Bringing an RSX back from the dead to a Rally Sprint win!


It’s funny how bad decisions sometime lead to your greatest achievements.

Buying this RSX was a terrible idea, plain and simple. I’m somewhat skilled at driving and breaking cars but have a long way to go with my mechanic and used car evaluation skills.

IMG_5957 IMG_5964

I had been casually keeping an eye open for a caged rally car so I could graduate from Rallycross into more serious events such as Rally Trials and Sprints. This RSX popped up on the Texas Rallycross Facebook group one day and I was immediately drawn to it since I knew it would be similar to my Civic Si to drive and work on. I also knew some parts would be interchangeable between the cars so it seemed like a great option to buy.

It had sat for 5 years and hadn’t run in that time. I figured it just needed some fluid changes and other normal maintenance to make it run again but I was very wrong.



Luckily I had my friend Seth to help me bring this monster back to life because what I thought was a simple task turned out to be countless hours and a lot of headaches that I had no mechanical prowess to solve on my own. Read about how Seth got it to run here.

Once Seth worked his magic (which included taking the engine apart to adjust the timing chain, and sorting the complete mess of an electrical system) and we swapped all the fluids, put in a new fuel pump, air filter, battery etc. He brought it back to the ranch where we hauled it originally.

IMG_6193 IMG_6219
Once it got to the Rally Ready Ranch, I was able to drive it for the first time on dirt and shake it down. This lead to problems such as the tie rod ends falling off and the belt falling off causing the car to overheat and lose power steering. I foolishly tried to fix these items myself and was partially successful but only temporarily. Thanks to Josh and Shawn and their mechanical expertise at the Rally School, we were able to get the car into running order.


I ran it at the summer SCCA Rally Sprints (my first time competing in such an event) and managed to take first place! The car is insanely fun to drive and also extremely loud since I never got around to fixing the exhaust. I’m hoping I’ll find time to finish it and take it to a real stage rally event someday.


some flybys of the noisy RSX in last week’s rally captured by @tangerineorangeblur

A post shared by Brian DeFrees (@defrees) on

The RSX finally got to compete in a Rally this weekend….and placed 1st! I bought this last fall as a project car that had been sitting in a lot for 5 years because it didn’t run and the previous owner gave up on it. I wouldn’t have been able to drive it today had it not been for these guys and can’t thank them enough for the help along the way: Dustin – for hauling this hunk of junk to the ranch Dave C – for letting me store this hunk of junk at the ranch Seth – for hauling the hunk of junk to Houston and bringing it back from the dead to make it run for the first time in years then hauling it back to the rally ranch Josh – for helping install the new tie rods so the wheels stopped falling off Shawn – for fixing the biggest headache with the car that i had wasted months on trying to repair myself – fixing the pulleys so the belt would stay on and the car wouldn’t blow up. and last but not least: DavidMoss22 – for coordinating the repairs i needed to run this weekend and also hosting a kickass event compete with champagne spray 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🍾🍾🍾🍾 📸: Brad Fast (@hjcho616)

A post shared by Brian DeFrees (@defrees) on

sending it airborne with @davidmoss22

A post shared by Brian DeFrees (@defrees) on


DSC_0338 DSC_0349 DSC_0339 DSC_0325