By on January 29, 2018

1994 Acura Integra in California wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
The third-generation Acura Integra went on sale for the 1994 model year and sold very well in North America. Well-built, reliable, and an immediate favorite of racers and customizers, resale values stayed up and it took a good 15-20 years before the third-gen Integra began showing up in large quantities in self-service wrecking yards; today discarded examples are plentiful.

Since the model’s junkyard numbers are beginning to decline after a few years of glut, I decided to photograph one for this series. Here’s a very typical California 1994-2001 Integra, covered in flat-black paint and showing evidence of merciless beatings during its 23 years on the road.

1994 Acura Integra in California wrecking yard, speedometer - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
218,946 miles on the clock, which is typical for most junked Honda products of this age. It may have had more life in it, but the body and interior reached Full Hooptie stage years ago and it wasn’t worth keeping on the street.

1994 Acura Integra in California wrecking yard, Engine - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
The 1.8-liter B18B1 engine in this car made 142 horsepower. Because the 1994-2001 Integra was based on the 1992-1995 Civic, most of the mechanical components will swap between the two types; I am taking advantage of this compatibility with my own Civic.

1994 Acura Integra in California wrecking yard, dealer service sticker - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
I photographed this car in San Jose, California, but it appears to have started its career in Portland, Oregon.

1994 Acura Integra in California wrecking yard, wheel - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars
With flat black paint and aftermarket wheels, we can assume that this car spent much of its time — at least during its final few years — with the engine screaming above six grand. I didn’t spot any of the usual cheap eBay coilovers or a shift knob from Manny, Moe, and Jack, so at least the car’s final owner had some sense.


Instead of a minivan, thinks the dog, the humans can get a four-door Integra!


That ad was pretty lame, so let’s see the one for the Japanese-market ’94 Honda Integra. The Duran Duran song isn’t so great, but at least we see the car cornering hard on a race track and sliding around on wet pavement.

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42 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1994 Acura Integra LS Sedan...”


  • avatar
    Sub-600

    For some reason the headrest photo reminds me of a character from Mystery Science Theater 3000.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    These were – back in the 90s – heavily lusted after by the teens and twenty-somethings. Now they are rare enough that I always take a second look if I see one still on the streets. Most of ’em either blew up (VTEC – YO!) or finally got destroyed by the rust cancer.

    It was always a good looking car and I would have liked one myself but the values, until the end, stayed high on these cars. Plus finding one that hadn’t been molested / modified / “raced” put them off of my list.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      I see maybe an Interga once every couple of months. My Beretta V6 used run a GS-R and I crushed him with V6 torque on thr way to work once a week. That was until he learned to rev it out and it was so much fun anymore….until I got a chip and intake.

      • 0 avatar

        Is there anything your employer, GM, doesn’t do better than every other automaker now and throughout antiquity?

        • 0 avatar
          CaddyDaddy

          I know one thing GM excels at better than any other automaker, a great champagne and prime rib fueled press event at a swank hotel where they double dare promise this generation of vehicle will undue all the evils of the last generation. Cross our fingers, hope to die!

          • 0 avatar
            RedRocket

            Don’t ask about how much Honda spent to deliver auto journos and their entire families (!) to Hawaii last year when the new Odyssey was introduced. Just don’t.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          In fairness to Norm, that scenario is not all that implausible – at low speeds, torque works wonders for speed.

          But then again, I give you fair to even odds that the Integra Norm reportedly trolled was still roaming the earth 10 years after his Super Duper Beretta had been recycled into Spaghetti-O cans.

          But for a brief, glorious moment, I’m sure Norm was in Camelot.

          • 0 avatar

            Haha, I think *all* automakers do luxury trips and make those promises. That’s just how to goes.

            Fair enough to FreedMike’s low end grunt point.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            The parts falling off the Beretta as it goes down the road also make it faster due to additional weight savings.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I too thought it was implausible until I saw the torque ratings of an early GS-R were 117ft-tq at a bajillion RPM vs 180 ft-tq @ 3600 RPM. Camelot!

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Yeah, that’s the origin of the classic ‘ricer flyby’: torquey car gets a jump from launch and pulls ahead, but runs out of breath just as the VTEC cam switches over and rockets the “slower” car up to 90 mph or so.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      I never drove one of these, but they seemed like such great fun. Honda kept pushing the rpm redline higher and higher with each new engine they offered through the 1990s. That was a really big part of the appeal of these cars. Most of us twenty-somethings of the 1990s had learned to drive on far, far lesser hardware.

      • 0 avatar
        WheelMcCoy

        I was fortunate to own a 1987 Integra 5 door — a hatch! It was pre V-TEC, but still revved smoothly to 7,000. Yup, subsequent generations just got better and revved higher.

    • 0 avatar

      This comment, with only minor revisions, could describe the VW Corrado of the same period.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        Yep, the 1990s small Volkswagens with the VR6 could really move. I think a lot of young, first-job-that-pays-really-well people cross shopped those with Integras.

  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    My father-in-law bought a 94 Integra RSX after his CRX Si got totalled by a dump truck.
    I drove it once, it was a snug fit for me, rode and shifted hard, but after a little while I got used to it – and began to enjoy it.
    Later – it was stolen bu some punks who took it for a joy ride – trashed the interior and stole his stereo.
    It was found – and he had it repaired. He drove it for several years after that.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    My mother had a brand new, 1993 GS (fully loaded), 4-door, with an auto. The last vehicle that The Old Man purchased for her.

    She put a total of just under 60,000kms on it. Always dealer maintained and garaged. Then without informing any of us, she traded it for a new Accord Sedan in 2001. As she had never kept a car longer than 4 years previously, she felt it was time.

    If it had been a manual, or a 2-door, I would have been outraged. As it was, upset.

  • avatar
    MrGrieves

    The GS-R was the trim level to have. One of my coworkers had one back in the late ’90s. It felt like the ultimate Honda “all top end” engine… wikipedia says 170 HP with 128 lb-ft of torque. Sounds about right. Anything below 3,000 rpm and you were really lugging it.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Friend of mine had one bought when he got out of collage , kept it 12 years and 200,000 miles, the body was getting kinda of beat up so he sold it to a kid and he has bought Acura even since, two TSX and now a TLX, he still says his integra was his favorite.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Unrelated question…the engine oil fill cap in almost all the junkyard pics is missing…do peeps look inside attempting to discern the oil change intervals / sludge accumulation and just toss them aside?

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    my brother had a 4 door GSR, what a fun, reliable car,as he worked in downtown Pitt. , PA he was always worried it would get stolen as this was the height of the F&F days.It did has some very mild surface rust on one rear fender which he repaired himself. At the time , which was early 1998-2000s, I was driving a 93 Ford Probe GT. I guess we were prime candidates for the segment.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    This the the car I should have made my fist new-car purchase after college and starting work. Still kicking myself for not buying…

  • avatar
    ja-gti

    Dennis Miller as the dog!

  • avatar
    fincar1

    How times change – there was a time when those wheels would have been the first things sold off that car.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      You can get brand-new Chinese KO wheels for $50; why bother with ratty Pep Boys wheels that are already bent? If they were actual nice wheels, they wouldn’t have made it to the yard.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Possibly they still would have simply because these vehicles and their specific subculture are no longer common.

        I think $50/wheel for Chicom wheels worth $10 apiece is not a good buy. Personally I’d rather spend more on something worth more.

  • avatar
    Yorkster88

    I have been fortunate to have owned 2 of these generation Integras. The first was a 99 SE (in Canada, it’s an RS with additional options) that I bought brand new. It wasn’t a GSR but to me, it felt like a million bucks, the way it was screwed together so well. I drove it 170k kms before selling it for a princely sum because family needs changed and I immediately regretted making that decision. Years later, a good friend of mine sold me his black 98 GS. Also manual, very low kms, and unmolested. I did a detailed TLC restoration to it and added a few tasteful mods. We have 2 other daily drivers, so this car mostly lives in the garage and makes public appearances on sunny weekends. It’s the kind of car that gets looks and thumbs up from Honda Nation. I still have it and have no plans for letting it go at any price. I’m so fortunate to have a second chance at owning a mint Integra.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    Still driving an RS automatic that dad bought me back in 97, at 260k miles now. I like it, somehow better than my 08 IS250. I don’t know how to explain it, but it is just more responsive and the steering feel is much better in feedback. The 4k rpm when you cruise at 90mph sucks though, I’m glad we have more than 4 speed these days.

    I have to say they don’t last as well as the Corolla that we also have. Somehow I think it has to do with the cooling system running a 2PSI higher pressure than Toyota. Too bad they don’t make these kind of things anymore.

  • avatar

    Our 1996 Integra sedan (Special Edition!) was the only new car we have ever bought and I hated parting with it, which finally happened in 2015 when there were 340,000 kms on the clock and I needed the garage space for the Corvette. Even as an automatic, the Acura was fun to drive, had great visibility and fuel economy, and was highly reliable. Needed soundproofing, however. It seems all Civics/Integras of that period rusted above the rear wheel wells. I had at one point considered an RSX-S but they appear to have almost no depreciation and are just too old now. There are a handful of Integras still cruising around here in Ottawa but when visiting friends near Washington, DC, I was amazed at how many of this generation of Integra still roam the roads in the South.

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    I imagine the last part of this poor car’s life was not pleasant with the requisite fart can exhaust, engine mods that generated lots of unburned hydrocarbons but little extra HP, and possibly a No Fear windshield decal now lost to the sands of time.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      I think you got almost all the checks in the blocks, but don’t forget the K&N FILTERCHARGER 10% power bolt on modification!!!!! And the requisite K&N bumper sticker.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    No lie, I just saw one of these yesterday. It was the cheaper version of the car, with wheel covers, not alloys. A little white-haired old lady (I could barely see her head above the head rest) was toodling down my street.

    I was trying to remember when I saw one in that condition, it’s been quite a while. If the “FnF” crowd didn’t run these things into the ground, Mother Nature and the salt trucks (in my part of the country) were busy returning these to iron oxide.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    My brother had a 1994 or 1995 GS-R. Nice car, but the damn thing was possessed! Weird stuff just happened to it, from door dings to parking lot scrapes!

    The last straw was when my brother was driving back to the Toledo area from Columbus, and got caught behind a rock-hauling dump truck. He could see a large rock on the top which he figured would fall off, and tried to get around the truck, but traffic was solid to his left, and the right shoulder was closed.

    Sure enough, that rock fell off the truck, denting the hood as it bounced, and crashed into the windshield; it didn’t shatter, but there were glass splinters all over, and my usually unflappable brother was pretty shaken-up! IIRC, my brother was actually able to get the trucking company to pay for the damage!

    The nicest part about these was the Accord quality in a Civic size. The stereos were Accord-spec, as well.

    And this was the car that taught me that I’d never drive stick well enough to exist in traffic! (If you can’t learn stick in a 1990s Honda product, just give up!)

  • avatar
    Synchromesh

    I’ve owned a ’00 GS-R sedan I bought used in 2005 for 6 years. It was a great car with one of the best manuals in the business. Small, nimble, frugal, practical, reliable. Biggest problem with these are thieves. Had to camouflage mine to hide the VTEC engine. Traded it in from a WRX and even though I love the Subaru I still miss the ‘Teg sometimes.

  • avatar
    tommytipover

    Third Gen Integra! Quite possibly the World’s Greatest Car!

  • avatar
    bultaco

    This car came from the late ’80s through late’90s era when Honda could do no wrong. Their cars were much more lithe and sporty than anything from Toyota or Nissan, with low beltlines, huge windows, and interiors with plastics that put contemporary Benzes and Bimmers to shame. Their 4-cylinder engines were turbine smooth, their manual transmissions shifted like butter, and their overall quality and reliability was really second to none. What happened? Somewhere along the line they decided that they wanted to be Buick or Toyota. So sad.

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