Stolen Acura NSX was Underwater for 16 years

Stolen Acura NSX was Underwater for 16 years

Thieves absconded with a 1991 Acura NSX and submerged it in the Yadkin River, which is a lengthy river of more than 700 kilometers that runs through the state of North Carolina in the US. The car remained submerged for 16 years until it was discovered in 2019 during a search for another lost vehicle. The Acura NSX was the first generation model of the car market in Germany as the Honda NSX from 1990 to 2005. The sports car had a small engine but was considered a pricey substitute for more costly racers such as Ferrari or Lamborghini by car enthusiasts.

Acura NSX Underwater for 16 Years Will Get a Second Chance at Life

The NSX discovered in the river was reportedly stolen in 2003 by its owner. Currently, the car is in the hands of NSX enthusiasts who aim to restore it. The car was found in a deteriorated condition in a police impound yard, lacking a front window, with a waterlogged interior and covered in mud. Additionally, parts of plants and garbage were washed into the car’s cabin by the river. Nonetheless, the car’s body structure appears to be in good condition, including the NSX’s support structures, as it is composed of aluminum and not susceptible to rust. The car’s light alloy wheels are covered with river sand, while its side windows and auxiliary lights are missing.

Typically, a car found on the shoulder line in water would be regarded as a case of illegal dumping. However, the NSX was obtained by LSX Salvage, a dealer from Lexington, North Carolina, who procured the car for $6,000 (which is equivalent to approximately 5,600 euros) and intends to restore the car.

This stolen Acura NSX is getting a second chance at life

Higher price than expected

Becca Nicole Johnson, an NSX enthusiast and Facebook user hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, expressed interest in procuring a muddy Acura to adorn her front yard. To the surprise of LSX Salvage dealers, the dilapidated NSX was swiftly sold via a brief bidding war, ultimately fetching a sum of $8,500. The buyer, Helix Auto Works from Owings Mills, Maryland, is a workshop that specializes in Acura NSXs, with Jay, Nico, and Ramsey serving as its proprietors. While only Jay and Nico possess an NSX, the former purchased the vehicle for his friend, Nico.

Despite the fact that the Acura was pilfered, the perpetrators left the crucial components intact. However, many parts were damaged due to exposure to water. The V6 engine, which is mid-range and produces 274 horsepower, is either missing or requires significant adjustments to be functional. The engine was exceedingly advanced for the early 1990s, capable of reaching 8,000 rpm, and featuring titanium couplings and spark plugs with platinum electrodes. Prior to its submersion, the engine had accumulated a mileage of 32,000 miles (51,499 km). Helix Auto Works aims to restore the vehicle, with preliminary photos showcasing the cleaning process in its initial stages. The owners have yet to decide whether to convert the Acura into a roadster once again or resurrect it as a racing car with the interior removed.

Very expensive restoration

In 1991, the Acura NSX had a price tag of $63,000 in the United States. However, in Germany, the Honda NSX was priced starting at $140,000. Adjusting for inflation, this would amount to $137,118 today. Despite the high cost, Honda managed to sell 271 first-generation NSX models (series NA1 and NA2) in Germany, with Switzerland close behind with 260 sold, and Austria with only 49 copies sold. At present, early 1990s NSX models fetch prices ranging from €80,000 to €100,000 in Germany, with well-maintained specimens sometimes reaching up to €130,000. In the United States, an NSX in mint condition can sell for $143,000. It is noteworthy that spare parts are difficult to come by and expensive to acquire, thus rendering the restoration of an Acura NSX from a river by Helix Auto Works, a challenging and budgetary question. Their progress in the restoration work will be reported regularly on YouTube, among other platforms.

When a vehicle sinks completely, it is deemed a scrap and sold to a scrap dealer by the kilo. In another search within the United States, divers fortuitously discovered an Acura NSX that had been submerged in a river for 16 years. The vehicle, released by the police, has now been purchased by NSX enthusiasts from Maryland, with the intention of restoring it to its original condition.

Undertaking such restoration work can be both time-consuming and expensive, and may not be economically viable. The progress made by NSX enthusiasts in restoring the Acura to its former glory is commendable. If successful, this endeavor will be a one-time event and a sensation, and the NSX will once again be back on the road in drivable condition.