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Radwood SoCal 2021 was hosted at the North American Honda campus in Torrance and was actually presented by Acura. Because of this, an excellent arrangement of new and old Acuras was presented at the show, much to my delight. Any day I see a Phoenix Yellow Integra Type R is a good day.

  • Car: 2001 Acura Integra Type R
  • Location: RADwood, Torrance, CA
  • Photog: Chris Rosales (@chrishasacamera Twitter, Insta)

Acura actually maintains a small heritage fleet it sometimes loans out to auto journo shmucks like me. I still don’t know where to get one and I am working on it, because who wouldn’t love a deep dive on what makes the DC2 Integra so brilliant? Anyways, the Integra Type R in the modern context is a car that perplexes.

For most people, the ITR experience is “oh that’s a Honda no torque har har har” or “wow didn’t one go for three billion dollars on Bring A Trailer?” It’s a depressing reality because the Integra is so much more, even the lesser GSR or LS. They have depth, quality, and nuance to the driving experience that I never expected.

Every Integra of this vintage was gifted the glorious rod-shifted Honda manual gearbox. You could feel the engine buzz at your fingertips, understand how the synchronizers within the ‘box wanted to be treated (usually gently), and road feel emanated from the steering wheel — something lost in modern cars and even modern Hondas. Save for the Civic Type R.

The Integra is special and deserves consideration beyond it being a BaT special. Drive one and the entire “Honda Thing” becomes abundantly clear.

As big as we could get it:

Chris Rosales

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