Wednesday, June 10, 2015

First (Conservative) Mods...

Gotta start somewhere. Gotta make this car mine.

The NSX came with a lot of choice parts, things I would have bought on my own which was one of the things that made me feel the car was "right" when it crossed paths with me.  Kudos to the old owner for having impeccable taste. :)

However, I just had to do some changes to make it feel truly mine, even if it's minor.  

One of the things about the North American NSXs that always irked me were the ugly turn signals on the front and rear sides of the car.  The JDM and Euro versions don't have them except for the small amber signals on the front fenders.  I addressed this issue in my old NA1 by simply spraying them with VHT Nightshade tint spray. Easy to do, nice results but they were a tad too dark for me and I didn't like the fact the spray doesn't allow you to control the amount of tint.  A better solution are the vinyl overlays by BlueBatmobile on NSXPrime.  His little pieces just installs with a heatgun, a squeegee and some water. Takes a bit of time to make it look right but the results are nice and the best part is mod is completely reversible. 

It took me about 40 mins to do this:

and here's the final result:

Another thing I wanted to do was replace the missing engine bay cover.  The first owner of the car did away with it (a common NSX thing to do) in order to display the so-so looking engine bay.  I say this with a lot of love and respect for the mighty C32B but lets face it: compared to what's residing in the engine bay of the R8, Ferraris and Lambos the NSX mill is pretty homely. There are wires, hoses, firewall and milk jugs exposed everywhere. It was meant to be felt and heard, not seen.  I was pretty disappointed the oem carpeted engine cover with the holder for the targa top had long ago been sold off, so one of the first things I shopped for was a stylish aftermarket cover.  The only one that appealed to me (and can clear the SOS Kenne Bell blower kit and Comptech aluminum strut bar) is the GT-One.  This design has since been copied extensively by Downforce and Seibon along with others.  I found one being sold by 'tof' on Prime and drove to Ogdensburg, NY to pick it up.  Install was a snap.  Love the finished look it gives the rear hatch area as well as the extra seal it provides the glass.

Lastly, as much as I like the looks and idea of the JDM NSX-R Momo Tuner 350mm steering wheel, I hated the thin rim on it. Heck, even my Acura ZDX daily driver has a thicker grip.  After some searching on the web one night I came across an interior shot of one of my all time favourite supercars, the Pangani Zonda.  

The red leather is a bit too much but I liked the look of the Nardi steering wheel with its thick rim and D-shape.  Some further digging came up with the model: The Callista.  A quick call to my friends at GoTuning and a couple of weeks later this arrived:

Once installed it was a perfect match with my custom weighted, polished and countersunk shift knob.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Detail time

So, for the first time in her 11 year life, my NSX gets an exterior detail, or "colour correction" in the parlance of the detailer.

Eric of Detailed Reflections did the work. He's amazing, professional, honest, on time and has that crazy anal retentiveness that all detailers seem to possess.  The guy's a maniac and truly loves his work.  Seeing the car in the sun for the first time Saturday morning he looked like a kid in a candy store, dying to get his hands on the car.  "I love black cars!" he said.

After nearly 7 hours, the car never looked better.  All the swirls, most of the rock pits and some gouges were smoothed out.  The Downforce skirts, hood, mirrors and lower front bumper will need a respray in the fall due to the sheer amount of rock chips (the realities of a low, black car) but for the rest of the driving season this does the trick.

I'll let the pics speak for themselves:
 Before: swirls upon swirls

The same panel before
 ...and after

Here's a direct contrast shot:

Afterwards in the sun.


Friday, April 17, 2015

She's LEGAL!

9am, showed up at Autovation in Stittsville and the boys quickly got the car saftied and e-tested with flying colours.  No surprise as Charles had the timing belt, water pump and PPI done at Burrand Acura last month so I knew everything was fine.  There is a slight leak in the valve cover gasket, but nothing that needs to be addressed immediately.  I'll likely have it done prior to winter storage. Ugh, winter...I don't even want to think about it.

Following this, I took the NSX to the nearby coin op car wash for its first cleaning and wipe down.  I discovered a bubbling in the paint on the Downforce hood near the passenger side of the windshield, various rock chips in the lower part of the side skirts and front bumper.  I'll pay a visit to my detailer on Saturday morning to get his opinion on the paint and whether it warrants a respray or hopefully just a touch up and buff.  After that, a full tank of 94 octane was pumped, roof panel removed and stowed in the trunk and off we went for a nice afternoon of cruising.  When I got home I followed the DIY resetting of the EPS from the DaliRacing website and lo and behold we have power steering!

Some immediate observations of this car vs. my old NA1: the targa, though very cool and I love how the car is transformed into a barchetta, definitely makes the car looser. Cowl shake is very present. This is something I was actually surprised to notice as I have a lot of faith in Honda's engineers in maintaining the chassis rigidity.  Second, POWER STEERING. What a revelation. I know a lot of NA1 snobs (myself included) like to point to the fact that the NSX originally was devoid of a PS system and presumably was meant to not have one.  However, it is a very nice setup: light effort at slow speeds but very communicative at all times.  I'm a believer.  Lastly, I cannot say enough how much I miss the sound of the intake whoosh to my left, the growl of the C32 behind me and the IMAXesque expansive view ahead.  You don't realize what you've missed until you've lost it and regain it again.  Holy cow this car is a glorious driving experience.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


So, my car shipped out of the port of Vancouver on March 31.  Almost 2 weeks later (16 days to be exact) she rests comfortably in my garage bay.  Everything arrived intact.  There are more rock dings and scuffs than I imagined for a car with such low mileage but the seller was very good at disclosing every knock in the original paint job before the sale, so I'm satisfied.

BLCBIRD showed up at 6am sharp as promised and I only had a few minutes to start her up, drive (without plates) once around the block before I had to tuck her away until I get back from work.  I'm pretty damn excited and relieved.

Next order of business when I get home: wash, dry, vacuum (car was pretty dirty after its journey), mount my plates and check fluid levels and tire pressure. Tomorrow morning I'll have it inspected for safety certification, e-tested and legally ready for the road.  This is going to be a sweet weekend.

TFX International has been nothing short of phenomenal throughout.
It's roommate in the transporter was a pair of Porsche GT3RS, an old 356 Speedster, a Bentley Continental, and an Aston Martin.  I might be biased, but I actually thought my 11 yr old girl was the best looking.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

BLCBIRD II shipped out of Vancouver yesterday

After 6 weeks of emails back and forth, photos, phonecalls and more emails, Charles was ready to ship the NSX to Ontario.

Here she is in her bay in Bowser, BC for the last time.  I can imagine what he was thinking when he snapped this pic.  I know what it's like...

The car was packed to the gills with extra parts: seats, fluids, oem parts, aftermarket parts.  I have to say, Charles (the seller) must be a master of Tetris.

Things were a little iffy the night before when I received a semi-panicked email from him wondering where the driver was. He was supposed to receive a call to arrange a pickup time and place but never got one.  A quick call to Patty at TFX sorted everything out.  On the morning of the agreed date the car was loaded up:

...and off she goes!

ETA is 7-10 days.  I'm pretty stoked.

OK, I'll go on a limb here and say the car's pretty much as I would have it. I even love the wheels (one of my weaknesses is constantly changing shoes on my cars), though I might have the Volk CE28Ns resprayed or Plastidipped in bronze.  I hope I won't need to do any extensive mods as everything's been done as I would have. However the one thing missing is the engine cover.  The previous owner discarded it after having the SOS blower installed (I assume due to the fact the cover didn't clear the height of the supercharger) but I always disliked a missing cover.  It looks unfinished, and the lack of rubber seal around the window which the cover provides creates a risk of accidentally cracking the expensive rear glass when you close it.  I've already picked up a new rubber seal, hinges and prop from FB NSX Owners Group member Johnny Chen, now waiting for the CF/Lexan cover to be in stock from Downforce.  I also impulse shopped an oem centre console with the intention of cutting a double DIN hole in it for a Apple CarPlay headunit.  No rush, and right now the car comes equipped with a Ipod adaptor so I'm good, but it would be sweet to ditch the cassette deck down the road.

When I sold my last NSX I have always told people that if I could do the project all over again, I'd take a mature road with a lightly modified OEM feel to it: CTSC, KWV3 coilovers with a mild drop, NSX-R braces, Brembo brakes, NSX-R hood and wing, and some nice Volks.  This car hits all the targets.  I'm so proud and excited.

Friday, March 6, 2015

The BLCBIRD rises again...

So what's been happening since my last entry in 2012? I've owned the Rio Yellow S2000 CR, followed by a 2000 AP1 in the very nice Grand Prix White with red interior (I only owned it for a year and a half but placed KWV3 coilovers, a nice HKS exhaust, K&N intake and a set of Spoon brakes before I suddenly felt the desire for something greater.  The S2000 is an incredible car, and really feels like the baby brother of the NSX (designed by the same team and built in the same Tochigi factory).  On the track last summer it was so much fun.  However, it never quite hit the spot.  Over the winter while it was under cover my eyes started wandering again.

My first choice was actually an old air cooled 911 turbo.  I've always loved the 930 but prices were going through the roof in the last year.  Cars I saw for $35K last summer were selling for $90K and up. Insanity.  I also looked into another one of my to-do list cars: Datsun S30s.  A couple came up but I couldn't pull the trigger.  I'm too nervous when it comes to really old cars and risk of being stranded or just downtime.  I looked at R34 GTRs.  They are beautiful, iconic and I thought it would be fitting to own one to complete the series for me but prices were still hovering in the high $40-50K range.  When I realized they were pulling those numbers my mind automatically turned to the NSX. Where else can you find a truly special, hand built, all-aluminum piece of automotive history in that price range?  I love the R34 but compared to an NSX, it's merely ordinary.

So, I started looking at another NSX.

People on the forums like to almost brag about the amount of time it takes to find the perfect one. Go on NSXPrime and you'll see people on year 3 of their NSX search.  Some owners like to tell you how it took years to find THE ONE.  Well, I looked and one popped up almost immediately.  I've always lusted for Dave's old Spa Yellow 2002 (in fact it was his sale ad back in 2011 that made me put my old NSX up for sale since I wanted his so badly).  I contacted Shawn, its new owner and made him an offer. He was intrigued but turned me down. However, he mentioned that another guy with a Berlina Black 2004 had just put a deposit down for a new 2016 NSX and might be selling.  I contacted the owner, we talked and after a few exchanges I sent him a deposit.  NSX prices, like air-cooled Porsche 911s are also climbing.  I think it's due to the attention of the v2, but also because I think after all these years the car is finally getting the respect it so sadly missed during its production run.  Google DriveTV's episode "You Need to Buy an Acura NSX NOW" to see why.

The price we agreed on was very fair, but a sudden sale of a red 2003 in Toronto by a McLaren dealership for $75K (the previous sale price of the same car was $48K) put me in a panic over my car suddenly appreciating in asking price).  Luckily, he was true to his words and we completed the legal aspects of the deal yesterday. Today I'm the proud owner of this beauty:
2004, Berlina Black with black leather interior. SOS Supercharged, KWV3, full Brembo GT BBK with parking brake, Downforce Type R hood and wing, DF intake snorkel, DF Kevlar buckets, ARC airbox and Ti exhaust, assorted Type R bits and CE 28N wrapped in Dunlop Starspecs. Oh yeah, she's cornerbalanced :)

It will be a long month to 6 weeks before she is delivered from Bowser, BC.