Prepare to spend a few minutes looking at a very nice car while scratching your chin. Yes, another Japanese modern classic has gone for a silly amount of money on auction site Bring a Trailer.
Hot on the heels of a Honda S2000 and a Civic Si each selling for $50,000 on the platform, this Acura NSX has just gone under the virtual hammer for a patently obscene $277,017 (nearly £210,000). Once you’ve wiped all that spat out tea off your screen, we’ll take a closer look to try and work out why.
First off, the 1999 example is one of only 51 Zanardi Edition NSXs - created to celebrate the Italian driver’s Honda-powered 1997 and 1998 CART titles - and has the additional distinctinction of being the 51st of those produced. Strengthening the motorsport ties further, it was gifted new to Canadian motorbike racer Miguel Duhamel, who’s owned it ever since.
During his ownership, the car covered less than 12,000 miles. Like all Zanardi Editions, it has bright New Formula Red paint on a fixed-roof body (all other US-market NSXs were Targas at this point), with a black microsuede and leather interior. The 3.2-litre V6 is - thankfully - hooked up to a manual rather than the sluggish ‘F-Matic’ auto.
A set of staggered BBS forged wheels - 16-inch up front and 17-inch at the back - complete the look, but it’s important to note the Zanardi Ed’s changes are more than cosmetic. These cars also have no power steering, a lighter rear spoiler, thinner rear glass and a lightweight rear battery, trimming the weight figure by 67kg. Sharpening the handling further, the suspension is stiffened up relative to a standard NSX.
It was sold with “recent” service records (presumably meaning it doesn’t have a full-service history), a CarFax report, a set of Duhamel’s leathers and the original window sticker. The price on that sticker is shown as $84,745 - adjusted for inflation, that’s still less than half the auction end price.
Last month it had a new oil pan, a fresh battery, and an oil change at Cardinale Way Acura in Last Vegas. In 2007, the driver’s door was repainted following a low-speed accident. The current tyres - Dunlop Direzza DZ101s - are 13 years old, so hopefully, the buyer will get those changed soon. Assuming they actually intend on using the car, as opposed to tucking it away in a garage.
Although Zanardi Edition NSXs are inevitably sought after versions of Honda’s mid-engined masterpiece, the price of this one will surely raise eyebrows, especially considering another (admittedly leggier) example went on BaT earlier this year for ‘just’ $135,000.