What's one of the most highly sought after sports cars in our market? We'll give you a hint: I-T-R. Still clueless? It's the Integra Type R and the latest release, especially in its Phoenix Yellow incarnation, has been outselling and outperforming the Championship White editions from '96 and '97. Its presence and popularity has established the Type R to be just as legendary as action star Jack Lord. Dare we say that Eric Chen's R goes beyond even that mythical watermark.
As a victim of theft and recovery, Eric's car went through a period of resurrection. Parts here and there were taken; the most important being a supercharger, but that didn't seem to bother him too much as he wasn't a big fan of it in the first place. With help from his insurance company, much of the car was restored to its previous state-only this time, the look and driving force behind it changed.
The front half now resembles that of a showroom model, like those that can be found at an Osaka Honda dealership-headlights, fenders, bumper cover, and all. No fiberglass looka-likes here. The Tein coilover suspension does its job of maintaining ride stance and delivering handling performance second to none. The bronze Volk TE-37s come close to tucking way up under but miss it by a fine line. They still look good, don't they?
The stolen supercharger was replaced by a turbocharger, in the form of a Garrett T3/T4 hybrid. The exhaust manifold was designed to allow exhaust gases to flow through equal-length runners and down through a custom downpipe, with returning gases circulating through the intercooler piping fabricated by Super Muffler. Fuel is fed through an MSD inline fuel pump to the STR fuel rail, where it is controlled with a Vortech fuel-management unit. Engine spark is increased with MSD's ignition and blaster coil, then distributed with Magnecor spark plug wires. Eric opted for the AEM underdrive pulleys to help reduce parasitic drag, an old V-8 racing trick. Incoming air is cleaned through an Airinx filter from Trust and passed on with a Revolution exhaust from AC Autotechnic.
Behind the wheel, Eric can concentrate on high-spirited driving with his hands planted on his color matched MOMO steering wheel. GReddy electronic gauges provide an accurate reading of all turbo related functions and the Fuzzy Logic boost controller regulates boost pressure. A Field's VTEC/air-and-fuel controller allows for precise dial-in of the B18C5's power points. For a simple touch of show, an AC gunmetal shift knob and an E-brake handle were added to the mix as well as a carbon-fiber dash kit.
Eric's Integra has certainly been resurrected, and quite nicely we might add. Its second journey through life definitely improves over the first. And as far as being immortal like the legendary Jack Lord? Well, Honda already has that base covered.
Fast FactsOwner Eric Chen
Hometown Thousand Oaks, CA
Ride 2000 Integra Type R
Daily Grind Secret-agent man
Under the Hood Garrett T3/T4 hybrid turbo, stainless exhaust manifold, intercooler piping, and downpipe by Super Muffler; Spearco intercooler; Vortech fuel management unit; MSD inline fuel pump, ignition, blaster coil, and boost retard unit; Magnecor spark plug wires; Trust Airinx air filter; STR fuel rail, AEM underdrive pulleys; Revolution exhaust by AC Autotechnic
Stiff Stuff Tein coilover suspension, AC rear strut bar
Rollers 17-inch Volk TE-37 bronze wheels
Outside JDM Integra Type R front end conversion, paint by OHC Motoring
Inside custom-gauge unit by SSP, MOMO steering wheel, AC shift knob and E-brake handle, carbon-fiber dash kit
Ice GReddy boost and EGT gauges and Profec boost controller; Field's VTEC controller, Blitz turbo timer, Auto Meter air/fuel meter gauge, Alpine head unit
Props OHC Motoring for the products and body work; Mano at Super Muffler for the turbo manifold and installation; Rich and Jay at All Motor Sports, Anthony at JPS (Japanese Performance Specialists); Chris at SSP of Thousand Oaks; AC Autotechnic; my girlfriend, Valerie, for all her support; Team Hybrid for showing love