Classic 16-inch SSR Schumacher's.
It’s always refreshing to see a build that doesn’t adhere to trends or social pressures from the masses—aka haters. For Harvey Flores of San Jose, California, he’s seen his fair share of impeccable builds over the years, and the majority of them aren’t Honda or even import-related. A quick glance at his ’98 Integra GS-R reveals that this car gets down to its own beat. Graciously dipped in PPG Adriatic Blue Pearl, this sedan carries a very a carefully chosen list of aftermarket goods. There are so many influences on this build that on paper, it might read somewhat sloppy. It’s true that Harvey’s background in hot rods, muscle cars, and Harley-Davidson bikes are intimately and overtly interwoven throughout. However, one common element kept this build unified throughout the process—the owner’s vision.
Harvey’s father owns and runs Harvey’s Body Shop in Gilroy, California. The garage sees expensive cars, old rides, lowriders, custom motorcycles and much more. Harvey grew up working alongside his dad and was heavily influenced by these mild-to-wild builds before jumping into import cars. Most notably, the nice wet paint jobs and use of high-luster chrome from meticulously built lowriders that came through the shop are evident on Harvey’s Integra. Like music or any other cultural component, it’s interesting and somewhat stimulating to see influences from other eras.
Most will quickly notice that this DB8 is armed with a pretty stock GS-R powerplant—the only stock aspect of this build. You might be confused given the fact that Harvey grew up working on cars, that he all but ignored the engine’s output. In Harvey’s eyes, that is somewhat an era long since past. Gone are the days of open header sprints to the grocery store with a friendly wave to the local CHP officer. Now, the Cali government equips officers with devices to quickly detect illegal modifications, issue state referee notices, impound vehicles…basically ruin an enthusiast’s experience. Harvey matured over time and learned that he wanted to actually drive his Integra daily and didn’t want the hassle from authorities. He essentially found a balance and will admit that he still gets pulled over for things like ride height, but is typically sent on his way.
A very subtle Mugen intake system coupled with an ITR 3-inch intake arm provide a fresh dose of air to a rebuilt B18C1 that sports an Omni Power 68mm throttle body, Blox intake manifold, and on special occasions, a Blox test pipe. Spent exhaust goodness exits the healthy power chamber quietly via a Mugen Twin Loop exhaust system. “The exhaust is not too loud at all. You can’t really tell my car is modded when I’m idling at a street light,” he says. Other go-fast goodies include a Competition Clutch Stage 2 clutch and an Exedy 12-pound flywheel.
The extremely low ride height is courtesy of Tokico Illumina gas shocks teamed with Ground Control springs, providing a mean lean that Harvey loves and certainly echoes from his experience with lowriders at his father’s shop. Classic SSR Schumacher 16x7 wheels are paired with 205/40-16 Yokohama Parada Spec 2 rubbers to provide that timeless look and complement the entire build. A JDM front end was a birthday gift from his wife, Stephanie, and has been enhanced further with a genuine Mugen front bumper.
Staying true to the “keep it original” build’s mantra meant keeping the factory gray interior. “I didn’t want to do the traditional black ITR interior that everyone seems to do.” Gray Recaro Speed seats and OEM rear seats ensure the gray interior accents the stunning blue paint. Other interior pieces used to freshen up the environment include a Personal Grinta 350mm steering wheel and the classic Spoon Sports Duracon shift knob. Harvey also hand selected a custom sound system to ensure his “theme music” was just a click away on weekend cruises.
A few items must be discussed regarding Harvey’s build. The build lasted for nearly four years and continues to evolve. Harvey’s wife was also a significant contributor to the build, and all of the expenses were paid for in cash, money that the couple saved together. She would also buy him parts on special occasions, like the JDM front end. There were long periods of saving in order to get parts for the Integra, and in 2010, Stephanie was diagnosed with breast cancer. The Integra was put on hold. “Around that time I just put everything aside with my main focus on her health,” he slowly and calmly explains. In early 2011, Stephanie made a full recovery and is now a breast cancer survivor. The modding duo is back at it with an understandably deeper appreciation and respect for life. Harvey hints that in 2012, the DB8 just might see some love in the engine department with a new all-motor build. A mash-up that includes inspiration from the lowrider, old school, import, and performance car circles? This we have to see…