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 |   |  1993 Acura NSX - The Brighter Side
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1993 Acura NSX - The Brighter Side

When tragedy becomes motivation

Mar 26, 2013
Htup 1303 12+1993 acura NSX+mode4 rear carbon fiber rear diffuser Photo 1/12   |   HTUP-130300-NSX-

Men and their passion for sports cars. Some blame it on an unhealthy obsession of simply trying to acquire the most toys, while others chalk it up to more of a rite of passage, so to speak. The theory being that if you work hard enough and eventually find success, one of your rewards might be a shiny sports car to dash around town in. In the eyes of the Honda-fiend, there is no car sportier than the legendary NSX. Tough to believe it's been over 20 years since its inception, especially when spotting one on the street still causes goose bumps as your neck contorts ever so unnaturally in order to steal a second glance.

Mike Cruz is no different than you and me. He's had an affinity for the aluminum-bodied two-seater ever since it jumped out at him in a magazine ad. Not long after his first encounter, he saw the supercar in the flesh at a local dealership, and like so many others, vowed to one day take ownership.

Htup 1303 06+1993 acura NSX+advan AVS model 5 Photo 2/12   |   AP Racing brakes behind classic Advan AVS Model 5 rollers.
2019 Acura NSX
$157,500 Base Model (MSRP) MPG Fuel Economy

It would be well over 10 years, somewhere in 2003, before Mike would hear the words that any married man could appreciate. He adds, "My wife Amy surprised me when she said it was time I started looking for an NSX. I couldn't believe what I'd just heard, and before she could retract it, I was quickly on the computer in search of my NSX!" Mike's list of prerequisites wasn't absurd. He simply wanted a Sebring Silver version with black interior. After researching, he found there were 458 of those beauties produced between '91-'93, and an all-out manhunt was underway.

When it comes to car fanatics, few things in life outside of cars fester within the confines of one's conscious. Go to bed at night, think about the car, the mods, and everything that comes with it. Wake up in the morning and sort through a multitude of "what if's" while downing that morning cup of coffee or commuting to the daily grind. However, there are things in life far more important than cars, and it's a tough lesson for some. Others, like Mike, already have a firm grasp on the concept of life's priorities, and though the car search was important to him, news of his wife's illness erased any thoughts of shiny cars. He states, "In December of 2003, the search for my NSX had to take a back seat due to my wife's battle with cancer. Amy was in remission for about six months when the cancer reared its ugly head. She would have to go through chemo and radiation treatments. I'm sorry to say that Amy lost her battle with breast cancer on August 22, 2004."

For the next few months, Mike dealt with a loss that most can't even fathom, and cars certainly weren't a part of the equation. However, in early November, Mike's friend Graeme suggested that getting back into the search for his NSX might actually help him deal with everything he was going through. His hunt led to Seattle, where he would have his friend and local, Jim, check out the car and take it for a test drive. With Jim's approval, Mike made an offer that was accepted, and the dealership had the Sebring Silver NSX transported to the Bay Area during the first week of December. The tastefully applied modifications began to pour in regularly.

Htup 1303 03+1993 acura NSX+mode4 02 style front bumper Photo 3/12   |   1993 Acura NSX - The Brighter Side

Up front, you'll notice custom, one-off headlights, which were designed and fabricated by Larry Wu. Using an S2000 low beam and FX35 Bi-Xenon high beam, Larry also cut the front glass off and replaced it with a polycarbonate piece. To further separate his front end from others, he worked with Mike Vu and MV Designz to mate a Taitec '02+ front bumper to his '93 chassis, as it was originally intended for the 2002 and later NSX model with fixed headlights. Suspension duties rely upon KW Variant 3s with 2 inches of additional height adjustment available via an Umbrella Design Cup kit-crucial for getting the low-slung NSX body over obstacles. In the stop and roll departments, AP Racing brakes and staggered Advan AVS Model 5s wrapped in Falken 452 rubber are on duty at each corner.

What could possibly be sexier than an NSX with a custom front end, Downforce aero bits, and Advan rollers? A boosted NSX, of course! Comptech's carbon-fiber airbox directs fresh air to a Comptech supercharger kit that spits exhaust gases through a pair of Fujitsubo headers and finally, a gorgeous titanium GT One V1 exhaust system. The result of this small group of bolt-ons is 360 whp, well over that of the original C30A's output.

Htup 1303 04+1993 acura NSX+center console Photo 4/12   |   1993 Acura NSX - The Brighter Side

Keeping it classy, inside the cabin you'll find Porsche leather stretched over the factory seats, Defi gauges, and custom installed audio to finish off a well-rounded build.

In the face of tragedy, some falter while others, like Mike Cruz, maintain a level of motivation that can only culminate in absolute success. Sleek, uniform, and never threatening to go overboard, this sleek Sebring Silver NSX is nothing short of stellar and a positive representation of Honda's timeless flagship.

Bolts & Washers

Comptech supercharger
Comptech carbon-fiber airbox
Fujitsubo headers
GT One V1 titanium exhaus
Comptech short shifter
Jun lightened flywheel

Htup 1303 05+1993 acura NSX+comptech supercharger Photo 5/12   |   1993 Acura NSX - The Brighter Side

360 whp

Umbrella Design Cup kit
Comptech antiroll bars
Carbine shock tower bar

AP Racing calipers
AP Racing discs
Wilwood pads
Stainless steel braided lines

Htup 1303 01+1993 acura NSX+custom HID Photo 6/12   |   Custom HID headlights use S2K projector low beams and FX35 Bi-Xenon high beams.

Wheels & Tires
Front: Advan AVS Model 5 18x8 +38, Falken 452 215/35-18
Rear: Advan AVS Model 5 19x10 +45, Falken 452 275/30-19

Respray by MV Designz
Mode4 '02+ style front bumper
Mode4 carbon-fiber rear diffuser
Downforce Sport front lip
Downforce Stacy's custom side skirts
Downforce side diffusers
Downforce carbon-fiber rear window garnish
Downforce Type R vented hood
'02+ OEM rear valence
Custom HID headlights
S2000 projectors, low beam
FX35 Bi-Xenon, high beam
Polycarbonate headlight lenses

Comptech Advanced Control Module
Defi boost and fuel pressure gauges
Jacks Auto Top & Upholstery
Rewrapped OEM seats, Porsche leather
MOMO steering wheel with NSX badge
NRG quick-release
TWM shift knob
NSX-R mesh shift boot
JDM navigation pod
Reverse camera
Seas Lotus reference components
Alpine navigation
Zetoolman V3 sub enclosure
Earthquake SWS10

Htup 1303 10+1993 acura NSX+mugen bolts Photo 7/12   |   1993 Acura NSX - The Brighter Side

Andrie Hartanto, Graeme Chia, Hac Tran, Larry Wu, Comptech (now CT Engineering), Downforce, Shad Huntley and his team at Driving Ambition, Mike Vu and his team at MV Designz, Science of Speed, Endless Projects and last but not least my wife Amy.

Owner Specs

Daily grind

Htup 1303 09+1993 acura NSX+mode4 front bumper Photo 11/12   |   1993 Acura NSX - The Brighter Side

Favorite site

Screen name
The Wolf

Building Hondas
Too long

Dream car
I already own it

Inspiration for this build
My wife Amy

Future builds

For A Good Cause

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is a breast cancer movement that was established in 1982 by Komen's sister, Nancy G. Komen. Raising over $2 billion, the foundation has worked hard to end breast cancer around the world through ground-breaking research and programs that span more than 50 different countries. Mike Cruz and his family have taken part in events in an effort to help raise money and awareness. He adds, "My two kids and I participated in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk for the five years following my wife's passing in August 2004. Four of those were in San Francisco and one in San Diego. We also participated in a Susan G. Komen 5K Race for the Cure in Washington, D.C. with my wife Amy in 2003."

For more information on the organization and how you can help, log onto:

Htup 1303 07+1993 acura NSX+downforce sport front lip Photo 12/12   |   HTUP-130300-NSX-


Falken Tire
Fontana, CA 92335
CT Engineering
Rancho Cordova, CA 95742
Downforce USA
Anaheim, CA 92806
Camarillo, CA 93012
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