There's no shortage of bespoke carmakers and auto stylists out there who've made a name for themselves by thoroughly reimagining perfectly good sports cars. In America, there's the Hennessey Venom GT, which is based on a Lotus Exige but stretched to fit a V8 and restyled to have an even more exotic and menacing appearance. And in Japan there's well-known Mazda RX restylist RE Amemiya, which has produced a wide variety of thoroughly reinvented RX-7s, including the futuristic Genki 7 concept.
It's a far rarer thing, though, when an individual enthusiast takes on a design project as extensive or ambitious, but that's exactly what Jeff Hoffman has done with his radically restyled '91 Acura NSX. This is not your usual "bolt-ons and body kit" build--far from it. But because Jeff's restyling of his NSX is so thorough and so cleanly executed, even the most diehard of NSX fans is going to miss a few of the finer details at first.
The journey from teenage auto enthusiast to founder of Carbon 6 Composites, which makes custom parts for the NSX community, started in the late '90s when the tuner market exploded into the mainstream. As Jeff explained, "I went from doing high-end audio systems to focusing more on the performance side as I got older. I always wanted something different than everyone else, so although I was really more of a German car guy at first, I had the chance to drive a friend's NSX, and I was hooked as soon as I got behind the wheel. On paper, the factory NSX numbers are nothing to write home about, but the response and feel of the car are second to none. There is a reason companies like McLaren looked to the NSX for inspiration. There is a purity about it that many have been inspired by."
After that fateful testdrive, Jeff immediately started looking for an NSX of his own and came across this '91 in bone-stock condition and with just 54K on the odometer. It wasn't the color he wanted, but it was too clean to pass up. And so just like that, Jeff was the proud new owner of arguably the most important car he has ever built, a true exotic sports car with daily driver reliability and a price tag that didn't require One-Percenter status. As Jeff told us, "Originally, I got a little 'parts drunk' on the first version of the project and lost direction. I think sometimes when you start at 'A', by the time you get to 'Z' mod 'A' doesn't make sense anymore. That's when I realized I would have to make many of the parts myself."
This realization is really what gave birth to Carbon 6 Composites back in 2003, which included recruiting a few friends who were also interested in the auto performance aftermarket, one a top design engineer for a military company, another a tailor and upholsterer with 30 years of experience, and a third who had vendor relationships in the tuner market. According to Jeff, "I wanted a JGTC-inspired (Super GT) track toy but with a more modern look. The car is now a development platform for some of the parts we make, and it generally spends more time on the street than at the track, but I still get a chance to stretch its legs every once in a while. With the monster brakes and the new mono-ball suspension setup we make, it's a very capable track toy, for sure. Now only if my driving skills were as good as the car."
The exterior is, of course, the part of Jeff's NSX that makes the biggest impact, and for good reason. Some of you may be thinking, "Hey, is that a Sorcery kit?" and you wouldn't be all wrong. Some off-the-shelf parts have been used, including a Route-KS hood and Sorcery front bumpers, front fenders, and rockers, but Jeff completely redesigned the rear section of the car.
The most radical change was getting rid of the factory B-pillar and factory engine hatch and in their place using a "6-window" design, including rear side glass and a totally redesigned and contoured engine hatch. The trunk has also been blended in to fit the new lines of the hatch, and the more pronounced sloping belt line also gives this utterly unique NSX a more raked and aggressive profile. The sideview mirrors are a special limited production part (only 12 sets made) that Carbon 6 produced specifically for this project, and the aggressively vented and diffuser-equipped rear bumper clearly draws its inspiration from the Super GT series.
The Super GT-style roof intake isn't just for show, either, as it feeds the engine's ScienceOfSpeed individual throttle-body intake system and helps keep intake air temperatures down. There's also some clever routed and hidden internal ducting that directs air from the other external intakes scoops to the radiator, brake ducts, and side-mounted oil cooler. It's this level detail that really takes Jeff's NSX up a notch from show car to fully functional track day weapon 'NSX GTR' license plate worthiness.
There's a lot more to Jeff's reinterpretation of the NSX than immediately meets the eye, though. Under that redesigned rear hatch is an internally stock but totally refreshed C30A (by Jeff himself) V6 equipped with the aforementioned ITBs, custom stainless headers, and a Sorcery GT exhaust system. "The ITB system doesn't add as much horsepower as a turbo or supercharger, but it does bring the torque curve down into a more usable rpm range, and it also delivers incredible throttle response," Jeff says.
The suspension and brake system modifications are far more extensive than the engine tuning, including a seriously cool variable ride height system from Umbrella Auto Design that mounts on top of the JIC dampers and Swift springs and allows Jeff to raise the ride height as much as 3 inches, even while driving. The endlinks and tie rods have also been updated to mono-ball Heim joints for increased stability under lateral load, and the factory brakes replaced with custom, full-floating, 14-inch front and rear rotors along with Brembo six-piston monoblock calipers off a Porsche Cayenne up front and four-piston Brembos on the rear from the front of a Porsche Boxter S.
The interior of Jeff's NSX has also been thoroughly overhauled from top to bottom, including a seamlessly integrated audio and navigation system from a late-model Acura RDX. As Jeff puts it, "I guess I just liked the idea of 'What would Honda do?'. The steering wheel has stirred up a lot of debate, and yes, it's out of a Civic. In this case, it just works. I have had a few different aftermarket wheels, but they all looked 'aftermarket.' The size of the Civic wheel and the ability to integrate the controls for the RDX audio, navigation, and Bluetooth system made it a perfect fit." Hard to argue with Jeff's reasoning or the end result.
The rest of the interior has been painstakingly wrapped in Alcantara leather and brushed-aluminum trim. "Being a dealer for Ultrasuede and Alcantara myself, I have seen many interiors. I wanted something that was race inspired but comfortable. My friend Steve (a tailor by trade for more than 30 years) helped me get the interior just the way I wanted. He's a real pro," Jeff says. Even the NSX-R replica seats and Civic steering wheel have been wrapped for a fully integrated supercar-spec interior treatment.
Spend a little time to take it all in, and it's impossible not to be utterly gob-smacked by the extent to which this 24-year-old Japanese classic has been transformed into an entirely modern supercar. According to Jeff, "My passion and interest has always been composites. This NSX was destined to be my ultimate, no-compromise development project, but I couldn't have done it without my partner Kevin at Carbon 6 Composites, or Tom at RP Motorsports, the ultimate wheel guru [who helped Jeff nail down the perfect staggered fitment on the Advan RS wheels]. As much work as I've done myself, it would be nothing without the skill and knowledge of my close friends who are also part of the NSX community."
Specs & Details
'91 Acura NSX
Engine 3.0L C30A V6
Engine Modifications ScienceOfSpeed ITBs; roof air intake w/ custom airbox; custom stainless steel headers; Sorcery GT exhaust system; custom test pipe; Walbro 255-lph fuel pump; RC fuel injectors; side-mount oil cooler; custom dual-pass radiator
Engine Management AEM EMS
Drivetrain Spec clutch; custom 7-lb flywheel
Wheels, Tires & Brakes Advan RS 18x9.5 (f) and 19x10 (r) wheels; Continental SportContact 255/30R18 (f) and 275/30R19 (r) tires; custom 14x1.25'' (f) and 14x1'' (r) full-floating rotors; 6-piston Brembo (Porsche Cayenne) calipers (f) and 4-piston Brembo (Porsche Boxter S) calipers (r); separate Brembo parking brake caliper; ATE Super Blue brake fluid; SS brake lines
Suspension JIC FLA-2 coilovers; Swift springs; NSX Type S sway bars (f/r); Carbon 6 heim-jointed end links and tie rods and front compliance clamps; Umbrella Auto Design front VRH ride height adjustment system
Body & Chassis Vinyl-wrapped in Matte White; Sorcery front fenders, front bumper and rockers; Route-KS hood; custom Carbon 6 carbon-fiber roof, rear quarter, rear bumper, engine hatch, Super GT sideview mirrors and flat bottom; NSX-R rear wing (replica); carbon-fiber front subframe; aluminum bumper beams
Interior NSX-R replica seats; Schroth 6-point harnesses; Cedar Ridge harness bar; Autovation pedals and heel plates; Alcantara-wrapped Honda Civic steering wheel (with RDX controls), RDX nav, audio and Bluetooth system; custom Alcantara- and leather-wrapped dash, door cards, seats, shifter boot and E-brake
Numbers 300 hp and 270 lb-ft
Special Thanks Special shout out to Steve, Tom and Kevin, each with his own specialty. Without them, the car would not be where it is today.