When I was a kid, both of my parents were coffee junkies. They used to drink coffee at absurd times of the day like 4am, which now that I think about it, made perfect sense. One saturday morning, my mom came into my room at some ridiculous hour like 4am, and told me to get dressed. We used to take family road trips like many other American families, and for a time, we would visit Louisiana just for kicks. I won’t go into detail about my mom covering my eyes while we walked through the red light district on Bourbon street, but the one thing that stood out to me about New Orleans was my obsession with beignets from Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter. At the time (many moons ago, trust me), it was the only place that I knew I could get them, so it was a rare treat to get these powdered sugar coated delights. Me and my sisters would hold our breaths as we dived into the pile of beignets as my parents would sit back and enjoy yet another cup of their famous coffee. Before they started selling them in local stores, my parents would buy a bunch of their coffee beans to take back home, but I always wished we could take some beignets instead.
So when the Mayday team came to visit Louisiana a few weeks ago, we had Thien Le’s super nice CRX on the roster to shoot, but needed a place that would capture the essence of New Orleans. For Tot’s AMG 63, we shot it right inside of the French Quarter. So as I scratched my head to come up with another place, it dawned on me. Cafe Du Monde is no doubt a well known landmark as well as a popular spot to grab some coffee. So with that in mind, I texted Thien to bring the CRX to Cafe Du Monde and we’d shoot it there. And then it started raining.
As the water came down that Saturday afternoon, I texted Thien one last time before meeting him.
“Rain or shine, we’re shooting that CRX”
Right on cue, he showed up and as we started to shoot, the CRX, with it’s diffused rear bumper, bright white roll cage, and Work RS Betas, seemed out of place. The place was packed with tourists, and it was rather difficult for our photographer Danh to capture a clean shot amongst the hoards of people.
The rain kept pounding onto the carbon fiber hood, which Thien didn’t seem to mind. Thien is actually a pretty laid back kind of guy, and later as me and John started to talk to him a bit more when the car was parked elsewhere, we of course started talking about cars. It turns out that Thien is a rather old school ricer, and knows all too well about “the glory days” of import tuning. He’s no stranger to Honda performance either, as his CRX clearly suggests. The 97 Type R motor combined with his LSD transmission shows that the car is not just a looker, it’s quite the performer. In fact, the car has a very functional vibe going for it, with cues from the Cali Honda scene as seen by the small bits and pieces you’ll find in his engine bay.
It’s important to note that we chose this particular CRX not because it’s a Honda, and not because it has some really great and well thought out parts, but it’s because the car was built with fun and function in mind. You won’t find a crazy Hellaflush fitment with super low offset wheels here like so many other cars, just a nice, clean and great all around build that doesn’t focus too heavily on one side of the scales. After we said our goodbyes and exchanged handshakes, we wiped off our lenses and headed off to grab some brews at a local tavern in downtown New Orleans. I never did get that cup of amazing coffee that my parents so loved to sip on, but I did get to taste that wonderful powdered sugar on top of that deep fried beignet and thought to myself, “Damn, this would taste even better if I didn’t accidentally snort some of the sugar”. I’ll be back.
Words by Thien Le:
“When i first purchased my stock CRX it brought me back to the roots of the import scene and showed me the way of appreciating not just my car, but any car out there. I would like to start off by thanking Betty, Donovan, and Marina for putting up with my CRX addiction. Paul & the S2Krewe. Jim, Thuan, & Danny aka 2phat from N.O.L.A Customs. George Torlage as the coolest instructor. David Do and the Maydaygarage crew for beasting it through the southern rain, humidity, and heat in order to make this shoot happen and allowing me to be part of their neverending journey. Lastly, my mother Thanh Thi Nguyen, none of this would have happen without you mom.”
JDM B18C 1997 Spec R
Hasport Motor Mounts
Hasport Cable to Hydro Kit
Passwordjdm Carbon Fiber Intake with K&N Air Filter
Benen Heat Shield
Blox Test Pipe
Chrome Pro 92 Pump Gas
S80 LSD Transmission with 4.7 Final Drive
ACT Heavy Duty 6 Puck
Front & Rear Wipers, Antenna, AC/Heater Delete
Ivy Green Paint Interior, Exterior, & Engine Bay
Golden Eagle Diffuser
Seibon Carbon Fiber ZC Hood
Passwordjdm Hood Shock
Rolled Front and Rear Fenders
Homemade Front Diffuser
JDM Power Folding Mirrors
S2000 gauge Cluster
S2000 Push Start Button
Defi Oil/Temp/Volt Gauges
Momo Steering Wheel
NRG Quick Release
NRG Hub Lock
Bride Low Max Bucket Seats
Explicit Speed 3 Point Strut Bar
Explicit Speed Traction Bar
Homemade Rear X Brace
Energy Suspension Bushings
Skunk 2 Camber Kit
Blox Rear Camber Kit
Integra front and rear brakes
Integra Master Cylinder and Brake Booster
4040 Poportion Valve
Goodridge Stainless Steel Brake Lines
Work RS Betas
16 x 7
As we wrapped things up with Thien, I convinced the guys to try some of those famous beignets…