Still crying in my Cheerios over this one: I’d been on the hunt for a manual NSX-T for 3+ years. I looked and looked and then I looked some more. I would refresh Autotrader once every half hour… it was NEXT LEVEL obsession, plain and simple. Last October, just as I was about to shut down the computer and head home for the night, a ’95 NSX Targa 5-speed manual listing popped up, at an Acura dealer about 3 hours south of me, and at a price more than $10K below where it should be trading. Too good to be true? I was about to find out.

I call and get a nice, but utterly clueless fellow on the phone who couldn’t even spell N-S-X. I asked him to pull up the CarFax under the inventory number listed online and e-mail it to me, along with some photos, to which he did. The CarFax read: “One-owner,” “Clean Title,” and the timing belt & water pump (a $2K job) was completed in the last year. Routine maintenance had been performed at the same selling dealership since new; it was perfect. The pictures showed clean inside and out (aside from a tacky diffuser on the back). I had purchased an S2000 sight-unseen two years prior and had a local guy ready to go and perform a PPI for me on the NSX. This was it, after years of yearning, I had finally found the one I’d been looking for, and it was BELOW budget, to boot.

I called back and insisted the dealership take a $500 deposit, I’d be on the first train down the next morning to see it and seal the deal. He took my Credit Card info and I booked the earliest train I could get (9AM out of Penn Station in NYC). I didn’t sleep all night with excitement.

The next morning, the dealer calls me before they were even scheduled to open to inform me that they didn’t run my credit card for the deposit because of unforeseen levels of interest in the car. The “fair and square” way of selling the car was for there to be a “race” and the first person to visit the car and put money down IN PERSON would get it. I persisted that I was the first to call and attempt to place a deposit, thereby allowing me first right of refusal, which was acknowledged as standard operating procedure but given the novelty of the NSX, this was the rules of the General Manager. He informed me that he had someone local who was on their way but I should, “feel free to take a chance.” 20 minutes later, as I’m racing to Penn Station, I get a call informing me that the car sold. I retreated back to my office, my disappointment heavier than a bag of boulders. I sulked and wallowed. I just had Japan’s greatest supercar of all-time in the grasps of my fingers, only to see it disappear.

Three weeks later, still furious by the outcome, I was surfing Facebook and came across a photo of the car on the “NSX Prime Members Group” with its new owner. I knew it was the car because of the aforementioned tacky diffuser on the back. I proceeded to send the new owner a private message inquiring about the car, to which he informed me it was the same car that I had tried to place a deposit on, first, fair and square. Come to find out, the new owner was in New Mexico, the car had been in D.C. and he had flown up the day AFTER the dealership told me it had sold. Low and behold, the new owner tells me that the General Manager was a personal friend… it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that it was an inside deal and the General Manager lied to me in order to let his buddy fly up and snag the car from underneath me, though no one would fess up to this.

I attempted to call Acura Client Relations but because the car was a used vehicle, despite the fact that it was indeed an Acura (albeit, 22 years old), there was little that could be done. I tried to get the General Manger on the phone but he dodged my calls. I consulted a lawyer friend who informed me that while it was a lousy situation and deceitful, because they never ran my credit card, the dealership did nothing “illegal” and I’d get nowhere if I tried to go after them because no change of funds had occurred.

The search continues… lesson learned.