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The 2,500 miles Honda Test Car (re)build

30 October 2008
France & Portugal
Hi Primemembers and Friends

Here I go again on a new NSX adventure
I had the chance to find a one of a kind NSX that I bought directly to one of the Honda Motor Europe chairman from France
Car was an instruction and formation tool for the French Honda engineers for 20 years!

It got invloved in an accident right after it was sold, but light enough so Honda had some interest buying it back from its owner to use it as a Test Car. Chassis frame is intact, and good news it
has an unbelievable low mileage of 2500 miles (4000 kms) only! Car starts and run, all the mechanical and electronic parts are there, even the A/C works! Gearbox serial # is under the snap-ring failure range.

This is how she looked like when I bought her in Paris:


What you see is what I got, and what you don't see are all her missing parts that I need to rebuild it :biggrin:

First task was to transport the car from Paris to Lisbon (were I live), in a truck, covered to avoid getting wet on her 1800 kms route to me :rolleyes:


Finally car arrived in Portugal after one week....and of course I could not miss to unload it myself :biggrin:

I feel I am going to love this car, so I choose a french song "Je Vais T'aimer" from Michel Sardou as a background music :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

Car looks incredibly new, I have no doubt of its low mileage, and can't wait to start rebuilding her.

My idea is to strip what's left from the car, as complete blocks for the front suspension and rear engine+suspension, respray her in white Championship color as I really hate the RED (sorry for all the red lovers) , and convert it to a new popular NSX-R...again :wink:

A major service including timing belt, oils, gaskets replacement will of course be included.

Folowing a few more pictures



Stay tuned for this new adventure, it wouldn't be fun without you :wink:
Congrats on your rare find. Looking forward to following our build.
Thank you guys

It´s been a busy weekend, all the mechanical parts are already removed from the car
I started to drain all the water from the radiator, engine was regularly put to start and heat during all these years, so its water was still clear luckily


My plan is to remove the less possible screws of course.

I removed the rear wheels just to reduce the weight when lifting the engine by its lifting brackets and mostly the attached suspension and subframe that hold all the wheels weight



Brake disks have absolutely no wear, and driveshaft has never been removed so as all other mechanical items, it confirms owner speach when I bought it from him :cool:
Then I removed the engine as a complete block, with all the suspension and even the exhaust still attached!
So, here is the engine removed from the car


And finally the front suspension
By experience, when stripping a complete car, we should start by removing the engine and then the front suspension in this order. A bare NSX chassis on a lifter without the front suspension but with the engine on, will actually FLIP backwards!!! That is why I attached the front of the chassis with a belt to the front lift arm just for extra safety :eek:


Car came with LELEU wheels on its left side, unfortunaletly I only have 2 of them, 17 and 18" !
These are probably old model wheels, discontinued and almost impossible to find spare ones to complete the set


Car will be white this week, I don't want to see any more red color on her! :biggrin:
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Some weekly updates

After stripping the car until the last single gommet it was finally time to prepare it for its new Championship color


That is a 3-day job for sanding, prep and isolating her for 4 the diferent colors: white, black and matt black for the upper engine bay, and chassis black under her!

Anyway I couldn't be happier with results, this is the moment when all the work of stripping her starts to make sense! :biggrin:

The engine bay...


Then there is all the work of reassembling her, starting with water pipes, ALB, wires and front suspension...




Very NICE! Refreshing to see your doing it the right way. Keep up the good work!
I read the first mentioning of this car and I'm glad you were able to purchase it....hopefully for a fair price! You didn't waste any time getting it stripped and color changed. It will be incredible once completed and you'll have another basically brand new NSX again! I'm jealous.
Hugo you really go all the way. you must be making a killing over there.

cant wait to meet you.
As for French wheels, I don't trust any French wheel of that time. These are three piece and my last Axis wheel made in France not only built cracks in the Center but also serious cracks on the stressed inside due to the camber in the rear. They were light but simply mis-engineered.

Great Project but why white again?
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WOW, great project.

I am always happy to see people who are WILLING to invest that much time and resources into rebuilding what is basically an 'old' car.
But I agree with Thomas, Sebring Silver would have been an excellent colour too :)
Thank you guys!
Before buying the Test Car I found and bought a part car, just slighlty front-damaged, ideal to complete my project, here in the North of Portugal around 400kms from Lisbon!
That was the only way I could ever get all the missing parts in a financially viable solution, we all know the prices of new parts, and to it won't be easy to get all the missing parts separately on the "used" market, there are just too many!

Owner had an Automatic NSX and bought this car himself just to perform an auto-to-manual conversion, but car was still almost complete! He kept it all dismantled for a few years in case he needed other parts but never did so he sold it to me!:rolleyes:

You can see all the body panels laying in his garage...I bought is all dismantled but 4 mechanics reassembled it in just 3 hours for the towe truck to be able to carry it :biggrin:


All body panels are there, all the glasses and even the dashboard, seats, door cards....


Car was originally red and reprayed in yellow! Looks like a fertilized chicken egg to me :eek:

After 3 hours car was reassembled and ready for transportation


So now that I already have all the missing parts I just carry on stripping everything until the last gommet, as detailing is what really makes all the difference to my opinion :biggrin:
Doors were completely stripped just for an inside painting...
GOLDNsx was wondering why I went for white again! Truth is I miss my other 2 white NSX´s so I had to go for that color again, it really suits her nicely


And here already reassembled with glass, harness and everything else...


Some more individual painting of body panels and smaller black parts...

Then already fit on the car, already with the dashboard, carpets and so on...


This is usually the time when you are wondering if the car will ever work again!
Organization for all the bolts and clips is absolutely crucial to make the job easier... :wink:



Car already starts to look like an NSX again, even if reminds me of a fried egg now.
I will make another all-aluminium nsx-R replica NA2 style vent on the bonnet, this is why it is still yellow, it requires a 3-day job just for itself!
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Absolutely incredible - amazing - lots of work and such attention to detail. Have no idea how you (or anybody) can do that - very impressive. Keep the updates and pics coming - love it!
progress is coming along so nicely. Just the way I would build one if I had the time and money.