The unspoken style exchange involving the U.S. and Japan has changed to great lengths in the last few years. We Americans have always looked to Japan as our source of tuning inspiration but surprisingly, the partnership between the two countries has become quite reciprocal lately. Currently, you’ll often see American or USDM themed builds pop up in different regions of Japan. Perhaps some Japanese have raised bored with their way of modification and needed a spark to re-ignite that inner fire. We understand how they believe of course, as we’ve always turned to those toWithin a few years, it’s become a huge hit in Japan and contains even spawned a sub-community dedicated strictly to focus on those who want that American look. Think about that when we first discovered the Japanese automotive scene, not only had we not coined the acronym J-D-M , there was no Internet . Today, there are very little secrets left in the global tuning community. Years ago, you might easily identify a particular build’s country of origin just based on specific styling cues. Now it’s a bit harder. We’ve become so good at interpreting one another’s methodologies that you would think that a few of these cars were shipped overseas in a completed state.
You will undoubtedly remember the Sepang Bronze EK cover vehicle from last year’s Honda Issue if you are an avid reader of our publication. Very much like Taku Kusugami’s Civic, this 1998 Integra Type R is heavily influenced by the American Honda scene. In fact, it is possibly the best example of an outsider’s perspective of any U.S. enthusiast-built Honda according to current popular trends and aesthetic cues. It is a combination of a precisely what is modified Honda Americana. One of the some other reasons why we mentioned last year’s Civic cover car is because they both come from the same camp in Japan: Tactical Art, a tuning shop based in the Osaka prefecture.
02 1998 honda integra type r tactical art
06 1998 honda integra type r seibon carbon fiber rear hatch
03 1998 honda integra type r NRG controls
After our first initial meeting using them during our visit to Japan in 2012, we knew we had to go back again this year to discover what was new with them. Their shop space is relatively small by American standards, however, for them, it was actually ample space for them to do whatever they wished to any project vehicle. They generally do everything from basic installs to more labor intensive tasks, like fabricating custom roll cages. Once they told us to stop by to take a look in an Integra Type R that they had recently finished, we were a little taken back by what we saw. Our reaction wasn’t at all negative; it was just completely unexpected. We looked around at their number of Hondas and did not see an ITR–so we thought anyway.
Maybe it’s a testament to their ability to interpret our style but at a glance, you wouldn’t even fathom that the Integra on these pages was an original Type R model. To the casual enthusiast who had little idea this Honda was in Japan, this would merely appear to be an Integra having an ITR front end, right-hand converted, re-sprayed a custom grey on a pair of aggressive 16-inch CCW Classics–and that’s the beauty of the complete concept. It’s that execution of the American style that owner Toshiyuki Yanagi was going for. Diehard Honda fanatics who see the Type R designation with deep religious fervor may cringe at the thought of making an R look un-R like, yet it is of little consequence to Yanagi and Tactical Art. A ’98-spec ITR is far more common to them and while they respect the fact that it is an original Type R, they don’t see heavily modifying them as sacrilege. In Yanagi’s eyes, he just wanted a cool street car to cruise around in–it really happened to benevertheless the entire engine bay has become tucked clean. You’ll find your basic intake and header upgrades but there are no major power-adders to mess with the great balance that this R continues to be known for. A custom Tactical Art exhaust system does little to muffle the loud screams of the B18C as the car blasts along the Osaka Kanjo on any night. Toshiyuki’s Integra looks unrecognizable from the rest of its Type R brethren because it has been repainted a custom gray tone. The factory R decals have been removed during the process and both the hood and rear hatch have been replaced with carbon fiber variants. Seated closely to the massaged wheel wells is some staggered American-made CCW Classics wrapped with stretched Nankang rubber. CNC-milled suspension pieces from Function7 Engineering add rigidity for the chassis and a set of custom Tactical Art dampers help to marry this R on the floor. The interior is completely gutted. Other than a single Bride Zeta III bucket seat, the sole creature comforts that remain are the original dashboard and door panels. Everything else continues to be removed to create room to the custom 21-point rollcage, made in house at Tactical Art.
In our very limited time with the Tactical Art family, we found out that Toshiyuki may be the guy inside their group which is usually on the receiving end of their pranks. They say that he’s this kind of aficionado of the American culture that he even spends plenty of his time on his laptop studying American adult entertainment. Whether that is true or not is none of our business but he takes it all in stride and frequently plays it up. Some might think that he’s a kichi or crazy guy for transforming his R but we praise his efforts. Toshiyuki and also the guys at Tactical Art have taken a plain-Jane Type R and created something very unique to Japan by blending two worlds together.
09 1998 honda integra type r jasma header
10 1998 honda integra type r MFactory oil cap
08 1998 honda integra type r B18C engine
1998 Honda Integra Type R
Owner Toshiyuki Yanagi
Hometown Neyagawa-shi, Osaka, Japan
Occupation Kichi-guy (crazy), loosely translated from kichigai
Engine 1.8L B18C; Password: JDM Power Chamber intake; Mugen exhaust manifold; Tactical Art custom stainless exhaust; Koyo full-size radiator; Rywire radiator overflow tank; MFactory oil cap
Drivetrain OEM S80 w/Helical LSD
Footwork & Chassis Tactical Art Original coilovers (F: 20k/R: 18k); Function7 lower control arms and subframe brace
Brakes OEM ITR front/rear brakes
Wheels & Tires 16×9 5/16×9.5 5 CCW Classic wheels; 215/40R16, 225/40R16 Nankang NS-II tires
Exterior Custom Tactical Art Gray paint; ’96-spec ITR headlights; SMART H.I.D. system; Benen tow hook; Seibon carbon-fiber rear hatch and twin-duct hood
Interior Tactical Art 21-point rollcage; custom Battleship Grey interior paint; Password: JDM carbon-fiber fuel pump cover; custom doors; Bride Zeta III seat; NRG steering wheel and quick-release
Thanks You Tactical Art family; Team Madame; Rywire; Stickydiljoe.com
WWW jhpusa.com; passwordjdm.com; rywire.com; tactical-art.jp