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1994 Acura Integra RS - Pop Sen Sation

Pop Smitasin’s ’94 Integra RS

Joey Lee
Apr 1, 2009
Photographer: Ben Hermance

The Integra To Be Reckoned With
There is entirely too much emphasis placed upon which region a particular car hails from. Anytime the words “East” or “West” are brought up in Internet conversation, those from their respective coasts put on their finest proud-suits and engage in digital fisticuffs. The reality of the situation is simple: it doesn’t matter where your ride comes from, if it’s built right, the masses are bound to notice it. The secret to success is not a regional one but rather involves the right combination of parts, a bit of creativity, and brilliant execution. Once that’s achieved, the masses will know it.

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As a shop owner, representing oneself appropriately becomes increasingly important. The private builder can build something horrendous and lose nothing more than a bit of street cred, but if the shop owner pushes out something unsightly, it affects his business. Pop Smitasin knows this. As head honcho of Florida’s All Version Motoring, he makes sure that he and his employees have builds that represent the shop the right way. While his employees chose to build Civic hatchbacks, Pop went the other route and picked the DC2 chassis. “I wanted to build an Integra because it wasn’t as common or as easy to build as an EG or an EK,” Pop says. For the past 12 years, All Version Motoring has been known as the shop that can get anything the customer desires and Pop needed a headlining ride to reaffirm that message. “I picked up an Integra RS because I knew I was going to replace everything on it anyway,” Pop says. “I got lucky because my friend just happened to be selling one at the time.”

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Any good show car needs the proper aesthetic enhancements so Pop decided to overhaul the exterior first. Besides the JDM front-end conversion, it’s the paint that stands out. It’s not quite silver and it’s definitely not grey, yet it has a metallic base. “The color is a custom mix of gunmetal with silver metallic,” Pop says. “I’m very proud of it because it was painted by R.A.W. They only work on lowriders and domestics but I got lucky and they sponsored me.” R.A.W., or Rhodes Auto Works, is one of the premier lowrider shops in Florida. They’ve been painting award-winning lowriders for the past 15 years. A paintjob from R.A.W. all but guarantees you exclusivity. Sure, the mix itself is subtle, but often times it’s subtlety that makes a build timeless.

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Pop’s DC2 is seldom driven and has remained relatively unchanged for the last three years—an interesting thought when you consider how current all of it appears. “Man, it’s tough to own a Honda right now.” Pop says. “You can’t drive them anywhere because theft in Florida is so crazy. On top of that, I am just too busy to enjoy it. When I’m not running the shop, I’m busy next door at my restaurant. It’s a shame that I’ve had my DC parked for almost three years now.” A shame it is considering what lurks beneath the VIS carbon-fiber hood. Pop and crew pulled out the old lady of a B18B1 engine and replaced it with a K20A straight out of a JDM DC5 Type R. All Version Motoring once held regular track day events so they made sure that this Integra was battle-ready. All necessary fuel delivery upgrades were added as well as an ACT clutch to help deliver the power through the Gator axles. Of course, the bay has to have that extra bit of bling for the customers to drool over, so each OEM bolt was replaced with Mugen license plate bolts. These bolts aren’t exactly priced like regular hardware either, which leads one to believe that Pop’s Thai restaurant is still doing well even after 14 years of business. The Mugen name is a recurring theme throughout Pop’s build. The interior is a Mugen catalog brought to life with S1 bucket seats, a wood grain steering wheel, and Mugen under-door garnishes. Pop didn’t want to go out like a punk and allow his Integra to sit on some weak rollers so he finished off the Mugen theme with bronze MF10s.

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With two successful businesses and a K-powered collector’s item of an Integra, what’s left for an entrepreneur to do? “I just want to retire and relax.” Pop says. “I’m going to close down All Version Motoring and my Thai restaurant. I’m just going to collect rent from now on and maybe I can finally enjoy my car.” Sounds like a plan.

Propulsion:
JDM K20A engine
Hasport engine mounts
All Version Motoring custom intake
AEM air filter
Spark Racing header
A’PEXi N1 muffler
All Version Motoring custom test pipe
Walbro fuel pump
Golden Eagle fuel rail
Custom fuel fittings and lines
Karcepts shifter
ACT Xtreme clutch
Gator heavy-duty axles
Fluidyne radiator
Mugen radiator cap
Mugen oil cap
Mugen reserve tank covers
Spoon Sports spark plug cover
Cusco catch can
Cusco brake master cylinder brace
NRG battery
Hondata K-Pro

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Stance:
TEIN Flex coilovers
Buddy Club antiroll bars
Energy Suspension bushing kit
Vision front camber kit
Skunk2 rear camber kit
Skunk2 rear lower control arms
ASR rear subframe brace
Mugen shock tower bars

Resistance:
ITR five-lug conversion
ITR rotors
Spoon Sports calipers
Project µ brake pads
Earl’s steel-braided lines

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Rims And Rubber:
16x7 Mugen MF10 (+43 offset)
205/45-16 Yokohama Parada
Skunk2 extended wheel studs

Outside:
Custom PPG gunmetal/silver metallic by R.A.W.
JDM ITR front-end conversion
JDM window visors
VIS carbon-fiber hood
VIS carbon-fiber front lip
Vision carbon-fiber mirrors
Mugen license plate bolts

Inside:
Takata harnesses
Mugen S1 bucket seats
Mugen seat brackets
Mugen wood grain steering wheel
Mugen gauge cluster
Mugen pedal set
Mugen shift knob
Mugen door under garnishes
JDM ITR floor mats
Vision carbon-fiber fuel pump cover
Next Miracle X bar
Cusco six-point roll cage
OEM ITR headunit

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Props:
All Version Motoring
Tasty Thai Cuisine
Rhodes Auto Works

Owner Specs

Hometown:
Thailand

Daily grind:
Owner, All Version Motoring and Tasty Thai

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Favorite website:
No time for the web

Building cars how long:
Three years

Favorite kicks:
Whatever is comfortable for work

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Dream car:
Too many cars already

Build inspiration:
Myself

Can’t miss TV:
No time for TV either

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Sources

Skunk2 Racing
Norco, CA 92860
951-808-9888
http://www.skunk2.com
Yokohama Tire Corporation
Fullerton, CA 92831
800-722-9888
http://www.yokohamatire.com
Takata Racing Products
Greensboro, NC 27408
http://www.takataracingproducts.com
King Motorsports Unlimited
New Berlin, WI 53146
262-522-7552
http://www.kingmotorsports.com
By Joey Lee
243 Articles

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