KIDNEY, ANYONE?: A super clean 1989 Acura Integra

You. Yes, you. You want this Integra. You want an 80s sports car but you want it to be reliable. You feel it calling to you with its pop-up lights and rev-happy DOHC engine. You need this Integra. 

Bring-a-Trailer currently has for auction what could be the cleanest first-generation Acura Integra in the nation. The car wears an eye-catching Rio Red, sends power through a 5-speed manual transmission and has apparently been very well cared for during it’s 68,000 miles on the road.

This beautiful Acura has gone fewer miles during it’s 29 years of existence than some modern cars do before their warranty is up. This mileage is is usually a sweet spot for the car, it’s not so low that you have to worry about ruining some museum piece and still has plenty of room to go before rolling over that value-killing 6th digit.

This generation confusingly bears a DA chassis code prefix shared with the second-gen Integra. For the hardcore Honda weebs, though, this specific car is a DA3.

Under the hood sits a 1.6-liter 120-horsepower D16A1, a DOHC variant of the D-series engine found in Civics. While not one of the legendary ZC engines that made their way into some of the first Honda engine swaps  of the 1980s, it is a very close relative with slightly lower compression.

These are very simple and pure engines, relying on vacuum advance ignition timing, pre-VTEC DOHC heads and leaving power production to high-compression pistons. The power delivery of a D16A1 is not unlike that of a 4A-GE with it’s sweet spot being north of 5,000 rpm.

The inside is just as clean as the engine bay. Note that there is a small burn in the driver seat, and that another is on the trunk floor. The car is 100% stock all around including the factory tape deck, shift knob and steering wheel.

A commonly damaged point on these cars, as with any Honda of the era, is door cards punctured by excessive slack on the door-mounted seat belts. Although here the belt appear to be taut, it would be a good idea to confirm. Punctures will occur on the inside edge where the door card wraps towards the B-pillar.

According to the seller, all of the paint is original and appears to have aged well without any peeling or matting. The seller even included paint meter readings to confirm this. The only issues aesthetically would be some chips on the front and a scrape in the rear bumper.

While the car is in fantastic condition, it should be noted that the tires are from 2006-07 and absolutely need to be replaced with modern variants prior to driving. We don’t want you to end up as a projectile off Mulholland Drive.

Due to the relative lack of power compared to the DA5 and up second-gen Integras, these Integras took a dive off the collector cliff for a while, but in an era where everything is an overpowered brute, a pure drivers’ car delivering 30 mpg is something to behold.

Too often these Integras are found in poor condition or savable ones get picked apart for a quick 120 HP for some guy’s dumpster Civic. This one, however, appears to be in excellent condition and deserves a good home. As always, keep your vigilance about you; just because it looks awesome doesn’t mean that it is perfect. If you want this car as badly as we do, check out the auction on BaT, where it is being sold with no reserve.

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5 Responses to KIDNEY, ANYONE?: A super clean 1989 Acura Integra

  1. BlitzPig said:

    Wow, what a flashback. I used to own an 89 with sunroof.

    Purchased it used from one of our customers with just over 100K on the odo.
    I put another 100K miles on it then sold it as the rust on the underside was getting to a point that it was now or never. Even at that mileage it was utterly reliable and still very fun to drive.

    One of the better cars I’ve owned. I wish the Integra would make a comeback, but alas, the Acura store doesn’t sell to many fun cars anymore.

  2. Joe Musashi said:

    I can’t wait to buy that and turn it into a drift car because race car.

  3. Clay Yeatman said:

    If I recall, it had 99 lbs-feet of torque at 5000 rpm but was noticeably faster everywhere than my Civic 1500S. I need a new sedan. Is an iLX fun to drive?

  4. Nathan said:

    Nice? Yes. But calling an Integra a sports car? That’s a stretch.

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