This was my 1994 Honda Integra VTiR. I had to let her go today. Bought in 1998 for $24,000 with 70,000 km’s on the clock, it has served me well for 18 years. In that time it has never needed a major mechanical repair, in fact the most expensive things have been suspension done twice and clutch once. Both which I consider consumable/ wear and tear servicing. Alas her clutch was about due again (~$800-1000), the airconditioning needed a regas (~$200), registration renewal (~$700) and the clincher for me was a small leak from the head gasket which would be its first major engine repair @ ~$1000. Normally I’d keep fixing things as required and for the last few years I’ve repaired a lot of things myself but those repairs above were getting out of the scope of my tools at hand and willingness to have the downtime while working on the car by myself. Also these days I find myself more in need of a ute as well as some days my creaky knees kill me getting into this low machine, so I thought it might be time to move on.
I do find it strange that cars are almost a disposable commodity these days. A lot of people told me to just send it to the wreckers. Given the price of second hand parts for these Integras the wreckers would easily make $5000+ from parts over time. However because it doesn’t look pretty and its high mileage, as a whole car it’s apparently worth nothing according to most of the car dealers I went to. So ironically the cost of the individual parts to repair the Integra are exorbitant, yet once all those parts are in a fully functional car the package is worth nothing!
I could have spent $1000 redoing the clutch and renewing registration and trying to sell it privately but the second hand car market says it’s worth barely $1-1500, so in the end I handed the keys over to a dealer for $300- I really hope one of the many fanboys/girls of these Vtec Integras gets it as a project car and gives it a new life.
I gave it a massive clean out. First time in over a decade!
A strange little sidenote: I love math as in I reset the trip meter every filled tank so I could calculate my fuel economy. That’s a lot of consistent mathing over 18 years. A while ago I was in the middle of nowhere and there was no premium unleaded fuel 98RON available. When I used regular unleaded 91 RON I got an extra 100 kilometers out of a tank! Over the years I tested this oddity (I was led to believe that premium fuel would always give better mileage) and the regular unleaded consistently gave significantly better range from a tank. Obviously the non premium fuel gave nowhere near the power in the engine but 25% in fuel savings on volume PLUS the fuel savings on price (up to 20c/litre) was nothing to be scoffed at.
98RON Premium : Fuel light came on around 380-400kms – Filled up at 450-470km with 42-44litres
91RON Regular : Fuel light came on around 480km – Filled up at 520-540km with 42-44 litres
I noticed no pinging in the engine or other side effects, just the reduction in power. I predominantly filled it with regular unleaded in the latter years when I wasn’t driving the car hard and it saved me a lot of money. I would still put in premium now and then as the additives were good for cleaning out injectors (if the fuel providers sales hype is to be believed), but each time I got less mileage.
On the day it was sold it had around 310,600 km’s on the odometer! That sweet, sweet redline was often visited. There was a power band at 4500 rpm and another little boost at 6500.
As many of you may have seen when those rear seats are folded down you can fit a plethora of stuff in the back, all the way to the front.
This tiny (DC2 1.8L DOHC Vtec) 125kW beast of an engine, while 10+ years older and nowhere in the calibre of M3’s, 911’s, R33’s and WRX’s would still have their drivers come up to me and say “Are you sure she’s stock? I kept looking in my rear mirror and you were still there! “
The factory tint has seen better days as well as evident on the driver’s side door. The 5 speed manual is still one of the best and tight shifting gearboxes I have ever used.
So this is the first time I’ve been without a vehicle in quite some time. I’m flying down to Melbourne tomorrow morning to hang with my cousin and hopefully pick up my next vehicle. Fingers crossed !