All three of Ayrton Senna's Formula One World Championships with McLaren were powered by Honda engines. It is no surprise then that he was their favourite son and was gifted an NSX and had the use of two others whilst residing in Portugal. Senna had been involved with the development of the car and his recommendations had been implemented in the production process, most notably the stiffening of the aluminium monocoque - a production car first. The Honda NSX was an engineering masterpiece with the famous Honda VTEC engine technology and handling that surpassed all its supercar rivals. Senna's black NSX did remain one of the most cherished possessions of the greatest race driver of our generation and still today remains the property of the Senna family in Brazil.
Antonio Carlos de Almeida Braga was a close personal friend, manager and mentor of Ayrton Senna who purchased this NSX for the great driver to use when he visited his house in Sintra, Portugal north of Lisbon. Senna already had another red NSX that was kept at his villa in the Algarve. Antonia Braga ordered the same specification car that Ayrton had at his home in Brazil. Senna stayed with the Braga's on numerous occasions and would have been a guest when competing in the Portuguese Grand Prix in 1992/3 at nearby Estoril, endorsing his Honda contract by commuting in the NSX.
The week before the Italian Grand Prix at Imola in May 1994 Antonio Braga had accompanied Senna to Germany to conclude a business deal and spend the race weekend with him as he had done on many occasions. The rest is of course history but it was Antonio Braga that informed the Senna family, Adriane Galisteu, Senna's girlfriend of the events and made arrangements in Brazil. The Honda NSX remained covered in the garage of Braga's house in Sintra and was not allowed to be touched or driven by anyone. He eventually sold the car after two years to a buyer who only kept it a short time before buying a Ferrari, by his own admission a mistake! Our vendor then purchased the car seventeen years ago.
This black Honda NSX with black leather and manual gearbox has covered just 31,800 miles and is in fantastic condition. It is the same specification picked by Ayrton Senna for his own NSX and remains the ultimate combination for these very special cars. The service book shows Antonio Braga as the first registered owner recording the chassis and engine numbers. It is just a three-owner car with a continuous line of history.
Only seldom does a car with this pedigree and provenance come to market, especially with such a powerful link to a chapter in motorsport that remains so compelling. Ayrton Senna defined Formula One with his presence for a decade, and now twenty years on from Imola, a most personal part of that story is available to be owned and cherished.