an Inspire. Here in Hawaii, this TL is all about cruising. It’s a very sleek ride that shares the same chassis as the 1998-2002 Honda Accord with the same engine and transmission.
The first thing you’ll notice is the quality air suspension installation that allows for some serious drops. The build features TruHart air suspension combined with Vera Air Management with two mounted Viair 444C compressors creatively included in a custom rear trunk installation. This means that the body is dropped low onto the gorgeous JNC 047 wheels — that have a very interesting design that even features an embedded lip behind the machined face. Combined with the Sick-Speed extended lug nuts and hub spike, it all really shines.
Pascua is actually a capable audio installer, so a sweet sound setup is included within the trunk setup as well as the interior. It features a dual DVD head-unit that pushes out to a Soundstream 1,800- and 4,500-watt amp that powers the Alpine Type R door speakers, DS18 super tweeters and the single T5 subwoofer installed into the custom flooring. Pascua is also a floor installer at work, so he had this part of the build down already. The interior is kept clean, with a fusa knot and a clean dash installation that matches the interior theme.
The exterior features blacked-out housings that have been custom painted by Pascua, as well as the Japanese domestic market UA5 Inspire grille that changes the fascia setup. The engine has been mildly modified with a cold air intake, a compact yet powerful Optima redtop battery and plenty of custom cabling.
Pascua is a very happy guy. He loves to laugh, and he loves to enjoy a car built to his liking. Driving around in style is his thing — and although this ride isn’t an import show queen or a performance monster, there’s nothing pedestrian about it either. He likes to clown around, but this ride shows that he’s serious about living and loving life.