With the new Acura NSX knocking on the $200,000 threshold, collectors and fans of exotics are catching on to the fact that the First Generation NSX is a pretty darned spectacular. Their values have risen meteorically in the last five years and we see no end in sight, as the NSX's unique combination of style, performance, pedigree, and scarcity means this ageless import has solidified itself on pretty much everyone's list of all-time sports cars. Of course, they were all bulletproof in typical Honda fashion, so many of them were used hard and put away wet, raced and abused, modified beyond recognition, and loaded with high miles. This particular, single-family owned 1996 Acura NSX-T is one of the finest examples on the market right now, with a scant 31,237 actual miles on the odometer, a stock presentation, and a huge stack of maintenance records. If you're looking for an uber-clean, unmolested NSX that's only going to become more and more valuable, this may be your last chance.
A lot of folks think of the NSX as a Japanese Ferrari, but I think that does the NSX a grave disservice. If you look at it, it's really like nothing else before it (or since), with a radical cab-forward design that was expressly made to resemble an F-16 fighter jet's cockpit. The low nose and neatly integrated rear spoiler are finished with noteworthy ease and the whole thing doesn't seem to be trying too hard to be racy. It just is. The First Generation NSX just looks like THE archetypical race car, pretty much what anyone from 5-to-50 years old would draw if given the imagination and skills to manifest a streamlined supercar. And with the world's first mass-produced all-aluminum body and all-aluminum 3.0L VTEC V6 engine, this targa top Acura has the light weight and strong performance to match its aerodynamic looks. Of course, Code R77 Formula Red is the number one color of choice – as proper as red lipstick on a supermodel – and thanks to low miles and conscientious care, it's about as close to "like new" as you'll find in a 32-year-old car. Of course, bright red paint with that blacked-out cockpit pretty much eliminates any chance of going unnoticed, but that's the price of stardom so get used to envious gawks as you go cruising by. If you have any doubts about Honda's ability to deliver a product worth more than $85,000 (in 1996 dollars), you need only look at the ripple-free panels on this NSX. Thanks to uber-smart Japanese design, it isn't prone to scraping its chin on driveway aprons, either, so all the nose pieces are nicely preserved and the rockers haven't been sandblasted by road debris. Obviously, someone cherished this car like a member of the family, as you can count the minor imperfections on one hand. And for future security, the front nose was ceramic-coated to maintain the car's gorgeous depth and shine.
Despite the mid-engined layout, Honda managed to make the NSX as comfortable and user-friendly as an Accord. No longer could an exotic car claim that being cramped, hot, uncomfortable, and using balky switch gear was a sign of character, and it wasn't too long after this that the big names got serious about improving quality and user-friendliness. Acura really went the extra mile with the interior, and while you'd expect some shared components, there aren't many. The deeply bolstered black leather seats are very nicely preserved with only minor comfort marks, notably on the driver's side bolster left over from entering and exiting the vehicle. The sculpted 2-seater grabs and holds you like your favorite aunt at a family reunion, and with such a ergonomically-designed seating positions, it's easy to climb in despite the car's low-slung stance. Ever tried the coordinated "Lambo fall"? Well, the Japanese ensured you'll look far more graceful attempting it here. The rest of the interior is equally nice and as a Honda that's been regularly serviced, everything works as you'd expect (including the famous pop-up headlights). The A/C is effective, the AM/FM/Cassette stereo sounds great thanks to plenty of sound-dampening materials and great aerodynamics, and everything was standard so you don't have to worry about owning a stripped NSX. Heck, there's even usable trunk space both up front and in back, and the original tool kit is still in tow as well.
You know Honda was serious about the NSX when they filled the 3.0-liter 24-valve VTEC V6 with titanium connecting rods and ultra-light aluminum pistons. The result is an engine that loves to rev and shrieks to its 8000 RPM redline like an F1 racer, and remember, this was almost 30 years ago! Keep it boiling and the engine was devastating on the street and thanks to a slick-shifting 5-speed manual transmission (a companion that let's this NSX really come to life), it's easy to point and shoot your way all around town. Combined with the flyweight chassis, it's exuberant on the road and sings to redline without strain. Honda's legendary A-arm suspension delivers superlative handling (as well as that low cowl) and it's fitted with power 4-wheel disc brakes whose specifications might seem modest on paper, but thanks to an intensive weight-control program, are more than adequate for the feathery NSX. Staggered ZR alloys are the perfect endcaps, wrapped in grippy 205/40/17 front and 265/35/18 performance radials that keep it planted to the road.
Complete with a host of maintenance receipts and its original tool kit, this 1996 NSX is amazingly preserved, incredibly powerful, and boasts a sure-fire pedigree that will only continue to enhance its value. This might be your last chance to get one before they get out of reach for good. Call today!