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1998 Honda Integra

Inspiration is the highest form of flattery

Jan 7, 2019
Photographer: Streetmetal

The third generation Integra, now around 25 years old, has been modified, built, and rebuilt in every possible configuration. And whether the intentions revolve around competitive endeavors or lean more toward more utilitarian efforts, rest assured, the upgrades you have hiding up your sleeve have either been done before or at least attempted more than a few times. For better or worse, there are quite a few different approaches to take with Honda's sporty three-door coupe, and regardless of what side of taste and good sense you might currently reside, if you're not already wrenching on an actual ITR, there's a pretty good chance that parts of the iconic "R" will find some real estate in your build.

1998 honda integra ITR rear wing Photo 2/32   |   1998 Honda Integra ITR Rear Wing

For some, starting with Honda's hottest version is the best approach, but for many of us, getting our hands on that coveted model can be daunting to the say the least. For a longtime Honda fanatic like Thakornchaiwut Pakeesuk, you either get the top model or you take inspiration from one and apply it to a lower model. Truth be told, picking up a DC2 Type R in Thailand doesn't come cheap. Sure, there are those that import them, but with a sky-high tax slapped on for good measure, most veer away from the idea entirely. For Pakeesuk, starting with a DC1 and emulating the ITR, all the while improving on areas like power, handling, and aesthetic, made much more sense.

1998 honda integra JDM HID headlights Photo 3/32   |   1998 Honda Integra JDM HID Headlights

The ode to all things R starts with a JDM front-end conversion joined by optional rear spats and an ITR wing. Adding a little spice to that rear addition is a carbon fiber gurney flap, while up front a Spoon Sports front lip plays off of Spoon side mirrors set against a unique green backdrop; a result of a complete color change.

1998 honda integra volk racing te37 wheel Photo 4/32   |   1998 Honda Integra Volk Racing Te37 Wheel

Looking for some contrast, Pakeesuk opted for deep blue TE37s that don't stray far on the color wheel from the bright blue Endless calipers that occupy all four corners. The keen eye will also notice the jump from 4-lug to 5, a cut and paste from the car's ITR brethren.

1998 honda integra frontline fab billet valvecover Photo 5/32   |   1998 Honda Integra Frontline Fab Billet Valvecover

Originally fitted with a B18C (similar to U.S. GS-R), Pakeesuk built and dropped in a B18C R engine complete with BC rods, Toda pistons, and ARP hardware. Up top, the valvetrain was strengthened with BC valves and Supertech retainers that back up the Toda C2 cams. Your eyes fight to see the coil-on-plug conversion but it's a losing battle as the Frontline Fab valvecover steals the show. Get beyond the nicely crafted hunk of billet and you'll notice a shaved and tucked bay that retains A/C (this is Thailand, after all) and sports a T1 cam trigger set up on the exhaust cam side right next to the Spark Racing header. The ITR power plant serves as the foundation, but much like the rest of Pakeesuk's Integra, it's been greatly improved upon.

1998 honda integra bride venus seats Photo 6/32   |   1998 Honda Integra Bride Venus Seats

If Pak wasn't able to incorporate any sort of ITR-ism inside the cabin, we'd call the car incomplete, but that's not the case. An OEM ITR dash and console with factory faux carbon bits, rear seats, and floor mats are all part of the package but in lieu of the original Recaros, this DC was fitted with Bride Venus bucket seats.

1998 honda integra vertex steering wheel Photo 7/32   |   1998 Honda Integra Vertex Steering Wheel
1998 honda integra defi gauges Photo 8/32   |   1998 Honda Integra Defi Gauges

Eyes up and the Vertex deep-dish wheel is right in your face, but your eyes are then pulled to the left and fixated on a digital parade of Defi gauges that sit tightly in the crevice between dash and windscreen.

1998 honda integra JDM front end conversion Photo 9/32   |   1998 Honda Integra JDM Front End Conversion

Without a sunroof, no side moldings, carefully placed Type R decals, and of course that sleek headlight treatment, one might automatically assume this owner is out to fool people. The truth is, Pakeesuk has taken inspiration from the highest form of Integra lineage and applied it to his personal car, but only after systematically reworking things in a manner to outperform the original. And when you get right down to it, isn't that what car building is all about?

1998 honda integra itr wing Photo 16/32   |   1998 Honda Integra Itr Wing
1998 honda integra JDM front end Photo 26/32   |   1998 Honda Integra JDM Front End
By Rodrez
841 Articles
1998 Honda Integra
Tuning Menu
Owner: Thakornchaiwut Pakeesuk
Instagram: monkay_garage
Engine: B18C Type R; Toda pistons, C2 cams, valve springs; BC rods, valves; Super Tech retainers; ARP hardware; T1 cam trigger kit and exhaust cam gear; Skunk2 Ultra Street intake manifold, throttle body; AEM fuel rail, fuel pressure regulator; K-Tuned upper coolant housing, pulley kit, clutch master cylinder reservoir, fuel pressure gauge; Coil-on-plug conversion; Spark Racing header; Hasport engine mounts; HYB fittings; Frontline Fab CNC valvecover; Golden Eagle Mfg. dipstick, intake cam gear; tucked aluminum radiator
Transmission: ITR transmission; Competition clutch
Suspension: H.Drive Racing coilovers; Function 7 rear LCAs
Wheels & Tires: 16x7.5 +30 Volk Racing TE37; 205/45-16 Toyo R1R
Brakes: Endless front and rear brake calipers, rotors and pads
Interior:: Bride Venus adjustable bucket seats; K-Tuned billet aluminum shifter; Vertex steering wheel; Works Bell Rapfix pop-up steering system; ATC Racing short hub; Defi gauges x6, Advance ZD digital meter; ITR rear seats, door panels, center console;
Exterior: JDM front-end conversions; Spoon Sports carbon fiber side mirrors, front lip; carbon fiber brake duct inlet; ITR optional rear spats, rear wing with carbon fiber gurney flap; HOP window visors



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