Our neighbors in Canada have long been a home to some flourishing import automotive community. They’ve produced some pretty incredible builds over the years–we merely haven’t had the chance to discover their whereabouts. If we’re worlds apart, though they are just a stone’s throw away from us, it almost feels as. A few times out of the year, we’ll meet in the upper regions of the U.S. for a variety of meets and shows, but for the rest of the continent, the Canadian import scene is essentially unseen and unheard. The only time you’ll see a nice build is from a photo that’s been shared socially online. And when you do, you say to yourself, Oh damn, that car is from Canada?
There’s a little bit of tunnel vision when it comes to this hobby of ours. It’s good to grow our horizons and see what the rest of the world has to offer. With that being said, we decided to go in a different direction for this year’s Honda Issue and convey you this ’98 Acura Integra Type R from Vancouver, British Columbia. The owner, Reggie Mah, is doing a great job of building this ITR to its current state nonetheless its reputation actually precedes itself and the owner. This R was one of the first Hondas in Canada to feature a K20A engine swap years ago when the previous owner, Darren Law, toured the vehicle throughout the country. When it wasn’t on display at events, Law beat the living hell out of it in the track. Being fair, this Integra is really a stud while watching camera but in person is far from perfect; it wears the scars from the battle-tested past on the factory Championship White body. When Reggie eventually acquired it, the vehicle was literally (and figuratively) a shell of itsI will remember, Reggie says. What Type R was my dream car, and Darren’s R was my inspiration. I couldn’t afford an ITR so I settled for a regular modded and DC2 it. It wasn’t until a year and a half later Darren offered to sell me his R. I originally planned to purchase the entire car complete with all the current parts onto it but the asking price was just too much out of my reach. He parted it all out months later and I purchased the shell with just the K-swap. I even were required to bring my very own seats and steering wheel only to drive the vehicle home.
Though it was just a bare motor and shell, Reggie was excited by the possibilities of finally owning an R to perform with. That may be, until he started realizing all the problems the car had. Nobody wants the headaches of having to deal with all these issues but I took it all in stride. You will need to remember that this car enjoyed a K20 transplant back when there weren’t many bolt-on/plug-and-play parts available. The swap was depending onThe full build process has been a constant uphill battle, even up until today, as Reggie explains: One of the first things I had to change out was the custom shifter tray they made. I’m sure it wasn’t even bolted down and was just on the exhaust piping-I could literally see the pavement from inside of the cabin while driving! The automobile was modified extensively out and inside so there were many things about the R that just didn’t work following the factory parts were re-installed. Electrical gremlins were the biggest problem. Each time I drove the car it will just die and I always had to possess a set of jumper cables on me. The instrument cluster didn’t work either therefore i never knew how much gas I had inside my car!
Hindsight always being 20/20, regrets still weren’t cause for concern. There was a love/hate relationship that had developed but it allowed him to find out everything he needed to understand cars. Becoming a resident of Vancouver provided him with plenty of time during the winter to function on the car in his garage as well. As an alternative to dealing with the down sides every time the automobile left him on the side of the path, he took advantage of the downtime and tore all of those other ITR apart, pulling the motor and all of. The electrical system turned out to be too steep a learning curve for Reggie, so he eliminated any semblance of factory wiring altogether. In its place now is a custom-tailored Rywire K-swap engine harness. It was also easily removable via a Mil-spec quick disconnect plug, even though the complete harness not only afforded a cleaner, tucked appearance.
08 1998 acura integra type r KEYS steering wheel
04 1998 acura integra type r volk racing TE37
10 1998 acura integra type r recaro pole position seats
While the motor was out, his and Reggie friends attempted their first shave and tuck of the engine bay. Over time, the bay had seen significant wear pre- and post-K-swap so it was the right time for a refresher. Shaving the firewall smooth and eliminating the holes gave the bay a much more modern appeal. Reggie explains, Shaved engine bays are very popular down in the (U . S .) but up here in Canada, it’s rare to see. The wintertime months were so cold that no one really wanted to come over and assist me to work on the automobile. I don’t blame them though, it wasn’t exactly fun to sit in a garage with subzero temperatures however i was determined to get it done. One of my buddies spot-welded the holes shut and then I spent 20 hours smoothing everything out for paint.
If Reggie was doing an entirely new K20A swap, between shaving the bay, tucking the brake lines behind the firewall and running custom -AN cooling lines, it was as. The motor was serviced with new seals and gaskets during that time to ensure that in addition, it had a fresh start. He soon saw that the factory Honda TPS sensor was one of the culprits of his electrical troubles and upgraded it with a K-Tuned unit. Engine vibrations typically kill factory sensors so K-Tuned developed a sensor in a silicone-filled billet housing capable of surviving the stress. As soon as the bay was re-sprayed, he acquired a freshmost of this ITR build. I went to the Wekfest car show [in San Francisco] and could see initially the builds that I looked up to in magazines. It was actually real motivation for me to attempt to get my car near to the level of some of the Hondas from ATS Garage. I had the chance to meet Anh Truong from ATS and the man was a big help in my build, Reggie says.
Anh was able to get Reggie in touch with the guys from Circuit Hero, who later supplied him using their 3-point strut tower bar, rear lower tie bar, 3-inch intake and custom interior roll bar. To give attention to the Circuit Hero pieces, the strut bar and intake pipe were recoated within a custom teal mix while the roll bar was color-matched in a tone reminiscent to Volk Racing’s Magnesium Blue . Up front, the usage of blue accents follow suit with some blue Recaro Pole Position buckets. Draped on top of each seat are white Willans 4-point safety harnesses. The concave KEY! S steering wheel bears a matching colorway but the most attention-stealing options that come with the cockpit have to be the STACK Circuit and cluster Soul shift knob designed to resemble a massive bullet casing.
The outside seems to be an ever-changing part of Reggie’s build. Perhaps he hasn’t selected a look that he or she is 100% content with so he’s constantly evolving. When we first spotted his build, his Integra was rocking a BackYard Special front bumper and Mugen Gen. 2 rear spoiler. Now, as you have seen in the photos, his R is currently wearing a C-West front sides and bumper. The only real constants who have remained considering that the onset of his build are the M’s Racing mirrors and J’s Racing Type S hood. Any Honda lover knows that should you acquire any of those two products, you’re probably to hold onto them for a very long time. He found a J’s Racing carbon GT wing to complement the hood but has even customized that with taller 275mm titanium wing stands. His variety of wheels appears to vary based on whatever fancies his tastes at the moment, although the general consensus is that this 16×8 set of Volk TE37s is by far his best choice to date. In the event the spokes are running outside the Spoon Twin Block brakes up front, the concavity of your wheel causes it to be appear as. Judging from the pace through which he’s swapped out aero components and rolling stock, he’ll probably have moved onto another set-up onceThe automobile isn’t complete in my eyes, Reggie proclaims. It’s never-ending. I plan to take the interior out, repaint it leaving it bare. I want to possibly repaint the whole car, too, since I need a color change. I know there’ll be those that will hate the idea of re-painting an original Championship White R but I don’t build my car for everyone else but myself. The car is part of my personality and I’m glad to view that there are those who will get it and people that won’t. Maybe I’ll redo it over again in a year, who knowssteel exhaust; Vibrant Performance 3 and resonator muffler; Downstar Inc. engine mount hardware kit, engine and transmission bolt kit, V2 fender bolt kit and tower hardware kit; Circuit Hero 3-inch intake pipe; Beatrush cooling plate; Hasport 62A Version 2 K-swap engine mounts; FAL dual 12-inch fan shroud; Cusco radiator cap; Rywire K-swap full-size radiator w/-16AN bungs, coolant overflow tank, Mil-spec engine harness w/quick disconnect, conversion harness and charge harness; Project Mu reservoir socks; TEIN hood dampers
Drivetrain JDM DC5 ITR six-speed transmission; OEM S2000 clutch master cylinder; ORC Hyper Single clutch and lightweightdampers and roll center adjusters; JDM ITR front sway bar; Cusco 25mm rear sway bar; Circuit Hero rear subframe brace; Skunk2 front/rear camber kit
Brakes Spoon Sports Twin Block front brake calipers; Hawk HP front brake pads; Power Slot front brake rotors; Goodridge stainless steel brake lines
Wheels & Tires 16×8 15 Volk Racing TE37; 215/45R16 Kumho XS; Project KICS R40 Neo Chrome lug nuts
Exterior JDM DC2 ITR front end conversion w/OEM HID; C-West front side and bumper skirts; TopOne USA carbon-fiber S2000 rear diffuser; J’s Racing 1500mm carbon GT rear wing, Type S hood and carbon-fiber canards; RCrew chassis splitter mounts; Aerocatch hood pins; M’s Racing carbon-fiber GT side mirrors; Vision mirror plates; iParkharder custom titanium 275mm wing stands; paint-matched VIS Racing carbon-fiber rear hatch; FAL Lexan rear window; EDM rear taillights and foglight; Mugen license plate bolts; JDM DC2 clear side markers and window visors
Interior STACK ST8100 digital cluster; AEM wide band UEGO; Works Bell short hub, Rapfix II quick-release; KEY! S Racing Deep-Type 350mm leather steering wheel; JDM Honda foglight air and switch bag delete tray; custom Recaro door card wrap and black headliner; Recaro Pole Position seats; Willans Silverstone 4-point harness with alloy adjusters; Nagisa low seat rails; Taylor aluminum battery relocation box; Optima battery; Circuit Hero shifter extender; Circuit Soul 400g Bullet Casing shift knob; Mugen pedal set; ASC/Circuit Hero custom roll bar with integrated X-braces and rear strut bar; J’s Racing C-pillar bar
Thanks You Jay Hsu at FourPlusOne, Samantha Wieczorek, Alex Markovic at Northwest Acura, Eric Mann at APL Motorsports, Curtis Wong at The Speed Syndicate, Glenn Lanuza at Marv Jones Honda, Philip Thi at Lougheed Acura, Warren Wu at Sportscar Coachworks, Rywire, Mike at K-Tuned, Gil Salazar at Circuit Hero, Frank at Downstarinc, ATS Anh, DPK David, Ronald at LCM, Joey Lee at The Chronicles, Alex Adist at Circuit Soul/RWB Canada, Nick at Touge Factory, Hugh at Evasive Motorsports, Kevin at Evolution Auto Performance; ALL myin the Adriatic is what eventually wakes me. Even at this early hour, the warmth tells me it’s will be another sensational day – Europe continues to be sweltering beneath a prolonged heatwave for weeks now – but I’m bleary-eyed, probably from one beer too many at last night’s beach barbecue, making the rays of 5am sunlight none too welcome.
In this delicate state, it requires me a moment adjust to my canvas surroundings, and there’s a moment of genuine shock when I watch out of my tent accommodation and see the nose of your Mini Countryman protruding from beneath my bed. I Then remember – I’m sleeping on the roof of any car!
You can see, europeancarweb.com is one of very few outlets given a chance to sleep in one of three special Mini ‘camping concepts’; vehicles that adapt standard models for the benefit of sleeping under theincluded with an All4 model of the Countryman. And also the location for this night inside the fresh air is the Dalmatian coast in Croatia, just north of Zadar – it could seem like the less fashionable side of the Adriatic when Italy is across the water, but Croatia has all the scenic beauty of its neighbor and much less of the crowds, meaning it’s well worth a visit…
What’s also noteworthy is the five-star hotel 500 yards away, with a room in it for me personally with all the luxuries I could want. I can chicken-from sleeping in the Mini whenever I like, however in the interest of critical appraisal, I opt to sleep outdoors. Besides, it appearsyou can suggest it gives the car a more purposeful, outdoors look. The roof box is a slimline item when folded, and Mini even mounted a tire around the roof than it, Dakar-style.
The package is barely wider compared to the car, and about the length of the Countryman’s roof, so it doesn’t overhang the cabin in an ungainly manner.
Mini countryman camp rear view 03
Mini countryman camp passenger side view 04
Mini countryman camp driver side view 05
In terms of the bed, setting it at your campsite is simplicity itself. Just pop the catches around the roof box and using fabric handles, pull the top one half of the clamshell upwards to enable the heavy-duty hinges to extend. The tent is fixed inside the solid parts of the rooftop box so is automatically set up in seconds. And the bottom of the box is stuffed with foam, meaning it’s a comfy bed capable of sleeping two average-sized adults with minimum hassle. And you can pitch this anywhere the Countryman All4 can physically drive.
Of course, the car itself is as practical as ever, retaining five seats plus a decent trunk; when you eventually decide to settle down to the night, it can be usedis the concept that drives most like a Mini, given that the donor car is structurally unchanged by the addition of the roofing box. It isn’t short of punch on Croatian mountain roads, which is welcome as the roof box/tire combo adds weight up high, as a 184hp Cooper S model. However, there isn’t an abundance of roll as a result, as well as the Countryman generally behaves as it should – it has good grip, a reliable chassis, along with a ride that’s good in the super-smooth surfaces of two-lane freeway between Split and Zadar, but less impressive on the broken blacktop of urban roads negotiating their way through Zadar’s outskirts.