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Lot 339: Honda NSX Coupé

The Beaulieu Sale, Bonhams (7 September 2013)

Honda's first - and so far only - supercar, the NSX set new standards for the class on its arrival in 1989, possessing the expected stupendous performance while remaining as civilised and easy to drive as the average family hatchback. The Japanese manufacturer had first signalled its intentions back in 1984 when it displayed the Pininfarina-designed HP-X concept car, yet few would have believed that its first attempt at building a Ferrari-beater would prove so successful. Honda was already committed to Formula 1, supplying engines to the all-conquering McLarens of Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna, and was able to call on the latter to assist in developing the NSX, which is the only road car ever to benefit from the great Brazilian driver's expertise. The result was a car that wowed the motoring press when the scribes first got their hands on a pre-production prototype in the summer of 1989. 'Honda has bridged the gap between invigorating supercar and friendly sports car,' enthused Car magazine's Gavin Green. 'It will bring a whole category of car into the reach of those who can't afford Ferraris or Lamborghinis. The Japanese, it seems, have opened the door to Europe's remaining automotive secret.' Despite being developed during F1's turbo era, the NSX's 24-valve 3.0-litre V6 engine was normally aspirated. Equipped with the new VTEC variable valve timing system, the all-alloy unit produced 270bhp initially, which was good enough for a top speed of 168mph and a 0-60mph time of less than six seconds. Those performance figures put the NSX on a par with Ferrari's 348GTB, but in terms of comfort, ergonomics, driving dynamics and build quality, the NSX was in a different league entirely. Sadly, this superiority was not translated into sales, and by the time production ceased in 2005, fewer than 20,000 NSXs had been sold. A desirable pop-up headlamp model (later versions had fixed lamps) this right-hand drive NSX was ordered in August 1990, and the deposit paid, by the Patrick Collection, this being some six months prior to the NSX's launch and 15 months before delivery. Finished in silver with black leather interior, the car has the optional automatic transmission and is said to be in 'as new' condition, having covered circa 6,000 miles. It comes with full history and all MoTs (16) together with the original purchase invoice and dealer correspondence, and was serviced recently by a specialist (see rolling road verification and printout on file). Offered with MoT to April 2014, old-style logbook and Swansea V5, 'H910 NDA' represents a rare opportunity to acquire one of the defining supercars of the 1990s at relatively modest cost.

Lot Details
Auction The Beaulieu Sale
Bonhams, Hampshire, UK
TypeCar
Lot Number339
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£28000
Hammer Price (inc premium)£32200
Year1991
Condition rating2
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis numberJHMNA12600T001037
Engine numberC30A4-1000151
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors