Surfin’ USA: The Wave Cave Hike in Arizona

Posted in Arizona, Hikes, Legend, RLX on March 11, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Integra Sedan):  73,210

Trip Distance:  100 Miles

Mom was a victim of her first cactus attack this weekend.  The cholla, or “jumping,” cactus is famous for its ability to seemingly jump out and cling to passersby.  Worse, it’s tough to pull out and only wants to latch on to anything (or anyone) that attempts to remove it.  The solution?  Just ask Chris, the seasoned hiker who joined us for this excursion.  He whipped out a hair comb which was able to extract the needles safely without putting anyone at risk.  Clever survival tips for the desert southwest.

All of this came about from our decision to hike to one of the Superstition mountain range’s most unique geologic features:  A sandstone rock in the shape of a large wave.  See me surfing up there?  The cave’s remoteness and difficulty have kept some hikers away, but we tackled the 4-miler with confidence and enjoyed basking in some of Arizona’s prime spring weather for a few hours on Saturday morning.

Reaching the Peralta Trailhead took us about an hour from Central Phoenix and while I would have been perfectly fine subjecting my ILX, or the SLX, to a few miles dirt, we decided to takes Chris’ Jeep Cherokee.  Our first stop was the drive-thru at Starbucks.  You can’t go out into the wilderness unprepared, after all.  Frappaccinos in hand, we were ready to conquer nature.

The trail itself seemed to intensify in difficulty as we worked our way up the 800 or so feet in elevation.  Though the cave itself was visible from the trailhead, it required scrambling up a few stretches of jagged rocks flanked by prickly cacti – definitely the type of environment where adequate and stable footing is a necessity.  I took a spill just once and scraped up my right hand thanks to loose gravel.

The view was worth it.  From the interior of the cave itself, we were able to gaze across the landscape for many miles in the distance.  With temperatures in the high 60s and a light breeze, conditions were optimal to hang out and enjoy the scenery before beginning our descent.  Round-trip travel time was about 3 hours, and we rewarded ourselves for a job well done by having lunch at Costa Vida.

Here are a few more pics before I get into this week’s round of automotive news & updates here in Acura Land.

We pulled my low-miler out of the garage for commute duty during mom’s visit.

I also received a drop-in from my friend Mike from San Diego, who was riding in style in his friend’s Challenger.

My buddy Mirel scored a new car:  Check out his white 1994 LS 6-speed coupe.

On Saturday, we were ‘seeing red’ with all these reds (called Milano, Formula, and Torino) while my friend Sunny was in town from Salt Lake City in his TSX Special Edition.

Another fun Acura-sition took place over the weekend, and I was able to help make it happen.  My friend Jason “re” purchased a 1991 LS sedan that he owned a couple of years ago.  It only has 48,000 miles on the odometer thanks to spending its first 10 years tucked away in hiding.  You see, this car was stolen when it was brand new on the dealership floor and recovered much, much later.

I helped out by having a couple of maintenance items done before Jason & his dad flew down to pick it up.

My friend Jimmy stopped by the dealership while I was there.

Jason & his dad were happy campers when they arrived to take delivery.

Jason sent these pics while passing through my mom’s city where she met up with the new RLX.

It’s interesting to see how these vehicles, 25 model years apart, are different in some ways and similar in others.

Speaking of throwbacks, mom lined up the RLX in the same place as her old 2000 3.5 RL which she owned 14 years prior.

Picturesque Snow Canyon, Utah

The last bit of news here relates to a fun project I was able to collaborate on with Acura.  A small film crew flew out last week to spend a day with me doing a sort of documentary on my car collection and some favorite road trip stories.  After shuttling all 8 cars to a nearby parking lot, we took 3 of them out on an 80-mile scenic loop through the Bush Highway past Saguaro Lake.

I’ll post a blog entry once the film debuts in the coming months, but it will be a short 5-8 minute YouTube feature on Honda’s YouTube channel.  Brand Culture Champion Charles Schnieber posted a few photos of our day on Instagram under his handle @kokoro_honda.

Getting interviewed in the hot seat… in my garage.

The production was facilitated by 3 gracious volunteers who assisted with driving – thanks to Chris, A.D., and Woody!

Closing out the night with a fantastic sunset in the Superstition Mountains.

Thanks for reading!  And have a great week!

Mom’s New Ride: Crystal Black Pearl 2016 Acura RLX Technology P-AWS

Posted in RLX on February 21, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (ILX):  212,846

Odometer (RLX):  21,554

Things have gone full-circle – it was 4 cars and 9 years ago when my mom last drove an Acura, and she came back to the family in fashionable style earlier this week.  After a Lexus, a Volkswagen, and an Infiniti:  Please welcome mom and this black beauty to the fleet:  a 21,500 mile RLX with the Technology package.

Originally sold at 137 miles on March 28, 2016 at Cardinale Way Acura in Las Vegas, Nevada, this RLX ended up at the local Honda dealer in St. George, Utah where my mom first test-drove it on February 18.  It was love at first drive.  Just look at her text message.

Without even knowing it, she’d just discovered P-AWS:  Precision all-wheel steering – one of the car’s most innovative features.  By the next day, she’d brought all the financials and logistics together, and drove away a happy new owner.  The car had been listed at $28,810 for a President’s Day sale price, which was a deep discount considering it had sold new for $54,450 just a couple of years prior.  Depreciation hits these cars pretty hard – but in this case, someone else has already taken the initial hit.  Nice how that worked out.

I’ve shared some of the RLX chronology in the past – I’ve watched the model throughout its evolution, from the November 2012 debut for the 2014 model year at the Los Angeles Auto Show, to the debut of the 2018 mid-cycle refresh in August 2017 in Monterey.

I also had a 2014 on test for 7 days and put it through its paces on a drive up Mount Lemmon in the Tucson area.

While Acura’s flagship is certainly at the top of its game from a packaging and performance perspective (310 or 377 horsepower from its 3.5-liter V6), the competitive marketplace has given it a hard time from the get-go.  As of the January 2019 sales figures, since the RLX went on sale in March 2013, it has sold only 15,080 units, and most were at the front end of its model launch.

To get even more granular:  Mom’s car is one of 1,620 cars sold during all of 2016.  And to put that in perspective:  Acura sold 4,172 MDX models in the month of January 2019 alone.  And Honda sold 21,553 Civics.  That month!  Now you start to realize why you never see an RLX on the road.  And we are perfectly fine with that kind of exclusivity.

This is, in fact, the second time we’ve had a black RL(X) in the family – it was May 2, 2005 (pictured above), when I flew to San Francisco to pick up a 2000 model year 3.5 RL with only 22,000 miles on it and drive it back to southern Utah.

We’ll be having some fun with this new one for sure.  I’ve already ordered an OEM rear trunk spoiler and splash guards for it, both pre-painted to match.  It’s amazing to have parts readily available when I’m used to dumpster diving at the local pick & pull junkyard.

Congrats, mom!

Original listing

Photos from the listing

Speaking of new cars and key handoffs, my 1990 Accord EX met its new owner on Monday night.  “Sid” flew out from Dallas and drove the car home the next day.  The car made the 1,000 mile trip without breaking a sweat.  This was the last pic of it in the garage.

February News: NALM 2019 Announcement, ILX M/T Stats, & More Guests

Posted in ILX, Legend, Maintenance, NALM, NSXPO, SLX on February 18, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  565,101

A friend sent me a snapshot of an article with a “then and now” comparison.  It talked about how the average cost of a car in 1982 was $5,967.  His comment was, “You still pay that price.”  He’s not wrong!  Haha.  I love my garage full of $5k oldies.

I recently got my hands on some pretty sweet data recently regarding the breakout of ILX automatics to manuals.  My fellow Acura geeks won’t need this history lesson, but for the benefit of everyone else:  The ILX entry level Acura sedan launched in mid-2012 as a 2013 model, slotted below the TSX in the hierarchy.  There were three available drivetrains:  a 2-liter automatic, a 1.5-liter hybrid with a continuously-variable transmission (CVT), and a 2.4 liter with a 6-speed manual transmission.  I ordered my ILX as a manual and took delivery on June 12, 2012 with 16 miles on the odometer.  It was #00082 on the production line.  The rest is history.

In the years following the ILX launch, “take rate” on the 6-speed manuals was never very good.  Some surmised that it might be as low as 3-5% of overall sales.  To nobody’s surprise (but much to my own disappointment), the manual option was dropped when the car was first refreshed for the 2016 model year.  Newly-released information from Acura indicates that over the 2013 + 2014 + 2015 model years, only 2,786 cars were sold with a manual transmission.  That works out to about 4% of the overall volume, which was right in line with predictions.

What does it all mean?  Nothing, really, other than the fact that I can feel sort of exclusive in driving a “rare” model.  The vast majority of car buyers today don’t want to be troubled with a third pedal.  Chew on that data for a little while.

I had a couple of action-packed recent weeks, with my dad being here in Phoenix for a trade show, travels to southern Utah for a birthday party, and some out-of-town guests.  Keeping you up to speed on current & upcoming events:

Registration is now open for the 3rd annual “NSX WestFest” event in Las Vegas, Nevada.  It will be held April 11-14 and promises to be one of the best NSX events of the year aside from the annual NSXPO.  This year’s NSXPO is slated for October in Washington D.C.  More to come on whether I’ll be able to make that cross-country drive / flight / teleportation.

It’s also been announced that this year’s 15th annual National Acura Legend Meet (NALM) will be held in October as well and headquartered in beautiful Daytona Beach, Florida.  Here’s the official posting from the AcuraLegend.org forums with the latest information.  Lodging and registration details will be posted on March 1.  I’m looking forward to the journey – I haven’t missed a NALM since the event started in 2005.  This will be one of the longest trips in the history of my 1994 LS coupe, at roughly 4,500 miles round trip.  I’m even thinking of starting the drive from San Diego, California so I can make it a true “Pacific to Atlantic” adventure.

It would be the car’s longest trip since Alaska in 2006.

Daytona looks beautiful!

Here are some assorted pics from over the last few weeks.  This is my friend Mitch from Indiana.  He is a long-time fellow Honda & Acura enthusiast who was recently featured last month in an article by Hagerty about his restoration process of a rare Zanardi NSX.

I had dad’s MDX in town for a couple of weeks.  Tech has come a long way since the 1997 SLX!

Sedan out to dinner.

And a couple other random beauty shots on my way to work.

Legend sighting at the parking structure of the Phoenix Convention Center.  Name that color!

I finally sourced some “bumper plugs” for my 1992 Integra sedan.  Here in Arizona, we don’t have front license plates, so I needed something to cover up the unsightly holes where the bracket would attach in other states.

Helping dad set up his booth at the convention center – before.

And after.

Went and saw the latest LEGO movie, courtesy of Chevrolet, with James and Abigail.  Go check it out!

Legend coupe in for an oil change.

And a fairly clean bill of health – just leaks noted for the power steering & oil.  I already knew about those.

Check out my “safari sunroof.”

Got Branson’s Legend out for a little spin.

Road trip back to Utah in dad’s MDX.

Visiting niece Ava Mae.  Beckam had blue hair that day.

And celebrating grandpa’s 88th birthday.

Late night meet-up with my friend James who has a Moroccan Red 2007 TL-S 6-speed.

Little bit of EGR carbon clean-out in the Legend, courtesy of my friend Shaun who paid me a visit from SLC.

Shaun at the wheel of the GS.

And doing a little junkyarding.  We pulled the center console vent trim out of this 1991 LS.

Donald stopped by to join the party in his Vortex Blue 2009 TSX.

My 1990 Honda Accord EX, recently sold on Bring a Trailer, (finally) goes away tonight and is headed to Dallas, Texas tomorrow!

More to come on that soon!

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!