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1991 Acura NSX - Street Level

The Raw, Unadulterated Beast The NSX Was Never Meant To be

Joey Lee
Jul 13, 2010
Photographer: Rodrez

Anthony Khamly's 1991 Acura NSX
The NSX crowd is quite an interesting bunch. At one end of the spectrum, you have the absolute purists who cry foul at the sight or mention of any serious modification to Honda's super car. Body modification, which, in their eyes, is the most serious offense, is considered blasphemy and automotive sacrilege. On the other end of that spectrum, you have the enthusiasts who dream of building their NSX to emulate those legendary masterpieces that have gained notoriety in Japan. These individuals consistently flip through Japanese HyperRev magazines and scour the internet looking for every JDM part imaginable. The aftermarket support for these cars is abundant and the guys/girls who are blessed enough to own an NSX seem to be more than willing to pay the high cost for parts to transform them. In the middle of all of this, you have the crowd that loves to see the crazy NSXs, but would never actually build one themselves.

Htup_1007_02_o+1991_acura_nsx+exhaust_view Photo 2/19   |   1991 Acura NSX - Street Level

As you will have undoubtedly figured out by now, this Formula Red NSX is at the furthest end of the NSX spectrum. It's everything an NSX purist would show disdain for; the original silky smooth bodylines have been drastically altered and now present a very raw, "in-your-face" appearance. Then there's the roar of the exhaust at start-up that violently reminds onlookers that the mellow refinement of the factory system has been thrown out the window. The sexy lady that was once the embodiment of an NSX has now transformed into a sultry brute. While many often say that your car is a reflection of who you truly are, that may hold untrue in this case. The wild creation you see before you was actually built by a very unassuming individual. The soft-spoken aspiring chef is everything this NSX isn't. What's even more interesting to note is that he never thought he'd own Honda's mid-engine sports coupe.

2019 Acura NSX
$157,500 Base Model (MSRP) MPG Fuel Economy

"I used to have a '96 Civic coupe," owner Anthony Khamly reminisces. "I had big plans for it. At that time it only had a Mugen front lip, Sparco seats, Spoon brakes, and a set of old school Sparco wheels. I was putting together a fully-built B20/VTEC engine with a Full Race turbo kit. It was going to make some serious power." Unfortunately, it would never be completed. On the day of Anthony's college graduation, the Civic coupe was stolen right in front of his own house. It was found later that same day, completely stripped down to the shell.

"Luckily, I didn't drop the built B20 in there yet or I would have lost a lot of money." Anthony says. "What's funny is that I just recently sold the B20 with the turbo kit six years later. I still have a brand new set of Mugen RNRs that I've never even taken out of the box. It just got lost in the shuffle back then because I thought I was done with Hondas. I didn't want to deal with the paranoia of waking up everyday wondering if someone had stolen my car again."

"I was in the market for an FD3S RX-7 because my cousin had just bought one and I was going to build a twin of his. I searched for a good six months with no luck and one day I decided to glance at the NSX forums. I didn't expect to find anything because owning one was something that only happened in my dreams."

Khamly says. "Before I knew it, I'd looked at four other NSXs before I found this one. It was completely unmolested. Also, the price was right because the owner was expecting twins and needed a bigger car. I told myself I was going to keep it mostly stock because it was my daily commuter at the time. That, and I had just stepped up from a Civic to an NSX and the prices for parts were way more than I expected."

The rest, as they say, is history.

"I started out with just suspension and wheels, but yeah, it basically snowballed from there."

"Snowballed" is perhaps the best word to describe Anthony's journey. Not only did he not keep it basic like he had originally planned, he went all in. His NSX had seen many different stages within the last five years, including a stint as a twin T04 turbo'd daily driver. Reliability led him to seek out his current setup, which is a custom Vortech supercharger cooled by a Spearco air-to-water intercooler. Spent exhaust gases make their way through Science of Speed headers, and exit through a custom L-Con Racecars fabricated center-exit exhaust. The non-muffled exhaust notes in conjunction with the whine of the Vortech blower create a one-of-a-kind, neck-breaking symphony of sound that can only be appreciated in person.

Htup_1007_10_o+1991_acura_nsx+engine_view Photo 9/19   |   1991 Acura NSX - Street Level

The aggressive widened body armor of the Sorcery kit is what truly sets this NSX apart from the majority. "I remember seeing a yellow NSX in Honda Tuning a couple years back that really inspired me to get this kit. That NSX pulled it off so well, I knew I had to get it when I decided to redo my entire car," Khamly says. Sorcery aero isn't exactly the easiest to come by, but luckily Anthony was able to source one through Speed Alliance in San Diego, CA. He also saw the Sorcery kit as an opportunity to update to the newer 2002-up Xenon HID headlights. The flip-up headlight look was getting a bit dated after 10+ years, so the new '02 pieces were a much needed upgrade. The taillights were also renovated with newer units to match the front. He then had Ross of Midnight Garage fit and install the entire kit before having it sprayed in Honda Formula Red. Though the rear quarter panels have been widened, the rear itself remains simplistic with the exception of a full-function Taitec rear diffuser that sits above the sinister L-Con exhaust.

An unfortunate mishap a year ago which damaged the front bumper and carbon diffuser turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Anthony, in his infinite research of Japanese NSXs, came upon a picture of the Kyushu-Danji time attack NSX one night and fell in love with the front bumper design. Anthony had Ross repair the cracked front and had him fill in the smaller outer vents to resemble the look of the Kyushu-Danji front. It was such a subtle touch that managed to completely change the look of this NA1.

Having the enlarged exterior meant that a wider, much more aggressive stance was necessary. Sitting under the widened fenders are diamond black 18x9.5/10.5 staggered Volk Racing CE-28N rollers. The low offset front and rear give the classic CE-28Ns a concave face that any enthusiast can appreciate. The monstrous Toyo T1Rs are so wide that the Sorcery front fenders had to be modified and "pulled" to accommodate additional rubber. Housed inside the front wheels is a big brake kit by JBT. Buddy Club Racing-Spec coilovers provide ride height adjustability and are the only parts that have survived every incarnation that this NSX has seen.

Even though he never expected to own an NSX, fate demanded otherwise. It's rather unfortunate that his Civic was stolen, but it enabled him to build the incredible project that graces these pages today. Purists beware, he's not finished. "There's probably going to be one more major facelift before I'm done," Anthony claims. "I'm going to tear the car apart again and send it off to L-Con Racecars for a full custom cage. Maybe a full color change and then I can really enjoy this car. Then it's off to the track where I can open this bad boy up and let it scream."

Bolts & Washers

Science of Speed solid engine mounts
NSX Type S camshafts
NSX Type S valves
NSX Type S valve springs
Science of Speed rocker arms
Science of Speed high-output oil pump
ARC oil pan
EGR block-off modification
Custom Vortech supercharger
Custom intake piping
Science of Speed intake manifold
Science of Speed big bore throttle body
Spearco air-to-water intercooler
Custom mounted water tank
w/steel-braided water lines
Greddy Type RS blow-off valve
Downforce AIS side-scoop
Sciene of Speed headers
L-Con custom stainless 2.5-inch exhaust
L-Con custom test pipes
Walbro 255lph fuel pump
RC 550cc fuel injectors
Earl's -6 stainless lines and fittings
AEM fuel filter
AEM fuel pressure regulator
NGK Iridium IX spark plugs
NSX-R short gears
NSX-R final drive
Comptech clutch
Comptech flywheel
Comptech short shifter
Science of Speed short gear stalk

Htup_1007_18_o+1991_acura_nsx+exhaust_shot Photo 16/19   |   1991 Acura NSX - Street Level

Buddy Club Racing-Spec coilovers
Comptech race anti-roll bars
Science of Speed bushings
NSX-R chassis front/rear chassis bars
Comptech Non-Compliance rear beam
Comptech Non-Compliance toe links
Carbing shock tower bar

JBT 13-in front big brake rotor
JBT front brake pads
JBT 4-piston front brake calipers
JBT front stainless steel brake lines
Ritmo brake ducts
Motul brake fluid

Wheels & Tires
18x9.5 +22 Volk Racing CE-28N (front)
245/40-18 Toyo Proxes T1R
18x10.5 +18 Volk Racing CE-28N (rear)
285/40-18 Toyo Proxes T1R

Honda Formula Red
Sorcery complete wide-body aero kit
Modified Sorcery Version II FRP front bumper (front vents filled and shaved)
Modified Sorcery Version II FRP front fenders (Spaced and extended to accommodate larger tires)
Sorcery Version II front carbon fiber diffuser
Sorcery carbon fiber sideskirts
Sorcery FRP side skirt caps
Sorcery FRP wide-body rear fenders
Seibon Carbon R front bonnet
Seibon Carbon R rear wing
Taitec carbon fiber rear diffuser
2002 NSX Xenon-HID headlights
2002 NSX taillights

Recaro SPG seats w/custom
red suede center inserts
Buddy Club seat brackets
Takata safety harness
L-Con harness bar
KEY!S steering wheel
Taitec steering hub
NRG quick release
Gruppe M shiftknob
NSX-R shift boot
JDM NSX Navigation Pod
Carbon fiber dash kit
Autovation pedals
Custom red suede door panel inserts
Custom black suede A/B pillars
Custom black suede headliner

APEX'i boost gauge
APEX'i oil pressure gauge
APEX'i water temperature gauge
AEM digital gauge
Zapco Competition amplifier
(2) 8-inch JL Audio subwoofer
MB Quartz component speakers
Alpine navigation unit

My family
My friends
Ross at Midnight Garage
Louie at L-Con Racecars
Dat Nguyen at Speed Alliance
Ryo at Seibon
Tree at Buddy Club
Jimmy at Wellbilt Kustoms
Doods!/Phaze2 family
Liza at Island Motorsports
Frank at JBT

Owner Specs

Favorite website

Screen name or nickname
Tony Tony Tony

Building Hondas for how long
12 years

Your dream car

Build inspiration
Sorcery widebody NSX/JGTC NSX

What's playing in your iPod/CD/ MP3 player right now
Soul4Real - "Every Little Thing I Do"

Greatest movie of all time
Top Gun

Hey man, is that a turbo?
The question that Anthony hears every time he attends a car show or meet is whether or not that giant snail-looking contraption under his rear hatch is a turbo or not. The simple answer to that: no. The Vortech blower in this NSX is a centrifugal-type supercharger. It is a belt-driven compressor that increases power output by increasing oxygen flow to the engine. These units are basically identical in operation to a turbocharger with the exception of it being belt driven rather than utilizing exhaust gases to drive a turbine. The simple answer may be "no," as the Vortech supercharger is different in its own right, but technically speaking, it's very similar to a turbocharger in theory.


Buddy Club USA
Ontario, CA 91761
Seibon Carbon
City of Industry, CA 91745
Rays Engineering
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
Takata Racing Products
Greensboro, NC 27408
By Joey Lee
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