Imagine diving into a river in search of a car involved in a crime, but what you find instead is this: a stolen Acura NSX submerged for close to 20 years. There’s no doubt that salvage title cars are plenty out there, but this has a story to it, which is what makes it so special.
What initially started out for sale at $6,000 eventually sold for $8,500. That’s how far the buyer went to acquire this Acura. The question is, is it going to lie in the back of his yard, or will he restore it? We’ll come to that eventually.
The 1990 Acura NSX isn’t a proper JDM car because it did sell in the United States, but not as a Honda. While the Toyota Supra, Mazda’s rotary-powered RX-7, and Mitsubishi’s 3000GT were all great Japanese sports cars, the NSX was a Ferrari fighter. It was so good that the Italians sat up and took notice.
Stolen Acura NSX Found In A River
This first-generation Acura NSX has spent a major part of its life underwater, which is very unfortunate. It isn’t one of the best-used cars to buy, given its condition, but anyone with the money to bring it back to shape is likely to celebrate. An enthusiast by the name of Becca Nicole Johnson posted pictures of the car on Facebook recently after having seen it at the LSX Salvage junkyard. These guys happened to be selling the NSX. According to Nicole, the car was found in 2019.
After the Acura was taken out of the river, it was identified as stolen and had been missing since the 1990s. It is reported that the car was lying at the bottom of the Yadkin River in North Carolina. The seller apparently mentioned that the NSX was in too bad a state to be restored.
A look at the car reveals that nothing of the paint remains. All that can be seen is rust on the bodywork and a black surface. Even the 5-spoke alloy wheels haven’t been spared. A dried plant seems to have once grown out of the broken windshield; even the side windows are broken. The A-pillar on the right side of the Acura is bent, and the brakes are filled with mud. Opening up the rear glass reveals a pile of river sand accumulated on the rear parcel shelf.
All four tires are flat, but the tail section seems okay, particularly with the whole tail light intact. However, it must be noted that the engine is missing. The car is said to have covered 39,000 miles while it was still running. And the interior seems to be filled with what could possibly be plants from the riverbed, along with branches and thick, dried mud. Nicole Johnson even humorously added that the car could be used as an ornament for the front yard of her house.
The new owner of the car is said to be working with Helix Auto Works in Maryland, where the NSX is at the moment. While not too many details are known, it is confirmed that the new owner will be restoring it, so it can be seen back on the road again. The owner even posted a picture on the 12th of March, showing that it is finally in the garage.
First-Generation Acura NSX Is A Legendary Unicorn
The Acura was the first production car to use an aluminum semi-monocoque design. It accommodated a mid-mounted 3.0-liter naturally-aspirated V6 engine, codenamed C30A. Initially, power was channeled through a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels.
While the manual version made 270 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque, the auto version made less power at 252 hp. This was also the first time America was introduced to Honda’s then-modern VTEC variable valve timing technology.
Coming to the interior of the Acura NSX; it was deemed practical compared to many other supercars. Compared to its Italian competition, the NSX came with a spacious cockpit. It had features like soft leather seats, airbags, a Bose stereo system, air conditioning, and power windows and locks. It was advertised as an exotic car that you could practically live with.
How Much Is An Acura NSX Worth Today?
There are quite a number of Acura NSX cars listed on classic.com, with first-gen models from 1991 to 1994 available. It’s an iconic Japanese car that’s prices keep shooting up, with average prices for a good used Acura NSX starting at $65,267 on classic.com.
Six-figure fist-gen NSXs are not an uncommon sight either, as the top sale price, as per Classic, is $159,000. The rarity of this Japanese sports car in the used car space also adds to its desirability and value.