2003 Acura RSX | Brian Hughes


Back in 2011 I had my first “stance” car as a 1997 Honda Accord with some small modifications but I had big plans (including most of the parts) for a 5 speed swap along with an H22.  It was painfully obvious I was going to need a daily to get me around while the Accord was down.  Growing up I had always loved the 94-01 Integra’s so that was the first choice for my search.  After months of searching (Now January 2012) I thought I found the perfect one, until I showed up and the pictures from online were clearly outdated.  While driving home after the letdown I spotted a white 2003 Acura RSX base for sale at a small dealership.  This wasn’t my first choice however it was in the Integra family so I decided to take it for a spin.  Needless to say I fell in love during that test drive and needed to bring it home with me so after some negotiations I was the proud new owner of this RSX I decided to dub Snow White.  Unfortunately, hours after signing for the car I decided to take my Accord out for a night drive where I had a meeting with a large deer who rearranged all of the frame rails up front thus leading to me selling it, making Snow White my new project.

Initially the plans were very simple; replace the foggy headlights, do black interior swap, slightly lower it on coilovers and add some wheels.  Retrofitted black housed headlights came first, followed by the black interior swap.  The interior swap was definitely one of the biggest projects I had ever tackled on my own; it was fairly straight forward but all of the wiring behind the dash was still intimidating.  Working part time I was budget conscious and decided to go with Raceland coilovers and Enkei RPF1’s next.  The racelands gave me the height I was looking for at that time; however there was still a lot of body roll and the ride was pretty stiff so I realized this was only temporary.  For the next year I lurked on the forums looking for a setup that pleased my taste when I finally came across the first RSX I had ever seen on air ride; I was immediately hooked.

I started researching day and night but the information online for bagged RSX’s is fairly limited.  This is when I came across F.A.S.T. of West Chester who specializes in Honda and Subaru modifications as well as air ride installs.  I began talking to Dave Brown, the owner of F.A.S.T., for a couple of weeks about all of the things I wanted in an air ride setup and decided to go up and visit.  He was nice enough to show me a couple setups similar to what I had in mind and that sealed the deal for me.  The only issue that remained was coming up with a trunk layout that allowed me to show off the setup while still maintaining some room for my books when going back and forth to classes.  After a few days of nonstop searching trunk layouts we came up with a setup that would accomplish both of these.

 Once the air install was finished the RPF1’s simply weren’t cutting it in the specs I had when static so F.A.S.T. helped fit some Work Meister S1 3P in 18x9.5 +10 all around to give me the fitment I was craving.  Following this I decided a lip kit was necessary to clean up the outside so I sourced a Mugen front lip and authentic Aspec side skirts and rear lip.  Even though I did a black interior swap it simply wasn’t enough so a DC5r Momo steering wheel, AP1 S2000 cluster and push to start were in order to give it a more modern feel.  To this day the cluster is still one of my favorite mods, it isn’t something everyone will notice but that’s what I enjoy about it; it flows so well it could pass as OEM.

Moving into the future I have some plans, however nothing is set in stone yet.  First and foremost I would like to do a metal wide body as there was only a handful of RSX’s in the world with this done so far, as well as the fact that it would allow for less camber all around.  Next would be some sort of custom seats, as almost all of the modified RSX’s are fitted with DC5 Recaro’s which simply don’t flow with the vision I have in my head for this car.  Finally would be an engine swap with a slightly tucked bay as the base k20a3 leaves much to be desired in the performance field.