Tucson Trip: Josh’s Acura Integra

Odometer (Legend):  517,831


Odometer (ILX):  22,228


Is there such a thing as too much speed?  If there is, then my buddy Josh is pushing the limits.


He’s got a car that in my mind is the ultimate “sleeper.”  From the outside, it’s your standard 1995 Acura Integra LS coupe with a lowered suspension and some custom wheels.  Big whoop, right?  That’s until you peek under the hood or sit inside while it wickedly rumbles at idle.  This car gets up and goes.  In fact, under acceleration there’s so much power that the tires can’t even grip. Josh had to “feather” the gas pedal to prevent it from breaking loose entirely through all the gears when he took me for a ride.  I’d get myself into major trouble with a car like that.

For my Sunday drive this past weekend, I drove about 130 miles each way from Scottsdale to Tucson, Arizona in the Legend.


The ILX took a break and chilled out at home.


The I-10 corridor between Phoenix and Tucson is a critical piece of infrastructure because it connects the two largest metropolitan areas of Arizona.  According to a 2008 AADT (Annual Average Daily Traffic) study, I-10 sees over 1/4 million cars a day in Phoenix and over 200,000 a day in Tucson.  As of October 2012, there are now advanced discussions taking place regarding the implementation of a passenger rail system between the two cities.



Here we see the back side of the Santa Catalina Mountains that border the north side of Tucson.  One of these peaks is Mount Lemmon, home to a particularly fun 25-mile curvy road that I drove with the ILX in August of this year.


Premium fuel was only $3.27 at the Chevron on Valencia Road in Tucson!


On the way to Josh’s place I drove past the Pima Air & Space Museum.  This airplane graveyard of sorts is 80 acres of parking for 300 aircraft.  For airplane geeks, this is probably like Disneyland.  There’s an SR-71 Blackbird among other notable aircraft on display.  The next time I’ve got a few minutes I’ll plunk down the $15.50 admission and take a gander.




Here’s Josh – it’s not a very flattering pic of either of us!   This guy’s a big Honda / Acura fan, though.  His first project car was a Civic hatchback.


Finally I got to take a look at this Taffeta White beast of Josh’s.


Believe it or not, this car started out life as an automatic transmission 1995 Integra LS.



Those are Honda S2000 seats in there!


Here are the tech specs, per Josh:

  • 84.5mm Darton Sleeved B18A1 bottom end
  • JE Pistons
  • Manley Rods
  • OEM Honda B18A1 Crank
  • OEM Honda B16 Head Ported by Endyn
  • Skunk 2 Pro-1 Camshafts (nice lope)
  • Supertech Valves
  • Supertech Titanium Valvesprings
  • Supertech Titanium Retainers
  • 72mm Throttle Body
  • Edelbrock Victor X Intake Manifold
  • 1000cc Injectors
  • Walbro 450 liter/hr Fuel Pump
  • GSR Transmission w/Quaife LSD
  • Full Race Manifold with a Garrett 3076R with Tial BOV and Tial Wastegate.


The Integra runs on E85 and makes 450 horsepower on 16 pounds of boost.  Based on my experience in the passenger seat, those 450 horses are all very much alive and kicking.  I’m glad I used the restroom before taking a ride.

Thanks, Josh, for letting me take a look at this one-of-a-kind Acura and feature it on the blog!

Have any other Legend fans out there seen this $18,000 Legend GS 6-speed with 98k miles on it in the San Francisco Bay Area?  Wow.

12-17-2012 8-31-11 AM

12-17-2012 8-30-21 AM

More on the racecar ILX that Team Honda Racing – West put together:  This is a really great write-up on the the Acura ILX competing at the Thunderhill endurance (25-hour-long) race event in California a couple of weeks ago, written by racecar driver Edward Sandstrom from Switzerland who was one of 5 individuals who spent time behind the wheel.  He’s 2nd from the right here (photo by Larry Chen).

12-17-2012 9-36-30 AM

ILX Type-S?  In our dreams.  Actually, though a Type-S package isn’t offered by Acura for the ILX, one Dallas-based dealership has taken the opportunity to create their own.  Looks like this one’s outfitted with blacked-out (plasti-dipped?) Premium 17″ wheels, the OEM under-body kit, and a red Type-S badge on the decklid.  Thanks, Jeff, for sending!


Even though it won’t be a “white” Christmas for me here in Scottsdale, the season is still very much in full swing.  I wonder what I was asking Santa Claus for when I sat on his lap 27 years ago!  Toy cars, no doubt.


Last week I went to a holiday concert featuring skilled pianist Nicole Pesce.  She’s got talent like you can’t believe!  This is one of my faves by her, though it’s not Christmas-related.  Nobody gets into the spirit of the season more wholeheartedly than my friend Chuck.  His home is always decked out to the max, and he even has a nightly “light show” that’s synchronized to music.  You’ll see in this picture Chuck’s 1993 Acura Legend LS coupe (just 30,000 miles young) and his wife’s SC300.


A video taken from the driver’s seat of the ILX while tuned into Chuck’s FM radio station.


This was “too” memorable to miss as a photo opportunity.


And a chance meeting at the grocery store parking lot with a cousin (2006 TSX).


Grab some ‘nog and hit the road this weekend.  I’m off to southern Utah tomorrow after work, so the ILX will get some road time.



5 Responses to “Tucson Trip: Josh’s Acura Integra”

  1. That new paint job looks amazing are you going to throw a car bra on her to protect that nose this time?
    This is the first time I have heard of Nicole Pesce but she seams pretty awesome.
    I have mixed feelings about the “ILX-S” I don’t like what they did with the wheels. However if Acura were to somehow add even more pep to the 2.4 then I could live with it. I wonder if they will be detuning the 2.4 when they make it the standard engine for the auto cars.
    Have a great weekend.

    • Hey Sam, thanks for reading. I do have a full nose mask for the coupe but I don’t plan on using it. The coupe doesn’t see a ton of highway miles anymore, plus I keep my distance from all the truckers out there. It remains to be seen if Acura will give us a “performance” ILX but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. Hope you have a great weekend too!

      • I think the old RDX 2.3 turbo would be a perfect match BUT they would need to add the LSD back in from the civic SI. It would be a home run putting Acura in the same ballpark as a Focus ST and Mazdaspeed 3. That would be the perfect ILX-S and wouldn’t be cost prohibited as far as development goes, and if they really felt the need they could make and automatic version as well.

  2. Another interesting read. That sounds like quite Integra but I think you would beat in the mpgs though. Have a good Christmas Tyson.

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