It only takes two bidders to drive up the price, and it looks like a couple of somebodies—perhaps more than a couple—really, really wanted a 27,000-mile, Championship White 1998 Acura Integra Type R that sold for $65,500 on Bring a Trailer.
That price eviscerated the top end of our price-guide data, finishing 24.3-percent higher than the $52,700 average value of a ’98 Integra Type R in #1 (Concours) condition, a fact which ignited a flurry of reader comments that ranged from “flabbergasted” to “well sold” to “Jesus f’n Chr***”. (That remark received the most likes.)
Adding to the widespread jaw-drop, Hagerty valuation analyst Adam Wilcox believes the car is closer to #2 (Excellent) condition, which means the selling price is a whopping 63.8 percent above the Type R’s average #2 value of $40K.
“The Integra Type R market has been getting hotter over the last year, and auctions on BaT are known for having outrageous results,” Wilcox says. “Even if it sold for $10,000 less, $55,500 would have been the highest price paid for a Type R this year.”
So what gives? “Most people who originally bought an Integra Type R drove it, which is why low-mileage examples command such a premium,” Wilcox says, trying to make sense of it all. “What’s surprising is 27,000 miles isn’t the lowest we’ve seen, yet this one sold for more than any other.”
In fact, Wilcox says, it went for $1700 more than a 1200-mile 1997 Type R that sold for $63,800 at Barrett-Jackson’s 2018 Las Vegas auction. “Low-mileage, excellent-condition Type Rs typically sell for about $40,000.”
Wilcox notes that both cars are early models, when the car was only available in Championship White. The 1997–98 models also weigh 2560 pounds, about 60 pounds less than 2000–01 Type Rs, and they’re more attractive to collectors. Later U.S. models came in Phoenix Yellow (2000–01), Flamenco Black Pearl (2000) and Nighthawk Black Pearl (2001). [Only Canada received the 1999 model.]
The front-wheel-drive Type R is equipped with a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder VTEC engine that produces nearly 200 horsepower, mated to a close-ratio five-speed manual transmission. It can accelerate from 0–60 mph in 6.6 seconds, with a top speed of 143 mph.
Only 3823 Type Rs were produced for the U.S. market—a measly 320 for 1997, followed by 1000 in ’98, 1350 in 2000, and 1158 in ’01. While values have nearly doubled since May 2015, insurance quotes for the Type R have risen 21 percent in the last 12 months.
Other low-mileage Japanese cars from the ’90s have also been getting a lot of attention lately—and the buzz isn’t limited to performance cars. Last summer on BaT, a 14,000-mile 1995 Toyota 4Runner SR5 sold for $25K, and a 12,000-mile 1999 Honda Civic Si went for $24K.
“It’s a great car and is important to the tuner community—which is starting to age into the collector car-buying demographic—so I can see these continuing to gain in value,” Wilcox says of the Acura. “Will they reach $100K? I think their ceiling is below that, but considering the BaT sale, I guess you never know.”
No doubt we’ll be hearing more about the Type R in the near future.