You are not your mod list, but you are reflected in the fit and finish of your machine.
Diego Marentes has one hell of a clean Honda. He doesn’t have a much in the way of modifications, though, which I think makes his story stand out. There’s no doubt this Civic is a looker. You can immediately see how the stance and JDM scenes have influenced his personal style, but while you might think this is just another show car, carefully trailered to and from Hot Import Nights, it’s actually his daily driver.
Diego loves his machine – and rightly so. This is something we should all understand.
[bd] Introductions: Who are you, where are you, and what do you do for a living?
[dm] I’m Diego Marentes, just your average car enthusiast. I eat, sleep, and bleed cars. I love old cars, new cars, Japanese, American; as long as it has wheels, I’m into it. I’m from Port Arthur, Texas, where I work at a body shop as an automotive tech.
[bd] Introductions: Tell us a little bit about your car. Why are you building this particular make/model? How is your car special? How do you most use it? What’s your general build philosophy?
[dm] My car is a 2007 Honda Civic Si. I have a full coilover suspension and full JDM rear conversion. It’s got 18″ CCW wheels I custom painted. The faces they are “plum crazy” purple with orange and purple metal flake, which I also used on my quick release NRG hub and some interior and engine pieces. I fell in love with this body style. The curves and shape the car has are just sexy to me. I thought this would be a nice project. My car is special because it’s different from any other car out there. I try and make it different to stand out from the crowd. It’s not something you see in everyday traffic.
This is my daily driver. I take her everywhere; from work to just cruising on Sundays. She’s my daily beater. (laughs) My philosophy is “quality over quantity.”
[bd] You’ve got a lot of work into a machine seeing battle in the trenches every day on DD duty. Why are you building your daily driver? How concerned are you about all the cow-eyed operators on the street so close to your pride and joy? Do you do anything special to protect your investment?
[dm] I’m building my daily because I really don’t have another car to build. Besides, I like driving something unique. It’s good to be different. I get scared sometimes when I see someone get close to my car or I see a reckless driver. When I go to grocery store, I either park at the very first parking spot or all the way in the back, away from careless people handing out free door dings. So far, everything under the hood is stock, but I’m planning on doing some major changes. I want to get a supercharger and dress up engine bay some.
[bd] It sounds like you’ve got the looks and stance figured out. Anything cooking under the hood? What are your ultimate goals for this car?
[dm] My goal is to have one badass daily driver. I want people to say I’m crazy for daily driving that car.
I’d say Diego’s well on his way to that goal.
One of our goals is to highlight some of the things we gearheads have in common across platform/pursuit/place lines. I hope this quick hit was a nice break in your day. We might not all agree on the “best” way to modify vehicles, but considering how much time we spend surrounded by cow-eyed commuters who aren’t remotely interested in driving, it’s always nice to see a fellow gearhead who takes pride in doing the best he can with what he’s got.
All images this story courtesy: Kim Thoa Pham