1991 Acura NSX Long Term Road Test

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1991 Acura NSX: Hey, It's a Honda

March 01, 2012

American Honda Museum - storefront_717.jpg
Took the NSX around to American Honda’s informal museum in Torrance last night for a function honoring our friend Kurt Antonius. It was a cool thing to do since he helped determine the strategy for introducing the model back in 1990.

There we ran into Tom Elliott, former executive vice-president of American Honda, who said he had bought his own NSX. Then we saw John Mendel, current executive vice-president of American Honda, in the parking lot. He said he was still looking for an NSX to buy, and as he looked over our car appreciatively, he said that if we’d just park it in front of the museum and leave the keys in it, he might be able to solve his NSX acquisition problem this very night.

Even before we could get into the museum, Honda press vehicle supremo Brad Long came out to look over our car, and then he told us an interesting story about the NSXs in the American Honda collection.

American Honda Museum - NSXs_717.jpg

Turns out that there’s two of them, a ‘93 that’s red with a black top (all the first series cars have black tops), and an all-red 2005 model (red is American Honda’s traditional racing color, which it first adopted for its motocross bikes).

There’s some promotional work underway for the forthcoming new NSX, so Long says they wanted to get the 1993 NSX out of the museum and drive it to a photo location. Trouble was, the car hadn’t moved from its spot on the museum floor in about five years, so far as Long knew.  Hadn’t been started, battery about dead, nothing done to stabilize the fuel – nothing.  The Honda guys were in a fret.

Finally Acura’s Gary Robinson decided — what the heck — let’s just try to start the car.  Long installed a new battery (not the work of a moment because of the tight packaging), then Robinson climbed in and turned the key.

Long says the car cranked for about 10 seconds, came to life, clattered like someone was shaking a drawer full of spoons as the oil pressure came up, and then just idled as if it had never been asleep.

We laughed.

Later as I walked over to see the NSXs in the collection, I looked across at the replica of the showroom at 4077 Pico Boulevard in West L.A. that had been Honda’s first outpost in America in 1959, which is complete with a Honda 50 step-through scooter and a Honda 600 car. And I thought that we shouldn’t have been surprised that the ’93 NSX came alive again with so little drama.

Hey, it’s a Honda.  It’s supposed to run.  That’s what Hondas do.

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com @ 52,224 miles

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