With the exception of trust-fund babies who modify their motor just for the hell of it or possibly a tax write-off, motivation for the buildup of any car comes from somewhere. For many it comes from an inherent need for personal expression. We could all have 2.3 kids, drive around in four-door Escorts and get our hair cut the same way every three weeks, but sooner or later boredom would overpower the soul in an Orwellian world such as this.
Of course, you don't have to have spiked hair and tattoos to realize that many automotive platforms can be improved upon. Case in point, the early Acura NSX. While lauded for its light weight (3,100 pounds) and handling prowess, the mid-engined two-seater just didn't pack the K/O punch in the horsepower department. With 270 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque from the factory, the Acura just wasn't up to par with other supercars of the day.
Enter Dr. Ron Warnick, a Midwest-based surgeon whose knife has saved more than a few lives. Ron bought the car in '97 and while his '91 NSX carved canyons with equal precision to his scalpel, there was always room for more ponies in the stable. A Tubi exhaust was soon installed thereafter. For his efforts he took home the best-sounding exhaust award at the 2002 NSXPO convention. At the time, he considered additional modifications but always had an excuse (too little time, not enough money).
In early 2003, Dr. Warnick received a frightening phone call from a physician friend. "Ron, I need your help. I have a brain tumor," said his ailing colleague and compatriot.
Despite the best efforts of Dr. Warnick and his staff, his friend passed away six months later from a malignant brain tumor. "I then had a realization that life is short and I needed to move ahead with my dream car," says Warnick. "Coincidentally, I had just received an application for an MBNA credit card with a $50,000 credit limit. I immediately used this to buy the first $25,000 worth of parts."
The parts purchased included a Comptech supercharger, half the aero parts and some other interior bits. The NSX and its bevy of new parts sat at a local tuner for a while until they (Warnick and the company) realized that although there was help for Hondas in the Midwest, Cincinatti wasn't the daddy when it came to tuning NSXs. To find the father figures of fettling with the mid-engined Acuras, Warnick turned to Science of Speed in Tempe, Ariz. Why them? Well, when you've got two fully sorted NSXs in your stable, one of them with a carbon-fiber body, people are going to call you whether they want work done or not.
Warnick had the car, along with its assortment of aero parts, shipped down to Chris Wilson and Seth Rowan of S.O.S. At first, they decked out the Acura with a Taitec GT500 spoiler and a few other parts from Marga Hills. "I decided this kit looked way too boy-racer and wanted something a little more appropriate for a 48-year-old doctor," says Warnick. "Also, I didn't like the open headlights." So it was back to the drawing board. To replace the slightly barbaric look of the Taitec bits, S.O.S. fitted a GT front bumper from Cantrell Studios. The addition of the bumper, along with the accompanying wide fenders, differs from S.O.S's other signature cars slightly. Its NSXs are modeled after JGTC racers, with a larger spoiler and open fenders. Warnick's does not.
The slightly more subtle carbon-fiber spoiler riding the tail at present is an NSX R-type from Procar. Cantrell Studio's GT wide quarterpanels, Honda 2002 (the NSX is badged as a Honda in Japan) rear valence kit, Craft Square carbon-fiber mirrors and, of course, the 2002 NSX headlight assembly contribute to the custom high-class appearance of this able-bodied Acura.