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Another new Zanardi owner!

1 March 2005
San Diego, CA
Hello everyone,

Just wanted to introduce myself and say hi. I've IMed a few of you, but now that I have safely gotten my car home, I can write this first real post.

Why the NSX?

Although I don't have a "dream" car, I do have specific criteria that I use to judge whether I like a car. I like trackworthiness. Things like rigid chassis, high rpm engines, well damped suspensions, balance. These things tend to count more with me than looks or spec sheet figures. The NSX may not have as much power as a Viper, but I know which one I'd enjoy more.

Why the Zanardi?

It's simple. I wanted a coupe. Absolutely no targas for me. I wanted the chassis rigidity and lighter weight. I do not want wind in my hair. I do not want leather seats. I don't like leather. I would prefer cloth and Alcantara on my seats if I could have a choice, but the Zanardi's Alcantara/leather combo is good. I've owned a 1997 Integra Type R with it's black interior with red stitching that I really liked. The Zanardi offers a similar look. It has the most aggressive stock suspension tuning, which will be good when I take it to the track. I've driven two NSXes (a 94 coupe and a 97 NSX-T) at Buttonwillow Raceway, so I know how good the car is.

Purchase process:

I purchased the super low mileage Zanardi #31 that was on eBay just a little while back. Although there were some strange mileage figures in the Carfax report (which were discussed right here), I decided to send an inspector out to see the car and test drive it. I've never bought anything on eBay before, so I wanted to confirm that the car and the dealership were legitimate. I had no other guidance, so I used SGS Automotive Services, which is affiliated with eBay. They promptly sent out an inspector to see the car, and I received a report on the car's condition. It is mainly a report on the car's condition, with a detailed checklist on the functionality of the various parts (power windows, a/c, radio, engine, tranny, etc.). It also included a list of all the imperfections in the paint. This car had a handful of rock chips on the front and some chips on the door edges. There was also a very light scratch on the passenger door. Although the SGS report is not as good as a person knowledgable specifically in the NSX, the report was useful in convincing me that the car was real and was in "as advertised" condition. The service was $139 for "specialty" cars such as the NSX, and was well worth it for me.

I tried bidding on the auction, but it closed with none of us breaking through the reserve price. I felt that the asking price was slightly higher than I wanted to pay, although the car was certainly in good enough condition to warrant the amount.

Now, at this time, I had been also looking at two other Zanardis in Southern California. One was #11 belonging to NSXMadness. I was actually intending to buy this car and was waiting for a call from the owner to set up an appointment for an inspection at Autowave when I saw the post that TyraNSX bought it! Damn, so that was one car gone from the market. I'm not sure why NSXMadness decided not to sell to me, but congratulations TyraNSX, on the great car at a great price.

The other Zanardi was the one in AutoTrader, #38. This car has a very high asking price of $65K, but it has only 5900 miles. I test drove it, and it is indeed an excellent specimen. It feels new and looks new. However, the current owner has smoked in it a little. This might be a deal breaker to some, but the smell was very slight and was generally overpowered by the new car smell. It's not beyond saving. Also, the owner was not really willing to negotiate on the price other than lowering it to $63K. He clearly is not desperate to sell it. At the same time I was looking at the car, a mechanic showed up to check out the car for a client.

So with #11 gone, and faced with a choice of a car nearby but a little overpriced, vs. a car that was 2000 miles away but fewer miles and a little less expensive, I decided that a trip to Minnesota was in order.

There were a couple of things I was worried about before I went. I talked to Jim to find out about the car's service records. There wasn't really any service ever done on this 6 year old car and it was still on the original factory oil! Certainly, this and the other fluids needed changing as soon as possible. NSXtasy helped me with his advice on this. I had been planning on taking the car to an Acura dealer right after purchase, but fortunately, Jim was nice enough to schedule an appointment with Bloomington Acura to have all the fluids changed before I got there. The dealer changed the engine and transmission oil, flushed the brake fluid, and replaced the coolant. I was all set for the 2000 mile drive home.

I flew out to Minneapolis on Friday night and was picked up by owner Jim in the morning. He let me inspect the car very carefully, and it was in extremely good shape. The car looked essentially new + 1500 miles, which is exactly what it was. I torqued the lug nuts and checked tire pressures. A bonus was the CD changer was already installed, and the Acura car cover was included! Unfortunately, there was no keyless entry, so that is something I will have to get soon.

So I bought it and took a nice, 2200 mile drive home. Through rain. Through strong crosswinds and dust storms and tumbleweeds (I cringed when I couldn't avoid hitting a couple of them). Past the Grand Canyon. It was a pleasure to drive the whole way, if a little stressful. My main concern was to get the car home safely, so I tried to drive carefully. By the end of the trip, thousands of bugs and butterflies died against the front of the car forming a disgusting crust.

So now it's back at home, safe in my garage. Washed and waxed. Now I have to go to the DMV. Pay that ridiculous CA sales tax on my "new" car. I've already changed insurance companies because my old one had never heard of the NSX. I have to get Lojack and keyless entry. So much stuff to do, but I don't seem to mind.


Looking forward to future discussions with all of you!
Welcome and good luck with your Zanardi! I'm hope your experience with this car will be as delightful and enjoyable as mine has been.
Nice write up too!
Terrific write up, sounds like you found a great car too. Welcome to Prime and I look forward to seeing more pictures as you begin to do things to your car.
Congratulations! Nice car and write up. Couple of Q's. Did someone go with you or did you use a tripod for the pic? Where in California are you? (maybe change your profile to relfect your city?) The listing is here on ebay. Looks good!
Take care,
John :biggrin:
Welcome to the club Glen. I enjoyed your story about becoming an NSX owner.

Congrats on your new NSX.
Glen -

Congrat's on Zanardi. I've only seen one at a distance while in AZ a few years ago but I think they're very cool cars.

Got any more pic's?

Where in Cali are you at?

Again, welcome to the cult.
Welcome and gratz on the Zanardi!!

Car looks great and the story was a very nice read. :smile:
WOW!! You bought a Zanardi NSX with just over 1,400 original miles!!! AMAZING!! It is good to know there are still soome nice ones out there. Congrats on the car, and I hope there are many safe miles ahead of you. :)
Hi Glen,

I don't know if you are from S Cal or N Cal, if you are around, come join us at the S Cal monthly meeting. Look forward to meet you.

Congratulations! Nice car and write up. Couple of Q's. Did someone go with you or did you use a tripod for the pic? Where in California are you? (maybe change your profile to relfect your city?) The listing is here on ebay. Looks good!
Take care,
John :biggrin:

Thanks, everyone for the welcome!

I had another person who was at the turn-off take the picture for me, not a tripod. I'm in San Diego. Looking forward to meeting with some of you.

welcome from the NE region of the nsxca!Try to get you and your car to nsxpo in Arizona in October.