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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tl;dr I bid on a Type R as a lark, and won. Then I ran over myself with a truck. A year went by. Then I fixed some stuff on the Type R.


So back in late summer of 2020, I was at my desk and saw a listing pop up for a Mercedes wagon on Cars & Bids. I watched it and considered throwing in a bid, but thankfully it went while I was otherwise occupied. However, while I was there, I noticed a scruffy black ITR that was ending shortly.

It was in California, I was in Nebraska, and it was obviously not in great condition. I saw pretty poor paint and a bit of interior wear, and it had about 130k miles.





Without doing a lot of research, I figured it would probably go for somewhere in the low 20’s. After months of watching prices climb on interesting cars, I was convinced that it could be an opportune moment, like the one I capitalized on for my air-cooled 911SC. I bought it when you could still get a nice one in the high teens, and got out when the market had climbed to the point that a nice one was $40-50k, because it meant that my driver-quality modified mutt was worth mid-20s. I also rebuilt the engine during my ownership, so I didn’t exactly make a bunch of money, but I got to own a classic, put money into it, enjoy it, and still come out a little ahead after a few years. I figured it was a time where I could do the same with an ITR - if the blue chip cars started going up to $50-80k, a driver-quality one might pull up from the 20s to the 30s.

So, I sent a fateful text to my buddy, full of pre-auction-close FOMO. This is obviously a dangerous emotional state to be in during an auction.



I threw in a couple of bids, mostly as a lark, and was immediately outbid. The the FOMO got me. I started thinking about how much I’d kick myself later if it actually sold for the current high bid. What could it hurt to throw in another? I’d just get outbid again, and that way I wouldn’t regret not tossing my hat in.

The timer clicked down, and I kept waiting for someone to outbid me.

Uh, oh.



I really didn’t need another car. I really didn’t have a place to put another car. I had the money, but it’s not like it wasn’t a big swing to take without even mentioning it to my wife. Obviously, while I was still feeling a little sick from the shock, my phone rings, and it’s my wife. The credit card company has called her to ask about the large charge from “cars and bids”, and if it’s legit. Well, here we go.

...So I survived my encounter with my wife, and made plans to head out around Labor day weekend for a 3,000 mile road trip to drive out and tow the Type R back with my old Escalade, which had only 225,000 miles on it or so at the time. I was prepping it for the trip by changing the transmission fluid, when cutting too many corners nearly cost me my life and I ran over myself with the Cadillac.

Recovery was slow, and it was clear that I couldn’t handle a cross-country road trip. Then my wife ended up with a 5-day hospital stay, and I ended up back in the hospital for emergency abscess surgery. It was a rough couple of months. I probably could have used this, or the fact that the out-of-pocket medical bills were adding up to more than the cost of the car, as a reasonable excuse to back out of the deal. But I didn’t. It’s just not how I want to operate, and I don’t feel it’s the way God wants me to operate. So I contracted Intercity to transport the car, which other than being what seemed like very expensive at the time ($1700 or so, which i suppose wouldn’t get a u-haul out of California now), was a flawless experience.

However, with a bum shoulder and a slowly-healing incision in my butt, I couldn’t even sit down without a donut pillow, let alone drive and shift in a car that required something of the driver. So it got stashed for the winter, and the spring, and a bit more…

When I finally did get physically to the point where I could drive it and tinker on it a bit, I really wanted to give it some of the rehab it needed to just feel like a clean, solid, stock ITR.

It was pretty obvious in the auction pictures, even to someone who didn’t research the car properly, that it had a bunch of small dents, some bad paint, and other cosmetic wear. No rust on the underbody, and overall a pretty straight car, but one that has obviously had some mediocre-quality paint work in the past and just hadn’t really been cared for.

Overall I found the car in person to be pretty accurately represented by the pictures. Not a basket case, just tired and in need of some TLC.

Because I’m making videos, I’m even worse than usual at taking pictures along the way. So here’s the bullet points of what I did in the first couple of rounds of mechanical rehab just to “stage zero” the car. It looks like a long list, and I guess it is, but it’s important to note that this car ran great, smooth and strong before the work, and didn’t have any really obvious mechanical issues other than a leaky oil pan gasket. It’s only once I started diving in a bit that I saw how much deferred maintenance needed to be dealt with.

Motor vehicle Air gun Trigger Bumper Automotive exterior


Car Vehicle Hood Motor vehicle Automotive battery

  • New thermostat - the car wasn’t warming up fully
  • New timing belt, water pump, and belts - did this just based on age, but glad I did, as the water pump was weeping and the tensioner wasn’t tightened down!
  • New spark plugs, valve cover gasket - the valve cover gasket leak into the spark plug holes was the worst I’ve ever seen, and the car ran great! The plug wells were literally ¾ full of oil. It was insane.
  • New engine mounts - old ones were torn
  • New oil pan gasket - it was leaking profusely
  • New distributor cap & rotor - it had a small crack
Coming up - lots of cosmetic and little functional items, like getting rid of this awesome-feeling but horrifically-ugly steering wheel, fixing a bunch of little things that don’t work, and hopefully DRIVING IT.

 

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This is a great buy, looks like a super fun driver you can just enjoy and if it hasn't been molested with Greddy style period correct mods, that's even better (though some period correct mods would be hilarious). You've also got a lot of potential equity upside on this.

These cars are great and just a riot. They bring me back to my glory days of high school when F&F 1 hit the theaters. I had a high school buddy lucky enough to get a brand new one of these in yellow and man did we have fun...he still has it today.
 

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WOW what a couple of stories! Really glad to hear you got out from that Caddy mistake relatively unscathed. Hard lessoned learned but thankfully you're still with us.

Either way you cut it, this was a great buy. This car crosses all enthusiast lines and borders in my opinion. Stick a muscle car guy in the passenger seat and take them through a mountain pass and they'll convert.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
what steering wheel does it currently have?
I forgot to include the steering wheel picture! Sorry about that.



I think you could file an NRG wheel like this into "period correct" mods :D I love how it feels, and I don't mind having a quick disconnect, but I hate how it looks. It's going back to stock, for sure. It would be really helpful to have a quick disconnect wheel on my Locost 7, and it needs a different steering column anyway, so I might grab a used DC2 steering column and use most of the bits in the Locost.
 

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S2000 wheel is a fairly simple swap right? I considered doing that with my GSR flip waaay back in the day because the stock wheel was way too big and thin rimmed for my taste (daily was a BMW M car so...)

Those are a ton of fun for sure. I don't personally think the drive lives up to the current market prices but that's not why they trade for what they do anyway. Enjoy it, give it new life, and then enjoy the profit when it's time to move on!

From the pics it looks like most of the body issues can be fixed with PDR and paint correction, is it worse than that in person?
 

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right on!
i remember driving a couple of these right after college as a couple buddies got them as their first big splurge purchases. that was almost 20 years ago when they were somewhat affordable, neat cars for sure.

whatd you end up paying for it? i cant even imagine what clean museum worthy examples are going for now :D
 

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Very cool! But this is disgusting!...

the fact that the out-of-pocket medical bills were adding up to more than the cost of the car
What a fantastic car to restore. Easy tools, reliable. Are there any parts hard to come by? I had a similar condition S2000 back in 16' and some parts didnt exist anymore in inventory. Carpets, trim pieces.
 

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Really cool post. Had a car buddy back in the day with one of these that drove the absolute piss out of it. He would sit for hours in it in the parking lot practicing shifting it as quickly as possible. It ended up running a 13.7 @ 101 with an intake and a header in 02 or so which was insanely fast for what it was.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
S2000 wheel is a fairly simple swap right? I considered doing that with my GSR flip waaay back in the day because the stock wheel was way too big and thin rimmed for my taste (daily was a BMW M car so...)
From the pics it looks like most of the body issues can be fixed with PDR and paint correction, is it worse than that in person?
I'm not sure about the S2000 swap, it might be, but my plan is to get as close to 100% stock as I can and enjoy it as the ultimate expression of 'golden era Honda', even with the issues it was borth with.

Yes, more info to come later, but a bunch of PDR, repairing and repainting the bumper lip, and many hours of paint correction has improved it a LOT. Still have more to do, and ultimately to make it really, really nice it would need a repaint. I probably won't do that (famous last words).

right on!
i remember driving a couple of these right after college as a couple buddies got them as their first big splurge purchases. that was almost 20 years ago when they were somewhat affordable, neat cars for sure.

whatd you end up paying for it? i cant even imagine what clean museum worthy examples are going for now :D
Remember this was back in 2020 (July, I think?), but I won the auction for $19,400. After fees, shipping, taxes, rehab, etc I'm into it for quite a bit more than that now. There were 2 more scruffy (maybe worse than mine) black ITRs that went on C&B later in 2020 for basically the same price, so I think I inadvertently set the market price. I'd like to think it would bring low-mid 30's now in cleaner condition, which with what I've put into it, wouldn't be a huge profit or anything, but it helps justify the cost to sort it out properly. I'll probably put it on the market in the spring just to see what it's like before the whole house of cards collapses and I have to sit on it for 10 more years while it comes back :)

What a fantastic car to restore. Easy tools, reliable. Are there any parts hard to come by? I had a similar condition S2000 back in 16' and some parts didnt exist anymore in inventory. Carpets, trim pieces.
Super, super easy to work on. After decades of German cars and weird, oddball stuff like my Duramax swap or even the Corvair, this is SO nice and easy to work on. My girls will be driving in a couple of years and I kind of want to find DC2 LS's or something for them just because they're so easy to fix.

Parts available is really getting bad, though. Even in 2020, I waited months on backorders for OEM parts that were not Type-R specific, and actual Type R parts are unobtanium or extremely expensive. Like the floor mats - USDM checker pattern ITR floor mats are like $2k+ for a decent used set IF you can find one. Two. Thousand. Dollars. For used floor mats.
 

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Congrats! The condition seems to be a great for a driver - miles aren't sky high but not low enough that you'd feel bad about adding more on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Congrats! The condition seems to be a great for a driver - miles aren't sky high but not low enough that you'd feel bad about adding more on.
Thanks! So far my ownership experience has been much better than yours, I think, despite the long list of stuff I've tackled so far. Hoping that continues!
 

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I can accept that. ;) I've purposely never driven an FRS/BRZ/86 because I'm afraid I would have to own one, and yours is basically the perfect color combo IMO.
Trade?

Ok, I really do love you for all you share with us. But a Type R is like ZOMG and my sister and I might fight you for it.
 
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