2018 Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction: Bring Your Checkbooks!

Posted in Car Show, Arizona on January 22, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  558,578

Odometer (NSX):  109,724

“Tyson, you’re going to have to dip into your savings to get this one!” pronounced my friend Kevin as we admired a 1969 Cadillac unlike anything we’d ever seen before.  The car was a running and driving jacuzzi.  You read that right; the “Carpool Deville” pictured below was one of many automobiles (1,729 in fact) up for grabs at this year’s 47th annual Barrett-Jackson collector car auction.  Speedo or bikini not included!

Barrett-Jackson brings automotive enthusiasts (usually, with large pocketbooks) together with rare & collectible vehicles.  It’s the perfect combination that attracts thousands of people like me to Scottsdale, Arizona every January to spectate.   This year, I attended with my friends Chris and Kevin, who are colleagues from the Acura Legend enthusiast community.  Kevin was pretty excited.

See?

Each year, it seems the bar gets raised ever higher:   More cars, higher sale prices, and special guest appearances.  Little did I know going into Saturday’s auction that I would be in the same room as former U.S. President George W. Bush.  But that’s exactly what ended up happening.  Joining Mr. Bush on the stage was none other than Jay Leno himself.  And the Corvette they were promoting ended up being the auction’s third-highest sale for the week, with the $1.4 million pricetag going to charity.

The energy in the room was off the charts, with people standing up from their chairs, holding up their phones, and clapping / cheering each time the high bid went up another notch.  That’s the kind of crowd spirit that makes Barrett-Jackson such a fun annual tradition, even if means paying $16 for a baked potato for lunch.  The entertainment is far more than worth it.  Check out my video below for a small taste of what the scene was like, including George Bush’s remarks about the Corvette being a “damn good car.”

Perhaps our favorite car in the running this year –  since Chris had made us watch it on TV the evening prior – was a 1978 Ferrari 308 customized for the TV series Knight Rider by George Barris.  The styling certainly wasn’t for everyone, but the car’s provenance – a word I’m coming to learn is very important in the auto collector community – made it something special.  We watched it bring $85,000.

Another cool vehicle that we kicked the tires on was this 1990 Honda NSX, straight from Japan and looking pretty crisp in right-hand-drive configuration.  It had 49,000 miles on it and brought a $47,000 pricetag.  Notice – all of the cars get the final sales price written on the SOLD tag with a black Sharpie.

Below were the stats for Barrett’s overall results this year, courtesy of my friend Jonathan Klinger who is the Vice President of Public Relations at Hagerty Insurance.  Many thanks to him for keeping us in the loop via email on the daily happenings over at the auction block.  And thanks, too, to Hagerty’s CEO, McKeel Hagerty, for extending some heartfelt and kind words about the up-and-coming import collector car community when we ran into him right outside the auction area.  It was great to get to meet him.  Pictured here are McKeel, Chris, Jonathan, and myself.

Final Numbers for Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2018:

  • Overall Total: $116.7 million
  • 1,721/1,729 lots sold: 99% sell-through rate
  • Average Sale Price: $65,692
Overall Top 10 Sales (excludes charity cars):
  1. 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder – $1,430,000
  2. 1952 Ferrari 212 Europa – $1,100,000
  3. 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Cutaway Coupe – $1,100,000
  4. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 – $770,000
  5. 1966 Shelby GT350 Prototype #001 – $605,000
  6. 2015 MTI Racing Boat – $548,900
  7. 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition – $495,000
  8. 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 – $495,000
  9. 1958 Chevrolet Corvette Custom Convertible – $440,000
  10. 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge Ram Air IV Convertible – $440,000

Oh, and that hot tubbing 1969 Cadillac?  It sold for a value-priced $24,000, or about 6 times the cost of a traditional hot tub.  But for the sake of being able to say that your hot tub had a 472-cubic-inch V8 engine?  Priceless!

Thanks to the Barrett-Jackson team for the chance to attend such an awesome event.  Here is an 8-minute video that I captured of some of the highlights from my perspective, as well as a few additional photos.

Media Pass.  Here we go!

Life-sized Camaro “Hot Wheels” display.  Loved this!

Wide-eyed and soaking up the eye candy from the Salon Collection area.

I could go for a 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS!

This baked potato weighed more than an infant child.

Ran into a few friends, including Jack & Brad.

… And a buddy Tom from the NSX community.

I love these kinds of production number breakdowns.  I will be making something similar for my Legends the next time they’re on display.

Kevin went crazy each time we saw a split-window 1963 Corvette.  He needs one.

This 1930 Cord was front-wheel-drive.  Not something you saw very often during that era.

Food vendors galore!  Chris got a funnel cake.

Love the 1955-57 Chevy Bel Airs.

One of them had some appropriate looking props affixed to the passenger window.

Interior of the 1969 Cadillac hot tub.  The description sheet made it clear to mention, in large caps at the bottom, that the car cannot be registered or driven on public roads.  Bummer.

On our way out, we saw VIN 001 2019 Ford Mustang “Bullitt” Edition, a 50-year throwback to the original Bullitt that was driven by Steve McQueen.  It sold for $300,000.

Hope you enjoyed coming along to the auctions!  A few final sidebars today:

Looking for some midday entertainment to keep your mind off those meetings at the office?  My buddy Josh who you know from TSX Travels has launched a new channel about his latest toy.  The channel is called NSX Experiment.

My friend Cody’s extremely rare and well-kept 1993 Legend L sedan 5-speed hit Bring a Trailer today.  Take a peek and watch the action for the next 7 days at auction!  Good luck, Cody!

And finally, we have to congratulate my friend Eric in KY who found a good home for his red 1989 coupe a couple of days ago. He’s pictured here at left handing off the keys.  Congrats on the sale, Eric!  So many deals to be had.

Have a great week, all!

Mom’s Visit, Half-Marathon, Vigor Bumper Refinish, Future Classic Car Show & Special Guests

Posted in Arizona, Car Show, Legend, Running, Vigor on January 21, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  558,577

Odometer (Integra):  245,989

My guest room is fully booked this month — if it seems I’m light on travels, it’s because I’m hosting all sorts of company.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way!  Now if only I offered free breakfast & a fitness center.

Mom flew down from southern Utah for an annual tradition:  The Rock & Roll Half Marathon which starts & ends in Tempe, near Arizona State University.  We have the whole routine down to a science:  Where to have brunch the day prior, what to wear, where to park the car, and even where to meet at the conclusion of the race.  Because – let’s face it – we already knew that mom was going to beat me to the finish line by a solid half-hour or more.  And she did.

I missed out on the North American International Auto Show this past week.  In case you missed it too, there were some big announcements from Acura with the debut of the all-new 2019 RDX sport utility vehicle.  AND – drumroll please – the Type-S name is coming back!

That same day, I had “Ultimate Finish” – a mobile bumper repair/repaint operation – come over to the house and re-shoot both bumpers on my 1994 Vigor GS.  I must say, for having been a driveway job and completed from start to finish in a matter of 6 hours, it turned out phenomenally.  They charged me $300 per bumper.

I attended the third annual Future Classics Car Show on the upper parking deck of the Scottsdale Quarter shopping center.  It was quite the grab-bag of vehicles, but that’s what makes the show interesting.  James took his 1999 Isuzu VehiCROSS, Kyle his 2005 Pontiac GTO, and Scott his 2012 Mini Cooper.  I was in the 1992 Integra GS-R.  None of us went home with any awards but we enjoyed hanging out with fellow gearheads for the evening.

The following evening, I had a couple of special guests arrive.

Peter Cunningham, President of the NSX Club of America (NSXCA), and Donald Osborne, auto appraiser extraordinaire, came over for a VIP visit to my humble car collection.  We went to dinner nearby at a Casa Añejo.  Meanwhile, my roommate picked up my friend Chris from the Phoenix airport.  A few years ago, we started the tradition of Chris visiting Arizona each January for a several-day visit which centers around attending the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction.  I’ll have more on that in a dedicated next post!

Chris put a few miles on my cars while I was at work the next couple of days, including taking an 800+ mile drive to southern Utah and back in a single day.  He’s a little nuts, but I guess that’s why we get along so well.  Destination #1 was Monument Valley, one of my favorite places.  He also hit up Four Corners and spent a little bit of time in Colorado and New Mexico.  As in, probably a footstep’s worth of time in each!  My car was dirty so I spent a good chunk of the afternoon today getting it cleaned up.  I decided to film a walkaround video since a few had asked for a current one.  Ask and ye shall receive.

Below are a few more photos of the last few weeks’ activities.  Have a great evening!

Picking up mom at the airport

Pasta prep

Dinner crowd at my place

Saturday morning in downtown at the marathon expo

View from the patio at our brunch spot:  FEZ

Tyson, Kevin, Adam, Jon, Tia, Rob, Julio at brunch

Doing a little yard sale-ing with mom (she’s in the sideview mirror proudly holding up a new red dress she purchased for $5)

Mile 10 of the marathon on Sunday morning, with the clock already showing just under 2 hours elapsed.

Finished!  And headed home.

Departure back to Utah, dropping off mom at the airport

Peter Cunningham signing my guest book at the house

Donald Osborne, Chris, me

Airport run in the Legend sedan to pick up Kevin from Georgia

Tyson, Kevin, Chris

Chris’ post to the 5,000-member “ALOE” group on Facebook.  It stands for Acura Legend Owners & Enthusiasts.

Breakfast at Zookz on Camelback

Chris heading out to Carefree to see the world’s largest sundial.

Chris and Kevin enjoying a relaxing evening in my backyard.

More to come, soon!

2017 Annual Mileage Summary & Kai’s 1989 Honda Accord SE-i Coupe

Posted in Arizona, Blog, Milestones on January 7, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  557,697

Odometer (Accord):  42,757

Put on your thinking caps and pay attention, class.  It’s that time once again:  Let’s take a quick glance at how the mileage numbers played out for 2017.  Year over year, overall miles were down by a long shot:  43,000 this year compared to 58,000 in 2016.  Keep in mind, though, that 9,000 of those miles in 2016 were attributed to the Alaska trip.

The most expensive car to keep on the road was the Integra at $0.30 per mile.  Looking back at my maintenance records, the work done was extensive:  radiator, A/C repair, tires, windshield, and other items brought the tally to over $2,000 spent to go about 7,400 miles.  Hopefully though (crossing fingers here) I’ve now addressed most of the big-ticket items and the car will be trouble free with lower operating costs going forward.

The TL, of course, is now sold but I included its mileage here since I did log about 5,000 miles on it during my 6 months of ownership.  So there you have it.  Microsoft Excel is a beautiful invention.  Oh, and yesterday I put a few miles on my Honda lawnmower.  Here in Phoenix, we get our Fall season in January.

The rest of today’s updates won’t have a lot of rhyme nor reason but will rather be a collection of pictures from recent events.  It was a pretty low key holiday season for me.  A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of having Hagerty’s Aaron McKenzie and his wife in my home.  My guest book is now on page 18, filled with noteworthy people who have paid me a visit.  Maybe some of you readers will sign in this year?

I played transporter for a couple of friends who needed a ride to Tucson from Phoenix the week before Christmas.  They were big guys – and we were in the Integra!  I would have selected a different car, had I known!

It seemed like my coworker Jack and I were the only ones at the office in the days leading up to that holiday weekend. If you squint your eyes and look very closely, you’ll see his RSX and my Integra tucked into a corner of the parking garage at work.

I headed out toward Utah on Friday afternoon, December 22nd and traffic was luckily pretty light.

Someone was feeling mischievous and reorganized the letters on the marquee sign at the Mobil gas station in Kingman.  It used to say “DOG PARK.”

Speaking of signs, this classic at Larsen’s Frostop in my hometown of St. George, Utah has been a local landmark for many decades.

Checking out a pretty posh piece of property near my brother’s new place.

Family dinner and gift-giving activities at my brother’s place on 12/23.

Admiring some of the clever work of the Arizona Department of Transportation along Interstate 15 southbound.

My roommate James road-tested a Honda Civic Type-R for 7 days.

We took it over to the Scottsdale Pavilions car show and it drew a lot of attention.  It was a truly engaging performance machine – abundant power, great gearbox, tight handling.  Its demeanor makes for a perfect canyon cruiser or weekend toy, but it’s not something I could see myself driving on a daily basis.  The styling is a bit of a turnoff except for the interior.  It had the most amazing red bucket seats.

I celebrated my 36th birthday.  It’s always fun to look back at old pics, like this one from my 5th.  Stripes for days!

Here’s one taken with my dad.  Was that a steering wheel in front of me?  Perhaps!

Friends really spoiled me.  There were plenty of references to my favorite things, like movies from the 1980s.

My niece and nephews put together a banner for me.

And I had a night out with friends.

I’ve had 2 Legendary visitors in recent weeks, including Sanjay in a 1993 Legend L.

And Mirel in a 1993 Legend LS.

My cousin Chad and his wife Miranda visited and borrowed the Vigor for 4 days to get around.

I got to drop them off at the Scottsdale airport in class & style.

This was the whole family flying out on my uncle’s company’s private jet.

It wasn’t a HondaJet, but I still thought it was pretty cool.  For $13 million though.  Yikes.

And the last feature of the day:  This is my friend Kai who came home to Arizona for the holidays and found himself a project car.

That car is this 1989 Honda Accord, which doesn’t look like anything too special, but does have a very unique story.  It was purchased new in Hawaii in May 1989 and lived there for 7 years before coming to Arizona.  It has only about 42,800 miles on it and was owned by only one person before Kai picked it up from a craigslist ad in Tucson.

Here’s a short and very amateur walkaround video showing how nice of shape it’s in for being nearly 30 years old.

Kai left the car with me to take care of it since he had to fly home to Michigan.  I took it out for a quick cruise on Saturday morning.

Really nice interior.

Pop-up headlights all around!

I created a display document to go on my wheelstand.

Kai even has a copy of the check written for $19,000 when the car was new.

That brings us up to speed!  I hope everyone had a great weekend!

 

NSX Performance Driving Event at Honda Proving Ground – Cantil, California

Posted in California, Integra, NSX, Racing, Road Trip on January 1, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend coupe):  557,630

Odometer (Integra):  245,708

Odometer (ILX):  203,182

Odometer (Legend sedan):  156,131

Odometer (NSX):  109,664

Odometer (Vigor):  108,672

Trip Distance:  874 Miles

Happy New Year!

I haven’t been to a theme park since 1994.  This is a picture of 12-year-old me (in socks & sandles — that fashion was OK back then, I think) with my brother Bentley trying out the mini golf course at Disneyland in California.  We got our fill of roller coaster rides, cotton candy, and entertainment.  Fast forward 13 years and I think I found an “adult” Disneyland.  It’s a 45,000-acre playground in the middle of nowhere in the California desert, and it’s called the Honda Proving Center.  I got a behind the scenes look at this magical place on Saturday, December 9th.  It may just be the happiest place on Earth.

It’s not every day you’re sitting in the driver seat of a $180,000, 573-horsepower supercar with a professional coach in your passenger seat.  Doing 118 miles per hour on cruise control on a 7-mile-long high-speed oval track.  And getting to the straightaway and having the coach say, “Ok, put the gas to the floor and hold it there.”  My eyes got as big as pie plates.  “What?!”  “Punch it.”  I obeyed, and we shot to 155 miles per hour – a personal land speed record for me – in a matter of a few seconds.  By the time I’d completed two laps and we exited the track, 80 miles per hour felt like idling through a school zone.  My sense of speed was completely out of whack.

My track time was part of an “NSX Drive Experience,” made possible by special invitation by some of my friends at Acura.  It catered largely to folks who are long time brand advocates or potential NSX shoppers.

My track experience credentials prior to this event were pretty pathetic.

  • I did a 105-mph open-road race in 2007 & 2008 (Bonneville 100 in northern Nevada)
  • I did an SCCA autocross course in 2009 (NALM – Branson, Missouri)
  • I drove on a road course in 2010 (Miller Motorsports Park – Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • I 1/4-mile drag raced my car in 2016 (Atlanta Dragway – Atlanta, Georgia)

Needless to say, I’m still very much a novice when it comes to putting on a race helmet and getting out on a racetrack.  That changed to a small degree this weekend when I took advantage of the opportunity to experience 2 hours in the seat of a Nouvelle Blue Pearl 2017 Acura NSX.  And my coach – professional driver Ken Hill – actually said my skills were pretty impressive.  “Quick hands,” he told me.  I’ll take it!

I drove out to California City late Friday night in the Integra, whirring at 4,500 RPM all the way to the Riverside area, then on up the Cajon Pass to Victorville on I-15, then taking two-laners the remaining 80 or so miles to my hotel, the Best Western.  Roads were lonely and it was a clear night for the 7-hour drive.  The following morning, I made my way north to the entrance to Honda’s facility in Cantil – a nondescript turnoff after miles and miles of nothing but telephone poles, where a white sign and HONDA in red block lettering guided me in.

Honda has owned the property since 1990 and it was used by the company’s Research & Development team for its first 20 or so years.  It went through a $28 million renovation in 2015 as part of a conversion from “durability” testing to “dynamic” testing as its focus.  Today it’s a closed course that allows test engineers to put prototype vehicles through their paces.  I saw a couple of vehicles in camouflage while behind closed gates, but any photography was of course strictly prohibited.

The session kicked off with Acura Senior Manager John Watts and pro driver Ken Hill giving us the lay of the land – some NSX model-specific background, the story on the facility, and some safety briefings along with a description of what we were about to experience.  Our “class” of 8 or so people was able to see inside the building’s operations center, with its wall full of TV screens capturing surveillance of every jackrabbit or tortoise that moves on the property – along with each and every vehicle, of course.

My first of four track experiences was the oval, followed by a demonstration of a zero-to-100-mph-to-zero acceleration and braking exercise.  Ken showed me how to activate the NSX’s “Track / Launch” mode by holding the selector knob to the right for 5 seconds.  The power and grip that this unleashed was unreal.  From a dead stop, 60 miles per hour came up in only 2.7 seconds, my helmet deeply planted against the headrest.  We rocketed to 100 miles per hour, then clamped down on the brakes.  The carbon ceramic brake equipment brought us to a sudden and controlled stop.  Nausea anyone?  It’s a good thing I wasn’t doing this on an empty stomach.

We made our way to a small autocross track where I tried my hand at keeping an NSX inside some painted white lines while dodging cones, and finally went to the Winding Road course which is a true simulation of what a curvy mountain road might look and feel like.  The road itself has a few tricks up its sleeve, like a steep hill that makes you feel like you’re going to launch the car, and a decreasing-radius turn that catches a lot of people by surprise.  Ken and I took several laps and with each one, I became more and more comfortable with the car.  This picture is not me!

My heart raced and my palms were sweaty but I gained confidence and continued to be blown away by the NSX and its capability.  My skills were so good, in fact (patting myself on the back here), that I caught up to the car in front of me and we had to pull off the track to wait for them to get more of a head start.  After this segment, we went to a reception where lunch was served and iPads were available for surveys and NSX Build Configurator access.  All participants were provided a poster and goody bag for their participation which was a nice souvenir to take home.  Organizers even offered to top off my fuel tank prior to departing, but my Integra was already sitting at full capacity.

It was a dose of reality to get back into my 4-cylinder, 160-horsepower, 244,000 mile Integra to start heading home but my nerves needed a break anyway after so many thrills.  I had just one more sight to see on my drive home, so I made a special point to visit the “Musical Road” off Highway 14 on Avenue G in Lancaster, California.  It’s a road paved with grooves in it that when driven across, plays a song.  I tried it at 60, 45, and 75 miles per hour.  Check out the video below for what that ended up sounding like!

Many thanks to the folks at Acura for such an awesome event.  More to come in the next couple of weeks as I play catch-up on current events and get 2018 off to a timely start!

Late night arrival into California City

Chilly day the following morning!  The Integra took an extra crank to start.

Departing my Best Western

Long and lonely road to get to the proving ground

Made it!

Parked next to a “Still Night Pearl” 2018 TLX A-Spec.  I knew I was in the right place.

With my friend Curtis from Acura’s agency

Pre-drive briefing in the lobby

VIP status!

Photo on display from Mr. Honda’s visit to the facility in the early 1990s

2018 RLX out front

Detail on the different driving experiences available at the track

Heading out in the afternoon!

Arrival at the Musical Road in Lancaster

Visiting my friend Jerry in Palmdale who has a 1993 Integra GS sedan

I thought this spot on the top of a pass on Highway 138 was pretty cool.  Mountain Top Cafe.  It’s been there since 1940.

Descending toward my junction with Interstate 15.

“Mormon Rocks” along the San Bernardino National Forest.

Swag that I brought home!  Nice shirt + some reading material.

I sent a text message to Ted Klaus, project leader for the NSX, and thanked him for building such a magical machine.  He had a nice reply!

It made me appreciate my generation 1 NSX even more.

I liked this image showing the NSX, Vigor, and Integras.  Missing Legends!

A couple of weeks ago there was a ‘twin’ to my Legend coupe (one VIN apart, in fact, #833 and mine is #832) for around $2,900.  I was tempted to grab it and keep for eventual restoration.  Or spare parts!

Speaking of blue NSXs, I wanted to share this sweet one that ScienceofSpeed in Chandler, Arizona built for this year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas.  Shout out to my friend Erik for sharing the pics.

When was the last time you saw a 1989 Honda Accord SE-i coupe?  This beauty has only 42,300 miles on it, and was recently acquired by my friend Kai who is doing some mechanical restoration work on it.

The local Arizona NSX Club of America chapter members got together last month for a holiday dinner at ScienceofSpeed.  I got to park my 1992 indoors next to our dining tables.

It was nice to reconnect with the 20 or so members who came out.

That Audi R8 on the lift was a little out of place!

Talk soon!

NALM 2018 Bidding Open, & Throwback Thursday: 2005 Meet Video

Posted in NALM, Throwback on December 7, 2017 by tysonhugie

It’s already time to kick off bidding for next year’s nerdy Legend extravaganza, otherwise known as NALM (the National Acura Legend Meet).  The event has taken place for 13 consecutive years now, spanning the country from California to New Jersey and many places in between.  I haven’t missed one yet.  Here’s a website I’ve been managing the has a few highlights and photos/videos from each of the events.

National Acura Legend Meet WordPress

Here’s the link for the announcement and instructions on how to bid to host the event:

AcuraLegend.org Forum NALM 2018 Announcement

And to get us in the spirit of things, here’s a blast from the past:  A 7-minute video capturing scenes from the event’s first program from May 27-29, 2005 in Dallas, Texas.  Special features include a car wash activity, close-ups of some special “custom” Legends, autocrossing action shots, the banquet dinner, and a night out on the town.  Check out event organizer Lee Horton getting sideways in his G1 coupe at around 5:30.  My coupe had around 171,000 miles on the odometer.

I also happened to come across this video of destruction of a G2 sedan while browsing the ‘Tubes.  Watch at your own discretion; it’s a little graphic!

And finally, on a brighter note, check out this video my friend Pat put together of his absolutely stunning 1994 Legend GS 6-speed sedan.  Drool-worthy for sure.

Happy Thursday, enjoy the rest of your week, and keep on driving.

Best Hits of the 80s & 90s: “Radwood 2” Car Show in Anaheim, California

Posted in California, Car Show, Legend, Road Trip on December 3, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  557,148

Trip Distance:  356 Miles

Let’s take a moment to appreciate my fashion sense in this photo from circa 1990.  I’m pictured at left here with my two brothers.  Rolled up jean shorts?  Check.

Popped collars, fanny packs, and porn-staches greeted me upon arrival to “The Phoenix Club” yesterday morning just a few miles from Disneyland in Anaheim, California.  It was almost as if I’d gotten stuck in a time warp and traveled back in history 20 years.  When I saw this Delorean a few minutes later with license plate “BKNTYME,” my suspicions were confirmed.

Yesterday’s event was the most brilliantly-executed and exciting car show I have attended in years.  It was something different, and something very “me.”

Radwood” was a contrast to go from the white-collar LA Auto Show media days which I attended earlier this week, with its forever growing ego-contest and snooty “the coffee at our booth is better than yours” attitude, to a venue where cutoff jeans are appropriate, Bud Lights are readily available, and Simple Minds’ “Don’t You Forget About Me” is blasting on the loudspeaker.  I loved every minute of it.  I only wish I’d invested in a slap bracelet, Hypercolor T-shirt, or some stone washed jeans ahead of time so I could better dress the part.  One smart attendee was even taking pictures with a disposable camera!  You know, the kind that you “click,” then have to manually advance the film.

This event was born as a small show in 2016 in the Bay Area catering specifically to the era of vehicles produced from 1980 through 1999.  Now in only its second year, the event shifted venues to a place with far more capacity and still sold out well in advance.  Thanks in part to clever partnership with Jalopnik, Clarion, Japanese Nostalgic Car, Bring a Trailer, and many other sponsors, the word was spread far and wide.

Attendees traveled from all around the country to attend.  One attendee – Peter Monshizadeh – drove all the way from Overland Park, Kansas, and entered three vehicles in the show:  His Dodge pickup truck, which was towing a trailer with his Nissan 300ZX and a period correct motorcycle.  That’s dedication.

And who could forget automotive journalist extraordinaire Jason Cammisa running around in booty shorts that would make Richard Simmons jealous.  This was a sight to behold.  Jason’s immaculate BMW E30 station wagon, among many other “feature cars” including my friend Chris Hoffman’s CRX, was on display in the main tent area near the stage.  Jason ended up taking home an award – a 1985 Nintendo game cartridge glued to a plaque, of course – for his Bimmer, and it was well deserved.  His enthusiasm added to the fun and atmosphere of the program.

I was in good company in the Honda/Acura family.  My friend Rob Pia proudly showed his immaculate, 130,000-mile 1994 Legend sedan in glistening Cashmere Silver Metallic, and next to him my friend Chris Green parked his award-winning 1986 Honda Prelude with only 50,000 miles on the odometer.

I had the privilege of meeting a couple of ‘new’ Legend owners, too, and had some friends stop by who live in the area.  Cars from all regions were accepted and recognized.  Even the 1991 Pontiac Bonneville parked in our row with nearly an entire keyboard of buttons on its steering wheel attracted lots of attention.  Another guy named Tyson who drives a beautiful black 1997 BMW M3 introduced himself and his car to me – complete with a period correct cassette tape sitting on the center console.

But how about this?

Perhaps one of my favorite vehicles was Ryan Glass’ 1992 Ford Explorer, which started life as a pretty ho-hum Eddie Bauer edition but has been extensively and painstakingly converted into a Jurassic Park movie icon.  “Spared no expense,” were the words that came to mind as he described to me the custom wrap, brochures in the back seat, bumper and taillight protector guards, and even a pair of velociraptor-spotting goggles on the passenger seat.

As the day carried on, I reflected on how much I appreciated the laid-back and friendly vibe at Radwood.  I hope the event continues its great momentum and carries on for years to come.  I’m already starting to brainstorm ideas for next year’s trip, and it might have to be in the Vigor since I didn’t see one this year.  Now if I could just get ahold of some Reebok Pump footwear.  Below are some more pictures and a short video!

I knew the day started off right when I saw this pay phone outside my motel in Orange, California.

I put my custom wheelstand to use that my brother hand-built for me out of aluminum.

Roll-in shot, thanks to Chris in the 1986 Prelude.

Photo with Rob in ‘vintage’ motif.

Ran into my friend Grant with his beautiful Mercedes SL.  Check that fanny pack, too.

One of two super clean generation 1 Legend coupes on display.

And another.  Becki was awesome!  How much Aqua Net did she need for her hair?

Visit from Penny.

Shooting the breeze with Jalopnik’s Andrew Collins.

A visit from Fred and checking out the Clarion Legend coupe.

The aforementioned 1991 Bonneville!  With a “LeBra” on the front, of course.

Love me a big-body Benz 560 SEC.

Original owner 1990 Honda Civic 4-speed manual with over 300,000 original miles.

Just $6,635 MSRP for this thing.  I think he got his money’s worth!

My friends Felix and Matt

Love the 1990s Mitsubishi Eclipses.  What happened to Mitsubishi?

Good NSX representation, too.

Sweet CRX, but look what’s on the roof.

That’s right:  Boombox and some cassettes!

Reconnecting with the man himself:  Matt Farah and his now-969,000-mile 1996 Lexus LS400.  I drove this car a couple of years ago and blogged about it.  It’s on a quest to hit a million miles.

Oooh, love this old 5-series BMW.

2G Integras with a super clean 3G Prelude.

My friend Derek, repping a Mazda 929 sedan.

Late night drive home to Phoenix!

2017 “AutoMobility” & Los Angeles International Auto Show

Posted in California, Car Show, Legend, Road Trip, Vehicle Reviews on December 1, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  556,770

Trip Distance:  379 Miles

Greetings!  I’m jotting down a few words here from the Media Center at the Los Angeles Convention Center.  LACC is now pretty familiar turf for me, as I’ve had the opportunity to attend a number of times.  Here are write-ups from my prior LA Auto Show visits:

I had to miss 2016 due to work engagements, but I still made it to some of the social eventsRedline Reviews‘ Editor-in-Chief Sofyan Bey was kind enough to extend an invitation to me so I could be a part of the festivities this year.

After two full days about about 10 miles walked between the South Hall and the West Hall to see all the latest and greatest, I can tell you there is a lot of change brewing in the automotive industry as a whole.  Personal mobility is taking on a whole new dynamic, as technology speedily moves toward an increased focus on autonomy.  As cars become faster, safer, and more efficient, similar strides are being made in self-driving technology.  It’s no mystery, though, that I’m a driver.  Is “automobility” something I should dread or embrace?

My trek to LA started on Tuesday afternoon from Phoenix in the Legend coupe.  It’s a tried and true road warrior, and certainly a more comfortable cruiser than the 1992 Integra I drove to Utah last weekend for Thanksgiving.  The closer I got to the epicenter of the 13-million-resident LA metro area, the more congested my beautiful open roads became.  I was delayed about 35 minutes on I-10 nearing Riverside thanks to a combination of accident + commuter traffic.  Gotta love it.  In all, the 379-mile one-way trip took me close to 7 hours.

Wednesday was a jam-packed day of press conferences, kicking off with a BMW presentation around 8:30 and a stampede of journalists migrating from one booth to the next throughout the day.  Some of the big news this year?  Oh just a few highlights that stuck out to me:  Lexus coming out with a 3-row RX SUV.  BMW launching a convertible i8 and new M5.  Mercedes has a new CLS.  Mazda’s next-generation 6 sedan is out.  Subaru has launched its biggest SUV yet, a 3-rower called the Ascent.  Nissan’s “Kicks” replaces the Juke, and Hyundai has its own new cute-ute called the Kona.

600 horsepower, all-wheel-drive BMW?  Hotness.  Not to mention that color.

Jeep’s Wrangler comes back again looking about the same but with a completely new chassis and lots more tech.  Kia debuts its new Sorento, Infiniti shows the QX50, and Lincoln ditches its alphanumeric naming conventions for traditional names like its new Nautilus (replacing the MKX).  That’s a step in the right direction, don’t you all agree?  It was a slow-ish show for Honda & Acura, with no formal press conferences but still plenty to look at inside the respective booths.  I can’t begin to squeeze two full days of automotive news into a few paragraphs here, but check out Redline’s YouTube playlist on the auto show for a glimpse at some of the sights and sounds we enjoyed.

The vehicles on display at LAAS are only part of the appeal of the event.  It attracts some of the world’s renowned auto journalists.  Our team ended up seated in the Media Center right behind most of the Jalopnik staff, including Andrew Collins who I can thank for this awesome piece he put together about a year ago.

The after-hours activities this year were just as entertaining, with a Hyundai-sponsored party the first evening at Novo night club, and a social event in West Hollywood the following night at Doheny Room where I connected with a few fellow journalists.  All too soon, it was time to again part ways with those colleagues.  The Redline team flew out Friday morning and I made my way (90 minutes to drive 38 miles – thanks again, LA!) toward Anaheim for a car show to be held Saturday morning.  More on that to come in a future post!

Acura booth with the redesigned 2018 RLX on display

Don’t mind if I do hang out here!

I admired some of Honda’s hardware while in the booth.  These dozen or more awards are just from this year’s LA Auto Show alone!  There are boxes and boxes of things like this sitting at the corporate office in Torrance.

Fellow car geeks Brian and Chris

Some of you may recognize this ‘other’ Brian – none other than the famous Brian Cooley from CNET.

Quick shot with the Redline team (Sofyan, Peace, Rob) and Honda’s Davis Adams.

Street parking the coupe in West Hollywood!

This might just be the best motel parking space I’ve ever had.  Huge.

Bonus:  A few pics from last weekend’s Thanksgiving trip to Utah

Brother’s redoing his living room and said I could park in it.  Why not?

My nephew Locke

Cruising around some of my old stomping grounds

HUGE shout-out to blog reader Eric who had this custom embroidered Polo shirt made up for me, with the date of my 555 milestone from back in October!  Thanks, Eric!

Over and out!