Everyone has roots, experiences that they can trace back to the beginning of their love affair with cars. We all remember our first car, some may be ashamed to admit the heritage of their very first beater, while others can brag. For Scott Grueber, of Augoura Hills, Calif., backtracking turns up a 1974 Pontiac Ventura with a direct-port nitrous system. The Pontiac was fairly competitive, taking out vehicles higher on the food chain until a Silver Civic hatchback with a GReddy turbo kit made Grueber see the light. Thinking it would be an easy romp and stomp, they raced. To his surprise, the pint-size Civic screamed passed the Pontiac like a bat out of hell. Grueber was puzzled, "how could a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine beat my bottle-fed V8?" Taking an interest in the Civic, he later sold his Pontiac and bought the very same Civic that spanked him. It only took Grueber a few weeks before he started to tinker with the Honda in search of even more thrust.

After a careful investigation by Grueber, he elected to go with an engine transplant. However, he knew by just swapping the 1.6-liter single-cam engine for a GSR-powerplant would not satisfy his speed hunger. Prior to installation the B18C engine was sent to JG Engine Dynamics for some massaging. The engine was fully disassembled and cleaned prior to any work being performed. The block was given the company's Pro Series treatment, which included fortifying the floating cylinder walls of the B-series engine. A CNC-machined guard is pressed into the factory water jackets and welded in place to prevent cracking of the cylinder sleeves under boosted operation. With the guard welded in place and resurfaced, the factory sleeves were bored out and replaced with stronger ductile iron units. The block was then stuffed with turbo friendly 81.5mm 9.0:1 compression Lightspeed custom pistons with Total Seal rings. Swinging on a high-speed balanced and micro-polished factory crankshaft are custom Lightspeed connecting rods. Finishing off the bottom-end is a modified oil pump and factory oil pan.

The head was also given the Pro Series treatment, which included porting and polishing, adding high-rev valve springs, titanium retainers and JG CNC-machined intake and exhaust valves. A pair of JG 296/300 camshafts conduct valvetrain orchestration, while a pair of JG Lightspeed cam gears fine tune the powerband. Sealing the bottom-end and head were handled by a factory head gasket and ARP head studs. Ensuring that the engine stays fully lubricated, Redline oil and additives were used exclusively.

With the engine fortified, building the turbo system was next in line. A custom XS Engineering T4 turbocharger is fed a steady stream of exhaust fumes via a JG Lightspeed turbo manifold. The pressurized air is then fed into a GTR-sized intercooler from XS. The front-mount air-to-air intercooler utilizes the ambient air to cool the charge air before it pressurizes the intake tract. Channeling the charge air into the port-matched intake manifold is a JG big-bore throttle body.