Seeing a tastefully modified '90s or '00s Honda build on the street is becoming a rare thing. Many enthusiasts of that generation have upgraded to newer cars or simply retired from the scene. However, there are still a select few who have taken their hobby and passion to new levels. But the game has changed, and the community, for the most part, has matured... you're less likely to see radical paintjobs or impractical engine builds, rather more refined examples, like Gregg Pontes' '00 Integra Type R.
Gregg got into cars in the '90s and grew up in the days before social media, when you had to scroll through forums and look through magazines to get your dose of car culture. Forums helped Gregg further his passion for Hondas, but he also credits his dad. His dad took him shopping for his first car—a '98 Integra LS—and from there, taught him how to turn a wrench. Together, they modified the Integra at home, installing various bolt-ons along the way.
After another three Integra projects, all with various levels of modification, Gregg still longed for Honda's halo Type R. So, when the opportunity arose to pick one up in 2009, he had already developed a clear vision of how he'd construct his ultimate Integra.
The first thing you'll notice about this Phoenix Yellow ITR is that it screams quality. Not because there's a crapload of expensive parts on it, but because Gregg meticulously went through it to replace every old or worn OEM component with something brand new or from the aftermarket, retaining the Integra's timeless style. The interior is sparse but period correct, just like you'd expect. After JDM Recaros and a shift boot were sourced, the only non-original items include a carbon airbag delete, AEM wideband and Nardi steering wheel.
Under the hood, the engine bay is clean, and we mean really clean. The bay has been methodically shaved and tucked, which came as a surprise but shouldn't, because Gregg went for a minimalist OEM+ look for the entire project. The Type R's B18C5 appears to be the car's original motor, but it isn't. The original B-Series actually threw a rod due to improper maintenance. Instead of rebuilding it, Gregg was able to source a brand-new engine from Acura—unconventional for typical Honda builds, as most folks would rebuild, but Gregg was persistent on making his Type R as fresh as possible.
He thought he was in the clear, but a silly self-inflicted mistake (leaving the pressure plate loose) resulted in a destroyed clutch and a hole in the transmission. As you might expect, Gregg replaced the damaged tranny with a JDM Type R unit.
After adding a few select performance pieces, such as a Spoon exhaust, high-flow header and mid-pipe, Competition clutch, and Hondata S300 ECU, the powertrain was complete, and it sings to redline with a reliable 200whp on tap.
The exterior is pretty textbook for most Type R guys, as it sports a JDM front-end, Mugen MF10 wheels and spoiler, plus Spoon mirrors. The car sits proper thanks to Buddy Club coilovers and K-Tuned camber kits.
Gregg's DC2 has been a restoration project that packs more power, looks stunning and drives like the ultimate Integra he set out to build 10 years ago. Now that's how you build a Honda—with dedication, patience, and nothing but quality.