Quick Trip: “The Quail” Motorsports Gathering in Monterey, California

Posted in California, Car Show on August 21, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  544,256

544256

Odometer (ILX):  180,000

180000

Happy weekend!  I spent a day rubbing shoulders with the automotive elite at an exclusive motorsports show called The Quail in Carmel, California on Friday.  Some 3,000 entry tickets were pre-sold at $600 apiece.  I was lucky to score one for free, thanks to prior involvement with the NSX Club of America and the fact that Acura is a major sponsor of the event.  It was a feast for the eyes, ears, and tastebuds.

quail_mat

From the moment I showed my credential and was given a site map / lanyard, I turned my gaze to the entrance of the event.  Immaculately manicured lawns were lined with brightly-colored supercars and exotics.  Event workers dressed head to toe in white apparel flanked the entryway.

quail_entry

This was not just your everyday “car show” in a Home Depot parking lot with people plopped down on camp chairs and shooting the breeze.  Instead, wait staff brought around wine, champagne, and caviar.  There were 5 or 6 different tent pavilions with free regional-themed food and live music.  And I don’t think any vehicle on display had a value of fewer than six figures.  Many were seven.

bugattis

I made the rounds as I worked my way toward the large Acura display and was greeted by a couple of colleagues who were already there:  Chris Willson from Science of Speed, and May Lee, the VP of the NSX Club of America.  On display was an elevated white platform with the Acura Precision Concept in the middle, with the NSX GT3 racecar on the left and a ‘street’ NSX at right.  Around 11:00 a.m., seasoned racecar driver Dario Franchitti arrived for some interviews.  I shook his hand and we talked a little.  He’s no stranger to fast cars, having won 4 Indy races.  He’s ordered a “Nouvelle Blue Pearl” 2017 NSX which will be delivered to him later this year.

group_with_dario

Right down the street, the Bonhams collector car auction was taking place all day.  My friends Scott and Sandy were selling their 1959 Mercury Park Lane – lot number 74 – and hoped for a good outcome.  I caught a shuttle ride over there to meet up with them.  The entire area was bustling with people, music, and activities – with auction bidding coming over the loudspeaker in a British accent.  “Nine hundred fifty, do I have nine hundred fifty?” he’d ask.  Seriously?  $950,000 – people spend that kind of money on cars.  The most expensive car sold this week in Monterey was a 1955 Jaguar D-Type that went for $19,800,000 at RM Sothebys Auction on Friday night.  Pocket change.

lemons_sign

The quick in-and-out Monterey trip capped off with a car event that differed greatly from The Quail.  It was called Concours d’LeMons, and it was a tribute to “the oddball, the mundane, the truly awful of the automotive world.”  Scott, Sandy, and I cruised in their Mini Cooper over to check out the festivities in Seaside on Saturday morning.  The Concours is free and “you get what you pay for.”  This tongue-in-cheek poke at the hoity toity Pebble Beach and Quail crowds seems little a little more my style.  We saw an Amphicar, a couple of AMC Pacers, and of course a Yugo on the grounds.  My friend Jason Cammisa from Motor Trend was on-hand as one of the judges.

jason_tyson

And with that, I was dropped at the curb of the cute but functional 4-gate Monterey airport and shed my fleece sweater, knowing that in about 2 hours I’d be back in the desert’s inferno and dealing with nearly twice the temperature.  Thanks for coming along for the adventure!  And, many thanks to the folks at Acura for making it possible for me to attend.  Here’s a very short video, along with some of the other photos I took.

Porsche-mania:  Cars for sale at Bonhams.

porsche

Breakfast is served

bonhams_breakfast

Ultra rare BMW “Z1” with only 34 kilometers on it.  This went for $90,000.

bmw_z1

Ferrari something-or-other that’s worth more than any home I’ll ever own.

laferrari

Love these lines.

testarrosa

Hey, finally a red car I can relate to.  This 1991 NSX with 85,000 miles looks showroom fresh and belongs to Acura headquarters.

nsx

A few celebrity sightings, including this one with Acura’s Chuck Schifsky.

chuck_tyson

RealTime’s Peter Cunningham, whose collection I visited in Milwaukee last month.

peter_tyson

Science of Speed’s Chris Willson

tyson_chris

Acura PR’s Gary Robinson

gary

A few folks from Hagerty Insurance, including Jonathan Klinger who inspired this blog 5 years ago.

jonathan_tyson

Like the colors of Skittles candy.

lambos

With my buddy Donny from Cadillac, leeching off the free food at the Rolls Royce booth.

donny_tyson

Feasts for the eyes, too.

quail_crowd

Acura CEO Jon Ikeda – a friend of mine since his days with the Acura Design Studio.

hugie_ikeda

Scott and Sandy’s 1959 Mercury with 40,000 original miles, which went for $40,000.

tyson_with_park_lane

Scott and Sandy themselves.  Thanks for the hospitality, guys!

scott_sandy_tyson

As seen from the parking lot of the Concours d’LeMons.  Hey, wait?

prius_v6

The original owner of this 1987 Chevy Cavalier was especially proud of it.  And he’d driven it all the way from Michigan!

cavalier_z24

Before you go, check out the website of author Darius Nabors.  He and his friend Trevor set out 59 weeks ago to visit all 59 national parks in 59 weeks.  They’ve achieved their goal!  I learned about Darius while thumbing through the American Airlines magazine on my flight from Phoenix to Monterey on Thursday night.  Congratulations, Darius!

darius_nabors

My Car Went to Idaho Without Me, Some Attic Finds, and a Road Trip to the Landfill

Posted in ILX, Road Trip on August 14, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  544,176

544176

Odometer (ILX):  179,669

179669

Statistics can be fun.  I never thought I’d utter (or type) those words when I took Stats as a sophomore in high school, but today I’m a numbers junkie and I enjoy them – especially in automotive applications.  Like this:  In an AutoTrader search query on August 9, 2016, I pulled up all the 2013-2015 Acura ILX models for sale in the country.  Here’s what I found:

  • 863 automatics (83,033 highest miles)
  • 27 manuals (63,578 highest miles)

So 27 manuals out of 890 total cars = 3%.  That makes my car pretty rare.

I have to admit, my conscience has gotten to me:  In recent weeks, some of the miles on the ILX weren’t “earned” by me personally.  My friends Jack and Chandler borrowed the car for a 2,166-mile, 5-day road trip to Boise, Idaho and back for a wedding.  When flight pricing didn’t look reasonable and attendance was critical (Chandler was a “best man”), I offered up the ILX to them because it’s a reliable and fuel-efficient car for long trips.  And you know the miles don’t scare me a bit.

The only thing I asked in return was that Jack take and share a few photos from along the way, and that he did!  Here’s the route they took, with the Utah leg northbound and the Nevada (return) leg southbound.

phx_boise

Lots of the eastern Nevada area is foreign to me.  I’ve been a few places out there, like Wendover during my open-road race in 2007, and the town of Rachel, when I toured the Extraterrestrial Highway around Area 51.  As it turns out, I’m probably not missing a heck of a lot though.  Jack sent a photo from the entry to Wells, Nevada:  “Gateway to the East Humboldts.”  Originally named for a swampy area near town along the Humboldt River, it got its start as a passenger train stop along the transcontinental railroad.

wells_nevada

The historic El Rancho Hotel there has lots of history, having been opened from 1952 to 1980.  Currently there’s not much happening there, but luckily it hasn’t been left completely to ruin.  Note that the El Rancho Hotel is not to be confused with the similarly-named Hotel El Rancho, which is in Gallup, New Mexico.  I visited that back in 2013.

Historic pic

el_rancho

Today

el_rancho_hotel

Jack reported that much of the drive looked something like this.  I told him to go ahead find out what the ILX’s speedometer was governed at.  I’m not sure if he did or not, but on a road like that, how could you NOT be tempted to have a little fun?

nevada_highway

Next they arrived in Ely.  It’s a town about four times larger than Wells, but still only home to about 4,200 people.  This town is (or was) a key stop along the railroad.  A steam locomotive in the background of the old train station pays homage to that past.  Ely (pronounced “eely”) was a boom town in the early 1900s thanks to the discovery of copper.  This photo was taken in front of the Northern Nevada Railway Museum.

east_ely

Ely lies at the eastern end of U.S. Route 50 which was named in 1986 by Life Magazine as “The Loneliest Road in America.”  That just makes me want to drive the entire 408-mile stretch of it!  Adding that to my road trip destination list right now, in fact.

ely

Thanks to those travels, Jack and Chandler brought me back a few souvenirs in the form of slaughtered bugs.  I took care of them promptly the next day.  Wouldn’t want them to bake in!

ilx_bugs

This is how you do summer in Phoenix.

tyson_pool

I’m in the process of cleaning out my house for a potential move (I’ll know this week if things are final, then I’ll spill the beans accordingly).  But after spending most of my Saturday indoors boxing things up, I decided it was time to brave the heat and climb into the attic to see what kind of relics had been stashed up there.  My iPhone overheated – that’s how warm it was up there.

My home was built in 1979 and has been updated very little since then.  I’ve lived there for almost 8 years.  The attic was a storage area for 5 boxes of Christmas decor that I needed to bring down.  But while I was up there, I decided to root around a little and see what else I could find.  The access point is a trap-door style ladder in the garage, akin to the one Clark Griswold uses in National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation.”

tyson_attic

Well, looky here.  I found some luggage up there that’s not mine.  This is a “Lady Baltimore” suitcase with an American Airlines tag on it.  Google reveals that this brand of luggage was big in the late 1950s.  Oddly enough, it’s locked and I don’t have a key.  Feels empty inside but I need to get in there somehow anyway just because my curiosity is getting the best of me.

lady_baltimore_luggage

tag

I also found some steel-toed boots up there.  Again, not mine.

boots

And a STOP sign.  Where in the world did the prior owners of my home get that?  It’ll make a nice addition to my future garage anyway.

stop_sign

My favorite find was this poster.  I’ve had it since I was about 13.  “Justification for Higher Education” with a series of fancy cars and a nice oceanfront home.  About 20 years later, I’m pretty much there – but minus the ocean, and with vintage Acuras instead of Porsches and BMWs.

justification_poster

The ILX got landfill duty to transport and dispose of a bunch of lumber and miscellaneous garbage that I piled up.  I think I was the only person out there roaming around in the trash and mud in an Acura.  But until I get a pickup truck, this is the best I can do!

ilx_landfill

I even felt compelled to put together a 3-minute video about my landfill experience.  Riveting, it is not.  But if you’re so inclined:

This coming Thursday night, I’m off to Monterey, California to “The Quail” Motorsports Gathering.  It’s part of Monterey’s week-long focus on automobiles and a very exclusive event, as only 3,000 tickets are made available.  Face value of each?  $600!  Luckily Acura is a major sponsor this year and I scored a ticket for free thanks to helping out with last year’s NSXPO.

thequail_ticket

Have a great week!

Legend Spy Shot Roundup #8

Posted in Legend, Spy Shots on August 9, 2016 by tysonhugie

Greetings!

I guess I might as well kick this draft post out the door.  I’ve added a few photos tonight that tallied it up to an even 80 Legend sightings.  My last Roundup was posted on April 20th.  So in fewer than four months, I’ve received 120 total cars.  That comes out to a little more than one car per day hitting my cell phone or email.  Here today, courtesy of you my readers and friends, I bring you:

  • 80 Legends
  • 11 NSXs
  • 11 Vigors
  • 3 TLs
  • 3 ILXs
  • 7 Preludes
  • 1 CL
  • 1 RSX
  • 1 Integra
  • 1 EL
  • 1 European Accord

A few winners to feature as we kick things off:

My favorite picture in the lineup is brought to you by Rob, who had traveled to Hawaii for work and who made a special visit to the local Acura dealership in Maui to pick me up a license plate.  Thanks, Rob!

IMG_3097

Second place goes to James, who even during his vacation in Paris this summer, managed to find a pretty nice looking second-generation coupe.  I wonder if this car is still there.  As of July 1st (just a little after James’ trip), all cars older than 1997 were banned in Paris as a smog-control measure.  Yikes.

IMG_1749

And I can’t remember who sent me this one (pipe up!), but it somehow captured both a Legend and a 2016+ ILX in the same frame.  Nice snag!

IMG_2599

Here are the remainder of the Legends, in random order.

IMG_5356

IMG_5353

IMG_5346

IMG_5337

IMG_5242

IMG_5190

IMG_5159

IMG_4975

IMG_4888

IMG_3437

IMG_3508

IMG_3677

IMG_3748

IMG_3779

IMG_3813

IMG_3832

IMG_3838

IMG_4069

IMG_4072

IMG_4073

IMG_4107

IMG_4146

IMG_4259

IMG_4157

IMG_4262

IMG_4263

IMG_4465

IMG_0511

IMG_0550

IMG_0611

IMG_0613

IMG_0915

IMG_0942

IMG_0964

IMG_0977

IMG_0982

IMG_1042

IMG_1062

IMG_1112

IMG_1124

IMG_1158

IMG_1222

IMG_1236

IMG_1256

IMG_1264

IMG_1282

IMG_1341

IMG_1370

IMG_1386

IMG_1473

IMG_1474

IMG_1510

IMG_1532

IMG_1683

IMG_1685

IMG_1687

IMG_1721

IMG_1730

IMG_1766

IMG_1767

IMG_1770

IMG_2368

IMG_2437

IMG_2717

IMG_2722

IMG_2978

IMG_3101

IMG_3174

IMG_3175

IMG_3176

IMG_3177

IMG_3178

IMG_3203

IMG_3232

IMG_9708

spy

Here we go with the NSXs

IMG_4062

IMG_4084

IMG_4571

IMG_4846

IMG_3515

IMG_0810

IMG_3197

IMG_1423

IMG_1347

IMG_1446

IMG_0473

And the Vigors

IMG_3789

IMG_4083

IMG_4333

IMG_0597

IMG_1563

IMG_1156

IMG_1043

IMG_1771

IMG_1769

IMG_1248

IMG_3103

A few TLs

IMG_0863

IMG_3786

IMG_0853

Some ILXs

IMG_1109

IMG_0837

IMG_2965

A handful of Preludes

IMG_0554

IMG_0570

IMG_1404

IMG_1122

IMG_1157

IMG_2425

IMG_2993

And everything else!

IMG_2886

IMG_1487

IMG_0821

IMG_1369

IMG_5145

Whew!  Thanks for playing!

Tribute to Million Mile Joe, Home Improvements, & Car Updates

Posted in Arizona, Blog, ILX, Integra, Legend, Milestones on August 6, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  544,118

544118

Odometer (Vigor):  105,807

105807

Only in Arizona could a church use this as an advertising ploy!  I’m tempted to convert.

free_ac

First, a tribute to a man who inspired many.  “Million Mile” Joe LoCicero of Maine became a hero of mine when he and his 1990 Accord reached a million miles back in the fall of 2011. Coincidentally, that was right around the same timeframe when my Legend reached half that distance.  Unfortunately, Joe recently passed away but he will be missed.  As Jason of Driven for Drives put it, “That was a good run.”  Joe, we salute you!

mmj

I was able to track down the VIN to Joe’s Accord, and (nerd that I am) I couldn’t resist running a Carfax report just to see what it looks like when a car’s 6-digit odometer effectively resets itself to zero.

joe_vin

As expected, the title history shows ‘branded’ since the odometer mechanically can’t even show a 7th digit.  (Reminds me of my 1986 Celebrity which only had FIVE digits on the odo).

exceeds

The Accord was in for service in April 2011 at Berlin Honda in Portland, Maine at 970,333 miles.  The next time we saw an odometer reading, it was almost two years later, at Auburn Motor Sales when the readout was 2,707 miles.  Mileage Inconsistency, says Carfax.  Well, duh!

rollover

The most recent Carfax entry on Joe’s old Accord was in December of last year, at 3,341 miles, when the car was purchased by someone in Jefferson, South Carolina.  I’m not sure where the car is today nor who’s driving it, but I hope it’s still getting some time on the open road and not mothballed to a museum where it will dry up and deteriorate.

On the subject of Carfax, I was glad to see that my recent Integra’s emissions pass now shows up, so it’s no longer tarnished by that failure when I brought the car to Arizona earlier this year.

emissions_pass

My apologies for sporadic blog posts in recent weeks as I’m still underwater with home and career activities.  It seems the road tripping has taken a back burner.  My home in Scottsdale, Arizona is on the market and I’ve taught myself how to do some basic repairs.

ABC--FILE PHOTO--HOME IMPROVEMENT-- Starring in the ABC Televison Network's hit comedy series, HOME IMPROVEMENT, are (top to bottom) Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Zachary Ty Bryan, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Taran Smith.

I was quite proud of some drywall repair results, and I spent an entire evening doing a repaint on my guest bedroom which turned out pretty flawlessly.  Here a friend captured me attempting some bathroom updates whilst multi-tasking with my work laptop.

caulk

I ended up with more paint on my hands and shorts than on the wall, I’m pretty sure.

bathroom_repari

It’s yet TBD if I’ll be getting the “dream house” I have my sights set on, but I’m crossing fingers and hoping so.  It would be great news from a car-parking perspective as it has lots of garage space.

acura_coupes

I had an electrician at my home correcting a few small things on Friday afternoon.  I was in the kitchen and he was in the other room working on a light switch.  “All those cars outside yours?” he asked.  “Yeah, I have six cars.”  He responded, “What’s that, you fix cars?”  “Uhh, yeah, that’s right,” I said.  Sometimes I’d just rather not explain the car-collecting craziness.

This week I visited my friend Mirel at his new shop where he’s started a used car dealership.  On site were 3 Legend coupes and a 1992 Dodge Stealth (I’ve always liked those).

integra_legend

Cool plate!

mirel_plate

All these Legends are 6-speed manuals.  Mirel has the right idea!

mirel_coupes

My friend Chris in Maryland has a “twin” car to my Legend sedan.  Awhile back we both decided to go out for a special treat in our own way.  Though separated by 2,009 miles, I enjoyed my iced caramel macchiato and Chris enjoyed his strawberry shake.  My photo on top, his on the bottom.  It’s interesting how the lighting conditions can change the color so much.  In person, they’re identical “Desert Mist Metallic” paint codes.

gs_twins

I extend THANKS to a couple of my friends and readers!  Jason recently had this awesome canvas print made up from my photo at the Arctic Circle back in May.

arctic_circle_canvas

And Tim mailed me these sweet posters from a Honda museum in Ohio capturing the race team.  Looks like I have plenty of art to adorn my garage now!

posters_from_tim

The Legend is getting ready for its trip to Atlanta this September.  I’ll be gone for a full week.

legend_at_chilis

And the ILX is in the hands of a couple of friends this weekend in Boise, Idaho.

ilx_rainbow

Green with envy.  These ones want a road trip, too.

vigor_integra

The NSX is still in southern Utah and my brother had his friend Grant from Renu Auto do a full detail on it.  The paint is finished off with an “Optimum Gloss Coat” paint coating.  Results speak for themselves!

nsx_2

Looking forward to bringing this one back to AZ later this fall.

nsx

Lastly, you all know I have my “Spy Shot Roundup” posts on a regular basis.  In all my years of collecting spy shots from people, I’ve had the same car submitted by multiple people before.  Like twice.  But in recent weeks, FOUR DIFFERENT SPIES have sent me this 1992 Legend L sedan wearing Wisconsin plates!  The owner has to be wondering by now why she’s being followed by such a skilled group of paparazzi!

From Beau, July 16th, 2016

IMG_5118

From Jack, July 20th, 2016

IMG_5115

From Matt, July 21st, 2016

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From Kyle, August 1, 2016

IMG_5116

Unreal!  I’m bound to run into this one eventually!

Check out our wacky late-summer “monsoon” weather.  This 17-second video shows a courtyard at my office on Friday.  First, getting torrential rains, and later – within a couple of hours – with blue skies and sunshine.  Make up your mind, Mother Nature!

Throwback Thursday: December 1997 “Dirt Wheels” Magazine Feature

Posted in Throwback on July 28, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Integra):  236,569

236569

Odometer (ILX):  176,656

176656

From an early age, I became obsessed with any wheeled mode of transportation.  I created intricate roadways for my Hot Wheels and die-cast model cars in the front yard.  I even remember “driving” those model cars on a treadmill that was rolling a slow speed.  And I used to wash and wax my bicycles.  Seriously.  (I’m at left here, Aug 1990)

bikes

It’s no wonder I’ve become the car fanatic I am today.  But before I received my driver license, I was behind the wheel of a different kind of ride:  my family’s all-terrain-vehicles (four wheelers).  Dad’s bright yellow 1995 Yamaha Kodiak 400 cc go-anywhere beast became my pride and joy.  It was later outfitted with an aftermarket Warn winch up front and was virtually unstoppable in any terrain.

kodiak

Best of all, my grandparents at the time had a cabin in central Utah with access to hundreds of miles of ATV trails.  In fact, one nearby town (Fillmore), to this day hosts an annual “jamboree” where riders come from all around the country to enjoy a weekend of fun and adventure.  This year’s National ATV Jamboree jamboree took place about a month ago.  It’s akin to the National Acura Legend Meets that I’ve so religiously attended over the last decade.

paiute_atv_trail

The Paiute ATV Trail system, named for the Native American tribe that originally settled the area, is seemingly endless.  There are some 800+ miles’ worth of trails waiting to be driven, and the main loop would take 25 riding hours to complete.  I always dreamed of doing that:  Strapping a tent to the rack of my four-wheeler, taking a cooler of food essentials, and just driving for days.  Seems like even at age 14, I had an appetite for the open road.

I can’t believe it’s been two decades!  In August 1997, I wrote a letter to Dirt Wheels Magazine asking them to include a photo in the “Parting Shot” section.  That photo was taken along the Paiute ATV Trail sometime during that summer.  At left is brother Bentley on the Yamaha Kodiak, in the middle is brother Payton on the Kawasaki Mule, and at right (with bleached hair!) I’m sitting atop the Polaris Trail Boss.

group

Another view from different perspective.

view2

This was my letter to Dirt Wheels.  That signature!  How many 15-year-olds do you know who take themselves that seriously?

letter

Well, it worked.  Four months later, my submission showed up at the very top of the page.  I rushed to the newsstand as soon as I got my issue in the mail so that I could buy up several extra copies.

parting_shot

Here are some other photos from our ATVing adventures over the years in the late 1990s.  First was my grandparents’ cabin, nicknamed “Paradise Found,” during a snowy winter.  The most important part of this photo is the trunk lid of my 1986 Chevy Celebrity which is clearly visible at bottom left.

cabin

Bentley, dad, mom, Payton, and me.  And Shadow!  Our pup.  Out hiking somewhere in the mountain range.

hike1

Grandma giving a thumbs-up.  Helmets for safety first!

doce

Hiking with grandma, and cousin Braxton.

hike2

Payton riding on the front of the Mule, I guess?

mule2

Wintertime 4-wheeler ride.  With chains on the tires.

snow2

I miss that T-shirt.  “GET FOCUSED.”

tyson

Views for days.

view

Thanks for coming along on the ATV ride down Memory Trail!

New Domain Name, Some Integra Maintenance, & A Visitor from Oregon

Posted in Integra, Legend, Maintenance on July 26, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend Coupe):  544,040

544040

Odometer (Legend Sedan):  150,439

150439

Odometer (ILX):  176,539

176539

I’m all grown up now.  After over 5 years on a free WordPress account, I’d reached about 85% of my allowed media capacity and kept getting warnings about going over.  I’ve shared 14,541 photos on the blog and they take up 2.6 gigabytes worth of space.  So, it was time to upgrade, and along with a paid registration came the opportunity to become an official “dot-commer.”  You can now find this page by typing in simply “drivetofive.com.”  Celebrate good times (c’mon!).

Today’s updates fall into the “hodge podge” category.  Surprise:  I didn’t go anywhere this past weekend.  I’ve had too many other things going on house wise, career wise, and otherwise.  But I did get to enjoy spending time with a visiting friend from Oregon, beat the heat at a Sunday matinee, and attend a planning call with the NSX Club of America (NSXCA) about current events and activities.

The NSXCA, by the way, is sporting a new website of its own.  Check it out.  I can assure you the internal member page is pretty slick – including downloadable copies of the Club’s quarterly magazine, NSX Driver.  Worth the $40 membership annually if you’re an owner or even just an enthusiast.

nsxca

We even occasionally get “insider” deals on stuff like, say, the new NSX.  Berlina Black, anyone?

2017_nsx

Also in the cool car category is this stellar-looking 1982 DMC DeLorean.  Believe it or not, my boss drives this car and she’s the original owner!  She was proud to show it off last Friday at the office and the next time we get the chance, we’re taking it for a spin.  Maybe I can even get some time behind the wheel.  Unfortunately Shea Blvd doesn’t have anywhere we could safely get up to 88 miles per hour, so maybe another time we could try that.

delorean

My friend Kyle and I did an overnight car swap which was a nice change of pace.  He borrowed the ILX and I got the keys to his 400-hp 2005 Pontiac GTO 6-speed.  It has just a little over 101,000 miles on the odometer but looks showroom fresh inside & out thanks to Kyle’s attention to detail.  I was a little paranoid to even drive the thing, but I greatly enjoyed my commute home on Friday afternoon.   The GTO is a car that demands brute force to drive.  The clutch is heavy, the gear shift takes effort, and the doors close with a resounding thud.  There is nothing delicate or dainty about this car.  Not to mention the fact that the exhaust note will awaken anyone within earshot – a mile away.

gto

The Integra came back into service after a couple-week hiatus.  Tait Johnson, better known as “Hon-Man” of Tempe, Arizona, went through the old 1992 GS-R and gave it a real thorough once-over.

gsr

The main service item he addressed was a timing belt & water pump change.  This is a routine maintenance item in most 1990s Honda cars, due every eight (?) years or 90,000 miles.  In the Legend, I routinely hit the mileage limit before the time limit over the years.  Additionally, I had Tait address a couple of suspension/braking concerns and install a new catalytic converter.  Some of you may recall that this car failed emissions last month when I tried getting it registered for the first time here in Arizona.  Now she’s passed with flying colors.

honman

List of completed maintenance items

hon_man_list

Emissions report – success!

emissions_test

And Arizona’s newest resident!  “Action Auto Title,” by the way – shown in the background – is a third-party DMV agent that I’m trying out for the first time.  Do you hate going to the DMV as much as I do?  This place was a breeze!  I was assisted immediately.  The plate was cozy and smelled of a scented candle.  And the rates are only a fraction more expensive than the DMV.   $55 for two year tags – you just can’t beat that.

new_plate

I whizzed out to Tonopah on Saturday in the Legend to get its fluids up and moving.  This car won’t be seeing much action until the National Acura Legend Meet (NALM) in Atlanta this coming September.

coupe_dash

coupe_tonopah

tonopah

I polished tips on both the sedan & the Integra.

tips

Later that evening, I stopped by the weekly “Pavilions” car show in Scottsdale.  My friend Michael was attending in his black 2006 Acura TL that he wanted me to check out.  It’s in great shape for being 10 years old!

michael_tl

tyson_integra

My friend Justin made his arrival from Roseburg, Oregon on Sunday afternoon.  He’s a fellow car nut who I’ve followed on Instagram for some time now.  And for whatever reason, he decided to leave his beautiful, green state and subject himself to summer’s wrath here in Phoenix during the hottest time of the year.

tyson_Justin

His 2010 Audi A3 TDI wagon got him around in style, though.

justin_with_cars

Speaking of Oregonians, congratulations are going out to my buddy Ira in Portland who took delivery of a 2016 TLX in Crystal Black Pearl on Monday.  His new ride is outfitted with the complete Sport Underbody Kit and the accessory wheels.  Instead of a key handoff, his drive-away was accompanied by a (very) “high five.”

ira_high_five

And lastly, I don’t know how my buddy Alex does it, but he has a way with capturing odometer readings.  Check this one out.  Rolling over 95,000 miles, with a 95-degree external temperature, driving 59 miles per hour.

Thanks for sharing, Alex!  I can’t compete with that!

alex_odo

Weekend Road Trip: Phoenix to San Diego, California for James’ Birthday

Posted in California, ILX, Road Trip on July 18, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  543,881

543881

Odometer (ILX):  175,686

175686

Trip Distance:  730 Miles

phxsan

You really can’t get a much better  7-day weather forecast than this.  Highs in the 70s. Lows in the 60s.

sd_forecast

It’s no wonder us Phoenicians don’t think twice about flocking to the coastline in mid-summer for a gasp of sea air from time to time.  Yesterday afternoon, I was sprawled in the shade of a palm tree on the grass at the Hotel del Coronado.  The Pacific coast was a picture of perfection:  a light breeze, the sound of the crashing waves, and the smell of fresh flowers.  The grounds at the “del” were immaculate as always.  The historic hotel, built in 1888, has always been a place for San Diego’s elite to vacation.  It’s no wonder the cost for 2 hours of parking is $30 and brunch costs $90.

hotel_del_coronado

My seven friends and I didn’t pay for either, as we’d opted to park several blocks away (for free) on a surface street and we ate at Panda Express instead.  But at least the scenery didn’t cost us a penny, and I think a couple of the guys may have even snagged a seashell or two to take home as a souvenir.

The reason for the season was a birthday gathering:  James turned 30 last week and he decided to take the party to Southern California.  It’s only about a five-and-a-half hour drive from Phoenix to San Diego, and with enough advance notice, James was able to arrange an “AirBNB” home for our group in the convenient North Park part of town, right off the I-8 and I-805 freeways.

tyson_kyl

Kyle took the wheel of the ILX on Friday afternoon for the drive out so that I could telecommute from the road, in the passenger seat.  By the time we descended to sea level at the coastline, the sun had dipped below the Pacific and nighttime had fallen.  Our three-story home for the weekend was right off Idaho Street & El Cajon Boulevard:  “The Gateway to Mid City.”  Saturday morning took us to Pacific Beach which was bustling with people and entertainment.  The water temperature was brisk initially but really not all that bad.  I’d forgotten my flip-flops so I spent $5.99 on a two-pack of them at CVS Pharmacy which promptly fell apart as soon as a strong wave ripped one off my feet.  I guess I got my money’s worth.

pacific_ocean

tyson_in_pacific

We spent the evening in San Diego’s uptown “Hillcrest” district, exploring the streets, freeways, and cuisine.  I twas a a contrast to see the many people outside enjoying the weather.  Central Phoenix after-hours is usually somewhat of a ghost town in comparison.

hillcrest

That brings us to our visit to Coronado Island on Sunday morning.  Once isolated from ‘mainland’ San Diego, Coronado (Spanish for “crowned one”) became connected in 1969 thanks to a 2.12-mile, curved bridge.  It’s five lanes wide with the center lane reserved for emergency use as well as a reversible lane for peak traffic times.  Up until 2002, the bridge cost a $1.00-per-car toll for westbound traffic, but that toll was discontinued after the original bond had been paid.  Today, the roadway carries 75,000 vehicles per day.  We encountered fairly heavy traffic not on the bridge itself, but after arriving on the island and making our way to Hotel del Coronado.  (not my pic here)

coronado_bridge

coronado_island_sign

Interestingly enough, the San Diego – Coronado Bridge is the third-deadliest “suicide bridge” in the United States.  Between 1972 and 2000, some 200 people jumped to their deaths.  There are signs along the road urging people to call a suicide hotline.  Yikes.

suicide

The Hotel del Coronado is home to what is believed to be the world’s oldest living Christmas tree.  First decorated in 1904, a huge pine tree on the grounds continues to be decorated every December.  Unfortunately I didn’t snag a picture of it, but it was far too big to fit in the viewfinder when I walked underneath it anyway!

Interstate 8 brought us back to the desert on Sunday afternoon, where reality soon set in and it was time to do laundry and get ready for the work week.  But the memories will live on we’re glad we got to enjoy the birthday festivities in such an awesome place as San Diego.  Thanks for joining for the trip!

Shell station in Gila Bend, Arizona

tyson_dino

Sunset and windmills on westbound I-8 Friday night

sunset

Pacific Beach on Saturday with Rob and James

rob_james_tyson

This is a “Baked Bear” ice cream sandwich.  Cookie on one end, brownie on the other end, and cookie dough ice cream in the middle.  TDF (to die for).  Especially since the cookie & brownie were warmed up.

ice_cream_sandwich

Kyle borrowed the ILX and we drove behind for a block or two in James’ Lexus RX450h.

following_ilx

Entering El Cajon Boulevard

boulevard

Crossing the San Diego – Coronado Bridge

crossing_coronado_bridge

Arriving at the Hotel del Coronado

coronado_sign

Group photo overlooking at the beach at the hotel:  Rob, Kyle, James, Tyson, Chandler, Jack, Michael, Chris

group

ILX after fueling up in Tavern Rd in Alpine

alpine

Have a great week!

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