The Honda Jazz that's breaking the mould.
Anni Loosen | Honda Jazz GD1 2004 1.4l Dual Spark
A model of car more often associated with supermarket runs and daytime doddles to-and-from the school gates, the Jazz is one of Honda's lesser tuner focussed creations. However, when Anni showed us her example, we were amazed with how cool her Jazz actually looked and so here it is, for you all to enjoy!
"It wasn't really a choice to buy the car or to get something that I actually wanted, which was a Mini Cooper. I was given the Jazz as my first car by my Grandmother and have now had it for 7 years."
Our first cars are something quite special. Regardless of how long they survive in our ownership (mine lasted just over a year before it met an untimely end), they always remain in our hearts and act as the foundation for which our future car taste evolves. Anni, however, is 7 years deep into her relationship with her first car and has invested time, money and energy in transforming a humble NA 1.4l into her own piece of JDM paradise.
"I really hated the way the car looked and the stereotype that goes along with the car, so I had to do something about it quickly."
Aspiring to break the mould and common conceptions of the Jazz has been a forefront topic for Anni and there's been no expensed spared in doing so. In-fact, the amount of work carried out on the car is pretty spectacular with a total build sheet longer than your arm.
Everything from a custom-built air intake with heat shield, to a specialist Malaysian Front Grille, Anni has let her imagination run whilst retaining the Jazz's Japanese cultural roots. Here, the authentic 'Spoon' blue wing mirror glass has been added and Mugen pedal covers introduced to bring that authentic JDM charm into the cockpit.
Upon its release in 2001, the Jazz was praised for its comfort and space that was on offer in a small compact. In typical petrol head style, these were two aspects that Anni instantly addressed.
"At the start it was lovely and comfortable, a smooth ride with nice seats and... it was quiet. It needed some upgrades as the stereo was terrible and the seats, although comfy, had no support at all! It was also SO ugly!
As the car got older I upgraded stuff as parts broke, i.e. springs & shocks. When the brakes went I upgraded them, when I needed new tyres, I bought new wheels & tyres."
This repair & replace attitude to a build is actually an effective method. Replacing redundant parts for up-rated alternatives demonstrates a gradual, and investment like approach to a car build... it's a long but rewarding game.
As you can imagine, dropping the Jazz on some high performance BC Racing Coilovers has led to a stiff, performance tuned ride. A world away from the humble smooth and wafting ride the OEM suspension offered. The result however, whilst stiffer, is a far more engaging and responsive ride quality.
Whilst most of us would have lost patience with a car 7 years into ownership, Anni has persevered and continued through the challenges to ensure the Jazz is in tip-top condition.
"The biggest challenge that I faced was when you fixed one thing, another one broke. It was always one step forward and two steps back, but it's an old car now so problems will occur when you start messing with things.
The other issue I found was finding aftermarket parts as most of the modified Jazz's / Fit's are found in Japan, Malaysia, and America. When you do find a rare part over here you have to grab it straight away as everyone is after those rare parts - buy now, worry about money later."
When you delve into the sales figures of the Jazz, you can start to understand why sourcing aftermarket parts in the UK is so difficult.
In 2002, over 250,000 units of the Jazz were sold in Japan, making it the best selling car in the country - the first time Honda had achieved this feat. Throughout the same year for the entirety of Europe, only 43,000 units were sold and this variance in sales was a trend that generally continued for the lifespan of the Jazz.
However, the Jazz does have one legacy to leave and it's the fact that it actually helped Anni get into modifying cars altogether:
"The thing that got me into cars the most was my Grandad. When I was a kid he had an old MG, I'm not sure what model it was, but he used to take us to picnics in it. We would clean it with him and he would sometimes take us to classic car shows in it. However, the main thing that got me into modifying the Jazz was just how ugly it was. It was the Ugly Betty of the car world!"
Well ugly it is no more, as Anni's magic has turned this Jazz into an aggressive JDM infused hatch. With carbon fibre accents and those lovely chunky, almost retro 3SDM wheels, this Jazz has the attitude and presence to rival its Japanese competitors.
The Jazz has also stood the test of time and is testimony to the original manufacturer and Anni's ongoing maintenance to keep this Jazz in pristine condition:
"When I was a kid, probably 11 - 12 years old, I was with my grandparents and I remember going into a petrol station because my older brother needed the toilet. As we drove through the middle of two cars that were filling up, one of them opened their door into the driver's side rear door. I was sitting behind my Grandad and as the door of the other car hit mine it smashed the glass all over me!
The car went to Honda to be fixed soon after, but as the car got older the damage from the accident started to come through the paint. 12 years on and I have only just got round to repairing the damage properly, so now it looks better than factory fresh."
In all honesty Anni's Jazz is in exceptional condition for a car that's just shy of 20 years old, modified, and daily driven! It's clear that Anni is proud of her Jazz and quite rightly so. I haven't seen many modified examples in the UK but I must admit that Anni's is my favourite to date.
"The front end in general is what I'm most pleased with. It took a lot of time and money to get it to how it is now. I love how angry it looks, all the vents in the bonnet, the eyelids, and the smooth lines of the custom bumper add up to make it look, quite frankly, savage!"
Check out Anni's instagram page to stay up to date with arguably the most aggressive, and coolest Honda Jazz in the UK right now - anniloosen97.
84bhp (1.4l Dual Spark I-DSI Inline 4)
BC Racing Coilovers
Front & Rear Ultrarace Strut Bars & C-Pillar Brace
Wheels & Tyres:
16 x 8 ET25
195/45 R16 Nankang NS20 Tyres
Custom Air Intake w/ Heat Shield (made by my partner @matt_anstey94)