Super Street Network

Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
 |   |  1992 Acura Integra GS-R - The Never Factor
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

1992 Acura Integra GS-R - The Never Factor

Why a car this perfect should never fall into the wrong hands

Rodrez
Sep 27, 2013
Photographer: Sean Bradford

While sifting through a file chock full of photos from a Honda Day event shot by long-time Honda Tuning freelancer Sean Bradford, I came across a car that really stood out to me. While the high-powered drag cars and a few spotless show cars certainly caught my eye, it was the virtually bone-stock, pristine condition, Acura Integra that stopped my clicking, and instead, had me zooming in for closer inspection.

1992 acura integra GS R aztec pearl green 02 Photo 2/7   |  
Less than 5,000 units produced for both the U.S. and Canada, the 1992-93 Integra GS-R is considered by Honda enthusiasts to be a true classic. It was a standout amongst the influx of hot hatches and sport compacts that seemed to assault the U.S. market in 90s.

The vehicle in question was a 1992 Aztec Green Pearl Integra GS-R with the only mods being a set of OEM optional window and sunroof visors. The body was perfect, every bit of the paint shined to absolute perfection, even the engine bay was absolutely spotless. Having recently searched high and low for this exact vehicle year and type to begin a new project, I was taken back by how unnaturally the car defied the laws of general aging. Instinctively, I thought to myself how nice it would have been to find that exact car during my long search, rather than the ragged, weathered version that I'd recently registered. Then reality stepped in and reminded me that this type of car should never, ever end up in the hands of someone like myself.

There weren't a large number of '92 or '93 GS-R Integras produced originally. In fact, figures are estimated at less than 5,000 units for both the U.S. and Canada. They still pop up on Craigslist and Autotrader from time to time, but as the years pass, the "pickens" have become quite slim. You'd be hard pressed to find one that hasn't been modified or slapped with the dreaded salvage title like a scarlet letter due to theft or damage, and because they were so reliable and comfortable, mileage is rarely under 200K on the used market. The car pictured is truly a rare beast in that it carries the cliche "cleaner than the day it rolled off the factory line" appearance and even has its original documentation. For a Honda enthusiast, it's like owning a piece of history. For a nut job like myself, it would be the equivalent to holding a piece of raw meat in front of a hungry lion. Listen, I have a problem with leaving well enough alone. I admit it, I'm not proud of it, so let's move on.

1992 acura integra GS R integrated third brake light 03 Photo 3/7   |  
Acura integrated the third brake light into the GS-R models standard rear wing. With LS, LS Special, and GS models, the third brake is found mounted to the rear glass rather than the wing.

If I were to purchase this vehicle, it would remain in this form for exactly one week - just enough time to get a set of coilovers and a rear sway bar delivered and installed. The showroom fresh 14in alloys would be stacked in the corner of my garage, making way for slightly larger and wider wheels and tires. That meticulously maintained engine bay? Well, its heart would be ripped out, completely disregarding the painstaking detailing process that probably included Q-tips and contorting other cleaning devices into all types of quirky shapes to free grime and corrosion from every nook and cranny. The engine's block and head would be split, perhaps for the first time in its life, and a built bottom end would be on the agenda. Though Honda intended for that B17 to scream savagely to redline in all of its naturally aspirated glory, I'd be willing to look right the other way as I shopped for turbo that was neither too big or too small. That old school A/C with the "good air" would be removed as well as the cruise control module and that jittery unrefined ABS along with it. Truth be told, the above actions are essentially my to-do list on the haggard '92 GS-R that I recently purchased and further proof that a car this nice, this well respected, should be kept far away from me.

And while I have a long road ahead of me, I'm glad I found a car that was destined for further deterioration and perhaps non-operational status rather than a true gem like the one you see pictured. Some quip that you should "never say never" but I'm going to ignore that completely and admit that this type of car should never, ever be registered to someone like me.

1992 acura integra GS R B17A1 engine 04 Photo 4/7   |  
The B17A1 engine found in the '92-93 GS-R model featured a 1.7L, DOHC VTEC powerplant that produced 160hp/117lbs-ft tq with an 8,000rpm redline and a VTEC crossover point of 5,500rpm. A rather conservative 9.7:1 compression ratio was employed and is typically increased by enthusiasts interested in harnessing more naturally aspirated power.
By Rodrez
889 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE FEATURES

Aston Martin teams up with Curv Racing Simulators to build what it calls the "ultimate in luxury Esports experiences."
Greg FinkSep 21, 2020
Alex Markovic originally purchased his EM1 to be a dedicated winter beater, but about 15 miles into driving his new car home, that plan began to change.
RodrezSep 21, 2020
Tyler Graff picked up his Mk4 Supra when he was only 22, but don't think for a minute that he was some spoiled kid. He worked his butt off to be able to buy it as well as build it to the car it is today.
Sam DuSep 18, 2020
Riding shotgun with Randy "the Rocket" Pobst as he takes on Willow Springs in a 2020 Civic Type R
RodrezSep 18, 2020
Other than its color-scheme the connection between this Civic DX hatchback and the late, great Kobe Bryant isn't completely clear, but talk to its builder, GhostboyAki, and things clear up in rather short order.
RodrezSep 17, 2020
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP