MINOR HONDA: KarZ! Kasai’s Orthia

June 16, 2011 1:28 am Published by

You know how some unpopular cars can become popular over time?  A Civic Type-R might have once been the thing to be seen in, but now a Civic Wagovan now ironically seems to  have more cred to it?

There’s a phrase for it in Japan.

Minor car tuning.

“Minor car” has the same meaning here as a “minor role” in a movie. It’s the kind of car that was not very popular with the general public and is usually only driven by weird enthusiasts or people who only saw it as a form of transportation.

So, to get into the minor tuning thing, you take a cheap and purposely undesirable base-level car that shares lots of parts other models, slam it, and put some cheap cool wheels and a loud muffler on it. This sort of thing is becoming more and more popular in Japan as people look to get some very cheap giggles out of their daily beaters while the weekend car is up on the hoist.

This particular minor car belongs to Kasai-san from the KarZ! workshop in Tokyo. It’s a Honda Orthia, which is basically an EK Civic with an enormous brick shape on the back of it.

The wheels are from a rather old BMW 2002, which has the same 100 PCD as the Orthia but a slightly more guard-filling offset. Kasai picked them up from a friend for cheap, since they are the automotive equivalent of last week’s TV guide and were just taking up space in his workshop.

Since it’s basically an EK underneath, a cheap set of coilovers made it easy to lower.

“It’s never getting washed either.” he said.

Yep, all the usual junk on the inside. Navigation, radar detector, ETC card reader, can coffee holder, cheap wooden Nardi. Kasai was there at Nikko Circuit to support the Team Magician guys at the recent Nikko Circuit round of MSC.

Look at that seat and door trim pattern, ugh.

Of course, a wagon is rather useful for hauling around Magician leader Takamiya’s 18in Rays wheels.

I like it.

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This post was written by Alexi


  • Louis Soon says:

    its so off-beat it’s cool

  • Mrgutterball says:

    Damn I want one!! so simple and odd love it!

  • Jimmy says:

    How cool is that!

    And does japanese always drink something when they drive?
    Seems that every car in japan has a cup holder. 🙂

  • NICK says:

    I dont actually think its that bad!
    Would be a great cheap daily beater!! k series transplant maybe…

  • thomas says:

    So sweet! ;D I like it

  • Jarred says:

    ha, we have a aero G verson of the honda orthia, and with my jzx100 on and off the road all the time its the most relaible car i have ever owned, and to be honest one hell of a great family car…..even with simple mods like mugen headers, buddy club exhaust and full kyb spring and shock combo, its a great little preformer… so much so we are thinking about getting another one,

  • Nismoe says:

    What would you call a Mazda Cosmo? Because those things are near non-existent. I’ve seen 2 in Aus and 1 whilst in Japan, and that’s it. I saw more muscle cars in Japan than I did cosmo =P

  • michael says:

    god they are everywhere here. I guess i am more of a minor tuner because i could see me doing this to all sorts aof unconventionally tuned cars

  • Warren says:

    Cosmo’s are rare but not something nobody wants in the first place.
    Its kind of the same with all those stanced Civic Shuttle except that its in US and that this scene is played out with roof racks fixies and sticker bomb (ewww).

    I have yet to see that done on an Honda concerto 4dr (which is something I’m planing to do).

  • mflo says:

    Could this be an influence from the USDM scene in Japan?

  • orion says:

    So when does people start tuning their Fiat Multiplas and Pontiac Aztek??

  • andylaurel says:

    We have a couple of Orthias as company cars at work.
    The auto in them is terrible, but other than that, they drive quite nicely.

    I should do some ‘Minor Tuning’ on my Honda Capa. (Has anyone here ever even seen a Capa?)

  • chris says:

    Black boss, 😀

  • Dave says:

    the last caption says exactly what i was thinking throughout the whole thing ;D