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 |   |  1995 Acura Integra GS-R - Staying Faithful
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1995 Acura Integra GS-R - Staying Faithful

Sixteen years and counting, this GS-R owner is just getting started.

Matt “Rodrez” Rodriguez
Mar 12, 2012
Photographer: Henry Z. DeKuyper
Htup 1204 01+1995 acura integra gs r+cover Photo 1/7   |   1995 Acura Integra GS-R - Staying Faithful

The wandering eye, a careless flirt, that inadvertent double take; all standard functions of the modern-day American male. While it may seem as if your significant other takes these small acts far too seriously, she actually has very good reason. Countless studies have shown that men are far more apt to “hunt” rather than “settle.” It’s an age-old war that rages on and serves as a basis for messy divorces, cliché chick flicks, and heated exchanges between male and female counterparts. Aside from debatable gender dynamics that often transform into stale, overused stand-up comedy routines, facts are facts, and staying completely faithful isn’t exactly man’s strongest attribute. This might explain why the majority of Honda enthusiasts can’t seem to hang on to the same car for more than a few years. You’ve no doubt heard from the guy who has been through 17 different Honda builds, never quite finishing any of them before jumping into the next chassis. Then there’s the one with a laundry list of Hondas posted in his signature on your favorite forum, gleaming with pride at the stack of pink slips that, at one time or another, provided some temporary satisfaction. Automotive infidelity is commonplace these days, so when you meet someone like Jason Hastings of Orlando, Florida, who has owned the same exact project car for 16 years, it’s obvious he’s been cut from a different mold.

Htup 1204 02+1995 acura integra gs r+engine Photo 2/7   |   After a few mishaps, a ’96-spec ITR motor was outfitted with carefully chosen power parts to maximize performance and reliability.

In the early ’90s, Hastings’ interest in the Honda brand came in the form of a used ’91 CRX. Utilitarian for the most part, the micro-hatch was reliable, great on gas, and served him well for daily duties. The real love affair began in late ’93 as the automotive world welcomed the third iteration of the coveted Acura Integra chassis. He adds, “I took one for a test drive and it was basically a done deal. Not right away because I was still a student on a budget, but working and saving, I eventually picked up a black GS-R in late ’95.” Once graduation day was in his sights, minor mods were performed as funds allowed, and in ’02, the opportunity to acquire a wrecked GS-R presented itself. Hastings purchased the crash victim, sold what he could, and kept the powerplant for himself. Working with a local shop, an extensive engine build was underway on the donor. The fruits of their labor included a sleeved, 85mm, 2.0L monster that ingested nitrous to the tune of 296 whp. Though impressive, a beast like this isn’t prone to a lengthy life span. Regret in the form of a loose fuel solenoid, followed by a dropped valve, and almost instantaneously, a deeply scarred cylinder wall would label the motor a total loss.

Temporary B16 power returned the Integra to daily driver status, buying enough time to piece together an LS/VTEC swap. But alas, bad luck once again struck, and the Frankenstein swap’s life was cut rather short. Coming full circle, yet another GS-R motor was dropped into the abused chassis, and Hastings continued to partake in a little “non-sanctioned” racing on the streets of Arkansas, his home state. That is, until a reality check slapped him in the face and reminded him just how precious life really is. “My driving record suffered, and my insurance rate was only increasing. I witnessed a good friend get smashed up in his hatch, and we were only about 200 feet away from him when it happened. We ran to his side, called 911 and waited for the EMTs to arrive. Thankfully he recovered.”

With a new outlook on his extracurricular activities, Hastings looked for a new way to exploit his inner speed demon and, fortunately, discovered the fast-paced world of Auto-X through local SCCA-sanctioned events. “The next few years I spent my free time driving local canyons, attending Auto-X events on the weekends, hanging out with friends, and we’d have these regular wrenching sessions at my friends’ garage. It was great. Then the wife and I decided to move to Orlando where I soon pulled the car from daily status after 12 years of faithful service.” The retirement was due to a few major factors. The first being that the area was well documented as a “high risk” region and highly populated by thieves. The second reason had to do with being run off the road and doing damage to the front end, transmission, and control arms. Repairable, but enough to let Hastings know it was time to give the Integra a little break, and a cheap beater was picked up.

With the GS-R no longer on the road seven days a week, the opportunity to modify was accepted with open arms. After some at-home changes were made, he contacted his friends Noah and Cesar of Sik Creations Paint and Body in Jacksonsville, and the three worked out a plan to allow the car a place to hibernate at the shop. This would give Hastings the freedom to slowly tear it down to a bare shell in preparation for a complete Sik Creations color change. Things seemed to be looking up for the long-term owner, right until he received the heart-wrenching news that his sister had fallen ill. Life was put on hold while he headed back to Arkansas for a three-month period to lend a hand to his beloved sibling. “When I returned to Orlando that summer, I was determined to do more work on the car. I really wanted to finish the build and dedicate it to my late sister who has been the most influential person in my life.”

Htup 1204 06+1995 acura integra gs r+wheel Photo 6/7   |   Equally tough to source are (above) a Next Miracle X bar and (right) polished CPF wheels.

Newfound direction now realized, Hastings was focused on meeting his goals, and in a major way. The color change was an undeniable success, and though he’d taken home a number of trophies at car shows and turned some heads at local meets, he was itching to get back into some motorsports events. “I wanted the car to be street, show, and track-worthy. Performance-wise, the B18C1 at that time just wasn’t cutting it for where I wanted to take the car.” With assistance from his friend Jimi Houghman, a ’96 JDM ITR motor was pieced together with a solid mix of OEM and aftermarket goods to ensure reliability and longevity. A visit to John Wilson at LHT Performance netted an outstanding 210 whp and 146 lb-ft torque, with usable power that stretches to 10,000 rpm.

When asked about his long-term courtship with his ’95 GS-R, he states, “Only a few times during the relationship did I seriously consider parting it out or selling, and that was only due to stressful financial situations in life. Thankfully I made it through and have been blessed enough to be able to keep it this long. The best thing about all of this is the fact that I know every inch of the car and every bit has been done by me with the help of some close friends. I’ve honestly enjoyed adding each part over the years and hope to keep enjoying it for many more.”

Htup 1204 07+1995 acura integra gs r+rear view Photo 7/7   |   1995 Acura Integra GS-R - Staying Faithful

Let’s race!
Created in 1944 in an effort to present motorsports participation to the masses, the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) quickly worked its way to a staple with American race fans both young and old. Well known for the regional events that offer multiple levels of competition from novice to expert, SCCA is also very active in organizing National Championships for aspiring drivers to strive for. Contrary to popular belief, a fully built race car is by no means a prerequisite for attending one of these exciting events. All that you need is a passion for speed, a safe vehicle, and a willingness to learn and progress. With over 114 regions countrywide, there’s a good chance SCCA events are already taking place near you. Log on to and get involved!

Bolts & Washers

B18C JDM ITR (’96)
Hondata S100
Toda Spec C cams
Toda cam gears
Toda timing belt
Jimi Houghman port/polish/valve job
Ferrea valves
Ferrea bronze valve guides
Skunk2 valvesprings
Skunk2 retainers
Mugen head gasket
ARP head studs
Circuit Hero velocity stack
Custom intake arm
RMF “style” header
Buddy Club Spec II exhaust
BlackWorks test pipe
Professional Products 68mm throttle body
Port-matched intake manifold
Walbro 255lph
Skunk2 composite fuel rail
Russell lines and fittings
Russell fuel filter
Exedy clutch
ACT Streetlite flywheel
Stage 6 custom catch can
ARC radiator
Samco hoses
Wire tuck
210hp and 146 lb-ft (Dynojet)
Function/Form Type II coilovers
Eibach springs
ITR front/rear antisway bars
PIC “Hard” rubber bushings
Buddy Club front upper controls arms
SPC adjustable rear upper control arms
Spoon Sports front tower bar
Next Miracle X bar
Beaks rear lower tie-bar
ASR rear subframe brace
Function/Form LCAs
88 rotors
Hawk pads
Russell brake lines
ITR brake master cylinder/booster
ABS delete
Wheels and Tires
Sprint Hart CPF 15x6.5
Falken Ziex 195/50-15
Work extended lug nuts
OEM JDM ITR front end
Shaved side moldings/badges/antenna
Sik Creations complete color change
ARC Magic splitters
Vision Tecnica Type DC mirrors
Honda Access window visors
UKDM ITR taillights
OEM JDM clear side markers
JDM ITR Recaro SRD seats
Vision Tecnica one-touch rails
Takata MPH-341 4-pt harnesses
Sparco harness bar
JDM ITR door panels
Stripped and painted interior
Spoon Sports Gen II steering wheel
NRG short hub and quick-release
ARG Magic titanium shift knob
JDM ITR gauge cluster
JDM ITR clock and armrest delete
This build is dedicated to my sister Dana. Thanks to God, my savior Jesus, my loving wife Brandy, my sisters Dana and Gina, Mom and Dad, Skidmarx, “Type R” Jimi Houghman, Miracle Whip, Rick, Brandon, RMFC at Enkei, Counteract, Cesar at Sik Creations Paint, Noah at Funk/Fashion, Black at Braille Battery, John at LHT Performance, Function/Form, Extreme Powder Coaters, Rodrez, and Ravi at Version Two Laboratory

Owner Specs

Daily Grind
Regulatory affairs in clinical trials
Favorite sites
NWP4Life, V2Lab, The Chronicles
Screen name
Building Hondas
11 years
Dream car
Porsche 911 GT3 RS
Inspiration for this build
Friends and family
Future builds
S2000 and STi


Eibach Springs
Corona, CA 92879
Circuit Hero
San Diego, CA 92111
Falken Tire
Fontana, CA 92335
Toda Racing
Irvine, CA 92618
By Matt “Rodrez” Rodriguez
68 Articles



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