Acura could join Jaguar, Ferrari and other manufacturers with a factory restoration program for one of its classics: the first-gen NSX. The company is already doing it in Japan and according to John Watts, the NSX team’s senior manager, during a zoom call of the 2020 Acura NSXPO virtual meetup, the company is seriously considering it for America.
“We have research going out to 2,000 people (first-gen NSX owners) in the United States asking their level of interest in the overall idea of a refresh plan and then looking at the packages as to the level of interest in specific packages,” said Watts. “We’re trying to see if there’s an appetite for this type of service in the United States, and it seems as though there is.”
Our local Acura representative confirmed the “exploratory research.”
Japanese fees, converted to USD, show a hefty price tag for servicing these 15-to-30 year-old two seaters, though just converting prices usually doesn’t match up when porting something like this to the U.S. Still, in Japan it costs $1,200 for a detailed inspection. A full exterior polishing, body detail cleaning, wheelhouse chipping coat, cowl top assembly and wipers will set you back $2,500. A fuel system replacement is $3,200; an engine overhaul is about $23,000; clutches and clutch parts range from $4,000-$8,500. Check out the rest of the prices here at Tire Meets Road, but again, a straight currency conversion usually doesn’t line up perfectly. However, a Zanardi Edition Acura NSX just sold on our sister site Bring a Trailer for $277,000. It was sold new for $85K. Five grand in brakes doesn’t seem as expensive as it once did.
However, there are less-expensive versions available. There are three for sale right now on BaT, a supercharged 2000 NSX-T six-speed, a 2002 NSX-T six-speed and a 1991 NSX five-speed.
Only about 9,000 NSXs were produced for the U.S. between 1990 and 2007. About half were sold in the first few years. The NSX, which F1-designer Gordon Murray called “monumental to sports car design” featured a rear-mounted, all-aluminum 3.0-liter V6 with either a five-speed manual (eventually a six-speed) or four-speed SportShift automatic. In 1997 it saw a light facelift (no more flip-up headlights) and an increase in displacement to 3.2-liters. That upgraded power unit produced 290 hp and 224 lb-ft of torque, not an amazing amount, but the NSX only weighed about 3,000 pounds.
Acura would use its Marysville, Ohio team for the refreshes. They already build PMC versions of the MDX, RDX and TLX, along with the new NSX, which we’ve driven a few times.
This seems like a no-brainer to us. The first NSX is the perfect type and age of vehicle that’s still valuable but could probably use a refresh. The Japanese program is backlogged already, and we see no reason why that wouldn’t also happen here.
Our question to you is, which other auto manufacturers should do this and with which cars? Let us know in the comments.
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