Acura NSX makes terrible boat, decent submarine

LSX Salvage

Many cars are given a second chance by an owner who refuses to give up and let something go off to the scrapyard. Take for example this Acura NSX that sat at the bottom of a river for 15 years. The new owner claims it is going to get a second lease on life.

The hulk of a car was exhumed from the Yadkin River in North Carolina after what most suspect to be 15 years of sitting on the riverbed. It’s hard to imagine the car any rougher than its current condition (pun intended) but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something of value there. In fact, someone at Helix Auto Works saw $8500 worth of value when the barnacle of a car, which was hauled out of the river in 2019, was recently sold by LSX Salvage in Lexington North Carolina.

River NSX LSX Salvage 2
It’s carrying a lot of mud, but appears to be relatively intact. LSX Salvage

According to other reports, the car was found by divers during a search for a different car that was used in a crime. The CarFax report for this particular car appears to have records on it as late as 2004 so the exact date of it going into the river might be murky, but that gives a pretty solid ballpark to define the length of its aquatic adventure.

In a Facebook post from yesterday, it appears the car is now in the Helix Auto Works shop in Maryland and work is starting on its restoration. Plans are scarce but from reading the comments and replies it appears there will be a YouTube channel dedicated to the process that is yet to be posted. It certainly won’t be a quick process, nor an easy one considering parts for the 1990 model year car are not exactly easy to come by to begin with. Sometimes when it comes to restoration you just have to go with the flow though, so maybe a more performance-oriented build is on the horizon?

Does this feel a little familiar? Well that’s because this is not the first time we have talked about a car being exhumed from a river and restored. The last was a Porsche 911 that took a long soak in an Italian river before being picked out in 2020. That restoration has been progressing smoothly but even three years later is still a long way off from being complete. Is rescuing a vehicle from a river that strange? Maybe not, but it’s certainly strange that it’s happened twice in recent history.


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    The first thing I thought when I saw that photo is that there is some masochist out there who thinks they can restore that car. Then I clicked the link and confirmed my suspicion

    This is about the social media attention.

    Yes the car is valuable enough to arguably justify it… into a track car. As a full resto it will always have the “was underwater” storyline associated with the VIN.

    As a buyer getting that resto (I would pass actually) I would want full documentation of every step. This thing needs to be stripped to the bare shell, dipped, stabilized and every component replaced. So it is a kit car (clone, recreation…) built on a VIN, but an NSX nonetheless.

    Reminiscent of the piece of a Maserati nose that was offered on BaT… and sold. If it were in a VERY COLD lake, it might have survived better but NC rivers… hmmmm, not so much. Way too much disposable income.

    I once had a car that was a total loss. 50% missing, the rest bent, broken, or rusty. And it wasn’t a desirable or rare car. A father and son team came by and was all excited about buying the car to restore. They put on a good show: “this is the car we’ve always wanted….it will be a great project to do together…” I sold the car and they towed it away. A week later I saw it abandoned in a lot. It was all there except the VIN plate. It then dawned on me that they just wanted the title and VIN to add to a stolen car most likely. Years later I had a rough Cosworth Vega: complete but stuck engine and EVERTHING needed serious attention. I sold it to a guy who said he was going to restore it. A week later he was driving a very nice Cosworth Vega with the same VIN that mine had. Imagine that!

    It was a poor submarine. Submarines can move in the water, this one didn’t and the crew would have drowned. Full restoration would cost more than just buying one so this makes no sense to me.

    Back in the early 90’s there was an ex cop that raced a 60’s Corvette that had been found at the bottom of the Welland Canal….a shipping canal from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie. Open top with a roll cage….he ran that cars for years! It was just solo 1 which is called time sprints now but still. 🙂

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