Frequent Driven readers will know that America in particular is currently going ballistic over vintage Acura and Honda products. Collector prices on Honda performance variants have been steadily rising to the extent that even once humble Civic Si models can fetch over $30,000, and dealers have been marking up prices on new Civic Type Rs.
But without question the model that’s garnered the most buzz has been the Integra Type R DC2. And, late last week, one sold for a jaw-dropping sum.
Listed for sale on enthusiast auction site Bring A Trailer, this 1997 ‘bug eye’ Integra Type R is admittedly cleaner than most. With just one St. Louis–based owner since new, it’s only had 6,190 miles (9961km) added to the odometer. Clearly it’s been well looked after, too, with a car-bra protecting its nose and with paint that’s almost perfect (save for a few minor scuffs in the rear).
The high-revving 1.8-litre B18C5 VTEC heart appears immaculate, as does its surrounding engine-bay. “A new timing belt, water pump, tensioner, and drive belts were installed by Mungenast Acura of St. Louis, Missouri in July 2019,” explains the listing. “The clutch was adjusted and an oil change was also performed at this time.”
It’s also wearing tyres from 1994, which should probably be replaced.
And, like most neatly maintained classics, this example came with a bevy of bonus materials. Things like the original owners manuals, clips of printed reviews from the period, and the original window sticker were part of the listing.
Now, this is arguably the third high profile North American DC2 Type R to pop up online. It follows the Canadian example that was found hidden behind a concealed wall, and the Barrett Jackson Integra that sold at auction for $96,369 in November last year.
This Bring A Trailer listing, however, would outstrip both of those high-dollar Hondas. When the digital gavel dropped and the dust settled, it sold with a price of US$82,000 — or approximately $130,534.
Just think, for the same money you could buy two new Honda Civic Type R FK8s with enough change in hand to just about buy a rough-around-the-edges Japanese-market Integra Type R DC2. You could buy a new Toyota GR Supra with $30,000 to save in your back pocket.
Will the bubble for these kinds of cars eventually burst? Only time will tell. But, given that the modern motoring market continues to stray further and further away from the analogue values of the DC2, it’s probably safe to say that the novelty of these sports cars is only going to become more predominant.