Back in 1999, Honda decided to bring the Si badge out of hiatus and make a triumphant return to showrooms across the states. I remember the first time I saw one. It was actually owned by our very own Paul ‘My shoes are not bright’ Green. Though the car was already very attractive, after he lowered it – everywhere he went – heads turned. It had a timeless yet and classy look.
In my opinion the EM1 is the perfect car to eff’ up. What do I mean by this? As I implied the EM1 does not need a lot to become a nice looking car. It came out of the dealerships looking fantastic.
However, I have seen hundreds of examples were some bastardization has occurred. At times you couldn’t help and ask yourself “Why?” It was just – AWFUL! (..to say the least). I am certain that part of the indifference was as a result of the massive wave of people getting “Si” wheels and/or attempting to imitate the “Si” look. As aresult of this farce, anytime I saw a Si especially the one with the famous Electron Blue paint – I really didn’t bother to pay much attention.
Fast forward to Eibach 2011:
Somewhere around mid-day, one of those classy Electron Blue vehicles parked next to our E-Z Ups. At first I didn’t pay much attention to it, the only thing that I noticed was his car was sitting on some mint RegaMasters Evos and it had Arizona plates. I didn’t know much about the owner other than I had heard about him through friends and of course the good old interweb. I think it was at the end of the day that I started paying more attention to Mike Schietroma’s Si and this was only because he was using a crazy amount of blue tape to protect his car from the elements on his drive back.
On our way back, I got to know Mike a little more and his car proved me completely wrong. Mike’s car became intoxicating to look at. Since then, I began speaking to Mike about shooting his car but for some reason or another we could never make it happen. Finally after persistent pestering we managed to schedule Mike to make the trek to Phoenix so we could get his car on film… I mean memory card.
Our first attempt was cut rather short due to time and unexpected events. However our second attempt was better – though there was an unexpected surprise. It was the hottest day of summer yet. I got to the opportunity to learn more about Mike’s Si as I took photos. Believe it or not, this was Mike’s first build and as you can see he did an amazing job. The more I see of Mike’s car, the more I want to see it. His car is meticulously clean at all times. You’d swear the car gets a bath every time it steps out of the garage. As you can see, Mike is a big fan of Spoon Sports and though he has help from other tuner companies, everything about this car flows. If we lived in a fictional world, Honda would sell Mike’s Si as a Spoon Sports option. Well, maybe minus the aggressive ride height. I wonder what they would call it: S.S. Type Zero Final Version II – or something crazy like that.
Mike started tuning his Si like most of us. What started as a quick visit to ICB Motorsport to see what the fuss was about ended up becoming a full blown hobby. On his first visit, Mike picked up a set of Spoon Sports strut bars. Mike divulged that his favorite parts on his car are the Spoon Sports calipers and the Vision seats. He also confessed that he never thought he would be able to get the calipers and after a couple years ofwanting them he was able to save money and place the order. He admitted that he was very excited when he finally took possession of the calipers. When he told me this, I could still see the excitement on his face. Mike said he fell inlove when he first laid eyes on the Visions seats. Besides providing a little more sense of security during spirited driving, the red Vision seats gave Mike’s car a little more drastic but complementary look.
Over the years as Mike continued piling up more parts, he developed a great friendship with Matt Ye. He told me he was honored when Matt (ICB Motorsport) sponsored him a few years ago and he said “if it wasn’t for Matt, my car wouldn’t be what it is today”.
As of right now, Mike expressed that he is very happy with the state of his build but he would like to get a second set of wheels so he can go back and forth. Mike is also thinking of doing some engine bay work and that a visit to RC Garage is in his plans. Regardless of what direction Mike takes, I am sure the outcome is going to be incredible.
If you know Mike well – you’ll know he keeps his car clean. I think he drives with cleaning supplies in the trunk and has a formula to clean his car based on miles and time. At the very end of our photo session, the weather went south rather quickly and a mini Haboob was coming our way. Mike was stressing a little bit since this was probably the worst weather the car had seen in its combined existence. I am not going to lie; I was feeling bad since it was my idea to shoot that day. Although I knew there was a small chance of rain, I really didn’t believe that it was going to happen. Though we make fun of Mike about his blue-tape masking and cleaning, in all honesty, he loves his car and wants his Si to look its best all the time. I wouldn’t be surprised at all in 10 years if the car looks as good as it does now. Minty clean! We survived the weather and at the end of the day he was able to drive back to Tucson without any rain. I am sure he got home super late, but I have to wonder how long he spent cleaning his car that night.