Thanks in equal parts to the “import” craze of the early 2000s, low prices, and oftentimes young average age of ownership, not many cheap-and-cheerful Japanese performance cars escaped the grasp of decals, chrome wheels, tacked-on wings, and the coffee-can exhaust. When a clean, unmolested example does surface, it’s a reason for celebration. On Bring a Trailer, this sentiment is echoed with a super-clean 2001 Acura Integra Type R up for grabs.
As far as front-wheel-drive cars go, the Integra Type R is royalty. These set the bar for FWD performance, and remain one of the best handling compacts ever offered for sale. Underneath the handsome coupe bodywork, Honda crammed a bucketful of go-fast chassis improvements, including advanced suspension design and an impressive 90-pound weight reduction regimen.
Up front, a potent 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine puts down a stunning 195 horsepower — enough power to make the B18C motor more potent per-liter than the contemporary Ferrari 355. Instrumented testing was the Integra’s best friend; our colleagues at Motor Trend tested the Type R’s 60 mph run at a stellar 6.2 seconds.
This particular example was one of the lucky few that escaped the aforementioned aftermarket craze of the early 2000s. Although this car arrived on our shores in very limited numbers (3,823 to be precise), not many considered this a future classic, and treated it with the same reverence given to a VW Golf GTI or Mazda Miata. They were rode extremely hard, and usually put up wet, tired, and unmaintained.
This car is completely unmodified, save a keyless entry system installed by the owner in an attempt to lower the horrendous theft rates that follow Integras. It carries just 45,000 miles on the clock, and it certainly looks it. With the exception of a blemish on the trunklid and the driver’s side A-pillar, the black paint is in very well-kept shape. The car wears fresh brakes, fluids, and a new clutch reservoir. Not many miles ago, the car received fresh belts and gaskets. Underneath, the chassis shows only very minor surface rust.
Inside, the cabin is gloriously devoid of extraneous accouterment. The steering wheel, seats, pedals, gauges, shifter, and dash are all blessedly stock. Like the entire U.S.-spec Integra Type R production run, this carries the optional air-conditioning package.
Despite the age and badge up front, this time capsule won’t come cheap. With around seven days left on the timer at the time of this posting, bidding has already reached $18,000. Of course, an Integra R in this condition doesn’t roll around often, so get your checkbooks ready. Head over to BaT to submit a bid for yourself.