If you grew up during the ’90s, you likely have fond memories of Starter Jackets, Gameboy and the Sony Discman. Pure, undisputed classics of the era, right? And if cars were your thing during the period when MTV was all about music, you’ll probably find yourself drooling more over cool photos of Clarion Builds’ tribute to the first-gen Acura NSX, like the ones we’ve pulled together here…
Following its road debut in 1990, the Acura sports car raced to the top of pop culture status in the world of automobiles, in part because it was the first Japanese model aimed at contending with rides like Ferrari and Porsche. One of its biggest claims to fame was that you could actually drive it on a daily basis, without worrying about the typical maintenance issues associated with high-end exotics.
Building on that idea, Clarion pulled together a team of builders and engineers to craft a hot modern tribute to the first-gen NSX by restoring a 1991 model. The classic one-off features a modified V6 engine from a 2004 NSX that puts out 400 horsepower, nearly double the power of a stock ’91 NSX. It’s a cool modern take on the nineties icon, which we had a chance to experience firsthand during a recent test drive in Detroit.
Spokesperson Michael Farino says the goal was to create the ultimate tribute to the first-gen model, building on some of the car’s nostalgic bits like the manual transmission and unique rear wing. “This wasn’t one of those car TV show flips—this was literally a full-blown restoration, followed by a significant amount of upgrades,” Farino says. “To ensure we had a good platform for the build, we began the project by completely stripping the car down to its bare aluminum monocoque chassis.” In other words, the vehicle has been completely reconstructed into the hot mix of carbon fiber, aluminum and metal you see here.
The Clarion Builds NSX also features a new high-tech audio system employing digital elements that substantially enhance the resolution of the sound. The car also features a full Clarion Surround Eye 360-degree camera system that gives the driver a clear view of everything around the car. The interior is wrapped in Terracotta colored Italian leather with hand-stitched trim throughout. And ’90s nostalgia appeal is capped off with a two-stage exterior paint job called Blue Caleum, the same color offered on the Lamborghini Huracan. We couldn’t help noticing that the color seems pretty similar to a vintage New England Patriots Stater Jacket. Right?
That said, the real beauty of the Clarion NSX Project Car is that it’s set to cross the auction block this weekend at Barrett- Jackson in Las Vegas, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to American Red Cross Disaster relief efforts. That’s the kind of thing we hope never loses its appeal. —Clarion NSX Project Build Photos by A.J. Mueller