Archive for January, 2012

TGIF

Posted in Legend on January 27, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  506,086

Almost made it to the weekend!  Just a quick post with a few pics from this week.

A photo from the last wash.  She still cleans up decent.

Geared up in my Acura shirt and en route to the office!  I get asked routinely if I work for Acura when I wear this around town, and I enjoy the chance to talk about the brand.  My 10-mile commute is just the right amount of time in the car to get my quick road-trip fix in before a busy workday.  It takes me about 15 minutes door-to-door.

Love seeing a nice Legend coupe silhouette alongside the freeway in the morning.

Finally, a lesson in proper parking technique.  I was coming out of the Target Supercenter tonight in Tempe, Arizona and realized that I must be somewhat crazy for parking a mile away (for door ding aversion, of course) in a car that’s 18 years old with 506,000 miles.  But hey, I needed the exercise, right?

Happy weekend everyone.

Sherwood Green

Posted in Legend, Reader's Ride on January 25, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  506,012

Yesterday a good friend of mine took delivery of a gorgeous and rare, classic Acura.  This 2-owner 1994 Legend GS in sherwood green pearl (a 1994-1995 color only) had only 127,000 miles on it at the time of delivery.  Congratulations Jeremy on a fine ride!

Later that night, picking up the car with a customary “key handoff” picture as is tradition among all my friends and family.  Kevin and Donna will surely miss their old faithful Legend but have two immaculate 2005 Acura TL’s to replace it.  There seems to be something about the Acura brand – once you’ve owned one, you keep coming back for more.

Jeremy’s new Legend looks remarkably similar to the one that surfaced not long ago on the Internet with a “Legend… Of Zelda” license plate, right here.

Meanwhile, my old ride keeps chugging!  It passed the 506,000 mile mark on the way home from work today.

Swing by the automotive news website TorqueNews.com to see a short write-up I put together on the new 2013 Acura ILX concept vehicle based on my experience at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this month.  The article is here!

Barrett-Jackson

Posted in Arizona, Car Show, Legend on January 22, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  505,720

Ever seen a $600,000 Corvette?  Yesterday a couple of friends and I saw a 60th Anniversary C6 Corvette on the auction block at the Scottsdale-based high end automobile auction called Barrett-Jackson go for that price.

Every year, this event draws thousands of car aficionados for a chance to see high dollar, exotic, and rare vehicles find new homes.  The old Legend was perhaps one of the most “seasoned” vehicles on the grass polo field spectator parking lot while we wandered through the inventory of vehicles, automobilia, and food vendors.  It’s like a full-blown circus for car people.

The local Bondurant Racing team was on-site providing “hot laps” in Grand Sport Vettes.  I feared for my life from the passenger seat!

A couple of vehicles I thought were interesting – like this Amphicar.

And a big ol’ red beast.

Lots of nice stuff up for grabs.  My friend David had hooked us up with Bidder Guest passes and VIP access.

Branson, pictured at left, drives a beautiful 1995 Legend LS coupe.  It was a Legend meet at my house.

Branson at the wheel heading home last night.  Yes I’ll happily give the keys to the high mileage Legend to just about anyone who’s crazy enough to want to drive such a beast.  Still runs like a champ!

This morning we went to check out a very clean 1995 Legend LS coupe in Desert Mist Metallic.  Looks like a twin to mine but it’s got the wing spoiler and it’s got an automatic transmission.  Can be yours for the bargain price of $3,700 here.  I was checking it out for a friend of mine who’s not local but has been on the prowl for a clean Type II coupe.  It’s pictured in the background here and has  (only!) 198,300 miles on it.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Marathon Miles

Posted in Legend, Road Trip, Running, Utah on January 15, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  505,390

How’s that for an illustration of mileage differences!  I had the opportunity yesterday afternoon to accompany my friend Matt with his mom who was looking for a new vehicle.  She ended up buying a gorgeous graphite-colored Infiniti G37 coupe that had 20 miles on it, or about 505,370 miles less than my Acura Legend!  New off the lot.  I wonder if I’ll ever own anything so new.

When she brought it by my house in the evening, it had 39 miles on the odometer, and I was allowed to drive it about 6 miles to meet up with friends at a local car show.  I’ll be curious to see if the Infiniti’s got what it takes to get to half a million and beyond.  It sure does look and ride nice!

It was another in-town weekend for the old Legend but with plenty of running around.  Since my mom was in town, we had some sights (and people) to see over the past couple of days.  She and I had registered about a year ago to participate in a half marathon race together.

After picking up our runner information packets at the Phoenix Convention Center on Saturday morning, we drove up historic Central Avenue to meet a couple of friends for brunch at The Good Egg.  En route, we passed by a number of important landmarks, including this hotel called the Westward Ho.  Completed in 1928, it was the tallest building in Arizona until 1960.  The hotel itself closed in 1979.

Since we’re on the subject of mileage achievements:  This morning we participated in the Rock & Roll Arizona Half Marathon.  The 13.1-mile race started in downtown Tempe, Arizona, and ran a huge loop through the cities of Scottsdale and Phoenix, then back to Tempe for the finish.  We couldn’t have asked for better race-day weather, at 60 degrees and overcast.

This is a picture with my mom at the start line in our assigned corral.  Literally thousands of people participated.  We were herded like cattle!

Post-race and back to our shuttle vehicle.

And finally a farewell as mom caught her early afternoon flight from Phoenix to Salt Lake City at “Sky Harbor” airport.

Bon Voyage!

Auto Show Recap

Posted in Car Show, ILX on January 13, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  505,296

I was thumbing through the above magazine in a doctor’s office last week and thought the headline would be appropriate to use on Drive to Five.  This year’s Detroit show was huge for Acura since the company proudly unveiled 3 never-before-seen bodystyles to the public.  In talking with Jon Ikeda, lead designer of the 2013 ILX concept, he feels the car’s design will endure as timelessly as the 1991-1995 Acura Legend has.  So perhaps it’s fitting to say that since from a styling perspective, these new models are winners, the Legends have yet again been reborn.

The auto show was a total sensory overload.  Instead of going crazy with the photo uploads here, I’ve put “most” (about 170) of my pictures into one of my Photobucket albums that you can browse at your leisure.

http://s301.photobucket.com/albums/nn43/tysonhugie2/

This sign from the entrance to our “backstage” coat room says it all!  This whole experience felt like a dream.

Following are a few of the highlights, though.

Acura rolled out the red carpet for me and for a few other online bloggers at the Atheneum Suites Hotel in downtown Detroit.  The company’s hospitality was unmatched!  I felt like a celebrity when I arrived at the DTW airport and met up with “my driver” at the baggage claim who was holding a sign with my name on it.  The next two days carried on that feeling.

The Press Schedule was distributed to us upon arrival.  Acura’s 25-minute time slot was at 2:35 p.m. on Monday; Honda’s moment in the spotlight was the following morning.  A few of us staked out the front row of the Acura booth so that we had a perfect line of vision for the big 3-car unveil.

I had the chance to meet and greet many great people.

Below is Chris Tobias, editor of the AcuraConnected.com blog.

Below is my photo with Kurt Antonius, Assistant Vice President of American Honda Motor Co.  I was having him (and a number of other Honda & Acura important people) sign the inside cover of my hardback copy of the “Drive to Five” blog.

Here’s the result – along with a glance at the Acura Press Kit – a small black box that contained a USB drive with media.

Ford’s slogan here struck a chord!

Loved the suspense of seeing the next generation NSX under wraps.

The second day of the show (Tuesday), instead of just having the new ILX, NSX, and RSX on display, Acura brought out the rest of the fleet – all finished in jet black paint schemes.

It was super chilly out when we walked to lunch.

The absolutely stunning next generation Accord coupe concept was rolled out at the Honda conference on Tuesday morning.  I LOVE this paint job!

Awesome video spotlighting the new NSX concept.

The overall NAIAS experience was incredible.  Plus, I was able to see Michigan for the first time.

I had to laugh when getting on the Detroit “People Mover” train system in downtown Detroit on Monday night with Acura’s Senior Manager of Digital Marketing, John Watts.  We quickly learned that the train only moves in a clockwise direction and therefore had to take the very “scenic” route around downtown Detroit to get to our destination, which we probably could have walked to faster than the shuttle got us there.  Still a good way to get a nighttime view of the city skyline.  Huge thanks to Acura for the chance to experience the Auto Show!

This afternoon I had a (free!) oil change on the Legend coupe performed by the friendly folks at Acura North Scottsdale.  Here’s a picture from when I picked it up in the service drive.  No major issues noted — it’s ready to go for another 3,000+.

I’ve got special company for the next few days – my mom’s here for this Sunday’s PF Changs Rock & Roll Half Marathon that we’ll be competing in together.  Given my lack of preparation, this upcoming 13.1 miles will be a challenge.  If only I conquered the miles as easily as my Acura does.

Live from Motor City

Posted in Car Show, ILX on January 10, 2012 by tysonhugie

When I rolled 500,000 in my Legend at Honda of America’s corporate office in Torrance, California last November, one of my rewards for achieving this milestone was a trip to see this auto show.  And what a reward it was!

Aloha from Detroit, where today I was able to experience the excitement of my first visit to the NAIAS.  Lots and lots of gleaming metal objects with big engines, sexy curves, and more technology than ever.  What an incredible chance to see some brilliant pieces of automotive engineering.  Acura debuted three very impressive models today – a revised RDX crossover SUV, an entry-level ILX sports sedan, and a concept for the next generation NSX supercar.  All three are destined to become leaders in their respective divisions.

The ILX was especially impressive to me since at a target price of less than $30k, it’s a lot of bang for the buck!  The concept model on display didn’t yet give us a chance to get hands-on with the interior, but from a design perspective this car looks like a winner.  I had the exclusive chance to meet one-on-one with Jon Ikeda who designed the vehicle.  His perspective confirmed that this sedan is a bold and well thought-out entry by Acura into the entry level luxury sedan market.  The highest trim level of the ILX will reportedly have a hybrid motor.  And – something I especially appreciate given the number of miles I’ve driven my manual transmission Legend – the ILX will get a standard 6-speed transmission.

Stay tuned for a full report once I’ve arrived back at home in Phoenix – we’ve still got one more day of auto-show-goodness here in Detroit and you can bet I’ll be soaking it all in.  Huge thanks to Acura for the hospitality throughout my stay!  I have truly enjoyed meeting and greeting some of the great folks who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make the company operate as seamlessly as its cars do:

Before leaving Phoenix, I happened to park next to a 1994-1995 Legend sedan at the airport parking lot yesterday…

Press Pass!

The vehicles were kept under tight wraps until the 2:35 p.m. Acura press conference.

The Honda booth had this immaculate 1983 Accord Sedan – the first Honda built in America.  I peeked inside and it was an automatic transmission and had had 47 miles on the odometer!

The ILX unveiled!

And the next NSX.  Mid engine, V6, AWD Hybrid, made in Ohio!

This post’s cell phone pictures will have to suffice for now – but I at least wanted to share my excitement from this awesome day.  More to come!

NAIAS-Bound

Posted in Car Show, ILX on January 7, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  505,115

By 6:30 p.m. tomorrow night when I land in Michigan I’ll have a definite need for that new embroidered leather jacket that Acura presented me with during last year’s Drive to Five Celebration…

The high temperature for the day in Detroit is forecast to be a whopping 37 degrees Fahrenheit – a full 30 degrees colder than I’d be dealing with here at home in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Am I ready to leave this beautiful blue sky?  Usually I’d hesitate to – but I’m extremely excited about being able to participate as a guest of the most anticipated auto show in the country.

If time permitted, I would love to be making the exactly 2,000-mile (each way) trip in my trusty old Acura Legend — and you can bet I’d be stopping at the state line to take a picture like this upon arrival.  My friend Ben is every bit as road-trip-crazy as I am.  He’s owned his 1992 Acura Legend LS coupe since the day it was brand new.  Michigan is one of the states he’s been to with his car that I haven’t yet seen with mine.  I’m jealous!

For those who won’t be making the trek to the North American Int’l Auto Show, the next-best thing will be to join the live web broadcast on Monday afternoon to see what’s going on.  Acura’s press conference will be held at 2:35 p.m. Eastern time.  The following link will get you there.

http://www.acura.com/FutureVehicles.aspx

Hope everyone has a great weekend!