1:8 Scale Honda NSX . One of the finest sports cars ever made.. .
The 1991 Honda NSX was Japan's first attempt at a supercar.. I still think it's their best, and one of the best cars of any kind in the world. Honda poured everything they knew into this - a rival for the Ferrari 348 - creating a car with supercar performance, everyday usability and handling touched by God (a.k.a. Mr Ayrton Senna). All this with the reliability of a Honda.
I've heard it said that this lacks the passion of the Italians, which may be true, but it has something else - a uniquely Japanese desire for honour. They found it.
This is one of my most complex builds yet.. in this picture is nearly all the red trans pieces I own..
I've modelled the T-bar version of this car - this has two roof sections that clip onto the centre rail or stow in the boot
The engine is a surprisingly modest 3.0 litre V6, transversely mounted behind the driver and featuring Honda's unique VTEC valve timing to allow a high specific output at very high revs. 276bhp was plenty for a car of this type at the time - top speed 170+ mph.
Nothing much to see under the bootlid, although it is sprung on parallelogram hinges to allow it to slide under the rear window without fouling it.
Under the bonnet, you see the double wishbone suspension, a mechanism to raise the pop-up lights and, in a little present to Tom Simon, a functioning bonnet catch. Release this and the bonnet pops up a little on a spring, ready to be raised, then clicked shut.
As you'd expect at this scale, everything opens.. or does it?
The rear window should open as well as the engine lid - with this feature incorporated I thought it looked too clunky so I left it out.
Interior - I'm quite pleased with how this turned out - it's pretty close to the look of the real thing and there's plenty of detail in here. In front of the lever for the 6 speed gearbox, the two knobs on the centre console are useful; twist the left one and the lights pop up. I wanted to pull the right one to release the bonnet catch but this idea would have raised the line of the bonnet - we'll have to settle for fumbling under the bumper to do it (just like on a 2CV!)
The seats slide and recline, the handbrake moves and the glovebox opens.
A view of the front with the lights up..
Underneath at the rear, you can see the compact double wishbone suspension, built using only 1 UJ per side; pairs of gears tilt relative to each other as the wheels move, but never by enough to slip out of mesh due to shortish travel. Said gears are stacked vertically - you can only see the lower one from here. This is a variation of Tyler Reid's idea. The compact 6 speed transmission sits between and under the seats. The engine runs well in all gears - it revs like the clappers in 1st!
Under the front you can see that Honda do like their double wishbones - even Civics had them all round until very recently. The reason I've built the chassis using grey parts is simply that Honda built theirs entirely from aluminium.
I think it's hungry - ready to eat Porsches!