“Car Week” 2019 in Monterey, CA: Type S Concept, Japanese Automotive Invitational

Posted in California, Legend, TLX on August 20, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (ILX):  217,821

Every week for me is a “car week,” right?  As I motored along Highway 101 near San Jose, California last Thursday afternoon in my rental Dodge Caravan, I spotted this beauty:

It was meant to be.  That Alabaster Silver 2007-08 TL Type-S (and my formerly-owned blue one) was the last of its kind.  When the TL was redesigned for the 2009 model year (its “fourth generation”), the Type-S nameplate was retired.  Now a decade later in 2019, it’s about to make a comeback.  And the event I was headed to was specifically to celebrate the rebirth and to showcase what the Type-S of the future will look like.

The Carmel Valley Lodge just outside Monterey is an exquisite country club that hosted a private reception for Acura senior leaders, designers, and invited guests for the unveil of the “Type S Concept” – a highly talked about model that reflects the brand’s return to an emphasis on sportiness and performance.

Matt Sloustcher, Public Relations, and Jon Ikeda, Vice President, kicked off the commentary from the podium next to the concept car which had a sheet over it at the time.  At 7:00, the dramatic unveil was carried out and the crowd responded with a hearty applause.

Ikeda described this type of reveal being “Like having a designer’s pants pulled off; all of a sudden everyone sees everything and it causes anxiety about what kind of reaction they’ll have.”  I liked that analogy.  Ben Davidson, lead designer for the Type S, shared a few insights over the mic about what inspired him during the development process.  (Ben is pictured at far left below).

I was honored to be among the attendees to get a first in-person glimpse of the car which had been revealed in electronic media form just a day prior.  It had a nice presence – new signature “chicane” headlamp and taillamp design, a grille inspired from the Precision concept car, and of course the Type S badging on both front and rear.  I’ll be anxious to see when and how the Type S concept is transformed into a production car in the coming months and years.

This was our group from the NSXCA along with some of the Acura leadership team.

The Type S was on display the following day at the Quail.  I didn’t make it out for that, but it looked like an impressive display!

Another highlight of my weekend was getting to attend the second-annual “Japanese Automotive Invitational” in Pebble Beach.  The Infiniti and Lexus brands are turning 30 years old this year, and Motor Trend partnered with Infiniti to celebrate and recognize the milestone by bringing together a carefully curated field of vehicles for spectator enjoyment.  Last year my Integra GS-R was there.  One of the vehicles on display this year was my 1994 Legend GS sedan that I’ve had for 11 years now.  It looked good out there.

On the final day of my Monterey visit, I made my first visit to the WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca.  I’d heard of Laguna Seca many times before, but this time – thanks to an “alumni” event sponsored by Bring a Trailer – I had a reason to pay a visit.  My minivan was definitely the lamest vehicle in the spectator parking lot, but that was okay.  I got to see & shake hands with some of my heroes from the BaT community including Zac Beatty who has been with the site since its early days.

All too soon, it was time to work my way to the San Jose airport but before boarding my flight, I made one more visit.  I stopped by the home of my friend Kevin who’s a die-hard 2G Integra fan.  Kevin currently has two of them.  He and his wife (and pets!) were extremely hospitable for my drop-in.

The “Car Week” festivities never seem to disappoint.  It was rewarding to get to reconnect with old friends, make a few new ones, and witness firsthand what the future holds for automotive design.  Thanks for coming along for the adventure!

Acura-themed bevvies!

Hanging with Andrew from Acura Public Relations, and his wife Katie

Type S looking mean and muscular

My coworker said the headlights reminded her of Knight Rider

With Marcus from HeelToe Automotive

Marcus, and Jon Ikeda

Visiting with friends who were about to send their 1979 Mercury Bobcat (named “Bob”) to auction

Infiniti display at Pebble Beach for the Japanese Automotive Invitational

My friend Greg’s Datsun

Coffee named “Q45”!

Classic Car Forum at the Inn at Spanish Bay, with remarks from leaders from Mazda, Acura, Lexus, and Infiniti

Night out in Monterey with Jay and Chris

Type-R sighting at Laguna Seca

Beyond the Border in Banff: Canadian Rockies Hikes & “RAD Garage” Visit

Posted in Hikes, Misc Travel, Vigor on August 13, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  566,458

Trip Distance:  3,000 Miles Flown via WestJet

I fell in love with Alberta, Canada this past weekend.  The scenery, the food, and more than anything else, the overwhelming hospitality of the people there really swept me off my feet.  I was able to spend 4 days and 3 nights exploring the area – an idea hatched back in April that would give me the chance to reconnect with a long-time friend who lived in the area as well as see some of Canada’s most breathtaking features of the Rocky Mountains.

From the moment I landed in Calgary after my flight from Phoenix on Thursday afternoon, I was whisked away by Jeff and Lucas to Banff National Park about 90 minutes to the west.  While I snacked on snacks in the backseat of Jeff’s Mazda 3, I got a chance to learn a little about the area and enjoy the scenery along the way.  After entering the park, we made our way to a trailhead at Hector Lake.

The 40-minute hike required us to cross the a river multiple times, but I didn’t mind getting my sneakers wet because I felt like I was living in a postcard-perfect landscape.  We also made a stop at Peyto Lake, with its characteristic turquoise blue water and an upstream glacier.

My wake-up call in Calgary at Jeff’s place on Friday came as the clock struck 4:30 a.m., which was 3:30 a.m. my time.  I was a bit of a zombie as we made our way back to Banff, but when we parked at Lake Louise, my eyes lit up with the scenery:  The 127-year old “Chateau” hotel overlooks what has to be one of the most gorgeous natural wonders in the world.  We were surrounded by 360-degrees of pure perfection.

Luckily, my shoes had dried out overnight because they were about to get some pretty hardcore miles put on them.  We took the trailhead alongside the lake that started an immediate ascent – initially a moderate grade with pavement, then gravel, then becoming eventually a narrower pathway that zig-zagged its way up the mountainside.

Our destination was the Devil’s Thumb – a scenic lookout point about 3,000 vertical feet above the lake itself.  One waypoint along the path was the Lake Agnes “tea house” – a log cabin structure where they serve food and drink provisions.  From the tea house, the level of technicality grew and at some points of the hike, I scrambled on all fours to get traction and work my way up the mountainside.  The panoramic view from the top of Devil’s Thumb was 100% worth it!

We hadn’t yet burned all our energy or daylight by the time we returned back to ground level, but we recharged our batteries a bit by enjoying the view from lounge chairs before hitting up another short hike, to Silverton Falls.  Jeff introduced me to the town of Banff itself – crawling with tourists like me.  Of all the dining options, Mexican food sounded best to me so we stopped in at a saloon-themed place called Magpie and split a delicious pulled pork enchilada with some chips, salsa, and guacamole on the side.

The rest of the weekend was spent right in Calgary, where the sun didn’t peek out from behind the clouds on either Saturday or Sunday, but that was perfectly fine with me – I enjoyed the temperatures and the light drizzle.  In perfect fate, there was a “Taste of Calgary” culinary event taking place in the Eau Claire part of town so we took advantage of the chance to indulge.  The buffalo chicken poutine was to die for.

Capping off an already-incredible weekend was the chance to shake hands with someone who I’ve idolized from the automotive community for a few years now:  Rick from RAD Garage.  Rick’s detailing “theatre” made from his 2-car garage in suburban Calgary is a place of dreams for anyone who takes pride in maintaining the condition of his or her vehicle.  What started 9 years ago with the installation of a tool chest and the hanging of a few photos has transformed the space into a comprehensive mecca of detailing paradise.  Every product, every brush, every solution for every type of detailing challenge resides there.

An Adams product for every need – and then some.  My favorites were the Cars & Coffee, and the Pumpkin Spice spray.

My friend Zach was kind enough to shuttle me to Rick’s place in his 272,000-kilometer 1994 Acura Vigor GS – I felt right at home from the passenger seat.

Canadian-spec cars got heated seats, heated mirrors, and a trunk ski pass-through as standard equipment!

Rick and I had the chance to share a bit of Q&A for our respective channels and I enjoyed picking his brain a little about how his garage had evolved over the years.  Here is the video that he put together:

And here’s my version:

I enjoyed a phenomenal couple of days with the people and places of Canada.  It was enough to make me not want to come home – or at least to start thinking about making another epic road trip to our northern neighbors from behind the wheel.  Maybe I’ll be able to set something up soon.

Arriving Hector Lake

Peyto Lake

View looking upward to the canyon above Peyto Lake

Agnes Lake

Jeff showing the way as we ascended toward Devil’s Thumb

A friend pulled up my location on “Find My Friends,” and sent me a screen shot.

Making the descent

Lake Louise in the background

Fairmont Banff Springs hotel in Banff

Walking tour of Calgary with Jeff

Know what that is?  The elusive Acura 1.7 EL!  We didn’t get those in the States.

Riding to Rick’s in Zach’s Vigor

I loved the foam drawer liners in the toolboxes at Rick’s – custom fit for each tool present.

Overview of Rick’s garage

Zach’s Vigor

“French Toast Pie” (and a bag of bacon) for breakfast at Chix in the East Village of Calgary

Calgary Public Library internal architecture.  Amazing innovation!

Quick Car Updates: Cheesecake Day, TL-S Visitor, RL Shots, & Red Velvet

Posted in Del Sol, House, Integra, Legend, SLX on August 7, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Integra Sedan):  73,323

I guess pretty much every day is a “food holiday” of some sort.  I found this list online which claims to be the “complete list” of holidays, including 13 holidays for the month of August alone.  This coming Saturday, August 10 is National S’mores Day, so get your marshmallows and Hershey chocolate bars ready for the occasion.  That’s definitely one worth celebrating.

I bring this up because July 30th was Cheesecake Day, and my favorite kind of cheesecake is key lime from the Cheesecake Factory.  My 1993 del Sol has a license plate that reads “KEYLIME,” so you can guess where this story is going.  I pulled the ‘Sol out of its slumber and headed over to the Biltmore Mall for some salmon for dinner and a slice of key lime cheesecake for dessert.

Notice, I even whipped out the green HONDA factory associate hat for the occasion. That hat was given to me as a souvenir during my April 2012 visit to the Greensburg, Indiana Honda manufacturing facility for the “line-off” event of the 2013 Acura ILX.  The hat is actually designed to have a hardhat inside it.  Clever wardrobe.

It’s been a busy few weeks at the house, with Ira’s recent visit and then a drop-in from my friend Naveed who has a 2008 Acura TL Type-S.  He was passing through town from Los Angeles to Dallas and spent the night.

Naveed’s car is a super-sweet example with automatic transmission and < 50,000 miles on the odometer – a one-owner car out of Carlsbad, California with immaculate service history and cosmetic condition.

It makes my day that other people geek out about old cars as much as I do.

Interior looked brand new for being 11 years old.

The RL got a few glamour shots that I’ll soon be sharing on Instagram.  The car is my preferred people-hauler, above everything else in the fleet.  It’s just such a smooth ride.  The only issue I need to sort out right now is an intermittent stalling that has happened twice.

I looked into it and it appears there may be a ‘known’ problematic area with the APP Sensor, which stands for Accelerator Pedal Position.  The part runs a couple hundred bucks but it basically tells the engine where the throttle is.  In both cases where the car has died, it was when I was off the throttle, either decelerating or coasting around a corner.  I’ll get it all sorted in due time.

The SLX is coming out soon with its 5th video episode in a YouTube series I’ve been putting together.  Of all my recent uploads, those been getting some of the most traffic / views.  It’s also been fun how many people I’ve “met” through it.  This week, I got an email from a nice gal named Roxana in North Carolina who uses her SLX to tow people out at the beach.  If you don’t believe me, check out her videos.

I’ve pretty much put a pause on spending any more effort or money on the SLX for the short term.  I’m running a Prolong engine oil treatment right now, as well as some fuel system treatment.  But it’s been rock solid.  The best news of the week:  I discovered that the cassette tape player works, so I can rock out to all my favorite 1990s jams in style.

With this summer heat in Phoenix reaching 115 degrees consistently, I was curious how hot my 2 garages (which aren’t climate controlled) get.  The smaller garage on the west side of my property is a single car space with no insulation.  It reached 121 degrees this week.

The other, larger, garage which is on the east side and has insulation, hit 101 degrees – a full 20 degrees cooler.  Still warm though.

The Legend sedan was picked up today for transport to Monterey, California.  It’s headed to the 2nd annual Japanese Automotive Invitational at Pebble Beach.  Here’s my article from when the Integra GS-R went there last year.

And speaking of the Integra – you might get a kick out of this.  I found out that Amazon sells red velvet ropes and stanchion posts for crowd control.  What better way to create the occasional VIP-exclusive area inside my garage (or inside the house, at a party).  This is 100% a joke, but I thought it would make for a fun conversation piece from time to time.

My neighbor Gabe is trying to sell a 1982 Corvette (auto).  He and his wife came over to chat the other day while we were irrigating our lawns.  This one belonged to Gabe’s brother.  It’s been parked / covered since 2008, when the tags last expired.  Does anybody want it?  Hit me up.  I have more pics, the VIN, and can snag a video or any other details.  Odo reads 26,000 miles, which is probably 126,000.

The only other update I can share is the the ILX needed its first alternator replacement.  I had just arrived at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago and got a “CHECK CHARGING SYSTEM” message, literally as the car rolled 216,000 miles.  I made it to my Hon-Man mechanic who got me into a new Denso starter for about $490 parts & labor a couple of days later.

Have a great rest of the week!  I’m off to explore some new turf soon, but I’ll save the details for next time.

Mazda Milestone in Northern New Mexico: Jason’s 200,000th!

Posted in Arizona, Milestones, New Mexico on August 4, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Mazda 6): 200,000

Odometer (ILX):  216,857

Trip Distance:  810 Miles

This is the world’s oldest Dairy Queen, located in Holbrook, Arizona.

We don’t actually know that.  In fact, it’s probably a flat-out lie.

But, my friend and fellow road-tripper Kevin and I have always called it that.  Which explains why, when I sent him that picture (without any caption needed) on Friday afternoon, his text reply said, “Ha!” and then my phone rang a few seconds later.  Our conversation went something like this.

  • Kevin:  “Where are you going now?”
  • Tyson:  “Farmington, New Mexico.”
  • Kevin:  “WHY?”
  • Tyson:  “Just exploring some new turf, I’ve never been anywhere in NM north of Gallup.”
  • Kevin:  “But WHY?”
  • Tyson:  “I’m meeting up with my friend Jason from Las Cruces.”
  • Kevin:  “But Farmington?  WHY!?”
  • Tyson:  “Jason’s Mazda is going to roll 200,000 miles there.  We’re going because it was purchased there new.”
  • Kevin:  “Okay, now there’s a modicum of rationale.  But Farmington is the land that time forgot.”

And indeed, it was.  Farmington is a in a bit of a bubble.  After all, they have an honest-to-goodness, living, breathing K-Mart.  When was the last time you saw a K-Mart?

Luckily, we weren’t there for the night life or the attractions.  We had more important things to attend to.  More specifically, we were there to celebrate my friend Jason’s 200,000th milestone in his Pebble Ash Metallic 2004 Mazda 6.  And to add icing to the cake, the date he’d preselected for the milestone was specifically the 15-year anniversary of its original purchase date in 2004.

My trip to Farmington took me through the forested woodland of northeastern Arizona – a welcome reprieve from the Phoenix summer heat.  I opted not to eat at the DQ in Holbrook, but I did grab a quick beverage at “Gas Max” just north of Gallup after diverging from Interstate 40 to head north through the Navajo reservation.  By the time I rolled into Farmington, it was around 10:00 p.m. local.

Saturday was packed.  After a breakfast burrito including green chile (a NM tradition) at Comfort Suites, we scoped out Hi-Country Kia Mitsubishi (formerly known as Performance Mazda) and burned off about 14 miles so Jason could roll 200,000 at exactly the predetermined location.  We even staged a photo with the car in the same parking spot where it sat when it was originally sold in 2004.  The staff at the dealership were excited to have us on site and celebrating.

Interview time!

Our trip wasn’t complete without a bit of road-tripping adventure, so Jason introduced us to the “Bisti / De-Na-Zin” Wilderness as we made our respective journeys southbound.  The Wilderness is about 45,000 acres of badlands that are remote in nature, free to access, and unforgiving in lack of services or amenities.  We made sure to take bottled waters before trekking into the ash & sandstone formations too far.  We came across the wreckage of a 1950s car.  Maybe one of my readers will be able to identify it.

(More detail in the video below)

I enjoyed the trip home since it took me through Payson, Arizona, which had freshly been rained upon.  Temperatures crept from 68 degrees to 112 degrees as I crawled my way back to home.

Congrats, Jason!

No flood risk on the day we went!

Couple more shots fro the Bisti Wilderness.

Ira’s Visit from Portland, Return of the Type-S, Upcoming CA ‘Car Corral’ in September

Posted in Arizona, NSX, Road Trip on August 1, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (NSX):  115,946

My buddy Ira drove his 2017 Acura NSX over 3,000 miles to have it serviced at a specialty / performance shop – just for the sake of the road trip.  And this is why he and I are friends.

Ira is the proud owner of a Nouvelle Blue Pearl “NC1” (second-generation) NSX that traveled across 5 states over a 6-day period.  His home base is Portland, Oregon but he made it to Phoenix in only two days.  It was fun to host him in the area, and we made the most of his time in Arizona, despite the weather being toasty.

After a welcome dinner at one of the Valley’s fave Italian spots on Thursday, Oregano’s, it was a much needed chance to relax and get some rest.  On Friday, he had the NSX serviced – its first oil change – at Science of Speed.  They are the region’s most reputable experts on parts & performance.  On Saturday, I hosted more than a dozen NSX vehicles and their respective owners for breakfast snacks.

We rolled out at 11:00 in the morning for a 70-mile trip to Gila Bend, Arizona.  Our destination was the “Space Age” Restaurant, a landmark dining establishment that is entirely extraterrestrial-themed.  I went with the Jupiter Burger.  It seemed only fitting that in light of all the recent social media buzz about “storming Area 51,” we customize our group activity for a storming of our own.

The whole experience reminded me a little of my 2005 visit to the Extraterrestrial Highway in southern Nevada.

The Botanical Gardens have twilight “flashlight tours,” so we hit that up later on.  Even after sundown, the temperature lingered in the 108-degree range but we had water bottles and enough ambition to keep our minds off that.

Huge thanks to Ira for taking the time to come see us!  Here is his video on his trip.

And here is my video.

In other news:  Did you hear?  On Thursday, August 15, in Monterey California, Acura showcase its “Type-S” concept car.  This is a very short teaser video that was recently released.  I’ll be in attendance at the unveil so you’ll read more about the car itself here soon!

Finally – if anyone in (or near) California would like to participate, there is a Car Corral at the IMSA Grand Prix race.  Details are found in this flyer, including RSVP instructions.  It’s free to attend!

Mountains, Beaches, & Cheers: MA, NH, & ME Three-State Weekend Adventure

Posted in Misc Travel on July 28, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (S2000):  44,444

Trip Distance:  500 Miles

This past weekend, I got my Rocky Mountain High!  Err, I mean Appalachian Mountain High.  I guess I need to re-write a version of John Denver’s 1975 catchy song to apply more appropriately to region that I visited.  Either way.  In a matter of a short 48-hour summer vacation, I checked off a lot of boxes:  Three new states, some roadside destinations, a spirited cruise in a Honda S2000, a quick dip into the Atlantic Ocean, and a crash course in U.S. history at one of the most iconic cities in the nation.  I’d say it was a success.

The trip was all made possible to my friend Conor, who recently bought a beautiful home in Boston’s “South End,” just minutes away from all sorts of attractions and entertainment.  I traveled via American Airlines – both ways at 5 hours each in a middle seat, mind you – but still got to spend some time behind the wheel during a 500-mile tour of New England in Conor’s beautiful Silverstone Honda S2000 6-speed.

Our main destination for Saturday was New Hampshire’s famous “Mount Washington Auto Road,” a 7.6-mile, 11% graded, mostly-paved two-laner that snakes its way up to a summit at 6,145 feet in elevation.

The S2000 wagged its energetic tail at the opportunity to exercise VTEC and completed a 44,444 mile odometer reading as we approached the Toll House via New Hampshire’s Highway 93 as well as the Kancamagus Route 112.  Conor let me take the wheel for the ascent, and I gripped the wheel tightly – much like during the Pikes Peak drive at NALM in Colorado last July.  Pikes, by the way, was 14,000 feet.  The Rockies don’t mess around.

While locals lamented the apparent heat wave, I was enjoying the temperatures and they got even better once we reached the summit, a full 20 degrees cooler than at the base of the road.  We got the chance to wander around and admire the view.  Oddly, when I signed in to the guest book, the entry just before mine was that of a tourist visiting from my hometown in Utah.  The world is way too small.

After a quick fill-up in Conway, we took to the backroads and car-swapped with other friends who had joined for the ride.  I got to row the gears of a BMW 340i xDrive for about 70 miles as we made our way toward the small southern Maine town of Ogunquit.  It’s a seaside destination popular for summer homes and weekenders who come up from the big city for a bit of fresh air.  We dined at Rose Cove right in the heart of town, then walked down Beach Street to catch the view of the Atlantic right at sunset.  Fittingly, we went to a little bar called “Maine Street” to cap off the night.

Sunday I got my dose of U.S. history as Conor introduced me to sights like Boston Common, Faneuil Hall, Fenway Park, and the Old State House (built in 1713, and still standing today although it’s dwarfed by skyscrapers on all sides).  But perhaps the most exciting destination for me was the set location for the filming of the TV series “Cheers” which starred Ted Danson and Kirstie Alley and ran from 1982 through 1993.  Cheers had over 200 episodes and became one of America’s favorite TV series.

The location where was filmed, in Beacon Hill, was formerly known as a bar called Bull & Finch.  Today, it’s renamed Cheers Bar and has two different attractions:  The downstairs bar which served as the set for most exterior shots, and the upstairs bar which was the interior set.  I passed on ordering a “Norm’s Pilsner,” but enjoyed wandering through the gift shop and pulling up images from the TV show to try and figure out if I could place their modern-day settings.

All-too quickly, it was time to make my way to the airport for the long haul back across the country.  I’m pleased to report that I aced the crossword puzzle in one of the back pages of the American Way Magazine while aboard the Airbus 321 that brought me home.  Maybe I’m ready for a run at being a Jeopardy contestant after all.

Here are a short video and a few more pics from the adventure.

Arrival at Boston airport on Friday night

Getting one of Conor’s babies out of storage.

Conor’s parents have great taste in automobiles.  I can see where he gets it.  The TL pictured here has over 270,000 miles on it.

Approaching the Toll House at Mount Washington.

Claim to fame from atop the summit:  A 231-mph wind reading.  Which I guess is the highest ever recorded, if you don’t count hurricanes?  I’m not sure where the logic is here but I’ll take it.

Group shot from atop Mount Washington.

Despite multiple warnings about brake temperatures, the Volkswagen Atlas driver ahead of us was roasting his brakes because we could smell them the whole way down.

Hehe, this Legend didn’t really go to MW, but it can pretend.

First time in Maine!

Night life in Ogunquit at Front Porch Piano Bar.

The light fixtures were inverted microphones.

Conor’s street in Boston, with, you guessed it.  A TSX.

Sunday brunch spot.  The “hash” was amazing.

Tyson, Patrick, Brendan, and Conor

Boston skyline

The Old State House has been around for over 300 years.  It was the site of the Boston Massacre.  Today, you can enter the subway from its basement.

Outside Cheers bar

Heading down the the stairs to Cheers

Tyson, Corey, Conor

Quick Retreat: Exploring Southern California with Vigor [Featuring the Honda Museum!]

Posted in California, Road Trip, SLX, Vigor on July 17, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Vigor):  114,000

Trip Distance:  856 Miles

I was pulling up to the emissions check station for the 2-year smog check in the 1994 Vigor this morning when the odometer turned exactly 114,000.0 miles.  Small miracles like that have a way of making my day.

Then I extended my arm to rest my elbow on the window sill while waiting for my turn.  I’m pretty sure I got a second-degree burn from the temperature of the surface.  This Phoenix heat doesn’t mess around:  It’s like opening up the clothes dryer, crawling inside, and setting the timer for 40 minutes of permanent press.  But that’s OK.  We have the refuge of various refreshing beaches within a half-day’s drive.

My friend Dillon was paying us a visit from the east coast, all the way from North Carolina.  Dillon is a long-time friend and fellow automotive enthusiast, so he was a great road-trip companion for the roughly 900-mile weekend trip to Southern California.

Our trip took us first to the exclusive and private Honda Collection Hall, located just a block from the American Honda corporate office in Torrance.  I’d heard that it would be open for an informal open house / reception, and since Dillon and our other accompanying friend Joseph had never been inside, we decided to check it out.

My favorite artifact in the museum was the Laurel Blue Metallic 1990 Accord LX on display with over 1 million miles on it.  That’s right – we were in the presence of high-mileage royalty:  “Million Mile Joe’s” car, which made it that distance on its original engine and transmission.  Joe was recognized with a parade and a free car, but unfortunately has since passed away.  His Accord lives on under the caretaking hands of the curators of the museum.

Here is a video on the MMJ Accord.

No trip to CA is complete without its share of traffic, and we were dealt a hefty serving of it.  It took us about 4 hours to go the < 200 miles from Los Angeles to San Diego where we’d be spending the remainder of our weekend.  But the company was enjoyable and the cooler temps made for a prime opportunity to put the windows down and enjoy the scenery as we rolled southbound, with occasional views of the Pacific Ocean from Interstate 5.

We met up with another Vigor owner, Ryan, for lunch on Saturday as well as Mike with a Mustang and Jason with a Civic.  It was a rare sight to see the 3 Acura Vigors in one parking lot together, and in fact, during some photos at the stadium next door after lunch, we even (unintentionally) parked them in proper order, from model years 1992, 1993, and 1994.

All said and done, the trip was just what the doctor ordered to cool us down a bit.  Here is a 9-minute video celebrating the 4 years I’ve owned my Vigor (since 4th of July, 2015) as well as highlights fro the California adventure with Dillon and others.  And below are some other news updates from in and around the garage.

In other car updates, the RL got a wax job and is looking great for 210,000 miles.

Recent visit from a few friends.

Supporting my friend Ethan from Hello Road with a T-shirt.  Give his channel a look!

I loved this del Sol ad that I found on Facebook.

Cruising the ‘Sol with my buddy Kurt.

Musical cars.

RL at a housing development called “The New Legend.”  Fitting.

Tail end of Joe’s car

A couple great cars in the museum

Beach time near Belmont Park

Dropping off Dillon at Sky Harbor on Monday night

The ‘new’ (red) SLX is coming along.  I’m getting mixed reactions from followers who have kept up with the progress so far.  A few have said that the vehicle would be better suited as fire kindling in the backyard given its condition.

Others are 100% supportive of continuing with restoration efforts to see what I can make of it.  I don’t intend to go all-in with effort & expense.  At this point the objective is just to ensure roadworthiness and make it look decent enough for a Radwood car show.  I’m pretty much there.  I showed it for its first time two Saturdays ago, at the Scottsdale Pavilions show on July 6.

Dining out while at the show.

Here are 2 more episodes from my YouTube if you haven’t seen them already.

Engine detail

Nice results!

New wheels

12+ new hoses thanks to Hon-Man

Should I have gone this direction with the rebuild?