Chris Tonnâs find of a stock, low-mileageÂ 1998 Acura Integra GS-R is definitely a rare one. It certainly had me feeling giddy as a past and present Integra GS-R owner. And then I saw the asking price âÂ $11,800 â and nearly fainted.
On the magical internet scale of nice price to crack pipe, this is the lovechild of Robert Downey Jr. and Charlie Sheen. Allow me to explain.
When they were introduced in 1994, the third-generation Integras became instantly popular with the yuppies of the day. Here was a uniquely styled car withÂ a premium badge, it was quick, fun to drive, and featured very-important-at-the-time Honda reliability.
The base RS model could be had for less than $14,000Â brand new, but most people chose to go with the nicer LS (GS and SE models came in subsequent years). Enthusiasts bought the GS-R for around $20,000.
Unfortunately, in late ’90s the whole import scene exploded and the Integra became itsÂ poster child. Show car, drag car, loud car, track car â if there was a niche, the Integra would fill it. With that popularity came jealousy and hate. Integras were being constantlyÂ stolen for their parts because theyÂ easily fit into Civics, which were significantly cheaper to buy, lighter and faster.
Fast forward to 2015: We live in a world in whichÂ just about every automaker has an affordable, quick, fun to drive, comfortable and reliable vehicle in itsÂ line-up. Integras are still around and, shockingly, are still being stolen. They’re also still being raced, shown off, and â in rare circumstances â driven daily. There are a lot of them for sale, too, but a vast majority of them are completely butchered, rusted, orÂ some combination of the two.
A decent Integra with the iconic B18C VTEC (yo!) engine can be had for $4,000. If you get lucky like I did, you might find one that’s stock or close to it. It wonât be perfect â the rear quarter panels are made of paper and will rust upon being looked at, the paint will be faded, and some so-called mechanic would have hacked something toÂ over the years â but it will be good. Parts are cheap. Many people pick these up in any condition they can and make a business of parting them out. New OEM parts are still available, too.
Two years ago, I boughtÂ a 1995 Integra GS-R out of pure nostalgia; nowhere to park it and no time to drive it. It was an all original, one-owner car I got below the already low Kelley Blue BookÂ price. The owner didn’tÂ know anything about it. He bought it because he really liked the Integra back in 1995 and wanted a black one âwith a stick.” This was the only one the dealer had, so he bought it. On my test drive, he confirmed his lack of knowledgeÂ by asking why the car wasÂ making such a weird noise above 6,000 rpm.
I threw my money at him.
It wasn’t perfect and, in hindsight, I should have just flipped it. Despite spending only a few garage-kept years in New England, the car needed more than simple maintenance. I replaced itsÂ fuel lines, brake lines and â after finding an incredible deal of a set of Tein adjustable coil-overs âÂ every nut, bolt, and bushing in the suspension. The muffler was bad, so my OCD drove meÂ to buy the rare OEM JDM Integra Type RÂ header, high flow cat, and an OEM Integra Type RÂ muffler.
Being a project car, a whole lot of other minor work went into the Integra. I had minor rust repaired and the whole car wet-sanded and polished at Ciroâs Autobody and IPS Racing, both great and highly recommend establishments.
This brings me to the â98 Acura Integra GS-R Chris found and its bizarre asking price. Because I have a full-time job, two little kids, and I writeÂ when I should be asleep, I had no time to do any of of theÂ work myself. I don’t even have the time to take decent pictures of my Integra. Therefore, I actually paid someone to spin all the wrenches and do all the work on this car. Even with that â and all the taxes, fuel, insurance (!) and a set of nice SSR Competition wheels â the total cost of ownership for my car is below the $11,800 asking price of theÂ car Chris posted today.
While a stock Integra GS-R with low mileage sure is rare, it was never a limited production car like the infamous Integra Type R, Grand National GNX, or other such cars. Therefore, to demand that kind of money for a vehicle thatÂ doesnât even have the proper wheels for theÂ model year is just insane.
Regarding the market for the rare Integra Type R, it’s a whole different animal. My friends atÂ IPS Racing have one that will be for sale soon. It’s a bit of a barn find and requires a “little work” but it will be perfect when itâs done.
Hit up the commentsÂ if you’re interested in seeing more progress updates on the car below.Related
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