By on March 16, 2015

Acura_Integra_Type_R_eBay_1426492742

If you’re looking to make money in classic cars, the air-cooled Porsche 911s are what finance types would call a “crowded trade”. Everyone and their mother wants one, no matter how awful or over-priced. Time to turn your attention towards something not so overvalued.

At just over $28,000, this Acura Integra Type-R is a steal. It’s nearly new, in bone stock condition (hard to find, since most have been crashed, stolen or chopped for parts) and in the most desirable color. Only a handful of real Type-Rs ever came to America and they represent the pinnacle of the golden age of front-drive Hondas. Think of it like buying a Shelby GT350 in the late 1970’s. You know what they’re worth now.

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68 Comments on “Forget Air-Cooled Porsches, This Is The Next Classic Car Goldmine...”


  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    Agree, will likely be similar to E30 M3 status to my generation X types. Anyone know production numbers for U.S.?

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Just over 3800 according to this:
      http://www.integratyper.org/specs/usdm-type-r-sales.htm

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        This is virtually one of a kind. Not only was it rare new but most were modded, crashed, stolen and stripped as Derek says, so the rarity is no doubt a big factor. I bet there’s no more than 10 1997-98 and 2000-01 Integra Type-R’s out there in stock condition and with less than 25k on the clock.

        Another factor is surely the bowel movements that Honda is passing off as cars these days. Most Honda enthusiasts would rather pay $32k for this than $32k for a brand new CR-V, even if the dealer threw in a new CR-Z for free.

        Don’t Honda and Toyota take any hints from the ridiculous prices people are paying for mint Civic Si’s and Supras?

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      This Type-R is so clean that there is barely any frosty-tip gel in the headliner.

      Wrong-wheel drive Japanese cars have as much value potential as GTIs, at absolute best.

      The guys that wanted these really wanted last generation Supra twin-turbos or NSXes. If they get money that is what they will bid up.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Oh for a second I thought we might have been talking about the F-150 hiding in the background.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    I have begun cornering the market on 1976 Ford Thunderbirds, 1981 Dodge Diplomats & 1982 Plymouth Horizons, as I believe these will be the next Jackson Barrett auction gold that will increase in price by 10,000%.

    I’m buying these vehicles hand over fist.

  • avatar
    scrappy17

    How about a Integra GSR?

    It can be the poor man’s collector to be eventually made into a Type R replica.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      No, leave ’em unmolested. Those are like a K-code Mustang GT ying to the Shelby GT350’s yang. If you want to go the replica route, do it to a common stick LS coupe. The transportation wranglers on “Fast & Furious” know how to do it.

    • 0 avatar
      Synchromesh

      I’ve owned a ’00 GS-R sedan. Great car and about 4/5 of a Type R. But let me tell you this: a proper aircooled 911 is far, far more fun in many ways.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    Even more than the Nineties Civic Si, ’94-’00 Integras of GS and higher level with stick are the ’55-’57 Chevrolet of rice rockets. Finding a nice one will be difficult.

  • avatar
    skor

    “Think of it like buying a Shelby GT350 in the late 1970’s.”

    I thought I was the only one thinking like that, nice to know I have company.

    I always believed that the front-drive 90s coupes were the ‘pony cars’ of their day. Think about it. The pony cars were sporty coupes built on the chassis of mundane econo-boxes like the Falcon. The 90s front-drive sport coupes were sporty cars built on the chassis of mundane econo-boxes like the Civic. Yup, that R-Type is the Shelby GT350 of the 90s.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    I dunno, I like the 2nd-gen 4-door better, but I’m a weirdo.

  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    I’d imagine that the 1992-1993 Integra GSR is going to be nearly as much of a collector item as the Type R. MUCH lower production numbers than even the ITR.

    According to Wiki:
    US Market-
    1992 GS-R: 3118 units
    1993 GS-R: 850 units

    The specific B17A found in this car was ONLY in the Integra GS-R and ONLY in 1992-1993. Never used before, never used again in any form.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Integra
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_B_engine#B17A1.2A

  • avatar
    285exp

    Is there one of these things left that hasn’t been riced to death?

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      You’ve 100% missed the point of this article.

      • 0 avatar
        bomberpete

        The image I keep having is of the wacky Integra driven by Ari’s hapless assistant Lloyd, on the HBO show “Entourage.”

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        I think he’s actually captured the essence of it entirely.

        These things generally go to hell and back. There’s one on Ebay for $8,500 with 151K miles and a rebuilt title (suprise surprise, theft). So an unmolested, low mileage, clean title one is definitely worth a lot.

        For me personally I just can’t stomach paying $28K for this when a clean GS-R sedan costs literally 1/7th that and delivers 85% of the driving experience. But for people who have to have it, I get it.

    • 0 avatar
      Tinn-Can

      I was going to say stolen and had the motor put in a civic…

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    I dunno.

    These were great enthusiast cars, and they are now rarer than hen’s teeth, but I am ambivalent on the future of the car, and car collecting as a whole.

    I don’t think my generation will be throwing money at cars in the same way as the boomers did. I think the focus of their nostalgia is different.

    I also don’t think the disposable incomes will be there to support stupid prices quite like the current “classics”.

    Buying it for what it is, and driving it, is probably a better strategy than hoping for a collector’s market to emerge.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      This. The Boomers are the last generation en-masse that have pension plans on top of their 401Ks…i.e.: disposable income.

      I HAD a pension plan until my company froze it recently…now I’ll get a whopping $800 a month from it when I am eligible to retire and tap into it in 16 years. I’m not even sure $800 will cover a monthly cell-phone plan in 16 years.

      This is why I half-joke with people that I intend to have the Jeeps I own now when I retire – I won’t be able to afford anything fun by the time I retire if I didn’t already own it.

    • 0 avatar
      Numbers_Matching

      ThisX2
      The big money collector car market will gradually fade as the boomers reach their seventies and eighties. Gen X’ers will not be able to carry on this trend. This will cause the ‘collector car’ market to flood as boomers sell —- or estates disperse property to gen-X or gen-Y decendents who will quickly unload them.
      And all those ding-bats on reality TV will finally be gone..

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Good points, most people from generation Y want muscle cars, Miatas, Panthers, occasionally the odd Volvo, maybe a drifter Nissan S13.

      But they want them cheap, they don’t have the money for perfect examples.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Well, at least we know who will be responsible for the price bubble in the future.

    Myself, I couldn’t bring myself to spent 28K on a 15+ year old Integra. Not willing to make that bet on the FnF crowd just yet.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      danio3834 — you’ve got a point. It’s hard to count on people who live their lives a quarter mile at a time.

      Sorry, couldn’t resist that one.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Given the Integras Civic origins I couldn’t justify $28k myself.

      When you get an old Mustang, Porsche, or whatever you’re getting something more than a hopped up econo box.

      • 0 avatar
        Zykotec

        What? You’ve never heard of Ford Falcons and VW beetles? I would go as far as even claim that the Itegra Type R even has less in common with a Civic VTi than a ’65 GT-350 has in common with a standard V8 Falcon hardtop.
        (‘the cool thing’ to have today would probably be one of the actual Monte Carlo Falcons in my opinion, Shelbys are so mainstream)

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          Porsches are very far removed from VW Beetles beyond their engine placement. Shelby GTs are souped up Falcons yes, souped up family sedans. Integras? Just economy cars with a real engine.

          That being said Integras do make better daily drivers between the three.

  • avatar
    sproc

    Wow. I could swear most of the ones I’ve ever seen have the JDM headlight conversion. Great find.

    Agree with CoastieLenn though that the 92-93 GS-R might just be the pinnacle if you’re into Integras. I remember drooling over one on a dealer showroom pedestal in the spring of ’93 (when I bought my ’93 LS Coupe). I think I’ve only seen one other in the wild.

  • avatar
    doublechili

    The Integra R was a great car, but I just don’t see it as a classic goldmine.

    If I were to stockpile anything, I’d go for rare models of large 80s/90s sports sedans (or wagons) with manual transmissions and preferably a big-ass telephone in the center console. :)

  • avatar
    krayzie

    This is why I laugh at all those riced up new cars on the streets I see everyday. They just don’t understand what dedication is.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    I rather spend that money on a EVO V or VI TME and a Z32 300ZX or a Soarer with the spare change.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    The people who say “I’d rather buy XXX” or “Wouldn’t it make sense to just convert an LS” are missing the point. Yes, in terms of a car to drive, all of those alternatives make TONS more sense than a $30k ITR. But none will be worth what a $30k ITR will be some day. Just like it makes a lot more sense to mod a Mustang fastback than it does to buy a Shelby, but which one is worth more at auction?

    All that said, I wouldn’t trade my S2000 straight across for an ITR (and my car is worth about half of this one, if you believe that $30k pricetag).

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      Regarding “I’d rather buy XXX”,sometimes missing the point is the whole point.

      Converting a LS at this point won’t make much sense. In 10 years, a “tribute car” will still fetch some money over a normal LS. And yes, original > clone.

      And I agree with you on the S2000

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I think the S2000 is the Honda to stash away for future profit. As cool as an Integra may be, the S2000 does everything a collector car should do better. There are still enough nice ones that have spent their time as garaged second cars that the values aren’t crazy yet.

      • 0 avatar
        Numbers_Matching

        ‘I think the S2000 is the Honda to stash away for future profit’

        The S2000 is a car with far more potential and mass appeal than any front driver. As nice as the Type-R was, it was fairly nichey — really more of tuning test bed for the baggy-pants-run, independent-all-makes-‘yo-specialising in Honda Toyota and Nissan-yo’ crowd – replete with the usual gang encrypted designer graffiti art on the walls.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        There are TONS more S2000s than ITRs. The S2000 is like a TR6 or Austin Healey 3000 to the Miata’s MGB. It will be in demand as a collector, but not particularly valuable (I doubt it will ever crack $50k in today’s money).

        The ITR, OTOH, will be much more likely to be a $100k car some day.

  • avatar
    Ion

    Pretty sure I’ve seen this come up on here before. I don’t see these gaining traction past the tuner crowd. Who I might add will cut the springs and put coffee can exhausts on upon buy it.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Its hard to be a Honda fan and at the same time not be associated with the “ricer” crowd. Just because Im under 35 doesnt mean I want to be as obnoxious and careless as I can be.

      What you described them doing to the car is what has caused me to avoid Hondas in the past. Hondas, especially in the 80s and 90s, were already low enough. I hate those loud fart can mufflers and lowering of the already lowish car.

      I refuse to even remotely consider buying a “modded” Honda. Not only do I really dislike all that crap, but also because you KNOW some stupid kid has abused the thing from day one. Its a similar story with V-8 Ford Mustangs and other sporty cars. Chances are, someone has tried to wring the life out of it before their parents made them sell it before they kill themselves and/or others.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I will make an ‘opposite’ argument: for someone looking to enjoy a fun “Golden Age” Honda on a budget, and doesn’t care quite so much for stratospheric future collector value, I’m seeing 4th (92-96) and 5th generation (97-01) Honda Preludes going for quite reasonable money these days. Like the Integra, finding a stock, un-hacked one is pretty difficult, but they seemed to miss out on the cult status of the Type R, despite still being incredibly well handling cars. I guess they’re a heavier, “GT” sort of sporty car rather than the frenetic, lightweight, hard-edged Type R.

    My real unicorn would be a 83-87 or 88-91 Prelude Si in good shape. Those have got to be some of the lowest hoods short of a supercar. Fantastic ergonomics and visibility. Poor man’s fwd NSX I call them.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      Funny, I was just looking at Preludes for sale online yesterday. There are surprisingly few available in Canada, and even fewer low-mileage ones. Unlike, say, the Miata, the Prelude tended to be a car that was used year-round in the rust belt, and that takes a big toll on their availability 14 years after production ended. Their engine bays were also mined to get that H22 into Civics; I wonder if that had an effect on the survival rates of lightly-damaged and/or rusted Preludes.

      The 5th gen Prelude won a 1997 comparison of best handling cars for under $30k in Car & Driver. The Miata made third, and was of course also much slower due to its low power. The Prelude was refined, dignified, properly quick for its time, and judging by the odometer readings of some of the ones for sale, durable. I’ve shared track time with a near-stock one, and it looked quite composed, in addition to leaving my Miata for dead on the straights. The prices really are quite low.

      I still lust after the 150k mile ’89 Si I almost bought as my first car in 2002. The form, the low hood, the pop-up lights, connected feeling of the controls, and air of quality, as well as the 80sness of the whole thing were awesome. And although objectively its 135hp pushing ~2600lbs really isn’t impressive, it felt like a rocket to my 18 year-old self. If I came across a rust-free example today, I’d be seriously tempted to pay a month or two’s salary to own one. I won’t find one, though.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        You can easily find one on the West coast of the US and I bet Canada as well. I saw one recently on Seattle craigslist for under two grand. I didnt click on it because Im not a fan of the 2nd – 4th generation Preludes. I really like the first and 5th gens, though.

        I found a fairly low mileage 5th gen 5 speed in excelent condition in Texas for $5500. It was/is perfectly stock, right down to the factory Honda CD player.

    • 0 avatar
      kablamo

      About 12 years ago I had a very clean 91 Prelude, phoenix red (rust fixed, repainted). I was surprised the first time someone confused it for an NSX. You can really see that the NSX was an evolution of the 3rd gen (88-91) Prelude design, the front end but also the greenhouse and the shape of the rear and tail lights. Unfortunately it was written off in an accident and sent to car heaven.

      Now I have a clean 5th gen I’m trying to preserve – yet also enjoy; it’s stock and lower mileage (120k km). While ITR’s and S2000’s will definitely be sought-after in the coming decades, unmodified plebeian models like GS-R’s (DB2 and DC2 gens), Si’s and Preludes will still get attention. Even nowadays a stock CR-X is somewhat of a unicorn.

  • avatar
    RRocket

    Anything rare-ish in 90s Japanese sports/muscle is the next investment in cars IMO.

  • avatar
    Redshift

    I totally agree with the premise. As a 30 something car enthusiast, I have little to no interest in traditional collector cars, outside of just appreciating a nice car.
    I also grew up on Japanese cars and have no interest in European cars. (So Air cooled Porches do nothing for me. I can go for the E30 M3 but not at current prices.)
    I and my friends are willing to invest a substantial amount of money into cars. None of us are interested in Euro or old muscle cars.
    Aside from my fleet of Rotary Mazda’s and my wife’s Mazdaspeed Protégé, my larger group of friends have invested in an impressive collection of Japanese cars, such as as the following examples:
    A 1998 ITR with 48,000 km (not miles) bone stock and clean.
    A 1998 3rd Gen RX7 with 9,000km, bone stock and clean.
    Mitsubishi EVO VI with 40,000km bone stock and clean.
    A 97(?) Subaru WRX STi Type RA with 9,000km bone stock and clean.
    There is also an RX7 R1, a 99 RX7 Type RZ a time capsule 84 RX7 GSL-SE, a clean survivor Turbo II FC etc.
    One of them has been looking for a clean NSX that meets his standards for two years.

    As a representative sample of enthusiasts who came of age in the 90s, I’ll say we can, will and do pay for the right examples of the Japanese cars of our youth.

  • avatar
    kmoney

    $28,000 with 14 different bidders in the mix so far and 5 days to go. I’m guessing final selling price is going to end up a lot higher than it is now.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    Holy sh!t, an Integra Type-R, I have not seen one of those in forever. There are a lot of 90s cars that will become collector cars down the road, Toyota Celica GT-S, Toyota MR2, Toyota Supra Turbo, Mitsubishi 3000 GT-VR4 and Dodge Stealth, Lexus SC300/400 just to name a few. In 10-20 years from now the prices will be absolutely insane.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Can I have a Supra instead?

    Can’t seem to find any Supra in Pennsylvania any more…

  • avatar
    John R

    Ah. The Type-R Integra, the unicorn of my youth.

    It may be the only front-driver from that time that actually accrues any currency.

    For North America, this and the other 90s Japanese stalwarts – FD RX-7; Mk IV Supra; 300 ZX twin turbo; R32, 33, & 34 Skyline GT-R; Eclipse GSX (NOT GST); and, of course, the NSX – should be good bets, provided they are unmolested. Moon shots for this crop would be 400R GT-R and the GT-R Z-tune, but that’s for those outside North America.

    I don’t believe it will peak these cars for at least another ten years, however. What’s really next for Japanese classics are S30 Z-cars, Hakosuka Skylines, RX-3’s and others from the 60s and 70s.

  • avatar
    jco

    this is also a one-year only version. the 98s received lots of changes. the home market got the 95-97 R, we only got one year of the first version. so that adds to the rarity.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    Blows my mind to think I’ll be citing this car to ky kids as an example of how Acura used to be cool

  • avatar
    tubacity

    Many of you have noted that the Integra gets stolen often.
    This might be another buy and don’t drive it car. Doubt that you would get much enjoyment without driving it.
    Even regular Integras of this age get stolen repeatedly. Two friends had regular Integras. Both cars got stolen repeatedly. I understand the engine is a ricer’s dream to “liberate” from the integra and plant in a clapped out 350K mile fart can dog tracking Civic with every fender reshaped and re primered.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Even Honda Accord from that time period get stolen, a part of its demand, a part of its the identical keys that Honda used so you could theoretically just use a junkyard key.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    On the subject of hopped-up Integras, this is where it all started:

    http://www.japaneseclassicsllc.com/1989-da6-honda-integra-xsi-b16a-5-mt-9995.html

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Now at $38k.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    I was all ready to start talking about how these cars are never going to pull big money and then I saw that the bidding has now topped $40k, so maybe I am about to eat some crow. But it also looks like the same 3 guys are in a bidding war and knowing what I know about eBay, at least 2 of them might be fake bidders, so we shall see.

    The problem with the ITR is that it really wasn’t that great even back in the day. Like the CRX or the AE86, they were awesome cars for the times, but the rose colored glasses of nostalgia has treated them better than time. Drive one today and they aren’t so great. As has been said before, the S2000 is a way better car and much more freely available.

    Cars that bring big money at auctions, the future moneymakers, have to have broad enough appeal to bring the bidding wars that end up in the 6 figures. If there are not enough “more money than brains” collectors competing, then the entire concept collapses. There are hundreds of thousands of people who want classic muscle cars, even now. There are maybe dozens of people who dream of classic Japanese cars. How many of them will have the money to drop 6 figures on a toy and have it NOT be something newer/better/faster or even just custom build something? This is why 60s and 70s Japanese cars are not seeing any huge gains in the classic market now, and why 80s and 90s Japanese cars will not see it either. The people who lust after old Japanese cars want them cheap.

  • avatar
    CaseyLE82

    It ended up selling for more than 43,000 dollars.

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