The Chronicles© – No Equal Since 2008 |

There Is No Rival, Because There Is No Equal.

…and then there was one…

There’s no doubt that there were a number of great Honda builds in 2011… The last two days we’ve taken a look at 9 (10 with the tie) of what I felt were the best of the best in 2011, but in the end there can only be one. One Honda build that stood above the rest of the pack, well-rounded in every way and built for purpose as well as with the owner’s idea of functionality in mind…

With the number one selection in The Chronicles Top Ten Hondas of 2011, selects….

1. Gil Salazar’s 2001 Acura Integra Type R…

Why it made the list: If there is one particular Honda that should have been on the 2010 Top Ten Honda list last year, it would be Gil Salazar and his 2000 Acura ITR. The car came out of nowhere and simply amazed a lot of his fellow enthusiasts. Everyone that knew of Gil knew that he could build a Honda and he had been doing so for many years now. You may remember he once had a white Integra as well and that car was also one of the better built Hondas of the early-mid 2000s alongside his younger brother’s red EG. His black ITR though, was definitely his best work yet. It not only had all the right parts on it, he also had a K20 that produced very good numbers, and the amount of custom fabrication that was done to his ITR was one of the key factors that set it apart from the rest of the crowd. He didn’t make the cut that year because of the fact that we didn’t see enough of the car….He is a businessman as well as a family man, so those two limiting factors took much of his time away from his ITR, but the main reason why we didn’t see enough of his car was because it was down for much of last year. He had all kinds of issues with it that prevented it from running correctly. There were issues with the motor while they were tuning it, I believe his transmission took a shit at one point, and when it came time for him to participate at last year’s Super Street FF Battle 2, he didn’t even get a chance to make a complete pass because there were electrical issues with the car….

All of the bullshit that he had to deal with was enough to bring down any enthusiast. You can only experience so many issues until you just lose faith in your car. It didn’t mean that his build wasn’t good or anything, it was absolutely stunning….there were just too many issues with it for it to qualify for last year’s list. That and there were all kinds of amazing Hondas last year. I didn’t want to remove someone on the list to place Gil’s ITR in there, when at that time, it wasn’t running at 100%. I honestly didn’t know what would become of the car. His feature in Honda Tuning came out and as you can see from the photos, it looked great. I just wasn’t sure what Gil had planned for it in 2011, but I did leave the window open for him to see if he was willing to get this thing up and running and active during the year…

Where Sheepey and him have faced similar hardships with their builds, i.e. mechanical failure, engine issues, etc., Gil Salazar has proven that he has faced adversity and persevered. In 2011, his ITR was running better than ever. There were still minor things here and there, but every enthusiast faces those issues. He just had to get this thing running, everything else was perfect just the way it was…

I would have liked for it to have shown up to more events last year, but considering the limited amount of time that he had between business operations at Circuit Hero and being a father and husband, he did what he could. He was never much of a car show type of guy either, so it was equally understandable as to why he split his time from doing events like the SEMA show and the annual Eibach Honda meet, and made time to get some testing down at the track as well as competing in the 2011 Super Street FF Battle 3 event…

As far as influence within the community goes, it’s very easy to see how Gil’s ITR made an impact. Anh from ATS Garage has a lot of similar modifications as far as custom fabrication goes because the work on Gil’s ITR served as his inspiration. He has used this car to help him promote the Circuit Hero brand name and now you see all kinds of different builds in our vast community utilizing Circuit Hero products. When he hooked up with ASC Speed Metal, his ITR and his brother’s EG had all kinds of custom fab work and it really opened the eyes of the community to what ASC was capable of doing. They’ve been working closely together ever since and you will see more and more amazing work coming from those guys in the coming years…

When it comes to a functional, well-rounded Honda build, it just doesn’t get any better than this. The K20A motor makes over 250hp, everything that was added to the ITR serves a purpose, and it doesn’t hurt that it has a stylish, menacing, almost evil appearance. We always came to know Gil as a guy who likes his cars to be more understated, simple…this car, is definitely not “subtle” by any means. It has a sort of presence about it that can’t be ignored….

It earns the number one spot on the 2011 Top Ten Hondas list because it encompasses everything that I’m looking for in a Honda build. It doesn’t have to be a monster and make crazy amounts of horsepower and it doesn’t necessarily have to have every rare or expensive Japanese aftermarket product on it. Gil’s ITR is just very well-rounded. He built the car for himself, he had some very unique ideas for it to help it stand-out, and he is a competitive guy and likes to take his car out every now and then for a thrashing. It’s not the fastest ITR on the track, nor does it have to be. The guy built, and drives his own car and that’s what counts. I also love how he was able to work closely with a custom fabrication shop like ASC and really made his car look distinctly different from other Hondas…

There were some moments leading up to the final decision where I might have put another car above Gil’s in the Top Ten but I always went back to giving him the top spot. He’s done everything right, I believe, to earn this position. The fact that he was able to look past all the lingering issues he had with his car and finished what he started is why he’s number one in 2011…

For those of you who don’t have a Facebook account, I recently used The Chronicles FB page to ask what many of you thought would be the number one car of 2011. There were some good cars in there, but guys like Cooper Boudia with the red DC2 and Bisi Ezerioha’s 2012 Civic Si just don’t qualify for this position because they came out so late in the year. Bisi’s didn’t debut until a couple months ago, and Cooper will admit himself that he just recently got his car to the point where he was satisfied with it and didn’t bring it out until the end of the year. Gil Salazar has had his ITR in this state, for over a year now and his build deserves all the credit and recognition in the world….Like I said before, all the Hondas on this list were just about even across the board this year. They were all great in their own way, but there were obvious reasons why they were positioned in this way. I took into consideration everything that this builds had to offer and having Gil at the number one spot just felt right. Everyone seemed to be pretty happy with the selections from 10-2 and I hope you guys see where I am coming from when I say that Gil Salazar’s Acura Integra Type R is the number one Honda on the 2011 Top Ten….

If you want to read more about Gil’s ITR, click here to check out his feature in Honda Tuning magazine….

Congratulations all around…. I look forward to what 2012 has to offer. From what I’ve seen so far, this year might be the most interesting one yet…

Thanks for looking….


18 thoughts on “The Chronicles Top Ten Hondas of 2011…#1…

  1. Brother's EK says:

    Nice top 10 Congrats to All Guys !!!!

  2. Ryan Der says:

    Awesome!! I completely agree with your pick for #1, I absolutely love this car..

    CongrATS Gil!!

  3. kevin truong says:

    I guessed it right Joey!

  4. BonB says:

    Congrats! Inspiration frm all those that have made it! Keep it up guys!

  5. Om1kron says:

    congrats Gil, well deserved buddy!

  6. Phil Robles says:

    Great choice for # 1!! Gil’s car is legendary!

  7. Congrats! I love this DC2!

  8. rzarecta says:

    Well deserved , the car is a mater piece …

  9. rzarecta says:

    Master Piece ! Joey , please make an edit option in the comments section! =D

  10. TRD says:

    a real murdered out car right here great pick for number 1

  11. Joey tjis is a great selection of best Hondas and the number one it’s not the exception

    Congrats to Gil …amazing machine…

  12. mauroe says:

    Chingon As Hell !!!!!

  13. RdS says:

    long time reader, first time commenter…
    ..but had to say really great work on the top 10 article(s). lots of thought and effort into something like this.

  14. felipe says:

    congrats gil! top 10 builds FTW!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s