A (Honda) Car Geek’s Dream Come True
Every once in a while this job affords us the opportunity to do something truly exceptional. Something that doesn’t just speak to the inner car geek nestled within our soul, but more like scream at it through a mega phone. Visiting the Honda America museum is one of those days.
Want to see a 2004 NSX that has acquired an unbelievably low 78 miles on it? Honda has one. How about nearly brand-new N 600s and Z 600s? There are a few examples on display. If it was sold in the USA, chances are it’s here in this Honda fanboys dream come true.
LIKE A VIDEO GAME, ONLY REAL
Nestled deep in an unsuspecting industrial complex in Torrance, California, this warehouse is chock-full of significant road and race cars from the Japanese automaker’s past.
After parking in the nearly empty lot, we begin to wonder if this is indeed the right location. But our smiling contact comes out quickly to greet us and let us in. Once inside the front door, the building continues to look very unsuspecting. There is a door on the left and a door straight ahead. The door straight ahead leads to the actual warehouse that houses 100s of ATVs, motorcycles and power equipment. The door on the left, however, leads to automotive nirvana for fans of the big H.
Open it up and a large showroom floor is revealed with a buffet of classic Honda and Acura automobiles. Neatly organized by model and year, we peruse each aisle marveling at the collection. It’s like walking into a real-life car dealership from the Gran Turismo or Forza video game franchises.
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SEE ALSO: Honda Collection Hall Photo Gallery
There are three generations of Preludes beginning with a 1979 example that sit opposite every generation of Civic. Like Acuras? There is a collection of Legends and Integras that includes the holy grail of Integras; the Type R. Aside from the aforementioned final year NSX, there is also a first year 1991 model that is still driven to this day.
Being a bit of a wagon-loving nerd, I couldn’t take my eyes off of the 1981 Honda Civic wagon and 1995 Honda Accord Wagon. Sure these were simple transportation devices, but man do they make me wish companies still made affordable wagons. Honda has also stored several of its electric vehicle prototypes as well as a few concept cars from the past 20 years. It was great seeing the Acura CL-X and Honda P-Nut again – perhaps more so than the first time.
NOT JUST FOR SHOW, WE GO FOR A DRIVE
In the back of the display rests several car lifts that stack historic Honda race vehicles, two high. The real-time Acura Integra and NSX from the SCCA World Challenge series reside here as well as several Indy and IRL racers. But the real highlight to our visit has to be the chance to drive a mint condition 1986 Honda CR-X. Bone stock except for a set of aftermarket wheels, the CR-X is like being sucked into a worm hole sending us back 25 years. So how does this legendary front-driver perform after all these years? You’ll have to watch the video to find out.