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1986 Honda Civic Si & 1988 Acura Integra SE - Old School Cool

A pair of classic Hondas, time honored and preserved

Aaron Bonk
May 24, 2016
Photographer: Patrick Lauder

Honda's third-generation Civic and first-generation Integra occupy a fuzzy realm within the brand's history, where it began moving away from things like torsion bar front suspensions and mechanical injection in favor of double-wishbone-configured shocks and on-board diagnostics. Globally speaking, both models were in as much a state of flux as the company was. Want a carbureted CRX? No problem. How about a fuel-injected one with pre-OBD electronics? We've got those, too. To be sure, it's within both of these models that Honda had indeed found itself.

1988 acura integra front Photo 2/38   |   1988 Acura Integra Front

Today, it's those same antiquated underpinnings, though, that make cars like Honda's '86 Civic Si and Acura's '88 Integra SE so special, both of which Steffen Johnson and Rodney Auyeung understand better than you know.

Neither Johnson nor Auyeung are vintage Honda newcomers. Each began their build at a time when general consensus said that modifying anything other than an early '90s Honda was a false step, and neither one of them cared. Johnson, who'd already owned a similar Si some 28 years ago, was sentimentally motivated to make another one his when he'd happen across a likeminded Si in 2004. "After a few months of me pestering the owner," he says, "I was able to purchase the one-owner car for a great price."

1986 honda civic front Photo 6/38   |   1986 Honda Civic Front

Auyeung didn't have to wait three months for his; his Integra was ready for him 13 years before he even wanted it. "[The] car's been in the family since new," Auyeung says. "My father's cousin bought it in 1987, put it up for sale in 1992, and my dad bought [it], daily drove it, and turned it over to me in 2000."

1988 acura integra dohc vtec engine Photo 7/38   |   1988 Acura Integra Dohc Vtec Engine

Johnson and Auyeung, like many from the '80s-era Honda ownership pool, quickly became friends, both going on to execute their own B-series engine swaps and to fit generation-specific Mugen wheels to their respective prizes. Here, retaining period-correct status is key, but the balance is a careful one; one that Johnson's '92 B18A1 engine and Auyeung's first-generation GS-R swap almost disrupt. Almost.

Doing all of this the right way isn't easy, either. "Finding those rare JDM OEM parts for this chassis back then was hard but provided great gratification when found," Auyeung says before also going on to tell of how he purchased what he believes was the last set of factory window trim Honda of America had to sell.

1986 honda civic b18 engine swap Photo 11/38   |   1986 Honda Civic B18 Engine Swap

Johnson won't argue with any of that: "The hardest thing about working on this chassis was to find parts for it," he says. "JDM [and] EDM parts were really hard to come by. I had to go on the Internet, research everything I wanted, and hopefully find someone willing to part with [them]."

Just like the cars' beam-axle rear suspensions and pre-OBD electronics that command your nostalgia, the pursuit of the rightful parts is every bit as satisfying, and exactly what makes Honda's '80s classics more special now than ever.

1986 honda civic custom camoflauge valve cover Photo 18/38   |   1986 Honda Civic Custom Camoflauge Valve Cover
1988 acura integra integra pasenger side Photo 22/38   |   1988 Acura Integra Integra Pasenger Side
Civic integra waterfront Photo 26/38   |   Civic Integra Waterfront
1986 honda civic si hatchback profile Photo 30/38   |   1986 Honda Civic Si Hatchback Profile
1988 acura integra nardi leather steering wheel Photo 34/38   |   1988 Acura Integra Nardi Leather Steering Wheel
1986 honda civic headlight Photo 38/38   |   1986 Honda Civic Headlight
By Aaron Bonk
364 Articles
1986 Honda Civic Si & 1988 Acura Integra SE - Old School Cool
Tuning Menu
1986 Honda Civic Si
Owner: Steffen Johnson
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Engine: B18A1 engine swap; Hasport engine mounts; custom wiring harness; Exedy Stage 2 clutch and lightweight flywheel; Hasport axles
Footwork & Chassis: Tokico Illumina shocks; Ground Control/Eibach coilover sleeves (rear); CRX rear lower control arms; Suspension Techniques front and rear anti-sway bars; Upgrade Motoring 27.5mm torsion bars; custom polyurethane bushings; custom Delrin rear lower control arm bushings; Cusco front and rear shock tower braces
Brakes: Integra disc brake conversion; Goodridge steel-braided brake lines
Wheels & Tires: 14x6 Mugen CF-48 wheels; 195/60-14 Falken Azenis tires; Project Mu lug nuts
Exterior: JDM Civic front end, taillights, folding mirrors, sunroof visor, DOHC hood, and DOHC decals; JDM Stanley headlights with HIDs, corner lights, and side marker lights; JDM Honda Access window visors, side skirts, and mud guards; CRX front spoiler; Live Sports rear spoiler; custom projector fog lights; OEM keyless rear door handles; Yakima roof rack
Interior: Integra GS-R front seats; CRX instrument cluster; Mugen steering wheel, adapter, horn pad, and shift knob; JDM Civic center console and armrest; JDM Honda Access sunroof wind deflector; Kenwood headunit
1988 Acura Integra SE
Owner: Rodney Auyeung
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Engine: B17A1 engine swap; Hasport engine mounts; Rywire OBD1 conversion and engine wiring harness; K&N air filter; DC Sports header; Catco catalytic converter; Sebring muffler; Exedy Stage 1 clutch; Fidanza lightweight flywheel
Footwork & Chassis: Koni Sport shocks (front); TEIN Medieval Pro shocks (rear); Ground Control/Eibach coilover sleeves (rear); Lightspeed Racing 24mm torsion bars and rear anti-sway bar; Cusco front and rear shock tower braces; custom C-pillar bar; custom adjustable panhard bar
Wheels & Tires: 15x6 Mugen CF-48 wheels; 195/50-15 Dunlop Direzza DZ101 tires
Exterior: JDM taillights, front corner lights, yellow driving lenses, and door visors; '88-'91 JDM Civic side marker lights; OEM keyless rear door handles
Interior: JDM instrument cluster and fog light button; Nardi Classic 360mm steering wheel; DC Sports short shifter; VDO voltage meter; Auto Meter A-pillar pod; RAZO RA16 shift knob; Clarion head unit and equalizer; Zapco amps; Image Dynamics subwoofers; Kicker speakers

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