Already an exotic beast, the first-generation Acura NSX has stood on its own for 25 years. However, Clarion Builds has taken it a step further with this 1991 NSX that received some serious surgery, but for all the right reasons.
Posted on ” target=”_blank”>Clarion Builds, this NSX had a staggering 230,000 miles on the clock. Looking to mix up the formula, the crew decided to ditch the old engine and five-speed transmission for the late-model 2004 version, a low-mileage 3.2-liter V6 engine mated to a six-speed transmission.
Partnered with Clarion Builds, Autowave Engineering, a tuner shop based in Huntington Beach, California, spent a considerable amount of time with the NSX, looking to reinvent the classic Acura in a whole new way.
When we think of Clarion, we think of high quality and crisp audio in cars. Learning about the Builds division was a surprise that caught us off guard. “We’re about audio and entertainment,” VP of marketing at Clarion USA Allen Gharapetian said. “The NSX redefined the sports car genre completely. Prior to the NSX, having an exotic car that basically didn’t cost an arm and a leg was basically impossible.”
“It was your typical Acura NSX with 230,000 miles on it,” said owner Mike LaPier. “We ended up putting a CT Engineering supercharger kit on it with a custom AEM exhaust and intake. What Honda put into that car, the amount of patents that went in were the first of its kind. It really made car manufacturers have to step up their game. It’s such a balanced car, it’s a driver’s car.”
Seeing it tear up the track at Willow Springs, the NSX puts down 344 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque to the tires, which is plenty for this mid-engine phenomenon. The addition of having two-time Formula Drift champion Chris Forsberg take the car to its limit at Willow Springs was just the icing on the cake. “One of the most enjoyable things that I do is to be able to take passengers on rides with me and give people the thrill of what this car is capable of,” said Forsberg.
LaPier has much praise for the NSX in general terms. “I often said if the car would have been supercharged in the earlier years, it would have been the perfect car out there,” he said. “I think Clarion Builds does a really good job bringing people into the build. It’s capturing that entire audience, whether you’re a wheel guy, a body guy, a performance guy, or a suspension guy, they are hitting so many avenues to bring everybody in.”
Being in business since 1940, Clarion has made strides to stay relevant with all of the changing trends in the automotive aftermarket. By broadening their focus from just audio, communication, and entertainment, we tip our hats to Clarion USA for this build.
Keeping the clean, dashing body lines and aerodynamics preserves this beautiful Acura. Sure it has a new spin on it with an updated engine, but it everything that marks simplicity and respect to the NSX. To check out more from Clarion Builds, be sure to check out their Facebook page to see what else they have up their sleeve.
What are your thoughts on this NSX build? Would you have done it different? Let us know what you think in the comments below.