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#1596

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So many people and cars feature in the story of how 2017 NSX #1596, Nord Grey over Orchid (full leather!) found her way to me.

We have to start with my '96, whose life is already documented in other areas of this forum. Here's a picture from the night I picked her up in 2012. That night and that time in my life have been on my mind again lately, as many things in my life have come full circle since, and by the time #1596 arrived in 2017 it's looking a lot more like 2012 did for me in some ways than many of the intervening years.

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Also, how much better have phone cameras gotten???

The next car we need to cover was a silver Subaru BRZ, owned by my dear friend Ed. Ed got a great deal on the car by buying it in upstate NY in the dead of winter 2013 and parking it at his aunt's house for a few months until I could fly out there once the weather improved and help him drive it across the country to the Bay Area. You can see it here on Pike's Peak in Colorado, and he and I together after completing 3600 miles in five days.

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We were best friends and put many joyful miles on my NSX and his BRZ together exploring all the highways and back roads of California.

Ed passed away suddenly in April of 2016. By that time he and I were no longer living together, but we still saw each other often and his absence from my life came as a huge and devastating shock. Before he went, he willed that I should take over ownership of the BRZ.

Estates are complicated creatures and lawyers are not known for expeditious work, so on account of the challenges of actually executing that will, the BRZ unfortunately was not able to be registered or insured for over a year. It sat until May of 2017, where we begin the next chapter...

Scott aka powdbyrice here on NSXPrime works at Acura of Fremont, a dealership whose service department I actually trust with my '96 as only one very experienced mechanic works on gen1 NSXes there, under the watchful supervision of Justin aka PATCHEZ on NSXPrime - himself a Honda Master Tech and one-time NSX owner.

I happened to hear through the grapevine that there would be test drives at the Honda Proving Center out in the desert near Bakersfield. Scott very kindly put me on the invite list even though I assured him that there was absolutely no chance I would be buying the car new...

Of course I wanted to drive my '96 down to the event, but I'm an idiot and got water in the coil packs AGAIN so it developed a misfire AGAIN and was back in Acura of Fremont's capable hands once again when the event rolled around. However, the BRZ was fresh out of hibernation and needed a few hundred mile road trip to get the ECU to turn all the OBD2 status codes to "ready" so that it could pass inspection and get registered - perfect timing. Taking that car out and starting again to make new memories with it was exactly what I needed shortly after the first anniversary of Ed's death. He would have jumped at the chance to drive the new NSX (a car we had both discussed in great detail and lusted after deeply) and this is the best I could do to bring him with me to this event.

Booked the closest suitable hotel to the Proving Center and hit the road. Here's the BRZ in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn, Tehachapi:

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The next day, headed to the track, and that's where I met #6 :

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I spent two glorious hours understanding the depth and versatility of this marvelous machine, and came away with my head spinning and a serious doubt as to whether I had the patience to sit out a bit of depreciation...

Plus (and this is a rationalization aside), what childhood dream would I be checking off, exactly, by buying yet another used car? Everything my young self could have wished to do in an NSX, I had done in the purple car - car shows, road trips, track days, DIY wrenching, pampering it with rare pretty JDM parts - the works. Everything *except* pick up a brand new NSX from the dealership and be the first one to put hard miles on it.

Part of the HPC experience included a sales pitch for the NSX Insider Experience which many of you know involves traveling to the factory in Ohio and taking a tour coincidentally as your very own car emerges from final assembly. Now THERE's a childhood dream come true - pick up a new NSX, not at the dealer, but at the factory? They had my attention.

#6 stayed on my mind (great coincidence that she should happen to be numbered the same as the very attractive blonde Cylon, played by Tricia Helfer, on Battlestar Galactica) and I started squinting at my bank account, looking at it sideways to see if there was maybe a way this could work. Although my '96 had appreciated considerably in value since I bought it, I really hoped there was a way to add a new NSX to the stable without letting go of the old one...

By Monterey Car Week in August (where I ran into the same awesome crew from Acura that had hosted the HPC event), I figured I had a plan - custom-order a 2018 NSX at roughly MSRP (because as I have repeatedly expressed on here, I truly believed that fundamentally, the car was worth the price of admission - and subsequent experiences have only reinforced this belief) around December of '17 such that it would be produced in March of '18 and be exactly 22 years older than my '96 (03/96 production). Maybe there would even have been a scam to get matching VINs or something.

I registered my interest in the above with the dealer and went on with life. That is until I was in the air at the end of September, coincidentally flying to Indiana and Ohio for unrelated reasons, and I got a message from Scott @ AoF - $20k incentive on ordered cars for MY2017. That was a Friday, but by the time I was back in town and went to the dealer on Monday, the last 2017 build slots had already sold.

As a consolation I was invited to another test drive event, this one around (not quite at) Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca where the California 8 hour race was going on. I drove #9 on the street in traffic, and judged it equally adept in that environment as for track work. Acura very kindly extended the same opportunity to my friend Ethan aka ky650 on NSXPrime. Ethan and I actually met through this forum as we both pursued improvements to the factory Bose stereo in the 1st-gen NSX - and although his Berlina Black was sadly lost in an accident some years ago, we have stayed in touch to discuss anything and everything, and he even gets to drive the '96 (and I suppose at some point the '17) on occasion.

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I had given up on capturing the incentive and resigned myself to paying MSRP for a 2018, but the very nice people at Acura and Acura of Fremont didn't give up quite so easily - they kept their ears open for anyone who might be looking to back out of a 2017 build slot. After all, $20k would make it a lot easier to justify some of the cosmetic options that I didn't NEED but desired deeply (carbon roof). I left my preferred config at the dealer so they could have everything ready to pull the trigger just in case...

And sure enough, in early November the message came that a Dec 17 build slot had become available. I said yes, absolutely pull the trigger, and started hounding everyone I could get a hold of for a precise build date so that I could start making travel arrangements.

The trip finally rolled around and I had the best time. I should do a whole separate post on it, but this story is about people and cars, so let me tell you about some people and some cars from Ohio.

The Transportation Research Center is the test facility near the Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville. Part of my experience was FOUR HOURS of track time in an NSX. My instructor Jason was awesome, and although the notoriously secretive TRC did not allow me to use my personal camera at all (and therefore I don't have an actual photo of the serial number), I believe the Curva Red NSX I drove there was #8xx (from memory). I put it to a friend as follows: "If Ohio is the automotive North Pole, and Honda is Santa, then this red car was Mrs. Claus"

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My growing confidence in the capabilities of the car found me 1) eating through an entire set of brake pads (now I know how chrisn does it!) and 2) braking a little TOO late in one spot, resulting in the red car momentarily emulating its distant sibling, the Honda lawn mower.

To express my shame and contrition at this excursion, I requested a photo with an actual Honda lawn mower at the Heritage Center the next day.

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The last people I want to tell you about are the staff at the PMC who actually build these amazing cars. I met too many awesome people to name, but everyone there is dedicated to and focused on getting every detail of this thing right. Simultaneously they were all very kind and generous with their time, posing for photos with me and answering all of my insane questions very patiently. I want to impress upon all of you how excited everyone at the PMC is for those of us lucky to take one of these things home. Most of them have at least had some seat time and I received many knowing, gleeful looks when I described my previous afternoon at the test track to them. I am proud to own this car because I have felt first hand the love and care that every one of them put in. The people chosen to staff the PMC are Honda's finest, all of them worked very hard to get there, and most importantly all of them WANT to be there. We owe it to them to drive the sh*t out of these things at every opportunity.

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And there at the end of the line was #1596 , my very own, almost complete but just needing a small finishing touch to be done by yours truly:

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And that was that. I flew home and waited nervously for news of the car's shipping and delivery dates (and yes, I have impressed upon the nice people at Acura how much better it would have been if I had just been able to drive my new car home from Ohio myself...), and about a month later I picked her up at the dealership (slow shipping during the holiday season... go figure).

The day I picked up the car I spent out and about with all my friends and everyone who has believed in me and encouraged me to pursue these dreams, letting them all gawk and poke and prod and giving lots of rides in Sport+ mode. The atmosphere was really celebratory and that day, too, became a treasured memory.

Where this story ends, a new one of life with this car begins. Looking forward to sharing that journey with the awesome community here on NSX Prime.

To new cars and old friends.

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That is so awesome, I’m so happy for you to get to see your car at the factory and having that amazing experience
congrats!!! Love the color Nordi gray
 
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Great write up from a true NSX enthusiast. Very happy to have met you Ben, and thank you for sharing your story with us. Now, let's go drive the crap out of this thing!
 
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Great story...I have the same lawnmower!
 
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Thanks for sharing your personal experiences and sorry about the loss of your friend

You may be the first one here to experience your car being built on the line

I had heard that the owner would perform a symbolic task so it was cool that you were able to do that
 
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I do believe that the #01596 is the engine number? Your chassis # will be on the data plate on the door jam and on the VIN tag on the driver's side windshield.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong??
 
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I do believe that the #01596 is the engine number? Your chassis # will be on the data plate on the door jam and on the VIN tag on the driver's side windshield.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong??

The last 3 of the VIN is 950. The engine has yet another number which they told me at the factory but I forgot. I think whatever's on the engine cover goes for total serial production :)
 
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Chassis/VIN #950 is the highest I have seen, and I'll guess it had to be built in Dec of 17'?? That info will also be on your data plate on the door jam. Mine is #878 and was built in Sept of 17' The #01596 , even if an engine #, doesn't make any sense to me? 950 cars and 1596 engines?? I don't understand any connection between the 2 numbers?
It was my understanding that Acura had planned to build at least 800 cars, and it looks like perhaps as many as 950 have been built. We know that 850 have been sold through the end of 2017.

Perhaps someone more in the know than me will have the answer to this? Enjoy your car.......
 
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VINs are by country, so 950 cars for the US, but 1596 worldwide production :)
 
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Great story. I'm sorry your friend passed away and wasn't able to enjoy your purchase process.
 
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Chassis/VIN #950 is the highest I have seen, and I'll guess it had to be built in Dec of 17'?? That info will also be on your data plate on the door jam. Mine is #878 and was built in Sept of 17' The #01596 , even if an engine #, doesn't make any sense to me? 950 cars and 1596 engines?? I don't understand any connection between the 2 numbers?
It was my understanding that Acura had planned to build at least 800 cars, and it looks like perhaps as many as 950 have been built. We know that 850 have been sold through the end of 2017.

Perhaps someone more in the know than me will have the answer to this? Enjoy your car.......
IIRC, 900 were planned. Some early VIN cars never made it to customers (see silver car #6 above). The first car that we had was VIN 0045 and we're one of the top 10 stores in the nation.
 
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VINs are by country, so 950 cars for the US, but 1596 worldwide production :)

That is correct. Vin will also roll over by year which means they will reset for the 2018 cars however the number plate on the engine cover will continue as long as this iteration of the car lasts and will only reset when the next edition of the NSX is released.
 
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That is one of the best NSX aquisition stories I've read on Prime. Enjoy in good health!
 
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Great story! Looks like you're in the SF Bay Area. I do a rally every month to SF C&C, you should swing by - we've got some wild cars in the group. 918 Spyder, McLaren P1 from time to time, 570s, lots of Vipers, Z06's, etc. It's good fun.
 
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Wonderful story, thank you...:cool:
 
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Great story! Sorry about the loss of your friend. I'm sure he would have enjoyed experiencing the new NSX.

I'm delighted to hear about your experience interfacing with the employees at PMC. It is refreshing to hear that they are motivated and engaged. That speaks volumes of how the ultimate end product will be assembled.
 
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Amazing story, Ben! Did you receive a discount for having to apply your own emblem? :D
 
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Awesome story of enthusiasm and perseverance!

Without friends, these cars wouldn't mean much.

Thank you for sharing.
 
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Dang Ben, so sorry to hear about your best friend. Truly heartbreaking.

Very touching story and journey you've been on the past few years. Bravo to living it up to the fullest.
 
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Awesome story. As a long time NSX owner and lover, I can attest to how great the NSX owner community is, and how amazing the new NSX is. I did not appreciate the new NSX when it first came out. The pictures just do not do it justice, and of course we were not allowed test drives early on. I was also very dismayed that we couldn't even sit in the NSX at NSXPO 2015.

In 2016 at a Science of Speed event, I finally got to sit in a black NSX, and it felt so amazing. I inquired with the dealer about buying it, but at the time they were still asking MSRP or with a premium added on. I did tell the dealer and a few friends I was interested in the new NSX ...but the color was black, and having owned black cars before, I swore I would never own black again.

I forgot about the new NSX, until I was invited to an Acura VIP event last November (thanks again to SOS!), where I laid eyes on the beautiful casino white NSX, and got to test drive a 130R NSX on the streets. My mind was blown. I really doubted if I could afford the new NSX, and whether I even had room in my burgenoning garage for the new NSX. The same dealer was there at this event, and remembered me as being interested in the black NSX from the year before! They invited me to come visit the next day and see about purchasing the casino white NSX, an offer I couldn't refuse.

I visited the NSX dealer the next day, in the late afternoon, thinking that it would have been sold already (turns out there had been 3 other prospective buyers who had already visited the dealer that day and negotiated hard for it - I only found later from SOS, and other buyers who ended up buying other NSXs after losing out on mine - sorry!!).

To my surprise the NSX was still available. I decided at that time to get serious, and made a serious offer to the dealer. The dealer was awesome to work with, and we came to an agreement right there and then. I put the $5k deposit on my credit card, and promised I'd be back in a week to pick the car up. I was due to fly out the next morning for work, and would be gone for the week, so I was forced to wait a week to pick up the car.

A week away from the car, after making such a huge purchase, plays tricks on your mind. You question yourself - did you do the right thing? However, I kept replaying my test drive in my mind and felt at ease with the decision.

A week came and went, and I drove with a group of local NSX owners to pick up my NSX. The purchase process took an hour or so (had to go through Honda Finance). I finally picked up the keys to my NSX, took photos with the NSX group, and we headed out of the dealership for lunch as a group. The first few miles were just incredible. My new NSX followed by several other gen 1 NSXs...how could life get any better than this???

Now it's been 3 months since purchase, and I am so happy I made the decision to buy the NSX. Every day that I drive it, own it, experience it, I love it more and more. Now I can't think of any other cars. My poor 91 NSX has been neglected as a result, something that I plan to correct.

They say money can't buy happiness. I disagree. This new NSX is pure joy and happiness. Every day I wake up, and when I go to bed, I am so thankful to be blessed to own not just the original 91 NSX, but the new NSX.

There is an article that came out recently that little bits of enjoyment of driving a sports car every day, is better than kissing. I completely agree. Nothing brings me as much happiness as getting into my NSX and taking it out for a spin.

Only those who own and drive the new NSX will truly appreciate it for what it is...automotive perfection. It blows my mind a car can be this amazing. It can perform like a daily driver, quiet and mild in Quiet mode, or become a beast in Sports+ or Track mode. It's like owning 2 or 3 different cars in the same car, all switched at the twist of a knob.

The new NSX community is small but fiercely passionate about the new car. Honda has truly made something magnificent and unforgettable in the NSX. It's a car that can't be judged by its badge, or by looks alone. You have to drive it to truly understand the entire NSX experience.

If I could go back to last November and re-do everything, I would not change a single thing. I am so glad I was able to purchase this car, and experience ultimate joy and bliss every time I get in the driver's seat.

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