The Acura NSX debuted when I was in high school way back in the 90s. It was my perfect car.
I’ve always been a car guy and the NSX was:
- simple: normally aspirated, no power steering
- great in the corners: its chassis was tuned by one of the best F1 drivers in history
- reliable: yay Honda!
- beautiful: NSX’ curves still look great after all of these years
But, I would never have one. At least I didn’t think that I would…
NSX Dream Become Reality
I didn’t grow up with money. Most of the cars my parents owned were used ones when Detroit wasn’t doing so well. My father’s fervent “Buy American!” stance led to ownership of vehicles like the Chevy Citation:
I remember my poor father spending many, many nights and weekends under the hood of our cars trying to keep them going. Profanity spewed out the garage.
Side note: To be politically correct, my parents told everyone my first word was “car.” My mother admitted to me once that it was actually “f***.”
Anyway, the starting price of an NSX was about $60,000. I’d never have the money to buy one. I didn’t have high expectations for myself and never dreamed that I’d amount to much.
But then, my money insecurity led me to bust serious ass for a couple of decades. It wasn’t the right decision, but hey, now I’m sitting on a big pile of money. Life is good.
When the pile started to get pretty big, I started casually looking at NSXs. I always talked myself out of buying one though. I hoped that the desire to own one would go away, but it never did. So, in May of 2017, I pulled the trigger:
Here is the first picture I took of it:
I drove it from Wisconsin back to Colorado. Speeding down Wisconsin country roads was incredible. One of the silly joys of life is downshifting into a turn and then laying on the gas.
The Joy Wears Off
So, this is true:
The pursuit is often more fun than the ownership of it.
We decided to get rid of the NSX for several reasons:
We didn’t drive it much: We have three cars and barely need one. I’m vastly underemployed and Mindy mostly works from home.
Mental bandwidth: The NSX was in really nice condition and I’m a scrappy guy. I was always worried about nailing it with a tool or spilling something in the car. One day, I came out of the house and my children were circling the car on scooters, inches away from the body. I nearly crapped myself. On top of all of that, it was yet another mechanical contrivance to maintain.
We bought real estate: If everything goes as planned, we’ll close on a live-in flip on Friday. If we didn’t sell the car, we’d have to sell stocks and get hit with capital gains.
I’m done with gas: Electric cars are an epiphany. There is beauty in simplicity. An internal combustion engine is a Rube Goldberg machine compared to an electric motor. I may never buy another fuel-burner.
No more joy: In the end, the most important reason is that it just didn’t bring us happiness anymore. Sure, it was fun to stomp on the gas on highway entrance ramps and mountain corners, but those moments were few and far between. I don’t regret buying it because the car is now out of my system, but I’m happy to see it gone.
Here is the last picture I took of the NSX, right before the new owner drove it away:
We paid $45,000 for the car and sold it for the exact same amount. A friend who is obsessed with the NSX stated that I should be able to get about $50,000 if I had patience.
Normally, I would have waited for the selling season (spring). However, we needed to come with cash for the upcoming home purchase (more on this next week).
Had we held on to the car, we would have had to sell stock and incur about $3,000 in long-term capital gains taxes. Even if we would have been able to get $50,000 for the car in the spring, we wouldn’t have come out that far ahead. Plus I wanted to reclaim garage space. And mental space.
Most supercars are notoriously expensive to own. Not the NSX though. It was up to date with maintenance when I bought it, so in the 2.5 years that we owned it, I changed the oil every spring and washed it regularly. That’s it.
Full coverage insurance was more expensive than our Mazda 5 or Honda Element, but still wasn’t too bad either at slightly less than $400/year.
Bye-Bye Sweet Car
My heart hurt for a couple of minutes as the NSX disappeared from view. But I’m glad we did it. The car should be owned by someone who will drive it more than we did. The new owner is a car guy, so it’s going to a good home.
I will probably have a fancy car again someday, but it will be electric. If I had to buy one now, it would probably be a Tesla Model S. Good examples of the latter can now be had for under $40,000.
But, we don’t need another car. Mindy and I have two and we barely need one. So, there will be no Tesla in my near future.
Thanks for the memories sweet NSX. I’m sorry that we didn’t get to drive Highway 1 in California. I do regret that a little bit. I hope that your new owner treats you right.
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