When you’re looking for an affordable platform to build upon, nothing beats a Honda. With high-revving four-cylinder naturally-aspirated engines, they’re excessively reliable, and there’s nothing more entertaining than mashing the throttle, and enjoying the audible crack of a VTEC engine and taking it to the rev-limiter, which is usually well in excess of 8000rpm. Such traits would bring Elliot Osborne, a 26-year old New Zealander, into owning another. Elliot’s Honda lineage didn’t start there though, nor did his motorsport background or vehicle building skills. Rather for Elliot, this project has been an accumulation of a life-long passion for racing surrounded by family.
“When I was younger as far back as age two, my father Jeff and a couple of his friends decided to buy a kart and take up kartsport as a bit of fun. After a year or so of karting, dad decided to buy a TQ midget and compete at Western Springs Speedway,” Elliot continues, “By this point, my older brother Mitch turned five, and dad got him into kartsport in what is now a vintage, but back then a ‘midget’. A vital decision by Jeff would spiral his two sons into a lifelong passion of racing, Elliot told us, “It became hard to juggle both himself and Mitch in a kart and then speedway, so dad stepped out of the kart and focused on running Mitch for the day then himself at night.”
At the very green age of four and a half, Elliot was thrown onto the tarmac in Mitch’s over-sized karting gear and kart, which only lasted a very stressful half lap, before the helmet fell down over his hard-focussing vision, resulting in a, “...very bent kart and one very unhappy Elliot,” he told us. After having another crack at eight years old in a much faster kart raced by Mitch, Elliot decided racing wasn’t for him and took up ice hockey instead. Successfully too, having represented New Zealand multiple times. Fast forward another five years, and Elliot gave it one last crack with a new-found confidence for speed and soon dominated local racing circles, getting some impressive results.
After modifying an EK Civic, which Elliot tells us turned out rough due to his lack of building skills early on, he settled on a Nissan Silvia S14, which he molded into one of the cleanest street/track examples we’ve seen to date. It also managed to net a feature in New Zealand’s one and only NZ Performance Car magazine. True reliability and NA-purity was calling though, and Elliot sold up his impeccable S-chassis build in the hope to resurrect his Honda ties.
“I was looking for something cheap and nasty I could hate fuck and not care what happened to it. That progressed into something that had a Type R B18CR engine in it, to save me a potential engine swap,” Elliot told us. A cheeky Facebook Honda buy/swap/sell page hunt later and he stumbled upon a DC2 Type R for a fair price, with some essential track day goodies already fitted.
Unfortunately, this newly-acquired state didn’t last long, as a rapid two weeks later it was stripped in the garage awaiting a roll cage. With that complete, Elliot was unhappy with its sorry and somewhat manky state, so took it into his place of work to receive a professional going over.
The result is something quite astonishing. From afar, you’ll see a bog-standard Championship white DC2R, but up close, well, it’s on its own level of clean. Inside and out, you could literally eat your baked potato off it. And, the addition of a custom front-splitter which provides a platform for much-needed additions such as the brake ducting, and side skirt extensions and a rear diffuser aid in the race car look, without screaming it out.
The only area that hasn’t received a new coating of Honda’s famous white, is the engine bay, as Elliot explains, “With 215,000kms on the engine, I am simply waiting for it to retire. When it does, I’ll pull the engine, and look into my options there.” We feel as though he’ll be waiting sometime though, as the 135.8kW at the wheels B18CR is running extremely strong, with the addition of 98-spec DC2R heat-wrapped headers, a carbon fibre intake, a baffled sump, and a custom tune utilising an OBD1 conversion loom and Neptune ECU software.
With a well-sorted and reliable engine package, Elliot sold the already-fitted Bilstein shock and spring combo, and Prelude two-piston brake kit to be replaced by a much beefier setup. Wilwood Superlite four-piston calipers bite down hard with Hawk race pads into matching Hawk 310mm two-piece front rotors. The shocks, replaced with K-Sport Version RR racing coilover units.
Inside the cabin, Elliot’s only creature comforts are the limited edition Buddy Club seats, as AC, power steering, and ABS have been removed for a mechanically pure driving experience. “What I have learned over the years is you can’t have the best of both worlds; race cars are horrid road cars and road cars are terrible race cars. So, if you want to do one properly then take your pick,” Elliot continues, “I built this car to remain for the most part road legal, but also to compete in the production race series and endurance events. With endurance racing, keeping everything cool is the most important aspect to me, so the oil cooler, large radiator, big brakes, and ducting along with the baffled sump tick all the boxes to keep me out there.”
It’s incredible what Elliot has achieved with his Integra this year. It’s gone from a well-worn track day thrasher to an Integra people crowd around when it leaves the shed thanks to Elliot’s fastidious nature. Even before the shoot, Elliot ensured the Integra was show-clean.
With numerous test days out of the way, Elliot is dead-set on laying down some respectable lap times in his streeter, so we’ll keep you posted. Elliot’s build is proof you can build something competitive right at home in the shed with the right know how and passion — nice work mate!
- Vehicle: 1996 Honda Integra Type R (DC2)
- Engine: B18CR, carbom fibre intake, 98-spec DC2R headers, alloy radiator, baffled sump, OBD1 ECU conversion, Neptune ECU, Thermostatic oil plate, oil cooler, AdrenalineR resonator, 2.5-inch exhaust system
- Driveline: S4C gearbox, M Factory 4.9 final drive, rebuilt axles, billet engine mounts
- Braking: (F) Wilwood Superlite four-piston front calipers, Hawk race pads, Hawk 310mm two-piece front rotors, MRP aluminium rotor hats (R) ZNoelli rotors, Znoelli high-temp pads, Motul fluid throughout
- Suspension: K Sport Version RR coilovers, Ultra Racing strut braces, rear camber arms, Blox front camber arms, Skunk2 rear lower control arms
- Wheels and Tyres: Street: 17x8-inch Wedsport TC005 wheels wrapped in Nankang semis (track) 17x8-inch Koya SF02 wrapped in Hankook slicks
- Body: J’s Racing bumper ducts, front splitter, 98-spec rear bumper, rear end caps, optioned side skirts, gurney flap, roof visor
- Interior: Sequential 16-LED shift light, Buddy Club P1 limited edition seats, A’PEXi RSM, Nolathane shifter bushes
- Performance: 138.5kW at the wheels