“HELLLOOOOO BROOKLYN!!” Growing up in Brooklyn Center, MN and being into cars, I have always heard the name “Team Brooklyn”. Being known for their All-motor Hondas to their now race-tracked turboed Civics, Team Brooklyn has come a long way. This includes Kou Lee and his journey of claiming the quarter-mile spot. Lee started in 1999 with his first Honda, a 2nd generation Acura Integra that was equipped with the beloved B16a. After running a very respectable 13.3ET with a 75 shot of laughing gas, the drug we all know and love quickly grew inside of Lee. From his days of reckless street racing to track driven times, Lee set a goal of becoming one of the quickest Hondas in Minnesota and putting Team Brooklyn on the map.
I have always used Lee’s 10 second civic hatchback as an example; with the right parts, the right tune and driver, going fast does not have to be flashy. Reading car forums and magazines of people installing MSD ignitions and all these big parts with no real rhyme nor reason, glancing over Lee’s engine bay, you start noticing the stock distributor and none of your usual flashy parts you see in today’s cars. Everything has a purpose to serve and nothing was there just for “show”. You start second guessing the set-up and even going as far as thinking that there is no way it is capable of such power and time slips. These thoughts plays over and over in your head until you see it in action. As soon as you watch Lee line up; all that doubt quickly leaves and suddenly you realize that it’s the real deal and you are simply left in “Ahh” as it blast down the strip.
If it wasn’t for the race roll cage and rumble underneath the hood, this 10 second hatchback would maintain underneath the radar. For it’s low-key presence, there’s definitely a monster stirring under and once the throttle opens, all hell breaks loose and you just hope God can save you. But at first glance, you would never imagine it being able to blast the 1320 with so much force, like the saying goes, “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover”. Being at it’s street form, the 1993 Honda Civic hatchback may look like your ordinary civic roaming around city streets, but underneath that carbon fiber hood, a 662whp B20/vtec quietly whispers and waits patiently to be heard.
Being influenced by teammate Steve “Ram” Yang breaking into 11’s, Lee started on his journey of building his vision of a “True Street” Honda. Starting out with a ‘93 Civic hatchback, Lee had his eyes set on keeping it as close to a daily driver as possible, but after a year of owning the future drag queen; that idea slowly became a faint memory(though it still can be driven on the streets). Lee opt to get more power by adding a nice turbo kit into the mix and from there it started to grow; wanting to drive an everyday turbo civic at 10psi quickly changed to the screaming horrid 30psi monster that it is today. The civic’s first power plant was a B18c1 and though it was a good jump-off point, it could only last for so long until the thirst for more power came into play. Bringing the displacement up was the next goal in line and with a fully-built B20 block, assembled by Lee, it quickly replaced the 1.8. With a nearly stock cylinder head that is internally dressed in Skunk2 gear, it can amaze anyone how far these cylinder heads can be push. Three years in the making, Lee’s hatchback quickly became one of Minnesota’s top contenders at Modern Automotive Performance’s(MAP) Proving Grounds held at Brainerd International Raceway (BIR).
It seem as though that every year that passed, Lee was getting faster and the place to showcase Lee’s hard work and effort was at MAP’s Proving Grounds. From the first year of running mid 10’s, Lee knew that he can go even deeper. After an off season of putting in a race roll cage made by MeanStreet Performance and a new turbo set-up from the help of Full Blown Motorsports, Lee was on a mission to tear up the drag strip with a low 10 second ET. Before heading out to BIR, Lee stopped by DBperformance to do battle on the rollers and have the one and only Shane Ziegler to tame the beast. Putting down a 613whp, Lee was ready to prove himself at BIR. This past 2011 Proving Grounds was an unforgettable one, even though Lee got eliminated in the “True Street” Class because of some mechanical failure, he was surely the quickest Honda that day. Laying down a personal best of firstname.lastname@example.org, Lee had accomplished what he was set out to do and that was to dive deep into 10s and survive.
“Running a low 10 was my goal and if I would’ve broke 9s then it would’ve been even better,” Lee replies when asked if he will continue trying to break the 9 second barrier. With the end of the 2011 season, the questions that comes to mind is “What’s next?”. Lee knowingly well that the car is capable of high 9’s with more seat time and new dyno numbers of 662whp, one can only think if this is the new goal. A few days before the interview, Lee posted a for sale thread on some local car forums to see if anyone would be interested in the well-built track car, with no response yet and the possibility of selling the beloved civic, I asked what would be next if it doesn’t sell. The first thing that comes to mind is quickly summed up in “bigger and badder”, from upping his PTE SC6262 turbo to something bigger that can suck the clothes off a woman to having a Drag front-end, the sky is the limit on what will be in store. Feeling almost satisfied with what he have accomplished in the 3 years of building, Lee already has a project lined up and if the Civic sells, then that means more funds towards the new project.
From his journey of building his vision of a “True Street” daily driver race car, Lee has achieve what some can only read on internet forums and magazines. No one knows what’s exactly in store for the 10 second civic, but I can truly say that this will not be the last time we hear of Kou Lee and Team Brooklyn. Time and time again they have shown the local scene what they are capable of and nothing seems to be slowing them down. From being garage built and track ready, Lee has displayed what it takes to be one of the quickest in Minnesota. Where’s Brooklyn at? Right here!!!
Dog: Tyrus/ Nhia Vang of United Midwest Bullies
Owner/Driver: Kou Lee
Hometown: Fresno, CA
Car: 1993 Honda Civic HB
Reppin’: Team Brooklyn
Building for how long: since 1999
Dream car: The list never seems to end!!!
Under the Monster:
B20V AEBS sleeved
Pauter rods w/ 10:1 JE piston
GSR head w/ Skunk2 Pro 1 Cams, Dual Valve Spring and Retainers
JG intake manifold
Fullblown ramhorn manifold
PTE 600 intercooler
Stock GSR tranny w/ exedy twin disc
Omni (rear), Progress (fronts)
Wheels and tires:
(street) Polish Rota Slipstreams wrapped with kuhmo tires
(Race) SpinWerks 13x8 fronts 15x4 rears wrapped with Mickey Thompsons drag slicks
Carbon Fiber Hood
Carbon Fiber trunk
Carbon Fiber spolier
10pt chromoly Race cage by MeanStreet Performance
I want to thank GOD that he’s blessed me with the skills and talent that help me to achieve my goals! I also want to thank my wife and kids for their moral support of my addiction for speed and my personal pit crew “TEAM BROOKLYN” that has always been there for me and the rest of my friends and family!
DBperformance/Shane Zielger for the tune!
Full Blown Motorsports
Owner’s last words:
“Live life with no regrets!” You only have one life to live and make it what you want it to be and be content with it!
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