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1992 Acura NSX - Meet the Panters

A family obsessed with going fast and boosted NSXs

Austin Lott
Feb 14, 2018
Photographer: Jofel Tolosa

When a classic like this white '92 Acura NSX shows up to our Super Lap Battle wearing a widebody kit and a build quality that would look right at home on the SEMA show floor, you'd be hard pressed not to give it a second look. Don't worry, the Panter family is used to it by now, especially after one of their previous Time Attack cars, a '00 Acura Integra, made its way to SEMA a few years ago, not to mention that it also finished 28th out of a field of 92 at the '14 Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge. So who exactly are the Panters?

1992 acura NSX cantrell studios widebody kit Photo 2/18   |   The '92 NSX was the flagship car for ScienceofSpeed, meaning it got plenty of high-end parts thrown at it, giving Kevin Panter a great starting point.

Kevin Panter is a blessed man, considering that his wife, Stephanie, isn't just tolerant of his hobby—she's the one who pushed to get an NSX. The two of them run a family business in the jewelry industry and their son, Rhett, has a two-car garage where they all work on projects together. You wouldn't think jewelry and cars have any parallels, but according to Rhett, "The attention to detail in the jewelry comes out in the car builds."

2018 Acura NSX
$156,000 Base Model (MSRP) 21/22 MPG Fuel Economy
1992 acura NSX gruppeM wing Photo 3/18   |   The Lexan rear hatch saves weight and directs fresh air down onto the engine bay.

Hailing from Idaho, the Panters don't have a lot of options to drive fast, except at local autocross competitions. But their obsession with Time Attack started in '06 when they took their prized Subaru WRX STI to Miller Motorsports Park for a track day, some 250 miles away. "After autocross events, when you finally get on a road course, it's not the same," Kevin said. "You can't go back to cones in a parking lot." They never looked back after that moment.

1992 acura NSX scienceofspeed c30A engine Photo 4/18   |   The orange dampening canisters for the rear shocks are conveniently placed for quick trackside adjustments.

Fast-forward a few years, and the white NSX you see here is actually the family's fourth NSX. Previously, the build was a red, single-turbo '04 model with a stroker kit that put 703 hp to the wheels. "It was a handful," Kevin said with a laugh. He and Rhett had been talking about racing an NSX, but with low miles and lots of records, it seemed like sacrilege to cut into the '04. So they sold it to free up some funds and started looking for a '91-'92 hardtop.

1992 acura NSX C30A engine Photo 5/18   |   Somewhere in there is a pair of Garrett GT28RS turbochargers.

After passing up a handful of cars, they found one that appeared to be several serious steps down the road to becoming a competitive Time Attack car. They reached out to the seller in New Jersey and found out it was the ex-flagship car for ScienceofSpeed, one of the premier suppliers of OEM and go-fast parts for the NSX and the S2000. Once Kevin got a full buildsheet and some more background, he had it shipped to Idaho Falls.

1992 acura NSX volk racing RE30 wheel Photo 6/18   |   A StopTech Trophy Big Brake Kit is paired with G-LOC brake pads.

They had to sort a few issues but were pleased with the amount of power the NSX was making. The car sports a Stage 1 3.0L block and Garrett GT28RS twin-turbo system from ScienceofSpeed, naturally. At 8 psi on 91-octane pump gas, it puts 416 hp to the wheels, but crank up the boost to 12.9 psi and throw some E85 in the tank and it puts down 525 hp. The NSX has a FlexFuel system, also from ScienceofSpeed, which wires a composition sensor into the fuel supply line, allowing the computer to adjust fuel, ignition, and boost on the fly depending on the percent of ethanol present. Kevin can just run it close to empty, fill the tank with E85, and the AEM Series 2 ECU does the rest.

1992 acura NSX volk racing RE30 wheel Photo 7/18   |   1992 Acura NSX Volk Racing RE30 Wheel
1992 acura NSX volk racing RE30 wheels Photo 8/18   |   The 17x8.5" +25 front, 18x10.5 +25 rear Volk Racing RE30 wheels are wrapped in Toyo R888Rs.

Though increasing power would be easy, you'll see more lap time improvement by making the car handle and stick. To that end, it's been fitted with a whole slew of chassis components, from the Motor Motorsports two-way coilovers to Dali Racing sway bars. Since this was built by a family with an eye for detail born from their craft, function is on level ground with form. Just look at that engine bay. Impeccably finished, yet the orange dampening canisters for the rear shocks on either side of the engine bay are conveniently placed for quick trackside adjustments.

1992 acura NSX cantrell studios widebody kit Photo 9/18   |   At Utah Motorsports Park, the NSX will hit 170 mph on the front straight.
1992 acura NSX GT one rear diffuser Photo 10/18   |   Kevin Panter's son, Rhett, plans to weld up a full titanium exhaust to further reduce weight on the Time Attack car.

The body kit is a Cantrell Studios carbon-fiber/Nomex honeycomb widebody kit, which not only helps drop some weight, but it allows Rhett to fit wider wheels and rubber without taking a bat to the fenders. The extra clearance allowed Rhett to fit a staggered set of Volk Racing RE30 wheels wrapped in sticky Toyo R888R rubber.

1992 acura NSX race technology dash 2 digital gauge cluster Photo 11/18   |   A Race Technology Dash 2 digital gauge cluster displays all the relevant information.

The NSX gets regular track time at Utah Motorsports Campus (formerly Miller Motorsports Park) and has been reliable since they've started racing it. It can hit 170 mph on the front straight, which is more than enough speed for its current Time Attack class. The only part failure so far has been a broken stock axle at our SLB '17. Both axles have been subsequently upgraded to Insane Shafts 1,000hp units.

1992 acura NSX mugen FG360 steering wheel Photo 12/18   |   Get a grip! This is a Mugen FG350 steering wheel.
1992 acura NSX downforce seats Photo 13/18   |   A pair of Downforce carbon-fiber seats keeps Kevin, Stephanie, and Rhett firmly planted during track sessions.

What's next? Kevin said he's going to go wider on the front and rear wheels. Rhett, a skilled welder, will also be welding up a full titanium exhaust for the NSX. When we asked if he planned to put that stroker motor in, he laughed. "That made 703 hp with a single turbo, so the twin-turbo setup on the NSX now would make even more power." He pointed out that the engine's internals were a limiting factor for much more power and added, "I might build something more radical for it."

1992 acura NSX 02 NSX front end conversion Photo 14/18   |   The NSX sports a set of projector headlights and a complete front end from a 2002+ model, along with the hood from an NSX-R.
003 1992 acura NSX downforce NSX R hood Photo 18/18   |   003 1992 Acura NSX Downforce NSX R Hood
By Austin Lott
17 Articles
1992 Acura NSX - Meet the Panters
Tuning Menu
Owner: Kevin Panter
Hometown: Idaho Falls, ID
Occupation: Jeweler
Power: 525 hp on E85; 416 hp on 91-octane
Engine: ScienceofSpeed 3.0L C30A Stage 1 block; twin turbo Garrett GT28RS system; custom exhaust, oil breather tank, oil cooler kit and Flex fuel system; 1,000cc Injector Dynamics injectors, Walbro 450-lph fuel pump; Koyo aluminum radiator
Drivetrain six-speed manual; OS Giken SuperLock differential; Insane Shafts 1000hp axles; ScienceofSpeed Sport 500 Hybrid clutch and flywheel kit
Engine Management: AEM Series 2 EMS
Footwork & Chassis: Moton Motorsports two-way coilovers; Dali Racing front and rear sway bars; ScienceofSpeed Rapid front compliance clamps, non-compliance toe-links, rear beam; NSX-R front chassis bars; Carbing rear tower bar
Brakes: StopTech Trophy front and rear big brake kits with e-brake; G-LOC R16 front and R12 rear pads
Wheels & Tires: 17x8.5" +25 front, 18x10.5" +25 rear Volk Racing RE30 wheels; 235/40R17 front, 295/30R18 rear Toyo R888R tires
Exterior: Cantrell Studios carbon-fiber/Nomex honeycomb widebody kit; '02+ NSX front-end conversion, rear valance; Downforce NSX-R hood; GT-One carbon-fiber rear diffuser; GruppeM carbon-fiber wing, deck spoiler; Craft Square GT carbon-fiber mirrors; JDM tinted taillights; ScienceofSpeed carbon-fiber ducted Lexan hatch, front billet racing tow hook; Powerneedy Motorsports rear tow hook
Interior: Race Technology Dash 2 digital gauge cluster; AEM serial interface; ScienceofSpeed Race Technologies Dash2 mount, Type S shift knob, carbon-fiber center console; Downforce carbon-fiber seats, power rails; Mugen FG360 steering wheel; NSX-R horn button and trim ring; NRG quick-release hub; CedarRidge harness bar; Schroth six-point harnesses; Honda NSX-R shift lever, shift mesh boot

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