What happens when a self-confessed modified Honda addict buys a DC5 Integra as his daily driver? Spoiler alert: it doesn’t remain his daily for very long at all…
If you haven’t heard of Ben Parker, chances are you probably haven’t got your finger on the pulse of the UK’s pumping Honda tuning scene. Not only does he form one half of the new-yet- already-growing Parker Brothers YouTube channel alongside bro Tom, and has just bought an old school NSX that is guaranteed to allow himself to break the internet once again in the not-so-distant future. But he’s also the face behind the awesome yet undeniably controversial EK9 Civic Type R on hydros we featured in FC a few years ago (yes, that one).
Bit of a VTEC nut, then, you’re no doubt thinking. And you probably won’t be massively surprised to hear that when it came to sourcing a daily driver a couple of years ago, Ben didn’t quite have a run-of-the-mill Ford Mondeo or Škoda Octavia in mind. “I was in between cars,” says our stance-loving owner. “After looking around for a bit, I couldn’t help notice that no one had put air suspension on a DC5 in the country yet, and instantly thought, ‘Well, someone’s gotta do it…’”
Stancing one of Honda’s newer-shape Integra coupes, a car equally renowned for its driving dynamics as the aforementioned EK9 Civic, was sure to not only look badass, but cause just as much of a stir as any of Ben’s previous projects. Luckily, the haters would be spared too much ammunition when Ben softened the blow by choosing to import over a Type S example, rather than a beloved Type R.
“I was looking for a comfortable cruiser and the hubs also sit in a lot further on the Type S, so it was a no-brainer really,” he says, explaining how the slightly less rampant version of the DC5 fitted his wide wheel craving while conveniently saving him a bit of cash in the process.
The gorgeous face-lifted ’04 car came in with pristine grey paintwork, along with the plush interior and slightly more cruising- orientated version of the K20 motor that Ben was looking for. The plan was simply to add Ben’s favourite and proven suspension combination of AirREX struts and Air Lift Performance management into the equation to offer some serious lows before anyone else decided to do it, whilst retaining that quality ride for his everyday duties. After all, this wasn’t ever going to be a show-winner, just a runaround car that proved a point, right?
“Next thing I know, I’ve bought a Honda S-MX MPV to do my daily duties and the Integra is off the road while I save up for some show wheels!” Ben quickly confirms what everyone probably predicted from the start. Looking fantastic with a lowered ride height, Ben soon ordered up some stunning Enkei rims in an arch-filling 18-inches of diameter and a whopping 10.5-inches of width out back.
“Try going that wide on a Type R!” he laughs, pleased with his fitment-friendly Type S choice. And we can see why, as the car now sits beautifully, retaining that purposeful aggression, just with a hell of a lot more negative camber than when standard, and looking drop-dead gorgeous against that relatively unusual paintwork.
You’ve probably worked out by now that our protagonist here isn’t someone who does things by halves, preferring to use the ‘good things comes to those who wait’ motto and exercising a little patience before buying the very best bits money can buy.
This motive extends to the small yet top-quality exterior details that help set off those de-spoilered lines. Parts like that incredibly rare A-Spec front bumper, that adds aggression while retaining subtlety like perhaps no other part of its kind could. And the Subaru front splitter that resulted from a particularly impressive brainwave from Ben as he was mapping out the car’s modification path.
Now that he somewhat unintentionally had a genuinely formidable show car on his hands, Ben was planning to use it to do another thing he does best: take it to as many shows as possible. On their YouTube channel, the Parker brothers take great delight in sharing their experiences at the many shows they immerse themselves in throughout the year, often turning them into a proper road trip and heading well out into mainland Europe to show off their rides to a new audience.
“I got invited to Ahoy Tuning in Rotterdam in 2015 in the car,” a gleeful Ben proudly explains. “I also used to use it to travel the country for work. It was completely drivable and economical. You forget it’s anything special until you see people hanging out of the window of the car alongside you trying to get a picture!”
In a sea of Championship-white track- focused DC5s, Ben’s dared to swim against the tide and create something that looks wholly badass. His familiarity with the stance scene and daringness to keep things fresh have meant that even though the mods list isn’t as long as many cars’, he’s created something that’s evidently capable of not only turning up at shows, but shutting them down.
What’s next? He’s just bought some very special wheels for his NSX, so we’ll doubtless be seeing more of that one soon, too…
TECH SPEC: HONDA INTEGRA DC5
2.0-litre K20A3 VTEC engine.
Five-speed manual gearbox.
9.5×18 ET27 (front) and 10.5×18 ET30 (rear) Enkei NT03+M wheels; AirREX air suspension system with Air Lift Performance AutoPilot V2 management system; custom track rod ends.
A-Spec front lip; Subaru Impreza front splitter; rear wiper bung delete; Bolts Bolts flip numberplate.
Standard Integra Type S interior.
Jace, for all the support and help he gives me with my cars and projects.
Words Jack Davidson Photos Jimi Lee