Super Street Feature: 1991 Acura NSX – Building Honda’s Dream Car
“The NSX has always been a dream car of mine since childhood,” Jeffrey Nguyen says. “I’ve always been an avid fan of Hondas, and one of my first builds was an H22A turbocharged Prelude. After I graduated college, I began looking for NSXs. I didn’t expect to find anything but then I stumbled upon one for sale in California for $20,000. If you’ve never actually looked at purchasing an NSX before, it is pretty hard to find a good one under $20K—even by today’s standards. I found this car in 2006. That price was unheard of at the time!”
Weary but intrigued by the price tag, Jeffrey contacted the seller to find out more. The owner contacted him shortly after with all the details, and before Jeffrey knew it, he was on the way to Long Beach from his hometown of Las Vegas to see the car for himself. “The [NSX] had about 150,000 on the odometer, which was a bit high, but the owner assured me that it was well-maintained. He had all the service records to back up his claims. I took it for a quick test drive and was sold. I was finally an NSX owner, and the four-hour drive back to Vegas was probably one of the most enjoyable drives of my life!”
Though his doubts subsided after the journey home, he still did a leak-down and compression test to see if the original C30A engine was good. The tests showed that the V6 ran perfectly strong. It was now time for Jeffrey to start planning out his build. He explains, “I already had a pretty good idea how I wanted the car to look before I even purchased it. I didn’t go overboard with the wild aero like some NSXs. This car still had to be very streetable, too, because I planned to cruise around a lot.”
The first order of business came with removing the original front face of Jeffrey’s NA1. Instead of the old motorized flip-up headlights, he opted to go with a newer NA2 front-end, which was available in the ’02-and-up models. With a fresh new face mounted, Jeffrey proceeded to bring the car closer to the pavement with the addition of TEIN Flex coilovers.
“I enjoyed every inch of my NSX, but it always felt like it needed an extra gear. Power wasn’t a limiting factor, but it also wouldn’t hurt to free up the motor some. The factory five-speed came out eventually and in went a ’97 model six-speed manual. I also added a new CT Power Grip clutch and lightweight flywheel. The C30A1 sounded too much like an Accord to me, so I installed a set of Pride headers and their exhaust system to give it that much needed growl,” Jeffrey explains.
Limited-edition Recaro SR5 Rafale seats succeed the OEM leather buckets, while a MOMO Tuner steering wheel mimics the original NSX-R piece. Everything else inside the cockpit is likewise reimagined to resemble the Japanese NSX-R. Even the original leather components were tweaked slightly with the addition of red stitching.
Jeffrey concludes, “After college, I started my own shop and my NSX serves as a great form of advertising to draw interest toward my business. Above all else, owning this NSX has also provided me with the opportunity to meet some of the most down-to-earth car owners I’ve ever known. Besides being an ultimate driving machine, it has helped me network in life. Simply put, there’s no other car like it.
|Engine:||3.0-liter C30A1; Pride exhaust manifolds, V1 exhaust system with titanium tips, 300 cell metallic high-flow catalytic converters; Downforce air intake scoop; Prospeed cold-air intake; Science of Speed VVIS delete kit, oil pressure true gauge kit; Performance Package aluminum coolant tank; KCMachine CNC aluminum battery tray; Shorai lithium iron battery; carbon-fiber throttle body cover, radiator panel, NSX-R mesh engine cover; JEGS fuel pressure gauge; Cedar Ridge pulley shield; Wrinkle-Red powdercoated valve covers, intake manifold cover|
|Drivetrain||OEM NA2 six-speed manual transmission swap; CT Engineering Power-Grip clutch, lightweight flywheel|
|Footwork & Chassis:||TEIN Flex coilovers; UAS Variable Ride Height Cup Kit; RouteKS strut bars; GT-Spec aluminum front and rear lower braces; Comptech 0.875″ adjustable sway bar; Science of Speed steering rack bushing kit|
|Brakes:||Rotora 355mm six-piston front, 330mm four-piston rear big brake kits; stainless lines|
|Wheels & Tires:||18×8.5″ +45 front, 19×10.5″ +35 rear RAYS Gram Lights 57Xtreme wheels; 215/35ZR18 front, 275/30R19 rear Bridgestone RE760 tires; Muteki lug nuts|
|Exterior:||’02+ NA2 front-end conversion; Downforce NA2 front bumper, carbon-fiber front lip; Seibon NSX VSII-style carbon-fiber hood, rear spoiler, roof skin; carbon-fiber side strakes, ’02 rear valence, carbon-fiber trunk lip spoiler, carbon-fiber DF-R side vents; Wings West side skirts; Sorcery carbon-fiber hatch duct; NSXClear light-smoked side markers; LED tail lamps; Guppy Attack short antenna|
|Interior:||MOMO Tuner 350mm steering wheel; NRG V2.0 short hub, quick release; Autovation pedal set; Recaro SR5 Rafale Tomcat seats; Bride RO-Type seat rails; Cedar Ridge harness bar; Takata Drift II harnesses; OEM NSX-R carbon-fiber shift boot, red carpet, floor mats; shortened NSX-R shaft to work with Cedar Ridge short shifter kit; Science of Speed carbon-fiber cluster trim kit; AEM air/fuel gauge; Kenwood head unit; JDM OEM navigation pod with Alpine monitor
Jeffrey’s NSX features a Seibon Carbon VSII-style carbon fiber hood, rear spoiler, roof skin. Photo credit: Super Street.
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