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New Member Rants

1 September 2001
Greetings and salutations, NSXers. In an effort to put on a clean shirt and present myself digitally, I thought it best to start a thread, and celebrate my first post in style. Here is my rant and rave as to how I got here, I've been lurking around this site for some time now. I am on my second red on black NSX. I purchased my first in March of '95, a new leftover '94 coupe no. 472. I had the salesman figure out the difference I saved in price, between mine and a '95 targa, and it came to $18K. I had the roof, moldings and door handles painted red for $1800. Seemed to give the car a more Lotus type of look.

I moved back to New York City, from FL, in January 2000 and had the car serviced upon arrival. I was informed that the gasket between the transmission and engine needed attention and the clutch was half fried. Only 15K miles (?!), it cost $5300 to do the two at once. That evening, the fifth time I parked it on the street for a couple of hours, it was stolen. I heard the alarm, but I was getting laid at the time, and by the time I got on some pants and shoes, it was history. Normally (?), I would have run outside in my birthday suit to defend my car, but the wind chill factor was 20 degrees below zero. (Ever drive on cold tires on a brutally cold day? It is like riding on four bowling balls.) Hey, I actually don't have the right to do any physical harm to someone doing property damage, so all I could have done is ask him to please get out of my car. I have held people until the Police showed up before, and it isn't fun.

Well, actually alarms were going off all over the neighborhood, it was around 9:00 PM. The Sheriff was towing cars in the area and had a fleet of flatbed tow trucks with him. All I can say is that I heard my alarm for a few seconds, before it was silent. The hair on the back of my neck stood up, and I had a bad feeling. The Sheriff made me wait until he was finished with all the angry car owners, before checking to see if my car had been wanted, or taken, by any of his men. (He didn't seem to have any control over what cars they might have taken.) He told me to go to the nearest Police Station and make a report, since it was an out of state car.

The station was only a mile away, and I passed eight cars worth of officers hanging out in front of a local park taking a donut break. I walked into an empty Police Headquarters and explained my story to someone, who explained my story to someone, and so on. Twenty minutes later 'the man' in charge comes out of his office, hands me my paperwork, and tells me to check with the Sheriff, maybe it was towed. I tell him that I already did, and he says I should go to where the car was stolen, and dial 911. So, I do. One hour and forty minutes later, they show up, hand me a dozen affidavits to sign, stating that I haven't allowed anyone to use my car, or to damage my car. They get annoyed with me when I try to read the things I'm signing. In any case, when they go back to the precinct at the middle of their shift, they will file the papers. I say goodbye to NY's 'Finest' more than four hours after the car was stolen. "Welcome back to NY."

Feel bad for me? Don't. I'm NYC born and raised and I've seen it all. I left NY in '96 after my house was defaced, my business broken into, my Grandmother terrorized by someone that cut her telephone wires and tried to break into her house, and my car was torched, all in the same week. Well, that's another story. Soooo, Allstate takes forever to decide that my car is worth $33K, even though the dealer told me I could get $50K, since it was clean and maintained. After much back an forth, I determine that they made a typo, and are basing the value on a car with 150K miles, I settled for $44K. That works out to 8.1 cents per mile.

What to drive next? I felt the only step up would be a Zenardi Edition, and I located the prototype. Contrary to popular belief, it isn't '99 number 00, but instead it is '98 number 70. (From what I understand, the Japanese are into numerology, and having a 7 in the serial number is done for luck.) Mechanically, it is just like the 99 production run models, except that it has power steering, which, according to Road & Track, may just make it the best handling car in the world. (Yay for me!) Cosmetically, it doesn't have the plaque and the roof was black. I had the roof painted, without the door handles and moldings this time, by the same Mercedes dealer as the first, and it now cost me $2100, for less work.

It was a showcar/prototype with 800 miles on it, and I was rear-ended after only 700 miles. Just a scratch. At 2300 miles, I was clipped by an out of control panel van that had hit a puddle, $2300. On the way to the bodyshop, I almost T-ed a parked car, due to some invisible slime deposited on the road. (I'm normally good at reading the road, having ridden motorbikes my whole life.) On the way back from the bodyshop, someone in an hour-old Lincoln Navigator steps on the wrong peddle and plows into the car next to me, while I am waiting for a red light. I can still taste the paint chips, and I got covered with bits of grill and light lenses.

FYI-I've driven 20-40 highway miles on a rear flat, and you'll be happy to know you can get another 5-10 miles even after the sidewall tears. Good to know. Aside from that, New York now considers anything over 23 mph over the speed limit reckless driving, and seizes the vehicle.

The car is still stock. I've considered all the options available over the years, and mechanically, I like the Comptech headers, exhaust, air-box upgrades. 10% more power, and the drivablity and reliability should remain close to stock. If I hate the next NSX, I think I'll do those. I'm not keen on doing any body mods, but a larger wing and the see-through engine cover look like sensible cost effective upgades. I wonder about the drag caused by a larger wing. Does anyone know if the see-through engine cover causes any problems with dirt, heat or moisture? Fixed headlight kits are cool, but doesn't lexan scratch?

Anyhoo, I'm happy with my car (again), and wouldn't trade it for any other car. We make a good team. I wonder what the next NSX is going to be like. Road & Track says it will be steel, cheaper, and have a V-8. Car and Driver claims exotic materials, V-10 or V-12, and a $150K price. My belief, based upon what Honda has done with exotic motorbikes, is a more mass-produced type of vehicle, closer to what R&T state. Production methods have changed, and the exotic motorbikes produced by Honda have gone in that direction. If you remember the S2000 press release, they claimed that the higher costs of exotic body materials, in production, repair, and insurance, simply doesn't justify their use. Using new production techniques, steel bodies can be made with aluminum hoods and trunks for about 15 pounds of weight over an all aluminum body.

Anyone like the new RSX? I prefer the old Integra Type-R myself. While I don't like the pop-up head lights on my NSX, I think all cars look the same nowadays. Ever since they invented a computer program to design headlights, cars are looking boring. I thought Honda would do away with them by now, but why would they change them now after 10+ years, for a two year run until the new model debuts? As far as the all new model is concerned, the factory where the NSX is built is running at capacity making two other models, and they can't recoup any investment if they introduce an all new car that sells less than the current NSX. It takes about 200 million dollars to design a car, more for a world-class exotic. Honda isn't known for big-horsepower engines, but small fast engines. 354 horsepower is needed at the very least.

I'll leave you with this thought. I've had modified sports cars all my life (formerly a Porsche lover). I gave a lot of thought as to what car to buy, and I decided that the happiest times in my life were when I was a kid on my Honda mini and motorbikes. If you want the fastest car, go buy a Mercedes with the biggest engine you can afford. If you want a light aircraft for the street, it is the NSX. Accelerates twice as fast as a 911 over 100 mph, small wonder Porsche still plays with turbos.
Welcome, Major! What an introduction!

With all the various topics, there's lots of grist for responses. I'll just touch on a few points...

I felt the only step up would be a Zenardi Edition, and I located the prototype. Contrary to popular belief, it isn't '99 number 00, but instead it is '98 number 70.

Uh... it sounds to me like what you have might actually be a 1998 NSX Coupe, not a prototype for the 1999 NSX Zanardi edition. The '98 coupe would have come with a black roof; the Zanardi comes with a red roof. Other obvious tip-offs would be the seats (only the Zanardi seats would have been black with red stitching; the single red coupe sold in '98 had a tan interior) and the wheels (the coupe comes with seven-spoke wheels, the Zanardi comes with multi-spoke wheels that you can see at http://www.nsxprime.com/FAQ/General/modelinfo/znsxatshow.jpg ).

FYI-I've driven 20-40 highway miles on a rear flat, and you'll be happy to know you can get another 5-10 miles even after the sidewall tears. Good to know. Aside from that, New York now considers anything over 23 mph over the speed limit reckless driving, and seizes the vehicle.

You weren't driving that fast with the spare on, were you? If so, it's no wonder the sidewall tore. The reason they recommend not going over 50 mph with the spare is that, with its lower profile and smaller size, it builds up a lot more heat (in the tire as well as, I think, the transmission).

Anyone like the new RSX? I prefer the old Integra Type-R myself.

They're two entirely different models. The new RSX Type S replaces the Integra GS-R, not the Integra Type R.

why would they change them now after 10+ years, for a two year run until the new model debuts?

Good question. My guess is that the new model is more like three years out, not two (despite the press reports).

I'll let others address some of your other questions and comments.

Nice to hear from you! Hope to meet you at NSXPO 2001!

[This message has been edited by nsxtasy (edited 05 September 2001).]
No, it is certainly the prototype, and it was presented to me as such. It has the special interior and stitching, wheels, single glass partition, lowered, firmer shocks, etc. The differences are minor, but together they make for a much improved sports oriented car than the stock model. Remember when the car first came out and people wondered why anyone would pay $40K for a Japanese car? Now they are pushing $90K, and it is difficult to justify paying more for less, in most peoples opinion. The '94 never made any ABS pump noise, but this one does. Did they change something with the brakes? Sounds terrible!
Originally posted by MAJOR STONER:
Remember when the car first came out and people wondered why anyone would pay $40K for a Japanese car?

I remember when the car first came out - apparently, better than you. It carried an MSRP of $60,600 including the $600 transportation charge. For the first few months, most of them sold for over $80,000. Few people were wondering.

Or perhaps you are thinking of when Acura first opened its doors in 1986. The Legend was the first Japanese car over $20,000 and some people WERE wondering whether a Japanese car would sell at that price. It did.

The '94 never made any ABS pump noise, but this one does. Did they change something with the brakes? Sounds terrible!

Perhaps the ABS was not working on your '94. The ABS pump SHOULD make noise for several seconds when you start it up. If it KEEPS making noise, there's something wrong with it.

You DO know that you are supposed to exercise the ABS from time to time with a VERY hard stop, to keep the solenoids from sticking, right?
Yes, you're right, I stand corrected. I just pulled an old R&T from '91 and it states a list price of $55-60K. The article starts: "More than $50,000 for a Japanese sports car?"

Thanks for the tip on the brakes, I'll try stepping on them a bit more and see what happens.
Do you have pictures of your car? I would love to see this car that by all accounts seems to be very special and unique.
Well, 12 years with the same model car, I still have not traded it in for a Lambo. I really do like the NSX more, not so much a matter of the money, but passion. The NSX ownership experience is the most intense. Between all the different aftermarket modificaions that are available for a limited production vehicle, the tight NSX/NSXPrime community, and the fact that I still peek in the garage to stare, I know I made the right decision in buying the NSX, again.

My first NSX was stock, as I had a couple of race bikes to play with. But it is great when you have a car that you can identify from fifty feet as yours when parked in a row of similar cars at the dealership. It only took five years, but I finally managed to get all the pieces to build a quality TypeR replica. R&T called the Zanardi Edition one of the best handling cars in the world, and that was before the carbon fiber diet and chassis bars. I still like the Zanardi wheels the best, and the suspension/ride height has not been addressed since I seem to use every mm of it. The seats are still in good shape, so I am still not quite ready for Recaros, but keeping an eye out. It is a drivers car for the street, and I picked my mods according to that end.

The car has the Procar NSX-R aero bits in exposed CF, until they get damaged from rock chips. The car remains NA, as it seems to suit my driving style, which is all about momentum and smoothness. I have not seen a Lambo that can launch consistant zero-sixty times in under 4.7 seconds, so I see little benefit from a V-10 coupled to computer controlled AWD. Perhaps that is the direction Acura's next flagship model will take, but the kid-in-me wants mid-engine and light weight. With 80K+ miles of AWD experience under my belt now, I think that is the direction future supercars should take.

Looks like I will be holding on to this car a while. This year looks like a few Procar CF interior bits will make themselves available, but I have the car as I want it now, so any additional mods are just gravy. Thanks to everyone on Prime for sharing the experience. With 20% of my posts deleted, thanks to all that have put up with my nonsense over the years.


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"So Easy a Caveman Can Do!"


"That is one bad-ass NSX!"
Sometimes it's good for an old thread to find new life. Other times, it's better to let sleeping dogs lie. In this case, resurrecting the past helped provide insight to some lively & informative posts (along with some exceptional P-Shop skills), by a caveman I never met... but have come to respect. To Major Stoner, I raise my bong to you sir.

As this is my first post, I will keep it short. I'm a two-time NSX owner about to pull the trigger on number three, in red no less. I can relate to the stories about New York. Not because I lived there, but because I live in South Florida... the 6th borough. Mostly, I can relate to anyone that chooses an NSX. In my book, that makes you smarter than the average caveman... or MIT grad. You choose.

NSX Prime rocks. You all need to thank Lud for the enormous amount of work goes into running a major forum.
one sad thing I notice is that in 2001 MS was talking about the next NSX. Then Ken chimes saying it may be 3 years away.

Unfortunately, its 2007 and it is still 2-3 years away. How pathetic.
The reason I am drawn to the NSX other than style is that it is lightweight, mid-engine and RWD. AWD is a mixed blessing: cars with those drivetrains are gas guzzlers.

Also other cars the NSX is frequently compared to (ie: Gallardo) have around half the gas mileage of the NSX, not to mention much higher maintenance costs. I really don't see how AWD is justified in many cars today unless you live in a climate with constant rain/snow.
No point in getting into another RWD vs. AWD debate, there are enough of those threads. I just don't want to have to learn how to put 500 hp down to the ground through two wheels, especially in less than perfect weather. So let's just say that RWD or AWD should be an option, and leave it at that.


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Great car.
And yes, those are the best wheels ever on an NSX.:biggrin:
Some of the lightest as well.

Again, Nice pic's & it really is great to see certain older threads resorected.:biggrin:
just curious so was #70 really a zanardi prototype or was it just someone that bought all the zanardi stuff and put it on his 98?