Integra Type R’s JUN Crate Engine And Rare JDM Parts Shine On Camera

Photography: Viet “N” Nguyen

  • Alex Alfaro’s 1997 Acura Integra Type R won the inaugural SEMA Show Car Contest with ENEOS, which granted him a VIP booth space inside the Pit+Paddock booth.
  • The DC2 is highlighted by the rarest JDM parts, including a JUN B18C crate engine, Mugen Power lip kit and steering wheel, and TODA Racing ITBs.
  • Upon winning the contest, Pit+Paddock staff coordinated a high-profile poster photoshoot with photographer Viet “V” Nguyen.
  • Four limited-edition giveaway poster images were printed and awarded to select Pit+Paddock Instagram followers.

Foreword by Sam Du: It’s hard to believe that the 2022 SEMA Show was already two months ago. Time flies, especially during the holidays, but when it came to wrap up our first-ever SEMA Show Car Contest with ENEOS, there was still some unfinished business…

Alex Alfaro’s 1997 Acura Integra Type R beat out more than 50 solid entries, which won him the grand prize of a VIP display space inside the Pit+Paddock booth and an all-expenses paid trip to meet us at the SEMA Show. To celebrate the prized ITR even further, we coordinated a photoshoot so fans worldwide could further appreciate the build and also have an opportunity to win a limited edition poster. There was no photographer better to take on the large task than Viet “V” Nguyen, the man responsible for shooting the first Pit+Paddock poster of Jonny Grunwald’s Mazda RX-7.

With less than a week between the contest announcement and Alex having to transport his DC2 to Las Vegas, V met us in the Petersen Automotive Museum parking structure after our pop-up Cars+Coffee event. We’ve all taken photos inside a parking garage, and they can often look pretty damn boring; however, V busted out his strobes and magically composed these stunning posters by piecing together multiple image layers. Printed on high-quality 18×24-inch Canon matte paper, we held onto the posters until the gift-giving season. Out of more than 1,200 entries on Instagram, three (#1, #2, #3) were the lucky recipients of this coveted set.

We’d like to congratulate the winners once more, thank our partner ENEOS, and express our gratitude to Alex for making the inaugural SEMA Show Car Contest one of the biggest highlights of 2022.

Jonathan Wong: Adding a little dimension to our SEMA Show experience this year, we partnered with ENEOS to create a contest. The lucky winner received a feature vehicle spot alongside other builds from our brand ambassadors and industry partners. Through our social media channels, Alex Alfaro’s DC2 Integra Type R — one that’s modified with some of the rarest parts in existence — was unanimously selected by public vote.

The Southern California resident purchased his Type R from Canada in 2014 and imported it into the U.S., where Alfaro began to transform it into the ultimate JDM sports car. First, it was stripped down to have the chassis restored by Auto Explosion in Gardena, CA. After that, 427 Garage powder coated the suspension components and secured each with new hardware and Mugen bushings and mounts.

But the heart and soul of this Type R is a special story: Alfaro originally spoke with the founder of JUN Auto Mechanic, Junichi Tanaka, a few years back about acquiring a B-series for the ITR. He was met with hesitation since finding a good base motor was difficult. Tanaka’s unfortunate passing in 2019 added a layer of complexity to sourcing a JUN engine. Luckily, Alfaro connected with Kei Tanaka, Junichi’s son, who was able to revisit negotiations and resume completion of the engine — coincidentally a ‘97-spec motor to match Alfaro’s chassis year — in honor of his late father. Alfaro now has the distinct honor of owning the last JUN Auto B18C-R crate engine to leave the famous Saitama tuning shop.

Debuting with the JUN engine at Wekfest LA, Alfaro’s setup set the Internet ablaze and clearly caught our attention when he submitted his ITR as a candidate for our SEMA Show Car Contest. At the time, it sported an extremely rare set of forged 16-inch Work WAE wheels, something that hadn’t been seen since the early 2000s. These holy grail caliber wheels were used strictly for circuit racing; typically, they are seen in 17-inch variations — the last known 16-inch variant was used on a Spoon Sports-campaigned endurance S2000 in 2002.

At the SEMA Show, however, Alfaro broke out a rarer set of wheels: brand new +Sure MD5s, the original manufacturer involved in designing the Mugen M7 concept (he also owns a set of MD7s, which are basically the original M7 face without the Mugen logo). The MD5s, however, are a five-spoke utilizing the same M7/MD7 barrel with stainless hardware (a close look at the barrel edge reveals the M7 design).

Alfaro’s attention to detail helped him create a JDM masterpiece and become the ideal candidate to represent Pit+Paddock and ENEOS at the 2022 SEMA Show!

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