Restomodding is a term used by the old-school crowd as they work toward bringing their clapped-out, sixty-something muscle cars back from the dead. Jerad Kupietz of Auburn, Washington, has taken the same dedication and passion usually reserved for the classics and applied it to his legit ’96 Type R.
Golden Eagle sleeves, Precision Turbo, and SpeedFactory Racing helped Jerad pound out 525
Jerad has his hands in the classics everyday; he’s a restoration specialist by trade, so when he wanted to build a Honda, he knew that rarity and real parts were everything.
“I’d always wanted a real Type R, and the ’96 isn’t very common. When I was old enough I went searching and found one in Phoenix,” he adds. Without hesitation, Jerad bought a one-way plane ticket to Arizona and saw his new project in a rough way. He recalls, “It was in bad shape, but it was real, and it was registered with the correct Japanese VIN, and I knew I wanted it.” Just two weeks later the car was parked safely in Jerad’s garage, and piece by piece, the buildup began.
A Mugen first-gen rear spoiler was fitted, and a fresh coat of Championship white was laid down before Jerad reapplied all of the undercoating. “I wanted it as fresh and new as possible, I wanted the underside of the car as clean as the top.” The body was finished with a set of ARC front canards and a Seibon carbon-fiber hood, but this restomod was nowhere near finished. Jerad prepped the bay for its new heart, which consisted of a fresh K20A sourced from the Japanese DC5 Type R, a first of its kind at the time. “This was like seven years ago, so K swaps were rare, and I wanted to be one of the first.” Stock rolling gear wouldn’t do for such an impressive drivetrain and clean body, so a five-lug conversion from the newer-generation Type R was installed while the tired suspension was relieved by a set of TEIN Flex coilovers paired with its EDFC controller. Some 16x7 bronze Mugen MF10s wrapped in Toyo rubber replaced the stock wheels and gave the car that “edgy yet subtle look” Jerad was going for. Fresh glass, grommets, and nuts and bolts from Acura finished off the “new” Integra, and this ITR restoration was complete…or so it seemed.
Out on a highway cruise one day, Jerad ran across a midlife crisis in a Lamborghini and decided to put the hammer down. The 220ish naturally aspirated horsepower the Integra was packing was no match for the Italian super car, and Jerad was not happy seeing taillights. He states, “I was tired of getting beat by bigger-horsepower cars, so a new engine setup was in order.” Living in Washington and wanting a properly built turbo car meant only one shop would suffice: SpeedFactory. With a track record for building some of the quickest turbo cars in the west, Jerad didn’t hesitate to reach out to the famed speed shop. The SpeedFactory crew started by tearing down the K20 and stuffing it with Arias pistons, Eagle rods, and bulletproof sleeves courtesy of Golden Eagle. Supertech valves and retainers replaced the stock metal, and the fuel system was upgraded with Precision 1,000cc injectors and a Golden Eagle fuel rail.
This classic ITR relies on sticky Toyo R888s up front for traction.
Jerad’s goals were no doubt lofty, with 500 whp in mind. To get him to his target number, a Precision sc6262sp turbocharger mated to a SpeedFactory exhaust manifold was in order. The 3-inch exhaust system helps evacuate the gases. Up front, a Precision intercooler with one-off SpeedFactory piping helps send chilled air to the RBC intake manifold. With a new heart now pumping, the stock Type R interior became bland in Jerad’s eyes. A set of Bride Kevlar Lo Max seats with Takata harnesses help to keep the pilot and navigator firmly in place. In the rear are ultra-rare Canadian-spec suede Type R seats flanked by a Cusco rollcage.
When the newly finished ITR was strapped to the dyno it made a stellar 525hp to the wheels with just a bit under 350 lb-ft of torque, effectively blowing his 500 whp goal away! Jerad already has an 8-second hatch and a few awesome examples of American Iron, stating that his Integra is simply a sunny day cruiser. When asked about his cool projects and any future plans, he said, “I might add more power, but I’m pretty happy with it right now. I just want to live on my farm with my Hondas and my hot rods.” If you’re cruising around the Pacific Northwest, keep your eyes peeled for Jerad, but we wouldn’t suggest trying to challenge his ITR!”