Do you ever scroll through Bring A Trailer, shaking your head at the impossibly low-mileage cars that seem to be the site’s bread and butter? All those 44,000-mile BMWs, 28,000-mile Porsches, or 10,000-mile Honda Elements have never really been given the chance to be cars — they’re garage furniture, a decoration to gawk at but never touch.
Luckily, not every interesting car has a life so sheltered. Some still get to live out their lives as useful automobiles, racking up miles, but few traverse as many as Sean Dirks’s 1992 Acura NSX — his 400,000-mile daily driver.
The story of Sean’s NSX begins in 1992, even though he bought the car from its first owner in the early 2000s. Over the past seventeen years he’s added 330,000 miles to the odometer, using the Acura for everything from daily commutes to 800-mile road trips. It’s Sean’s only car — if he needs to get somewhere, he’s taking the NSX or walking.
Putting six-figure mileage on a car built to compete with the top Italians could easily have been a nightmare. Supercars are often high-strung, unreliable messes; the soaring highs of driving a race car for the road are balanced out by the repair bills from driving a race car on the road. Conveniently for Sean, Honda didn’t just build the NSX to outpace Ferrari and Lamborghini — it built the NSX to outlast them.
In 330,000 miles, Sean’s NSX has needed little in the way of repairs. In fact, it’s really had only one major issue that can’t be blamed on age. Early production NSXs fell victim to broken snap rings that would cripple the car’s transmission. Sean’s was no exception, with the snap ring failing at (to his knowledge, a record high) 123,000 miles. Of course, being an enthusiast, he took it as an opportunity to improve on Honda’s original work — swapping the car’s gear set and final drive for the tighter ratios found in the NSX-R.
Beyond the known issue with the transmission, Sean has only had to shell out for one major repair. At 380,000 miles, the NSX went in for a full suspension rebuild to replace worn-out struts, springs, and bushings. Rather than upgrading with stiffer springs or full coilovers, Sean had the car rebuilt to stock specifications to preserve, in his words, “reliability and daily drivability”.
In fact, despite purchasing the car in the era between 2 Fast 2 Furious and Tokyo Drift, Sean’s NSX is barely modified. Besides the exhaust, wheels, and “a few other minor things,” the Acura remains exactly how it left the factory. It’s a testament to the reliability of a properly-maintained Honda product — if nothing breaks, you never need to swap parts.
In a world where car auctions are a race to the lowest mileage, seeing a car that’s gotten the opportunity to live out its life is refreshing. Sean’s NSX hasn’t been locked in a cage, it’s been able to see the world — and be seen by fans of Honda’s supercar slayer. So, to anyone who can still afford a classic NSX, I implore you: buy one and drive it. It’ll hold up to any mileage you can throw at it.
You can keep up with Sean’s NSX on its path to 500,00 miles on his Instagram.