As we get older and progress in life, our horizons broaden ever more. You start to see things in a different perspective and if all goes well, you also begin to enjoy the finer things in life. If you go back and look at your high school yearbook to see what the girl/guy you had a crush on looked like, you'd probably laugh at yourself. You probably ask yourself what you were thinking and then come to the realization that you just grew up and got to see more of the world. The people or things you have an attraction to look different because your horizons grow exponentially with your age. You grew up just wanting to have your own room away from your siblings and when you reach your 20s, you find yourself looking to one day own your own home. The need and want for more just comes with the territory of life.
With this automotive hobby of ours, things are very much the same. You start off with a car that you think is the best car ever and then you realize that there is more out there than just your first ride. Some will stick with their first vehicles, but, in those cases, you're probably holding onto them more for sentimental value than holding onto the idea that it will be the only car you ever own. Many start off with a hand-me-down car to build and then you later buy the car that you really wanted. After that, you find yourself with the adequate funds to move onto your next build. You also learn more about the technical side of modding cars and are introduced to new parts that you couldn't afford when you were a younger kid. Like everything else in life (hopefully), your ability to modify your vehicle grows as your horizons expand.
As Honda enthusiasts, no matter how old you get, there is one car that will always be a dream for the growing majority: Honda's supercar, the NSX. In our adolescence, it was the impossible dream and even today, because of their value, being an NSX owner is still not within the grasps of many. It's crazy to think that the NSX was first introduced in 1992, and two decades later, people still marvel at them. Some are fortunate enough to have owned one in their lifetime but your average Honda enthusiast can only stand there and drool as one cruises by at a local event or show. Guys like Sean Der are the fortunate few who can say that they have owned an NSX in their lifetime. In fact, Sean has owned three. Yes, you read that correctly, Sean is now on his third NSX chassis. Before you cry the overused cliche, "must be nice," allow us to tell you a little bit more about Sean. Sure, he has been rich with NSXs, but he has worked very hard to acquire them. He is a successful real estate agent and co-owner of a brokerage in his mid 40s who not only has owned a trio of NSXs, but also every other car you could have dreamed of. RX-7, M3, Audi S5, Nissan GT-R, et cetera, et cetera, you name it, he's probably stuffed one into his garage at one time or another.
The NSX is a chassis that he's always come back to, however. He has always had a passion for cars, but he tells us that the NSX is forever a favorite. After owning and modifying the other two, he set out to build his NSX coup de grace—the one that defines his vision of what the ultimate NSX would be. "I just wanted my NSX to be different and stand out in the car show scene," Sean explains. "When I found this chassis, it was the perfect one to build because it was incredibly clean and well-maintained. I knew this would be the car that I would set out to dominate the car show scene with." To say that he was "financially stable" would probably be an understatement so finding this NSX wasn't terribly difficult. It just had to meet his high standards. The people he had involved with his build also had to meet similar conditions.
"The turbo kit and motor was built by a reputable Acura service technician who was also the original owner of this NSX. He was extremely meticulous and documented every step of the motor build so I trusted him. The type of turbo he used was even safer because it is able to achieve a decent amount of power at lower boost than other turbochargers of this size," Sean says.
The PTE T4/T67 turbine finds a home in the rear half of the NA1 with a C30A engine that has been completely blueprinted and balanced. The entire motor has been refreshed inside and out with forged Wiseco pistons inserted into the block to handle boost pressure. Both cylinder heads have been resealed with new parts and inside sits nitrate-coated intake valves paired with Inconel exhaust valves to better sustain heat. Comptech exhaust manifolds replace the dated factory headers and everything from the water pump to the most basic of seals has also been renewed. Fuel delivery to the new beefy boost setup comes via 630cc Siemens injectors delivered via a Walbro pump. The five-speed transmission that helps deliver power to the wheels is a brand-new assembly featuring an Exedy Hyper Single clutch and Science of Speed damper delete.
The exterior of his NSX has been completely reimagined. The factory lines still exist but the entire body has been bulked up with aerodynamic steroids in the form of a FX Motor Development eight-piece widebody kit. The added room in the wheelwells from the FX kit allows Sean to house double-staggered VIP Modular VX410 wheels. The front is an 18x9.5 wheel, and the rear is a staggering (no pun intended) 12.5 inches wide! To give it a nonconventional appearance and touch, the entire car has been wrapped in 3M Satin Pearl White. The satin finish gives the deep red coating on the VIP Modular wheels that perfect contrast. The red hue also transfers over to the interior where the seats, door panels, and adjoining pieces have all been accented with red stitching.
It's hard not to be jealous of Sean. The guy has probably owned more cars than many of us ever will and has assembled a pretty remarkable NSX. We should all remember that he worked very hard to get to where he is today, and he is also one of the rare few who is still very much into modding Hondas in his 40s. He doesn't exactly fit into the demographic of import enthusiasts, but he is a great example of what is to come in our future years. We can all hope to still be into this hobby of ours when we get older, and who knows, maybe some of us can finally get an NSX of our own. At least we can continue to dream, right?
Behind The BuildName.
Sean M. Der
Real Estate Agent, Co-Owner of Brokerage
"I wanted to push my favorite car to the limit"
1992 Acura NSXoutput: 539 whp/393 lb-ft of torque
Engine '92 3.0L Honda C30A; professionally built and assembled by a certified Acura service technician; Wiseco 9:2:1 forged pistons; blueprinted and balanced rotating assembly with Inconel exhaust valves and steel nitrate-coated intake valves; LMA valvesprings and retainers; Cometic MLS head gaskets; APR head studs; Comptech headers; APX Angus Y-pipe with modified wastegate feed; PTE T4/T67 turbocharger 6765 with anti-surge S-cover, .70A/R compressor cover, and .83 trim turbine wheel; TiAL Sport MVR wastegate, Q blow-off valve; Science of Speed water-to-air intercooler and heat exchanger; Bosch Cobra water pump; Turbosmart dual-stage boost controller; RB Racing oil scavenger pump; custom aluminum charge pipes; four-ply silicone couplers and T-bolt clamps; Siemens 630cc fuel injectors; Walbro 255-lph fuel pump
Drivetrain Science of Speed damper delete; Exedy Hyper Single clutch assembly
Suspension BC coilovers with Swift springs
Wheels/Tires Front: 18x9.5 VIP Modular VX410; 235/40-18 Toyo Tires; rear: 19x12.5 VIP Modular VX410; 295/30-19 Toyo Tires
Exterior FX Motor Development Wide Body Kit (eight pieces); 3M Vinyl Satin Pearl White wrap, Satin Black Wrap on Canopy; black-glossed side mirrors; Seibon NSX-R style hood; JDM Honda-badged rear taillight assembly; APR GTC 67-inch rear spoiler; carbon-fiber-trimmed engine hatch
Interior Science of Speed Honda navigation pod with 7-inch screen; MOMO NRG retractable steering wheel; custom red-stitched interior panels; Alcantara roof lining; NSX-R shift knob
Electronics AEM 30-1042 Series 1 EMS, digital AFR gauge, analog boost gauge; T1 Race Development Fast-Acting IAT sensor; Science of Speed 3-bar MAP sensor
Gratitude "Xavier Lotuaco (Rosenthal Acura) for the car, and engine and turbo build; Derrick Nowell and Paco Duarte (Automotive Performance Aesthetics Club 'APAC') for the widebody prep, fitting, installation, and stance and rim measurements; Leon Lee (Just Tint and Signs) for the 3M Satin Pearl Wrap; Brian Zuerlatt (Zury Fabrications) for the 3-inch custom piping and 5-inch tips; Khris Uybengkee (KuConnection) for advising on car representation and visibility; Toyo Tires for their sponsorship"
Photography by CSM Photography