my impressions of the car
The NSX is fun to autocross. It has tremendous grip in the stock tires and is able to maintain a steady 1.1 gees cornering force. The mid-engine layout provides great traction, both in acceleration and braking.
There is plenty of power to induce throttle oversteer, if you are in the power band of the engine, usually above 5000 rpm. The weakness of the car is the gearing, with a great jump from first to second. First is good to slightly over 40 mph, but second bogs a bit until you get above 60 mph. This is typically the ideal speed for a good autocross, especially a straight. (This problem was fixed in future model years.)
The joy of autocrossing the NSX is the control you experience. The car responds extremely well at the limit, neutral in all respects. The car keeps you informed about all aspects of its performance and responds to a light touch. Throttle oversteer and trailing throttle understeer are minimal but can be induced if you change the throttle at the limit.
Even with the Seven as one of my nimble cars, I still like to run the NSX fast occasionally.
Since I bought one of the first cars upon its release, there were not many after market modifications available. I needed to fabricate most of my own and that limited what I was able to do. I wanted stiffer springs and sway bars, wider and taller wheels, and to free up the breathing, both intake and exhaust. I settled for adding a five point racing harness with aluminum bar reinforcements in the engine compartment. I also added a fire extinguisher.
I also played with alignments, made with me sitting in the car, and these made a big difference in the handling of the car.
Here are some additional calculations concerning torque curves and gear ratios. Note it takes about 120 hp to push the NSX body through the air at 170mph. Also notice the gear changes for maximum acceleration are not at maximum rpm. These figures are for the early NSX, before Honda dropped the second gear ratio. I prefered the earlier ratios for track and racing use, but not for autocrossing.
I saw spy photographcs of the NSX early on and was excited about the car. I decided almost a year before the car arrived that I wanted to buy one. While visiting my parents in Eastern Washington, I visited an Acura dealer and put a $5,000 deposit down for the car and the contract specified I would pay $10,000 over dealer invoice.
Later, upon returning home, I put another deposit down at a dealer near my home and was number ten in line.
The car arrived late in 1990 and I soon received a phone call from the dealer near home, offering me a car for $135,000. I was shocked as the list price was $60,000. I declined, reminding them of my other contract. Both dealers knew of my other contract and my intention to take the cheapest car.
A week passed and I suddenly realized my deposit had no meaning! I made arrangements to pick it up the following weekend. Two days later I received another call from the dealer, offering me a car at $10,000 over and while the car had not arrived yet, it was on the boat and would be ready in a week. I agreed.
Later the price spiked upwards again and the cars were selling for $85,000 to $90,000 for some months. The dealer's were greedy and expected to gouge the customer. Apparently many reacted the way I did and the pent up demand disappeared. The dealers needed to backtrack and offer the car at less than "market value" in order to pull in disgusted customers.
Selling the NSX
I sold the NSX to Miguel in March 1997. Here is a picture of it in front of its new home.
I got a note from Miguel in July 2006, almost ten years after I sold the NSX:
NSX just turned 104,000 miles. NO real mechanical issues! (Finally replaced the clutch at 103,000! Acura of Dallas said that is THE longest Clutch/life of all the NSX's they've ever serviced!)
Replaced both Window regulators and both door speakers. Other than regular maintenance NO surprises!
New Paint on Hood and Wipers at 103,000 miles
The usual Tire Replacements
Other than that I have been very lucky I bought this car from You! I have been very happy with the car since the day I drove it off your driveway.