There simply aren't enough hours in the day. You've no doubt said it, as have your parents, and most likely, their parents as well. The surge of technology over the past few decades has inarguably made life much easier for newer generations albeit with a distinct by-product that seems more pronounced now than ever before—too much to do, and not nearly enough time.
You don't have to tell Ryan Hoegner (aka VTECvoodoo), owner of this '98 ITR, about a time crisis. He divvies up the hours of each day among a number of responsibilities. From his 9-5 at Eibach Springs, a company he's proudly worked with for over a decade, to his co-ownership of a gym dubbed CrossFit714, to time spent with his wife and three children, you could say that Ryan's plate went well beyond full sometime ago. Oh, and then there are the cars. His current stable of vehicles casts a shadow and blurs any of the typical categorical lines or labels associated with most car fiends as his DC2 is joined by a '64 Impala and what he refers to as his '06 Toyota "BroRunner." Prior to his recent trio of cars from very different walks of life, Ryan owned an '81 Porsche 911 and an '01 ITR street car. When asked about his automotive ADD, he says, "I really enjoy the build process. Figuring out a game plan, trying to round up all of the parts, meeting new people, learning more about the cars and their history, etc. It was amazing with the Porsche. I'd travel late at night to grab random parts from forum members and end up in their barn until 1 a.m. talking about cars. I'm experiencing the same thing with the Impala—hanging out with all of these 60-plus-year-olds with 50 years worth of stories to tell. I even watch all of those random automotive shows on TV, no matter how awful. Lords of Car Hoards? I'm in. Dallas Car Sharks? Sure, why not!"
In 2013, Ryan was scouring the forums in search of a new project to take on and wanted to do something a little different. Rather than collect parts and build the car over weeks or months with his almost non-existent spare time, he wanted the car built in about eight hours ... in front of 10,000 people. "I always wanted to build a car at an Eibach Meet, but, of course, never found the time," he says. While scanning Honda-Tech, he came across a '98 Type R that he immediately recognized. He adds, "I saw 'mikehonda's' ITR for sale. It was basically a caged roller. This car had some really awesome history behind it and was on display at some of the original Eibach Honda meets and ITR Expos." With only six weeks separating the purchase of the car and the meet, Ryan reached out to the one guy he knew would be able to spearhead the operation. "I called Brian Gillespie [Hasport] and he was immediately in. I wouldn't have even tried this without him. He put together a great crew, including his staff along with RC Chacon from RC's Garage and Chris Tybor from Whoopee Doo Racing, and they showed up ready to work. I spent the next couple of weeks calling all of my buddies in the industry to round up all of the parts."
During the 2013 Eibach event, spectators were witness to a complete K-swap install along with brakes, suspension, a few interior pieces, as well as a custom transmission built by Chris Tybor. "I've had a bunch of built motors over the years, and they just don't live as long as an OEM Honda long-block. So instead of throwing $10K at a built motor, I had the transmission built. Every modification, every gear, was selected by Chris at Whoopee Doo Racing, and this car accelerates like it has 300 hp! It's pretty amazing." The project was dubbed "The ITR Build presented by Norm Reeves Honda" and after a long day in the smoldering heat, the car was essentially complete. That is, until he had a chat with RC Chacon about adding the RCG touch to the build.
After the event, Gillespie towed the car to Arizona and dropped it off at RC's Garage. The engine and everything around it was pulled, and RC got to work doing, well, what RC does: completely reworking the bay for a clean, yet fully functional setup. Ryan adds, "He put a ton of time into this thing. He cleaned up the bay, did a mild shave, tuck and respray, completely rewired the entire car, and even rebuilt the stock K20 with new gaskets and seals. He did an amazing job, the guy seriously blows me away."
To maintain reliability and longevity, the power modifications were kept mild with a Skunk2 throttle body, K-Tuned intake and header, a Makspeed-modified Skunk2 exhaust, and Eibach valvesprings and retainers. The combination, tuned by Myles Bautista of Makspeed, resulted in a solid 240 whp. Not surprisingly, the suspension is based around the best that Eibach has to offer in their highly praised R2 coilovers and front sway bar, supported by custom tubular front control arms and Mugen bushings. Wilwood's Dynapro six-piston caliper is effective, yet compact enough to fit beneath the 15x8 Gram Lights 57DR's wrapped in sticky Toyo R888.
Inside the cabin, a protective rollcage commands the majority of attention, followed by a pair of Buddy Club bucket seats anchored with PCI seat mounts, and little else. Intended strictly for weekend track days, any nonessential amenities were ditched in favor of weight savings, including the rear glass, which is now an FAL polycarbonate piece.
The import community as a whole doesn't often take kindly to embracing multiple manufacturers, especially when they come from the domestic side. Ryan, on the other hand, looks beyond those imaginary boundaries, pulls inspiration from all facets of car building, regardless of the country of origin, and even in a time crisis, has been able to reach his automotive goals.
Bolts & WashersPropulsion
Skunk2 exhaust modified by Makspeed
Skunk2 test pipe
Skunk2 Pro Series throttle body
Walbro fuel pump
RC Engineering injectors
RC's Garage custom fuel lines
RC's Garage custom regulator
Rywire engine harness
K20A2 trans built by Whoopee Doo Racing
Clutchmasters clutch and flywheel
MFactory close gearset, Third-Sixth
MFactory 1.0-way metal plate LSD
OEM 4.389 final drive
SDR ceramic diff bearings
Mainshaft and diff shim clearance by WDR
Circuit Hero oil pan baffle
Koyo K-series swap radiator
Password:JDM battery relocater
240 hp/165 lb-ft of torque tuned by Makspeed
Eibach R2 coilovers
Eibach 750 front/550 rear springs
Eibach 26mm front sway bar
ASR 32mm rear sway bar
A Sport adjustable camber/caster
Tubular upper control arms (Heim joint)
Wilwood Dynapro 6-piston calipers
Wilwood GT Spec37 two-piece hats
Wilwood Polymatrix B compound pads
Wilwood Exp600 brake fluid
Mugen brake lines
Wheels & Tires
15x8 +35 Rays Gram Lights 57DR
225/45-15 Toyo R888
MOB Works paint
JDM front end conversion
CRZY Engineering splitter/diffuser
Buddy Club P1 Limited seats
PCI adjustable seat brackets
Circuit Hero shift knob
Password:JDM carbon-fiber fuel pump cover
RC Chacon of RC's Garage, Chris Tybor at Whoopee Doo Racing, Brian Gillespie at HASport, Eddie Lee at Mackin, Michael Hamrick at Wilwood, Myles Bautista at Makspeed, everybody at Eibach, Ben Howard at K-tuned, Buddy Club, Doug at Hondata, CRZY Engineering, Stan Chen at Toyo Tires, Brian at ProCar Innovations, Brandon at Skunk2, Gil Salazar at Circuit Hero, Kevin at Clutchmasters, Chris Pinedo and everybody from Norm Reeves Honda in Cerritos, Ryan Baserri of Rywire, Leon at Password:JDM, Matt at ICB Motorsport, and Fred Crow of Crow Safety Gear
Owner SpecsDaily Grind
Private Label manager at Eibach Springs
Inspiration For This Build
To kick Tony Jackson's ass
Working on a '64 Impala
Extracurricular enthusiasmIf you were into Hondas during the late '90s in Southern California, you probably recall the Honda Club. Ryan says, "I created the club as sort of a AAA for Honda owners that offered discounts at dealers, hotels, shops, etc., as well as publishing Velocity magazine for the club, which also showed up on local newsstands. I organized some events at Norm Reeves Honda that included guest speakers like Oscar Jackson and Doug Macmillan of Hondata."
In the mid 2000s, Ryan felt it was time to organize a Honda-specific meet, which he simply referred to as "Eibach Meet" to take place at Eibach's Corona, CA, facility. The first event brought in close to 100 cars and was considered a smash hit at that time. The next year, however, with the help of a few friends, the Eibach meet grew exponentially. So much so that it had to be moved to a large-scale facility to host the event and its 600-plus cars and thousands of spectators every May.