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 |   |  2001 Acura Integra Type R - Less Is More
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2001 Acura Integra Type R - Less Is More

With Great Sacrifice,Comes Great Reward

Oct 1, 2008
Htup_0810_07_z+2001_integra_type_r+front_view Photo 1/11   |   2001 Acura Integra Type R - Less Is More

When one takes ownership of an Integra Type R, two truths become painfully evident. The first, and perhaps most obvious one, is that the ITR is more than just an Integra plastered with a few fancy stickers and a slight power bump. Though some would refer to it as no more than a glorified GSR, true R enthusiasts are able to sway opinions with just a few minutes worth of discussion to point out the real differences between the chassis. Or, if they wanted to make things easy, they'd simply hand over the keys and quickly make a believer out of even the most stubborn Type R naysayer. The unfortunate consequence of ITR ownership, however, is theft. Everyone knows that most of the "extras" that make the ITR what it is can be swapped over to lower-model Integras, as well as many Civics, with ease. The very thought of getting some alone time with a toolbox and a hot Type R is enough to have most any thief foaming at the mouth. Goran Nikolic of Redwood City, Calif., has been on both sides of the fence.

Goran's sinister black beauty is not his first Honda project. It isn't even his first Type R. Although Goran daily drives a BBS-equipped E46 M3, he's previously dirtied his hands building three different generations of the Honda Civic as well as a black ITR, but not this one. "I had gone through a few Civic builds already, and then I decided to build a black R. About halfway through the build it gets stolen in the middle of the night," he says. It's an unfortunate fate, and one that's become far too common among Honda enthusiasts. Less than 48 hours after the abduction, the authorities reported that the shell had been located. "When I saw what was left of the car, I knew I'd have to start over. Everything was gone, from the suspension to the motor, even the windows. It was a total loss," Goran says. Not wanting to give up on his dream build, he purchased a black ITR replacement just a few weeks later and picked up where he left off.

Goran knew exactly what he wanted to do with the car before he even picked it up. This meant that there was no time wasted second guessing potential upgrades.

It's common knowledge that the perfect set of wheels can make a world of difference on any car, but a set of 16-inch, bronze Mugen MF10s took this stealth-black Integra to a whole new level. Wrapped in 205/50-16 Yokohama ES100s, the lightweight rollers' soft anodized finish screams "instant classic." A set of Zeal B2 coilovers paired with Swift springs were installed to improve upon the Type R's legendary handling as well as eliminate its nosebleed ride height. Yes, additional chassis stiffening was addressed from the factory when compared to lesser DC2 Integras, but a Miracle X bar in the rear cargo space is the icing on the cake. Brembo slotted and drilled rotors with Hawk HP-plus pads add some additional stopping power, as well as peace of mind.

While some opt for monster-like power figures, Goran settled on a more subtle approach. Adding a few slight yet effective tweaks to the already-capable B18C5 powerplant netted this ITR fan more usable power while maintaining the legendary reliability native to the B-series family. Spoon Sports cams were sourced and quickly made their way into the factory ported and polished head and, well, that's about it inside the engine. Their mild-manner profile provides a slight power increase while still utilizing the factory valvetrain. A JDM ITR exhaust manifold and muffler team up with a T1R test pipe to expel spent gasses efficiently enough to improve power, but remain below the radar of local authorities. Replacing the restrictive factory ECU is a Mugen-enhanced P28 unit-a simple combination of the Japanese aftermarket and OEM equipment that looks completely stock to the naked eye, yet increases the fun factor no matter what the circumstances are.

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Few changes have been made inside the cabin in order to avoid taking away from the user-friendly factory layout. Black with red stitched JDM ITR-issue Recaro buckets replace the factory seats for increased holding power, without sacrificing comfort. A Personal suede steering wheel and quick-release hub add convenience as well as a layer of security while complementing the JDM ITR shift knob and boot. All else inside remains factory issue with no changes planned.

Although many R enthusiasts prefer factory parts over aftermarket ones, most would agree that the JDM ITR front end is a tasteful upgrade. Opting to rid his ITR of the factory "bug eyes," Goran put the car under the knife for a Japanese-inspired facelift. The results speak proudly for themselves: refined, carefully chosen upgrades that enhance rather than detract from this modern-day classic.

After multiple projects, and one loss to the bad guys, Goran has reached his ultimate goal. With no plans to make any more changes to the car, his thoughts are geared solely toward obtaining ample seat time. This is one car that slipped through the cracks. It's never been to a car show, a meet, or posted online. "I love this car. I actually like driving it more now than my E46," Goran says. "It's funny how no one has ever actually seen my car except for a few very close friends. I've kept it under wraps until this photo shoot." What better way to introduce one's hard work to the world? Oh, and drive home that whole "less is more" theme at the same time.

Bolts & Washers
Spoon Sports camshafts
JDM ITR exhaust manifold
T1R test pipe
JDM ITR muffler
Mugen P28 ECU
Spoon Sports Kevlar plug wire cover

Zeal B2 coilovers
Swift springs
Spoon Sports bushing kit
Next Miracle X bar

Brembo slotted/drilled rotors
Hawk HP-plus pads

Rims & Rubber:
16x7 Mugen MF10 (+50 offset)
205/50-16 Yokohama ES100

JDM ITR front bumper
JDM ITR headlights
JDM ITR front fenders
JDM ITR side markers
JDM ITR front lip
USDM ITR spoiler


Owner Specs
Redwood City, Calif.

Daily Grind:
I.T. support

Favorite Website:

Building Cars How Long?
10 years

Favorite Kicks:
Nike Dunks

Dream Car:

Build Inspiration:
Mugen DC2/Spoon DC2

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