A quarter century ago, the first Japanese luxury brand made its debut. Honda decided that if they wanted so sell high-end cars they’d have to do it with a different marque altogether, and dreamed up Acura. And yet, despite the extraordinary bang-for-the-buck ratio of the Legend sedan and Integra sports coupe, if you were alive then you still heard incredulous cries of “Twenty-five thousand dollars for a Japanese car!?”
Of course, any doubts about the world-class legitimacy of Japanese autos was laid to rest in 1990, when Acura debuted the NSX supercar. The world’s first production car with an all-aluminum body, titanium connecting rods, and variable valve timing known as VTEC. It was hailed as one of the best automobiles on the planet, and forever changed the supercar landscape with its performance and easy-driving reliability.
And almost entirely by accident, Acura helped revolutionize the world of car customization, creating an entirely new breed of hot rodder for the 90s. Integras and RSXs will be remembered as the ’32 Fords of Gen X someday with mint GS-Rs and Type Rs crossing the auction block for big bucks in 2050. It’s hard to believe that you can now get a Historic Vehicle license plate on an Acura, but these cars have indeed passed the 25-year threshold to become modern legends.