Where do you find a clean, unmolested Integra Type-R in Toronto? In somebody else’s driveway.
The peculiarities of Canada’s auto market meant that modifying Hondas became one of the only avenues of affordable speed for young people. With a market size 1/10th of America’s, our choices are limited from the get-go. The most popular car, for years and years, has been the Honda Civic. So what do you get when a large percentage of car enthusiasts are able to buy cheap but well-maintained stick shift Civics? Well, for one thing, extraordinarily high rates of theft for both Civics and the better, VTEC equipped Hondas. One of the reasons I got my Miata in the first place is because any Civic, Integra, Prelude or Accord cost an outrageous amount to insure. An Integra GS-R would have been $330 a month versus $150 a month for my Miata (and that’s with no accidents or tickets).
It’s really easy to find a cheap Civic with a well-done VTEC swap, but that’s led to the virtual extinction of the Civic Si, the Integra GS-R and of course, the Integra Type-R. Anybody that still has a Type-R keeps theirs in a garage. Otherwise it will be stolen, crashed, or both. I was amazed that none of the cars I came across online had salvage or theft titles. Then again, I only found two.
Both are yellow, which is not my choice of color. Both have relatively low miles, but they go for between $12,500-$14,500. Fair money for these cars, but more than I’d ever want to pay. I know that the Type-R chassis has extra welding and less sound deadening, and there’s the specialness of it being an original Type-R and all that, but knowing that I could have a better performing Integra sedan (which I prefer to the hatch) built for me, with my choice of engine (a B18C from a GS-R, mated to an LSD gearbox from a Japanese Integra), for half the cost, is too appealing to ignore. And it wouldn’t be yellow.
There really aren’t any Integra Type Rs around here. Craigslist, for example, has precisely zero.
AutoTrader.com has just one. It’s black and it features a K20Z1 swap, which I hope is an engine. It also boasts – and I’m quoting from the ad here – “15×8 Rays Gramlight 57dr” as well as “dc2R red Recaros.” And ladies and gentlemen, you’re unlikely to find those ever again in one place, at least if you believe the seller. I personally have no idea what they are.
Anyway, this car is a 2000 with 75,000 miles and the seller is asking $16,000. If you’re questioning whether it’s worth it, don’t bother, as he lists right in the ad that it’s “worth every bit of what I’m asking.” Tough, but fair.
A stock example doesn’t show up until I expand my search radius to 500 miles. It’s a 2001 model in Virginia, yellow and beautiful. Mileage is at 115,000 and pricing is very reasonable at $12,000. This one is stunningly stock, right down to the shift knob, which looks like the top end of a screwdriver stuck in the shift boot.
The only problem with an ITR purchase, on my end, is that it comes with a huge bill: I’d have to spring for a garage. That’s because the ITR does three things: it looks good, it drives well, and it gets stolen. And I wouldn’t want to buy a new K20Z1 or dc2R red Recaros. I wouldn’t even know where to look.