Archive for May, 2012

Sin City

Posted in ILX, Legend, Nevada, Road Trip on May 30, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  513,556

Looking pretty good tonight since I washed & waxed it on Saturday morning!   This is my kind of parking lot.  Empty.

The Legend took a chill pill in the garage while I traveled the 287 miles to Las Vegas, Nevada over the weekend with some friends.  There’s no interstate connecting Phoenix and Las Vegas (yet) but the highway system is always getting better and it’s a straight shot up Hwy 93 for the most part.  The city was bustling with Memorial Day tourists like myself.

Las Vegas is a destination that my Acura has visited frequently in the 9 years I’ve owned it.  For the first couple of years, I would regularly travel about 100 miles each way from where I was living in southwest Utah to have my oil changes done at Falconi’s Acura.  It was a long drive just to have car maintenance taken care of, but without a true Acura dealership in the community (though, we did have Honda) I welcomed the chance to road-trip.

In fact, Falconi’s Acura was the first place I had my car serviced after I bought it.  Here’s the receipt from when they worked on the car at just 97,008 miles on the odometer, back in April, 2003.

I’ve been through Vegas a number of times with the Legend over the years.

In October 2006, I took this series of pictures while I was rolling through there on my way from Utah to Arizona.  My car had the 19″ Racing Hart wheels installed at the time.  I still have these wheels but they need tires so I haven’t used them much.

Mandalay Bay and Luxor casinos in the background


New York, New York

Las Vegas hosted the 3rd annual National Acura Legend Meet (NALM) in 2007.  About 25 Legends congregated at the Falconi’s dealership for a photoshoot as part of the event’s festivities.  I had traveled with a caravan of 5 other Acura fanatics from the PHX area.

These people are like family to me!  We all share a love of a great automobile.

Luxor in the background at night.  My car was in the foreground with the 19″ wheels again.

And a shot from yesterday with my friends before we departed.  The famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign has been a landmark at the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard (“The Strip”) since 1959.  I’ve always wanted to stage my Acura in front of it for a picture but never had the chance.

Rustin, Tyson, Brady, Beau.  These guys just roll their eyes at my Acura obsession!

Summer’s heating up and Acura’s got a smokin’ new ride in dealerships that you may start seeing on the road.  The 2013 ILX is now on sale!

Here are a few more pictures I took at the National Press Launch event in Scottsdale, Arizona when I got some firsthand experience with this car.

Pictured below are:  My friend Chuck’s ultra low-mileage 6-speed Legend coupe, which I’ve talked about before, parked next to a 2nd generation Acura TL and this new Crimson Garnet 2013 ILX that I was driving at the event.  The newest member of the family fits right in!

Another fun color that’s all-new for model year 2013:  Fathom Blue.  The picture doesn’t do it justice.  This car is stunning!

Check out the Build & Price utility on if you want to customize an ILX of your own.

Long Beach

Posted in California, Legend, Road Trip on May 23, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  513,434

Time to escape the heat!  The old trusty Legend took me and a friend (Brock, who my readers may remember from a previous post) to the southern California coast over the weekend.  This was a 391-mile each-way trip through the barren deserts of western Arizona.  Smooth sailing all the way!  It took us roughly 6 hours travel time each direction.  When Brock wasn’t passed out sleeping in a fully reclined passenger seat, he had DJ responsibilities and we rocked out to some catchy tunes like Metallica since I’m gearing up to see them in concert next month.

En route via Interstate 10 westbound, Saturday morning.  Whole lotta nothin’ out there.  This is the type of roadway where you can basically set your cruise control at 78 mph, zone out for a couple hours, and not miss much!

Met with our friends Brett and Jeremy near the Long Beach Marina once we arrived.  72 degree weather!  Most perfect.

Sunset from Seal Beach on Saturday night – spectacular.

And a similar sunset, on Sunday night back in Tempe, Arizona during the solar eclipse (which my phone obviously failed to capture clearly).

The coupe got an oil change today courtesy of Acura North Scottsdale during my lunch hour at work.  Summer and the rest of the Service team took good care of me and of my car.

Do you think it was adequately noted on the work order that I requested “no wash”?  I’ve always preferred handling that on my own!

ILX Update:  As many know, I’ve been actively involved with Acura in the launch of the all-new 2013 sedan called the ILX.  As of today, the car is officially on sale!  Starting at $25,900 and a lot of bang for the buck.  There’s also a new post in the ILX Experience tab of the Acura Facebook page, under “Tyson’s Blog.”  You can read all about my experience at the National Press Launch event here in Scottsdale that was held in March for the 2013 RDX and ILX models.  Check it out!

During my visit to Acura North Scottsdale today, I learned that they had just one ILX on the premises – and it wasn’t even yet ready for showing to customers.  Crystal Black Pearl, tan interior, 2.0 liter automatic with the Technology package!  The odometer showed only 4 miles when my service advisor let me fire it up.  Still had the plastic on the interior & over the 17″ wheels.

Exciting to see the ILX finally up for sale!

As a continuation of some of the other stories I’ve shared in recent weeks, here’s Marc’s Honda story.  I met my friend Marc from New Jersey via the Acura Legend forums several years ago.  I was even privileged to stay at his beautiful home in November 2008 when I road-tripped out there from Arizona for a Legend meet.  Pictured left to right:  Ken, Tyson, Marc

Well, Marc has a pretty extensive story of Honda ownership.

Here’s his account, in his own words:

Here is my rundown of the main Honda products I have had which does not include the many 90-93 Accords I had bought and fixed and sold.

  • 1987 Acura Integra 5 speed- First Honda product I bought.  Fun car to drive! Bought it in 1993 I believe
  • 1990 Honda Accord EX coupe- purchased for my wife in 1994 with about 30k miles on it and kept for about 6 years and sold with 150k.
  • Liked the 1990 Accord so much that in 1995 I traded in my Integra when a 1993 Accord SE coupe in Acadia Blue caught my eye on a Honda dealer’s lot.  It had about 30k miles on it and I kept it until 2008 with 106k miles.  Pampered it and never drove it in snow and hardly in the rain.

Some daily drivers along the way:

  • 1993 Acura Vigor 5 speed- Owned that for about 1 year
  • 1993 Accord EX sedan- owned about 1 year
  • 1998 Acura 2.5TL- Bought with approx 230k miles and drove it for about 1 year
  • 1992 Honda Accord EX sedan 5 speed
  • 1992 Acura Legend LS sedan- owned for about 1.5 years
  • 2002 TL type S. Bought at 1 yr old in 2003 and kept for about 3 years.
Also along the way found the following for relatives:
  • 1992 Acura Vigor- brother
  • 1997 Acura 2.5TL for parents in mint cond with 36k miles
  • 2002 Acura RL for parents
  • 1993 Accord EX wagon for Inlaws, 1993 Accord EX coupe for Inlaws, 1992 Accord EX wagon, and most recently a ’99 Acura TL
After years of casually looking for a mint example:
  • 1994 Acura Legend LS pearl white coupe bought in Jan 2007 and transported back from AZ with 53k miles.  Currently has 60k miles
  • 1995 Acura Legend LS black coupe 6MT- bought in March 2008 locally from orig owner with just under 30k miles. Currently has 36k miles
  • 1999 Acura TL with 173k miles as DD

Here are some pictures of Marc’s immaculate LS coupe Legends.

How many 17 year old cars do you know of that have only 36,000 miles on them?  Here’s one!
Keep the Acura enthusiasm stoked, Marc!

Readers’ Rides & ILX Driving Experience

Posted in ILX, Reader's Ride on May 18, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  512,435

No news is good news, right?  Maintenance wise, the old Legend is still chugging along daily without any complaints, though I did notice my brake rotors (still the originals, yes) are warped and it’s probably time to ditch them.   At lunch yesterday I crossed paths with an immaculate looking 1994-95 Legend LS coupe in Cashmere Silver Metallic traveling in the opposite direction.  I gave the driver a customary thumbs up and he returned the favor with a giant, long stare!  I love the sense of ‘family’ that I can share with my fellow Acura motorists.

Snagged these few pictures tonight en route to dinner in Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona.

I received a visit this past weekend from a long-time friend from my hometown in southern Utah.  Blair and I have been friends since high school and he has owned a number of Acuras including a few Legends.  His currently family car is a beautiful 2007 Acura TL Type-S in Kinetic Blue Pearl.

Here’s a picture of us from exactly 9 years ago, in May 2003 – St. George, Utah.  My Legend had a mere 100,000 miles on it.  Blair’s 1992 Frost White LS coupe had about 80,000.  Classiest cars in town!

And this past weekend during our visit.  Blair still has his white 1992 coupe.

Blair and I had some fun with our Legends back in the day.  Here’s a picture from a car show in April 2004 after we’d both done some modifications to our cars.  As I recall, we took 1st and 2nd place in the Import class at the show that day!

Thanks Blair and Megan for stopping by!

With each post, I’d like to start to share a story or two from others who have have Honda and Acura cars that are as as well traveled as mine is.  Tony from Toronto, Ontario drives this gorgeous 2001 Acura CL Type-S with 212,000 kilometers on it.  Tony comes from a Honda family and the first car he ever drove was his dad’s 1992 Accord.  Thanks, Tony, for sharing your story and I wish you luck on your quest for 250k and beyond!

Here’s the car that got Tony hooked on Honda, circa 1994.  He looks a little young to be behind the wheel!

And picture proof from Tony that Canadians get “ultra” premium gas!  94 octane – wow!

And following is a super clean (and rare) 1994 Type II Legend GS 6-speed sedan that belongs to Drive to Five reader Duane from Folsom, California.  Duane’s Legend is immaculate for having 208,000 on the odometer.  I’m convinced that life for any Acura is only beginning at 200,000 miles!  Based on the pictures below, I think many will agree.

Duane has a very unique Acura ownership history.  In his own words, here’s the story:

I had bought a 93 Sirius White Pearl LS back in 1997 with 36,000 miles. I drove it until it had 195,000 and then sold it. I didn’t even know Legends came in 2 doors or M/T back in 97 when I got my first one. I did get a 93 Pearl White 6 speed couple back about 4 1/2 years ago, but got in a crash while sitting at a light that I decided to sell the coupe instead of getting it fixed. I then bought the 4 door GS and had 2 at a time for a while. An A/T LS 4 door and a M/T LS coupe. Then I had both 4 doors at the same time. I’ve driven nothing but a Sirius White Pearl Legend since 1997. My kids (18 and 20) don’t remember me ever having a different car.

Gorgeous car, Duane!

The month of June is renewal time for my insurance policy on the Legend.  When I went to put the latest card inside the folio in my glove compartment, it made me realize just how many are in there.  I have every insurance card back to September 2003 for this car!

Years ago I grabbed this little booklet at Walmart because it’s handy to have if an officer says, “License and registration!” rather than having to shuffle through a glove box full of paperwork to find what I’m looking for.  Much like my maintenance record binders, this little booklet is overflowing with registration and insurance stuff.

Here is the cascade of insurance cards.  I guess this is what you accumulate when you own a car nearly 10 years!

I added a new one to the lineup, shuffled the pile like a deck of cards and put them away.

Check out the latest segment in the series of 2013 Acura ILX videos, now posted on Acura’s YouTube channel.  This was filmed a few weeks ago when I attended the 2013 Acura ILX and RDX Press Launch event in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Along with folks from the automotive press, I was able to get behind the wheel of each of the 3 drivetrain configurations of ILX.  It was an incredible experience to drive the ILX right here in my home state and on roads that I’m familiar with.

Finally, a special feature today:  Ever wondered about how a car gets its name?  Little did I know just how involved the car-naming process can be.  I recently had the chance to meet with Vicki Poponi, Assistant Vice President of Product Planning at Acura, to get the inside scoop.  Check out the ILX Experience “Tyson’s Blog” tab for my full write-up!

Born to Drive – Timing Belt #6

Posted in Legend, Maintenance on May 11, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  512,076

In my last post I talked about how I learned to drive an automobile.  We can actually even go back far beyond age 16 to seek out my true driving origins. As a kid, I obsessed over my MicroMachines collection, my Hot Wheels, my die-cast model cars, radio controlled vehicles, and the Pinewood Derby event in Cub Scouts.  If it had to do with cars, I was excited about it.

Long before I was driving an Acura, I put hundreds of miles on my pride and joy — a teal green Specialized Hard Rock mountain bike.  I took great care of my bike, washed and waxed it frequently, and maintained it by the book.  Some traits never change!

Turns out I was also quite the ATVer at a young age.  Here I am on the red 3-wheeler with my dad at Fairview Lake in Utah as a kid.

Later my grandparents got a cabin and we spent a lot of time rolling around in this red Kawasaki Mule.

Somehow I even got our picture in the December 1997 issue of Dirt Wheels magazine (top shot here).

Lots of fun high-miler news to share today:

A fellow YouTube-r tipped me off on a high mileage achievement that I hadn’t yet heard.  Lee Bates of Ellensburg, WA has been driving his 1967 Mercury Cougar for 43 years and has reportedly driven it 718,000 miles.

My friend Brandon who works at Lindsay Acura in Columbus, Ohio shared this link to a gorgeous 321,000 mile 1994 Legend LS sedan that’s recently gone up for sale.  What a nice find!  Pretty immaculate condition considering the age & mileage.

And in Drive to Five reader news, I’ve learned that this blog’s reach has extended even to Europe!  I received a very nice note from a fellow high mileage car enthusiast named Francesco from Italy who drives a 2005 Fiat Panda 1.3.  His car has recently surpassed the 240,000 kilometer mark.  Congratulations, Francesco, on your achievement and thanks for sharing these great pictures!

My Legend stayed put this weekend as I ventured to San Diego with a friend.

The Legend went in for service at Acura of Tempe this week for a 90,000 mile service including replacement of the timing belt, water pump, and drive belts.  The camshaft seals, crank shaft seal, timing belt tensioner pulley and spring were also replaced.  My service advisor, Dana, alerted me (again) to the fact that my power steering pump was leaking.  It had been acting up for quite some time now (probably 100,000 miles or more – it’s the original power steering pump).  Since the technician was already “into” the disassembly of the car as far as he was, it made sense to go ahead and have the 8 seals on the power steering pump replaced at that same time.  Beyond that, a clean bill of health!

Dropping off the car before work on Wednesday morning.

My loaner car for the day was a sexy Alberta White 2011 Acura TSX with the Technology Package.  I quite enjoyed rocking out to the XM Radio on my way into work!  The TSX had just over 7,000 miles on the odometer.  An infant!  Favorite feature?  The bluetooth voice command interface.

This particular 90k service (the 6th overall that my Legend has received in its lifetime) was covered by Acura and I express my sincere thanks!  Next timing belt service due at 602,019 miles.

For those like me who are counting down, the all-new 2013 Acura ILX goes on sale in just a couple of weeks.  There are still questions & answers being posted to the Acura ILX Facebook tab!  Keep an eye there for future developments.  Also check out some recently-released performance stats & clips from Inside Line.

Save the Manuals

Posted in ILX, Legend on May 4, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  511,810

One of the things that most impresses people about my mileage success with my Acura Legend is that the car still has its original clutch.  My clutch maintenance has consisted of the following:

  • Clutch master & slave cylinders replaced:  90,012 miles
  • Clutch master cylinder replaced:  382,740 miles

That’s it!  It’ll give your left leg a workout, but the fact remains that the original clutch still somehow has some life left in it and is not slipping.

Anybody who’s an “enthusiast” driver like me demands complete control of his or her automobile.  We are now in an age where the masses are moving toward primarily automatic cars.  While some cars that claim to have manual attributes (paddle shifters, sport shift modes, and other ways to engage the driver in selecting gears) these measures are still no substitute for the driving connection that comes from having a third pedal in the driver footwell.  Of the eight Acura Legends I’ve owned, all except two have been stick shifts.

Believe it or not, there’s a whole 20,000-fan community on Facebook dedicated to advocating the cause of helping the traditional manual transmission endure.  Join up if you’re as much a fan of a manual gearbox as I am.

A fitting history lesson:  I learned to drive a stick shift on my dad’s 1994 Ford Ranger pickup 5-speed when I was 15 years old in 1997.  It was the bare-bones little green two-wheel-drive pickup pictured here.  As I recall, it didn’t even have carpet.  And along with manual roll-up windows (do they even make vehicles with those anymore?), it had a manual transmission.

Dad took me and my brother to a remote dirt road called the “Arizona Strip” because it marked the state line between Utah and Arizona.  I had a lot of fun figuring out the delicate balance between throttle & clutch until I finally got it right.  Here is the very road where I learned to drive.   I went back much later with my Legend and took this series of pictures in November, 2008 when my car had 355,000 miles on it.

Amazing how well Desert Mist Metallic hides the dirt when the lighting is on your side!  Speaking of mastering a stick shift, in my opinion nobody’s skill came anywhere near that of Brazilian racer Ayrton Senna who during his F1 racing career picked up 41 wins.  This guy’s heel-toe shifting technique is masterful.  Watch him pilot this NSX around a track.  Senna passed away almost exactly 18 years ago but his legacy is unforgettable.

The parking lot at the bank when I ran an errand during my lunch hour today looked like an Acura convention of sorts.

The car next to mine is a 1995 Legend Special Edition.  The “SE” model, offered in 1995 exclusively, is easy to identify because it was the only Legend that came with a two-tone paint scheme.  In this case, we’re looking at a Sherwood Green example.  I left the owner a business card and the handwritten address to the online Legend forums on it.  To the right of the SE is a 2012 Acura RDX SUV.

Current Maintenance News:

A couple of new things to report this week.  The coupe was making a terrible whining noise intermittently which came from the alternator area.  I suspected that it might be a bad alternator but in fact we discovered it was the A/C tensioner bearing.  The below part made it about 511,600 miles before it failed.  $85 later and I was back on the road.

And it was time to retire that old faithful set of Michelin Primacy tires that I’ve been riding on for nearly 100,000 miles.  Discount Tire in Tempe, Arizona hooked me up with a pretty decent deal this afternoon on a set of Michelin Primacy MXV4 tires.  The guy at Discount asked me for the odometer reading after we walked around the car to assess the condition of my old tires.  He was floored when I said, “five eleven, eight oh four.”  Guess they don’t see a whole lot of cars in there with over half a mill!

Peeking out from the service bay…

Look at that delicious tread life.  These ones have a 60,000 mile warranty.  Love these tires.  Thanks Bill and the Discount crew!

And finally, I’ve scheduled this Legend’s 6th timing belt & water pump replacement.  The car will go into Acura of Tempe next Wednesday for the service, which is typically recommended every 90,000 miles.  It was last done almost exactly two years ago, at 421,013 miles on 5/12/2010.

Another high mileage story worth sharing is that of my friend Brett in Huntington Beach, CA.  Brett and I met via the Acura Legend online forums and we’ve hung out a couple of times – most recently last August when I was in his neighborhood and we met up briefly.  I first learned of Brett when his 1995 L sedan in Canterbury Green had about 222,000 miles on it.  Today he’s at 241,000 and the car still shines better than most vehicles with half the mileage.

My only counsel to Brett is the same as my neighbors used to tell me:   Be careful!  If you wax that thing any more frequently, you’re gonna wear the paint right off it!


I’m off to San Diego for a wedding this weekend, but I’m riding copilot with a friend so this old Legend will get some chill time.

Happy Friday to all!  Since I reminisced in this post about ‘learning-to-drive’ experiences, I’d like to hear from readers.  What vehicle did you learn on?  Comment and share!