Tiny Travels, Home Improvements, and Vigor Auction Underway

Posted in Brochures, House, ILX, Legend, NALM, Vigor on July 11, 2020 by tysonhugie

Hello from Hell-o.

No, seriously.  It’s 115 degrees outside and it feels about like you would expect for AZ in mid-July.  At least it was my washing machine that decided to bite the dust this week instead of my air conditioning unit.

I’ve been cooped up a bit and needed to stretch my road trip legs again, so yesterday I took the Legend coupe on a 200-miler through the desert west of Phoenix.  It was a pretty simple little loop that provided a nice getaway.

The highlight, of course, involved food.  I had to sample the Green Chile Burger at a little drive-in called Screamer’s that I saw featured in a news article not long ago.  I ate indoors – I don’t think they do in-car service at this drive-in, at least not this time of year.  And the burger was everything it was cracked up to be.  It feels like a special treat to eat like that nowadays, because my diet has changed a lot now that I’m eating at home.  I’ve lost 15 lbs this year.

I might have also lost something else this year – a little bit of what sanity I had to begin with, when I decided to deck out my garage as a cheesy 1990s used car dealership a while back.  Hope you get a kick out of this 45 second commercial.  The $50 I spent on Amazon swag was well worth the results.

But for reals, I’m selling a car.  It’s time to re-prioritize and think about my short-term and long-term plans for the Acura collection.  It’s now been 5 years (exactly) since I picked up my 1994 Vigor GS in Colorado and brought it home.  I’ve enjoyed it for 13,000 miles, and shown it at RADwood and Japanese Classic Car Show.

Now it’s time to move it along to the next worthy owner.  Here’s a link to the auction.  This makes my Acura Vigor officially the first Vigor ever sold on Bring a Trailer.  The site has had 14 Legends and at least that many Integras.

How come I’m selling?  Let me count the ways.  Career uncertainty, I can’t drive it (and my 8 other cars) enough, there are other projects and cars I have in mind in the future, it’s a good chance to free up some garage space, and to help the Vigor model gain recognition since the enthusiast network is so obscure and forgotten.  So bid away!

Along with that, I filmed a 14-minute very detailed video about the ins & outs of the car.  The intro to the segment involved re-creating the cover photo from the 1994 Acura full-line brochure.

I extend thanks to my friend Josh of Clymer’s Carport for his innovation and creativity in developing a custom, hand-built Hot Wheels display board for me.  I put together a video on it.

I recently created a login for Newspapers.com and started browsing the archives from the 1980s and 1990s.  I dug up some particularly cool ads for Acura dealerships from back in the day.

A friend of mine picked up a 6-speed ILX to replace his RSX as a daily driver.  It’s “Fathom Blue.”  Last month also marks 8 years of ownership for me with my ILX.

My friend Chuck found an old pic that was taken the day after I got the car new in 2012.

I decided to do some small upgrades to the west garage on my property.  It’s a small space where I keep one car, my lawn mower, and other yard care items.  A neighbor recommended Garage Flooring LLC as a place to pick up plastic tiles, so I placed an online order and did the install.  I opted to not put tiles over the entire floor but only about half of it for now.

NALM Arizona Update

The announcement was made on 6/26 that in light of current events that are heavily impacting the Arizona region currently (and for the foreseeable future), it is prudent to postpone this year’s National Acura Legend Meet to fall 2021 instead.  More to come as registration re-opens, but our placeholder dates are October 6-10, 2021.

On the 4th of July I picked up my friend Lance for breakfast in a 6-door limo that’s being stored at my house.  It belongs to my friend Devan.  The car is 20″ longer than a quad cab Duramax pickup.  I had to ramp up my depth perception a little.

I also enjoyed a little excursion in the Super Sonic Blue 1999 Integra.  A few Saturdays ago (I think – my sense of time is all out of whack lately), some friends and I cruised up the twisties of Highway 89A to Prescott.  We stopped along the way to pay respects to the 19 firefighters who were killed during the 2013 Yarnell Wildfire.

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend staying safe out there.  Send ice cream and snowflakes.

Great Escape: 2020 Acura TLX PMC Edition 6-State, 3,000-Mile Road Trip

Posted in Road Trip, TLX, Utah, Vehicle Reviews on June 15, 2020 by tysonhugie

TLX Odometer Start 5/29/2020:  2,233

TLX Odometer End 6/12/2020:  5,369

Trip Mileage:  3,136

Acura gave me the key to a 2020 Acura TLX for two weeks, and I used it to deliver pizza & garlic bread.  Before that phrase prevents me from ever getting a demo car from them again, let me explain.

My grandpa’s favorite pizza place, Fredrico’s, is located 400 miles away from his home.  He’s nearly 90 years old and doesn’t get to travel as much as he used to, so his opportunities to taste Fredrico’s food are few and far between these days.  But I crafted an idea of a way I could make it happen as part of a summer road trip.  The strategy involved a to-go order, a cooler, and effective time management to get the meal delivered six hours away.  It worked out perfectly, and here’s the video of my arrival right on time at 5:00 p.m. for dinner in St. George, Utah.

The pizza run was just one of many rewarding aspects of my over-3,000-mile, 6-state, 12-day road trip in a new car that was allocated to me by Acura for press use.  And the experience was exactly the great escape I’d been needing after being cooped up in quarantine for a couple of months.

The year 2020 has taken each one of us for a pretty unpredictable ride.  What started out as an anticipated year of celebrations for me – car meet-ups, a high school reunion, and family festivities – started cascading like a row of dominoes as every event cancelled in sequence.  And two months into what became a worldwide health crisis, I learned that the future and stability of my own career was in jeopardy.  A mandatory unpaid furlough added to the drama, but I engineered a way to turn that downtime into some serious up-time.  Enter the Acura TLX.

I’ve followed the limited-production TLX “PMC Edition” since it was first introduced in a press release on April 11th, 2019.  In fact, I knew about it a day prior, because Andrew from Acura Public Relations clued me in privately via email a day in advance.  His email stated, “I think you’re going to like this one.”  Indeed, I did.

Even before that, I’d followed the evolution and launch of the first-generation TLX for a long time.  I was present in January 2014 when it debuted in concept form at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit.  I met Jarad Hall, its lead designer.

The TLX production model was unveiled 3 months later in New York.  I first drove one that August, and in February of the following year I secured one for a thorough road test via some Arizona scenic byways.  It’s now been 5 years since I really had much of a chance to spend time with one.  Until now.

I flew from Phoenix, Arizona to southern California on Friday morning, May 29th with as many precautions as I could possibly put into place.  The entire travel experience was somehow new for me, despite being such a seasoned traveler:  Mask regulations, distancing practices, in-flight announcement changes, sanitization measures, new signage, and modified boarding procedures.  It was a unique opportunity.  Andrew picked me up in the PMC Edition #027/360 with 2,233 miles on the odometer, and the adventure started from there.  I had lunch with a fellow Acura enthusiast who brought out his 1988 Integra Special Edition.  Aren’t those white wheels so 1980s?

My first order of business was getting back home to Phoenix to load up the car with luggage since I’d flown to California with only a backpack.  While there, I tried the TLX on “for size” by introducing it to the heritage Acura vehicles in my garage.

The trip route was intentionally designed to minimize ever having to re-use the same stretch of road.  And aside from a few small areas, I succeeded in that.  For 3,136 miles, I made my way through California, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Nevada.  I reconnected (at a safe distance whenever possible) with family & friends, mapped out some roads I’d never seen before, and saw some of Mother Nature’s finest landscapes in the Rocky Mountains.

No interstate adventure would be complete without saying hi to some of my fellow Acura enthusiast brothers and sisters, so I made a special point to arrange a meet-up in Salt Lake City with friends including Sunny, Trevor, and Shaun who brought out their TSX, TL, and RDX respectively.

The trip’s capstone was a 3-day weekend in a small town nestled at the base of the Grand Teton mountain range called Jackson Hole.  As home to about 10,000 people, Jackson acts as a hub of recreation for that region.  In the wintertime, skiers swarm the town for the opportunity to hit the 3 ski areas, and in the summertime, there are dozens of hikes and activities to entertain people in the great outdoors.

My dad & stepmom joined for that leg of the trip.  We took an 8-mile early-morning hike at Bear Paw Lake in Grand Teton National Park, where we had the place nearly entirely to ourselves aside from a few mosquitoes and other forms of wildlife.  Bear sightings, for better or for worse, were zero that day.  We had some fun capturing ourselves on the Town Square live webcam stream from multiple angles, as shown in the trip recap video below.

Climbing out of Jackson on Highway 22 to the west, the ascent sharply climbs from about 6,000 feet to about 8,500 feet with 10% grades and avalanche slide paths via the Teton Pass.  I chose this route because it provided the most direct access to eastern Idaho where I stayed at my uncle Jeff’s cabin for a night.  With temperatures in the low 30s that day, there was a likelihood I’d run into snow and I was optimistic I’d get to put the TLX “Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive” to a test, but aside from wet roads and heavy fog, I had plenty of traction to get where I needed to go.

I added a few hundred extra miles to my trip in Idaho because I wanted to reconnect with a couple of friends there.  After passing through small towns like Arco (“first city in the world lighted by atomic power”) and seeing what there was to explore at Craters of the Moon National Monument (basically, an abundance of lava caves), I dropped into the city of Twin Falls along the Snake River.

My friends Josh and Pete met up with me there for the best all-you-can-eat sushi in the state.  Josh also presented me with a custom, hand-built Hot Wheels display board that I’ll post photos & videos of in the coming weeks.  The Idaho hospitality was definitely very much appreciated!

My return to Phoenix included a few more stops to see people as well as the aforementioned Fredrico’s Pizza delivery run.  I made the most of each and every checkpoint along the drive home, even popping in to say hello to my friend Casey who works at the Shell gas station in small Mona, Utah off Interstate 15.  My entire handwritten fuel log – or at least the 13 fuel stops since starting out in Phoenix – was left in the glove compartment for posterity.

It’s hard to believe six years have passed since I first laid eyes on a TLX – the design is modern and the car drew compliments everywhere I took it.  I hadn’t even made it out of Orange County California without a fellow driver rolling down the window in his Mazda and waving to get my attention to ask, “How much is the A-Spec?”  And the coolest part of my drive experience was the fact that this particular TLX wasn’t just any A-Spec, it was one of only 360 total cars hand-assembled and hand-painted at Acura’s Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio.

I reluctantly gave the key back to my Valencia Red ride, but will forever enjoy the memories that were created on this trip.  The TLX PMC Edition was the perfect travel companion, delivering 28 miles per gallon thanks to an eco-minded 9-speed transmission that revs low at freeway speed.

I found the TLX’s 290 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 more than ample to crest the mountain passes (and overtake slower traffic) with ease, and I was spoiled by the car’s awesome stereo system and driver-assist technology.  Even the most vigilant driver can benefit from the occasional nudge of the steering wheel when beginning to veer from a travel lane, and even though I disliked that feature initially, I found it helpful as time went on.

And maybe I’m getting old (would you believe 40 is coming up next year?  Yikes!), but I fully enjoyed having an automatic transmission as a change of pace so I could more freely focus on other enjoyable attributes of the driving experience.

Now, who needs a pizza delivered and what toppings can I get you?

12 days in 12 minutes:

Flanked by 1994 Legends

Marble Canyon along Highway 89A, Northern Arizona

Entering Hildale, Utah

Mom representing with her Acura hat

…. And with her Crystal Black pearl 2016 RLX

Salt Lake City meet-up with my friend Eric and his 1989 L coupe

Another enthusiast meet up with Daniel of @redlabelspec (check out his awesome cars on Instagram)

Another state crossed off the list!

Bridge on Highway 89 in Logan Canyon, Northern Utah

Wyoming State Line

Teton Village, near Jackson Wyoming, with dad & stepmom

Throwback photo series – our family has a tradition of taking photos by this elk statue in Jackson.  Here we are in about 1992.

And in 1997.

In 2000.

In 2014, from my prior Jackson trip.

And finally in 2020.  The trees have changed, haven’t they?

Entering Grand Teton National Park

The highest peaks there are over 13,000 feet in elevation.

Visiting Uncle Jeff in Driggs, Idaho (check out that Chevy II Nova)

Arco, Idaho

Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho

More from Craters of the Moon

Josh’s RDX and the TLX PMC Edition

Some glamour shots my brother Payton got of the TLX

Thanks for coming along!

May 2020 Updates: Car Projects, House Projects, New YouTube Vids, & Upcoming Travels

Posted in Detailing, Integra, Legend, RL, TLX, Vigor on May 11, 2020 by tysonhugie

Can we talk about how cool this little LED sign is?  Found this baby on some random Facebook sponsored vendor’s ad.  Imagine me getting ads for Acura related merchandise.  How dare they think they know my life!

I’m wrapping up about 8 weeks in quarantine as I type this, and if it weren’t for the occasional socially-distant excursion like a couple of weeks ago at my friend’s pool nearby, I might have lost my insanity altogether.  Say hello to Midge the pup there in the lower left.

Car updates have been on the checklist as usual, and I’m pretty satisfied to say that I’ve accomplished pretty darn near everything I wanted to do when I set out to make my isolation time as productive as it could possibly be.  The 1992 Integra got a fresh coat of VHT wrinkle black paint on the valve cover.  It’s something I’d been meaning to do on the engine bay for a very long time.  Check it out!

The RL got a new under-hood insulation pad to replace the one that was ripped before.

The Vigor got some suspension bushings and brake pads at Hon-Man.

The laundry room (aka showroom entry) got a new LED lamp like the one I installed in the garage itself.  Here’s the before & after.

Here’s a video of those updates.

The SLX is getting a brake master cylinder as we speak.  And then I think I’m seriously done for a bit.  Famous last words, right?  Okay so that gets the chore updates out of the way for the most part.

Take a peek at this cool article from a 2001 issue of a magazine called “Velocity.”  It was an Acura/Honda enthusiast mag, and it talked about a guy named Leszek who put 500k on his 1992 Legend sedan by using it as a taxi.

Fast forward a couple of decades.  Leszek got rid of his Legend at 530k and then went into an RL that got 450k.  Then he moved to Lexus, and now he’s with Mercedes.  I found his website – aptly named “Legendary Private Car” – and emailed him.  See his email response below.

In fitting timing, a friend needed airport transport last week so I decided to dress the part and pick him up in appropriate fashion, name tag and all.

This is what happens when you’ve been in quarantine 8 weeks and take things way too seriously.

Check out this cool little info blurb I got from a friend about the original concept for the 1987 Legend coupe.  They almost named it the Legend Climax.

YouTube is still a major source of entertainment for me as I’ve spent quite a bit of time creating videos.

Here are the latest two productions:  A tour of the garage, and then an intro to the assembly of a display rack where I’m showcasing my (100+) brochures in the garage now.

Garage Tour

Display Build

I won’t see much of you all for the next few weeks.  Work is still busy, but going through a state of change as the hospital system I’m with transitions through the different phases of the coronavirus pandemic.  I’ll be taking a mandatory two-week furlough the first two weeks of June.

But guess what – I’m about to make lemonade out of lemons.  I’ve just arranged to get a long-term loan in a 2020 Acura TLX PMC Edition starting May 29th.  I’ll be taking that car on a 6-state, 2,000+ mile adventure.  You’ll read about it here sometime in June.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a little bit of Q&A.  A couple of weeks ago, I was corresponding with Patricia who bought my 1994 Legend coupe when it was new.  I had a few questions for her that I emailed in a Word document.

You might get a kick out of her answers – especially the last one.

1 – I understand you were the original owner of the (now nearly 600,000 mile) 1994 Legend. What did you drive before buying that car?

Honda Prelude

2 – What about the Legend coupe particularly caught your eye or interest when it was new?

Loved the styling and the feel of luxury – it was my first aspirational car purchase.  The color was not my first choice – I wanted the dark green but there were no more of that color in stock in California

3 – What was it like to be in the market for a Legend back then? Was the trim, color, and configuration that you wanted difficult to come by, or was the car already in inventory and readily available?

I answered this question above – the Legend was marketed by Acura as their sporty luxury brand

4 – One particularly cool aspect of your car history is that you seem to prefer a stick shift, since the BMW 530i that you replaced the Legend with was also a manual transmission. What do you drive today, and does it also let you row your own gears?

The last car I drove was an automatic Lexus 250 – I wanted to continue to drive a manual but was later convinced an automatic was better for resale.  I just read a recent article that most automotive companies are no longer offering manual transmissions.

5 – Your ownership of the Legend lasted about 9 years and 90,000 miles, which is longer than many people keep a car. What were some of the road trips or experiences that stand out as highlights during that time?

Difficult to remember but, living in Northern California provides anyone who loves to drive so many opportunities for open roads and beautiful vistas.

6 – When you sold the Legend, did you ever think you’d be interviewed for a questionnaire about it 18 years later?

No – I was surprised when I received your phone call, identifying yourself as the new owner, and wanting to connect.

7 – On a scale of 1 to 10, how crazy do think Tyson is?

Off the charts 10+

Take care and stay safe, everyone!

1999 GS-R & 2000 RL Walkarounds, TBT Home Videos, & Garage Signage

Posted in House, Integra, Legend, Milestones, NALM, Prelude, RL, Throwback on April 23, 2020 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend coupe):  573,000

That took me long enough.  The Legend coupe was at 572,XXX ever since getting back from Florida last October.  I was getting sick of that 2 staring me in the face.  I’ve been plugging away over here in my director chair coming up with content for YouTube.

Except, I don’t just occupy a director chair.  For a total of 9 episodes now, I’ve taken each car in the collection and cleaned it, prepared supporting documentation, filmed it, edited the footage, and uploaded it.  I’ve scheduled releases through the beginning of June, each Saturday.  That was a lot of work but it’s also been super rewarding.

The Legend video has made it into 2 news articles (Motor1 and Carscoops) and even an article in Germany.  As I type this on Wednesday April 22nd, the view count has surpassed 120,000 in just the 3 weeks it’s been live.

Here are two more uploads exclusive to the blog since they won’t be public on the channel for a while.

Integra SSBP GS-R Video

RL Video

I also took a little bit of time to put together a summary video of the 15-year history of the National Acura Legend Meet.  This 5-minute piece captures select highlights from each year of the event starting in 2005.

The other day, I was rummaging through my case of printed car pics.  Back in the day, I used to have all my media printed up at Walmart.  I have hundreds of photos in plastic organizers, split out with dividers according to model, month, and year.  This shouldn’t surprise any of you.  But I came across a couple of photos from 2004 of my 1989 Prelude Si – the first Honda that really got me hooked – and it prompted me to do a little more digging.

These pictures show my friend Branson holding a camcorder and recording the scene.  We were looking at my then-wrecked (former) Prelude at a salvage yard in St. George, Utah.  We just happened across the car coincidentally.  I’d sold it about four years prior, and the new owner was rear-ended which ultimately was the demise of the car.  To this day I still have the rear “H” emblem off the trunk lid in my display case at home.

Anyway, I was determined to find the footage that Branson filmed that day.  And I did.  Below is a video showing the scene.  It opens up to October 30, 2004 when he and I were swapping wheels on a newly-purchased $700 project car, a 1991 Legend L coupe 5-speed, that I’d purchased from my friend Mike to use as a “winter beater” while I was going to school at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.

The video then cuts to Branson’s footage of the Prelude.  Next it takes you through some other things like me attempting to start detailing that $700 pile of junk.  Some things never change.

Below is another video from the same “Hi8” cassette tape that I found interesting.  It contains test drives of my 1986 Chevy Celebrity with 194,000 miles (displayed as 94,000) when I bought the car back for a brief moment of time in spring 2005.  It also has a clip of driving the Legend coupe.  It had about 165,000 miles on it at the time and as you’ll notice, it had the “TCS” (Traction Control System) light in the gauge cluster illuminated.  I remember that being because of a faulty TCS Control Unit, which was fixed later in September of that year.

Perhaps most interesting from this video though is that it has a brief walkaround of the 2000 Acura 3.5 RL, which I ended up buying back earlier this year after it had been passed around the family for 14 years.  The RL at the time of the video clip had only 23,880 miles on it.

Today, it has about 212,000.  Thankfully, it looks about the same cosmetically with the exception of now having the factory 16″ wheels on it instead of those awful aftermarket chrome 17’s.  You’ll also get introduced to our family cat, Gizmo, who is long gone.

Video quality has come a very long time over the last 15 years, hasn’t it?

I’ve crossed a few more home-improvement projects off the list in the last couple of weeks, including something I’d been meaning to do for a while.  Below you’ll see the last addition to the garage:  A sign for my (pretend) dealership.  The lettering is made from 3D foam from a company in LA called Front Signs.  I told them the design I had in mind, supplied the artwork, and they mailed me a box with everything I needed including the template to get everything installed in proper alignment.

The letters came in plain black so they needed to be primed, painted, and clear coated.  The whole process took a couple of weeks because I ordered all the supplies online as opposed to breaking my quarantine and going to the hardware store.  Additionally, the lamp you see there was ordered on Amazon and I had to run the power cord through the garage cabinet in order to get it wired up and working.

Here’s how it played out in a 1-minute video.

The next garage to get more work will be the ‘west’ garage which is begging for some custom flooring and paint.  All in due time.

A friend tipped me off on an article that showed up in the February 2020 Japanese magazine called Honda Style.  The magazine reads “backwards,” in other words, the pages flip from left to right instead of right to left.  The SH-AWD 1997 SLX that was part of last year’s RADwood build made a 3-page article!  I ordered 2 copies of the mag and sent one of them to the Public Relations team at Acura.

Lastly, a friend in Seattle hooked me up with an ‘actual’ 1992 GS-R window sticker, although it’s missing a chunk.  This helps as a point of reference either way, especially when coupled with the replica that Jason helped me with a couple of years ago.

Hope everyone is having a safe and enjoyable week out there.  Take care.

‘Homemade’ Film Festival (6 Videos) & Other Random Projects

Posted in Detailing, ILX, Integra, Legend, NSX, SLX, Vigor on April 14, 2020 by tysonhugie

Odometer (ILX):  223,692

Checking in on all of you out there!  Let me know how you’re doing.

I’ve been productive around here playing Steven Spielberg when I’m not tied up in work meetings from home.  Get your popcorn ready.  Actually, make a couple of batches while you’re at it.  If you’re in the mood for a movie marathon at some point, here are some selections I cooked up, with walkarounds for some of my cars.

Most are still ‘unlisted’ and will debut on my public YouTube channel on the dates indicated (subject to change!).  You’re welcome to wait and just watch them then!

ILX Detail – Public

1992 Integra – Public

NSX – Premieres April 18

Legend Sedan – Premieres April 25

SLX – Premieres May 2

Vigor – Premieres May 9

The RL has not yet been shot but I’m prepping the car over the next couple of days.

Here are a few ‘beauty shots’ taken at the time of each film shoot.

I had the Vigor console out the other day in order to get the serial number so I could track down the radio anti-theft code.

Used the SLX to haul some firewood.

Did a bumper light restore on the 1992 GS-R.

Dug through some magazine articles to archive more stuff.

Adopted a friend’s modified 1995 NSX for a few days while he refinished his garage floor.

Received a massive Easter egg delivery from family in Utah.

Hung up some art work in the ‘ugly’ one-car garage that usually gets no attention.

And detailed my mower, topped off with an “A” emblem on the motor.

This morning’s work teleconferences started off with an Acura wine glass of iced coffee.

As you can see, I’m staying plenty entertained here.

What have you been up to?

Quarantine Log: Desk Inventory, Legend Literature Download, Scrapbook Excerpts

Posted in Blog, House, Integra, Maintenance, Vigor on April 1, 2020 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Vigor):  114,933

Day “I don’t know.”  It’s Groundhog Day around here, and I feel like Bill Murray hitting the snooze button on the alarm each day wondering if something will be different.  Well, a few things have been different.  There’s a lot less traffic whizzing by on the street outside.  Solitude and seclusion are the norm – and will continue to be for another 4 weeks at least, since as of yesterday evening the state of Arizona is on a ‘formal’ lockdown of non-essential travel.

So my cars will sit but my mind and body will keep moving as best they’re able to.  The good news is that I’ve found miraculous ways to keep busy.  What started out as organizing my top desk drawer for the first time in about 5 years ended up in complete, comprehensive Spring Cleaning that purged 3 huge boxes of stuff from my closets.

And like any analytical person would insist on doing, I took inventory of what was inside my desk drawer so I could share it with you all.  I know, seriously.  Has quarantine gotten to me that badly?  Here you go.

Desk Inventory March 2020:

19 pens
18 sharpie markers
2 scotch tapes
2 sheets of stamps
3 calculators
3 hole punches
4 post-it pads
5 highlighters
7 checkbooks
8 chap sticks
8 flashlights
9 mechanical pencils
9 USB drives / storage mediums
binder clips box
box of business cards
extra go pro battery
notepad
paper clips box
pocketknife
ruler
safety pins box
scissors
staple remover
stapler
thumb tacks box

I don’t know why I needed that many flashlights.  I don’t even think I need a single one.  My phone has that built-in.  Same with the calculators.  Man, how stuff has just become obsolete overnight!

Thanks in large part to the Legend video that I shared with you all on the last blog post (17,000 views and counting in the last 4 days), I will likely be hitting 6,000 subscribers sometime tonight.  It’s hard to believe, but I only had 4,000 around the first of the year.  So a 2,000 subscriber bump in just the first quarter of 2020?  I’ll ride that wave as long as it’ll carry me.  I think I can attribute some of the traffic to the fact that I’ve been diligent about publishing a video about once per week consistently.  Here’s my channel if you aren’t already subscribed.

Since Throwback Thursday starts in a couple of hours, here are some photos of a 1996 scrapbook that I unearthed out of a box the other day while looking for something else.  This Chrismasy-colored page has to do with when my mom bought a 1990 Integra GS sedan – the car, in a sense, that started my entire Acura-ddiction.

Here’s a page where I listed out my “Dream Cars” at age 15.  The Ford Expedition had just come out, so I loved that.  A few oddballs are on the list including a Toyota Camry.  And I had a lot of domestic cars, and only 1 German.  The photo at the bottom of the page is me with my great-aunt’s 1993 Grand Cherokee Limited that we used to detail for her.  I loved that 5.2L V8.

Another oldie, this shot of me being picked up from middle school.  I can tell my mom was driving the red Integra when she took this.  Also, was I wearing socks with sandles?  Let’s bring that style back in 2021.

When was the last time you saw an Acura Legend advertised “under factory warranty”?  Funny thing about this ad clipping that I saved:  Just a couple of weeks ago, a Legend coupe sold for $25,800.  So would you say that Legend prices have come back to 1996 levels after being discontinued for 25 years?

Before our lockdown hit, I took the chance to get the Vigor out for fresh air and deliver something to my former roommate James who bought a place of his own.  This skeleton was part of our Halloween decor for the last couple of years.  I got a lot of odd looks from people while I drove him to his new place.  Seat belted in, of course.

One of the projects I’d been wanting to do for a contribution to the Acura Legend enthusiast community was to assemble a comprehensive media archive of all available / known magazine articles on the car.  It took about 20 years to collect all the magazines that I needed (and a still probably missed a few).  But, the result was worth the effort and I ended up with a massive library that came out to:

  • 47 articles encompassing both generations 1 and 2
  • 247 pages of material
  • 150 megabytes of info

PDF download link is here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1sWMbabCdCIVe9bt3Z9OLU-NX-SVQmWv7

And here’s the list of what all is in that, if you want to click & read.  Mark, I’m completely ashamed that I forgot to include “High Mileage Heroes” in the mix!  I had it in a special / separate drawer and spaced it.  Next volume.

Catching up on maintenance – again, before we were chained to our homes.  Vigor first (it had been 13 months since an oil change, yikes).

And green GS-R, which only saw a few hundred miles last year, I think.

You all saw my drive-thru window (AKA my bedroom window) on my last blog post.  Well, I think I took things a step too far.  I found a $28 ‘open sign’ kit on Amazon and ordered it.  Here, we have the open sign, business hours, and a “closed” sign if I need it.  Yes, I put my work attire and badge on for this.

I think it’s also the first time I’ve done my hair in 2.5 weeks.  A friend commented on my instagram post about this, “You’re doing it all wrong.  Working from home doesn’t require wearing pants.”  He has a good point, but this isn’t that kind of blog.  We are a family friendly environment over here at Drive to Five.

Last bit of news, I have to give a shout-out to David in Florida who bought my old Integra sedan.  He sent me this picture this week – the car safely tucked away!  He rolled 75,000 miles on his drive to Florida earlier this year.

Glad you’re enjoying it, David!

Have a good / safe / healthy week, everyone.

Legend Coupe 17-Year Anniversary Video & Justin’s High Mileage Accord

Posted in Accord, Legend, Maintenance, Milestones, Spy Shots on March 27, 2020 by tysonhugie

Odometer (1992 Integra GS-R):  251,430

I’m making the most of my time in isolation!  This is just a quick “Happy Friday,” to you all.

A friend rode his bike past the window in my bedroom that looks out to the street out front.  I call it my drive-thru window.  I moved my desk so that I could look out of it while working from home during quarantine.

My work team held a ‘virtual’ happy hour by way of a smartphone app called House Party.  Connectivity was glitchy at best with 8 people trying to stream video and chime in at the same time, but it was fun to see everyone.

Introducing, Banner Health Regulatory Team!  Bunch of all-stars right here.

I snuck out of the house yesterday in the SLX for a trip to the drive-thru because I was craving Taco Bell.  The safari sunroof let in a lot of fresh air which was good for my mental well-being!

Yesterday, March 26, also marked 17 years since the day I flew to San Jose and picked up my Legend coupe, and it’s hard to believe that much time has already passed.  I fulfilled the wishes of one blog reader in particular (ahem – Tim!) who’d requested a current walkaround of the car in modern day.  I also took the opportunity to assemble a collection of other memories from over the years including a couple clips from the Alaska trip in 2006, a few segments from National Acura Legend Meets, and an alphabetical sequence of my state line photographs.

Here’s the video link.

Along with that, Tim sent me some follow-up questions that I’ll answer here.

1. I can’t tell that it has mismatched paint – I’m color-blind, so maybe that’s why (although gold/silver usually isn’t a problem for me). It looks really good through video.
In some lighting it’s less noticeable than in others, but you can really see the blends from the front fenders into the doors sometimes.  The roof, trunk top, and rear bumper have also been resprayed at some point (clear coat failure got the best of them).
2. What are the two levers on the passenger side seat? One is to make the seat flip forward (as a long-time owner of several coupes, I’m very familiar with that feature!), but what is the upper one?
That top one is a pretty innovative seat-access solution.  It’s a switch that activates a motorized forward & back seat adjustment so you can get out from the back seat without having to put forth a ton of effort or reach for the lower one.
3. When you tally your maintenance, do you include bodywork? For my own maintenance spreadsheet, when I tally cost per mile, I’m uncertain whether to include or exclude the new wheel I had to purchase after a pothole, the rust repairs on the rear quarter panel, etc. I’ve kept those in so far, but I’m not sure if that should be in a  different spreadsheet.
No, the maintenance is strictly ongoing items like mechanical service and repairs.  It has some tires, but not all (since I had so many sets of aftermarket wheels & tires that I was swapping out all the time).  It also does not include the cost of registration, insurance, or fuel.
4. I love that there is no evidence of oil, coolant, or soot coming out of the tailpipe when it drives by. 572,000 miles, and the exhaust still looks clean.
It actually does burn some oil so I’ve started keeping an eye on that.  Higher-mile Legends develop issues with the valve stem seals so that’s something on the checklist long-term.  If I sit at a stop light or let the car idle quite a while, then take off, I’ll see some blue smoke.
5. Do you do the hydraulic tensioner with every timing belt and water pump, or do you just do that “as needed”?
Yes, as far as I know the tensioner has been changed each time I’ve had a timing belt / water pump service.
6. I know a lot of 2nd gen Legends have had head gasket issues – any tricks for avoiding that problem, or is it just “luck of the draw”?
Good question – that’s where the EGR maintenance comes into play.  It’s a widely accepted notion that the carbon buildup in the EGR system is what causes the timing in the C32A to be off, contributing to a lack of cooling on one of the rear cylinders where the head gasket is prone to failure.  It’s a tell-tale story that we’ve heard many times on the Legend forums and Facebook groups.  Of course, it goes without saying that the rest of the cooling system also has to be kept in very proper working order – radiator, hoses, fans, and relays.
7. Any drawbacks to putting the original stereo head back into the car? Personally, if I didn’t have iPhone/iPod connectivity and Sirius XM with all the driving I do, I’d go bananas on long drives.
I agree – the only reason I haven’t swapped the Bose back in is because I need the iPod connectivity for now.  If and when the car is retired to a ‘show’ piece only, the Bose will need to go back in for originality’s sake.
8. The Katzkin kit is holding up really well. If I keep my Accord long enough to need to replace the leather, I’d definitely give that company a look.
I neglected to zoom in on the driver side outboard seat bolster, which is actually showing a fair amount of wear.  The Katzkin kit (at least the one I used) uses vinyl on the non-seating surfaces, and it’s pretty cracked.  If I were to do it all over again, I’d get a “full leather” kit.
And speaking of Accords, I want to take this moment to introduce a fellow high-miler who reached out via email this week.  This is Justin’s 2003 Accord coupe from Texas, with 627,551 miles on the odometer.

Justin says he drives currently upwards of 100k miles per year.

Here’s the latest “spy shot” video I put together, in case you hadn’t seen it on my YouTube.  Keep the submissions coming.

Have a great (and safe) weekend, all.

Weekend Update: Jason & Jandi’s Visits, Working from Home, Automotive Stuff

Posted in Arizona, Brochures, Integra, Legend, Model Cars, RL, SLX on March 21, 2020 by tysonhugie

Odometer (RL):  211,776

How is everyone doing?  I saw a meme the other day:  “What a year this week has been.”  Yeah, sounds about right.  I’m going to spare you from having one more place to read about the current state of the world around us, because I know your TV and your social media feeds are absolutely saturated with it.  Over here in Arizona, my travels have dialed back to just the occasional trip to the grocery store or drive-thru – in fact, those are the only 2 trips I took all week.  And as much as I love being on the go, I have actually kind of enjoyed being homebound.  Shocker.

For one thing, I spent about 2 hours in the yard this morning with a complete cosmetic revamp.  Mow, trim, weed killer, and sweep.  It was satisfying and refreshing, especially in this gorgeous spring weather.  I have projects underway with the house, with the cars, and with work, not to mention writing / YouTubing / organizing / planning / journaling.  I spent an hour this afternoon on the phone with grandparents catching up.

Sometimes having a chance to slow the pace of life down a little isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  And even though my travel calendar has been wiped clean for at least the next couple of months, I’m confident I’ll stay busy and productive.

I had a couple of visitors in town earlier this month including my friend Jason and my cousin Jandi.  Jason drove in from Las Cruces in his Contour so we could go meet with Kevin Marti of Marti Auto Works, who has a specialty Ford facility on the western outskirts of Phoenix.

Kevin is a licensee to Ford’s complete production database – in other words, he can authenticate and give detailed background on just about any FoMoCo vehicle.  His “Marti Reports” are the renowned source of truth when it comes to production numbers rarity.  I last visited his place in 2014.

My cousin from Idaho also visited and we had a nice time enjoying the weather and company.  I’ll let the photos and video below tell the rest of the story because it’s a wide variety of automotive updates I can share with you all.

I was originally scheduled to volunteer as a driver during the Mecum collector car auction a week ago.  I had my credential and everything.  But then I pulled out given current state of the public situation.  But I’m on the list for next year and I will get to drive some cool stuff like this (while I awkwardly sit in the driver’s seat and let people bid on “me.”).   Coverage from my visit to Mecum last year is here.

My home office is set up and I moved my desk in my bedroom so that it looks out the front window.  Now, I just need a better monitor setup.  Stat!

I juiced a couple dozen oranges that I got from a friend’s tree. Citrus trees are in season right now here!

I had the Legend coupe out last week to visit friends in Gilbert with a huge new home.  The ceilings inside it are 16 feet tall.

My neighbor Chuck got a couple cool cars from a relative in Texas.  One of them is this 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner.

The other is this 1930 Model A.  Both were temporarily stored in my backyard for a time.

The Legend sedan saw some daylight last week.

And the RL.

And the NSX was my ride of choice for a last minute grocery store run.  For Diet Coke – only the essentials.

I received a recall in the mail today for the 2000 RL’s airbag.  I was sort of surprised Acura is having to recall 20-year-old cars.  But the letter basically stated that parts for the repair aren’t even yet available.

One of my YouTube subscribers asked me to give an update on the rooftop model cars, so I did that in the video too.

An ‘Instagram friend’ sent me some stickers – check out this one in the shape of a G2 Integra.

I took the opportunity last weekend to check in with some good friends who have helped me a lot over the years with automotive projects and other things.  Hy and Linda, thank you!

After that, I met up briefly with my friend Ken who has a 2006 ‘Suzuka Blue’ Honda S2000.

One of the projects I’m keeping myself busy with now is a categorization of about 50 pieces of literature related to the Acura Legend.  Over the last 20 years I’ve collected (what I believe to be) every piece of print media that had the Legend in it.  I’m in the process now of sorting them all out so I can copy & PDF to share with others.

This dealership even offered a “beeper service” to page you when your car was ready.  Whoa.

Here’s a glimpse of what we’re talking about.

The last bit of news is about the SLX, which hasn’t moved for about 10 days and is leaking a puddle of various fluids on my nice garage floor right now, haha.

A friend (again from Instagram) connected me with a resource that was able to decode the VIN plate in the engine bay.  I now know exactly what each of those ‘options’ listed at the bottom are.  The summary is below in Excel.

My former SLX, the one that Acura rebuilt as a “resto-mod” with RDX drivetrain, is sitting on display right now at the Honda headquarters in Torrance, California.  Acura Public Relations representative Andrew sent me this picture.

I also found a couple article on the SLX, which I’m adding to my archive.

That’s it for now!  Everyone stay safe out there, and I’ll talk to you soon.

NALM AZ 2020 Registration is Live, Integra & SLX Updates, Visitors in Town

Posted in Detailing, Integra, Legend, Maintenance, NALM, NSX, SLX on March 6, 2020 by tysonhugie

Odometer (SLX):  141,046

If you’ve ever wanted to visit Arizona, I’ll give you a reason.  This year’s 16th annual National Acura Legend Meet is now open for registration as of this past Sunday.  In the first 5 days, 13 vehicles have already signed up.  We could be on track to witness the largest meet of its kind since 2014 in Los Angeles which saw about 30.  Come be a part of history.

Link to Registration Instructions

In other news, my blogging time has been limited lately because I’ve put a little more effort into my YouTube channel which is nearing 6,000 subscribers.  I invite you to join me there for a few updates on automotive projects and other activities.  I usually post a new episode (or more) each Sunday.  I’ll post 5 of them here to catch you up.  Some are still ‘unlisted’ so I can stagger them out over the next few weeks.  Get your popcorn ready.

Integra Part 4

Integra Part 5

Integra Part 6

SLX Video 10 – The Project that Never Ends!

Do you want to test-drive 10 cool cars in 5 minutes?  Then I have just the video for you.  Last Saturday, I had a really unique experience of helping my friend Greg (the same guy who I wrote about with all the Japanese RHD cars) document the driving experience for a collection of cars that he’ll be auctioning off on Bring a Trailer website later this month.  Among them was this exceptionally rare 1989 Pontiac ASC-McLaren Turbo Grand Prix with only 5,500 miles on it.

Check out that tech!

Here was the list of cars, in order of appearance in the below video:

  1. 1989 Pontiac Turbo Grand Prix
  2. 2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG
  3. 1989 Dodge Lancer Shelby 5MT
  4. 2000 BMW M5 6MT
  5. 1989 Honda Prelude Si 4WS 5MT
  6. 2000 Honda S2000 6MT
  7. 1992 Toyota Aristo (RHD)
  8. 1992 Jeep Wrangler Renegade 5MT
  9. 1990 Nissan 300ZX TT 5MT
  10. 1992 Autozam AZ-1 (RHD) 5MT

Which was my favorite?  Honestly, and this might get me in trouble with my Honda friends, I fell in love with the BMW M5.  The sturdy shift feel, the power, the growl, and the utility of a ‘sportscar’ 4-door sedan with a manual really made that one check all the boxes for me.

And speaking of Bring a Trailer auctions, you might have missed this so I’ll share it here.  A record-setting sale took place this week when a 1994 Legend LS coupe 6-speed sold for over $25,000.  Here’s the link.  

Maybe my own collection will be worth a dollar or two someday as well?  I guess time will tell.

As Spring Training baseball games get underway here in Arizona, we are soaking up our last few weeks of very enjoyable weather and I’ve been spending quite a bit of time working on the never-ending list of “to-do” items.  The latest 1999 Integra, which started out with a laundry list of 50 “needs” that I listed in an Excel document, has already been through half.  So in two months’ time, it’s come a really long way.

One of the major milestones for that car was a comprehensive ‘professional’ detail, for which I engaged the help and services of a friend named Travis who helped not only with the interior & paint, but with removal of the hodge-podge of aftermarket stereo & alarm spaghetti wiring that was strung throughout the car.  It was strangled.

The results speak for themselves.  This paint was rough, and it came out brilliantly.

The NSX doesn’t get a video this time around, but I took it to the experts at Science of Speed for a regular checkup and it’s doing great at 116,000 miles.

I had a few special guests in February including folks from Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Detroit, and Seattle.  The guest book is nearing page 50 and I’ve already purchased a second volume because pages are running out.

Here’s Tim:

Jaysen and his sister Tavali

Brad and Richard

Dave

Finally, I had to share some new wallhangings in the garage.  I loved this anniversary 1986-1996 photo enough to frame and hang it up.

And the one in the middle here – I have to show you that a little more closely.

It contains the 6 Acura models from 1997.

The paragraph suggests that you pick whichever one fits “your definition of luxury.”

Except, the punchline suggests you should just buy a big garage and own all 6 (highlighted above).

Does that remind me of anyone else you know?  This is the ad that goes along with it.

Have a great weekend!

Press Preview: 2020 Toyota Highlander Platinum

Posted in PAPA, Vehicle Reviews on February 15, 2020 by tysonhugie

I sat inside a rolling concert hall this week.  It’s been a long time since I heard a stereo this good, and Mariah Carey came through in such crystal clarity that I ran the volume knob all the way to its max setting.

Toyota invited me and some of the other Phoenix-area journalists to a media event on Wednesday to showcase its latest in technology with its three-row Highlander crossover.  The segment in which the Highlander competes is massive in size, with 24 vehicles competing for the same pie.  Highlander comprises 9% of that pie with its annual 228,000 units sold, and with this new iteration, Toyota is hoping to grow that number.

We heard from product expert Dave Lee as he walked us through a series of slides about what’s new and exciting about the Highlander.  The biggest news is powertrain-related, with a hybrid system offered that provides best-in-class fuel economy (topping out at an impressive 36 mpg) and a massive range of 600 miles per tank.  Dave explained how the Highlander’s “PED” (Predictive Efficient Drive) system tracks driving habits and terrains to optimize efficiency of the hybrid + gas combination.

Inside the cabin, there’s more to be seen from a technology perspective, with a massive 12.3″ touch-screen monitor.  It seems all manufacturers today are of the “bigger is better” mindset, and Highlander fits right in.  The only problem I observed is the screen’s susceptibility to greasy fingerprints.  The Highlander comes with driver-assist tech like front & rear parking assist cameras and a digital rearview camera (which can be toggled to ‘regular’).  There are five USB ports and three zones of climate control.

Perhaps one of the most compelling things about the Highlander is its innovative color-naming convention.  This model has an exterior in “Ruby Flare Pearl” and an interior in “Glazed Caramel.”  Seriously.  Makes me hungry.

With a variety of trim levels available, the Highlander can be equipped with an MSRP from the $30s up to pushing $50k.  As a plush family hauler with the latest in modern tech, it’s going to give its 23 competing classmates a run for their money.  Thanks to Toyota for the preview & test drive!