Civilized Supercar: 43k Mile 1991 Acura NSX

For decades, the world of the mid-engined sports car had been dominated by Italian manufacturers such as Ferrari and Lamborghini. Honda looked at that market segment, decided that they wanted a piece of it, so set about creating a car that was a game-changer in the segment. The initial target was to meet or exceed the performance benchmarks set by the Ferrari 328, but in a package that was more refined, and easier to maintain. Honda was able to achieve these stated aims, but in the 18-years that the car was offered for sale in the USA, they were only able to sell 9,000 cars. This was a long way short of their own expectations. This particular NSX was built in 1991, which was the model’s most successful year (1,940 cars sold), and appears to be in very good condition. It is located in Holliston, Massachusetts, and is listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set a BIN price of $55,500 for the NSX.

The NSX set new standards in a number of areas, not the least of which was production materials. It was the first mass-produced vehicle to be constructed with an all-aluminum body, which helped to provide the car with both low weight and incredible torsional rigidity. It also meant that rust is not an issue with an NSX. As with the Ferrari, I’ve always felt that an NSX presents at its best when finished in red, and the Formula Red and Black combination of this car looks first-rate. The owner says that apart from a repaint of the bumpers, all of the paint is original. Looking through the photos, it’s pretty hard to find any fault with the panels or paint, while the glass and trim also look good. The only non-standard items are the wheels, which are from a 1994 model NSX. However, the original wheels are included with the car.

The interior of the NSX presents very nicely for a 28-year-old car with 43,000 miles on the clock. The original factory stereo has been replaced by an aftermarket touch-screen unit, but the rest of the interior looks to be original. The leather upholstery looks good, while the rest of the trim appears to be in first-class condition. Apart from performance, it was in the area of creature comforts that Honda intended to match or beat its Ferrari competition. As a result, the NSX was fitted with power windows, power locks, cruise control, and air conditioning. These additions set Ferrari back on their heals, as they discovered that there were buyers who craved both performance and comfort. The impact was profound throughout the supercar world, and it was this combination of performance and comfort that eventually spawned cars such as the Audi R8 and the McLaren MP4-12C.

With the exception of the products produced by Porsche, the majority of the supercar world is populated by mid-engined cars, as these have the ability to provide perfect weight distribution. The NSX is no exception, but rather than follow the path towards a V8, Honda engineers produced an incredible V6 that proved to be a match for the V8 unit in the Ferrari 328. The all-aluminum 2,977cc engine that found its way into the NSX produces 276hp, some 16hp more than the Ferrari. In addition, with a marginally lower weight, Honda was just able to achieve their stated aims of providing superior performance and acceleration when compared to the 328. The engine in this NSX drives through the standard 5-speed manual transmission (an automatic transmission wasn’t introduced until 1994). The only deviation from standard is the fitment of a stainless steel exhaust system. The owner also says that the timing belt and water pump were replaced in 2016.

To delve below the surface of the NSX is to discover some incredible engineering. As well as the extensive use of aluminum throughout the vehicle, it is the idea of using titanium connecting rods that makes you realize just how focused the company was on being able to combine light vehicle weight with bullet-proof mechanical strength. The NSX was not the sales success that Honda had hoped for, but this lack of success has contributed to the relative rarity of the vehicle, and should ensure that this car will become a future classic. That should make it worth consideration for any collector.

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Comments

  1. Jay E.

    Fantastic car. Loved mine. Melodious exhaust tone. Best color combination. Probably worth the price. Still turns heads.

    Like 9
  2. Nevadahalfrack Nevadahalfrack Member

    Tough choice here-buy the stunning NSX or the Buick Regal/“GNX” with the HIDEOUS 25” chrome wheels!?? Different tastes I suppose but WOW that’s ugly-even for an overweight underpowered American car from that age!
    Decent price for an NSX this clean! What’s the SuperLotto at right now??

    Like 6
  3. Comet

    Acura/Honda engineering, refinement and dependability. Ferrari level performance. Timeless design. An exotic you could drive daily. These cars were ahead of their time. A future classic indeed.

    Like 11
  4. TimM

    I guess I’m asking are they really worth that kind of money??? I’m not big into Honda

    Like 2
    • David J Dave J

      TimM: Yes, they are worth that kind of money, especially with super low miles, like this one. I bought one ~5 years ago for a fair price, and I’ve been watching the prices escalate since then.

      The only bummer I see with this specimen is that the original center console has been replaced with an aftermarket one, to accommodate a double din, aftermarket stereo and/or navigation device. Collectors do not like this, so it might hurt the value. Replacing the center console with OEM, including the “Bose” radio and its components, can be an expensive, daunting task. The wheels are not an issue, as the the 7 spoke NSX alloys are considered desirable. This is especially true, considering the original “fat five” wheels come with the car.

      I’m guessing that this is a $47,000-$52,000 car, assuming the best regarding condition. With NSX prices going up, I would not be surprised to see this one hit the asking price, though.

      Like 4
      • Miguel

        Dave, this car doesn’t have super low miles.

        43,000 is actually high for one of these cars as most people bought them to look at instead of drive.

      • David J Dave J

        “Dave, this car doesn’t have super low miles.

        43,000 is actually high for one of these cars as most people bought them to look at instead of drive.”

        Miguel: You would be surprised. :)

        Like 1
  5. CanuckCarGuy

    In ’91 I bought a new Acura Integra, and the dealer had the twin to this NSX in the showroom…from that day on, the NSX has been on my bucket list. The Integra in those days was a great car, I can only imagine how awesome the NSX would be on the road…and it’s still beautiful after all these years.

    Like 3
  6. healeydays

    I had a roommate when the NSX came out who was a sales manager for a Acura store and one day he came home with one, tossed me the keys and said “take the girlfriend out and have fun”. A couple hours later and more than 100 miles, we came back with smiles on our faces.

    Wanted one then and still want one…

    Like 6
  7. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    Funny, I had a buddy that loaned me a 91 NSX for the weekend, I had told him about a 911 for sale he purchased back in the mid 90s, and he offered this instead of the 911, thanks Pete! He later wrecked it on the way to deliver to a purchaser, only one I think he wrecked. Awesome car, he had so many he would bring to meetings and let me drive afterwards, 308 GTS, 94 RX7, 67 Vette, Viper, even a Ford GT.

    Like 2
  8. Bret Wills

    calling Winston Wolfe

    Like 3
    • David J David J

      “You can call me Winston.” :)

  9. Doug B Member

    Just be under around 5’ 8” and you’re gold.

    • Jay E.

      I was going to add be under 6′ but didn’t want to be a downer. I’m 6’2 and my legs fine, but I was always driving in a slump and looking out the very top of the windshield. Everyone that I knew drove theirs, they were not garage queens, so I would consider this one low mileage.

      Like 1
  10. Miguel

    I would rather have this than the new “Corvette” that is coming out.

    Like 1
    • Chevy Guy

      And why would you want this over the new Corvette C8?

  11. Miguel

    Hagerty has this car priced at $42,800 for a number three car and $61,500 for a number two car.

    This car seems to be priced right.

    Like 1

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