Archive for December, 2011

The Big 3-0

Posted in Legend on December 29, 2011 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  504,771

A milestone of another sort has come to pass!  My friend Grant from Marquette, Michigan shares my same birthday today.  His message to me today:  “I’m going to celebrate in two states, but the way you rack up mileage, I bet that’s pretty much every year for you!”  And another just now from my friend Nate:  “You probably drove to Chicago for the day or something.”  These people know me!

My Legend turned 18 years old in October, and I’m turning 30 years old today.  We’re getting up there.  My friends have endlessly teased me about hitting this age, but I’m excited for what next decade will bring.  I’ve now driven an Acura for 9 of my 14 driving years and don’t plan on shifting brands anytime soon.

I enjoyed a long Christmas weekend in my hometown in Utah visiting family and friends.  I checked out my friend Clint’s recent acquisition that I told him I’d share on the blog – a mintalicious 1992 Acura Vigor GS with 88k on the odometer.  Now here’s a car you don’t see in this condition very often!  The 5 cylinder engine was pretty revolutionary for its time.  I’ve owned a Vigor before and loved its nimble demeanor.

My Legend was able to stay tucked into its warm garage all weekend but fired up right on cue on Tuesday morning when it was time to roll into the office.  Yesterday I decided to pull a Carfax on the Legend for the heck of it – hey, it’s appreciating in value!   Look at that – it’s worth $1,390 above retail book now.  Some things do get better with age (miles).  Ha!

So for today:  I’m lucky to have my dad and step-mom Tanya in town this week spending a few days with me.  My dad is Mr. Handyman and I’m taking advantage of his skills.  As a side note:  It’s thanks to his careful training that I became such a car fanatic.  I remember how he’d pull our family car or truck out onto the grass on the front lawn and have me assist with detailing.  He’d even take pictures of the cars on “display.”  A neighbor one time asked if we were hosting a car show at our house.  When I was around 3-4 years old I’d assist with cleaning these giant tires on this 1979 Ford pickup – because that’s all I could reach on it!  My young mom pictured here underneath the monster truck…

Here are a couple of the things we tackled today.

First off, we hiked Camelback Mountain – having lived in the Phoenix area for 6 years now, I’ve always wanted to do this but never had the chance!  My dad, Tanya, and my friend Matt and I enjoyed the perfect 70-degree December weather and reached the summit.

I put my dad and Tanya to work with some household upgrades, including some painting, installation of a new light fixture, and mounting of my Acura banner – finally!  Fits nicely on the garage wall.

Since the garage was getting cleaned out, there was no better place to store an extra set of Acura Legend wheels than the kitchen.

Also took this sunny opportunity to climb on my rooftop and check on a “science project” of sorts.  About 2 years ago I put some die-cast 1:18 scale model cars up there to see how they’d fare in the Arizona weather.  Geeky and fun.  I check on the cars about once every couple of months.  As predicted, the temperature and elements have weathered the miniature fleet much like they do with the full size versions!

And a great birthday dinner at Firebirds Wood Fired Steakhouse in Chandler, Arizona with friends to top off an amazing day.

I’ll be taking off a week from Sunday for Michigan!  I’ll be packing my warmest weather gear and I’m looking forward to the experience.

Hope all my readers are having a safe and happy holiday season.

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Auto Show Bound

Posted in Car Show, ILX on December 18, 2011 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  504,613

A chilly, rainy week in Phoenix!

Trips this week were limited to just the day-to-day work commute.  Still fires up on the first try every time,  but the Optima red-top battery that I’ve been running since August 2008 is struggling a bit more every day.  The desert heat is very rough on batteries – I seem to get about 3 years out of them, max.

It’s an extremely busy time of the year in the Pharmacy Benefit Management industry in which I work so there have been some long days at the office.  So long, in fact, that I was there later than anyone else in the entire building!  This was the scene when I returned to the parking lot at the end of the day for my commute home.  The lonely Legend:

I recently dug up a fun memory of my mileage-accumulating past.  Back in the 300,000’s, I started creeping up on matching the odometer reading that my friend Dave in St. Louis had on his daily-driver 1992 Honda Accord.  Dave, the nerd that he is, actually put together a rendering of his prediction as to when our mileage readings would intersect.  As it turns out, I don’t think he was too far off!

I thought it would also be interesting to again plot out my car’s mileage history in visual form.  Its life sure changed in the first part of 2003!

As some of you may remember, as part of the 500,000 Mile Celebration, I was invited to go as Acura’s guest to the upcoming Detroit-based North American International Auto Show!  This week we got some of the travel logistics squared away for my first-ever trip to Michigan.  Unfortunately, time won’t allow for me to drive the Legend out there.  Michigan is one of only a handful of states that the car has yet to see.

I’m honored and excited to see some of what Acura and the other manufacturers have up their sleeves.  I know that an all-new Acura ILX sedan is going to debut, as well as a sneak peek at the next NSX and a revised RDX.  You all know I’ll report back in full detail!

Drive to Five Celebration Video

Posted in Legend, Milestones on December 14, 2011 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  504,500

For each of the many milestones that I’ve celebrated with my Acura Legend, I’ve had plenty of photo & video documentation.  When I rolled 500,000 miles last month on-site at Acura’s corporate office in Torrance, California, though, I didn’t even have a camera with me.  Thankfully, there were plenty of other people in attendance to capture the moment and share it with me and everyone else later.

Tonight a video was released on Acura’s Facebook page which captures in fewer than 3 minutes an achievement that took my Legend almost 18 years to accomplish.  Thanks to the skilled folks who put this together (and again to Acura for throwing the party!) so I can remember this memorable day for many years to come!

December Drive

Posted in Arizona, Legend, Road Trip on December 11, 2011 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  504,418

There must be something special about vehicles made in 1994.  My friend Ryan shared a link with me to a fellow high-miler’s success story that I wanted to share.  Brian Greenslade from the U.K. recently achieved 500,000 miles in his 1994 Audi and there’s a great article here.  I congratulate Brian on his accomplishment and welcome him to the 500k club!  🙂

Speaking of high mileage in the global realm, through my WordPress blog’s “dashboard” utility I can readily view the sites that are linking to my site, and I noticed this week that Drive to Five is even getting some international exposure now.  An Acura Club forum in Russia appears to have been discussing it.  Here is the link to the site.

And on the opposite end of the mileage spectrum, last weekend I visited my good friend Chuck who’s had his pristine 1993 Acura Legend LS coupe since 2004.  It’s only got 29,000 miles on it and the leather looks absolutely brand new underneath the sheepskin seat covers.  You can also see Chuck’s 1981 Civic CVCC wagon in the background – pretty incredible condition for a 30 year classic car.

This weekend, the Legend stayed tucked safely into its warm bed while I hopped on a flight to San Francisco to see a concert for one of my favorite bands, Metallica. I got my ears blasted by some of the loudest music I’ve heard in a long time — an impressive performance by a band that’s been together for as long as I’ve been alive, since 1981.  Prior to leaving Phoenix, a last farewell to the sleeping beauties.

View of San Fran from my hotel in Japantown.

At the SFO airport, I couldn’t help but capture the following picture at a restaurant right next to our gate.  Legends!  The Bay Area was also the first home for my Legend and where it lived for the first 9 years of its life under the care of its original owner.

I received a very special gift from my mom.  She found online a place that specializes in converting blogs to books.  A package arrived this week containing my blog, from its inception in March of this year, through my 500k achievement on 11/4/2011, printed in hard copy book that’s 272 pages long!  Pretty awesome.

This afternoon I pulled the old hot rod out of the garage for a quick Sunday drive.  It’s days like today that remind me why I choose to live in this beautiful area:  67 degrees, full-sunshine, weather perfection.  I rolled out of the neighborhood with the windows down in shorts, a T-shirt, and flip flops.  Not your typical mid-December attire in many other parts of the country or world.

Here’s one of the entrance signs to the city in which I live.

I rolled over to the Phoenix Zoo area which is near Papago Park, home to many of the desert’s most famous plants, the saguaro cacti, as well as some interesting sandstone rock formations estimated to date back millions of years.  Papago has a nice little one-lane loop that makes for a nice scenic drive.

Next oil change is coming up sometime after the 505k mark, so not too far away.  Until then, This Old Acura (my favorite show growing up was Bob Vila’s “This Old House”) just keeps going and going and going and going…