Brian Nguyen has always been a Honda enthusiast, as his previously featured 2005 Acura RSX Type-S, 2011 Honda CR-Z and now his 1992 Acura NSX will attest. The unique part about his 12-year run with a trio of cars that have always had a knack for being every bit as functional as they are pleasing to the eye is that they mirror his personal journey in both physical and financial forms.
2005 Acura RSX Type S
Photos by Rodrez
Original Super Street feature: 2008
In 2008, after moving on from an EM1 to this Jade Green Type S that he sourced for next to nothing through his family's wrecking yard business, Brian dug in deep with a build that landed him a feature in the pages of Super Street.
About two years after his SS feature, I met up with Brian in downtown L.A. to snap these updated images of the car in its final form.
The feature was a dream come true for the fulltime student who'd picked his upgrades carefully and the result was a well-rounded car that was reliable and street-friendly, yet could hold its own sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with others at any car show then, or even now.
On the outside, polished MF10 that played nicely with the deep factory color complemented a complete Mugen aero kit and rear wing.
Under the vented hood, the internals were kept stock and bolt-ons included a Jackson Racing supercharger that was eventually pulled off and replaced with the RBC intake manifold you see pictured. A few of the polished pieces under the hood joined a black-chrome valve cover and Kevlar coil pack cap in an organized bay for a very clean overall look.
The use of authentic parts that have only gotten tougher to source over the years, along with the tasteful mix of upgrades, made Brian's Type S one that never really aged. Brian himself, however, was maturing at this time, finally completing his scholastic career and had decided to move on from the RSX build and jump into the workforce.
2011 Honda CR-Z
Photos by Rodrez
Original Honda Tuning feature: 2012
Just a few years after selling his RSX, Brian picked up this 2011 CR-Z as a daily driver that ended up in Honda Tuning magazine as both a feature and as part of a CR-Z special issue that had his car next to two others on the cover.
He'd just started an insurance business with a few friends and the travel miles were stacking up quickly, so the gas miserly CR-Z was a logical choice. Though the hybrid offered little in terms of factory grunt or the potential for power upgrades short of swapping to K-power, that wasn't a factor as Brian's focus was good gas mileage and building his business.
Still, there was no way he was going to keep the car completely stock, and although there wasn't a huge aftermarket for Honda's two-seater hybrid offering, he was able to source the parts he wanted, and it was no surprise they came from the Mugen parts bin.
Almost as an ode to his RSX, Brian's CR-Z sat on MF10, this time in white, and the brand's aero kit was painted and attached. The additions bulked up the portly, yet far-too-innocent look of the CR-Z, and at a time when most were only adding wheels and springs, also separated Brian's daily from the others on the road.
The rear bumper was capped off with a Noblesse center-exit diffuser and exhaust that replaced the silly invisible factory exit, while under the hood a simple cold-air intake was bolted in place.
Neither mod will push the performance envelope on such limited power plants but they certainly added to the aesthetic and sound categories, which was just fine for the guy looking for most MPG rather than the most power on a dyno. The "ECO MUGN" custom license plate drove home Brian's purpose for this build even harder.
The insurance business that Brian and his friends built together was certainly life changing, but during this time Brian discovered something else that would not only shape his future, but also shape him ... literally. After graduating college, he realized he'd gained a considerable amount of weight and had hit the 240lbs mark and knew it was time to make a major lifestyle change. He dedicated his free time to physical activity. Not the three times a week treadmill sort of half-assed effort, but hardcore, fully focused training and the inclusion of a proper diet that he picked up through researching and the results were incredible. Brian adds, "Fitness really changed my life in a dramatic way. I used to feel sorry for myself, but I didn't do anything about it. So, after taking a simple photo and looking at myself, I knew I could be a better version of myself. I decided to go on a fitness journey, training martial arts, then getting into weightlifting and strict nutrition."
While sharing his progress and his weekly meal prep that he'd become accustomed to (and rather good at), it caught the attention of others who were inspired by his drastic physical change and the requests for meal prep services started rolling in. "I decided to start a side business of preparing food for a few friends. That ended up taking off, so I just stuck with it and turned it into my current career now." That transition, spurred by his love for fitness, would mean leaving behind the business he'd been hard at work establishing. "The insurance business was fun while it lasted, but I just didn't have a passion for it. I couldn't picture myself doing that for the next few decades." Enter B Nutritious...
1992 Acura NSX
Photos by Brandon Lim
These days you can find Brian splitting time between his two B Nutritious restaurants in Fountain Valley and El Monte, Ca. The commute is just a tad more enjoyable behind the wheel of this '92 NSX - a car that was always in the back of his mind.
When it came time to hunt down Honda's flagship, Brian's search led him to a consignment outfit in Washington where he made the purchase in 2015. He adds, "This was my dream car as a kid! And will be a FOREVER car. I plan to hand this car down to my kid. I told myself I wouldn't do much to the car but lower it and add some wheels...but I think you know how that goes, lol!"
While he did lower it using BC coilovers with an iLift Cup kit to keep the front-end in one-piece, along with installing TE37s in 17/18 staggered fitment, the mods didn't stop there. An Advance front lip, side skirts and wider fenders joined a Gruppe M hood to add some muscularity to the sleek NA1.
The horror stories about caring for black paint that you constantly hear people complaining about, in Brian's opinion, are certainly warranted. "One thing I've realized is how soft this paint is and how HARD it is to maintain. I've corrected the paint a few times and no matter how careful I am with the washes; it always tends to swirl up. But the car just looks so good when washed."
The number of hours on the road now aren't nearly what they were during his insurance business days, but the drive time today is highlighted by the "whoosh" and audible exhale just behind his seat, coming from a Pro Speed turbo kit and exhaust system. The process of boosting the C30 engine came at the price of frustration, as Brian notes, "the biggest headache I had with the car was putting on the turbo kit without being fully ready. I had to go to the dyno three times. First time, there was a turbo leak. Second time, my clutch gave out. And on the third time we were good to go."
For as much praise as the original NSX receives, its engine output hasn't aged nearly as well as its look and overall feel. So, forced induction is often the answer for those looking to bring acceleration and grunt up to more modern numbers. Even at mild boost levels and moderately sized 750cc injectors, over 400hp is achieved and channeled through a Science of Speed Sport 350 clutch with engine actions overseen by AEM's Infinity.
From a college student with a keen eye for detail applied to a memorable RSX Type S, followed by his first step into the entrepreneurial world while scaling back with a gas-friendly, yet very clean CR-Z project and now behind the wheel of his dream car while owning two successful restaurants - what's next? Brian states, "We are officially now a franchise and just sold our first franchise in Boston, Mass. This is the next level I'm taking with the business because I have a vision of seeing the brand nationwide. The concept is different than most and also good for you. B Nutritious is changing lives through simple, wholesome, quality food. It's pretty awesome to have customers tell us how the food we offer has changed their lives by improving their health. Keep an eye out, because the brand will be nationwide in the next 10 years."