On average, most automotive enthusiasts are inundated with social media-based contests, giveaways and raffles blasting across their feed day in and day out. Some are better than others, some might feel a bit shady, and still others offer a pretty significant opportunity. With that opportunity comes popularity, increased participation, and one's chances of winning might seem to slim down quite a bit due to some very stiff competition.
In the case of the 2019 ENEOS x Super Street SEMA vehicle search, the sophomore effort was all but demanded by fans after a huge number of entries in 2018 were received and this year's contest resulted in even more interest. Narrowed down to just five finalists and presented to fans to cast their vote via Instagram, in the end, the 2019 winner is the sultry NA2 you see pictured, owned by Christopher Montano.
Timing has always been a big factor in Christopher's automotive life, which dates all the way back to his high school days. He recalls, "Cars were life. People have bucket lists of places to visit and things to do; I had a bucket list of cars I wanted to own." That list included an NSX, Ferrari 458, C10 truck, and a second-generation Integra - the last of which he actually owned and drove throughout his high school years before moving on to a CRX track car. A few years later, he picked up an Accord and lightly modified it before calling it quits because, as he noted, "life happened—I focused on my career."
Those mild Accord mods took place in 2002 and it wasn't until 2015, while helping his brother-in-law make some upgrades to his FR-S, that Christopher realized his love of wrenching hadn't gone away, it had only been contained. "Some late nights working on his car in my garage, I had an itch to get back in the game and my search for an NSX began." Scouring the web, he came across a potential sale in Riverside, Calif., which would require roundtrip accommodation and if it went through, transportation of the car all the way to Texas. On a suggestion from his wife, Christopher contacted a friend who was in the vehicle transportation business to get an idea of the costs he'd be facing. That call proved to be a smart move in that his friend had the lead on a clean NSX for sale less than 20 minutes away from Christopher's home. "Here I was, ready to fly out to the West Coast, ship a car back to Houston, and this gem was right in my backyard."
The factory Silverstone paint that covered that local NSX wasn't his first choice but the performance-injecting Comptech supercharger certainly was. The plan, if you want to call it that, was pretty basic: wheels, a lip kit, and call it a day. After attending Stancenation and Wekfest and earning Best Acura honors, those thoughts changed dramatically. Just after that 2017 Wekfest event, the car was torn apart and through various delays that included some dreaded red tape with U.S. Customs; the Route KS Madonna widebody kit that he ordered finally arrived. The excitement was short-lived, however, once Christopher realized just how poorly the aftermarket panels fit. With help from the folks at Filam Auto and Body Repair, the cycle of fitting, removing, trimming and filling the various pieces took place and before he knew it, a year had passed. With everything finally properly fit, it was time for a fresh coat of paint ... or so he thought.
Winter in Texas in 2018 wasn't too friendly. A severe cold front meant that laying down a coat of paint wasn't really an option. The only bright side was that some of the pressure was off, as Christopher had gone back and forth on his color choice. When the weather finally began to let up, the body shop needed an answer. "I narrowed it down to two—Nissan Millennium Jade or Honda Green Tea Metallic. After a few spray outs, I knew the color had to be Green Tea Metallic; plus, I wanted something different, but still true to Honda."
After what seemed like an eternity, the NSX entered the paint booth in May of this year and after a three-week stint, was fully slathered in the OEM paint code that you're probably somewhat familiar with, having seen it most commonly used on Honda's utilitarian CR-V. The deep green color takes on a completely different personality when set against the striking lines of Honda's original flagship. Supporting exterior mods include Ganador side mirrors, a Type R-style vented hood, and adjustable Backyard Special rear wing.
Beyond the supercharged C-series engine and body makeover, the NSX was fitted with 17-in. front, 18-in. rear Volk TE37 that have been coated in "Soft Misty Black" powder-coat, which is peppered with glimmering metallic bits that play nicely with the car's metallic paint. Viciously slowing the build on command are 6-pot front, 4-pot rear Lucky brake kits. If you're in front of or behind the car, your eyes are pulled toward LED head and taillights that help modernize the iconic sportscar.
The two-seater's cabin lost its rather outdated factory seats and steering wheel in lieu of Recaro Pole Position SL and a Sparco flat-bottom wheel that snaps free from the console thanks to an NRG quick-release. Further updating the interior includes NCAUSA carbon fiber panels and upgraded audio.
Now we come back to just how important the timing factor that we mentioned earlier really is. Having made all of the changes that lined up with his vision of the NSX, Christopher thought about unveiling it during the next Wekfest show, but that changed when he got word from his brother-in-law. He adds, "He messaged me about the Superstreet x ENEOS Motor Oil contest for SEMA. Coincidence? Perfect timing, I thought." With a new goal in front of him and only a small window of time to react, Christopher put the final touches on his build just a few days before the contest was set to end, followed by a quick photo session before submitting his entry. "Competition was steep but I figured, what do I have to lose? Who knew I'd even place Top 5, let alone, win? I was ecstatic and deeply humbled."
Taking a hiatus from the car-building world in order to concentrate on his profession brought Christopher Montano back with a vengeance. After all of the waiting, the various setbacks, and eventually landing a spot at the 2019 SEMA Show through a contest he entered on a whim after getting word from family, he's proven that patience is key. "Even I started to doubt myself, yet here we are. If there's anything I learned—trust the process and enjoy the ride. Timing is everything. If it's meant to happen, it will, at the right time, for the right reasons."