As the Civic was growing in popularity in the 1990s, so too was the Integra; in essence, Honda had two compact FWD models from almost the same era that became hits. They were the perfect place to begin your modding adventure or take that tuning path to someplace higher. And although the world hasn't had a new Integra since 2006—and the U.S. since 2001—the model has remained a hot commodity for some 25 years, with an enormous aftermarket having developed to support it, and obviously several well-executed builds making it to Super Street and Honda Tuning.
Curious about which Honda and Acura Integras featured in the past were among your favorites, we crunched some numbers and came up with the following list of cars, which offered a bit of eye-opening variety for all being one model. Five of the Integra hailed from America, but we also had entries from Japan, Thailand, Canada and New Zealand. The roundup features three Type R, three GS-R, and two sedans, and all the Integra are third gen. except for the USDM-loving second-gen. GS-R from Japan.
- Dan Gonzales's 1996 Honda Integra Type R
- Masafumi Eto's 1992 Acura Integra GS-R
- Chuy Navarro's 2000 Acura Integra Type R
- Orlando Acevedo's 1995 Acura Integra GS-R
- Jatuphon Manpatarapong's 1998 Honda Integra Sedan
- Daniel Stoicescu's 2001 Acura Integra LS
- Matty Kotsifakis's 1999 Honda Integra Type R
- Thakornchaiwut Pakeesuk's 1998 Honda Integra
- Todd Grant's 2000 Acura Integra GS-R
- Allan Robinson 1998 Acura Integra
Dan Gonzales's ITR might have to be considered the DC2 build archetype. Practically a Spoon Sports catalog car on Desmond Regamaster wheels, no wonder it came out on top of this list.
Finding a second-gen GS-R in great shape is rare; finding one that looks anything like Masafumi Eto's Milano Red '92 is virtually impossible. It doesn't get any better than taking a somewhat rare model and giving it a complete restomod treatment with attention to detail that flirts with OCD levels of dedication.
This yellow Type R isn't just another car in Chuy Navarro's portfolio; it just so happens to be one of his favorites, fulfilling his teenage dreams and also being a car he can enjoy seven days a week. It's not geared to be all go or all show but has just enough done to make it well tuned for weekend track days while also being able to commute to work with it whenever Chuy pleases.
Orlando Acevedo did not set out to build this car, but after six years and a couple of direction changes, he produced one of the cleanest DC2 in Florida. Stripped down to its barebones chassis, the Acura was rebuilt with a K20-headed K24 and a purposeful exterior featuring a JDM ITR front, Voltex rear wing, and Gram Lights 57DR rollers.
Jutaphon Manpatarapong's four-door had to be just two things: fun to drive and different. Going against the grain for the build meant among other things elements like the ITB'ed K20/K24 power plant in the bay, USDM front bumper for the Thailand machine, and a Honda Ferio rear seat with custom touches. We can only guess, but by the looks of it this sedan is a good time on wheels.
For Daniel Stoicescu, winning starts with a midrange, third-generation Acura Integra with an automatic transmission, which he turned into the closest thing you'll find to a Japanese-spec Type R. That includes the swap from left- to right-hand drive, which Stoicescu did himself; varying from the Type R script is the K24-swap in the bay, but we still wholeheartedly approve.
It can be easy to throw restraint out the window in a build, which is why Matty Kotsifakis's ITR is so good—the curated blend of mods takes it to another level. The Toda Racing-stroked B18C under the hood is the star here, but all of the supporting cast—including Volk CE28N wheels and Spoon aero, among others—deserve recognition.
For Thakornchaiwut Pakeesuk, starting with a DC1 and emulating the Type R, all the while improving on areas like power, handling, and aesthetics, made much more sense than buying the real thing. With his car rocking upgrades like a built B18C Type R power plant, JDM DC2 front end, and Volk Racing TE37 wheels, we have to agree with his logic.
Todd Grant's sedan is a perfect execution of the OEM+ aesthetic, tastefully balancing factory and aftermarket upgrades. The real story is how Grant meticulously, obsessively did all the work himself, from paint to wiring.
We don't know if Allan Robinson's Integra is still the only AWD DC2 in Canada, but it's still one of the cleanest examples of that sort you'll find. A B20 VTEC mill and CR-V and Civic Wagon drivetrain bits team up to send power to all four corners.