Jul 7, 2020

Budget Track Hatchback Done Right


f there is one thing I can get behind, it is an entrepreneur,specifically automotive entrepreneurs. One aspect that many enthusiasts are drawn to, is the ability to modify a car and make it your own. That being said,not every enthusiast has the know-how, tools or time to build a car the way they want. Delwin Morris from Oakland, CA has been helping his customers reach their goal since 2011. His company, DIVERSE FORWARD RESEARCH, is based out of the Bay Area. Delwin has three of his own projects currently, a 1996 Honda Civic DX, a Gen 3 MR2 and a Hummer that he uses as his tow rig.

This 1996 Honda Civic hatchback is in a world of its own. The power plant is a stock b20 that is California BAR approved, equipped with a lightweight flywheel, LS Integra transmission, a stage three 5 puck unsprung clutch, a three-row radiator with a FAL slim fan. For those of you not familiar with BAR, it is the Bureau of Automotive Repair in California. Certain engine swaps can meet the BAR’s requirements to be considered “street legal” in California. Having this sticker of approval can you save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars and a lot of wasted time down the road. Being pulled over and given a pricey ticket to have your car BAR inspected is no fun.

The exterior of the Civic sports a 2000 front end, Konig Dekagram wheels, Federal tires, and a Type R wing. GT3 style mirrors and GT style track fender cuts help give this hatchback the aggressive track-inspired look it needs. As you can see the interior of this car is gutted apart from the driver’s seat. Not uncommon among dedicated track cars to reduce weight and unclutter the interior. The rear bumper delete with the visible bash bar and rear X brace of the roll cage really gives this hatch an aggressive look. (See full parts list below)

Delwin competes in Autocross and Road Racing religiously. If he is not hosting community car events or gatherings you can find him at the track. When he is not hosting his own events, he is also enjoying events like SPOCOM SF, and SHUKAI San Jose. Delwin’s father introduced him to his love of cars. Delwin’s father, Wendell, owned muscle cars. One of Delwin's father's favorite muscle cars of his era was the Mustang, while his father’s cousin, Omar, owned Camaros. Delwin recalls over hearing conversations between Wendell and Omar about the new parts they had just installed on their vehicles. This would sometimes turn into a friendly competition that would lead to them leaving the party to drag race on 7th Street and West Grand Street in Oakland. Both streets are historically known for hosting some of the most epic street races in the county! Often referred to as the Oakland Speedway, the street racing history in Oakland is known throughout the country. With a rich heritage like that, it is hard to imagine a life outside of cars for Delwin.

Some of the biggest setbacks that one can face within the automotive industry can be out of your control. With Delwin owning a business in which he modifies and builds cars for customers, there is bound to be competition. After facing some setbacks with local businesses, Delwin found appreciation in other areas like Stockton, Tracy, and Sacramento. Anytime you are working on other people’s cars, it can be hard to find the time or motivation to build your own. Delwin sets aside a couple days a week now to focus on his personal builds.

Delwin’s company, DIVERSE FORWARD RESEARCH is unique. He broke it down for me, DIVERSE - There are many different nationalities and cultures behind the wheel in the car community. FORWARD – To advance and become better, striving for a better future together. RESEARCH – “In our own ways we do research daily to improve the quality of our living”.

I think Delwin has built himself some unique projects that will keep him busy for years to come. You can check out his Instagram page, @Tokyo.510. His business page is@dfr_stance. You can also check him out onYouTube,https://www.youtube.com/user/DFRxSTANCE.

A few of Delwin's sponsors

 Racing team @getanotherwin

 Media @haonly__

Decal / Clothing @fableprint

All photographs within this feature were provided by Delwin.


Stock b20 California BAR approved

 Lightweight flywheel

 LS Integra transmission

 Stage 3 5 puck unsprung clutch

 3-row radiator

 FAL slim fan



 2000 front end

 Konig Dekagram wheels

 Federal tires

 Type R wing

 GT3 style mirrors

 GT style track fender cuts




 Driver seat


 Suspension / Chassis Bracing

 Blox coil overs

 Blackworks Racing LCA and subframe brace

 4 point roll cage

 Rear crossbar

 Short shifter

 Full bushings

 The entire car has energy suspension polyurethane bushings



 Integra full disk brake conversion 

 Ep3 rear brake calipers / rotors