In "The Man With the Golden Gun" James Bond's nemesis, Scaramanga, could take his cigarette case, lighter, and ball-point pen and with his hands in his lap deconstruct these items and rebuild them into an operating firearm; made of pure gold no less. That's impressive. In "Goldfinger" the bad guy planned to dirty-bomb America's gold supply thereby increasing the value of his own sizable stash by tenfold. Yep, he was one for big business. Chris Rios has a thing for gold and his fondness for it can be seen in his pristine turbocharged Integra GS-R. In fact, this '94 Integra would be a prime 007 ride if the secret agent wasn't coerced into rolling some Euro-trash POS in each installment.
Rios is definitely on the right track. You don't need no stinkin' oil slick button when you're packin' a pressurized JDM-bred B18C with a high-boost button! The transformation you see here spanned a nine-year period with considerable down time while Rios served in the army. "The car was purchased in 1996 with every intention of turbocharging it," says Rios. "The initial plan was to do an engine rebuild and turbo conversion once I hit 100,000 miles but that plan went down the drain after I misshifted and bent some valves in the head."
Rios soon began taking weekend drives with a group of friends and those custom-car synapses soon began to re-fire in his cerebral cortex. He knew the car needed some TLC to get it back on the road but before long he found himself swimming in the deep end and a "freshening" snowballed into a full-blown project. Enamored with the JDM movement, Rios set out to find the hottest, hardest-to-find parts no matter what obstacles lay in the way.
The engine was pulled and the bullet was reanimated by Jeremy Allen at Inline Pro of Springfield, Va. It got battle-ready Darton sleeves before being filled with Arias 9.5:1 compression pistons, Inline Pro rods, and a stock crank. A massaged Bill Craddock head sits atop the B-series block secured with ARP hardware. The centerpieces of the turbo system are a pristine stainless turbo header from Hytech and a Garrett-based T04 that is cleverly "side-mounted" in the engine bay. The turbo comes from Turbo Direct and is one of their Big Kahuna specials. The turbine wheel is a 76 trim. The intake side features a 67mm compressor wheel with a .70 A/R while the exhaust housing has a .81 A/R. Rios still has some room to play with as this turbo is capable of pumping enough air for 700-plus horsepower.
The remainder of the turbo system consists of a TiAL Sports 40mm wastegate, GReddy Type-R blow-off valve, and an A'PEXi GT-R intercooler fitted with a DEI CryO2 intercooler spray kit. Once properly chilled like a bottle of Rothschild's 1957, charge air moves into the engine via a large-plenum Venom intake manifold fitted with an STR 74mm throttle body. Gas venting is handled by a custom three-inch downpipe formed from stainless steel and a three-inch stainless exhaust system terminated by an A'PEXi N1 muffler canister.
Fueling duties are assigned to a Weldon high-volume pump that feeds an Inline Pro rail and Inline Pro 1,000cc injectors inventoried from its drag race program. "The MAP sensor was upgraded to a GM 3-bar unit and Brian Fisher at Inline Pro did a masterful job tuning the car with a Hondata S300," Rios explains. Masterful?! How about 679 whp and 449 lb-ft of torque. That's Jedi Master territory.
"When my attention shifted to the body and beyond I realized with a monster engine my car's interior and exterior had to be stepped up to match," says Rios. "I decided to do something different and not commonly seen in the New England area: right-hand drive. So with the help of Noyan U.S.A. in Manassas, Virginia I was able to get a RHD clip. I began the conversion in my garage. With my dad and uncle, who in his profession as a body man, had replaced firewalls before, we started drilling out all the spot welds. After quite a few hours of non-stop thrashing the firewall was out of the clip and being grafted into my Integra."
The car was taken to Champion Body Works in Lipton, Va., where it received its golden hue. With the glass reinstalled and the car back in the garage the interior was the next big-ticket item on the to-do list. Japan Star in Albany, N.Y., found Rios a right-hand drive carpet and mat setup and JDM Type R buckets, door panels, and factory clock plate. The steering wheel was replaced with a tasty Mugen FG360 outfitted with an FET detachable hub for added security. Other JDM-inspired upgrades include a Type R gauge cluster, Mugen sports meter, JDM e-brake cover, Takata harnesses, and a Cusco roll cage.
Enraptured deep in a JDM trance, Rios then went all out. "The goal was to make the car look as authentic as possible. I started off, of course, by changing the front end by upgrading it to JDM Integra specs with factory HID lights. I replaced the rear hatch with a VIS carbon-fiber trunk and JDM rear glass with no wiper. Wrapping the lower portion of the car are Azect side skirts and rear valance along with a Chargespeed front bumper treatment."
For footwork Rios kept it real with a sophisticated JDM slant. "I upgraded to Zeal Function B6 coil-overs, then added a JDM Type R front sway bar, a JDM Type R 23mm rear bar, and Mugen front and rear strut tower braces. Rolling stock was addressed with some sweet Mugen MF10 wheels and Dunlop Direzza rubber, which really kept with my theme."
When it comes to this 1994 Integra, Rios should consider his mission accomplished. The car delivers devastating impact on every front; 679 whp, right-hand drive, creature comforts that draw directly from Tokyo for inspiration, and an overall clean yet aggressive look that Rios calls "True School JDM." School is out and this ride truly defines the gold standard of JDM.