1992 Acura NSX – 100,000 Miles Achieved
Odometer (Legend): 533,180
Odometer (ILX): 121,438
I couldn’t have asked for a more fitting time or place for my 1992 Acura NSX to turn over its first 100,000 miles.
My friends and I were just finishing up an exhilarating run up southern Arizona’s Mount Lemmon, last Friday, April 10th. As the NSX odometer’s numbers crept steadily upward like digits on a Vegas slot machine in slow-motion, I watched as the “1” started peeking its way up from below. Digital odometers will never be as fun as those old “rolling” kind!
Followed closely by my Legend coupe (driven by Peter) and Legend sedan (driven by Jason), we turned west on Pecos Road from Interstate 10 as we came into the south end of the Phoenix area. Just 5 miles later, I had to pull over to the shoulder for this short video clip:
I’m a historian in every sense, so if you’ll bear with me I’ll share a little about my NSX and its life since its February 1992 date of manufacture in Japan. I’m the fourth owner of this NSX. The first owner made his purchase on September 29, 1992 and had the car for almost 5 years. The second had it for only a year. The third owner had it for over 13 years, and then I came along. I first test-drove the car on Sunday, December 11, 2011 while my friend Matt and I were in the Bay Area for a Metallica concert. It had 80,441 miles on it.
Love at first sight?
The following Saturday, December 17th, I flew back to San Jose and sealed the deal with a certified check and a handshake. The car had 10 more miles on it by then, and I drove away at 80,451 as the new proud owner. My first fuel stop was at Gas N’ Go on Blossom Hill Road in San Jose. I paid $3.65/gallon for 12 gallons of Premium and went on my way. Yes, I saved that receipt.
I listened to the Top Gun soundtrack on cassette tape (it came with the car) for a good portion of the 721-mile drive home.
I’m still in contact with all 3 prior owners. In fact, shortly after I bought the car, I snail-mailed some current pictures to its original owner, William, and he responded gratefully with the following comments:
That is indeed my NSX. I really was interested in owning one from the time they came out, but the feeding frenzy drove the prices out of reason. I drove it on the weekends and sometimes on Friday to work. I was racing Formula cars at Laguna Seca at the time, so I drove it to Monterey once a month and parked it with the Ferraris, the Porsches, and the occasional Lambo that the other racers would bring.
Its second owner, Gary, also had some fun at the very same track:
I did manage to race that car on an open track day at Monterey’s Laguna Seca racetrack and I guarantee that the weakest part of the car was the driver! How many cars have you had that can be driven through traffic jams and then spend the day racing around the track at 8000 RPM, and then step back in for a wonderful return home trip. Most of the other participants had to trailer their cars to the track and have all the spares they felt they needed to keep the car going. Two Corvettes had such brake failures that the ran into hay bales at the end of the long straight.
The day before the track day I managed to spin the car four spins while trying to enter a curving onramp near my home. Mostly because I needed to replace the Yokohama tires that really wear out too quickly and with bad grip at the rear the car really starts acting more Porsche-like and hard to handle. New Dunlops were perfect timing for the next day on the track and never again spun out the back end.
Up until that the day I picked the car up, it had lived 100% of its life in the San Francisco Bay Area. I bought the car as a 30th birthday present to myself in December 2011 and brought it to its new home in Arizona. Since then it’s been with me on a number of adventures. Here’s a lengthy post where I shared a bunch of those.
What does it cost to own and operate one of these old cars? As mentioned, I took delivery at 80,451 miles. Today, the car has 100,060. So, I’ve put on 19,609 miles and I’ve spent $2,347.14 keeping it on the road. That means it’s cost me 8 cents per mile. Keep in mind that we’re of course excluding the cost of fuel, registration, insurance, and emissions testing. This is strictly a maintenance cost.
Unlike on my Legend coupe, I don’t have “all-inclusive” records back to new on this car, but I do have quite a chunk of paperwork in a 3-ring binder that I’ve taken the time to log and that I continue to track on an ongoing basis. Here’s what I have record of on this car since it was brand new:
- 18 oil changes (I currently use Castrol GTX 10W30)
- 4 batteries
- 1 timing belt & water pump change (Jan 2011 @ 78,239 mi)
Aside from that, there have been various other repairs over the years. The big ticket items were a $1,700 repair due to a “snap ring” issue (common a certain subset / production run of these cars) at 37,000 miles and a $2,500 repair at 65,000 miles that included mostly brake work. Total maintenance cost on record (remember, I’m certain that I don’t have a piece of paper for everything that’s ever been done to the car) for 100,060 miles and 22 years of service is $16,498.55. That comes out to 6 cents per mile over its entire lifetime.
Here’s my detailed spreadsheet if anyone is interested in the nitty gritty.
The car currently has a few maintenance needs which I’ll be addressing prior to the NSXPO event in Palm Springs this October.
- Passenger rear inner CV boot leaking
- Oil pan gasket leaking
- ABS pump accumulator faulty
I’m lucky to have the country’s premier NSX service & repair facility right here in my own backyard. Science of Speed in Chandler, Arizona has made a name for itself as the place to have NSX service or upgrades performed. Every time I’ve been into the shop, there are at least a half-dozen NSXs up on the lifts getting something done to them.
On the topic of milestones and maintenance:
The ILX drove 9,015 miles in the little over two months’ time between February 3rd and April 11th. It went in on Saturday for an oil change, tire rotation, and replacement of the alternator belt — a $275 service at Acura of Tempe. It sure is nice being able to go three times as far on an oil change in the ILX than I was used to doing in my Legend.
I took a quick shot of “old” and “new” ILXs on my way out. You can see the subtle differences in the rear bumper and the taillights between the 2013 and the 2016 models.