I've been shooting cars for nearly 20 years, or about the same amount of time that I've known Tam Le, owner of this 1991 Acura NSX. We've become good friends in recent years which makes this feature all the more important, as we captured his lifelong dream of owning an NSX.
There are a lot of firsts here: from this being my first ever pandemic shoot, to getting a ticket for hanging out of a car and taking photos in downtown with no one in sight. There is something a bit unnerving and surreal about being in a major metropolitan city on a summer Friday night that is completely dead and quiet.
Like most 90s JDM cars, the popularity and rarity of the Acura/Honda NSX continues to climb, with most recent auctions ending at over $150,000 USD on some early 90s models. Tam has been a Honda gearhead, builder and technician for nearly half of his life and presently owns a 500hp "EG" Civic hatchback, Phoenix Yellow Type-R with a custom-built turbo set up and an S2000. It doesn't stop there, though, he also daily drives a Ridgeline, an Odyssey and has also owned a magazine-featured, fully-built Prelude.
One of Tam's lifelong dreams was to own and build an NSX, but the timing and circumstances had to be right. Just over a year ago he started an exhaustive search and ended up flying out from Seattle to Texas to inspect and test drive what would eventually become his dream car. The NSX, a little rough around the edges, needed some work - but something a lifetime technician and lover of Hondas could easily tackle.
The exterior features a widebody kit consisting of Downforce GTS vented front fenders, Taitec rear quarter panels, Type R Hood, Shine Auto front bumper, Pride Marga Hills Style side skirts, and Route KS carbon side scoops.
The wheels were recently upgraded to 17x9 Rays TE37SL Graphite Wheels in the front and 18x10.5 in the rear, wrapped in Federal SS595 street tires. Tam knows all too well that the streets around Seattle are not forgiving, so he installed a custom-made cup kit featuring pieces from Stance Parts and BC Racing coilovers.
Tam has a vision for every car he builds and makes sure the theme carries over into the interior with a two-tone leather seat and interior panel restoration. Real carbon overlays, shift knob, and other accessories help set the interior apart from stock. However, the biggest upgrade comes in the form of an S2000 cluster swap with QUBE LED upgrade and carbon bezel trim.
The NSX's engine was by far the biggest project on the car that not only needed to be fixed, but upgraded. Tam completed an entire rebuild of the engine before finalizing the rest of the engine modifications, which include Top Speed Pro 1 headers, a fully-built, custom exhaust that includes Magnaflow mufflers and Vibrant Resonators, Prospeed Stage 3 chip, Dali Racing intake, and Science of Speed clutch kit, to name a few.
All said and done, Tam expects the NSX to have an estimated 270 HP and 215 TQ. He's purposely left out overdoing the major engine modifications as he's waiting for the new Science of Speed supercharger kit to hopefully be released later this year, which will be a major "boost" to his NSX's overall power output.
When our reality returns to normal, you might see Tam driving around and frequenting some social events but until then, he's keeping a low profile, building and working on the next project while enjoying quarantine time with his family.