Six months ago, I made a purchase decision that many thought was a massive mistake. I bought the cheapest Acura NSX with a clean title and a manual transmission available for sale in the USA. After getting a loan to cover the $31,375 purchase price, I spent another $1,000 to ship the car cross-country — and it arrived a total mess. Sorting out all the problems was quite a journey, but now that it’s done, I’ve been enjoying the car immensely.
The previous owner of my NSX treated it like a 1992 Honda Civic, and never bothered to fix a single problem before trade-dumping it at a dealership. The scariest issue was the horrible suspension alignment, along with no record of a timing-belt service — but there were tons of other little problems. Being a Honda, this wasn’t the end of the world, as it only cost around $2,500 to fix everything. Where I really went overboard was spending more than $6,000 to sort out the cosmetic issues with the interior in order to give the NSX my own personal touch. Of course, many people hated my styling choices and wished I had brought things back to stock — but I haven’t regretted the changes for an instant.
After spending this much on my Honda, it was time to start my honeymoon period of ownership … but that never happened. The first issue came right after the initial big round of repairs. I was eager to have the NSX detailed after it was trashed from being transported across the country through a blizzard, since the sand, salt and grime from the treated roads had found its way into everything. After picking up the car, I noticed it wasn’t running properly, and I was worried the new timing belt had jumped a tooth. I quickly returned to my mechanic and we figured out the real issue: The detailer had soaked a few coils, causing the engine to misfire. Thankfully, this was an easy fix.
The next issue came just as I was leaving for a track day with the NSX. As I was merging onto the interstate, the engine stalled violently and seemed to lock up. I quickly realized it was not the engine but rather the AC compressor that had seized, and was able to complete my journey without a problem — but I managed to do more damage at the track.
In my first round of repairs, one of the major issues to fix involved the ABS system, which was going nuts. Rather than spend a lot of money replacing the ABS pump and computer, I chose to bypass it, figuring I was a good enough driver to not need ABS. My assumption was proved wrong when I locked up the brakes on the track and went flying off course. Other than my ego, the only thing I damaged were the tires, which were severely flat-spotted.
The tires were aged and mismatched anyway, and ruining them finally prompted me to buy a new set. With tires added to the AC system replacement and a new set of coils, I’ve spent an additional $1,500 on the NSX after the initial sorting, bringing my total investment to almost $43,000.
Unfortunately, NSX prices are not rapidly appreciating like I expected to see over these past 6 months — and I imagine $40,000 is all mine is worth. This means if I do decide to sell at the 1-year mark, I will lose thousands, but I find myself not even wanting to entertain the notion of letting this one go.
My 1999 Porsche 911 has always been my favorite, but when its engine died a few months back after 248,000 glorious miles, I started driving the NSX a lot more. The handling and gearbox totally live up to the hype that’s surrounded the NSX for over 25 years. Couple that with the great driver’s visibility and practicality, and this supercar regularly leaves me awestruck.
I’ve been toying with the idea of adding another depreciated supercar to the fleet, but having the NSX as my first supercar has probably ruined all the others for me. It’s going to be hard to stomach the higher cost of entry and maintenance costs of anything comparable. As much as I enjoy my wallet taking a beating with my hooptie fleet, I have never subjected myself to the next level: an abusive relationship with an Italian car.
In a rare feat of self-restraint, I have managed not to buy car for myself in nearly three months, and have even sold a few of my cars. Those who know me might be concerned by this information, but this change of behavior comes from the feeling of contentment I have with my current fleet, and the NSX is a big contributor. Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll fall off the wagon soon enough — in spectacular fashion. Find a 1992 Acura NSX for sale
Tyler Hoover went broke after 10 years in the car business and now sells hamburgers to support his fleet of needy cars. He lives in Wichita, Kansas.