Flicks for Days: Visit to the Sundance Film Festival 2019 in Park City, Utah

Posted in Misc Travel, Utah on January 30, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (SLX):  178,483

It’s rare for me to get on a plane, but somehow I still find a way to get my dose of high-mileage even when I do.  My friend Matt picked me up from the Salt Lake City airport last Friday in a 333,000 mile Honda Pilot.  Now that’s my kind of shuttle.

Once a year, each January, a piece of the cinematic world descends upon and revolves around a small ski town about 30 miles east of Salt Lake City, Utah in the Wasatch Mountains.  The main street of Park City Utah bustles with celebrities, media, and film-goers as over 100 independent films are shown over the course of a 10-day festival.

The Sundance Film Festival is the largest independent film festival in the United States.  It draws nearly 50,000 attendees per year and has been around for over 40 years now.  Acura came into the picture in 2010 as a major sponsor along with Chase Sapphire, YouTube, Stella Artois, and other companies.  This year, I scored myself a media credential to attend the festivities as a journalist.

In all, I spent 2 full days in northern Utah being a part of some of the events – and action-packed they were!  My seatmate on Friday afternoon’s 90-minute flight from Phoenix to Salt Lake was working on a film script via laptop computer.  I made it to SLC that evening in time for a reunion with AcuraConnected‘s Chris Tobias as well as a local friend named Shaun.  Another friend, Chandler, flew in later that night.

Our day on Saturday morning started out with an ascent up Parley’s Canyon on Interstate 80 in Shaun’s RDX.  The traffic approaching Park City – a place accustomed to a mere 9,000 resident population – was heavy, and we knew it would be.  The hub for press credentialing was the Marriott hotel on Sidewinder, so we checked in there briefly before making our way to Main Street.

Park City’s beginnings started as a silver mining boomtown in the 1800s, but today the community thrives thanks to its ski industry and year-round recreation.  Most of the infrastructure along Main – and other adjacent streets – is completely overtaken for Sundance.  Entire art galleries are cleared out and every inch of square footage is replaced with hospitality venues for the thousands of people who will come pouring in.

The Acura Festival Village – a large but temporary set-up – was comprised of a few tent-like structures, a public bathroom, and a trailer where interviews & panels were being held.  On display out front were 5 Acura models including the NSX, MDX, RDX, TLX, and ILX (the latter 4 in A-Spec trim).  Chris, Chandler, and I had omelets at The Bridge Cafe to fuel ourselves up for a busy day before making the rounds.

Luckily for me, I had my heaviest winter coat and some well-insulated shoes, because despite the fact that the sun was shining, our max temperature for the day didn’t go beyond freezing.  A helpful reprieve was the “hot beverage” bar at the Acura village, where I picked up a cocoa and we participated in a photo booth & interacted with a few friends from the Acura leadership team.

The Egyptian Theater nearby, completed in 1926, had a crowd & line out its doors for the entire day.  A variety of other theaters throughout the Park City area were also bustling with similar activities.  Our press credentials gave us access to a balcony-level view of Main Street at one of the venues where we hung out and enjoyed the scenery.

We took a break from the epicenter of activity to catch an Uber over to the Utah Olympic Park.  It was built between 1991 and 1997 and later hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics.  It features a ski jump, bobsled track, and other infrastructure that supported the Olympic activities of 17 years ago.  Salt Lake City, by the way, is in the running for the 2030 Olympics too, so all that equipment may get used again.

Another destination on our list for the day was a high-end resort nestled high up a mountain road called the St. Regis at Deer Valley.  Standard room rates there start at around $700 per night.  On the plus side, the hotel does have a free cocoa & s’more bar in the main lobby.  I fixed a tasty hot chocolate complete with chocolate bits, marshmallows, and whipped cream to sip on while we enjoyed the sunset from the lounge.  I don’t know if the pool was heated, but it sure looked inviting.

Here’s where our logistics took a little snag:  An incoming Uber from Park City that was supposed to arrive in 6 minutes was seemingly stuck, and 20 minutes later, we decided to abandon wheeled transportation altogether and walk the mile and a half downhill on a snowy sidewalk.  It was actually not all that bad.

Our arrival back on Main was just in time for a somewhat comical attempt to find dinner.  We approached six different restaurants about our wishes to get a bite to eat.  One told us there was a 3-hour wait, and a few told us we were simply out of luck unless we had a reservation.  Finally, we happened across “Flying Sumo” which seated us in about 45 minutes and served up a tasty plate of teriyaki salmon.

We spent the evening back at the Acura Festival Village for a party hosted in conjunction with IMDb and 3 cast members from the Showtime series “Shameless.”   It was a rockin’ event, complete with energetic DJ’d music on the patio, beverages from Stella Artois, and a swag bag for every attendee.  Chandler got a little star-struck when he saw Shanola Hampton, who plays Veronica Fisher (“V”) in Shameless.  He was able to get a selfie with her.

The night grew late and we’d spent a full day on our feet, so we summoned a Lyft and made the descent back to Salt Lake for the evening.  It was a memorable way to spend the day.  On Sunday, I connected with family and friends in the Salt Lake area, and on Sunday I spent about 12 hours driving my dad’s MDX about 720 miles home to Phoenix.

There’s only one problem with all of this:  I went to a film festival and didn’t see a single film.  All the more reason to go back next year and experience it for a little more time!  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the short video & additional pics below!

“Little America” hotel in Salt Lake City

Acura Festival Village lineup with a stunning Still Night Pearl MDX A-Spec on the end

Photo from the “Winter Wonderland” photo booth

I scored tickets to a film!  Sadly, we didn’t have time to get there before it started.

New ILX A-Spec with sport underbody kit in the distance, and of course a Thermal Orange NSX

Group shot at the “Shameless” party later in the evening

The only skiing I did was on this fake billboard!

Sunday morning meet-up with Sunny and his 2014 TSX Special Edition

And then Ryan in his 128i

And Jason in his Civic Si

And Nate in his Tacoma

Ryan and I met up with friends and family members at “Legends” Pub & Grill

Dad & stepmom came to join the party, too

 

Quick Updates & the Arizona Rock & Roll Half-Marathon 2019

Posted in Running on January 24, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  564,980

It was time to put a few miles on the ol’ tennis shoes for a change.  Somehow I commit myself every year to running the Rock & Roll Half-Marathon in Phoenix every January – perhaps because mom twists my arm a little bit.  Mom was among a handful of other guests who have paid a visit to Arizona in recent weeks.  With all the hustle and bustle of the auctions and other events in town this time of year, my spare bedroom has a bit of a revolving door – and I love it.

Kicking off things in style, I went to an open house / reception at 180 Degrees Automotive, owned by an entrepreneur named Bogi who is at the forefront of an initiative to break down gender barriers and welcome more women into the automotive industry.  Bogi and her all-female team of skilled mechanics restored a custom Chevy pickup as part of a TV series, and the open house served to reveal the team’s next project:  An old Volvo.  I enjoyed checking out the scene and shaking a few hands.  Oh, and the signature cocktail at the event was called “Premium Unleaded.”

There were plenty of cool cars to see throughout the week, and the preview for the RM Auctions at the Biltmore Resort was especially jaw-dropping.  Parked outside the registration tent was a 2017 Ferrari “LaFerrari” valued at between six and eight million bucks.  I was afraid to even breathe on it.

I had a visit from Hagerty’s VP Jonathan Klinger and from our favorite fellow Honda collector, Peter Cunningham.  Bring a Trailer hosted an “alumni” event at The Stables in Scottsdale with a couple dozen cars that have been featured on the site in the past.  Buyers, sellers, and window shoppers all got to enjoy the morning with catered coffee from Old Town Scottsdale’s “FourTillFour.”  I got to park my 1990 Accord between a Bentley and a Porsche.  The Accord auction, incidentally, ended at $6,500 hammer price yesterday which was a solid performance.  I’m glad the car will go to someone who can appreciate it.  The car is moving to Dallas, Texas in mid-February.

The half-marathon itself was an experience in stamina, as I attempted to rally enough energy for a 13-mile jaunt without having run a single mile since last October.  I crawled past the finish line about 40 minutes after mom did, but at that point I wasn’t worried about finish times.  I just wanted my chocolate milk reward.

Here are a few more news bits:

Pic from Bogi’s event

Picking up mom in the SLX

And, a new plate for the SLX!

Jonathan from Hagerty

Jason, mom, Conor, and me, at the BaT event

Vigor + Accord – similar!

Souvenir mug

Hanging with none other than Peter Cunningham of RealTime Racing

House partayyy with catered Cafe Rio.

Mile 4 of the race.

Jason Cammisa taking a closer look at my SLX

Conor signing an exclusive piece of artwork with his 2004 TSX featured.

Taking the ILX to lunch, and following Jack’s RSX

Rehab Burger Therapy did not disappoint

Visiting my cousin on the west end of the valley – and a quick visit from my friend Michael (his ILX in the background)

Saying farewell to mom until next time!

After 3 years, I was finally able to get ahold of a “template” sticker for my 1992 Integra GS-R and have a reproduction made.

Thanks, Jason of Pawela’s Garage for helping me finally complete my sticker collection!

Best IG story ever.  We sure love the 3GTL, right Jake?

Off to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah tomorrow!  More on that soon!

 

Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction 2019: From Starfires to Supras

Posted in Arizona, Car Show on January 16, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  564,893

Our shuttle bus driver from the offsite parking lot to Barrett-Jackson this year must have also had a part-time job as a comedian.  There was a collection bucket for tips & donations at the front of the bus, as many buses have.  But the difference with this one was that it had a picture of a 1985 Ford Escort taped to it.  “Escort Fund,” he called it.

Over the radio he announced to all passengers, “If you see an Escort there today, go ahead and bid $24 on it for me.”  I don’t know if he’ll ever realize his dream of owning such a car (or of such a car ever being sold at Barrett-Jackson) but I admired his optimism and of course his appreciation for a 1980s piece of history.

The mecca for automotive auctions is a place where you can look in virtually any direction and see a six- or seven-figure automobile – soon to be up for grabs to the highest bidder.  While my pocketbook stayed firmly planted, well, in my pocket, that didn’t keep me from enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells (mmm, nothing like exhaust in the morning) of the 47th annual Barrett-Jackson collector car auction.

The 8-day event kicked off with a full roster of activities planned, and I went on opening day with a few friends to scout out the scene.  I had quite a few favorites, including an exceptionally clean 1950 Buick convertible – a car I’ve always wanted to own ever since finding vintage photographs of my late grandfather with his.  We perused the available inventory, both indoors & out, and enjoyed plenty of nostalgia.

While I love seeing a “tri-five (1955-57)” Chevrolet as much as the next person, they are exceedingly common at events like these.  My greater appreciation goes toward cars that are more obscure – something like the 1971 Ford Thunderbird.  Just look at the beak on this thing. And critics gave the 2009-2013 Acura design language a hard time!  That was tame in comparison.

Among the highlights for Barrett this year is the sale of the first production 2020 Toyota Supra, a car that for about 20 years has been absent from the marketplace.  Toyota’s newest iteration – the 5th generation – was unveiled by Craig Jackson at a press conference on Monday morning.  It will be powered by a 335-horsepower motor and share a chassis with the BMW Z4.  Audience members were given the opportunity to ask questions after a short introduction.  I raised my hand and asked if the car will have a manual transmission.  The answer, sadly, was a “no.”  And such is the sad case for so many of today’s modern performance cars.

The only two Hondas that I recall seeing – and I’m sure there were more – were both from model year 2001, and silver in color.  One was an exceptionally clean S2000 with fewer than 1,000 miles on it, and the other was VIN 00001 NSX (an automatic, sadly).

Low mileage is definitely the name of the game for most of the cars going up for auction.  It’s not uncommon to see vehicles on display with fewer than 100, even – such as a 2001 Plymouth Prowler with only 24 on it.

I got my fill of horsepower at this year’s Barrett-Jackson auction.  Maybe someday I’ll actually have the means to sit in the bidder area and throw a few bucks down on a Ford Escort for that shuttle driver.   Enjoy a few pics and a short video below!

Also, speaking of auctions, go take a look at my 1990 Accord EX up for grabs at 7 days, no reserve on Bring a Trailer!

A friend is also selling his 1995 Dodge Stealth which ends the same day.  Have a look at his auction.

Mercedes going all crazy with this 6×6 G.  Pretty ridiculous!

A few of the 50s and 60s cars in the salon showcase.

New cars had their chance in the spotlight too, including this BMW 12-cylinder, $160,000 sedan.

This Oldsmobile had my favorite color of the event.

The below sign made me laugh.  Yes, I reminisce about my Celebrity.  But I don’t ever expect to see one at Barrett-Jackson.  Although, a Ford Pinto recently sold there for about $18,000, so you never know.

Here’s the S2000.

Jack worshiping the Mercedes SL.  We all love these!

Gotta love a Nova SS.

Looking Forward While Looking Back: Future Classic Car Show 2019 – Scottsdale, Arizona

Posted in Car Show, Integra, SLX on January 14, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Integra GS-R):  250,590

I saw a meme on Instagram the other day that said something like, “I called out for Alexa when I meant to summon Siri.  I can’t believe I’m living in an era when I get my robot servants mixed up.”  If you’re my friend Rob, it gets even more complicated.  He has a Rumba that he named Steve, who works on Thursdays.  I wonder if Steve gets along with his fellow e-housemates.

Truth is, we are living in the future.  The year 2019 just seems so far out there, it’s still tough to comprehend.  And things really start to sink in when you realize that by some of the cars from your high school era are now becoming classics.  Yikes.  Thankfully, there are events like Future Classic Car Show that give us a chance to reminisce a little on those oft-forgotten rides from 1975 onward.  These are cars that are positioned to be (or are already becoming) collector vehicles.

My 1992 Integra made its live news debut two days prior to the event on Phoenix’s Fox 10 Studios at a 5-minute preview for the show.  The video is posted here.  It was a fun experience to gush about my car for 45 seconds on TV.  My moment in the spotlight starts at about 1:40 in.

Now in its fourth year, the ClassicCars.com “FCCS” was held on Sunday, January 13th on the upper levels of the Scottsdale Quarter parking garage – a venue vast enough to accommodate nearly 100 “official” show cars as well as many, many other spectator vehicles that were equally worthy of recognition.  The panoramic view of Phoenix’s surrounding mountain ranges made it a nice venue for the scenery aside from just having great cars to look at.

The show itself served up a vast array of cars – domestics and imports, stock and modified – each with a proud owner by its side and a cool story to tell.  I especially enjoyed bumping into a few friends from the local automotive community as well as making new friends.  My car happened to be parked a few vehicles away from an exceptionally clean 1986 Accord LX-i hatchback and I had a good time chatting with its owner.

The crew from ClassicCars.com, including Carter & Nick, were making the rounds to meet & greet the cars & the drivers.  You can see Nick starring in the “Driven” series on the company’s YouTube channel.

Visiting me for the event were two of my friends from Las Vegas:  Brandon and Dane.  They showed up in a couple of exceptionally cool cars – Brandon’s new TL Type-S and Dane’s Dodge Stealth.  I got the chance to drive both over the course of the weekend.

We all made a quick visit to Zinburger for a bite during the afternoon and then returned to the show for another lap and the awards ceremony.  Sponsors and stakeholders did a great job of recognizing the cars and participants who stood out.  Until next year, enjoy a few more photos of the phestivities!

Not-so-candid camera

Loved the button-mania on this 1980s Trans Am – notice, only 8,000 miles!

Recognize this one?  You’ll see a blog post soon about a NEW Supra (which has very big shoes to fill)

Lineup – you can see the variety here

Love a clean yellow Mazda RX-7

There’s something special about these Toyota pickups.  And if you look closely, you’ll see my friend Trent’s black 1992 NSX way in the background.

My Teg was sandwiched between a Cadillac Seville (diesel!) and an Audi sedan

Is that S2000 wing wild enough for ya?  And a rare 5-speed Lexus SC300 too.

Whoa, how many “Black Ice” tree air fresheners did this guy need?

Last couple small unrelated updates:  Anybody want this little Integra?  Seattle, Washington.  1992 GS 5-speed with 130,000 miles, being sold by my friend Stephen.  It’s super clean.  Contact me if you’re in the market!

I’ve done a few small updates to my new-to-me Acura SLX, including hunt around for parts at the local junkyard.  I saw a few things I wanted off this late-1990s Trooper but it had 2 vehicles stacked precariously on top of it and I didn’t dare get too rowdy.

Not bad looking for an old box.

Engine detail – before

After.  It’s subtle.

Finally:  I have to close out this blog entry with something a little different.  Some of you know or have at least seen photos of my friend James De La O, who joined me and a few others inside the showroom at Pikes Peak Acura last July at NALM 2018.  He was proudly displaying his red first generation Legend sedan that day.

He’s at front left here in our group photo.

We lost James over the weekend at age 34.  The impact hits our Legend community especially hard because his wife, Kiley (in the photo behind James, at top left) is also a longstanding member of the family that this group of people have become.  I felt like taking a short drive this morning in James’ honor because years ago I remembered seeing a street in north Scottsdale with James’ same last name.

James was a great guy and I am honored to have gotten to know him over the last 10 years.

Life is way too short.  Glad to have great people to spend it with.  As my mom likes to say, “Carpe diem.”  Thanks for reading!

I’m Officially Insane: Acquiring a (Cheap) 1997 Acura SLX – the “Acuruzu”

Posted in SLX on January 1, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (NSX):  113,832

Odometer (SLX):  178,359

Oh no I didn’t.  Oh, yes I did.  Roll those eyes!

On August 18, 2017, I got an email – as I often do – from someone who heard of me through the Jalopnik article on my crazy obsessed garage / collection.  This one came from a guy named Wyatt in southern California who had a 1997 SLX.  It reads as follows:

Pretty sweet.  Well, cutting to the chase, Wyatt only kept that SLX for 16 months and put about 2,000 miles on it, and now it’s mine.  Funny how things work out sometimes.  It’s no mystery I’ve kind of had a hankering for one of these quirky vehicles for a while.  I first wrote an article about it back in March 2014 where I introduced my blog audience to this creation of badge engineering.

You see, this isn’t an Acura at all.  Or a Honda, for that matter.  It’s an Isuzu, and in light of the surging demand for SUVs in America in the late 1990s, Acura’s new MDX wouldn’t be ready for 5 more years, so they slapped an “A” emblem on a Trooper and went with it.  The vehicle only sold about 6,500 units in its 4-year lifespan, making it even more rare production-wise than the generation 1 (1991-05) NSX.  The shaded center section here reflects annual sales between 1996 (at bottom) and 2001, totaling 6,590.

Wyatt’s SLX was a bit of a rarity – a 1997 base model in Fir Green Pearl over Light Silver Metallic two-tone paint.  The base trim level meant it had no alloy wheels, no heated seats, no leather (though someone had later added it, aftermarket), and no fog lamps.  Still, its original MSRP was somewhere in the mid $30’s.  It was originally sold via a dealership called Acura 101 West, in Calabasas, California.

Its first owner was named Jeff and he kept it for an impressive 18 years after his purchase in September of 1997, always registering it in the southern California region where it was kept free of inclement weather and probably rarely driven off pavement.

But the off-pavement potential is specifically what attracts me to having an SUV, especially a cheapo one that I don’t mind beating up from time to time.  In all my car comings and goings, I’ve never owned a 4×4, despite the fact that sometimes I drive my poor front-wheel-drive cars like they’re rally machines.  So the fact that I could have a large, high-clearance vehicle on standby for the occasional camping trip is pretty appealing.  And, the price was (very) right.  So I bit.

Due to an intermittent slipping transmission issue in 4th gear, we decided it would be best to have the vehicle transported as opposed to driving it the 400-someodd miles from Los Angeles to Phoenix.  I later asked my mechanic about the transmission, and he said, “This vehicle has the 4L30-E transmission, which is perhaps the most problematic trans ever built.  It’ll be $2,800 to rebuild.”  That’s encouraging, haha.  It took about a week for the SLX to arrive via transport carrier.  Wyatt sent this pic while it was being loaded.

Here’s a pic while it was being unloaded at my house.

My first dose of reality came when I took it to the Honda dealership down the street to have the oil changed since it was 2+ years old.  “Your belts need changing, but we can’t get parts,” the service advisor told me.  “Same a few other things. About all I can do for you is get you new tires and change your fluids.”  So this is what it’s like owning a vehicle based on a chassis from a manufacturer that’s been out of business for 10 years.  In fact, almost exactly 10 years.  Isuzu pulled the plug on all U.S. market operations on January 31, 2009.

A couple of friends correctly guessed which vehicle I’d acquired based on some of my prior mentions of wanting an SLX.  Jason solved the puzzle after seeing a comment I made on Facebook just a couple of days after getting it.

Woody was thrilled that I finally followed through on this February 4, 2011 Facebook post saying that “one day” I’d get one.

We’ll see where I go with this one!  It’ll be like no Acura I’ve ever experienced before, I am certain of that.  Here’s a 7-minute video introduction.  I’ll keep you posted.  Thanks for reading and watching as always, and Happy New Year!

First day!

A YouTube viewer also suggested I need an Acura SUV.

Ready to unload from the transport truck.

This is what they call the “safari sunroof.”  It’s massive!  And still works – most of the time!

Paperwork and manuals.  This SLX was sold with a lot of “Total Luxury Care” (TLC) materials.  That was Acura’s roadside assistance program back in the day.

Detail work has started but is not yet fully underway.  I did clean up the chrome center caps to the wheels with some Mother’s mag & aluminum polish.  Here is the before:

And here is the after!

First fuel up.

A great deal of maintenance was done on this vehicle (per Carfax, anyway) at a place call H&H Motors in Van Nuys, California.  I was able to look them up and about to reach out to inquire about getting service records, but then I saw that Yelp says the place has closed.

Chillin’ in the backyard while waiting for the new garage floor.

A few photos from an evening at Dreamy Draw Park off the 51 freeway & Northern Avenue in Phoenix.

Not bad!

Comparison with 2019 Acura MDX A-Spec.  Vehicle design has come a long way in 22 years.

Wyatt was happy to hear that I’m enjoying the vehicle.  He posted this to his Instagram story.

Initial detail underway – console before.

Console after.

Wax job in the garage.

Stay tuned!

Closing note here:  I’d like to put in a plug for my friend Rick who has been a garage inspiration of mine for many, many years.  Rick has a channel on YouTube called RAD Garage (which, incidentally, just surpassed 3,000 subscribers yesterday – congrats, Rick!).

His content centers around his incredible garage – the tools, the decor, the supplies, and vehicles that inhabit it.  Rick’s attention to detail – and I mean, the most fastidious attention you’ll ever see – is a total inspiration to anyone who’s ever obsessed over his or her vehicle’s cleanliness.  Thanks Rick for featuring my garage on your blog.  Here’s the link so my readers can check it out.

Link to Rick’s YouTube.

At Last, a Showroom Floor: Metallic Epoxy Coating in the Garage

Posted in House on December 30, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  564.765

It’s that time of year once again where I give a summary of annual mileage.  Check out the chart below for highlights from 2018.  The car that I drove the most – the 2013 ILX – also cost the least to maintain at around 2 cents per mile.  But what’s interesting was how cheap my highest mileage car – the 1994 Legend coupe – also was to maintain, costing me only $311 to drive over 7,000 miles this year.

The NSX had an expensive year, but that didn’t necessarily translate into a pocketbook impact for me.  One of the service advisors at my local dealership covered a timing belt & water pump for free, in trade for some help I gave him selling a vehicle.  So in the end, of the $4,000 or so shown there, I was only out of pocket maybe half that.   Enjoy geeking out on some data with me!

My coworkers got crafty with Photoshop for my 37th birthday.

In the nearly 2.5 years I’ve owned my current home, I’ve always wanted to dress up the showroom.  Simple concrete is so drab, plus when you’re parking a fleet of 2+ decade old cars, you accept the fact that they’re all going to leak a little.  And my floor was starting to look like polka dot street art with the drips all over the place.  As you can see in this before & after photo, I’ve elevated the look of the garage in a big way.

To get this all done, I engaged the efforts of Eric and his team at Brilliant Epoxy Floors, Inc, based in Scottsdale, Arizona.  They completely transformed the look of my 988-square-foot, 6-car garage by fulfilling a 3-step process:  Base coat, metallic “Quicksilver” epoxy, and top polyurethane.  The sequence took about 5 or 6 days to complete because we had to wait (and weather is cooler than usual this time of year) for the surface to cure / dry in between stages.

Then I waited another 6 days before attempting to drive cars across it.  Meanwhile, my backyard was full of cars and starting to look a little bit hillbilly with cars parked every which way.  In all, the cars spent 12 days outside getting leaves & bird droppings all over them.

Yesterday was the big debut when I was finally able to park indoors.  I am thrilled with the results!  A couple of observations I’ve already made:  The new floor does show dust and dirt pretty readily – from footprints, tire treads, etc.  It’ll be extremely slick to walk on if it gets wet.  But, spills and leaks (oil or anything else) will wipe up really easily.  Let’s see how everything holds up over the next few years!

Here is a timelapse video showing stages 1 & 2 of the refinishing process.  In all, I captured about 1,000 pictures at a 20-second interval with a small camera mounted in the southwest corner of the garage.

NSX & Integra “before”

Blank slate ready for customization:

The Brilliant crew showing up for day 1

End of first / base / single-color coat

Coincidentally, while the Integra sedan was out back, I received an order for a 1:43 scale model car in the mail – a twin to it!

Day 2 complete!  You can see the metallic swirl starting to take shape here.

Meanwhile, the cars sat out back like this for almost two weeks.

Complete!

Even the “new car” went inside for a bit.  Now you know what it is.

Few more shots of the garage, all staged & ready.

Thanks for reading & watching!

December Updates: Cabin Weekend, Christmas, & Coming Attractions

Posted in Blog, Brochures, Car Show, ILX, Legend, NSX, Road Trip, Utah on December 27, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (ILX):  212,097

Odometer (Something New):  178,351

Trip Distance:  210 Miles

Time once again to play catch-up on current events.  I’m turning 37 years old in 3.5 hours, so if I don’t wake up tomorrow morning due to old age, I at least want the Drive to Five community to know how I spent my final weeks, right?  Oh and the odometer teaser above – more to come on that.  I might have bought myself a 4,615-pound birthday gift.

First of all, I ended up being featured on Hello Road‘s YouTube channel with a quick feature from the Radwood show a couple of weeks ago in Los Angeles.  Check out this video at about 6:42 on the clock.  Huge thanks to Ethan Tufts for the feature!

A couple weekends ago, I joined 6 friends and headed for the hills northeast of Phoenix.

Our destination was a cabin in Pine, Arizona.  Pine is only a little over 100 miles from the hustle and bustle of the city, but it has a woodsy culture, far cooler temperatures, and lots of wildlife.  I took the ILX for this trip which made light work of the grades rising out of town on Highway 87.  The climb goes from about 1,000 feet above elevation to a little over 5,000, making it a popular way to climb out of the boiling hot valley in summertime.

2012 road tripping:

2018 road tripping:

Among our destinations were the Early Bird Cafe above – which I’d visited six years prior – for a hearty and delicious breakfast.  Unfortunately, employee Katie (pictured in the 2012 pic in orange) no longer works there.  After that, we checked out Tonto Natural Bridge, the “world’s largest natural travertine arch.”  Most of the trails within the park were closed for construction this time, but we were able to hike down toward the riverbed and see some of the mossy waterfalls.

Sam, Adam C, Kenny, Adam S (back), and Tyson, Riley, Chandler (front)

I was delighted to have my friend Brandon from Las Vegas visiting for several days, and then today had another visitor – this time it was my buddy Alaeldeen from all the way in Edmonton, Alberta.  Fun fact:  He owned the Clarion Legend coupe for about two years.

Here’s Brandon:

The gang at brunch:

Here’s Alaeldeen:

I’m also playing caretaker for my friend Branson’s Legend coupe which will spend a few months at my house whilst his home in the Salt Lake City area is getting some garage upgrades.  It’s a sweet ride.  My backyard looks like a bit of a parking lot (or junkyard?) as I’m awaiting the cure of an epoxy sealant on the garage floor.  That story will get its own blog post in the coming weeks.

This past weekend, the ILX ‘front-wheel-drive sleigh’ took me to Christmas festivities in southern Utah, where I got to meet my youngest niece who is named Ava Mae.  She’s a real cutie.  I also reconnected with a few friends including my friend Shaun who recently picked up a 1997 Acura 3.0 CL that drives like a real peach for having 206,000 miles on it.

Cute baby up above, cute babies right here too:

Following I’ll share a hodge-podge of the rest of the pictures from these recent adventures.

NSX roller shot by my friend Michael

And the coupe at the same time

Checking out my buddy Travis’ new-to-him 1995 LS automatic – it needs work, but it’s a start!

Michael’s new 1993 Integra LS at right.

Out at the Pavilions car show and an RSX-S joined me.

Couple more shots of Branson’s coupe:

Literature swag update:  Special thanks to my buddy “on the inside” at American Honda (you know who you are!) who hooked me up with these amazing items.  This first one is an actual binder dated 2001 which shows approved paint & interior finishes for dealerships.  Like actual dealership showroom carpet samples!

Couple pics of the ever-evolving showcase:

New 2008 TL spiral booklet added, too.

Finally – My brother has just as many toys as I have, and here’s his latest.  This 1954 Ford truck is powered by a supercharged GM “LT4” V8 engine with around 650 horsepower.  I know, a Chevy engine in a Ford.  He’s going to tune it for another 75-100 ponies.  Watch out.

Have a great weekend and New Year celebration if I don’t post here before!