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 |   |  1996 Honda Integra Type R - Rare Breed
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1996 Honda Integra Type R - Rare Breed

Save the excuses, just drive!

Oct 22, 2012
Photographer: Sean Bradford
Htup 1210 01 o+1996 honda integra type r+spoon sports carbon fiber lip Photo 1/7   |   1996 Honda Integra Type R - Rare Breed

Driving sometimes seems like the very last piece of the project/build puzzle for the current-era enthusiast. Finding hard-to-source parts, the perfect (in some cases, far from it) wheel sizing, high-end suspension, and of course tying everything together with properly color-coded schemes typically trumps any thoughts of putting the car on the road and enjoying the fruits of one’s labor, so to speak. Late-night Internet parts-hunting sprees along with the pressure many feel to match or outdo one another often overshadows the simple act of, well, just driving.

Dan Gonzalez of Connecticut is a little different. In fact, when compared to today’s “buy now, enjoy never” Honda community, he’s a bit of an anomaly. Sure, we’ve all seen white Integras sprinkled with Spoon parts a hundred times before, but how many times have you seen a build like this with an owner who makes no qualms about traveling over 120,000 miles in just a few years? Real parts doing real work shouldn’t sound foreign, but when pussyfooting has become the norm, standouts like Dan are sometimes lost in the shuffle. Not this time.

Htup 1210 05 o+1996 honda integra type r+spoon sports radiator cap Photo 2/7   |   1996 Honda Integra Type R - Rare Breed

His list of attended events includes track and meet adventures from the East Coast to the West Coast and back again—without the assistance of a trailer. He’s attended multiple track events with time trials at Lime Rock Park (placing first on two occasions), Import Alliance Tennessee, Import Alliance Baltimore, Eibach Honda Meet California, East Coast Honda Meet, and the list goes on and on.

Like many digital-age car fiends, Dan became infatuated with his ideal project car thanks to visual enticement. He adds, “This car is my daily driven dream! I dreamed about this car since the day I played Gran Turismo 2 and won a Spoon ITR.” Having already owned four Integras, three of which were white, he was certainly no stranger to the chassis. However, the previous builds were all of the non-ITR variety and Dan, eagerly wishing to own a piece of Honda history, scoured the web for leads. After an eight-hour workday, most have thoughts of heading home to relax and recharge the batteries, but after finally locating a stock ’96 ITR online, Dan drove 18-plus hours, nonstop, to claim his prize. He states, “I traded my ’98 Integra RS plus $3,000 that I didn’t even have for this stock ITR. Almost every car I’ve owned has been white with the Spoon theme, but never a real-deal ITR, with real-deal Spoon parts. I told myself the day I picked up the ’96, I wouldn’t settle for anything less than real Spoon and the best brands.” Dan made good on that self-made promise, enlisting authentic goods throughout the build.

Attached to the exterior, you’ll notice the often-duplicated Spoon Sports carbon-fiber lip and side mirrors. What you might not notice is the Spoon hood that’s been sprayed to match the rest of the car’s exterior. And under that ultra-light bonnet is a B18C with a bump in compression, compliments of a set of CTR pistons. Up top, Toda Spec B cams, adjustable cam gears, and valvesprings see their by-product sent to the rear of the vehicle via Toda’s exhaust manifold mated to an exhaust system that includes a T1R test pipe and Vision muffler. Intake duties depend on the situation, and Dan’s mood quite frankly. For street duty, there’s an original ITR airbox and Spoon filter available, or for all-out war he can arm his ITR with a Password:JDM Kevlar intake and velocity stack. The end result spins the rollers to a healthy 201hp with 138 lb-ft torque, while Spoon calipers and Hawk HP+ pads help Dan control those ponies. Back and forth duties are handled by Spoon coilovers and Hardrace sway bar endlinks.

Htup 1210 06 o+1996 honda integra type r+type r wing Photo 3/7   |   1996 Honda Integra Type R - Rare Breed

Reliability and longevity were the goals, and the 120K-plus mileage racked up behind the Spoon Sports steering wheel and cluster is a testament to Dan’s success. Future plans, beyond stacking more miles, are to refinish every panel on the ITR’s body with fresh OEM parts. He closes with this, “It’s been to Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New York, California, Ohio, Virginia, and many other places. It’s been driven in rain, snow, and sunny days—and it’s been on the track many times. In the process of building this car I’ve met some amazing people and even lost two good friends who helped with this build. This car is a part of me, and I could never let it go—it’s priceless to me.” Dan Gonzalez is a rare breed indeed.

Bolts & Washers

HaSport mounts
Hondata S300
CTR pistons
ARP head studs
Toda Spec B cams
Toda valvesprings
Toda cam gears
Toda header
Hondata intake manifold gasket
Vision 2.5-inch muffler
Custom 3-inch turndown
2.5-inch T1R B-pipe
T1R resonated test pipe
Spoon Sports throttle body
Password:JDM Kevlar intake
ITR intake/Spoon filter, street
Adam West engine harness
RC 310 injectors
Fluidyne radiator
Spoon Sports radiator hoses
2001 ITR transmission
Exedy Stage I clutch
Toda flywheel
MFactory 4.9 final drive
Spoon Sports clutch line
Spoon Sports oil pan heat tape
Spoon Sports valve cover
Spoon Sports Kevlar plug cover
Spoon Sports magnetic drain plugs
Spoon Sports radiator stays
Spoon Sports radiator cap
Spoon Sports oil cap
Spoon Sports engine damper
Spoon Sports Certified #709

Htup 1210 04 o+1996 honda integra type r+password JDM kevlar intake Photo 4/7   |   The classic B18C has been freshened up with CTR pistons, ARP head studs, and a number of Toda goods.

Spoon Sports coilovers
Spoon Sports front/rear tower bars
Spoon Sports rear lower tie-bar
Spoon Sports Rigid collar kit
Energy Suspension master kit
Next Miracle X bar
Hardrace front/rear sway bar endlinks
RHD manual Civic steering rack

Htup 1210 07 o+1996 honda integra type r+next miracle x bar Photo 5/7   |   1996 Honda Integra Type R - Rare Breed

Spoon Sports calipers
Hawk HP+ pads
Brembo discs
Spoon Sports master cylinder brace
Motul RBF 600 fluid

Wheels & Tires
Desmond Regamaster 16x7+45
Bridgestone Potenza RE-11 205/45-16
Spoon Sports lug nuts

SHG front splitter
Spoon Sports carbon-fiber lip
Spoon Sports carbon hood, painted
Spoon Sports carbon-fiber mirrors
Spoon Sports decal kit
Honda Access window visors
J’s Racing front towhook

Htup 1210 02 o+1996 honda integra type r+desmond regamaster Photo 6/7   |   1996 Honda Integra Type R - Rare Breed

Spoon Sports Kevlar seats
Spoon Sports ’96-spec cluster
Spoon Sports steering wheel
NRG slim hub/quick-release
Yellow stitched ITR rear seats
Yellow stitched ITR shift boot
ITRx pedals
JDM double-din radio block-off

Mom and Dad, my girlfriend Erika for putting up with me, the car, and the 7,000-mile trip to Eibach and back. Shaun Ryan Joseph (oldskool), Sean Bradford, RHDJonWRd, Freddy, Ferdie, Ruben, SHGEvan, SHGMike, Jon Walker, Mike at Charm City Tuning, Dougy Fresh German, My brother Joel, Chris Hackley and Garage29, Drew the prep Allen, Chris Minor, Scott Childs, Mikey Rodriquez, Adam West, Nick Haines (Nhswaps13203)—RIP homies (thanks for being a part of this build and good friends), and any other friend who has helped me get this car to where it is today.

Owner Specs

Daily grind

Htup 1210 03 o+1996 honda integra type r+SHG front splitter Photo 7/7   |   1996 Honda Integra Type R - Rare Breed

Favorite sites
NWP4Life, Honda-Tech,

Screen names
Shg_Dan, AllmotorDan, StockMotorDan, RHDDan

Building Hondas
10 years

Dream car
My car

Future project Redo every panel on this car with new OEM stuff

Type R? Lies!

With as much information available to us as we can possibly absorb via magazines and the Internet, many in the Honda community are so quick to point fingers that they forget to do their research. For example, Honda Tuning Magazine’s Facebook page once displayed a photo of Dan’s car and the naysayers had a field day. Their gripe—if it’s a real ITR, why does it have only four lugs? The answer of course is that this is a ’96 ITR, which was equipped with a 4x114.3 pattern from the factory, rather than the more popular five-lug pattern that Civics and Integras often upgrade to. We were then challenged on how it could possibly be a ’96, when the ITR didn’t even come out until 1997. That’s true…in the U.S., but Dan’s is direct from Japan, where the ITR’s run began in 1996.


HASport Performance
Phoenix, AZ 85040
Torrance, CA 90503
Toda Racing
Irvine, CA 92618
By Rodrez
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