Ayrton Senna’s Legacy: Honda NSX History Revealed

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Ayrton Senna's Legacy
Ayrton Senna's Legacy

Ayrton Senna’s influence on the development of the Honda NSX is well-documented. Racing for the Honda-powered McLaren F1 team from 1988 to 1993, he contributed significantly to its success, winning three driver’s titles during that period. Given his close ties to both the Japanese manufacturer and the McLaren team, it’s no surprise that Senna was awarded a first-gen NSX. Originally registered in 1991 in Portugal, the car bore the license plate SX-25-59.

While the subsequent ownership history of the car after Senna’s tragic death in 1994 is unclear, we do know that Robert McFagan became its second owner in 2013. The car had been housed in Senna’s European residence in the Algarve’s Quinta Do Lago resort area from 1991 until 2013.

Since then, it has been in the possession of McFagan, residing at his estate in East Sussex. Featured in the 1992 documentary “Ayrton Senna: Racing Is in My Blood,” the NSX made a poignant appearance at the Imola circuit in 2019 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Senna’s passing.

Ayrton Senna's Legacy
Ayrton Senna’s Legacy (Credit: Robert McFagan)

Senna owned two more NSXs, both of which were specified in black. Listed for sale by Auto Trader UK with 39,100 miles on the odometer (which reads in kilometers), this remarkable vehicle can be yours for £500,000.

While this may seem like a substantial sum for a 23-year-old car with less power than a modern hot hatchback, it’s essential to recognize that not all NSXs are created equal. The Euro-spec manual version, like the one being sold, boasts 270 horsepower and 209 pound-feet of torque, with Senna’s contributions to its development ensuring superior handling.

It’s worth noting that Senna’s feedback during the final stages of development led to significant improvements in the NSX’s chassis rigidity and suspension tuning. This dedication to refining the car’s performance, coupled with Honda’s innovative use of lightweight aluminum construction, set the NSX apart from its contemporaries.

Despite being less powerful than some of its rivals of the time, the NSX’s impeccable handling and driving dynamics cement its status as a true automotive icon, further increased by its association with the legendary Ayrton Senna.

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