The scenic Pacific Northwest provided a perfect latesummer backdrop for NSXCA members who converged at the Club’s largest-scale annual event in the Portland, Ore., area from August 4-8. The Beaver State has been a longtime hub of NSX enthusiasm and activity, having hosted another NSXPO previously back in 2008. With a core planning team led by Ira Leventhal, Huy Nguyen, Dave Levy, Tyson Hugie, and John Martini, with oversight from the NSXCA board, the wheels were put in motion for an action-packed five-day program that spanned a variety of activities, venues, destinations, and culinary experiences.
“We were excited to showcase some of the venues and destinations in Oregon that we have grown to love as part of the NSX community,” Ira said. Ira is one of a handful of members who made the jump from a first-generation NSX to the NC1. In all, 170 attendees in nearly 60 NSXs and a variety of rental cars came from around the country (and beyond) to participate in the festivities, explore the region, and – most importantly – reconnect with colleagues who they hadn’t seen face-to-face in a couple of years. NSXPO became a family reunion of sorts. Ken Sax, an NSXPO perfect-attendance recordholder since the event launched in the late 1990s, made the trip once again. The community and culture of the NSX family keep people like Ken coming back.
Later in the week, activities transitioned to the rolling green hills of the Willamette Valley, where the Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton became the headquarters for the social portion of the event, about 40 minutes south of Portland. The resort was so-named for its proximity on the grounds of a lush 80-acre botanical garden which NSXCA members were able to experience at their leisure.
Given the NSX's keen ability to carve twisty mountain roads, one of the key events at NSXPO 2021 revolved around a roughly 300-mile round-trip road rally around scenic Mount Hood, looming in the distance at 11,250 feet in the mountain range east of the hotel.
Six different drive groups provided direction as dozens of NSXs made their way through the route, even despite inclement weather at higher elevations that day. Lunch was served at the Columbia River Gorge, and NSX owners took a "choose your own adventure" approach to the drive back to Silverton. The Evergreen Aviation Museum, hometo the famous Spruce Goose airlift flying boat, rolled out the red carpet for dinner and a program in the evening.
A Concours car show on Saturday attracted about 30 participating cars and was led by John Martini. A handful of deserving NSXs were awarded top honors later that evening, including Sean Lee's immaculate Canadian-spec 1991 NSX in Formula Red with fewer than 35,000 miles on the odometer as Most Original, Chuck Blank's 1991 NSX in Berlina Black as People's Choice, and more.
An optional covered 90-mile loop through the Oregon countryside during the afternoon introduced NSX owners to four different historic covered bridges in the area.
NSXPO capped off with custom cuisine put together for the closing banquet dinner gala consisting of mesquite grilled chicken and marinated beef tri-tip in the Oregon Gardens' Grand Hall, surrounded by a not-yet-on-sale 2022 Acura MDX Type S, a TLX Type S, and other vehicles provided by Acura. The NSXPO planning team had arranged for special presentation from Acura Division top leader Jon Ikeda who addressed the group and talked about the NSX's mission as a pinnacle of technology and performance. With the 2022 model year being recently announced as the current NSX’s last, NSXCA members got an exclusive first glance at the not-yet unveiled NSX Type S for the NC1's final year.
Ikeda's original hand-drawn commemorative 30th anniversary sketch was awarded to one lucky attendee, Colin Mihalik, while other attendees received a copy. In addition, NSXPO was complete with many other collectible and unique souvenirs, including a special anniversary pin crafted from one of the limited-edition Zanardi NSX models from 1999. Auctions were carried out in both live and silent forms, offering up exclusive items like a ScienceofSpeed TVS supercharger, a visit to Jay Leno’s Garage, tickets to the Quail Motorsports Gathering, an NSX 30th anniversary book autographed by Shigeru Uehara, and more.
At the conclusion of the dinner, a much-awaited announcement about NSXPO 2022 timing and location was unveiled by future event director Farasat Chaudhry, with Arizona being named as the destination for next year's program. NSXPO 2022 is slated for Oct. 12-16, 2022, and more details will be released by the club at a future date.
As with any large-scale group activity, NSXPO takes a team to successfully pull off. In addition to a number of volunteers, the NSXCA proudly recognizes the generous contributions of its sponsors. For all those who attended this well orchestrated NSXPO, the memories will live on!
- Tyson Hugie
2021 NSXPO Planning Committee Member