1991 Acura NSX Long Term Road Test

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1991 Acura NSX: One Owner Reports

January 19, 2012

2004_acura_nsx_f34_barry-malone_1600.jpg 

“So, is this one of those Japanese-made Ferraris that I’ve heard about?”

It’s not a minute after I park the Acura NSX at Cars and Coffee and as soon as I crack the door there’s somebody already harassing me about the NSX’s heritage. Frankly I feel a little guilty anyway, as if I had sneaked something not quite legitimate into this weekly gathering of the most interesting high-performance cars in Los Angeles.

Then it turns out that Barry Malone is an NSX owner, and he points across the way to his own gun-metal gray 2004 with its targa roof. He’s telling me that he’s owned dozens of zippy cars over the years and the NSX is the best by far.

2005 Acura NSX  profile by Barry Malone_1600.jpg 

So the Acura NSX is the kind of car that belongs at Cars and Coffee. Who knew?

Malone had his NSX epiphany while cleaning the spokes of his Jaguar XK-140’s wire wheels after driving it around for a couple hours one afternoon. He says it took him about four hours.

Malone is one of those guys who went to the Art Center College of Design, a contemporary of graduates of the 1960s like sculptor Richard Pietruska  and ex-Chrysler designer Stewart Reed  (both of whom are now principals at Art Center). A graphic designer, Malone has a part-time car-related business that sells among other things massive photo reproductions of exotic and specialty cars.

Malone has had lots of cool cars, but as he fiddled with the Jaguar’s wheels, he realized that he spent more time working on them than driving them. And this seemed to be a pretty dumb thing to do. Right then he decided to get smart and look for an Acura NSX. In fact, he went looking for a car from right near the end of production in 2005, when the NSX had become more like a touring car than a high-performance exotic.

He found the kind of car he was looking for in Manassas, Virginia. He and his wife flew from Los Angeles to Virginia, picked up the car, drove to Florida, then drove across the country to California. By the time he had returned, he had driving 4,000 miles, something he would never have attempted with any of the other cool cars he had owned.

He reckons that it was somewhere near Colorado when his wife – who had never really understood his enthusiasm for fast but finicky cars — spoke up and said, “Now I understand. You like these cars because it’s actually the driving that you like, not all the other stuff.’

“Yes,” he replied. 

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com @ 50,820 miles

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