For better or worse, the automotive history is filled with examples of when manufacturers stepped outside their respective comfort zones to produce memorable, if not iconic, vehicles. This edition of Auction Dilemma looks at two cases in point: a 1991 Acura NSX up for auction at Doug DeMuro’s Cars & Bids and a 1989 Porsche 928 GT on eBay.
1991 Acura NSX
Labeled as the Honda NSX outside North America, the Acura NSX was a show stopper and is arguably one of Japan’s first performance supercars. A company previously known for reliable but boring sedans and coupes, suddenly produces the world’s first all-aluminum bodied car that would look right at home in the Ferrari factory. Car fans took notice, and the NSX added instant notoriety to Honda’s Acura division in the U.S. Even 30 years later, the NSX is highly coveted among collectors. Not bad for a first effort.
This accident-free 1991 model marks the second production year for the NSX and is particularly noteworthy for having only 13,000 miles on the odometer. This black-on-black example is equally appealing due to its unmodified status, including the original tires (although for safety’s sake, they will need replacing). And while it’s not a pristine example of Honda’s best thinking, body blemishes mean the next owner can be less diligent about maintaining perfection.
Under the hood, the VTEC 3.0L V-6 was factory-rated for 270 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque which Car and Driver reported as having a 5.2-second standstill to 60 mph time. These numbers are almost ordinary today, but thirty years ago, the NSX’s performance was just a notch or two below Porsche, Ferrari, and Dodge Viper. This Auction Dilemma NSX benefits from a five-speed manual controlling the rear wheels.
Inside, the imperfections in the leather upholstery do reveal this is still a three-decade-old car, but this shouldn’t spoil the fun. Cabin equipment includes air conditioning, power seats, cruise control, and a Bose audio system with cassette player.
1989 Porsche 928 GT
Hop back to Stuttgart in the early 1970s and imagine the conversations at Porsche when somebody suggested ditching the company’s storied small, rear-engine format for a car with a front-mounted V-8. And, let’s not forget this new car would be water-cooled. According to Automobile magazine, this all came about as the automaker thought the 911 might have to be put out to pasture. You have to give the company credit for breaking the mold, which the 928 certainly did. Porsche’s first eight-cylinder car sought to offer a driving experience in the tradition of grand tourers. Produced from 1977 to 1995, the 928 could easily be considered among the era’s supercars but with more usability thanks to its 2+2 and hatchback configuration.
Like its Auction Dilemma counterpart, this Porsche 928 benefits from remarkably low mileage (less than 17,000 miles on the clock) and an accident-free vehicle history. However, unlike the NSX, the exterior on this Guards Red Porsche appears to be pristine and showroom-worthy.
Power comes from a 5.0 V-8 originally rated for 325 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque as online sources cite a 0-60 time as fast as 5.4 seconds: a respectable effort for the era. This Porsche enjoys a five-speed stick managing the rear wheels. As this car is the GT variant, performance is enhanced via a reworked engine and upgraded suspension.
Minus a few blemishes on the driver’s black leather seat, the interior images look like they belong in a brochure. Cabin amenities include a sunroof, air conditioning, Blaupunkt audio system with cassette deck, and power front seats.
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At launch, these breakthrough cars offered an entirely new approach to driving performance that is still appreciated and valued by enthusiasts and collectors. With four days remaining on its auction, the 1991 Acura NSX has a current high bid of $60,500. The listing for the 1989 Porsche 928 GT has nine days left and an $89,900 asking price.
Sources: carsandbids.com, ebay.com, autoevolution.com
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