1996 Targa NSX Gets Supercharged
A lifelong obsession becomes reality when one man obtains his dream car and mods it to perfection.
Dream Come True
It's hard to think of a car surrounded by more hype and mystique than the first-gen Acura NSX. This is a car that quickly embedded itself into the very fabric of auto enthusiasts, to the point where it still enjoys hero status today.
Among its many fans, the NSX struck a particular chord with Trevor Yale Ryan the first time he laid eyes on one as a kid. But little did he know at the time that not he, but his buddy would one day own his dream car, as he explained to Speedhunters.
"Long before my interest in cars really took off I remember the excitement I’d feel when spotting one cruise through my neighborhood," Ryan recalls. "I also remember my disappointment when the car wasn’t in the popular racing games; even in the digital gaming world, it seemed unreachable. The NSX was one of the first vehicles that ever really caught my attention: there has always been something truly special about this Honda."
Get 'Em While They're Cheap
Ryan's friend, Tony Pham, had the same obsession a few years back. Thus, he set out to obtain his dream car before it was priced out of his reach. He sold his K20-swapped 2000 Civic hatch and scraped together some more money before finally locating the perfect 1996 NSX-T.
There was just one tiny problem. While the exterior of the car was in great condition, the engine was blown. The only good thing was that he did have all the stuff necessary to get it back on the road. Pham jumped at the opportunity. But instead of restoring the car back to stock, he decided to build it into the car he dreamed of as a kid.
Making It Fresh
That, of course, included the addition of a supercharger. Pham proceeded to enjoy the fruits of his labor, taking the NSX to track days and cruises. Until last winter, when he decided to jump headfirst into a total redo with the help of the folks at Carzwerk.
Now the NSX looks every bit as good as it goes. And it certainly does go. Thanks mostly to a 2.3-liter Comptech supercharger stuffing the original 3.2-liter V6 with 9 psi of boost. An AEM Infinity 6 engine management system with X Series sensors takes care of the logistics. Altogether, this healthy setup produces 417 hp at the wheels.
Sum of Its Parts
There are plenty of other parts at play here, including a rather rare RFY Yamamoto carbon intake. RC Engineering 550cc injectors, a Hitachi drive-by-wire throttle body, Comptech headers, and a Taitec GTLW exhaust round out the tasty package.
So just how fast is this lightweight NSX? We'll just let Pham's buddy tell it like it is. "Let’s just say when I was trying to get a photo of the exhaust during warm-up, I almost fell over when Tony gave it the gas. It’s not too loud when cruising, but the quick-revving V6 is truly explosive when you need it to be."
Alas, no dream car build would be complete without some sort of Easter egg. And this NSX has a pretty funny one that sadly didn't make it to the shoot. "Tony finally got his custom black and gold CA plates that read ‘COM TAM’ or ‘Broken Rice,’ a traditional Vietnamese dish. Sadly, they were held up in the DMV when we went out to shoot."
Altogether, this NSX is one of the more comprehensive builds you'll ever see. It's built to do everything and do it well. "Plenty of fundamental philosophies exist in contradiction to each other: form versus function, grip builds or drift builds, canyon carvers and hard-parked show queens," Ryan explains."This NSX strikes the perfect balance. It hasn’t deviated from the factory intentions but instead enhanced them."