Did you know that the second USDM Acura Integra Type R ever to come from Honda’s factory didn’t live a luxurious life of hand washes and detailing but became a full-blown out racecar?
USDM Acura Integra Type R’s are going for crazy money at the moment with one just last year taking the cake at a Barret-Jackson auction for $63,000 and unofficially ushering in a new era of rad cars. But, did you know that Integra Type R’s aren’t the babied racecars you’re led to believe today? Far from it. According to Honda Associate on Instagram @Kokoro_Honda and his most recent post earlier today (Feb. 8, 2019) literally one of the first Acura Integra Type R’s ever made for the US market was sold to racecar driver Taz Harvey where it became a mainstay in the Speedvision World Challenge Touring Car Championship for several races. Check out his post below.
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With early ITR’s becoming so coveted, would it surprise you to learn that the yellow US spec VIN #2 – the second one ever built – was turned into a rough and tumble RACE CAR? I say, why not? That’s way more enjoyable than letting it sit in the garage for two decades. The engineers didn’t blueprint and polish the high RPM motor and develop the super tight suspension to just sit there and look pretty.
This car is, as mentioned, is a 1997 Acura Integra Type R serial #000002 in Phoenix Yellow. This Acura Integra did not live an easy life so to speak as the next year it was built by DC Sports and driven by racing driver Lance Stewart who got four wins, five podiums, and one pole position in the nine-race Speed Vision World Challenge series in 1998. Lance Stewart’s efforts garnered him a third place overall finish in the series just behind the juggernaut Acura Integra Type R race team of the time, Real Time Racing.
According to DriverDB.com Taz Harvey took over as driver and drove this Integra Type R in 1999 and 2000 garnering himself two podiums. This Acura Integra Type R was no slouch and was a consistent front-runner.
I’m hardpressed to find actual race footage of this car but take a look at a Speedvision World Challenge race circa 1998 below. It’s so raw, I love it.
The last information I could find about the whereabouts of this particular Acura Integra Type R comes from a Honda-Tech forum article shortly after the 2000 race season where Taz had to make room for the newer Honda Civic Si’s on the way and needed to sell this one ASAP. Back then Taz not only was selling the ITR chassis but it came with a fresh motor and transmission under the hood for $35,000, an absolute bargain today.
The car has the best of everything from Ohlins shocks to Alcon brakes, and has a fresh motor and trans with just 2 races on it.
This is a no-excuses race car that is a proven Touring Car front runner.
Mind you, I’ve only scratched the surface of what is a rich history of sport compact racing from this particular legendary chassis.
Type R meant racecars for the road and Taz Harvey’s Integra Type R definitely fit the bill.
Nowadays I come across several new Honda Civic Type R owners racing their Civics in local time attacks, track days, and the like so it’s refreshing to see that, despite Type R’s being limited edition, they aren’t treated like other limited edition cars.
Type R’s are meant for the racetrack and Taz Harvey’s Type R is a testament to that.