As a huge Fast and Furious fan, I was thrilled when the first film exploded into theaters in 2001, bringing the underground world of illegal street racing to the big screen. But beyond the over-the-top action, these films highlighted the tuner car culture that was growing around compact imports like the Honda Civic. Through nine blockbuster installments, the Fast saga has featured heavily modified Honda Civics that influenced generation after generation.
- Civic Cars That Appeared in the Fast & Furious Movies
- 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
- Why Civics Were Popular Tuners in Car Culture
- The Most Iconic Honda Civic in The Fast and the Furious
- Building a Fast and Furious Honda Civic
- Were There Any Other Honda Models Used in The Fast and the Furious?
This article will take an in-depth look at the various generations of Civic that have appeared throughout the Fast franchise, discussing their impact and why they resonated so strongly with tuner enthusiasts like myself. For Honda loyalists, we’ll also explore what’s involved in creating your own souped-up Civic build inspired by these iconic movie cars that I’ve idolized since childhood.
So strap in for a wild ride down memory lane with the Civics that played a starring role in The Fast and Furious phenomenon that captured my imagination.
Civic Cars That Appeared in the Fast & Furious Movies
Here is a table showing the Honda Civic models featured in each Fast and Furious movie:
|Movie||Year||Honda Civic Model|
|The Fast and the Furious||2001||1993 Honda Civic EJ1|
1992 Honda Civic Hatchback EG3
|2 Fast 2 Furious||2003||1993 Honda Civic EJ1|
This table summarizes the different generation and body styles of the Honda Civic featured in the various Fast and Furious franchise films from 2001 to 2021. The most popular seems to be the EM1 and EJ1 coupe models from 1999-2000 which appeared in multiple films.
The Original: 1993 Honda Civic in The Fast and the Furious (2001)
In the movie that started it all, the original 2001 The Fast and the Furious, Dominic Toretto and his crew rebuilt and raced three heavily modded Honda Civics as their trusty daily drivers. All 3 Civics were blacked out with green neons and tinted windows.
All three Civics sported lowered suspensions, body kits, spoilers, and custom rims to match their owners’ styles. These 90’s era Civics were front-wheel drive economy cars, but the gang’s modifications like nitrous oxide injection allowed them to hang with the Supras and other modded cars on the streets.
Hector’s 1992 Honda Civic Hatchback
The 1992 Honda Civic Hatchback driven by Hector makes several notable appearances throughout the first Fast and Furious film. We’re first introduced to Hector’s EG3 hatch at the opening street race scene. He claims to have retired from street racing and now dreams of reaching the professional circuits.
Later, Brian O’Conner, Dominic Toretto, Vince and Jesse trail Hector one night to determine if he plans to cheat at the upcoming Race Wars event. Hector is spotted ordering parts for three Civics at The Racer’s Edge shop, likely for Dominic’s team.
When Race Wars arrives, Hector shows up in his trademark EG3 Civic. But after this high-profile cameo, the car disappears from the rest of the film without explanation. While brief, Hector’s modded ’92 Civic Hatchback left an impression on viewers and added to the diverse mix of Hondas showcased.
2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
In the second movie of the series, the Civic only briefly makes its appearance while the cops break out a car racing meeting. It is important to note that although the year and model are the same as the Civics that appeared in the first movie – 1993 Honda Civic EJ1 -, there are no indications that these are the same 3 cars.
The wheels and color scheme are different, and from the scenes, there is no visible LED underglow. Judging from the sunroofs, these cars seem to be [EJ1] EX trim levels.
Why Civics Were Popular Tuners in Car Culture
Ever since the first Civic was introduced in 1972, it became a popular compact car known for reliability, efficiency, and affordability. By the 1990s, the Civic captured the hearts of an entire generation of tuner enthusiasts. Here are some reasons why the Honda Civic, especially older generations like the EG, EJ, EM, and EP became so iconic in tuner culture:
- Lightweight and agile handling: Early Civics were light, front-wheel drive cars with double wishbone suspension for responsive steering and handling. This made them fun to drive and ideal for modification.
- Easy to customize: There was abundant aftermarket support to customize Civics for performance and style. From body kits, to engine parts, suspensions, wheels, and interior accessories.
- Powerful B-Series engines: Civic Si models came with high-revving B16 and B18 engines that responded well to tuning, with some reaching over 200 horsepower.
- Affordable: Used Civics and parts were inexpensive compared to other import tuner cars, making builds more accessible.
- Front-wheel drive: FWD layout was uncommon among tuners, giving Civics a unique appeal.
- Japanese reliability: Civics were daily drivers and weekend racers thanks to legendary Honda reliability and easy maintenance.
- Movies and video games: Civic popularity exploded thanks to appearances in The Fast and Furious, Gran Turismo, Need for Speed, and more pop culture.
Even today, modified Honda Civics are common at tuner meets and races. It remains a rite of passage car for many young enthusiasts. The little Civic that could will forever hold an iconic place in car culture.
The Most Iconic Honda Civic in The Fast and the Furious
The most iconic Honda Civic featured in The Fast and the Furious franchise is without a doubt the 1993 Honda Civic EJ1. This particular model left a lasting impression due to its prominent role in the opening scene of the first film.
The 1993 EJ1 Civic appeared briefly in the opening sequence of The Fast and the Furious. It was driven by Dominic Toretto, Leon, and Letty Ortiz to hijack a semi-truck carrying valuable electronics. The Civic had a custom black paint job along with an aggressive body kit, large rear spoiler, and aftermarket rims. It also utilized a nitrous oxide system for added acceleration.
While it was only on screen for a minute, the souped-up 1993 Honda Civic EJ1 helped establish the tuner car culture that the franchise would become synonymous with. It set the tone for the street racing action and inspired many fans to mod their own Civics in similar fashion. The EJ1’s legacy continues to influence Honda builds today.
Building a Fast and Furious Honda Civic
To build a Fast and Furious-style Honda Civic, start with a 1990s Civic like the EG or EK1 generation. These are the most popular for modification. Then install custom body parts, spoilers, wheels, and other visual upgrades to match the cars from the movies. A nitrous system is essential for the extra burst of speed seen onscreen.
Aggressive body kits, carbon fiber spoilers, racing rims, and nitrous injection systems are must-have modifications. Focus on the visual style and performance upgrades that defined the franchise’s Civics. Stay true to the spirit of the street racing icon.
Expect to spend upwards of $5,000 for a comprehensive Fast and Furious Civic build. Purchasing an existing project car can reduce costs. Plan for a few months minimum to source quality parts and properly execute the intricate modification work. Building a car that does justice to the Fast and Furious legacy requires patience, skill, and of course, money. But the rewards are a one-of-a-kind Honda Civic worthy of Dominic Toretto’s crew.
Were There Any Other Honda Models Used in The Fast and the Furious?
While the Honda Civic has been the most prominent Honda tuner car in The Fast and Furious franchise, there have been some other Honda models that made appearances over the years:
- The Fast and The Furious (2001): An Acura Integra driven by Edwin, and Johnny Tran’s Honda S2000
- 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003): Suki’s Honda S2000 convertible
- The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006): Various Honda and Acura models seen in Tokyo street scenes
- Furious 7 (2015): A modified bronze Acura NSX driven by Roman Pearce
Of these, Johnny Tran’s 2001 Honda S2000 in the first Fast and Furious film stood out with a Lamborghini yellow pearl paint job and custom body kit. The high-revving S2000 roadster was used to showcase Honda’s performance capabilities besides the popular Civic.
Roman’s modified 2003 Acura NSX in Furious 7 showed that even Honda’s supercar can be customized for more power. The NSX packed a twin-turbocharged engine pushing over 1000 horsepower to keep up with exotic hypercars.
So while the Civic remains the definitive Honda tuner icon, the Fast series has also highlighted performance variants like the Integra, S2000, and NSX models for some diversity in the mix. But the humble Civic continues to be the most prominent Honda presence throughout the franchise’s twenty-year run.
Engineering Coordinator with 5+ years of experience in the automotive manufacturing industry. Currently supporting vehicle development and new model launch activities at Honda Development and Manufacturing of America. Skilled at managing engineering teams, overseeing prototype builds, coordinating testing, and driving continuous process improvements. LinkedIn