What would you pay for a car with no engine, transmission, interior, seats, or electronics, just the shell? Surely, not $3,000 as this auction bidder did.
Earlier today (Nov. 29,2018) some friends online linked me to an auction where the final bid, although not shown at this time on Copart but confirmed by people who saw the final bid, this Acura Integra shell (no engine and transmission) sold for $3,000, which to me, is asinine. Then I saw what KIND of Integra it was and immediately understood, it was a shell for an Acura Integra Type R in Phoenix Yellow, one of the more rare and desirable colors.
Check out a couple of photos of this stripped Integra Type R below.
As you can see above and according to the auction listing, this 2001 Acura Integra Type R was absolutely stripped to the bare bones with that sweet B18C5 engine and 5-speed transmission with LSD gone.
So, why would someone still spend several thousand on a shell? Well, this is no ordinary shell, this is a Type R shell and is different from a regular Acura Integra Shell of the same year in several key areas.
The Acura Integra Type R was a limited run series of the Integra that Acura changed in several key areas to make it a legal racecar for the road. Notable things included a bespoke B-series engine that was more powerful because of modifications like Hand-polished intake and exhaust ports and single-port intake manifolds where, as the name suggests, an Acura engine builder singlehandedly hand-polished each intake and exhaust port of the B18C5 engine. We’re talking craftsmanship on a race team level.
The chassis was especially important where Acura used element finite analysis on computers to come up with a stronger chassis that only the Type R had.
Thanks to people running sites like IntegraTypeR.org, we have press release materials that show exactly what Acura did to this chassis. Acura went on to explain exactly why this chassis was different in a section under “Body Rigidity.”
“Rigidity clearly has an impact on a number of critical areas. Any suspension, for instance, no matter how finely calibrated or advanced in design, will be unable to perform properly if the body flexes and bends under loading. Rigidity also contributes significantly to crash protection, and to the build quality perceived in areas like the small gaps between panels and openings.
Developed using the latest computer modeling and Finite Element Analysis techniques, the rigidity of the Type R has been greatly improved in several areas. A new, larger aluminum front tower bar replaces the steel bar on the GS-R, and the addition of performance rods to the rear frame end and rear suspension lower arm add additional strength. Key components that have been reinforced include the rear wheel housing, rear pillar upper garter, rear roof rail upper, rear wheel arch extension, rear lower arm bracket, and rear damper gusset.”
As you can read, this is no ordinary Integra chassis and is thus highly desirable. Only about 3,000 Acura Integra Type R’s were ever made for the US Domestic Market so saving every chassis from the junkyard is paramount for enthusiasts.
Here’s another official Acura brochure that I nicked off Hondatech that shows the same thing.
Someone who really wanted to build this shell back to its former glory could. There are several enthusiasts who’ve swapped more powerful and modern K-series engines under the hood of real-deal Type R’s so it’s not as sacrosanct as other automotive circles. Still, execution is key.
So, that’s why this shell sold for so high, it was no ordinary econobox shell. It was an Integra Type R shell.