What better way to launch our community spotlight than by featuring a 200k mile daily driven NSX?
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I reached out to Fred on Instagram (@nsxlife) to ask if he was really daily driving his Acura NSX. I was happy to hear that not only is his NSX daily driven, but it gets driven a significant number of miles per year. Check out my Q&A with Fred below.
Where are you located?
Currently in the Los Angeles area although I very frequently also spend time in San Diego.
How long have you had your NSX?
I purchased the NSX in December 2012 but began to daily drive it about six months later.
On average, how many miles do you put on your NSX per month?
According to the app that I use for tracking these kinds of things, I was driving about 2,250 miles a month over the past year.
When I was in northern Virginia I was definitely putting on a lot more miles, sometimes getting an oil change every month because I was breaking 3,000 miles regularly. In Hawaii my average dropped a lot, simply because there is nowhere to drive any distance. So now that I’m in SoCal, it is somewhere in-between that.
What modifications have you made to your NSX?
I only do two types of modifications: those that enable me to put more miles on the car and those that make each mile as enjoyable as possible. The comprehensive list is pretty long but it’s mostly suspension/handling-related modifications and some changes to the car for reliability/drive-ability.
A daily driven NSX… what motivates you to do that?
Damn, this is tough. There are so many reasons.
It was my dream for a very long time to get a car like this; something hand-built and prestigious and mid-engine and exciting, so part of it is finally achieving this and getting to experience it.
But also it’s a blessing, y’know? The NSX is one of few cars of this type that one can get away with daily-driving (in terms of cost, reliability, predictability, etc), so I feel that philosophically it would be a waste to not drive it excessively.
But also, we’re in America, another blessing. There are not many countries on Earth where we can drive from one ocean to another and experience such a myriad of driving roads and environments, but without the fuss of borders or political instability or the real danger of just driving into a bad situation without a way out. I feel like as a car enthusiast, I’d be doing a disservice to other passionate drivers around the world if I didn’t do this.
The NSX itself is a motivator. It makes every day special. It pulls you in and just wants to do mile after mile after mile, wants to be involved in everything you do even if it is mundane and repetitive. The NSX is the kind of car that make every time you hope into it an exciting and fresh experience.
There’s this part of me that wants to prove to others that it can be done. “Fuck the haters” and all that. But I also want others to look at their own cars, whatever they are, and appreciate and live out their own automotive fantasies too. On one hand, appreciate what you’ve got. On the other hand, a car is probably the most expensive physical object one will ever purchase (besides a house). So why drive something you don’t care about? Get a car you love. Drive a car you are passionate about. Don’t tolerate the journey, enjoy it.
What is your least favorite thing about your NSX?
Little stupid things mostly.
The turning radius is shitty, so most U-turn situations require a three point maneuver. Drive-thrus can be tough and other drivers give me a funny look when I have to wave them through in lots of parking lot intersections ~ I literally can’t make some turns if there is already a car even just partially blocking the angle I need.
Tire life, especially in the rears, is shockingly bad. On the other hand, if anything is going to wear out regularly and need replacement then tires are probably the easiest/safest choice.
My headlights don’t go up/down exactly evenly. One is very very slightly slower than the other. Most people don’t notice but I know it happens.
An NSX looks a lot faster than it really is. GT-R and Supra guys are happy to remind me of that.
The midnight pearl color of my car looks very close to black or blue, so I have to go out of my way to highlight that the car is actually purple.
I have a tear in my driver’s seat side bolster and where my left thigh is. One day I need to reupholster this seat.
What is your favorite thing about the car?
The NSX makes every daily drive amazing. Getting groceries is fun. Fitting stuff into the trunk is a puzzle. Talking to people at the gas station is a feel-good moment. When traffic clears out of the way, it is a chance to just let loose. When you get into the red part of your Google Maps route, looking for side streets and long round-about alternatives becomes exciting and an opportunity to have a good drive. Floods, snowstorms, fire, dirt roads ~ all of that is conquerable and it has become part of my NSX driving experience. Daily driving this car has expanded my understanding of what is possible, of what I myself can do in it (and because of it).
What’s the craziest experience you’ve had in your daily driven NSX?
I was on a cross-country trip and going westbound through Wyoming in the summer. We had already diverted our route twice to avoid tornado warnings and hail, but when you’re deep in the plains states there isn’t really any alternative. You’ll have to cross eventually.
So we were a couple days behind schedule and have to drive through yet another storm. No way around it. This one was slated to drop hail and possibly spawn tornadoes, but there was another unstable weather system a few hours behind it as well. We decided that our best option was to drive closely behind the forward storm and hope it didn’t change direction or slow down. I had just gone through a whole round of paintless dent repair a few months beforehand because of a hailstorm in Virginia, so I was already very nervous about being this close to yet another storm.
We ended up having to exit off the interstate several times because the roads were being closed due to flooding and severe hail. We passed trailer park camps that looked that they had been in a war zone, huge gaping holes ripped into roofs and siding by jagged hail just minutes ahead of us. There were times when we were the last car let through a section of interstate just before it was closed behind us, and I know there were times a minivan or pickup truck on the side of the road saw us blast by in our low-slung sports car as the water level rose and that was enough to motivate them to get back on the road before the second storm swept through. What should’ve been just a half day drive took us deep into the night. It was so dark and the rain came down so hard, we were almost thankful for all the lightning that flashed ahead of us, highlighting how fucked we were. We only cleared past the storm area around 3am, driving into the pitch black of eastern Montana.
It was probably one of the stupidest drives I’ve ever done in the NSX. Really, we should have just rerouted even farther and driven through southern New Mexico or something. But at the time, we thought this was the best option and the NSX gave me confidence (maybe too much confidence) and we pushed through without any damage or deeper delays. I’ve done snow and thunderstorms and all sorts of other stupid drives, but that trek through Wyoming was probably the most dangerous drive I’ve done.
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