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Legends Series: Stephan Papadakis's 8-second Honda Civic
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We pause our amazing, regularly-scheduled automotive parade for a momentary look into the past; back to a time before the Internet, before the dawn of cellular telephones, before email, before aftermarket parts were only a mouse click away.

We felt a need lately to investigate the dawn of the import car craze, to locate and interrogate figures who've been there, done that, and set achievements so high they're still talked about today. Not the people merely in the scene; the people who created the scene; the Legends. 

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We've audaciously planned to catch up with some of the legends of the sport compact tuning scene – people who have reshaped the industry with their vision and drive – to share ther story.

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To this end, we've tracked down Stephan Papadakis, our first feature in an esteemed list of legends. Although he's most recently been spotted driving a K20-swapped 1989 CRX at NASA Honda Challenge events, savvy folks will be quick to recognize him as the owner and proprietor of Papadakis Racing, and probably know him best as the manager of Formula Drift star Frederic Aasbo's turbocharged rear wheel-drive Hankook Tire Scion tC team.

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Before that, in 2007 and 2008, he was the builder of two-time Formula Drift Champion Tanner Foust's Nissan 350Z. He also built the truly insane, 800-horsepower Toyota NASCAR-engined rear wheel-drive Rockstar Scion tC, which Foust piloted in 2009 and 2010. He even spent time behind the wheel at Irwindale's “House of Drift” as the driver of the AEM Honda S2000 drift car. 

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Born in New York but thoroughly converted to a SoCal surf and snowboarding enthusiast with a house in Redondo Beach and a race shop in Hawthorne, he's been in the import car scene long before Honda Civics were threatening to break out of the 10-second bracket. We snagged him and peppered him with questions about how his automotive obsession began, what it's been like, and his advice for youngsters in the biz.



More Legends

Legends Series: Stephan Papadakis's 8-second Honda Civic

We pause our amazing, regularly-scheduled automotive parade for a momentary look into the past; back to a time before the Internet, before the dawn of cellular telephones, before email, before aftermarket parts were only a mouse click away. We felt…
Read More

Legends Series: Lisa Kubo - The Duchess of Drag Racing

In a span of eight years, during what could be considered the glory days of Sport Compact Drag Racing, Lisa Kubo won over 35 events, all while also racking up an impressive list of championships. In 2004, she went undefeated…
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The Legend of Mid Night Club (Part 3): Debriefing with Top Secret's Smoky Nagata

Smoky Nagata is an enigma in Japanese tuning circles, and his brand Top Secret carries more meaning than you may be aware of. Nagata-san is a very softly spoken, introverted type of guy who greatly values his privacy and space;…
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Legends Series: Inside the Mind of David “Fishman” Rivera

While others step away from the industry and close their doors to enthusiasts, there has always been one constant in California, pumping out ‘Fish Editions’ of any car you can imagine, year after year. David Rivera refused to leave the…
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The Legend of Mid Night Club (Part 1): Introducing Record Holders 9 (a.k.a. RH9)

Introducing Record Holders 9 (A.K.A. RH9) NO DOUBT, MANY OF YOU READING PASMAG HAVE HEARD OF THE "MID NIGHT CLUB." THIS GROUP OF LEGENDARY STREET RACERS NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION; THEY'VE BEEN THE FOCUS OF BOTH ARCADE AND CONSOLE VIDEO GAMES,…
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