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Thread: 1991 Honda Beat * AKA * MINI-NSX

  1. #1
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    1991 Honda Beat * AKA * MINI-NSX

    For awhile now I have been wracking my brain on what I should buy next as a daily. I had a decent budget, but we want to buy another house in the next couple of years, so I decided to dial it back a bit. The higher horsepower cars can come till after we have a better garage setup and we have our new place. I don't really know what got me started on the subject of K-cars this time around, but I have been looking at the Beat off and on for a couple of years now.

    I started looking at my options for K-Cars (wiki link), and first started looking at the Nissan Pao and then the Nissan Figaro. Both of them didn't have much aftermarket support. At that time I was still looking for a car with a back seat. In further discussions with the wife, as it will be used as my commuter (we carpool most of the time and have a Q5 TDI for this), I didn't really need a back seat... So, I started looking at roadsters again, mainly because I missed my S2000 a ton.

    The Beat (wiki link) is a Mid Engine, RWD, roadster with a 660cc engine, producing 64hp. It is 3 cyl engine, and can rev up to the 8000rpm range in stock form. With an ECU tune, it can rev up to 10,000 rpm. It is a fairly high strung motor, so aftermarket products only raise the HP negligibly, similar to the S2K.

    I started looking at ways that I could import a car from Japan and came across some reviews for Pacific Coast JDM. The reviews were very good and I decided to pull the trigger to start the process. Derek the owner, has been very responsive and helpful with answering any questions I have had. You pay 100,000 yen as a deposit, and they get you signed up with an auction account to multiple auction sites and have a nice portal to be able to see all of them at the same time. The service also offers translation of the auction sheets and bidding on your behalf for the auction. Derek does a good job of trying to keep you in line with not bidding too much or to stay away from a car that seem like it might be a bad deal.

    I bid on one car and didn't get it, as it went slightly above my max. It still went cheap, but had some major corrosion issues and I mainly wanted it for the parts. About a week later another car came up for sale, it was a one owner with original paperwork and 10 years of history (not that I can read Japanese). I bid my max and thankfully the car didn't sell for that, but still sold for a very fair price. It has around 30,000 miles on it.

    Auction sheet for the car:



    Translation of the auction sheet:

    HAA Kobe 60966 (plus 12,000 yen transport)
    1991 Beat
    660cc
    Grade 4
    Interior B
    Exterior B
    48,369 km
    5sp, AC, PW, AW
    Owner’s manual
    Warranty papers
    Original red

    Sales points
    Purchased from user
    Mugen aero parts - front, side, rear
    Original wheels
    Original rear spoiler

    Notes
    History from 1994 - 2014 x11 sheets
    Spare key
    Front tower bar - aftermarket
    Exhaust centre exit

    Report
    Wheels scratched
    Aero parts scratched
    Windshield rock chip
    Interior dirty, scratched
    Exterior has one part paint cracked and paint peeling
    Underside surface rust and corrosion (the corrosion should be repaired, usually we don’t recommend these cars but this one is otherwise very nice so it might be worth it to buy with the intent of repairing that)
    Rear spoiler paint fade
    Various scratches, dents

    Diagram notes
    Rear bumper misaligned

    ----------------------------------------------


    The grade pretty much maxes out at 5, so this one being a 4 is actually pretty nice considering the age of the car. The rating of the exterior and interior was a B, with A being the best. A rating of a B for this old of a car is pretty good as well. For the rest of it, you can see how detailed they get with the sheet. They do call out issues with the engine if they feel like it isn't running right.



    At this point, I have been invoiced and paid for the car. The car will be shipped from the auction house to Pacific Coast JDM, where they will check it over and take around 80 photos plus 10 minutes of video. If they find any major issues that were not disclosed, I have the right to refuse the car (I don't think this will happen). I can also choose to have them help facilitate repairs if needed. Then they will arrange to have it shipped. They also already have a relationship with a local customs broker and have set that up for me already (it's mandatory for the US). So, I am still looking at a couple months before I'll have the car.








    Yes, the zebra interior is factory.



    Plans:

    Believe it or not, the Mugen aerokit on it was a factory option, so the car is still mostly stock with the exception of the front strut bar and exhaust. I plan to continue the OEM+ theme on it, similar to how I built my S2K. Since, I bought it for so little, I still have a budget to be able to modify it, and I hope I really do enjoy it. I am expecting the fun factor that I from my Classic Minis as it is similar in size, but just a few more modern amenities in it.

  2. #2
    A Somebody Mr.Nobody is a jewel in the rough Mr.Nobody is a jewel in the rough Mr.Nobody is a jewel in the rough Mr.Nobody's Avatar
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    That's cool!

  3. #3
    Regular Member Helios is on a distinguished road Helios's Avatar
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    Nice. Can't see the pics, as the computer/browser is being stupid at the moment. But sounds like it should be fun for at least a little while.

    Be ready for the "WTF is that?" stares.
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  4. #4
    wtf.. never heard of this thing. It's cool!
    tell all of your local car enthusiast friends where the best place is to meet other local enthusiasts!
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  5. #5
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Thanks! I have owned a MK3 Harlequin and a few Mini's, I am used to that kind of attention. My plan is to go clean with it and have it be just a corner carver, since 0 - 60 is like 13 seconds or something.

    I am already trying to source a hard top for it. My vision is kind of along these lines, but will have my own styling added to it.


  6. #6
    it looks like a small mr2

    the importing place sounds exceptionally nice.. makes the process easier
    tell all of your local car enthusiast friends where the best place is to meet other local enthusiasts!
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  7. #7
    everyone probably knows me by now girdwood has a spectacular aura about girdwood has a spectacular aura about girdwood's Avatar
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    That is a very cool looking car, I've never seen/heard of it either. Sounds like you found the right place to go through, congrats on the new addition! And I can't believe that zebra print is factory... I would have to change that... Maybe crushed red velvet? Haha jk

  8. #8
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Ha ha. I do have red seats in mind. There is a decent amount of aftermarket parts for it in Japan. The difficult part is getting them to ship here.

  9. #9
    everyone probably knows me by now bingthejew is on a distinguished road bingthejew's Avatar
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    That is really cool! Sounds the importing place is going to handle most of the legwork until it gets to the US?
    "When I believe in something, I fight like hell for it." - Steve McQueen

    '78 Rabbit, '06 Dodge 2500 5.9L Cummins, '14 Touareg TDI(wife's), '14 GTI

  10. #10
    Regular Member alxdgr8 will become famous soon enough
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    Very cool!
    -Alex @vexartmedia-
    '10 VW Touareg TDI [Tow Rig and DD]
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  11. #11
    A Somebody Mr.Nobody is a jewel in the rough Mr.Nobody is a jewel in the rough Mr.Nobody is a jewel in the rough Mr.Nobody's Avatar
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    Just noticed that it has a crazy speaker setup on the dash, first time looking at the pics on the desk top, is that why it is called the 'Beat"?

  12. #12
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    They will handle all the the documentation needed to get it exported out of the country and then the customs broker they deal with here will do everything to get it released to me here. Hopefully, all I have to do is pay the import duty and whatever fees the Port has and then I get to take it home.

    I haven't seen any documentation on why it is called the Beat. I do know that it is the last car to be approved by Soichiro Honda (the founder of Honda). There is a decal on the side of the car in Japanese that means Midship Amusement (since it is a mid engine car). It is suppose to have a decent sound system in it, possibly to market it to a younger crowd? But, I am sure that by now it is probably pretty gone and I don't even know if the FM radio works as it should for the US. I am just assuming that I will eventually need to replace the speakers and head unit with something, but I am not really an audiophile.

  13. #13
    Normal Member ExplosiveToaster will become famous soon enough ExplosiveToaster's Avatar
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    Bag it!

    EDIT: Well that got me reading more about kei cars and I found out the Mazda AZ-1 can be imported in 2 years. I'm gonna need a house...
    Last edited by ExplosiveToaster; 2016.02.26 at 22:53 PM.
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  14. #14
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    I have only found coilover solutions and there is absolutely no space to put tanks anywhere. Unless you remove the spare tire up front, but then I would actually want to be able to stow something up front sometimes. Trust me... The AZ-1 was definitely on my radar, it's not legal till next year, and parts for it are even harder to come by than the Beat.

  15. #15
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Also, if you love the AZ-1, you need to check out the RE Amemiya GReddy VI-AZ1 1996. It's based off the AZ-1 and they only made 1 of them. It's amazing.






    https://www.gtplanet.net/forum/threa...1-1996.312798/
    Last edited by buddylove; 2016.02.27 at 07:50 AM.

  16. #16
    Holy cow!!

  17. #17
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Received the report this morning. It had 84 photos and 6 videos. Considering the car is over 25 years old, it is pretty good shape. It starts up just fine, but the battery is dead. Trying to find out if the car can still be a RORO (Roll On, Roll Off) with the dead battery. The exterior has a couple of dents and rock chips, but nothing too noticeable. The AC doesn't seem to be working, which isn't a huge concern, but I will probably look into seeing if it can just get recharged and be fine. The coolant is a bit weak and will need to be flushed / replaced. The tires on it are 14 years old and will need to be replaced before I can start driving it regularly.

    I'll work on re-sizing the photos in the next couple of days and uploading some of them.

  18. #18
    Regular Member benny_mech will become famous soon enough
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    Am I reading that right, total price including shipping is 72966 yen = $648.08? If so that's awesome! I'm kinda jealous...
    “Right now, it's like this.”
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  19. #19
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    I did see that as well, but that wasn't the total price. Probably related to auction pricing. Bid price was much higher and then I paid the transport fees as well. Shipping back to the US on the other hand is around that cost due to size of the car. I think it ended up being just under $700 or so.

  20. #20
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    Exterior:























    Soft Top in Great Shape:








    Interior:












    "Trunk":




    "Engine Bay":


  21. #21
    Regular Member alxdgr8 will become famous soon enough
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    I like it! That interior is pretty trippy
    -Alex @vexartmedia-
    '10 VW Touareg TDI [Tow Rig and DD]
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  22. #22
    Worth it for the seats alone!

  23. #23
    A Somebody Mr.Nobody is a jewel in the rough Mr.Nobody is a jewel in the rough Mr.Nobody is a jewel in the rough Mr.Nobody's Avatar
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    That thing is cool! Putting a tire over the engine doesn't seem smart though. Is it missing a grill in the lower part of the front bumper?

  24. #24
    everyone probably knows me by now buddylove is a jewel in the rough buddylove is a jewel in the rough
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    The car is mid engine, it has a 47/53 split.

    The engine is just behind the front seats.

    "Engine Bay":




    In the photo, you can see the oil filler cap in the middle and the coolant tank is off to the left hand side.

    So far, all of the Beats that I have seen with the Mugen front bumper have it open like mine. I am not sure if I want to add a black mesh to it.

  25. #25
    everyone probably knows me by now girdwood has a spectacular aura about girdwood has a spectacular aura about girdwood's Avatar
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    That thing is flipping cool, I love it. I see some other pretty nifty looking cars in those pics, too.

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