Eric Daoust's '96 Integra Type R
There are many times in life when we experience brief moments that inspire us forever. These ripples in time may not be noticeable at first, but if you believe in fate, these moments can actually dictate future events. More often than not, these random events affect how we as enthusiasts build our cars. It could be an unexpected encounter with an inspirational build you see at a meet, a car you see at a show, or even something you see in a magazine like Honda Tuning. Life has a funny way of working things out. Today we will be taking an in-depth look at two Canadian Honda owners, with two very different stories-but as fate would have it, both men ended up on equal paths to build the ultimate Integra Type R that they both had once only dreamed of. Eric Daoust, owner of one of Canada's premier tuner shops, sought to build an ITR once again after regretfully selling a previous R. Matthew Drost, a loyal customer of Daoust, longed to build another Integra Type R after an unfortunate accident destroyed his first.
Though Eric has spent the majority of his life surrounded by Hondas, his upbringing might have steered him in a different direction. "I grew up surrounded by cows, tractors, and trucks," Daoust explains. "How I got into Hondas I'll never really be able to explain. I should have been driving a Mustang or an F150 pick-up, but instead I just fell in love with Hondas. The Honda that got me hooked back then was an '88-'91 Prelude. It was my first Honda and I've never looked back since."
It was that Prelude that set the rest of his life in motion. He was so focused on doing whatever he possibly could to his Honda that it often distracted him from his studies at Carleton University. "I became so involved with my car that I eventually changed my major from political science to study in business. It all worked out and here I sit today as the owner of Teknotik, one of Canada's largest Honda specialty shops. Opening this business has given me so many opportunities to be around Hondas and meet great people."
While it was the Prelude that set the plans in motion to become a businessman, the Integra Type R was the Honda he had always lusted for. "My love for the Type R goes back many years. Like many of my generation, I spent the latter half of my teenage youth drooling over the mighty white beast that dominated so many pages of magazines like Honda Tuning. Years later the Type R is every bit as prestigious as it was then."
"I remember when I had my first ITR. I had a blast with it and put over 60,000km on it before I sold it to move onto a different project. As the years went on, I encountered so many customers who had ITRs and I realized how big of a mistake it was to sell it. I knew that my next project would have to be an Integra Type R. I really wanted a truly authentic platform and that was the focal point of my build. I knew I wanted to start with an ITR that was imported from Japan. My shop specializes in importing Japanese engines and parts, so getting the car would be no problem. The only issue I had to deal with, which was a huge one, was bringing the car over and being able to register it in Canada."
For those unfamiliar with the laws of our neighboring country, Canada has a law that prevents vehicles newer than 15 years old from being brought over from Japan. Registration would normally be impossible but with a bit of research and advice from a good lawyer, Eric was able to bring an ITR into Canada. Today, it still remains the only fully licensed and legit authentic right-hand drive Integra Type R in Canada. The only downside from dealing with all the legalities of importing and sourcing wasn't the paper work; it was the beat-up chassis that arrived. Eric adds "beggars can't be choosers so I was left with a molested, abused, yellow-painted Type R that was basically on its last legs."
Within the first six hours of its arrival at Teknotik, teardown had begun. The beauty of owning a shop like Eric's was the availability of parts as well as space to work on his car. He'd already sourced a K20A to replace the beaten down B18C, but decided to shave the entire engine bay before the motor would go into its new home. "I'm so crazy when it comes to getting the paint perfect and having everything in mint condition. It may have just been a Championship White repaint, but the work was painfully detailed. Every piece of glass and trim was removed from the chassis before the car was sprayed. Doors, trunk, everything. "I probably spent more in trim and glass alone than most people have spent on their whole paint jobs."
A K20A swap and Jackson Racing supercharger replace the original B18C. During the swap pro
Eric and the staff at Teknotik meticulously tucked every wire in the bay. Patience was key for Eric and there was no real hurry to complete the Integra. "I cut zero corners when I put this R together. I worked on one section at a time, making sure I touched on every little aspect of the build. I have no regrets because there was no facet that was overlooked or left incomplete."
After completing the swap and tuck, he waited until the spring to install a Jackson Racing supercharger and BYS front bumper. "My goal was simply to build a clean, JDM-inspired Type R, while using the parts that we sell and promote at Teknotik. All parts in this build are authentic-you won't find any "Mugen-style" parts here. Many of the parts I use are just parts that I've been hoarding for several years because I knew I would eventually build an Integra. I have a large library of parts and wheels for the car so I can constantly switch things up. It could go from a full Mugen kit on MF10 wheels one week to a stock ITR bumper with Spoon front lip and TE37s the next. I have five bumpers painted, three spoilers, three hoods, two complete exhaust systems. The list just goes on and on. I doubt I will ever build another Honda to this extent so it's good to have such a wide variety of parts to always change things up and keep the ITR fresh."