Being an enthusiast means we live, breathe and dream cars. Much more than anything, it is a lifestyle, a release and above all, a passion. Of course, we all start somewhere. And for Saif, it all began when he first got his hands on Gran Turismo on the very first PlayStation. Not only did it open his eyes to a hobby he would never get rid of. The game provided Saif a gateway to knowledge. Knowledge of how cars actually work.
Saif grew up in a neighborhood you and I would be envious of. A district filled with JDM cars like the Nissan R32 Skyline, Toyota Supra and Toyota Chaser. And as time passed by, Saif found himself more engrossed in the world of cars. He went ‘over the edge’ in his words when he took up a job at a Honda dealership. From here on, things changed dramatically for the then graduate trainee. Sitting in the showroom for long hours even after training exercises, Saif jumped from one car to the other admiring the quality of engineering he witnessed. And the Honda NSX, without a doubt is the cornerstone of Honda’s engineering.
Saif bought this NSX in the spring of 2013, an example that was clean and with very low mileage. The car had aftermarket wheels and the interior was redone in blue and black. I am guessing to compliment the sky blue exterior. But it was not upto Saif’s taste. And he already knew what he wanted to do – build a Type-R themed NSX.
Initially planning to build a full 2002 NA2R replica, Saif soon realized that this dream of his was too far-fetched. Parts that could be ordered off a catalogue started to cross organ donation prices. And certain parts were simply not available in the market. This meant that in order to build a NA2R replica, Saif would have to buy a GENUINE RHD Type-R just for parts. Considering the astronomical prices Type-R NSX’s command, this plan was simply not feasible.
After days and nights of researching and going through previous builds, Saif came up with the idea to build his own version of the NSX-R instead. The eagle-eyed Honda enthusiasts will spot the 94 type R front-end paired with a 2002 hood. The mash-up continues at the rear of the car, where the 2002 fascia is paired with 1994 NA1 Type-R tail-lights. The exterior is then befittingly, finished in a Honda Championship White.
The interior was entirely redone to replicate the original NSX Type-R, the black and red combination is further complimented by a custom 2002 Type-R cluster (which I am told is the most expensive part on the car at this moment). Modifications to the interior include a MOMO tuner steering wheel paired with the original NSX horn button, a Type R gear knob and a beautiful pair of Bride LowMax seats, the same pair that Keiichi Tsuchiya has on his personal NSX. (Dear readers, if you do know who Tsuchiya is please sell your race-car, buy a Renault Duster, and do not open carculture.ae ever again)
Riding on a set of Rays TE37SL, the NSX sits pretty and corners hard thanks to a Tein Monoflex suspension set-up with the vehicle being corner-balanced. The latter became a requirement after close to 40kg of weight reduction was carried out. (I need to know who Saif’s gym trainer is)
Future additions are performance-oriented, with a J’s racing exhaust and an engine tune in the works. To ensure the car can keep up with an actual Type-R in the handling department, Saif intends to add chassis reinforcements for some added rigidity. Apart from that, Saif intends to leave the NSX just as it is, for as long as he is going to own it.
I have spoken before about how certain cars are out of reach for enthusiasts, regardless of the scenario. Perhaps it’s the price, perhaps the rarity or perhaps the fact that we would never be able to drive them where we live. And what is inspiring, is the fact that despite the hardships, Saif and many others like him have somehow managed to build their own version of the car they’ve dreamt of. I guess this is, the power of dreams.