The Growth of the Car Community at Lake Stevens High School

Seniors Riley Harless and Jalen Crawford showcase their cars.


Corsen Siconolfi

 Senior Riley Harless’s Mazda RX-8

Tanner Carr, Section Editor

With an ever growing fan base, we’ve seen the rise in the car community, especially among High School students as it is a time when most people get their first car.

The RX-8, a Mazda manufactured sports car. A rear wheel drive and front engine car, comes equipped with a 1.3L Renesis rotary engine, however, this RX model gets a lot of flack. 

Firstly, the apex seals. This is the most common complaint or jab at the Renesis as the apex seals are always moving; therefore, they get worn faster. The Renesis seals are even more notorious as they’re thinner than other 13B seals, so they wear down even faster than what you would want and expect.

Next, the rotor housing for them isn’t too good, and rather just very, very poor. This in turn with weak apex seals makes a turbo build for these engines unlikely due to an increase of unreliability. Lastly, the Renesis runs at such high compression that if you try turbocharging one, it’ll blow up twice as fast.

Engine bay of the RX-8. Rotaries are undoubtedly  smaller compared to other engines.

With all this bad, why would anyone buy something so disapproved of? Because they’re good in their own way too. Ask anyone, check any forum and one thing you’ll come across is how good their chassis is, especially how much grip they have. Not only that, but they’re unique in how they have suicide rear suicide doors, which a lot of people find cool. They make for good cars if your concern is having fun driving and even fixing it up, but if you want a daily driver that takes little to no knowledge and maintenance, stay away as they’ll just end up giving you a headache.   


Overall, senior Riley Harless thinks cars are “fun to look at, fun to drive, fun to make it your own.” as in it’s your own possession and obsession. When asked about the car community at school he said “it sucks. There’s the real car people and fake car people.” And proceeded to say “they don’t appreciate anyone else and their builds” also adding “you can hate on other people’s cars, but you don’t have to make it public. It’s MY thing.” Lastly, to add on, when asked what was his goal with his build, Riley replies “Do what I wanna do, not what anyone else wants. It’s my car.”  

Honda’s prestige in building cars cannot be questioned, and one of the best examples of their lasting influence is the Honda Civic EF. Also, if you noticed that the engine isn’t a D series, which come in this generation of Civics, this is a B20B swapped Civic. Originally coming from 1996 CR-Vs, people had begun to swap them. This engine is of course included within Honda’s engine series “B”. These engines are known for their ability to build reliable power, good gas economy, and they’re also cheap and can be swapped into a lot of Honda chassis’s. The EFs are generally shadowed by EGs and EKs.

Senior Jalen Crawford with both his Honda CRZ and EF Hatch.

When asked what he prefers, the Touge, otherwise known as mountain racing or a Track. He started off by saying at the track, you can reach your car’s potential however, “the touge has my heart.” Asking about his future goals for the CRZ, shortly he answered “finish up the body kit, make it a little bit nicer on the exterior” and for the EFs future he said “new brakes, some body panels, and maybe a VTEC swap.” Finally, I hit him with the question of how cars have impacted his relationships, to which he said it was positive. “I’ve met some people through Kong RC drifting” and listed off some more people such as Touge Time. He wants to “get into a career for race car mechanic or race car driver. Something to do with racing.”