Merry Shednesday. Where do you stand on rust? Car killer and avoid at all costs, or an inevitable part of older car ownership?
Having watched far too many car shows, including the excellent Flipping Bangers, I used to think rust was a doddle to fix. However, after attending a welding course in preparation for a possible rusty purchase, I discovered that welding is actually quite hard and all the kit can get very expensive.
I also learned that welding car bodywork means you have to be capable of welding very thin metal. Something that is tricky and requires a high level of competence if you are to avoid making holes in your car.
Where am I going with this? Well this week’s offering needs a ‘spot’ of rust repair and some other bodywork, in addition to a V5, an MOT and the fullest of services.
What can be worth all this fuss? Well the car has a large rarity factor, being the only one, or one of two, in the UK (if my interpretation of How Many Left is correct). So whether you choose to restore, restomod or modify it, you’re unlikely to drive past another Integra of this vintage.
So what is this unicorn?
It’s a 1986 Honda Integra. Firstly, it’s not a coupe. So forget the sporty associations that spring to mind when hearing “Integra”. In fact, in Australia it wasn’t even a Honda Integra, but badged as the Rover 416i.
Connotations aside, this still has some coolness. It has working pop-up lights (the best kind of lights), angular styling and carburettors. However it’s only a 1.5-litre and has an auto box.
The auto box is probably the most trick thing on it. It has manual windows, no central locking, no air-con and unpainted bumpers. While that may seem poverty spec to some; to me it’s charming in a basic and functional sense. It means there is less to go wrong and no air-con saves weight. A real contrast to last week’s high tech Laguna and more modern cars.
The Honda Integra must have looked otherworldly in 1986. Although pop-up headlights were very much Honda’s thing at the time, the Integra offered something strikingly different to the man who may have been considering a Vauxhall Cavalier, Austin Maestro or Nissan Bluebird.
It managed to pull off that trick of looking fast, even when it was stood still. A kind of Prelude for the family man. In reality, it was a case of smoke and mirrors, because the 1.5-litre engine lacked the punch to go with the Integra’s undoubted style. The canny Integra buyer waited for the arrival of the CRX-sourced 1.5-litre 16-valve engine.
Ben has excelled himself with this week’s Shednesday. There’s only one problem with buying a cooking Honda Integra: you’ll be forever explaining that it’s not a Type R.
Main image courtesy of Charles01/Wikipedia.