Former press cars often get a bad rap in enthusiast circles because some people assume that most hacks are ham-fisted buffoons who rag the living daylights out of a car before handing back to the press garage in bits. In some cases, it's not wide of the mark - and given the ample photographic evidence of cars being made to do silly things in the name of 'journalism', no one could be blamed for steering well clear.
But think of it a bit like this. Despite the potential for mistreatment, press cars - especially expensive ones - easily rank as the most pampered examples of any business fleet. Sure, they occasionally get flogged, but they also get a huge amount of OEM TLC to make sure they look pristine on camera and are representative of the product being flogged to the general public.
Consider this Honda NSX, then. It was originally loaned out to Autocar back in the day as a long termer (lucky sods), which means it was likely in good hands before ultimately being shifted on to a private owner. Clearly, it left an impression on those who drive it either as a press car or as their very own NSX. This example has covered 114,500 miles since it was first registered in 1998, and given that it’s a Honda it’ll likely cover the same distance again without breaking a sweat.
Of course, it’s not hard to see why the previous, er, users were so enamoured with the thing that they couldn’t help but pile the miles on. You don’t need us to remind you of why the NSX is as highly regarded as it is, with this particular car being the punchier refreshed model that came about in 1997 before the facelifted car launched at the turn of the millennium. That means you get the bigger 3.2-litre naturally aspirated V6 with 294hp and 224lb ft of torque that could be had with a six-speed manual gearbox and is accompanied by one of the greatest six-cylinder soundtracks of all time. This was enhanced on 3.2 models courtesy of a stainless-steel exhaust manifold.
A peek inside reveals a near spotless interior. One that’s wonderfully retro, too, as Honda put little effort into updating the cabin, even when the NSX was heavily facelifted for the NA2 generation. Outside, the car is finished in Imola Orange Pearl which, according to the ad, is just one of three coupes produced in the colour and matches that of Honda’s NA2 heritage car.
Overall, it’s one of the tidiest NSXs we’ve seen for a long time, made all the more impressive when you consider the miles it’s covered and the life it’s led. There's also evidence of the car’s ‘extensively documented history’ – including clippings from Autocar’s long termer features. And with lower mileage cars commanding six-figure sums these days, this example’s asking price of £78,000 looks like good value, especially for a sought-after manual. As original NSXs go, they don’t get much better than this.
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