It's a battlefield out there. Shows, races, and parking lot pimpin' ain't easy. Even the pimp of all pimps, Snoop Dogg, needs new direction every now and then. Norfolk, Virginia's Brent Bauer is no different, who switched things up by looking to both coasts and then saying, "nah." He chose to do his own damn thing.
Brent naturally fell into a Honda. His pops owned a slew of them, which meant he grew up being shuffled back and forth to school in Legends, Accords, even an Odyssey. His hunger for modifying came from his extensive remote controlled car background. He raced and worked on RC cars for half his childhood. "It's a great way to learn about cars. The suspension is similar to real cars in theory, just ten times smaller," he says. But everything changed for Brent the day he hit black ice and totaled his first DC2 Integra. It was no joke; even the paramedics told him he was lucky to be alive. Shortly after, with insurance check in hand, Brent found himself at a local Honda dealership during his lunch break. Of course, he didn't make it back on time, but then again, it was his birthday. "My boss said, 'Why are you two hours late back to work?' I just pointed at the car. He laughed and said, 'I imagine I won't have to tell you again.'" That evening Brent brought home the black beauty and began the build that would span more than six years and take the GS-R to new heights.
Similar to most builds' beginnings, Brent set out adding the usual bolt-ons and a sweet set of rims. As the project evolved, reality broke the window and 20 large flew out. He funded the project from side detailing jobs, working at a hobby store, and eventually becoming a product engineer. Brent will tell you that it was worth it though since, ultimately, he ended up with a powerful engine underneath to back it all up. Unlike other builds, Brent kept the stock paint. "I've always loved the OEM black on Integras," he says. He opted for a complete JDM ITR front end though to set himself apart from the rest. A VIS carbon-fiber lip and ITR rear add to the seduction. He knew that if he wanted to impress, he had to bring it. He used his skills as a product engineer to fabricate carbon-fiber parts throughout the car, including an SRS module cover and a custom oil catch can. And the Volk CE28N rims contribute to the perfect mix of bling. "This car has never had a fake part on it," Brent proudly says.
Such a standout DC2 pairs well with a high-revving K engine. "I ripped out the B18C and watched its new owner drive off. It hit me that there was no going back," he says. In only three weekends, Brent tossed in a K20A outfitted with Brian Crower components installed by Hybrid Garage's Jon Savage. As Brent takes midnight drives around country roads to relieve stress, spent fumes pass through an R-Crew header into a Kteller exhaust sporting a Magnaflow muffler. "Taking it out on back roads and thrashing it like you wouldn't believe puts a smile on my face," he says. Who needs pills to solve life's troubles when a 245whp 'Teg sits in the garage?
Brent admits that he likes to open up the throttle a bit, like the time he found himself traveling at above average speeds and noticed the Porsche he passed in the slow lane that was quickly gaining on him. The two engaged on the highway and then on the backstreets. Brent had the edge on the straight-aways, even in the corners. When the Porsche finally caught up, its driver shouted, "What the f@#k is that thing?" Brent responded modestly, "It's a Honda four-banger," and drove off. "He looked furious," he says laughing.
The hard work netted Brent more trophies and notoriety than he can recall. "Showing your car is like a drug, it's addicting," he says. Brent states that winning First Place JDM Integra in 2006 at Atlanta's Number One Parts Incorporated event was his biggest victory yet. "I was just 'holy s@#t, holy s@#t,' for about two days," he says. But despite his seeming success he hasn't won them all. He hasn't placed at a Hot Import Nights event yet. "The only thing not winning did was light a fire under my butt to make the car better," Brent says. Apparently no one called the fire department, as the fire's still raging.
Living in Virginia, Brent comes across the domestic crowd about as often as you'd expect-but it's all good. Like the car show judges, he's also got the domestic enthusiasts in his back pocket. "The thing I love most is when I get a compliment from a domestic guy, because when you get a good comment from one of them, you know you're doing something right," he says.
It's often been an internal struggle for Brent. "I competed with myself until I was happy with the car I saw in the garage...stick with your car, one day it will turn out to be great," Brent preaches. After recently rebuilding the engine and adding a custom rollcage, it's safe to say that the battle has yet to be finished. It's just another round in the never-ending fight. Ding ding!