• The original Acura Integra was fun to drive and sporty while also being drivable everyday.
• Relive the glory days of popup headlights and Paula Abdul with this example that has just 55,000 miles on the odometer.
• Bidding will run till March 5.
When Acura announced that the Integra nameplate would be returning for the 2023 model year, not everyone was convinced. How can this four-door hatchback live up to our memories of the stripped-out Integra Type-R with its screaming engine and razor-sharp handling? Simply put, the new Integra was not needed, as the Type-R was a fun but rare aberration in the Acura range. The reborn Integra needed to be faithful to something really like this: 1989 Acura LS, up for auction at Bring A Trailer (which, like car and driveris part of Hurst Auto).
The Integra was part of the original Acura brand launch for the 1986 model year, and it quickly car and driver 10 best list. We said at the time, “We love everything about the three- and five-door Integras – their snappy sixteen-valve engines, their sporty good looks, their utilitarian roomy interiors and their fun personalities.” Acura was the new kid on the block, but its cars were imbued with essential goodness from parent company Honda, in an age when the big H was at its best.
This is a great example of a 1989 LS first-gen Integra. It has a 1.6-liter DOHC four-cylinder good for 118 horsepower at 6500 rpm, a five-speed manual transmission, and a handsome two-tone interior with nicely bolstered seats. The sharply folded sheetmetal still looks good today, and you’ll love the popup headlights.
The paint color on this Mini Coupe is Laguna Gold. If your mind went to plunging straight through Laguna Seca’s famous corkscrew, dial it back a bit. This color was supposed to symbolize a languid sunset on the Southern California coastline. Acura wasn’t just a brand for steely-eyed Brazilian Formula One drivers, it was also created to bring driving pleasure to regular people. According to the seller, it was given to a woman in California, who drove it until 2022, when she decided it was time to quit driving for good. As it sits, the car has just over 55,000 miles on the odometer.
Because this Integra was donated by the previous owner’s family to the Cars4Kids charity, there were some title issues. Despite clean bills of health from the California DMV and CarFax, it’s now listed on a restored salvage title in Arizona.
If this makes it less of a potential museum piece, so much the better. The seller has addressed wear items like the CV axle, sparkplugs, and tires, and this truly golden-era Acura is just itching to be driven. You want to dig through the attic for your old mixtape Memorex cassettes. oh, rosette And Fine young cannibal? That’s it.
You can find the new Integra at your local Acura dealership, and it does a fine job of living up to the standard set by the original. However, the new car neither gets popup headlights nor a cassette deck. Here’s your chance to wind the tape back to the early days of Acura.
Brendan McAleer is a freelance writer and photographer based in North Vancouver, BC, Canada. He grew up cracking his knuckles on British automobiles, came up on the golden age of Japanese sport-compact performance, and began writing about cars and people in 2008. His particular interest is the contrast between humanity and machinery, whether it be the racing of Walter Cronkite or Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki’s half-century obsession with the Citroën 2CV. He has taught both of his young daughters how to shift a manual transmission and is forever grateful for an excuse to buy Hot Wheels.