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Car Tales: Best In Show, Honda Acura NSX

‘The best sports car ever built’ trumpeted Motor Trend magazine at the time of the 1990 launch of the Honda or Acura NSX, a very fine early example of which we presently have here in the showroom at Beverly Hills Car Club.
1991 Acura NSX for sale
‘With beautifully sculpted engineering and a flawless performance, the Honda Acura NSX, a 2-seater, mid-engine sports supercar manufactured by Honda in Japan from 1990 to 2005, was an immediate legend, the welcome commercial consequence of Honda’s Formula 1 success: the Japanese car firm had provided the McLaren Formula One team with its sophisticated turbo engines during the late 1980s.

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‘The Acura’s RA 168E powerplant had been the heart of the legendary MP4/4 racer, which powered Ayrton Senna, the great Brazilian racing driver, to the first of his 3 F1 World Drivers’ Championships. And Senna would become a part of the genesis of the Acura NSX, which would hit a fraction below 150 mph and do 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds.
1991 Acura NSX side view
‘Nowadays it is hard to appreciate just how much an enormous leap forward this was for a Japanese company whose cars were derided when they first appeared outside of Japan in the 1960s. By the 1980s however, an appreciation of a supremacy of Japanese design and aesthetics was felt globally And Japan had become a booming economic powerhouse.
‘Reflecting such a reassessment, Honda/Acura was aggressive in setting a benchmark for the NSX: the plan was to outdate the Ferrari 348 – the 348 that had replaced the 328 in 1989 and remained in production until 1995, the final model under the direction of Enzo Ferrari before his death, posthumously commissioned.
‘The NSX design team was led by Chief Designer Masahito Nakano and Chief Engineer Shigeru Uehara. The pair initiated the Acura NSX’s advanced aerodynamics and styling, the supercar’s interior inspired by the cockpit of an F-16 fighter jet, with 312 degrees of visibility – an NSX has very few blind spots.
1991 Acura NSX rear view
‘As though Honda was taking out an insurance policy on its rocket-ride to greatness, final magic was sprinkled onto the supercar by that Formula One giant Ayrton Senna; he was called in by Honda to help with the handling and dynamics of the new vehicle, fine-tuning the chassis.
‘At the moment at Beverly Hills Car Club we have a very early Acura NSX, a low mileage 1991 model – a mere 1,940 of that year’s model was sold in the USA – with only 8,762 miles on the odometer and finished in its factory color scheme of red combined with a black interior. Our 1991 Acura NSX is equipped with a four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission, 3.0 liter DOHC V6 engine, four-wheel disc brakes, dual exhaust, climate control, cruise control, 4-way power seats, power mirrors, power windows, leather-trimmed seats, driver’s side airbag (SRS), with tilt/telescopic steering column, retractable projector-beam halogen headlights, rear spoiler with LED stop light, NSX branded floor mats, forged aluminum alloy wheels with BFGoodrich tires, tool kit, jack, and spare tire.
1991 Acura NSX interior
‘Amenities include a Bose acoustically-tuned music system with AM/FM stereo, courtesy lights, power locks, and sun visors with a vanity mirror on the passenger side. It also comes with the owner’s manual booklet, warranty booklet, clean Carfax report, copy of the window sticker, and service receipt from August 2008 through July 2019.
‘This eye-catching two-seater Japanese low-mileage collector car is in great shape, looking like it is brand new, and is also mechanically sound.
‘Not only did the Acura have a visionary look, but the supercar was constructed with exotic materials: the car had an all-aluminum structural skin and engine; the engine was the first of its kind with titanium connecting rods and forged pistons. The frame and suspension were alloy as well, hence the car being relatively lightweight.
1991 Acura NSX engine
‘And the engine was a 3.0-liter V-6, with not only the titanium connecting rods but also dual overhead cams driven by what is now known as VTEC (Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control), a type of valve-timing developed by Honda, essentially allowing more air into the cylinder at higher engine speeds.
‘Nowadays VTEC is commonplace, but it was not when the Acura was developed. In fact, the Acura NSX was the first time VTEC had been used for a high-performance application. It was also the first Honda engine with more than four cylinders to use VTEC.
‘What you would expect really, from ‘the best sports car ever built.’
-Alex Manos, Owner
1st gen Acura NSX buyer Alex Manos

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