MESSING WITH PERFECTION – UPDATING THE LOOK OF AN NSX

Honda created a timeless classic design when it sculpted the NSX, going for a cab forward, long tail design that gives you fighter jet like proportions. Not much can be done to improve on what is already a great looking vehicle. But, after 25 years of driving, the exterior of our Clarion Builds NSX needed some care. As a regularly driven car, our NSX had many paint chips, dents and scratches, and quarter of a century of life on the road had our paint showing its age. It was going to take a bit of work to get our NSX fresh again, but while we were at it, we decided to subtly and tastefully update a few elements of the body design to complement the car’s aggressive performance.

Once our NSX had its heart removed by the experts at AutoWave, we had the car taken to Diamond Hills Collision Center in Walnut California for some body upgrades and a fresh new paint job. As to not diverge away from an already iconic design Clarion Builds looked to Downforce to provide some stylish body panels including an NSX-R style hood and rear spoiler, wider front fenders and later model rocker panels. Every angle of the NSX was given a slight upgrade that stays true to its heritage but was intentionally not over done.

First, we started with a more aggressive front end that mirrored the NSX-R, starting with the carbon fiber hood. This hood features an aggressive vented hood that along with a new front diffuser, helps to increase downforce and keep the car planted to the ground. New wider fenders were also added up front to accommodate a new, more aggressive wheel and tire package. To add balance to a new front end, we replaced the gen-1 rocker panels for Downforce’s gen-2 replicas that are slightly larger than factory and help follow the wider look to the rear of the NSX.

At the rear of the car, the biggest difference is the addition of the carbon fiber NSX-R wing. To really round out the flow of the car, a more aggressive rear diffuser was installed. And, to slightly modernize the tail end of the car, we ditched the all-red tail lights for the 2002 and newer OEM lights with amber turn indicators.

To get the body ready for paint, the paint and body artists at Diamond Hills Collision Center started by fitting all of the new panels and parts and sanding everything to a perfect fit. The car was stripped to the monocoque and wiped down to prevent any particles from impeding the new paint job. To make sure no spots were missed in the painting process, the body panels were painted separate from the frame and reassembled after the process was completed. A base coat of BASF Glasurit primer is added to ensure the proper look of our new paint work. Following the primer, the BASF Glasurit Caelum Blu Ad Personam Metallic paint was applied in many coats, and then finished with the paint system’s clear coat.

Joined by a black and cinnamon interior, Caelum Blu paint makes an already gorgeous car stand out even more in a very classy way. Keeping up with the previous Clarion Builds vehicles, the 1991 Acura NSX has been tastefully upgraded while maintaining the legendary look and feel of the supercar.

Alyson Yarberry