Before we officially begin, let us help to remove all of your possible preconceived notions of this 2000 Acura Integra. Yes, it does sport a somewhat stock appearance other than wheels and an adjusted ride height, and yes, it carries two extra doors as well. Despite whatever prejudices you may or may not have, Integras with four doors can be just as competitive as their coupe brethren. As you will learn later in this story, sedans are formidable counterparts, and this white DB8 is a prime example of how to build a well-rounded version.
Mark Sutakajana, owner of this white sedan, has no preference when it comes to the number of doors his cars are armed with. In fact, he’s had two other Integra sedans before this one, but he’s also built an EM1 Civic coupe and currently owns a ’94 Civic hatchback as well. “I didn’t really have any specific Honda in mind when I was looking for a new project,” Mark explains. “I had just sold my ’99 Civic Si to a friend, and I wanted to find something that was super clean. It took me about 10 months of searching, but I ended up finding this Integra on a Craigslist ad. The only problem was that it was in Oakland, California, and I live in SoCal. It looked like too good of a deal to pass up, so I sent the guy a $1,000 deposit and made the decision to pick it up.”
The Integra was about as close to Mark’s definition of “clean” as it gets. It had some 17-inch wheels he didn’t want and an old, gigantic canister muffler, but in his eyes, the rest was picture perfect. The motor had roughly 150K on the odometer, the OEM paint was carefully maintained, and all original body panels remained unscarred. The only real dilemma he had was how to get to Oakland to drive the car home. It was Mother’s Day, after all, and no Honda enthusiast should ever miss out on that special day. But Mark found a willing compatriot, purchased two plane tickets, and set off to Northern California. Once they arrived, the previous owner picked them up from the airport, paperwork was exchanged, and Sutakajana drove his Integra home in time for Mother’s Day dinner.
“I was really happy because it was all original and I had never owned a 2000 GS-R before. There were bugs plastered all over the front from the drive home, but a day of detailing would take care of that. The wheels were hideous, so that was the first thing to go. I had a set of Tein SS coilovers lying around from one of my old four-doors, so I immediately installed those, along with a set of Work Equip 03 wheels from the EM1 I sold.”
One of the advantages of having modified a few other Hondas in the past is that Mark had a lot of old parts at his house—many of which were compatible with his DB. Anything else that he didn’t want could be sold to pay for new parts. Within a week of ownership, Mark had his Spoon Sports B-pipe and N1 muffler installed and began his motor build. The decision to go all out on the motor was an easy one since he already had a built GS-R head collecting dust in his garage. He needed additional funds to pay for the rest of his motor, so he pulled the stock manual transmission off of his car and sold it for $500. Mark then used the money to fortify a JDM B20B block. At a glance, the engine bay may look pretty mundane compared to all the crazy wire-tucked, often shaved bays that you see nowadays, but the guts of this motor is where it counts. The crankshaft has been balanced and the block itself is bored, honed, and has a block guard welded in. Combined with the built P72 head, Sutakajana’s engine makes over 250 whp. The transmission that he sold off the stock engine was later replaced with a helical L.S.D.-equipped CTR transmission.
The outward appearance of Mark’s DB8 Integra remains mostly untouched. He’s added an OEM ITR front lip, but that’s about it—for now. You may be a little thrown-off by the only contrasting piece on the OEM white chassis: a VIS carbon-fiber trunk. It may look a little odd, considering how the original metal hood is still in place, but at the time of the photo shoot, Mark was in the midst of reducing weight. The only other eye-catching aesthetic modification is the custom polished 16-inch Sprint Hart CP-Rs. He made the choice to ditch the Equip 03s after he procured a necessary brake upgrade in the form of Spoon twin-block brake calipers. The Tein suspension was also later replaced with a set of PIC Select coilovers.
There’s no doubt that Mark has built a very well-balanced Honda. He’s paid close attention to how he wants his DB8 to perform as well as how it looks. With those factors in mind, the best feature of Sutakajana’s build has to be its versatility and his willingness to drive his Integra just about anywhere. “I’ve attended track events, car shows, and meets all over California,” Mark says with pride. “If I have the time, I look for any excuse to drive my car. It could be from anything as simple as going to the liquor store or beating on the car at a Streets of Willow event. I’m confident in saying that I’ve built a strong, reliable Honda.”
Mark is quick to admit that he was surprised to hear from HT in regards to putting his Integra in print, but he really shouldn’t be; any Honda that can hold its own on the track, then show up to a car show the next day is exactly the type of balance we love to see displayed.