Archive for October, 2012

Car of the Year Contender & Vegas Voyage

Posted in ILX, Nevada on October 31, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  516,653

Odometer (ILX):

Happy Halloween!  It’s trip time here.  I’m off yet again tomorrow to Sin City (AKA Las Vegas, Nevada) for a few days of car-related fun.  On Friday I’ll attend the SEMA show at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  My ILX knows this 309-mile drive well as we’ve done it a number of times already this year.

This year’s SEMA show promises to have some great features, including some souped-up Acura ILX’s.  A press release distributed on Tuesday gives us a sneak peek at the “Street Build” car that will be on display.


  • Company Name:  Evasive Motorsports
  • Name of Vehicle:  2013 Acura ILX Street Build
  • Powertrain Modifications: CT Engineering supercharger kit, CT Engineering intake, Hondata FlashPro, Greddy SP Elite prototype exhaust
  • Chassis/Suspension Modifications: 19 x 8.5 (+45 offset) Volk G25 wheels, 235/35ZR-19 Pirelli P Zero tires, Tein Street Advance Coilovers, Stoptech big brake kit, Evasive Motorsports corner balance and alignment
  • Exterior Modifications: Acura Genuine Accessories front underbody spoiler, Acura Genuine Accessories side underbody spoiler, Acura Genuine Accessories rear underbody spoiler, Acura Genuine Accessories deck lid spoiler, Acura Genuine Accessories body side molding, Rays Dura-Nuts lug nuts, S&A Design vinyl stickers
  • Interior Modifications: CT Engineering short-shift kit, Acura Genuine Accessories illuminated door sill, Acura Genuine Accessories trunk tray

Can’t wait to take a peek!

Weather (at least on this side of the country!) has been prime the last couple of weeks so I’ve taken advantage of every opportunity to get the cars out.  Friday after work I took a quick jaunt up Arizona Hwy 87 toward Payson with the moonroof open and rear windows down in the coupe.  Lots of saguaro cacti out that way!

Car of the Year & ILX News

Acura has known how to build quality cars for a long time now.  The original Legend coupe which debuted in 1987 took home the title of Import Car of the Year.  Now, 25 years later the 2013 Acura ILX is in the running for Motor Trend’s highly coveted Car of the Year title.  Read up on it here.

I’ve had a blast with my ILX since I got the keys in mid June, and my friends know how much I love showing the car off.  My buddy Nick works graveyard shift for a local towing company and was sure to let me know when he’d found his first ILX victim this week!  D’oh!  To the unlucky new ILX owner in Tempe – keep an eye on those parking restrictions!

The ILX movement is catching on, and it’s fun to see the enthusiast community grow.  Facebook ILX Owners group member Luke from Columbus, Ohio just picked up this beautiful Crystal Black Pearl 6-speed.

Check out this new ILX commercial demonstrating the car’s abilities to read text messages, a feature I experimented with awhile back.

Aaron’s New Ride

Finally, I’m sending some well-deserved congratulations to my good friend Aaron on today’s purchase of his 2013 Audi S5.  I had the privilege of shuttling Aaron from central Phoenix to Audi of Chandler tonight where his 333-horsepower, “Monsoon Gray” sports coupe awaited delivery.

The Acura feels a bit out of place in this parking lot but still proudly shows off its innovative design.

Aaron’s car as it awaited him in the “Delivery Area.”

And getting some hands-on training from the salesperson.

Since I had a bit of time to kill while Aaron took care of paperwork, I watched another gentleman take delivery of the below car, a 2013 Audi A8L.  This monster is a 500-horsepower, 463 lb-ft of torque luxo-ride powered by a W12 motor.  The pricetag?  Only $154,000.

I watched with a bit of wonder as the salesperson showed the new owner, a boots-wearing cowboy from Tucson, a special feature that assists closure of the front doors and “sucks” them in once they are lightly closed.  I didn’t have the heart to tell the guy that my 18-year-old Legend had that same feature in 1994, and Acura called it “Active Door Strikers.”  Didn’t want to spoil his fun.


Finally, the customary key handoff and send-off!

Aaron’s making a huge upgrade from his black A4 and promised the salesperson he’d keep the speeds reasonable as he got acquainted with his new ride.

34 miles and just a baby.

Aaron let me drive his car back from our celebratory dinner, and I must say it was one sweet ride.  The flat-bottomed steering wheel was one of my favorite features.  As much as I’m not usually a fan of automatic transmissions, this one is a 7-speed dual-clutch unit and actually is quite fun to drive!

Safe travels to all this weekend and make every mile Legendary.

A Meet, Some Maintenance, and a Magazine Feature

Posted in Legend, Maintenance on October 25, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  516,358

Odometer (ILX):  17,284

Twenty three years ago, Drive to Five looked a little different.  I was writing about cars at age 8, but my entries were a bit shorter. This old 2nd grade notebook surfaced the other night.

Some things never change.  It makes me feel a little better about my obsession with Acura when I interact with other folks who are just as crazy as I am.

It was high time the local Arizona Legend-ers got together for a meet-up since the last time this happened was in April 2011.  This past weekend I attended a lunch gathering in Tempe with some fellow enthusiasts.  It just so happened that everyone who showed up was driving a 2nd Generation (1991-1995) Legend coupe.

Left to right in the above picture:

  • Gabriel:  1992 Legend LS coupe 5-speed, 3.5 Liter
  • Spencer:  1994 Legend LS coupe 6-speed, 3.2 Liter Type II
  • Chuck:  1993 Legend LS coupe 6-speed, 3.2 Liter Type II
  • Jason:  1994 Legend LS coupe 6-speed, 3.2 Liter Type II
  • Jordan:  1991 Legend L coupe automatic, 3.2 Liter Type I
  • Tyson:  1994 Legend LS coupe 6-speed, 3.2 Liter Type II

Gabriel’s interior

Stock 500k miler here!

Jordan shows some of his custom work under the hood.

Gabriel’s motor was transplanted from a 2006 Acura 3.5 RL

The mileage on Chuck’s Sirius White Pearl coupe is just over 30,000.  Remarkable for a 19-year-old vehicle!  He and I definitely had today’s records locked down for lowest and highest mileage at a single Legend meet.

Over the weekend I also visited my friend Ari.  He knows every nut and bolt of a Legend, and he recently picked up a project car.  This Milano Red 1993 LS coupe 6-speed only has a little over 200,000 miles on the odometer, but it appears to have lived a pretty rough life!

Brace yourselves for a look at the interior!

A little bit of leather conditioner ought to have those looking brand new again.

Remarkably, it still starts and runs great – and the A/C is ice cold!

Brake Work

I’ve had some amazing luck with my old Legend when it comes to brakes.  Miraculously I was able to squeeze over 200k out of a set of pads thanks to careful driving and nearly all highway travel.  Here is everything that’s been done to the car related to brakes:

  • 5/15/1997 – 34,832 miles – Machine front rotors
  • 1/7/1999 – 54,400 miles – Replace brake master cylinder cap & switch
  • 9/2/1999 – 62,675 miles – Replace rear brake pads
  • 7/25/2001 – 80,000 miles – Replace brake master cylinder
  • 5/7/2005 – 169,155 miles – Replace front and rear brake pads
  • 8/3/2006 – 237,592 miles – Replace front and rear brake pads
  • 10/5/2010 – 443,245 miles – Brake fluid flush including ABS
  • 11/20/2010 – 449,904 miles – Replace front brake pads
  • 12/7/2010 – 452,466 miles – Replace rear brake pads
  • 9/21/2011 – 495,693 miles – Machine front rotors
  • 10/23/2012 – 516,346 miles – Replace front brake pads & rotors

Fresh OEM rotors and pads thanks to my friend Wes at Highline Import Auto in Mesa, Arizona.

At my request, Wes also saved the original rotors that lasted 516,346 miles.  They were well worn out. I got a lot of vibration and feedback through the steering wheel when braking at speed.  They’d been refinished twice and there was no way they could’ve been refinished a third time.

Side 1

Side 2

Here’s a summary of what ALL my post-500k maintenance has included (screen shot from my maintenance spreadsheet):

Finally, I decided it was time to ditch the worn out original key to the car.  It’s so smooth that it’s difficult to turn in the ignition sometimes unless you get it just right.  I had a brand new OEM key that works perfectly, so I replaced the old one.  Compare the new and the old!

Acura Style Magazine Feature

“Inspiration for the way ahead” is the tagline under the title of this publication that’s been around since almost as long as the Acura brand itself.  I remember reading the magazine when it was called Acura Driver back in the 1990’s (and still have a handful of issues from that era).  The Fall/Winter 2012 issue’s “Insider” section on page 60 features an article about my Acura addiction and a picture of my ILX and the Legend coupe.

Upcoming Travels

Next week I’ll be heading to the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show in Las Vegas, Nevada.  It’s all about cars!  Each year’s show is all about showcasing the latest trends in the automotive aftermarket industry.  I learned that the Acura ILX race cars will be on display there so I look forward to getting a close look!  I’ve been following the build of these cars since they were announced earlier this year by Team Honda Racing-West.

Now THAT looks like a fun ride.  But for now, I’m perfectly content with my bone-stock ILX!

Even used my seat heaters for the first time today during a chilly (for us Arizonans!) 55 degree morning commute.

Over and out!

Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year

Posted in Arizona, Vehicle Reviews on October 21, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer (ILX):  17,119

Unsupervised test drives are the best!  Even better, how about a unsupervised test drives in a couple dozen brand new 2012 & 2013 models?  That’s how I spent my Saturday.

The “active” people of the world have a different set of standards for their cars than does the every day consumer.  Can the car accommodate a bunch of gear?  How’s the off-road capability?  Is it durable?  Does it keep up with my fast paced lifestyle?  Now in its 9th year, the Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year (ALV) program brings athletes and automobiles together to determine which model(s) of new cars best align with an active lifestyle.  When I attended the National Press Launch event for the 2013 Acura ILX & Acura RDX in March, I met Nina Russin who pioneered the ALV event.  She’s the journalist behind

Nina asked me to be one of seven team captains for the 2012 event.  I assembled a team of 10 people to evaluate the new vehicles that were submitted by auto manufacturers to compete in the “Green” category.  The event was held on Saturday in Chandler, Arizona and I was excited to play a role!

Thanks to my involvement with the ALV program, I also met Joe Sage, editor of Arizona Driver Magazine.

Here’s my look at how the day went.  Right off the bat, I reunited with my friend Brenda, of Brenda Priddy & Company, who was doing photography for the event.

Brenda’s plate has some spy-related meaning in German, but I can’t remember what she said it was!

I team-captained the “Green” category of cars, which included the following finalists:

  • Mazda CX-5
  • Toyota Camry Hybrid
  • Toyota Prius Plug-In
  • Volkswagen Sportwagen TDI

The venue was Local Motors.  LM is an auto manufacturer that has micro-factories in various locations of the United States.  This particular location in Chandler, Arizona builds the “Rally Fighter” (background of the below picture).  The team there has constructed about 40 cars so far and are taking orders for more.  They also allow the customer to spend 6 days working with the assembly crews to help build his or her car!  Local Motors will be representing at this year’s SEMA event in Las Vegas next month.

Chuck checks in at the registration table.

Nina kicks off the event.

This is Beverly who came from LA to represent Mazda.  She told us about the CX-5 with SkyActiv Technology, allowing it to get 35 MPG on a traditional combustion engine, making it the best in its class.

Team Green gets a lowdown on each of the 4 models we were going to evaluate.

Next we learned about the VW Sportwagen TDI (diesel) which returned as last year’s ALV Green category reigning champion.

Finally, Randy Hunt from Toyota instructed us in the features of the Toyota Prius Plug-In.  This car (at just over $40k) gets 50 mpg in hybrid mode and also has an all-electric mode which has a range of 15 miles.

Some of the vehicles in the Luxury On-Road event.  In all, there were 35 vehicles in the competition in 7 different categories.

It’s not every day you meet a Honda celebrity!  Chris Martin has been with Honda for over 20 years so he’s seen a lot of advancement there.  Chris came to Arizona to represent the company’s 2013 Honda CR-V which competed in the Best Value On-Road category.

“Cosmic Gray” I think Randy called this Camry color.

Catered Mexican food for lunch for all participants – yum!

Pictured here with Green team member Chuck, as well as a representative from Nissan, Craig Pike.  Nissan competed with the Xterra Pro-4X and the Infiniti JX35.

Taking the Grand Cherokee Overland Edition for a drive on the off-road course.

A few of the Green team folks – thanks guys for your help!

Kyle, Jim, Woody, Tyson, Matt

Here’s my feedback on each of the cars in the category that I was asked to evaluate:

Mazda CX-5:

  • Pro:  Great MPG for a mini-SUV.  Impressive value for $30k.  Easy to navigate center stack.
  • Con:  Power is lacking.  The push-button start is located directly behind the wiper lever!  Difficult to even get to.

Volkswagen Sportwagen TDI (Class Winner):

  • Pro:  Sunroof is (as they used to say in Acura SLX advertising) “safari sized” — huge.  Engine runs really quiet.  There’s a plug housed in the center console facing the back seat.  Ride was a nice mix of comfort and sport.
  • Con:  Leatherette interior felt cheap.  In order to fold the back seatback down you actually have to use a tool (which the demonstrator didn’t have) to remove the rear headrests!

Toyota Camry Hybrid:

  • Pro:  This thing has guts.  As Green team member Kyle discovered and I verified, it’ll lay down rubber on command!
  • Con:  Floaty boaty suspension and numb steering, “blah” styling.

Toyota Prius Plug-In:

  • Pro:  15 mile all-electric range.  50 mpg in hybrid mode.  Whisper quiet at 80 mph.
  • Con:  Yawn!  Feels so “detached.”  Information center in the dash is overload.  Our test car had a tire pressure warning, and the battery pack wasn’t charged.  Visibility’s not all that great.

The rest of the winners (and all of Brenda’s pictures) will be posted on the ALV Facebook  page, so check there for more highlights.

This was a great way to see where the industry is going and to truly get an idea of just how fierce the competition is these days.  It made me appreciate driving home in my Acura ILX – for me, the ILX is the right mix of comfort, performance, economy, and style.  The ILX was parked next to Local Motors during the event and got a lot of comments and question from event participants.  I should’ve entered it as a competitor…

ILX Under Construction

Posted in ILX on October 18, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  516,247

Odometer (ILX): 17,041

17,000 down; 483,000 to go.

How cool would it be to see your vehicle during its assembly process?  Back in April I visited the Honda Manufacturing of Indiana (HMIN) facility in Greensburg, Indiana just south of Indianapolis.  There, I was able to watch the line-off event of the 2013 Acura ILX and get an exclusive tour of the facility.

Just a few weeks later, my very own ILX (Production #000082) was set to roll down the assembly line.  The date fell on a Thursday and I was not able to be there in person for its birth, but I did ask the nice folks at HMIN to document the occasion.

They followed through and provided me these amazing pictures of my ILX being built in exactly the configuration that I’d ordered it:  Silver Moon exterior, Black interior, and equipped with the 2.4 Liter engine and 6-speed manual transmission.  Come along with me and enjoy the pictures as much as I did.

Pretty sweet.  It’s been about 5 months since my ILX was born and the people in Indiana have been busily producing more.  My local dealership looks like this now.  They’ve got 6 0r 7 ILX 2.0 automatics, 3 hybrids, but zero 6-speeds currently.

My friend Brent is working on a deal to pick up a 2013 ILX in Polished Metal Metallic now that the lease on his 2009 TL is up.  Hope he joins the ILX fam son!

In Legend news – The old high miler got an oil change this past weekend at 516,168 miles from Acura of Tempe.  In contrast to the days when I used to drive this car 1,000 miles a week, this time it took me 5 months to rack up 3,000 miles!  Needless to say I’ve put the ILX to use and given the Legend a rest.

Dana, my service advisor, knows the drill well!  No wash, 5W30, and I’ll be waiting in the customer lounge until it’s finished!

Here’s the report that was provided.  Some oil leaks were noted but they must be slight as I’ve never seen a drop of oil on my garage floor and the level’s always good when I check it.

Happy Friday!

Metric Concert: Tempe, Arizona

Posted in Arizona, Concerts, ILX on October 12, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  16,801

Rock on!  There’s a good reason why I know that the Acura ILX Premium Audio System volume maxes out at level 40 and still sounds crisp and clear.  I love my music!  And so does Acura, which is why the automaker has partnered with musical group Metric for a tour.  The latest destination in the Metric concert tour brought the band to a venue just 5.1 miles from my home:  The Marquee Theatre.  Easy drive!

I’d last seen the band in June of this year when I drove to the Avalon Theatre in Hollywood.  That event wasn’t a concert, but rather a “listening event” where I interacted with band members, music industry representatives, and Acura folks.  Since then I’ve become quite familiar with the latest Synthetica album.  This week’s event was my first real taste of what the band sounds like live.  Marquee has the capacity to hold about 1,000 people.

Heading across the Mill Avenue bridge to head into downtown Tempe for a bite to eat with my friend Kelvin before the show.

Tickets baby!

Inside the Marquee Theatre.

Kelvin and I await the start of the show.

After an opening performance by fellow Canadian band Half Moon Run, Metric takes the stage!

Lead vocalist Emily Haines started off the setlist with Artificial Nocturne.

My favorite song, Speed the Collapse, was played third.

Great show!  Outside the theatre, a Crystal Black Pearl Acura ILX 2.0 was on display.

Stickers on the rear doors.

Back to my own ILX after the show.

And rocking out to some fitting music on the iPod as we headed home.

A car is a way for people like me to express identity.  For many folks, that means customization.  Even though the Acura ILX has only been on sale for a few months, aftermarket accessory companies like suspension-maker TEIN have already started launching products for ILX tuning.  I saw these pictures posted on the company’s website.

Pretty aggressive stance on this Fathom Blue ILX!

And don’t you think the ILX would look stunning as a 2 door coupe?  AcuraConnected posted a rendering today of a Crimson Garnet ILX photoshopped as a coupe.

This post marks Drive to Five’s 150th entry!   I suppose it’s time to start shooting for 500 posts, just like I shot for 500,000 miles, right?

Have a great weekend!

Kevin’s Accord Hits 100,000 Miles

Posted in Milestones, Reader's Ride on October 10, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  16,701

I’ve grown up in a Honda-loving family.  This picture of our driveway is from the year 1998.

  • In the garage:   my mom’s 1993 Acura Legend and my ‘project car’ 1988 Acura Legend.
  • In the driveway:  my pride and joy 1989 Honda Prelude 2.0 Si and my brother’s 1984 Honda Civic S

I also love it when other people are just as nerdy as I am about milestones!  Turns out, there are a lot of us out there.  Honda has an entire website called “Mile Makers” that’s dedicated to celebrating owner experiences with cars that are beyond 100,000 miles.  Incidentally, there are:

  • 26 people who have submitted their stories of cars with 500,000 to 699,999 miles on them.
  • 6 people who have cars with 700,000 to 999,999 miles on them.
  • 2 people who have 1,000,000 or more.

You all met my good friend Kevin and his car when we took some Acura ILX pictures back in August.  He’s had his 2006 Honda Accord since it was new.  As he crept up on the Honda’s first “big” achievement, we decided to go all out.  Kevin and I dined on Tuesday at the historic 1908 Landmark Restaurant in Mesa, Arizona.  His Accord in the parking lot had 99,988 miles on it.

After dinner, we rocked out to the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” and made our way to my home where the car rolled over 100,000 miles just 1/4 miles from my driveway.

Here are some fun facts about Kevin’s Accord:

  • 2006 Accord LX Sedan, CM863
  • Name: Tammy, after Tammy Wynette
  • Original sales price:  $21,653.93
  • Bought from John Eagle Honda of Houston, TX
  • Odometer reading at purchase time:  33 miles
  • Paid off date:  5/27/2010 (date of title clearance).
  • The car has pretty much lived in the Southwest. States: TX, NM, UT, AZ, CA, NV
  • Servicing locations – John Eagle and Goodson Honda (Houston), Pacific Honda, Honda Cars of Mesa/Santan Honda, Tempe Honda, and Hondamotive.
  • Most frequent road trip: San Diego, albeit now it’s only once or twice a year.
  • Milestones: Completion of the Arizona State Highway system.
  • Fun drives: Coronado Trail, Swift Trail (AZ 366), Beeline Highway (AZ 87), Mogollon Rim
  • Fun facts: The brakes have only been serviced once, at around 88,000 miles. Guess that says something about Kevin’s driving style.

Kevin says he’s still amazed about how much pep the 4 cylinder has.

Here’s the video!

Proof that we were in my driveway when this happened:  The 100,000 mile Accord odometer and the 516,000 mile Legend in the background!

Kevin, sporting his Honda Racing ballcap, is proud of his car’s “Drive to One” achievement.

Here’s to the next 100,000 and beyond!  Congrats, Kevin.

Drive to Fivers – share with me your Honda & Acura milestones because I’d love to feature your story, too!

St. George Marathon

Posted in ILX, Running, Utah on October 8, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer (ILX):  16,666

26.2 miles doesn’t sound very far to go.  It’s a feat that my 1994 Acura Legend has completed nearly 20,000 times.  But when you’re on foot, it’s a whole different story!  This past weekend’s adventure was a trip to my hometown in St. George, Utah where I participated in the St. George Marathon.  I ran this one last year as well.

The race runs down State Route 18 in Washington and Iron counties.  It’s one of the most scenic races in the world – and one of the fastest, thanks to its largely downhill terrain.  The highway parallels Snow Canyon which has always been a favorite automotive photo-op background, like this photo set from February 2005 when my car had 155,000 miles on it.  At the time, I had a McCulloch 8000K HID kit for the headlights, and Catz XLO foglights.

It was also here that I filmed this June 2007 video of my 1994 Acura Legend when it had about 290,000 miles on it and was wearing my 19″ Racing Hart C2 wheels.

Here’s how my adventure started last Thursday night.  After work, I departed for the 5 hour drive to Las Vegas, Nevada from Scottsdale, Arizona.  I picked up my friend Jeff who’d flown in from Calgary, Alberta.

Our drive to St. George from there was just 100 miles and took about 90 minutes.  I admit, it took a high-volume concert of Psy’s song “Gangnam Style” to keep me awake until our 1 a.m. local time arrival.  The following morning, Jeff and I indulged in the best breakfast in town with my mom, courtesy of Bear Paw Cafe on Main Street.  I highly recommend the French toast!  The fresh squeezed OJ hit the spot, too.

Mom’s 2003 Lexus GS430 has recently completed its first 100,000 miles.  Still looking good!  The silver cars posed for a quick photo-op after breakfast.

Jeff and I made a quick pit-stop at my brother’s workplace.  He’s got an old Lincoln Towncar limousine out back that we’ve taken out on the town before.

Evening before the race.

3:30 came far too quickly the next morning.  Anxious to get the show on the road, we headed to the finish area where shuttle buses took us to the start line up the canyon.  Here I’m pictured with Jeff and with my step-mom, Tanya who also competed.

Temps were only in the 50’s up there so we huddled around bonfires with about 7,000 other participants until the race got underway.

Here’s the race course.

At 6:45 a.m., we were off!  My fast-paced music playlist got me motivated.  I snapped this picture with my phone while running.

Highlight of the race was definitely the crowd support.  My mom watched for me from mile 16, grandma and friend Matt at mile 24, and dad with sis-in-law Kali at mile 25!  It was great to see familiar faces to keep my mind off the task at hand.

Thanks to my buddy Rob for capturing this pic as I made the final stretch into the finish gate!

And a much-needed mist bath to cool off!

My average mile was 9 minutes, 29 seconds.  I ran 6.3 miles per hour.  This put me at a 4:08 finish time.

Meet-up with mom post-race.  There were 5,696 people who finished the race.

And getting shuttled back to the house in style, courtesy of my friend Matt’s 2012 Infiniti G37 convertible.  This car’s equipped with the “Infiniti Performance Line” (IPL) package, which includes both performance enhancements and some hot styling upgrades (red leather interior!).

Jeff wrapped his calves in tape to help ease some soreness.  Stylin’.

And as if we hadn’t had enough adventure for the day, we headed to Las Vegas for the evening.

The ILX made its way down the Strip to our hotel, Treasure Island.  Traffic was a mess but the ILX clutch is light and doesn’t give my (sore!) left leg as much of a workout as the old 516k Legend clutch does.

Walking about the town.

And the southbound view from our 32nd floor room at Treasure Island on Sunday morning.

Prior to going our separate ways, we dined at Denny’s.

New York, New York in the background.

Matt captured a few on-road pics on Highway 93 just north of Wickenburg, Arizona.

A great weekend of mile-making for both me and for the Acura ILX!  I was remarkably rested when I got home and that’s thanks in large part to the comfortable ride and spacious cabin in the car.  I look forward to getting to spend time behind the wheel.  Let’s see where it takes me next.

Tortilla Flat

Posted in Arizona, ILX, Road Trip on October 3, 2012 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  516,084

Odometer (ILX):  15,733

Nothing like a twisty road to put a car’s handling to the ultimate test!

Since the ILX hadn’t yet driven Arizona Highway 88 – the “Apache Trail” – I decided to take a quick Saturday afternoon ride up to Tortilla Flat.  This road a favorite among motorcyclists and sports car drivers due to its highly technical nature.  It made for a perfect setting to run the ILX 6-speed through its gears.  This place is located northeast of the Mesa, Arizona area – shown here at Point A.  The squiggliness (my computer doesn’t think that’s a real word) of the line for Highway 88 should tell you something about how fun the curves are!

Here I was reaching the first of two short one-lane bridges.  This one is near Canyon Lake.

Canyon Lake in the background is a popular summertime destination for folks seeking a break from the intense heat of this area.

Finally, I arrived at Tortilla Flat.  This place was settled in the very early 1900’s (and maxed out with a population of 100) as a stagecoach stop on the Apache Trail.  Today it’s pretty touristy.  I’ve eaten at the restaurant, though, and it’s good stuff.

Just a few miles after rolling through Tortilla (and a lot more curves) the pavement ends.  The next 20 or so miles of road are dirt until arriving at Roosevelt Lake.  I drove this dirt road in my Legend a few years back but I wasn’t about to subject my new car to that type of terrain!

Meanwhile, I did grab a couple of scenic shots before turning around to loop back to civilization.

The driving experience in the 2.4-powered ILX leaves little to be desired.  The suspension seems to have been tuned for roads specifically like this.  Very little road noise even from the pavement that’s deteriorated on certain sections of the road.  For being a 4-door sedan, the car is very well planted in corners (there’s far less body roll than my 515k mile Legend!) and it’s light and nimble on its feet.  I especially loved the short throws of the 6-speed transmission and the light clutch engagement.  This car loves to rev high and scream through the corners – traffic and road conditions permitting.  I had a blast!

We All Scream for Ice Cream

Last Friday, I got an extreme sweet tooth craving so I indulged in a mouth-watering treat:  Cold Stone ice cream.  The Cold Stone world headquarters is located just a couple of miles from the office where I work, and it was here in Arizona (Tempe, to be exact) that the very first Cold Stone location opened back in 1988.  The company has now spread to over 1,100 locations nationwide.  The store #000001 is located at the southwest corner of Southern Ave & McClintock Rd, right here (Point “B”).

This made for an easy post-work commute in the Acura ILX.  The original store is pictured in the background.

I was greeted by a lot of choices, but I already knew exactly what I was going to get.

This, my friends, is the best combination of ice cream mix-ins under the sun.  What we have here is a “Love It” size bowl.  The ice cream is cake batter, and the mix-ins are cookie dough and rainbow sprinkles.  Absolutely delicious!

The ILX owner population continues to grow.  The New Owner Sign-In thread on the forums now has 24 people who have posted about their new rides.  Here are some images shared by member “ILXDRIVER” from Toronto, Canada of his Polished Metal Metallic 2.4 liter 6-speed ILX with Sport Underbody Kit like mine has.  Looks great!

Legend Update

My Legend got me comfortably to Tucson and back on Friday night (240 mile round trip) without skipping a beat.  It will be due for an oil change in just a few hundred miles.  I think this is the first time in my 9+ years of ownership history on that car that it’s taken me longer than 3 months to put on 3,000 miles.  I thought it would be interesting to post the following image – this is a sticker on the airbox indicating a change interval of 7,500 miles recommended.

I’ve rarely gone longer than around 4k!

I drove the high-miler to work today and enjoyed our (finally!) fall weather.  Now if we could just get those daily highs to dip below triple digit range!


Rear windows down allow just enough air flow in the cabin.

The Other End of the Mileage Spectrum

Today I visited one of the 3 Phoenix-area Acura dealerships, Acura North Scottsdale.  My friend Dave tipped me off on a minty delicious 1990 Legend L sedan in Tuscany Taupe Metallic with a mere 25,563 miles on the odometer — quite the contrast from my experienced 1994!  That comes out to just 1,162 miles per year that were put on this beauty.

This car is absolutely stunning.

These are rare OEM accessory wheels that I’ve never seen in person until today.

Yours for only $7,995!

Interior smelled amazing.  The car didn’t have floor mats in it – perhaps they were in the trunk.

A Legend reflected in a Legend.

This is a rarity – the 1990 CD player.  I wonder if it works.

The only way the seats could be this supple is if this car has been garaged its entire 22-year life.  I almost felt guilty planting my butt in the driver’s seat!

Speaking of Legends as a blast from the past:  Thanks to member Ezequiel from the Acura Legend Owners & Enthusiasts group on Facebook for sharing this old newspaper clipping with an ad from his local Boise dealership that dates back to 1995.  Only $31,999 for a new Legend!

Here’s one that I saved from the Pioneer Shopper want-ads in St. George, Utah dated about 1998.  This black Legend was for sale at a dealership called St. George Motorcars.

And I’ll be heading to St. George this weekend, in fact.  The ILX departs tomorrow afternoon for the 400-mile trek, by way of Las Vegas.  I’ll be back Sunday.

One of my favorite fortunes I’ve gotten at a Chinese restaurant:  You will soon be going on a fun road trip with friends or family.  Yes!

Until next week!