Holy crap: 1997 Honda Integra Type R sells for almost $100k
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Japan were making some damn cool cars through the late '80s and early '90s. Seemingly every manufacturer had one or two competitors in the sports-car game; almost all of which have become sought after in 2018.
The Honda Integra Type R is no different. Debuting in 1995, it was Honda's first ever Type R aimed at the 'achievable' end of the market — having followed the NSX Type R.
Around 150kW being channeled through the front wheels didn't necessarily look too special on paper, but what 'made' the Type R were the screaming characteristics its naturally aspirated 1.8-litre B-Series engine and its incredible chassis.
That little engine would spin all the way to 8500rpm (yes, with VTEC ... yo), and under the skin the seam welded, FIA homologated chassis gave it incredible handling.
Multiple motoring mags and TV shows have since labelled the first-gen Integra Type R as the best front-wheel drive car of all time. And unsurprisingly, prices on clean unmodified examples are on the rise.
Although, the price of the example Barrett Jackson sold over the weekend at their Las Vegas 2018 auction surprised many ...
Click here to read Driven's five-way Honda Civic Type R comparison
Admittedly, it's about as mint and rare as a 'DC2' Integra can be. The Acura-badged USDM model (underlined by its 'bug eye' headlights and left-hook demeanor) is one of just 320 of those made during the 1997 model year. It also has just 1191 miles (1916km) on the odometer.
Its sale price at auction? US$63,800, or NZ$96,369.
The price turned plenty of heads — particularly at auction house Barrett Jackson who are better known for their classic American muscle car sales than for small four-cylinder front-wheel drive Japanese runabouts. Barrett Jackson later claimed that the price is a world record, which is ... very believable.
So does it mean that the JDM DC2 Integras that are so popular in New Zealand are an imminent gold mine? Perhaps yes and no.
Most examples on our shores are well driven or modified from stock. Remember, these cars achieved popularity through affordability — so most people who own them either drive them as daily vehicles or have modified them to double down on the Integra's 'giant killer' status.
But nonetheless, Integra R prices have been on a slow rise here. A clean early example with less than 100,000km on the clock will set you back around $15,000 these days, with high-kilometre versions priced closer to $8000. Even the later-model DC5 — less popular but quicker and sporting the more refined K20 engine — is starting to gain value.
It's important to take these kinds of developments with a grain of salt. Now more than ever, cars on the 'collector' market can have their pricing swap ends on a dime (pun not intended), thanks to auction houses, online communities, and motoring websites acting as intentional and unintentional hype machines.
Not that we would have a reason to talk about the climbing price of Type Rs.
Nope, no reason at all ...