HONDA IN­TE­GRA

WHAT HAP­PENS WHEN A SELF-CON­FESSED MOD­I­FIED HONDA AD­DICT BUYS A DC5 IN­TE­GRA AS HIS DAILY DRIVER? SPOILER ALERT: IT DOESN’T RE­MAIN HIS DAILY FOR VERY LONG AT ALL...

Fast Car - - Contents -

It would be sac­ri­lege to stance an In­te­gra Type S wouldn’t it? No ac­tu­ally, it would be as cool as this one.

If you haven’t heard of Ben Parker, chances are you prob­a­bly haven’t got your fin­ger on the pulse of the UK’s pump­ing Honda tun­ing scene. Not only does he form one half of the new-yet-al­ready-grow­ing Parker Broth­ers YouTube chan­nel along­side bro Tom, and has just bought an old school NSX that is guar­an­teed to al­low him­self to break the in­ter­net once again in the not-so-dis­tant fu­ture. But he’s also the face be­hind the awe­some yet un­de­ni­ably con­tro­ver­sial EK9 Civic Type R on hy­dros we fea­tured in FC a few years ago (yes, that one).

Bit of a VTEC nut, then, you’re no doubt think­ing. And you prob­a­bly won’t be mas­sively sur­prised to hear that when it came to sourc­ing a daily driver a cou­ple of years ago, Ben didn’t quite have a run-of-the-mill Ford Mon­deo or Škoda Oc­tavia in mind. “I was in be­tween cars,” says our stance-lov­ing owner. “Af­ter look­ing around for a bit, I couldn’t help no­tice that no one had put air sus­pen­sion on a DC5 in the coun­try yet, and in­stantly thought, ‘Well, some­one’s gotta do it...’”

Stanc­ing one of Honda’s newer-shape In­te­gra coupes, a car equally renowned for its driv­ing dy­nam­ics as the afore­men­tioned EK9 Civic, was sure to not only look badass, but cause just as much of a stir as any of Ben’s pre­vi­ous projects. Luck­ily, the haters would be spared too much am­mu­ni­tion when Ben soft­ened the blow by choos­ing to im­port over a Type S ex­am­ple, rather than a beloved Type R. “I was look­ing for a com­fort­able cruiser and the hubs also sit in a lot fur­ther on the Type S, so it was a no-brainer re­ally,” he says, ex­plain­ing how the slightly less ram­pant ver­sion of the DC5 fit­ted his wide wheel crav­ing while con­ve­niently sav­ing him a bit of cash in the process.

The gorgeous face-lifted ’04 car came in with pris­tine grey paint­work, along with the plush in­te­rior and slightly more cruis­ing-ori­en­tated ver­sion of the K20 mo­tor that Ben was look­ing for. The plan was sim­ply to add Ben’s favourite and proven sus­pen­sion com­bi­na­tion of AirREX struts and Air Lift Per­for­mance man­age­ment into the equa­tion to of­fer some se­ri­ous lows be­fore any­one else de­cided to do it, whilst re­tain­ing that qual­ity ride for his ev­ery­day du­ties. Af­ter all, this wasn’t ever go­ing to be a show-win­ner, just a runaround car that proved a point, right?

“Next thing I know, I’ve bought a Honda S-MX MPV to do my daily du­ties and the In­te­gra is off the road while I save up for some show wheels!” Ben quickly con­firms what ev­ery­one prob­a­bly pre­dicted from the start. Look­ing fan­tas­tic with a low­ered ride height, Ben soon or­dered up some stun­ning Enkei rims in an arch-filling 18-inches of di­am­e­ter and a whop­ping 10.5-inches of width out back. “Try go­ing that wide on a Type R!” he laughs, pleased with his fit­ment-friendly Type S choice. And we can see why, as the car now sits beau­ti­fully, re­tain­ing that pur­pose­ful ag­gres­sion, just with a hell of a lot more neg­a­tive cam­ber than when stan­dard, and look­ing drop-dead gorgeous against that rel­a­tively un­usual paint­work.

You’ve prob­a­bly worked out by now that our pro­tag­o­nist here isn’t some­one who does things by halves, pre­fer­ring to use the ‘good things comes to those who wait’ motto and ex­er­cis­ing a lit­tle pa­tience be­fore buy­ing the very best bits money can buy. This mo­tive ex­tends to the small yet top-qual­ity ex­te­rior de­tails that help set off those de-spoil­ered lines. Parts like that in­cred­i­bly rare A-Spec front bumper, that adds ag­gres­sion while re­tain­ing sub­tlety like per­haps no other part of its kind could. And the Subaru front split­ter that re­sulted from a par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive brain­wave from Ben as he was map­ping out the car’s mod­i­fi­ca­tion path.

Now that he some­what un­in­ten­tion­ally had a gen­uinely for­mi­da­ble show car on his hands, Ben was plan­ning to use it to do an­other thing he does best: take it to as many shows as pos­si­ble. On their YouTube chan­nel, the Parker broth­ers take great de­light in shar­ing their ex­pe­ri­ences at the many shows they

im­merse them­selves in through­out the year, of­ten turn­ing them into a proper road trip and head­ing well out into main­land Europe to show off their rides to a new au­di­ence. “I got in­vited to Ahoy Tun­ing in Rot­ter­dam in 2015 in the car,” a glee­ful Ben proudly ex­plains. “I also used to use it to travel the coun­try for work. It was com­pletely driv­able and eco­nom­i­cal. You for­get it’s any­thing spe­cial un­til you see peo­ple hang­ing out of the win­dow of the car along­side you try­ing to get a pic­ture!”

In a sea of Cham­pi­onship-white track­fo­cused DC5s, Ben’s dared to swim against the tide and cre­ate some­thing that looks wholly badass. His fa­mil­iar­ity with the stance scene and dar­ing­ness to keep things fresh have meant that even though the mods list isn’t as long as many cars’, he’s cre­ated some­thing that’s ev­i­dently ca­pa­ble of not only turn­ing up at shows, but shut­ting them down.

What’s next? He’s just bought some very spe­cial wheels for his NSX, so we’ll doubt­less be see­ing more of that one soon, too...

“You see peo­ple hang­ing out car win­dow’s along­side you try­ing to get a pic­ture”

One of the most hand­some rear ends we’ve seen in a while (other than Midge’s)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.