I have given a name to my pain, and it is Bring a Trailer.
Aside from being a clearing house for fantastically well-maintained cars I can’t afford, even if their prices are questionable—$15,000 for non-M3 E30s, what the hell?—it has become my go-to place to get depressed over very good cars that are never driven, in the name of being “collector’s cars.”
The Baby Boomers pioneered this, and it’s why every Barrett-Jackson auction is stuffed to the gills with near-new GTOs and shit. But it really breaks my heart to see cars that were really, truly meant to be driven get this sort of treatment.
Case in point: this 1994 Acura NSX with 187 miles.
It’s a gorgeous Brooklands Green color, apparently one of 34 for that year and an NSX shade I don’t think I’ve ever seen in person. It has a black leather interior and a five-speed transaxle. It is completely factory in every way.
And it has one-hundred and eighty seven miles on it.
I’m privileged to have driven the original NSX. I mean that word very specifically there. It’s a delight to drive, a dialed-in, challenging, rewarding, deeply fun machine that offers a level of balance and precise performance that’s difficult to find elsewhere. It is truly a privilege to drive one.
It’s also worth remembering that while the NSX is basically canonized into car-sainthood today, it wasn’t always like that when it was new. Yes, it was an extremely ambitious supercar experiment from Honda and was lauded early on for its driving dynamics.
But it was also expensive, and not as fast as a C5 Corvette, and it aged poorly before it was finally put out to pasture in 2005. Basically, people didn’t seem to realize how good it actually was, until fairly recently. But it was good, and plenty of longtime NSX drivers will tell you that.
So when I look at this car, I don’t see a collector’s item—I see 25 years of all but unmatched driving fun that someone missed out on. That several people missed out on, probably. I see countless adventures and special moments that didn’t happen. I see a lot of wasted potential.
I’m at the point where I try not to judge how other enthusiasts enjoy their cars (minus the idiots out there, of course) but, man, is this a shame.
The listing says the car’s original owner “was a collector who reportedly possesses 40+ cars all showing under 500 miles, which are kept stored in a climate-controlled facility.” I’m sure he or she got some joy out of that. I wonder how much more joy they would have gotten if they had driven the hell out of their cars instead.
The bidding is at $85,000 as of this writing with six days to go. I’m sure it’ll cross six figures and go to another collector and another climate-controlled garage soon. Here’s a better idea: drive it until it dies.
It’s not like you can take it with you.