The 2020 Hagerty Bull Market list showcases the top vehicles that our valuation experts project will appreciate in the coming year. For the full list of 10 vehicles (and one motorcycle!) click here.
The Integra Type R, introduced for 1997, has front-wheel drive, a wispy 130 pound-feet of torque, and looks like what it is: a two-door compact from the 1990s. These days, a really clean one might cost you $50,000 or more. On paper, that doesn’t quite make sense.
Inside the tight cabin of this yellow 2000 Type R, though, it suddenly all makes sense. The handling through Lime Rock’s Big Bend sweepers is neutral, not like a front-driver at all. The five-speed manual is Santana smooth. Most of all, it’s loud. So, so loud. A good loud. By the end of the track’s front stretch, the once tame Integra is shrieking. In the interest of weight saving, barely any sound deadening separates the engine from the driver’s ears.
The R stands for “racing,” and the 1.8-liter four-cylinder that comes with it, code-named B18C5 in Honda-speak, redlines at 8400 rpm. We’re talking the highest piston speed of any production-car engine in the world at the time, yielding more horsepower per liter than a Ferrari F355. Shigeru Uehara, the veteran Honda engineer responsible for the S2000 and NSX (and a personal friend of Ayrton Senna’s) served as chief engineer for the Type R. He can be credited with the incredible chassis tuning. To say the Type R handles better than other front-drivers is to miss the point, which is that it handles better than just about anything. Boy racers swooned. Acura left the Type R recipe alone for four years of production, only introducing yellow and black as new colors halfway through the run.
Hagerty member Joe Stubenrauch, 56, is hardly a boy racer, which partly explains why the Type R he bought new in 2000 is still showroom fresh, despite 93,500 miles on the clock. (Not quite as nice as the 1191-mile example that brought $63,800 at Barrett-Jackson Vegas, but damn close.) Stubenrauch spends nearly four hours per day commuting via train to and from his publishing office in New York City. There is likely no better escape from public transit than wringing every last decibel out of this wolf in commuter-car clothing.
[+] “Young timer” vehicles are a thing now; immediate respect at any cars-and-coffee.
[–] Don’t expect to get one off the line quickly; absent the “R” on the side, it looks like just another Integra.
Although front drive is generally shunned, the Type R is widely considered the best-handling front-driver of all time. Huge with millennials; half the quotes are from them. Type Rs are super rare and hard to find in good shape and only newly added to our price guide because three years ago sales were scant.