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Acura NSX & Zanardi Edition - Jersey Devils

Michael Lasko's NSX twosome

Brian McGurk
Mar 1, 2009
Photographer: Henry Z. DeKuyper

So you spend all day shining up your hatchback, pop in your best cruising CD, and roll into your local chill spot feeling pretty good about your car. You hop out, prop up on your freshly buffed fender, and some guy rolls by in something that somehow makes your project look like a soapbox racer. You pick your jaw up and humbly think to yourself: "Dang, I'll be that dude someday." New Jersey's Michael Lasko is that dude. "It was the only car I ever really wanted, I knew I wanted one when I was 10 or 11. I was hooked at that point," he tells us.

Mike cut his automotive teeth in his driveway, wrenching on everything from DSMs to the obligatory sampling of FWD Hondas. After working a bunch of dead-end jobs and deciding college wasn't exactly for him, Mike found himself a job selling cars and, in time, climbed the corporate ladder, eventually landing a sales manager position at nearby Bridgewater Acura. Mike knew how to get the car of his dreams and, after selling his E36 M3, driving a $700 Jeep Wrangler, and banking every cent he could for a year, what he wanted came calling. "I bought it from the doctor that was doing my father's heart surgery-a '92 Formula Red coupe with all the service records, the original window sticker, from the original owner," Mike says. With a gearhead as its new owner, the venerable supercar didn't keep its stock components for long. Mike began with a set of Comptech lowering springs, but after snooping around the company's website, he decided he wanted a full Comptech car. "I liked the fact that Comptech stuff allows me to retain the factory warranty if installed by an Acura tech. If a manufacturer backs an aftermarket tuning company, it's obviously worth the money," he says.

2018 Acura NSX
$156,000 Base Model (MSRP) 21/22 MPG Fuel Economy

By now, Mike's whistle was thoroughly wet with Comptech quality. He ogled the company's site and went nuts with the plastic. Once the goods arrived, he took his big brown parts box along with his newly lowered NSX to his local Acura dealer where the techs began cracking bolts. The stock components on Honda's flagship are far from restrictive, but Mike's the type of guy who would mod a desk chair if the right stuff was available. With that in mind, the factory exhaust manifolds were swapped out for their Comptech counterparts as well as the remaining exhaust system, which was replaced with a Comptech unit. To crank out more horsepower than Honda's potent V-6 already does, the engine was upgraded with a Comptech supercharger. Feeding the force-fed 3.0L with fresh air is a Comptech carbon-fiber airbox mated to a Cantrell Concepts intake. A JDM transmission, chosen for the shorter gears, paired with a Dave's short shift kit, help get the power to the asphalt faster, and a Cantrell Concepts carbon-fiber engine cover helps highlight all of Mike's new go-fast parts.

Carbotech brake pads, clamping down on Bradi cross-drilled rotors, get the newly acquired Volk CE28Ns stopped. The only thing better than going fast is looking good doing it, so a Gruppe M carbon-fiber replica lip was added as was a Mode 4 NSX-R replica carbon-fiber diffuser and a Downforce NSX-R replica spoiler. A brand-new 2002 rear valance keeps the taillight side looking updated and pretty. A fresh coat of Formula Red was laid over the entire car, matching the original black top and new body accessories to the rest of the machine. "They perform like Ferraris but with the maintenance of a Civic," Mike says.

It's easy to argue that this NSX could run with a Ferrari, but the 12-plus-year-old interior was nothing short of outdated. To freshen up the cabin, the car was treated to a set of Sparco Torino racing seats straddling a pair of Taitec seat rails. Mike swapped the Acura-emblazoned steering wheel for the JDM version to match the freshly installed JDM Honda tags on the nose and tail. Auto Meter gauges mounted below the audio controls help Mike monitor his new setup, and a set of AutoVation pedals and a matching NSX-R shift knob and shift boot keep shifting easy and effortless. Matching NSX-R floor mats and door badges paired with an Umbrella Auto Design carbon-fiber glovebox and Science of Speed carbon-fiber gauge cluster also set Mike's NSX apart from the rest of the already few-and-far-between herd.

Mike's the type of type of guy you don't mind seeing get ahead. "My home office is painted Formula Red and is covered in more NSX memorabilia than anyone you'll ever know. I'm nuts," he says. Mike's also the kind of guy you see cruising around and wonder how he's amassed all that he has. "I have a folder with every receipt for every car I've ever owned, every pint of oil, every gallon of gas, everything," he shares. No doubt, Mike takes care of what he's got and has worked hard to get it. He's a guy often hated but least deserving of it. So what does it take to own your dream car? "Work hard and know how to sacrifice. We're a shrinking community of enthusiasts but always willing to welcome someone with the passion and heart to maintain Honda's greatest car," Mike says. We know of at least one guy who'll be saving his pennies.

Bolts & Washers
Propulsion:
Comptech supercharger
Comptech exhaust
Comptech headers
Comptech carbon-fiber airbox
Cantrell concepts air intake
C32B red valve covers
NSX-R transmission
Dave's short shift kit
Cantrell Concepts carbon-fiber engine cover

Stance:
Comptech lowering springs
Dave's non-compliance clamps

Resistance:
Bradi cross-drilled rotors
Carbotech pads

Rims & Rubber:
Front: 18x8.5 Volk CE28N (+40 offset)
Rear: 19x9.5 Volk CE28N (+45 offset)
Front: 215/35-18 Kumho Ecsta
Rear: 275-30-19 Kumho Ecsta

Outside:
Gruppe M replica carbon-fiber lip
Downforce NSX-R replica spoiler
Downforce carbon-fiber license plate trim
Mode 4 NSX-R replica carbon-fiber diffuser
JDM Honda badges
'02 NSX rear valence
'02 NSX mini spoiler

Inside:
NSX-R floor mats
NSX-R door badges
Auto Meter gauges
NSX-R shift boot
NSX-R shift knob
Sparco Torino seats
Taitec seat rails
AutoVation pedals
JDM Honda airbag cover
Umbrella Auto Design carbon-fiber glovebox
Science of Speed carbon-fiber gauge cluster
Kenwood KDX 7079 head unit
JL Audio speakers

Props:
My parents
My brother
My friends
Larry Bastanza
Science of Speed
www.nsxprime.com
The cool people I've meet along the way

Owner Specs
Hometown:
East Brunswick, New Jersey

Daily Grind:
Acura sales manager

Favorite Website:
www.nsxprime.com

Building cars for how long:
6 or 7 years

Favorite Kicks:
Nike Air Max 95s

Dream car:
Ferrari 360 Challenge Stradale

Build inspiration:
Just wanted a reliable supercar

Can't miss TV:
Entourage

Htup_0903_36_z+acura_nsx_zanardi_edition+engine_bay Photo 19/26   |   Acura NSX & Zanardi Edition - Jersey Devils

The Zanardi
If you drool over NSXs, this is the one you'll kill for. The NSX Zanardi edition was coined in honor of two-time CART racing champion, Alex Zanardi. Acura NSXs are rare enough, this super-limited edition was available only in 1999 as a Formula Red hardtop coupe and only 50 (and one press vehicle) were produced exclusively for the U.S, each identified by a numbered plaque. Honda released this special edition as an answer to its Japanese-only Type S model. To keep in line with this, the engine and transmission on the Zanardi edition were left unmodified. Instead, Honda opted to swap out the suspension for stiffer springs wrapped around shocks with increased rebound rates, stiffer bushings all around, and a thicker rear antiroll bar. This lowered the overall height of the NSX and, coupled with the factory-equipped manual rack-and-pinion steering, and solid-pane rear glass, equates to nearly 149 pounds of shaved curb weight when compared to the NSX T, and makes this the fastest factory-produced NSX in the U.S. Styling reflects Honda's penchant for the understated and is accomplished with Zanardi-specific gun-metal BBS rims, NSX-R-esque red-stitched seats inlaid with suede, and red accented floor mats along with a matching steering wheel. A signed and numbered rear bulkhead ensures everyone knows just how rare this gem is.

Htup_0903_38_z+acura_nsx_zanardi_edition+shift_knob Photo 20/26   |   Acura NSX & Zanardi Edition - Jersey Devils

Bolts & Washers
Propulsion:
NA2 C32B1 NSX engine
NA2 six-speed transmission
Zanardi lightweight battery

Stance:
Zanardi shocks and springs
Zanardi rear antiroll bar
Zanardi rack and pinion steering
Zanardi suspension bushings

Resistance:
NA2 brake system

Rims & Rubber:
Zanardi BBS wheels
Front: 215/45-16 Bridgestone Potenza RE010
Rear: 245/40-17 Bridgestone Potenza RE010

Outside:
Zanardi single-pane rear glass
Zanardi rear spoiler
Zanardi body-colored, fixed hardtop
Zanardi aluminum mesh intake covers

Inside:
Zanardi red-stitched seats
Zanardi red-stitched steering wheel
Zanardi red-stitched E-brake handle
Zanardi red-stitched door panels
Zanardi titanium shift knob
Zanardi titanium-finished center console
Zanardi titanium-finished instrument cluster
Zanardi titanium-finished door inserts
Zanardi numbered firewall plaque

Sources

Auto Meter
Sycamore, IL 60178
866-248-6356
www.autometer.com
Downforce
Anaheim, CA 92806
714-288-1630
http://www.downforceusa.com
By Brian McGurk
47 Articles

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