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1993 Acura Integra GS-R - Street Level

Period Correct, This Integra's Been Frozen In Time

Joey Lee
Jul 1, 2009
Photographer: Rodrez
Htup_0907_01_z+1993_acura_integra_gs_r+front_view Photo 1/17   |   1993 Acura Integra GS-R - Street Level

Joel Ray's '93 Integra GS-R
Take a trip down memory lane, to the early 2000s, to a time when some enthusiasts expressed themselves in ways that might surprise us today. Big bodykits were in, anime characters were plastered on the sides of show cars, and wheel wells were even filled with cotton. Yes, cotton. The "JDM" term had little meaning, and those who knew of it remained strictly underground. Fast-forward to present day and things are different. Car-show models have aged and body kits are all but shunned upon save for those produced by a few select well-known Japanese tuning companies. It's almost as if today's Hondas must be equipped with OEM, Japanese-market parts or forever be deemed "ricers." But such trends didn't originate during the last decade. No, they've been around since the cars themselves debuted. So is it possible for a build to transcend time? What happens to those projects that weren't necessarily built to be "period correct," but rather were built during the period they're perceived to be imitating? Such builds are few and far between but, to be sure, they exist. Joel Ray will tell you as much.

The Hayward, California native began his journey long ago. "I originally bought the Integra from an auto auction that I worked at back in 1995," Joel says. "I always loved the body style of the '90-'93 Integras so I knew I had to have it when the opportunity presented itself. I jumped at the chance when it rolled through the auction. Even back then a '93 GS-R was hard to come by. It was pricey too. I ended up paying $12,500 for it."

Remember, things were different in 1995. Modified imports were laughed at by the mainstream and viewed as a fad that wouldn't last. There were no Internet forums to join, no online shops for sourcing Japanese parts from. If you wanted to do something to your car, you had to do it yourself. "I painted my Integra by myself with assistance from some friends. I still remember applying the four coats of Milano Red and six coats of clear," Joel says. Even after 15 years, the paint remains immaculate. The Kaminari bumpers, and Wings West sideskirts and rear spoiler remain perfectly intact. That's the beauty of having a garage to store it in though. Joel's shelter serves as his personal automotive time capsule. Sitting next to the DB2 is his current project, a '72 Chevy Nova.

About a decade ago, Joel decided to give the B17A engine a kick in its pants by boosting it. In 1999, the only name worth looking to when it came to turbocharged Hondas was DRAG. The California-based company was one of the first in the U.S. to offer complete bolt-on turbo kits for popular Hondas. Joel opted for one of his own and hasn't looked back since. The then innovative T3/T4 Turbonetics turbocharger and cast-iron log manifold are relics by today's standards but were high-tech wonders of their day. "It's been 10 years and the engine is still running strong," Joel says. "It honestly doesn't really see much road time anymore though. Between work, family, and everyday things, I just don't have time to let this car see the open road. I used to drive it all over the place, but now I try to take it out when I can for a Sunday drive or to the occasional car show. I'll be lucky if I even put 1,000 miles on it in a year." When asked what power numbers the DRAG kit produced, Joel remains secretive. "It's G14 classified," he says jokingly. Leave it to an old-school guy to make a Rush Hour reference.

Despite the years, Joel's Integra has remained relatively constant. "I haven't really changed much, just little accessories here and there. I even have my Z-Speed short shifter in there to this day," Joel says. Those who are unfamiliar with Z-Speed may better recognize them today as Skunk2. The interior, other than the Recaro SRD seats, is straight out of 1993. Another modification that won't be changing anytime soon is the wheels. The moment anyone glances at the outside of this DB2 Integra will immediately recognize the anodized red lip and distinct design of the 17x7 Work J-Wings. Those who strive for that period-correct look drool over these long-discontinued wheels. The J-Wings serve as a sort of time stamp for Joel's ride.

"It's been a long journey. I've owned this DB2 for 14 years now and I have no intention of letting it go," Joel says proudly. Being the true veteran that he is, Joel has one message he'd like to pass on to others: "Thank you for the inspiration, don't ever stop, and build them clean."

Htup_0907_08_z+1993_acura_integra_gs_r+taillights_view Photo 8/17   |   1993 Acura Integra GS-R - Street Level

Bolts & Washers

Propulsion
ITR camshafts
Ported and polished cylinder head
JE pistons
Fluidyne radiator
Turbonetics T3/T4 turbocharger
JG Engine Dynamics throttle body
HKS Type-S blow-off valve
DRAG intake air filter
DRAG front-mount intercooler
DRAG intercooler piping
DRAG cast-iron turbo manifold
DRAG exhaust down-pipe
DRAG wastegate dump tube
Turbonetics Deltagate Mark II wastegate
GReddy SP cat-back exhaust
Custom test-pipe
Bosch inline fuel pump
Vortech boost-dependent
fuel pressure regulator
RC Engineering 310cc fuel injectors
Crome engine management
ACT Stage 3 clutch
Z-Speed short shifter
Magnecor 8mm spark plug wires

Stance
Omni Power Street coilovers
Suspension Techniques antiroll bar
Energy Suspension bushing kit
OBX shock tower bar

Resistance
AEM Big Brake rotor kit
AEM pads

Rims & Rubber
17x7 Work J Wing (+45 offset)
215/40-17 Falken FK451

Outside
PPG Milano Red paint
Kaminari front bumper
Kaminari rear bumper
Wings West sideskirts
Wings West rear spoiler
Shaved key holes
Shaved emblems
Integra sedan door handles

Inside
Recaro SRD seats
MOMO Monte Carlo steering wheel
MOMO Combat shift knob
Razo pedals
Kenwood dual-DIN head unit
Kenwood component speakers
Kenwood PS200T amplifier
JL Audio 12-inch W4 subwoofer
HKS EVC1 boost controller
GReddy turbo timer
Auto Meter boost gauge
Auto Meter air/fuel ratio gauge

Props
ATS and DPK families
RIP Vincent Pasqua
Ernesto Jr.
Full Function
Motorsport Techniques
Junior from Sound Innovations
Another Dimension car crew

Owner Specs

Hometown:
Hayward, CA

Daily grind:
Working overtime

Favorite website:
www.nwp4life.com

Building cars for how long:
Since 1995

Favorite kicks:
Air Max 90

Dream car:
Ferrari 360 Modena

Build inspiration:
Ron Bergenholtz' Integra

Can't miss TV:
CSI

DB2 = RARE
Sure, Joel's '93 Integra may be quite the rarity in its current state, but did you know that the DB2 chassis in general is scarce? Introduced in 1992 as the GS-R, this Integra featured the B17A engine and was only available to the North American market. The 1,678cc engine had a little concept known as "VTEC," which was originally found in the then newly introduced supercar, the Acura NSX. The DB2 was the flagship of the Integra line and had power everything, a sunroof, leather seats, and all sorts of things that are taken for granted nowadays. The '92-'93 GS-R is perhaps the rarest of all because of its low production numbers. An estimated 1,200 DB2 GS-Rs were produced in 1992 and only 1,000 were manufactured the following year, making that a total of only 2,200 ever produced. The DB2 is basically the NSX-R of second-generation Integras, minus the rear-engine, supercar stature, and overall sexiness. Okay, it's not an NSX-R but it's still pretty damn rare. If you actually own one of these bad boys, lock it up and consider yourself the owner of a true collector's item.

Sources

Energy Suspension
San Clemente, 92673
888-913-6374
http://www.energysuspension.com
Falken Tire
Fontana, CA 92335
800-723-2553
http://www.falkentire.com
Kaminari
775-351-2240
http://www.kaminari.com
By Joey Lee
243 Articles

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