Twenty-five years ago the JACCS Honda Accord was kicking all kinds of ass in the JTCC and JGTC GT300 classes. Over here in the U.S. wheel company Fifteen52 was just finding its way in the market, growing with the import tuner scene. When Honda Performance Development offered to co-develop a new K20C1 crate engine project car with Fifteen52 and Mountune, they jumped at the opportunity, and Project 96 was born. This thing frickin’ rules.
“This year, Fifteen52™ celebrates our 25th anniversary and what better way to mark the occasion than to build a tribute to the pinnacle of 1996 Motorsport. Our version of the JTCC Championship-winning Honda Accord showcases our Super Touring line of wheels that were born in those same race paddocks. We’re excited to work with HPD™ and Mountune USA on this project, using parts from some of the top brands in the industry.” -Jason Sellers, President of Fifteen52
If you’re not familiar with Honda engine codes, the K20C1 is the 2-liter turbocharged inline-four found in the current Civic Type R. With 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, that’s somewhere around double what this Accord wagon would have had stock in 1996. Obviously the real racing Accord from the period was a sedan, but everything is cooler with a longroof, obviously. There’s no doubt that this thing rips, and with the wagon back end, it looks cool as shit in the process.
Obviously this is also a marketing vessel for Fifteen52's recent Super Touring wheel, which you can see fitted to the car looking fly as hell. With big turbo power, the car obviously needed a lot of upgrades to handle it, and the wider wheels and sticky tires are only part of the formula. The Accord is also fitted with Civic Type R hubs and brakes, plus Tein coilovers, Hardrace adjustable suspension components, and a full roll cage.
Considering the fifth-gen Accord was quoted as being 2,855 pounds at the curb in the 1990s, and the fact that this one has had its full interior stripped, it probably weighs a little less than stock. A stock current-model CTR weighs in at 3121 pounds, meaning without any engine upgrades or tuning adjustments, Project 96 already has a better power-to-weight than the K20C1-powered car you can buy on the Honda lot right now. With the right suspension tuning and sticky tires, it’s probably a bit quicker around a race track, too!
I absolutely love this car, and I wish more projects like this would come to the surface. It looks cool as hell, uses color to evoke the past, and blends modern power with vintage looks to make something better than the sum of its parts. Have you ever seen a wagon this cool? I don’t think I have.
If this thing doesn’t come to a Radwood, I’m going to have to throw hands.