Alex Zanardi Edition: 1999 Acura NSX

While many enthusiasts look to vehicle importing services to find the rarest or most elusive editions of a certain model, Acura has done a good job over the years of bringing those vehicles in as U.S. models. The Acura Integra Type R comes immediately to mind, but not far behind is the one-of-51 Alex Zanardi editions Acura NSX. Light-weight and sporting significantly revised suspension settings, it was a track car right out of the box. Find this extremely limited NSX here on eBay with a $149,995 Buy-It-Now. 

The Zanardi edition, named for racing driver and CART champion Alex Zanardi, focused on extreme weight-savings wherever possible, along with cosmetic tweaks that also shaved pounds like light-weight BBS wheels and trunk spoiler. The Zanardi edition effectively created 149 lbs. of weight savings over the standard car, which was far from a porker. While the changes may not immediately apparent, they were felt in racing environments where this NSX was built to compete.

Other features of the Zanari NSX included single-pane rear glass and the deletion of power steering. The overall shell was stiffer, and thickly bolstered bucket seats with suede inserts would hold drivers and passengers in place. The rest of the interior is standard NSX, which is so incredibly similar to the interiors found in run-of-the-mill Hondas and Acuras of the same era. With just over 31,000 miles, this one appears to be in mint condition.

The NSX is sometimes criticized for not having higher outputs, but a factory-warranted supercharged kit was available. The NSX’s DOHC VTEC V6 not only delivered 290 b.h.p., but it also provides a relatively low cost of ownership experience. Seriously – this is a super car that a surprising number of people could own without having to take out a second mortgage. However, a genuine Zanardi edition may require some fancy financial footwork to make the numbers work.

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Comments

  1. Dean

    And here I was, almost to the end of the day, without needing the KB drool guard..oh well
    I see a black one here and there locally

    4
  2. Frank Sumatra

    $124,000 buys a 2019 ZR1 Corvette with 755 hp. Or you can spend $150,000 for a 20 year-old Honda on steroids. Tough choice.

    29
    • STM

      Tough decision.

      4
      • Frank Sumatra

        I should have pushed the “Big Sarcasm” button. I think it is a pretty easy choice. The NSX is a wonderful machine but never at that fever-dream price.

        2
    • AMCFAN

      I’ll take the 20 year old Honda.

      19
      • Pierre

        If you want I have an old Civic

        3
    • Miguel Member

      Going by style, I will take the Acura.

      13
    • bobk

      Yeah, assuming the lottery gods would cooperate, I’d take the NSX.

      9
    • Rx7turboII

      I’ll take the Acura any day. Corvettes are like A**holes, everybodys got one….lol

      11
    • Jeff

      The NSX, no question.

      6
    • rustyvet

      The ZR1 makes the Nissan look like a Camry…lol

      8
      • Jeff

        Nissan???

        4
    • Alan Pace

      I’ll take the ZR1 with $26k left over for a decent daily driver 70-72 Camaro, 70-72 Chevelle, 69-71 GTO muscle car to beat the hell out of. Knowing after I break one toy, I’ll have another virtually unbreakable with warranty!

      3
      • AMCFAN

        That’s all good now. After 20 years if you are still around you will have an $8000. Corvette that many others will have like it. The NSX at 40 years will easily be over a million

        2
      • Frank Sumatra

        AMC- You should change your name to Kreskin. Pretty bold prediction there. 2009 ZR1’s are in the $60K range.I look forward to them dropping to $8000. Then I can buy five of them. lol

        2
  3. The Walrus

    Zanardi’s story is so fascinating… this car, as great as it is, pales in comparison. Hoping the ‘fancy footwork’ statement at the end of the writeup is an unfortunate coincidence rather than a Freudian slip…

    5
  4. Fred W

    Hagerty valuation on this edition is about 90K. I’m sure the low mileage would put it closer to 100K, but that’s about it. Not sure where they get the 150K number from. However, if you pay 100K for this or a near new ZR1, which will retain it’s value better over the next few years?

    7
    • The Walrus

      Hagerty, like all value estimates, tend to lag the market when it’s both rising and falling, as it is based on past transactions. It’s worth what someone will pay. In this case I would also say the condition is far better, due to the low mileage, than is accounted for in the Hagerty model. In this case they are seemingly only adding 12%. This add is unusually low for a limited edition that goes beyond badges and stickers. It’s a bit too formulaic. It’s not uncommon to add more in these cases. While I think 150 is an exaggerated ask, I think $100k would be a steal here.

  5. Blk63vette

    Ahhh yeah it’s cool but not 150k…

    4
  6. Classic Steel

    One gazillion please…. lol…

    Greed rules the world… or we think that….

    This is not a 150 car..

    4
  7. Newport Pagnell
  8. On and On On and On Member

    In the movie “Pulp Fiction” did the ‘Wolf’ drive an NSX? I remember it was some sort of cool Acura?

    7
    • The Walrus

      Exactamundo. And if anything happened to it Monster Joe was gonna be disposing of 2 bodies…

      6
    • Capriest Member

      He most certainly did! These are great cars, but the allure to them was supercar performance with honda reliability, and a much lower cost of entry and ownership. Seems this seller wants a grand for every pound it saves over the base NSX! That kinda nullifies the whole point of buying one. I’d take the extra 150lbs and deal with the added weight of the $70k I saved in the trunk.

      2
  9. CanuckCarGuy

    My first up close and personal with an NSX was in 1991, I was at a dealership in Quebec City looking to buy a new Integra and a new NSX was front and center in the showroom. I bought the Integra… but only because a 30 year bank loan wasn’t available.

    6
  10. exbenzo tech

    “Seriously – this is a super car that a surprising number of people could own without having to take out a second mortgage.”

    yeah, that’s coming from someone who never owned one.
    This might have been built by Honda but the parts cost is the same as AMG.

    2
  11. JoeNYWF64

    Are those headlights stock? I always thought the roof on this car(&most hondas) was too high with too much glass. Why!!
    The early Mitz 3000gt turbo has better body proportions, more HP & kewl things this car does not have for < 1/2 the price – back then – 4 wheel drive, adjustable exhaust, active aero, 4 wheel steering, & better looking dash IMO. No rear wiper on this car?
    I don't think this car would attract anymore attention today than the 3000gt's with popup headlights.
    Apparently in the 90's, car makers lost the skill/method to SUPPORT frameless side glass! This car not only has an ugly plastic piece supporting the window in front, but also at the rear of the door! The door handle on this is unsightly, ruins the lines, & should simply be a flush one ON THE DOORSKIN.

    • The Walrus

      Not even sure where to begin. This is a mid engined Ferrari Killer. Unlike the 3000 GTVR4/Stealth RT which were AWD Corvette Killers. The 3000GTVR4 is a world away from this all aluminum engineering masterpiece… and I’m a Mopar/Mitsu enthusiast! When I was in high school this is literally the ONLY Japanese car I found interesting. Oh, and this car is several inches shorter than the Mitsu.

      4
      • JoeNYWF64

        I forgot to mention another goodie – the adjustable suspension on the 3000gt turbo (& SL). Oddly, the base 3000gt which has none of the kewl extras of the turbo or SL is about the same weight as the NSX, yet it’s all steel! lol I’m still not impressed with the NSX. & i have YET to see the steel body of any 3000gt rusting!(unless the paint is scraped away).
        & i have yet to see any popup headlites fail on this car either!
        THAT’S impressive & i know one that’s been OUTSIDE UNCOVERED since new – no rust or leaks inside or out.
        Guess what was import car of the year in 1991 …
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_Trend_Car_of_the_Year#Import_Car_of_the_Year_listing
        Why don’t i see the NSX on that list?
        BTW, there is a little known Japanese only market lighter FWD turbo 3000gt variant.

  12. Jim

    In 1989 i graduated college and although I had a good engineering job I was bored. I had been working at the Pontiac dealership my Dad was service manager of since I was 13, and still came by on the weekends to detail cars. When the Acura line came out, Dad’s boss picked it up. The NSX was introduced, and I spent a weekend making ramps out of wood, based on a tech bulletin issued by Acura. It was because the standard American post hydraulic lift was too high in lowest position. When the first couple came in, I remember being nonplussed. Unlike a good Trans Am, they were just way too civilized. Unfortunately, a lot of them came through with automatics. Not necessarily a bad transmission, but not true sports car.

    Now, I’m sorry I didn’t get in line to buy one. We bought 2 post electric lifts, and these cars still perform as well as they did 20 plus years ago. Heck, it’s a Honda. A little dated now, but I would still highly recommend. At this price, no way. But at one third the price, it beats a Ferrari.

    2
  13. Todd Johnson

    Sat in this car st Honda R&D. They put new clutch plates in it. Why didn’t you show a pic of the name plate between the seats ? Kinda cool in my book ! This is on very well kept vehicle …beautiful car !

    1
  14. Big Len

    JoeNYWF64 – Who cares, dude? You love’em, go buy three. But in no possible way does that car have the appeal of this car to the vast majority of car people…. except to you.

    3
    • Frank Sumatra

      He’s called “Big Len” for a reason folks! My kind of guy.

  15. Steve

    Still looking for the BARN in this posting.
    I’ll keep looking; sure it’s there someplace.

    1
  16. sparkster

    Steve , LOL, that’s too funny. This Acura was on my bucket list way too many years. I wanted a purple 97 model. Then a friend bought a new NSX and gave me a quick ride in it. I didn’t fit. I was too tall from the waist up and couldn’t recline the seat back enough. My head would rub against the ceiling. I have found the advances in new cars as far as safety goes is quite advanced. Now in 2018 you can buy a new Camaro with a 4 cylinder with more horsepower. NSX is still a great driving machine but not for a 150 large.

    • Steve

      Short of leg and long of torso? That’s who Italian cars were made for. LOL!!
      The NSX was made to address the complaints of all those folks who didn’t fit in those cars made BY and thus FOR folks of their build. You, sir, need a Ferrari!

      I actually fit better in the NSX, but I dreamed of an early high-mirror Testarossa. I finally got to sit in one. It was horrid! To drive it I needed to damn near sit sideways as the pedals are so far inboard compared to the seat. I jumped out of that and tried on a 328 GTS parked next to it. It was not only relatively roomy but the pedals were much more in line with the seat and I could drive it relatively comfortably, other than the typical issue of having to drive straight-armed if the seat was put far enough back to sit in bearable comfort. At least I would not have had to have a chiropractor on call 24/7 to own one like I’d need with the TR. I could have bought that perfect red/tan 328 for $35K back then, but the spell was broken. Sigh.

      2

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