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Talk Me Out Of It: the 90s rock

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My God, that M5 had a history, but over 70% of you say you’d have it over the E55. Today, it’s the 90s, with a 3000GT vs an Acura NSX. Should be a fun one.

The 1999 3000GT VR-4 vs the 1991 Acura NSX

See the 3000GT listing here

See the Acura NSX listing here

In 1990, I was in Kindergarten. By 1999, I was a freshman in high school. I may have been born in the 80s, but the 90s is the decade I remember growing up in. And the cars – frequent readers know my love for a Japanese super coupes from the decade.

You could argue that a Supra is more iconic, but I don’t buy it – that car’s fame comes from a movie made after the 90s were over. Instead, let’s go for the last year Mitsubishi made a 3000GT – 1999. It’s not the most rare version, but it’s possibly the most well-known.

Against it is the king of kings. The car that made Ferrari change how they built theirs. The only car of the group with real racing pedigree. And the only one to put the engine in the right spot (sorry, MR2) – the Acura NSX. This one is an original, 1991.

Problems? Absolutely.

The 1999 3000GT VR-4

3000GT
This is a true 1999. Photo: Cars & Bids

Forget about the regular versions, the VR-4 is the one you want. By 99, the gimmicks were gone – bye Active Aero, bye adjustable exhaust. But hello Combat Wing and revised styling that finally did justice to this faux Ferrari fighter.

  • 89,900 miles
  • Bid to $18,400 so far
  • Red/tan – the only correct combination
  • Some rust, body repainting, and peeling in the chrome wheels. Perhaps the wheels are the biggest cause for concern – they can’t be found anymore, and re-chroming them isn’t easy.
  • That body work doesn’t look so good.
  • This 3000GT seems to be a flip, as it was recently sold. I see “bent valves” from the previous owners notes.
  • Pretty much stock, so that’s good.

I’ve seen 99s go for over $50,000, but most land in the $30s. This one has some gaps in history, high mileage and imperfect condition. Still, it is a true 99. Imagine how impressed the five people that know what it is at Cars and Coffee will be.

Could we do better?

1991 Acura NSX

Acura-nsx
This first model year was a 1991. Photo: Cars & Bids

Here’s an unpopular opinion: original NSXs, as in pre-97 update, aren’t very good. Missing the larger engine, six-speed, and other goodies, you’re probably going to be underwhelmed. But they still look great, and this one has been driven…

  • 170,000 miles!
  • Bid to $38,000
  • 17-inch wheels in the front, with tires that date back to 2015
  • The ABS light is on – just fix these little things before selling a car like this, come on
  • Radio doesn’t work
  • The wear you’d expect on a car driven this much
  • Gross E-brake and steering wheel – you can get new ones

Now I am a BIG advocate of driving your car, and not saving it for the next guy, so please don’t think that this NSX having been driven is bad. And of all the 90s Japanese cars, you’d probably expect an NSX to be the most reliable. But $40,000 for a car with 200,000 miles on it?

So what do you think? Red with twin turbos, or red with titanium connecting rods?

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