For as much love and fanfare as the original Acura NSX gets from the general automotive public, it’s the dedicated Honda enthusiast that takes that infatuation to rather unhealthy levels. Heralded for its underdog aura, real world capability, and drop-dead gorgeous look that has remained relevant over the last three decades, the original NSX has long served as a rolling trophy for the tuning community.
Not unlike adding too many string lights to your porch as Christmas closes in, or eating way too many chips with salsa before your taco plate arrives, it’s easy to do too much to an NSX and end up with something far removed from what Honda’s magical engineering team dreamt up in the late ’80s. This 1992 model, owned by long time enthusiast Jorge Perez, is mildly modified as to not fall into the trap of excess.
Seal the Deal
Six years ago, Perez picked up his dream car from a friend in New York City. He adds, “It was a solid foundation, but it needed a good amount of love to bring it back to its prime.” With a vision in mind, he brought the car to Angel Jimenez at Allstar Autobody to freshen up the front and rear bumpers that were showing their age. While it was there, a 2002-04 NSX rear valance was paint matched and installed to the rear bumper along with a set of Pride OEM-style side skirts.
The bulky side mirrors were ditched in favor of a pair of svelte Spoon Sports aero mirrors that were painted black to flow with the two-tone theme. There’s no widebody conversion, flared fenders, or overwhelming rear wing; In fact, even the front lip is a simple NA2 factory version. With the majority of the car’s original paint still intact, Perez hired Orsini’s Premium Detailing to perform a complete paint correction before applying ceramic coating to the entire exterior.
For quite a while, Perez rolled on 17-inch bronze Mugen MF10 wheels that worked well with the car’s pristine white body. What he really wanted, though, was a set of period correct Mugen M7s. If you’re involved in the Honda used wheel market, you know that NSX-spec M7s are all but impossible to track down, and if you are lucky enough to find a set for sale, prepare to take out a second mortgage … or a kidney.
Having given up on sourcing a set of the originals, Perez jumped at the chance to own a set of limited Mugen M7 reproduction wheels offered exclusively through King Motorsports. The staggered wheel set is based on 16×8 +42 fronts and 17×9 +46 rears which suit the NA1 chassis perfectly. Peek behind the spokes up front and you might catch a glimpse of the familiar blue Spoon Sports calipers. Along with the modernized wheels with their classic look, the taillights and front turn signals have been updated with LED versions, and the iconic pop-up headlights remain in service.
The fighter style cockpit is so good in factory form that little needs to be done to freshen things up. For Perez, Mugen S1R buckets were a must to replace the aged leather factory seats. The red stitching that runs along the edges of the bucket seats can also be found on the Mugen Racing 3 steering wheel. In true ’90s fashion, the brand’s often-copied Formula shift knob is on duty to stir the gears.
Thirty years ago, Honda’s 3.0-liter V-6 engine was groundbreaking and was America’s original introduction to the automaker’s Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC)—a system that would soon land in multiple models, most notably the Civic and Integra of the early ’90s. Today, the output isn’t nearly as lethal when compared to modern vehicles but still produces a song that sounds best at 8,000 rpm, and its one that Perez is accustomed to.
He’s aware of the forced induction options available but there’s just something about the growl of a naturally aspirated NSX that makes all the sense in the world from behind the wheel, just like Honda intended. In this case, the original C30 is enhanced by Science of Speed headers and exhaust, a pair of custom test pipes, and an RFY carbon fiber intake, all of which make jaunts to redline that much better.
Rather than falling victim to excessive upgrades, Jorge Perez realized restraint, patience, and carefully spent dollars were the way to make the vision that had settled inside his head years ago become reality. All the changes made to his NSX are reversible and his collection of parts, even in use, continue to rise in value, as does the vehicle they’re attached to. But all of that is just an added bonus, the real goal in all of this was to get his hands on that dream car and enjoy it, and that’s exactly what he’s been doing for the last six years.
Photos courtesy of Edward Guerrero.
Car 1992 Acura NSX
Owner Jorge Perez
Engine RFY carbon fiber intake; Science of Speed Advance headers, GT-spec exhaust; custom test pipes; Exedy Hyper Single clutch
Suspenion Tein Flex V coilovers
Braking Spoon Sports monoblock calipers; Stoptech power slot rotors
Wheels & Tires Mugen M7 16×8 +42 front, 17×9 +46 rear; Advan Neova AD08R 215/45-16 front, 255/40-17 rear
Exterior Paintwork by Angel Jimenez of All Star Autobody; 2002-04 OEM NSX rear valence, NA2 front lip; Pride OEM style sideskirts; Spoon Sports side mirrors; Mugen bumper lense covers; ARC lighting custom LED taillights, front turn signals
Interior Mugen S1R seats, Racing 3 steering wheel, Formula shift knob, Racing pedals
Thank you Steven Van at BRG for always taking care me from engine mods to fabrication, Ryan Doolin from AFHParts for always helping with all OEM parts, Jason at Orsinisis premium detailing for the paint correction and coatings, Edward Guerrero, the guys at MetroSpeed.
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