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Looking at '97 NSX-T with 90k miles Tell me I'm Crazy

12 September 2012
Atlanta, GA
Hello Prime members, NSX addicts, lurkers, and (fellow) crazies.

This is my first post and I would love for you to tell me I'm crazy and walk away.

I currently drive a 2004 BMW M3 with 60k miles. This car has proven to be too sensible for me and have my eye on a gorgeous stock NSX which is local.

I really like the 97+ before the refresh as I think it is the car that captures the era. Japanese cars came of age in the 90s and the NSX is the crown jewel of these cars. Combine that with low production runs and Honda quality I don't see the price dropping much lower (I'm falling just short of calling it an investment, but I am confident it will not depreciate).

Reasons I am crazy (please confirm):
  1. Do not currently have enough liquid to purchase car.
  2. Have no garage currently, but plan to build a car port and that project would be accelerated.
  3. Steep incline to get into alley that leads to rear parking. (M3 gets in fine)
  4. NSX is $10k more than I would get for my car and has 30k more miles.

So to confirm, I would need to build the carport, likely buy a daily driver pick-up truck, and am worried the NSX won't get into the alleyway/driveway without scraping.

The car is listed for $35,500... here is the ad:

Thank you,
ok, you are crazy and should walk away

In seriousness, it is a big chunk of money and you shouldn't do anything you will regret. A M4 is notably different from an NSX in terms of usability. Just because a NSX is the "everyday supercar" doesn't mean it is 100% hassle free in daily driving. It sits low, draws a ton of attention and you tend to baby it like crazy because of that.

I have found the commentary from the Edmunds long term test to be illustrative on some of the realities in NSX ownership: http://blogs.insideline.com/roadtests/Vehicles/1991-acura-nsx/

All that said, that's a wonderful 1997 and in a very marketable color combination. I am sure that you could resell it 6 months down the line if it becomes unlivable for you and recoup your cash. Likewise, just because it lists for $35.5 doesn't mean it will sell for that - toss out a number and see how it works out.

There was some brief discussion on the car here: http://nsxprime.com/forum/showthread.php?t=165882
I do not think you are crazy. I own a 97 that I bought in 2006. I have put 40K miles on it since then, usually driving it two days a week. Mine is red/tan just like that that one. Here in Austin I don't think it gets that much attention. I see Maseratis (ugly) more often than NSXs here.

I do not have a garage either. But the car sits in a sheltered carport.

I expect an NSX with 90K will be more reliable and require less service than your lower mileage M3.

On that NSX, it is due for timing belt. So you should check on that. Replacing the TB/WP is in the $1600 range. The ad mentions a new clutch, which is nice because that costs 2X the TB service at a dealer.
IMHO not crazy at all. That looks like a great NSX, and what I'd be looking for in the car. As someone said, probably needs the TB/WP and you might factor that into your offer. But it looks like a great NSX in every respect.

Having owned a couple of BMW's (3 series and 5 series) I can suggest to you that your maintenance expense will be lower with the NSX, despite the higher mileage. Just trust me on this (from experience).

At that price, assuming all checks out, I suspect that if you purchased and had "remorse" that you could likely get your investment back. Nice, clean, stock and unmolested NSX"s are becoming harder to find, and buyers are out there for them.

Good luck, and let us know how it all turns out! Jay
Buy this car, and then trade with me :) My NSX has 65k miles on it
As far as the scraping goes, you wouldn't have to worry about it too much with this one as it doesn't have a front lip. If you talk to the owner, please let us know if he/she speaks in the same manner that he/she writes :rolleyes: and if the deal is legit (please refer to above aforementioned thread).
Eiffel, a very knowledgeable NSX tech in the Atlanta area has checked out that car and had this to say:
"I have looked at this vehicle for personal purchase, but it needed some TLC and not a mint condition vehicle. I passed on it at lower than current asking price. It could be bought back to former glory with some work and money. The owner's name is Jack."

I would check out the car before thinking of any more hypotheticals. Also, I agree with V.lats97nsx. I'm fairly certain the $25k is a stretch for a 2004 M3...esp if it has 60k (due for 2nd major service??).
I daily drive a 97 with more miles on it than that.
I don't see a problem with it. I've been doing it for 6-7 years now.
I also spent about $10,000 more than the top of my budget to get into it, BUT, it's not about the up front cost. A cars cost is determined by total cost of ownership including selling it.
The NSX is CHEAP when you factor in the depreciation is pretty much gone.
Buying a $45,000 1997 NSX will probably be cheaper than buying a $35,000 new sports car when you factor in selling it in 5-10 years.

Your other concerns. Garage. The NSX doesn't 'need' it. I drive mine 365 days a year(except for snow). Thus while I'm at work for 12 hours, it gets rained on. But..... it's a HONDA. Rain doesn't hurt it.... I drive it in the hardest downpours there are. No biggie.

Driveway. You won't know until you try. I made a custom front lip for my 97 so that I could lower it and still clear things. You'll probably be okay, but if not, just have your driveway fixed.
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Your certainly gonna save money with maintainence
I love my M3 and I will never sell her but geez it feels like every mile on her cost about $100
People can say what they wanna say but the parts and labor is sooo expensive on the ultimate driving machine...I swear I would throw her away if i wasn't so in love with her...luckily I have spent enough to get her in top top shape so hopefully I will not have any issues.

I agree, that 25k would be alot for my car, I was basing that 10k difference on KBB difference. I assume I wouldn't pay asking, and also rounding down that number to make it more palatable for convincing myself.