When it comes to putting together a project like Orlando Acevedo's '95 GS-R, you don't just "accidentally" build a car of this caliber. Focused planning overshadows the time, money, and labor involved with a touch of those constant, on-the-fly changes that seem to haunt you at the oddest of hours. Truth be told, while it might look like this build was planned and executed with military precision, Orlando tells us that he chose a different path with his build on multiple occasions before finally reaching this point.
Having previously pieced together two Integras in his younger days, Orlando felt like he'd learned quite a bit and wanted to build his best version yet. He recalls, "My good friend's Si was stolen and he wanted to build the car back up, while I wanted to build a drag car. We picked up this GS-R and he got the engine while I took the shell." The parts search that followed was based on items that would prepare the DC2 for drag duty, but midway through the hunt, Orlando had thoughts of spending more time in the car than the occasional track day and decided to designate his car to street status. With the help of his friend Joel Colon, the two began building a turbocharged GS-R heart while also prepping the car for the paint booth. He adds, "I've always loved Mercedes red, so I gutted the whole interior, because I wanted to paint the whole car all at once, and I picked up something I've always wanted: a JDM Type R front end." Fresh from paint, thanks to his friend Hector Colon, Orlando added a set of D2 Racing coilovers along with Gram Lights wheels wrapped in Falken rubber—and the rest could have been history...but another direction change was on the horizon.
"A few weeks after I finished the GS-R, a friend of mine posted his K24/K20 swap for sale. I always wanted one, but they're a lot of money. I ended up selling my turbo B-series and used the money to buy the engine and swap components." To add a little more stress to his life, Orlando aimed at finishing the swap and tucking/shaving the engine bay prior to the car's debut at Wekfest Florida, which was just a few months away. A Wireworx engine harness, Hasport mounts, and K-Tuned swap essentials made the job of shoehorning the built K-combo in place much easier, but doing a proper tuck and shave required a little assistance. "I worked with my local shop Xul Performance, one of the best in the business at doing this kind of work. They made it happen and I cranked up the car at 2 a.m. on the morning of the show!"
Orlando's build was a six-year journey that included plenty of those on-the-fly changes that we mentioned earlier, but in the end, the result has a deeper meaning to its owner than just a well-done project car. "During this six-year build, my father was always asking, almost every day, when I was going to finish my car. He passed away in October '16. I was two months short of showing my car to the most important man in my life. This build is dedicated to my father, Hector Acevedo."