It’s well-known that Acura Integras
are were among the most popular cars with the tuner, customizer, fast-and-the-furious, pimp-my-ride, whatever you choose to call it crowd. While there aren’t a large number of Integras left on the roads at all anymore, the percentage of these that are in original “stock” condition, without any modifications is even more miniscule.
This 1991 Acura Integra LS 3-door liftback coupe appears to be one of the few outliers. With only 5,891 miles on the ticker, it very well be the most original Acura Integra left out there. Either this car was senior-owned its whole life, or its owner bought it and bubble-wrapped it in 1991 with the intention of making it a time capsule.
A 1991 car with less than 6,000 miles sounds way too good to be true for most cars, let alone an Integra. But a quick glance at its interior reveals an unscathed and unblemished cabin that looks like it just left the factory. Its plush-looking cloth seats and door panels show no signs of wear or fade, nor do any of its interior plastics.
This mid-level LS trim Integra was ordered fairly well-equipped for 1991 standards, with power windows with driver’s one-touch operation, power locks, power moonroof, power mirrors, cassette player, and air conditioning. Could its 4-speed automatic have possibly contributed to its longevity?
Under the hood is a 1.8L inline-4 making 140 horsepower. With numerous hoses and wires, opening the hood of a Honda product from this period can often reveal a visual nightmare. Like the rest of this car, its engine bay looks remarkable clean and inviting.
Shades of green and aqua were very popular in the 1990s. While this Integra’s “Jasper Green Metallic” paint may not be the most attractive hue (I prefer to call it “Minty Fresh Toothpaste”), it’s undeniably more fun and exciting than the grays and silvers of today.
An cool note about this car, is that it was actually sold at the same Acura dealer I bought my TSX from. Claire Acura on Route 1 in Walpole, MA was part of the Claire Family dealer network, which was absorbed into the Prime Motor Group in the mid-2000s. The name may have changed to Prime Acura, but the dealer is largely the same.
Not that it isn’t evident from the mileage, but this Integra hasn’t travel far during its lifetime. It’s for sale only about 45 minutes away in Warwick, RI. Coincidentally, another Acura dealer is located in Warwick.
It’s thoroughly refreshing and unexpected to see an Integra in such unmolested, preserved state. Although it wouldn’t be me first choice in vintage Acura to buy (I still have my heart set on a second generation Legend), if I had $5,000 lying around, I’d certainly be tempted to bite. I think I speak for us all when I say that I hope whoever buys this Integra keeps it in this condition.
Curbside Classic: 1988 Acura Integra LS
I just found an Aug. 17th Craigslist ad priced at $11,999–is that indeed the latest?
($5K sounded like a tempting bargain, to me anyway)
Maybe not the nicest 90-93 Integra on the planet, but probably the nicest liftback that can be found anywhere. It seems like most of the hatches were long ago snapped up by the Too Fast, Too Furious, Too Stupid crowd and subsequently driven into the ground.
You say “unmolested and preserved,” but the disconnected motorized shoulder belts set off red flags in my mind.
Maybe this was done to facilitate unobstructed interior pictures, but maybe the mechanisms failed after 24 years of being slid back and forth on their tracks…the belt motor has seized on every other beater of the early ’90s I’ve seen in the last few years. That alone is reason enough for me to want to avoid the second-generation Integra, and skip to the third.
Those motorized belts are still under warranty (life of the car). Take it to a dealer and they will fix them for free.
No. They wont. I tried and was turned down. Paid 1,000 and had it done by my trusted mechanic. Worth it.
Honda will replace belt motors or seat belts on any of their cars for free.
BTW the 3rd Gen had airbags so it didn’t require the annoying motorized belts.
A lot of people disconnected the motorized and door-mounted belts and just buckled them manually. With the motorized belts, it might just indicate that the original owner and their passengers weren’t very tall. One of the many annoyances of the motorized belts was that the belt would ride high enough to hit shorter people either in the chin or across the throat, so getting in could feel like sitting in a motorized guillotine.
The interior is indeed immaculate, but the black dash clashes badly with the rest of the tan interior. Seats look very comfy but I bet they are set really low. Definitely a car for the Fast & Furious Crowd and not a 50-something guy like me with a creaky back.
I remember that was a very Honda-like color combo (black dash + tan interior) back then. My sister-in-law had a 1992 Accord EX, same deal.
Great lumbar support and seat adjustment for same.
Very nice find, this is pretty much the car I was considering back on those days. (although I preferred the cranberry color)…Those seats have the kind of fabric that I wish were still available today instead of the much more plasticky/nylon looking fabrics that are commonly seen now. Driving it must feel weird, i.e. everything looks and probably feels new-ish but the sound insulation and ride are decidely from a different era than today.
It’s nice to see an Acura Integra that hasn’t been customised to death. I’m not against customs if it’s done in good taste. I’ve seen some nice customised Hondas and Acuras around that actually look quite attractive. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen some Acuras that have had work done on it that look like they shouldn’t have been installed on the car.
Why customize a car that comes perfect from the factory? I have never, ever understood why anyone wants to screw up a perfectly good car.
Some years back I had a neighbor that found a flawless low mileage one owner Integra. I’m sure the Acura dealer charged him a premium for it, but that didn’t stop him from immediately lowering it, fart can exhaust, pumped up sound system, new wheels, etc. I fear the same thing will happen to this car and it will probably be trashed within 2 years. I would love to have this but the time just isn’t right.
Hopefully the price of entry will keep that from happening. The same money could buy a newer, better-performing car if one is interesting in building a “tuner” car. On the other hand, there are enough people who respect these cars and remember them fondly that someone will hopefully buy it for the original condition and keep it that way.
Wow, this brings back memories! My wife’s first new car was a ’91 Integra LS that was almost identical to this one, though thankfully hers was painted black. The interior was exactly the same (the interior shots could just as well be her car on the day we brought it home). It was a great car, and the only thing we did not like about it were the horrible motorized seat belts. These Integras were wonderful, desirable cars from the days when Acura really did offer precision crafted performance.
I share your hope that this car finds a good home and continues to be kept in such amazing condition. I literally haven’t seen one of these, molested or not, in years. This is definitely one of those cars that were so prevalent for years that have all seemingly disappeared completely.
I like this color a lot, then again I was one of the few that liked the sea foam green on the last gen Jaguar X types.
There’s still plenty of these Integras running around on the roads in Florida but there’s equally as many abandoned mod attempts sitting on cragslist in the under $1000 cars and trucks category too. This truly is a prized find!
Talk about the CC effect!
Tuesday morning I fly to Seattle to pick up a senior-owned 1990 Integra LS!
I’m getting the sedan version. It has 114k and has never been serviced anywhere but Acura of Bellevue. The 120k service has already been done, and the cam seals were replaced at the same time. One-owner since new. Cleanest CarFax you ever saw.
Even better than the featured car, the one I’m buying has a proper clutch pedal.
My cost? $2500.
If you’d ever like to share it here please don’t hesitate. We haven’t had a proper CC or COAL article done on this generation Integra yet. I personally like the sedan version of this car better anyway. I’d love to see pictures of it once you pick it up!
Agreed! I’ll always miss my 87.
Anything with that age under 10k miles would set off alarms for me. What happened?
Too bad it’s an automatic — that just seems wrong for this car.
Agreed. First thing I noticed in the interior pictures.
They aren’t bad with the automatic. I recall driving a first generation Integra one belonging to a friend on a long trip while being used to my ’86 GTI that I had at the time. Her car was automatic, the GTI was manual and I definitely recall finding the Acura automatic exceptionally smooth and pleasant to drive.
They weren’t bad and I recall they had a Sport mode which not only altered shift points but with a button let you downshift between 3rd and 4th (yes, essentially an overdrive button).
Actually, the automatic was surprisingly good. When my wife got her Integra, her commute was 40 miles round trip in bumper to bumper traffic. She really wasn’t interested in shifting through that every day. My car at the time was an ’88 Prelude with a manual, so I was predisposed to the stick and was inclined to steer her toward that. But when we drove both a manual and an automatic Integra back to back, the performance difference wasn’t as extreme as you might have expected. She wanted the automatic for convenience, and neither one of us felt like we were giving up more than we were gaining. The Acura automatic was always smooth and effective, and the car was still plenty quick in everyday use.
Thanks for sharing this find, Brendan. If I were to own an older vintage Acura, it would probably be a third generation Integra GS-R (I recent found one on sale near my work place with 53,000 kms (!) on the clock, but struggled with the $12,000 CAD asking price. Alternatively, I’d also consider a second genration Legend coupe with the 6 speed (which is basically impossible to in Canada unfortunately).
Oh, that brings back memories. I used to have a nice, clean, totally stock Integra just like this one, until some idiot ran a light and totaled it at only 62K miles. Mine was a ’90 GS. I loved that car and still miss it sometimes, but it did draw a lot of unwanted attention from riceboys, riceboy haters, thieves and wannabes. Everybody always wanted to buy it, break into it, steal parts off it, assume something about me just because I drove one… I wanted nothing to do with any of this, I just liked the car for what it was. Its popularity helped me recoup some money by parting it out after the accident, but while it was intact, I would have been much happier if Integras didn’t have such a following.
My 90 Integra GS was the best car I have owned, still good looking after 25 years. Mine was white with blue interior, which I wasn’t a fan of at the time but must admit at least it was a color other than tan, gray, or black.
I bought that car in 96 with 30k miles and drove it for 10 years and 100k miles. Across the country and all over the west many times, never missed a beat and only non maintenance repairs were a new radiator and sunroof switch (junkyard replacement).
Odd that someone bought this car and hated it so much they couldnt bear driving it, I wonder what was spilled on the carpets to create those strange fade patterns, anyway nice car shame about the auto trans that would prevent my buying it.
Maybe the faded carpet patterns are a clue to the low mileage. Water-damage at the point of the mileage, and the seller finally figured out how to cover the paper trail?
I attribute the carpet’s appearance to the lot kid making $7.25 doing a sloppy job with the steam cleaner. Half the carpet I see in non-franchise car dealer ads looks like that.
The “how” is certainly a question. I’d be curious to know what happened as well. One possibility is that it was originally bought by someone who for some reason — health, military service, etc. — ended up being unable to drive for a lengthy period of time. If someone just hated it, I can’t imagine they would have kept it this well-preserved (if they kept it at all).
The same horsepower rating as my 2008 Civic!…hauling probably 400 less pounds.
Very neat! Always great to see such a time capsule, essentially brand new but to the standards of back then. Despite the boy racer image, these actually appear to be much more classy than the new ILX. The sedan version looks much longer (on my pc screen anyway, cause we never got this gen Integra here in Europe), wouldn’t there be more to gain with a modern Integra than with the ILX?
Bought a 95 LS Integra in 2011 with 53k from the 2nd owner. Drove the car 60k in just over two years then sold it to a mechanic I was friends with. Last Winter the car was hit in the driver side and totaled. Liked driving the automatic very much and did not miss the stick shift when sitting in traffic around Chicagoland.
Darn, it hasn’t even had its first oil change! At least the mileage is as such, and I’m sure it doesn’t have the original oil in it by now. But the only problem I have is, plastic wheel covers on an Acura? That was an early misstep in my opinion. They do look good, but Acuras should have standard aluminum wheels. Other than that, damn! I wish I had the $5000 to slap down on it, too.
A friend in high school had this car’s doppelganger except for the rear spoiler and the autobox. I was always somewhat envious of that car, as it was everything that mine at the time wasn’t. Also has the distinction of being the first car I experienced 100+ MPH in, although as a passener.
I’m surprised everyone is thinking this car is selling for $5000. That is only the starting bid! This car should sell for at least $10k+, due to the condition and scarcity of it.
I also noticed a lot of comments on the black dashboard. Honda/Acura did that for many years and still do to this day. A lot of manufacturers do that including BMW.
Are you selling this? I have a 1991 LS 1.8 still running except fan starts after drivng