Disclaimer: The following story depicts acts of “spirited driving” that may or may not be true and/or safe. We do not condone illegal activity of any kind and ask that you respect the rules of the road. Safety is of the utmost importance. Please follow the regulations enforced by your local authorities and drive safely.
Life at Honda Tuning magazine can be a mundane one. While it is true that we occasionally get to enjoy a few perks that the average enthusiast might not get to experience, those moments aren’t as common as one would imagine. The majority of the time, we’re either working toward a deadline or we’re hunting down more feature cars to pounce upon. Throughout the day, one of our favorite pastimes is logging on to the Honda Tuning Facebook fan page and looking through the countless viewer comments. Some good, some bad, we’d be lying if we said that we didn’t find many of the comments absolutely hilarious. There are posts that are comedic in nature because they’re said in a joking manner, but there are also those insanely absurd comments that just make us chuckle a bit. Whenever a photo of a Honda is posted on the social media site, it’s almost guaranteed that someone will either express how they would build said car much better, or they might proclaim how much faster their car is than the one posted. There are also never any real facts to back up these claims because, as we all know, when it comes to the Internet, the butt and/or mouth dyno rules all.
The truth of the matter is there are people who like to think their cars are fast, and then there are the ones that are actually fast. For as long as this automotive subculture has existed, there has been a clear division among the doers and the talkers. You won’t find Dan Hamilton doing much jaw jacking on the Internet. He’s never been much of a talker because he and his ’96 Integra are (apparently) too busy running from the law. Dan cannot necessarily dive into details about his legal issues, but we’ve gathered from conversations with him that some of them are related to his tendency to drive in a “spirited” fashion. “I originally purchased this Integra because I needed a new daily driver,” Dan says. “I had to find another car because my ’91 Integra had become very popular with the local police. I paid $2,300 cash for this car. It was in pretty decent shape and the motor had only 99K on it. The only downfall was that it came with an automatic transmission. I tried to convince myself that it might actually be a blessing because it would make me drive ‘normally,’ but that thought didn’t last very long.”
The Integra wouldn’t remain untouched for very long. It sat in his garage for a couple of weeks until he totaled his DA Integra one day. You can already assume how he went about wrecking his car. Regardless of how it happened, he moved his attention toward his newly acquired DC2. The only deterrent that prevented him from regularly leaving the confines of the legal speed limit was the auto slushbox, which he quickly replaced with a five-speed transmission from a B16A-powered Civic del Sol.
“It (the Integra) was fun for a little bit. I even added a nitrous oxide kit, but I got bored with it after a while. When winter rolled around, I decided to tear the whole car down and build it from the ground up. My goal was to perform a massive weight reduction operation on the chassis itself. Shedding unwanted weight would only help to make the car faster. I also ditched the stock motor and went with a fully built LS/VTEC motor capable of hitting 10,000 rpm. Many said it couldn’t be done, but I proved them wrong. The motor ran incredibly strong, and I even added a set of 52mm TWM individual throttle bodies,” Dan explains.
As Dan stated, one of the essential goals of his project was to shed any and all unnecessary weight from his Integra. To accomplish this, he spent a lengthy amount of time removing all of the car’s sound-deadening material. Once the substance was void from the chassis, he reinstalled only the most vital items inside the cockpit. You won’t find any carpet in his DC2, only the door panels and dashboard remain, along with a set of Memoryfab buckets that replace the much heavier OEM seats. Both airbags have been deleted as well; a JDM ITR block-off plate now resides on the passenger side, while a Personal Neo Grinta steering wheel replaces the driver’s side. In the engine bay, all creature comforts are long gone. There’s no sign of air conditioning, cruise control, and no antilock brakes. Even the high beam lights and the brackets holding them in place on the bug-eyed front end are nowhere to be found. Dan uses small sheets of carbon fiber in an attempt to mask the now-exposed holes in the bumper. The heaviest items on the exterior of the Integra, besides the shell itself, would have to be the hood and rear hatch. Hamilton promptly removed those and traded the sheet metal components for carbon-fiber versions. After the diet was complete, Dan’s Integra weighed in at just 1,941 pounds!
Stripped interior, lightweight bucket seats, carbon-fiber replacement bits, and Spoon whee
Dan’s thirst for more power and speed ultimately lead him to sell his LS/VTEC powerplant. Like his previous setup, he just wanted more. Luckily, he was able to sell his built motor for $5,500. He then used that money to invest in a K20A2 long-block. Along with his friend John Schill, the pair beefed up the guts of this K motor before adding yet another set of TWM ITBs, backed by a set of Kelford 179-C camshafts. The menacing grunt of the lopey-cams at idle are a favorite of Dan’s long-term build. “I get a lot of comments from others when it comes to the way this car idles,” Dan states. “It attracts a lot of attention. I’ve even heard people liken the sound of my motor to that of a small-block American V-8 engine—I love it! I am by no means a domestic car killer, but I’ve earned some respect from them. I’ve been known to make some serious highway pulls in this Integra, and I (allegedly) have taken the car to speeds well beyond the printed numbers on my speedometer. The only problem I’ve encountered with my car is that it’s impossible to take my foot off the gas once I’ve gone full-throttle.”
We couldn’t imagine why Dan has ongoing problems with the law or legal issues with local authorities; he seems like quite the safe driver—said no one ever.