NSXmobilia Top 10, 1/43 Ebbro Zanardi NSX

by Jun 15, 2016

Together with Shawn, Curator of NSXmobilia, the NSX Club of Europe will be evaluating the top 10 pieces of NSX memorabilia made to date. The pieces are presented in random order and vary from luggage and artwork to books and models. Each is valuable, unique, and contributes to the enthusiasm the community has for the NSX.

Every review aims to reveal important product details, historical significance current pricing, and potential market trends. The NSX Club of Europe and NSXmobilia hope you are able to use the articles as valuable reference tools for your growing collection and that they contribute to advancing the wealth of community knowledge and enjoyment.

This scale model was given to the purchasers of new 1999 Acura Zanardi edition NSXs in commemoration of their exclusive sports car. Though there is no official documentation of production quantity, given that only 51 Zanardi NSXs were built, we can safely suppose that less than 50 of these Ebbro sourced models are in existence. Actually, there may be fewer: Zanardi #00 is a press vehicle and #01 was gifted to Alex Zanardi without any documentation of an accompanying model. Should rarity be quantified, at a possible 49 examples, this model is likely the most rare of any Honda sourced NSX memorabilia.

The 1/43 scale model features the unique Formula Red exterior color on the body and roof, graphite like color mesh BBS wheels, solid engine bay cover, and left hand drive layout. The base of the model lists “Alex Zanardi NSX” in silver, prominently on the bottom in two different fonts. The “NSX” is the typical NSX font but the font “Alex Zanardi” more closely resembles an italicized Futura font. The base is also unique in that the top, where the model meets the base, is finished in a coarse grain along with a faint pattern of squares resembling graph paper. 

The division’s branding on the model is where it is supposed to be: the Acura caliper symbol is listed at the front and the word “Acura” at the rear. “NSX” is included on front and rear license plates. Notable details incorporate the titanium shift knob (yes, you can actually see it), the Acura caliper symbol on the wheel center caps, pop-up headlights, and a good representation of the twin tip exhaust. Even the tire tread is representative of the stock Bridgestone Potenza tires! However, owing to its build by Ebbro and perhaps indicating that the company was unwilling to revise the body mold for a measly 49 possible units, the front quarter panels include the JDM side markers which, of course, is not indicative of real Zanardi editions. The display box is maroon and marked “Honda Collection” with white lettering in several places with “1/43” but without any other significant identifying information. Still the model exhibits typical Ebbro quality: accurate proportions and exterior color, fine detail in the passenger compartment, detailed wheels, and proper badging.

There is a particular dynamic with highly desirable and rare collectibles that once they get to a certain level of desirability; counterfeit items begin to enter the marketplace. This common issue infests every type of collectible and has done so for hundreds of years. Works of art and collectible coins are but two examples among many that have endured this unfortunate condition. Regrettably, this dynamic has taken root with the 1/43 Ebbro Acura NSX Zanardi edition. Should one perform a search for this model, one will find one or two available for purchase at any given time. However, caveat emptor as these models poorly represent the real thing. The counterfeit models are made of Ebbro parts but do not account for one or all of several identifying factors: mesh engine bay cover, awkward NSX font at the base, discolored wheels and front turn signal lights, and smooth base surface. Be wary as these models exact the same price as the authentic versions.

Current pricing for this model ranges from $400 to over a thousand USD in private transactions. The number of total public exchanges can be counted on one hand so the model is extremely rare. The model’s value is not founded on an original purchase price, unless you consider the cost of an original Zanardi, or aesthetics like the Crystal NSX, but almost entirely on rarity. There are only 49 possible examples and they were given away free with the purchase of the actual car. Given a regular 1/43 Ebbro NSX of similar year can be bought for around $50, this model is many multiples of that price and deservedly so.

Like the real Zanardi, if you are interested in this model, prepare for a long wait to find one available and be ready to pay a significant premium. However, the reward is worthwhile, as you will own one of the most rare models in existence with a great history.

Be sure to check back soon for feature number 3 of the NSXMobilia Top 10! 

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