Archive for January, 2014

Check Out These Other Blogs!

Posted in Blog, Reader's Ride on January 30, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  528,562


Odometer (ILX):  65,539



Jason Hill is an English teacher in Japan with a fascination, similar to mine, for squeezing maximum longevity out of a car.  This month, he launched a website called High Mile Club where he shares stories about people who have gone the distance.  My Legend made #12 on a list of his 18 “Hall of Fame” cars.  Among the top achievers, of course, are Irv Gordon with his 3 million mile Volvo and Joe LoCicero (“Million Mile Joe”) with his 1 million mile Honda Accord.  Volvo, as it turns out, has quite a few achievers in the high mileage realm.  A new video came out on Tuesday about a man in California who rolled a million miles in his 1988 sedan.  Link here.

Do take a few minutes and stop on by Jason’s High Mile Club.  Today, I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite sites like his.  Be forewarned, these are “not work safe”  — not because of graphic content, but rather because you’ll probably find yourself sucked in for a few hours and lose productivity.

High Mile Club

High Mile Club Link


Driven for Drives

My good friend Jason who recently joined for the Kitt Peak drive in Tucson, Arizona, has his own page devoted to capturing life behind the wheel of his 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD 6-Speed.  He’s based in New Mexico but his travels have taken him across the entire western United States.

Driven for Drives Link


TSX Travels

Josh is the original owner of an Acura TSX in Boise Idaho and he’s only about 9,000 miles away from hitting 400,000 miles.  His website talks about his adventures in getting there.

TSX Travels Link


Roadster Roadtrip

Also, check out Roadster Roadtrip.  This one is all about a Las Vegas resident who took to the streets last year and has logged 30,000 miles galavanting around the country in his 1967 Datsun Fairlady Roadster.

Roadster Roadtrip Link



Lastly, check out Carchaeology.  It’s pretty much with it sounds like.  Believe it or not, there is a community of about 2,800 people on Facebook who consider their cars as artifacts.  They love to preserve the stories behind them.  Carchaeology also has a mission of reuniting people with vehicles they have sold but now miss.  “Dig it up and drive it,” is the slogan.  Maybe the collective forum there could help track down a vehicle of YOURS that’s long gone?  Give them a look.  Link here and video of the administrator here.  His first car, by the way, was a Honda N600.


Since we’re talking about preservation of classic Hondas for a moment, check out this Petrolicious piece about my friend Chris Hoffman who is the original owner of 1987 Honda CRX Si.  I met Chris at the Detroit Auto Show a couple of weeks ago and his love for Honda runs deep.  Here’s the video link.


I’ll round this post out with a nerdy video I put together last week.  Any of you who own (or have owned) an older Honda vehicle are familiar with the series of beeps it made when you left your keys in the ignition and opened the door.  As a friend shared with me, it’s Morse code.  See for yourself.

Acura Group Drive Part 2: Madera Canyon in Green Valley, Arizona

Posted in Arizona, ILX, Road Trip on January 26, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  528,557


Odometer (ILX):  65,397


Welcome back!  It was an Acurrific Saturday with our caravan of three Acuras around the hills of Tucson, Arizona.  This is a continuation of our adventure from that day full o’ fun.  After having visited the Kitt Peak National Observatory, the next destination on our radar was a small canyon located about 25 miles south of Tucson called Madera Canyon.


From the Kitt visitor center parking lot, we stood about 4,000 feet above the elevation at the valley floor below.  We eagerly climbed into our sport sedans and set out to experience an exhilarating drive.  Paul led the way in Sport mode with his pearl white TL SH-AWD, while I followed closely behind in the ILX and Jason brought up the rear in his black TL SH-AWD.  The Kitt Peak access road is a driving enthusiast’s dream:  a 12-mile narrow two-laner with plenty of blind/sharp corners and some seriously panoramic views of the valley floor below.   All drivers’ eyes, however, were glued to the road ahead rather than the peripheral views because the highway begged to be experienced at speed.

Thankfully, the ILX 2.4 is a high-revving machine and I was able to go easy on the brakes as I slid the gearbox between 3rd & 4th gears and listened to the growl at 4,000 RPM and higher.  At over 65,000 miles I’ve yet to do any work to the brakes and I’ve only had the manual transmission fluid changed once.  It’s still as smooth as the day I got the car with 16 miles on it in June 2012.  And even without AWD, it held its own against the TLs in the corners!

After the refreshing (and remarkably traffic-free) descent to the valley floor, our Acuras then made their way across Highway 86 toward Interstate 19 and the town of Green Valley.  As I’ve blogged before, I-19 is the only interstate in the country that is signed with metric distances.  At Exit 63 (63 kilometers from the Mexican border) we exited for lunch at The Olives Bistro. From there, we were just moments away from our final destination for the day.

Madera Canyon (madera, by the way, is Spanish for “wood”) winds some 25 miles through the Santa Rita Mountains as it gains elevation.  The canyon is one of the southwest’s most popular places for birdwatching.  There are over 250 species that call this area home, including 15 different species of hummingbirds.  The two-lane road that winds its way through the canyon is a dead end.  There is a visitor parking lot at the end that also doubles as a trailhead for a half-dozen different hikes.  Jason, Paul, and I hiked about 30 minutes toward Josephine Saddle before deciding to double back.


The few times when we stopped to catch our breath on the steep incline, we noted how silent it was.  No rustling of leaves, no sounds of traffic.  It was just us and nature.  On the note of “sounds,” we did have one funny realization over the course of Saturday’s trip.  Each time we’d all pull our cars over to get a group picture, as soon as we exited our vehicles with our key fobs in our pockets, our Acuras would beep due to the key proximity sensors alerting us that the keys were not detected.  It was a symphony of Acura beeps and we had a good laugh about it.

On the way out of the canyon, we made a pit stop at a gift shop full of bird feeders, postcards, and walking sticks.  Here are the photos and a video from the rest of our Saturday trip!

Metric units of measure abound in the regions surrounding Interstate 19 south of Tucson


Only in Arizona do you have to watch out for prickly cacti when exiting your vehicle.


Lunch at The Olives Bistro was excellent.  I recommend the hummus!


From there, we were only about 10 miles from the southern end of the Madera Canyon road.  State Route 83 is accessed via a separate (dirt) road that branches off the main highway.  I’ll save that drive for another day!


It was a perfect afternoon to explore a new destination.


Can’t complain about the scenery in the rearview mirror, either.


We drove over a total of five one-lane bridges to get to the trailhead at the end of the canyon.


Jason rolled down his window and all I heard was Journey blasting at full volume.


Map in hand, we paid our $5 for day use and headed to the Mount Baldy hike trailhead.


I definitely didn’t have the energy to attempt Mt. Wrightson at 10 (steep) miles round-trip.


Taking a quick breather.



Back at the cars!  There was a family the came walking past.  “Look at all the Acuras,” one boy said as he pointed to our trio of backed-in cars.  We all just laughed.


There’s a warning sign you don’t see every day!


This gift shop was full of knick-knacks, but I decided against making a purchase.


Alright, classic car gurus.  Tell me what we’re looking at here.  I’m guessing 1952 Chevy station wagon.  The body was remarkably rust-free!  This was sitting hidden off the main road, tucked away.


Fun restoration candidate for someone!  Jason’s first comment as we were walking up to it:  “Hey, is that a first generation HHR?”  Haha.


Thanks, Paul and Jason, for a great day on the road!


Heading back toward civilization.


Jason’s TL was my GoPro stand for a few miles.


Great driving music.  Give it a listen.


What Arizona road trip would be complete without a stunning sunset?


The end.  Until next time, at least.

Acura Group Drive Part 1: Kitt Peak Observatory in Tucson, Arizona

Posted in Arizona, ILX, Road Trip on January 26, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  528,547


Odometer (ILX):  65,353


Nerd alert!  I’ve had a soft spot for science ever since childhood, and I met one of my heroes – Bill Nye the Science Guy – when I was in college.  But I’ve lived in Arizona for over 8 years ago and only recently learned that it’s home to an observatory with the largest collection of optical telescopes in the world.  Arizona is chock-full of hidden gems.


I first heard the name “Kitt Peak” when I drove past the turnoff last July while on a roadtrip to Why, Arizona.  Since then, I’d been wanting to make it back for a formal visit.  There are 3 tours offered daily.  Along with my friends Jason and Paul, I made it to the 10:00 a.m. program yesterday, which would focus on the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope.  It is the world’s largest solar telescope.

This was a family outing.  And by that, I mean all three vehicles in our caravan were Acuras:

  • Black 2010 Acura TL SH-AWD 6MT (Jason)
  • White 2013 Acura TL SH-AWD AT (Paul)
  • Silver 2013 Acura ILX 6MT (Tyson)

The boys and I broke this trip into a two-dayer, with a Friday night rendezvous in Tucson before the big day.  After a hotel buffet breakfast, we fired up our cars and headed westward through the Sonoran Desert on a beautiful morning.  As soon as we exited Highway 86, the Tucson-Ajo Highway, I knew we were in for a treat.  The next 12 miles were filled with great curves and some of the best scenery in the southwest.  I took the lead in the ILX and we climbed to an elevation of 6,880 feet at the summit.  Jason and I rowed our manual gearboxes, while Paul manipulated his paddle shifters to command action from his 6-speed automatic transmission. The temperatures were notably cooler as we made our way toward the top.


Kitt Peak’s construction dates back to 1958 when the National Science Foundation supplied funding under President John F. Kennedy.  Extensive site evaluations had designated Kitt as the best place for a national observatory:  It had more “good seeing days” (273 per year, to be exact) than any other potential site.  However, because the land was owned at the time by the Tohono O’odham Indian Nation (and considered very sacred), the U.S. had to negotiate with the tribe before it could lease 2,000 acres.  Among the contract terms:  The observatory must buy electricity that’s supplied by the reservation.  Those stipulations are still in full force today.



By 1962, the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope had been completed and astronomers were coming from all around the world to try it out.  The telescope stands a massive 100 feet in the air, 200 feet into the ground, and has a 500-foot-long angled section that is exactly parallel to the earth’s axis.  A telescope uses a series of mirrors and discs that reflect light and focus it to create an image.  Even though McMath-Pierce is now over 50 years old, the technology that it employs is still relevant.  Infrastructure has been updated with fiber optic communication equipment.  Little known fact:  The telescope also acts as a gigantic sundial.  I guess that makes two massive sundials I’ve visited in recent months.  Our tour guide, Larry, took us inside the telescope for a closer look.


Some 2,500 visitors travel to Kitt Peak each year to see McMath-Pierce as well as some of the 17 or so other telescopes on-site.  I’d love to go back to Kitt and stargaze sometime during one of the nightly observing programs.  For now, enjoy some of the many photos below from this part of our trip!  Tomorrow, I’ll share the adventures of the rest of our Saturday Acura drive:  A trip to Madera Canyon.

Thanks for coming along!

TL & ILX gearing up for departure on Friday evening


Eastbound on Interstate 10 – it’s about a 90-minute drive to Tucson.


The Shell station located in Picacho Peak, Arizona has a good sense of humor.


… Not to mention some great souvenirs.  Coonskin cap, anyone?


Upon arrival in Tucson, I happened to hit 65,065 miles with an exterior temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit.  The stars would have been in greater alignment if I had been going 65 miles per hour at the time.


Saturday morning:  Mini waffles to fuel us for a long day of adventure behind the wheel.


Let’s load ’em up!


Couldn’t have asked for better weather for a Saturday drive.



Which would you pick?


Westward on the Ajo Highway, we knew we were getting close.


Paul snagged a great picture of the ILX from the rear.  Kitt Peak was in the distance, awaiting our visit.


And, here we are at the turnoff.


From there, it was 12 miles to the summit at just under 6,900 feet in elevation.


This type of sign gets me excited.


As expected, views were exceptional from all around as we climbed the mountain.


At these elevations, snow is possible and even likely this time of year.



Getting close!


In 1957, our Acuras would have never made this trip.  Here’s what the Kitt Peak access road looked like then.


We soon rounded a bend and saw some of Kitt Peak’s telescopes in the distance.


Made it!



The visitor center & gift shop dates back to 1962 and is staffed by members of the Tohono O’odham Indian Nation.


Inside, there are many informative displays.  This one gave a comparison between the various sizes of reflective mirrors that are used in telescopes today.


Our tour group was led outside to the massive white structure which was the McMath-Pierce Telescope.




The telescope is actually made of copper, but it was painted white so that it can be as reflective of light as possible.


Inside, we stared down the inner barrel at all the mechanical components that make the telescope work.


This was a neat picture of what the telescope looked like when it was under construction.


Here, Paul and I are standing in front of a 2.1-meter telescope in the background.


Back to the Acuras we went for the next leg of our journey.


Paul took the lead in the white one and we made our descent.


Later that afternoon, we explored one of Arizona’s hidden canyons.  Come back tomorrow & read about it!

Reader’s Ride: Walter’s 2015 Acura Legend Coupe Concept

Posted in Legend, Reader's Ride on January 23, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  528,547


Odometer (ILX):  64,856




Open your minds and your eyes to the creative masterpiece of one man who was determined to show Acura how it’s to be done.  A V6-powered Acura coupe hasn’t been around since the 3.2 CL model of 2003.  And Acura hasn’t made a 2-door vehicle at all since the 4-cylinder RSX sport coupe was discontinued after the 2006 model year.


One Acura fan recognized the void and took matters into his own hands by creating an Acura coupe of his own.  Meet Walter and his 2015 Acura Legend coupe. What you see here is a unique ride that conveys the spirit of the Acura Legend in modern form.  It started as a V6, 6-speed 2010 Honda Accord coupe equipped with a host of HFP – Honda Factory Performance – add-ons.  But it’s since been transformed into a one-of-a-kind custom ride.

Walter’s affinity for Honda & Acura products began very early on.  He purchased a 1995 Honda Accord brand new.  Today, he still owns that same car and it has over 270,000 miles on it.  Also in his stable is a black-on-black 2013 Acura RDX.  That brings us to this car, his latest and greatest creation:


20″ Vossen CV3 wheels round out the package that is this extremely unique car.  Check out the extensive modification list below highlighting the key upgrades that make Walter’s ride special.


  • Woodgrain Upgrade:  Dash & Console Matte Dark Cherry Wrap
  • 2010 Acura TL Type-S Shift Knob
  • Full LED Lighting
  • Custom Perforated Nappa Leather Shift Boot & E-Brake Boot with White Stitching
  • 2010 Acura TSX Switchblade Key
  • Custom-Made Aluminum Door Sills



  • Full Legend Badging (Authentic Acura Product)
  • 2010 Acura TL A Badges for Front & Rear
  • Vossen CV3 Wheels:  20×10.5 Rear; 20×9.5 Front
  • Tein Street Advance with EDFC Full Coilover Suspension; 16 Way Adjustable
  • SPC 3 Piece Camber Kit Front, SPC 1 Piece Camber Kit Rear



  • Anzo Aftermarket Headlights:  Custom Retrofit, Honda S2000 Projectors; Osram CBI Bulbs, Custom Shields, Euro Clear Lenses, Morimoto 50-Watt Ballasts for Low Beams
  • Anzo Full LED Taillights
  • 3000K HID Fog Lights with 35-Watt Morimoto Ballast
  • Custom LED Turn Signals on Sideview Mirrors



  • Greddy Spectrum Elite Exhaust, Burnt Titanium Tip
  • RV6 Custom J-Pipe
  • Takeda Short Ram Intake


  • Optima Yellow Top, Big Three Upgrade Red & Black


  • 2012 Acura RL Calipers
  • 2006 Nissan 350Z Track Rotors for Front Brakes
  • Stoptech Drilled Rotors
  • GoodRidge Stainless Steel Brake Lines

Photo Gallery:










A Greddy exhaust system gives the 3.5 liter V6 some growl.


Unbeatable shine.  I don’t know if I’ve ever seen black paint so swirl-free.  Walter says his detailing regiment consists primarily of products from Griot’s Garage.


Step inside, and you’re greeted with a custom Acura badge on the steering wheel and woodgrain trim throughout.


The shift knob & boot are pulled from an Acura TL.


Even the stainless steel door sills are one-off items with ACURA engraved on them.


I might have to have Walter build me one of these, too.


Here is a Q&A with Walter about his pride & joy:

Which upgrade that you’ve done are you most proud of?

I am most proud of the entire car from inception is to its creation and continued evolution. I am proud of the time and patience that was placed into the planning, staging, sourcing, and collaborating with local shops to have all the items installed on the car. I am extremely pleased with the final look of the car the uniqueness of it and the realization of my dream.

What was your vision for the Legend when you first started building it?

My vision for the car was to have a complete, unique, and one of a kind automobile, that would provide the overall Acura Legend experience that I coveted as a teen. I wanted a modern day representation of a car that was beautiful, timeless and not overwrought in its completeness like the original. My vision would need to encapsulate my personal expression, represent me as a true car enthusiast, and cater to the luxury sport equation in a 6 speed two door package, like the Legend Coupe before it.

Lastly I wanted my vision to represent my passion for having rare or one off things. A modern day Acura Legend would suit the bill as I have always wanted one. Currently I was financially able to afford such a vehicle however, Acura sadly did not make such a car.  In my quest for a premium midsized coupe, I merged my wants with my devotion to my lifelong admired coupe and built it myself.

Acura’s former tag line of “precision crafted performance”, helped me to fully realize my childhood dream car as the reborn 2015 Acura Legend coupe (Special Edition).

Tell me a little about what got you into the Honda/Acura family.

I started with Honda and Acura back in 1993 when I first saw the NSX in person. I knew I had to have it or anything in its lineage. Later on I saw the stunning 2 door Acura Legend coupe and was hooked. In the year of 1995 I convinced my mom to purchase a loaded white Honda Accord sedan EX as a road car. At the time the build quality was impressive for the price along with its’ standard feature set. The car had great magazine reviews, but what intrigued me most was the spritely four cylinder that would sing as the revs climbed within in tachometer.

After 5 years my mom went to trade the car in but I saw potential and she gave it to me. I started with a full motor swap a year or so later on the car when it had approximately 180k miles on the chassis. I ordered an H22A with full prelude transmission. Once I completed that swap; one of the first in the Baltimore area, I was hooked. I spent countless time racing and, modifying that car. Today I still have the car with approximately 280k on the chassis.

Many thanks to Walter for sharing his automotive passion with me and with my readers.  He told me he’s got some additional upgrades in mind, so we plan on getting together again in the near future for a follow-up.  Drive on, my friend!

It’s fitting in this post to share this glimpse of what I think Acura NEEDS to build.  Following is a rendering by Neal McDaniel of “Neal’s Fantasy Factory” that was shared yesterday on Temple of VTEC.  It’s a coupe version of the recently-revealed 2015 Acura TLX Prototype.  Can you imagine this car with a V6 powerplant, SH-AWD, and available 6-speed manual transmission?


Where do I send my check?  I’ll take it.

Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona

Posted in Car Show, ILX on January 20, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  528,535


Odometer (ILX):  64,779


I had to chuckle when I saw this picture posted on Facebook today:


Well, it wasn’t even 50 years old, but I’ve already restored a Honda product.  I brought a 25-year-old Acura Legend back to life just a couple months ago.  Feast your eyes on some before-after goodness:


How’d I get the engine bay so clean?  It took time, elbow grease, and a toothbrush.


I thought I was doing well to sell that “collector” low-mileage 1988 Acura Legend coupe for $3,000.  But it’s a whole different ballgame to watch a vehicle being sold for 100 or even 1,000 times that price.  As part of this past weekend’s festivities, some friends and I went to the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction.  B-J dates back to 1971 is one of several premiere car auctions held in the Scottsdale, Arizona area each January.

I wanted to quickly share a few pictures here from the heat of the action during our visit last Saturday.  Entry tickets – even just for spectators – go for $60 each at the gate, but my friend David who works there got us in for free-ninety-nine.


Let’s go!


Saturday was one of the busiest days in the auction’s 7-day duration.  It was so busy, in fact, that not only was the main parking lot full, but also a couple of the overlow lots.  We ended up stashing the ILX on a grassy soccer field over 4 miles away and taking a shuttle bus to the entrance!


Credentials in-hand, we got ready for the sights & sounds.


Whole lotta bling going on here with this Chevy motor.


This is the main hall where the vehicles are brought up on the auction block.  The folks who are seated in the center of the room are bidders and they have special credentials.  There’s also bidding going on behind-the-scenes.  My friend David works with the Internet team to place bids on behalf of people who are watching the auction online and who wish to make a bid electronically.


Here’s a 12-second taste of what it’s like in that room.

Outside, we were able to wander around and see the hundreds of vehicles which had been (or were yet to be) sold throughout the course of the week.



I quite enjoyed this 1953 Buick Skylark convertible.


One of my favorite things about the cars at B-J was that each one had a very detailed history.  This Corvette Roadster, for example, was a numbers-matching, 2-owner car with only 36,000 miles and complete documentation back to when it was brand new.


Anything goes.  Who would have thought a 1978 Olds Toronado would someday be collectible?  This example had only 5,000 original miles on it.  It was a highly equipped model with lots of factory add-ons.


Each vehicle at the auction has an information sheet in the window which gives the story on the vehicle as well as provides the Sale Number for those who are interested in tracking it.


Row after row of vehicles awaited their fate outside.


The only Acura I saw – and boy, was it a beauty – was this Spa Yellow NSX-T 6-speed manual. It had only 3,000 miles on it!


It went for $56,000.  Cheap for the miles, I say!  Pictured here are Alan, Tia, Matt, and myself.  Tire kickers – none of us had anywhere near the kind of money we would’ve needed to drive home in one of these fine rides.


Matt later sent me a picture of this Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution which was up for auction.  This is the car that was driven by Paul Walker in Fast & Furious 2.


Heading home in my humble $30k ILX after being surrounded by so many great vehicles.


Bon voyage, mom!  I had a great time with her, and hope she comes back to visit again soon!


A Visit from Mom: 2014 AZ Rock & Roll Marathon

Posted in Arizona, ILX on January 19, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  528,530


Odometer (ILX):  64,740


If there’s anyone who knows about going the distance, it’s my mom.  My black & blue Asics running shoes have a few hundred miles on them, which may seem like a lot.  Truth is, though, I’ve been lapped time and time again by my mother.  Drive to five?  Try five hundred, five thousand?  She’s crossed the finish line over 160 times in competitive races since she started running in the late 1990s, having logged over 20,000 miles.  By foot!

In fact, she had the license plate “RUNZLOT” on her Milano Red 1994 Acura Legend LS coupe.


Below is a neat tradition my mom has for her full (26.2-mile) marathons.  She’ll wear 26 bracelets on her wrist – each one dedicated to a particular friend of family member.  As she completes each mile while thinking about that person, she’ll transfer that person’s bracelet from one wrist to the other.


Each year, mom comes to Phoenix from Utah for a winter getaway.  In this blog post, you’ll get a play-by-play of our 13.1 mile race this morning as well as some other weekend activities.  Tomorrow night, I’ll share the experience of our visit to one of the world’s premiere collector car auctions, right here in Scottsdale.  Saddle up, pardners.


A Friday night out on the town in central Phoenix with friends preceded a busy weekend.


Long distance running is a hobby I took on about 8 years ago, and I can’t let it go.  I saw a fitting sign today held up by a marathon spectator:  “Running is a mental sport.  And you’re all insane.”  I think they’re absolutely right – anyone would have to be crazy to voluntarily subject his or her body to a dozen miles of pounding the pavement.  There were 13,407 people today who ran the 13.1 mile half-marathon.  That comes out to 175,631.7 miles that were run this morning between Tempe, Scottsdale, and Phoenix Arizona.


Saturday morning, we headed to the Phoenix Convention Center in the ILX to retrieve our race information & “goodie bags.”


Optimal weather – as Phoenix is known for this time of year – was in plentiful supply.


Downtown, we met up with our friend Aaron who’d also be running the race the following day.



The following quote has become a mantra for Drive to Five over the years.  The joy of getting from Point A to B, for me anyway, has always been more important than the origin or the destination.


A quick brunch visit at Windsor satisfied our hunger before a busy afternoon that followed.



Linh, Kevin, Tia, Paul in the back, and some cheesy guy taking a 5-person ‘selfie’ in the foreground.


Paul’s TL was looking spectacular, as always.


What’s a mom visit without a little shopping at Scottsdale Fashion Square?


Race day came bright and early for us all.  We each laced up and put 13.1 miles on our running shoes.  Weather was perfect.  I approach a long-distance run much like I do a long-distance drive.  It must be broken up into more manageable segments.  Take a 13-mile race, for example, and make it four 3-mile races, with a little extra tacked onto the end.  That’s how I visualize it.  I do the same on a long drive.  If I’m heading to a destination 1,000 miles away, I’ll drive 250 miles at a time and only worry about making it that far – without stressing about the long road ahead.  I ran into my friend Thomas at the start line, and we were off.


Just when I started feeling a little worn down at around mile 7 or so, I saw an amazing athlete with a prosthetic leg.  She was moving and grooving.  I no longer felt an ounce of fatigue.  I was inspired.


A few miles later, I saw a man dribbling two basketballs and running at the same time.  I later googled “Doctor Dribble” online and found that he has a fanpage on Facebook and he’s in part sponsored by the Rock & Roll marathon series.  Pretty awesome!  I sure wish I had his coordination.


Of all the things I most looked forward to as I neared the finish, know what was at the top of the list?  Chocolate milk.  I knew they’d have plentiful supply of this chocolatey goodness in the recovery area.  I took two bottles.  It was the most delicious thing I have ever tasted.


Final standings – well, mom kicked my hiney, as she always tends to do.  She went on to place 20th in her age division and still looked like a million bucks.  How DOES she do it?


Mom rolled in 15 minutes before I did.


Group shot at the finish – Tyson, Tia, Paul, Jonathan, and Aaron – glad to have succeeded!


I finished 3,918th out of those 13,407 total finishers.  That comes out to a 9 1/2-minutes-per-mile pace.  Slow poke compared to most of the competitive runners out there.  It felt amazing to get back into my leather-lined ILX and roll the moonroof open for a leisurely drive back home to relax.


Thanks, mom, for the continued motivation!


Here’s a quick iPhone video from the race start line, as well as a few seconds of Dr. Dribble in action.

2014 Detroit Auto Show – Day 2: TLX Reveal

Posted in Car Show, TLX on January 14, 2014 by tysonhugie

I’ll spare you the suspense and start throwing pics in here right away.

Here is the 2015 Acura TLX Prototype.


And here’s the reveal video.

It was so cold this morning, I had to scrape frost off the inside of the windows in my 2013 Nissan Altima rental car.  I was at Cobo Hall bright and early to score a front row seat for Acura’s 11:05 a.m. press conference.  Thumbs up here!


The booth (pictured empty here) later filled to complete capacity well in advance of the press event.  Standing room only!




Lights, Camera




Beauty shots as the music and smoke add dramatic effect.


TLX spins on a turntable



And finally a chance to get up close and personal.


Here you go.


Total stunner.  Especially that lickable paint.  From Acura’s press release:

Like any truly world-class athlete, the TLX will pair power and efficiency with deft agility. With its low and wide stance, rigid yet lightweight body, and nimble and responsive chassis, the TLX is designed to deliver confident, precise and refined ride and handling performance in almost any driving situation.

From low-stress urban commutes to relaxed long-distance cruising, or adrenaline-inducing runs down twisting country roads, the TLX is designed to be an intuitive and confidence-inspiring driving partner, a vehicle that epitomizes Acura’s dynamic concept of “performance at the will of the driver.”


Jarad Hall – the man who spent the last several years of his life designing this car!  He succeeded masterfully.


Profile.  The prototype pictured here had no interior, but we do know some specs about the powertrains.  This car will incorporate available Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive and Precision All-Wheel Steering. There will be available 2.4 liter 4-cylinder and 3.5 liter V6, direct-injected engines.  Also available are two different transmissions:  an 8-speed dual clutch, and a 9-speed automatic.  Yes, NINE!


With Vince Manganiello of Acura Public Relations.  We’re both quite proud of how this turned out!


The car drew quite a crowd.


Nice looking rear.



I’ll spare you the rest of the nitty gritty and link you to the official Press Release.



Also revealed was the TLX “GT” Race Car.



More on that here.

62I got a pic with Sofyan from 2theRedline.  Watch his YouTube channel for a full feature on the TLX soon.


So is the TLX a winner?  Well, I think so.  And apparently, so does mom.


I had a brush with fame – Ted Klaus, Large Project Leader for the new NSX, chatted with me for a few minutes about the next Acura supercar.


Signing out from Detroit!  Back to the fun and games.


2014 Detroit Auto Show – Day 1

Posted in Car Show, TLX on January 13, 2014 by tysonhugie

Greetings from Motor City!

Weather’s been cool, but the action’s been hot.  Sixteen automakers today set out to dazzle the press with their latest models and extravagant displays.  Cobo Hall in downtown Detroit provided more sights and sounds than I could even dream of soaking in, my I did my best to learn about the direction the automotive industry is going.

Tomorrow I’ll be seeking a front-row seat for the reveal of the 2015 Acura TLX at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time.  In the meantime, here are some of the adventures from my first day at the 25th Annual North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).


What have we here?  This would be the successor to the Acura TL and TSX.  It was oh-so-tempting to grab a corner of that sheet and just have a little peek.  Rest assured I’ll give you all a look at what’s under the cover promptly after its unveil tomorrow.


In the background, the Acura RL Sport Hybrid SH-AWD in Pearl White looks on.


Are you as excited as I am?  Tune into Acura’s YouTube channel tomorrow.


Recapping the trip so far:  Here’s the ILX as I was preparing for departure via Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.


36 degrees when I landed?  Brrrrr.


Dinner in Dearborn Heights with local friends Waseem and Hass.


Waseem’s 1990 Legend sedan has taken a licking and keeps on ticking!


Map of the facility at Cobo Center.  Lots of area to cover — too much for just one day, in fact.


I spent a good chunk of my time here.


One of the cars that caught my eye was the new 2015 Honda Fit.  It’s lighter and faster, yet more fuel efficient than the outgoing model.


Lexus had a beautiful RC350 coupe on display.


Lexus’ booth always does make me feel like I need sunglasses!  Bright & shiny.


Big news for Toyota was the FT-1 Concept.  Could this be the next Supra?  Some say so.


Infiniti showed a performance edition of the Q50 sedan called the “Eau Rouge” with over 500 horsepower.  That’s some serious get-up-and-go.  Loved the color, too.


Audi’s S3 is a handsome little sedan.


And the Chrysler 200 shares a lot of lines with its Dodge Dart sibling.


You’ll probably recognize the Honda FCEV Concept from the Los Angeles Auto Show reveal last November.


Check out the 2015 Ford F-150.  It has a ton of new features like an illuminated cargo bay.


Aside from the great cars, NAIAS has been full of great people too.  I met up with Sofyan Bey of “2theRedline” along with his crew.


My friends Christian and Davis, of Rockland Media Group, made the rounds with me as I walked around a bit.


Vince Manganiello, Acura Western Region PR, talked with me a little about the TLX.  We’re both excited for tomorrow’s presentation.


This is Mat Hargett who’s spent the last 5 years designing the TLX.  He said he didn’t sleep last night (and probably won’t sleep tonight) in anticipation of his baby’s big debut.


Acura VP Sales, Jeff Conrad, was soaking up the sights as well.  He and I caught up for a few minutes near the Mercedes-Benz booth before checking out the brand new C-Class.


Vicki Poponi works in the Service area currently but she has a long history with Acura.  She asked me how my ILX travels are going and I brought her up to speed.


Finally, I ran into Jon Ikeda, Chief Designer.  He’s got a keen eye for style.


It’s time for me to get out of the Media Center and get back to the circus!  See you all tomorrow.

Hondas Last Forever

Posted in Maintenance on January 11, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  528,496


Odometer (ILX):  64,449



In case you (we) didn’t already know it, Honda vehicles are now “officially” known as the longest-lasting mainstream automotive brand in America.  From a Media Alert released from Torrance HQ yesterday:

TORRANCE, Calif., January 10, 2014 – Honda vehicles are the most durable and longest lasting of any mainstream automotive brand, according to Polk vehicle registration statistics from 1988-2012. No other mainstream brand had a greater percentage of vehicles on the road than the Honda brand. In the mainstream segment, an industry best 75% of all Honda vehicles sold in the last 25 years were still on the road.

Hey, duh!  For the detailed release, here’s the link to Honda’s Newsroom.

I took the old 500k-er out for a lunchtime cruise in Tempe, Arizona.



The weekly Saturday car show at Scottsdale Pavilions was bustling with hundreds of vehicles.  Each year at the time, the Phoenix area classic car scene revs up as the big auctions like Barrett-Jackson and Russo & Steele come to town.


Lots of American muscle cars dominated the show today.



I’m hanging up the car keys for a change and taking a flight to Michigan tomorrow for the North American International Auto Show.  Among the highlights will be the reveal of Acura’s newest sports sedan (slated for Tuesday) as well as big debuts from many other carmakers.


So excited!  Just not so sure I’m ready for this:


I’ll bring you news from the heart of the action next week!

The Temple of Acura

Posted in Legend, Maintenance on January 8, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  528,429


Odometer (ILX):  64,275


Congrats, mom, on hitting 120,000 miles today in your 2003 Lexus GS430.  Making me proud.


How’s everyone holding up in those frigid temperatures?  Acura Legend enthusiast Brad Hespe posted this picture on Facebook of his 1994 GS sedan that survived negative-17 degree temperatures in Chicago.


Now that looks cold.  Meanwhile, those of us in the Phoenix, Arizona area haven’t dipped below about 40.  I took this picture on my commute yesterday afternoon in the ILX, driving through the Salt River – Pima Indian Community.


On Saturday morning, my friends Paul and Jack joined me on a pilgrimage to Tempe Acura, also referred to by Paul as the “Temple of Acura.”  Adorned in our finest robes, we were greeted upon arrival by the polished floors and glistening steel idols.  Okay, maybe that’s taking it a bit too far – but we did enjoy the amenities while waiting for some basic maintenance on my 1994 Acura Legend GS sedan.


Bit o’ history:  My sedan had 132,555 miles on it when I took delivery on May 24, 2008 in northern Utah.  Since then, it’s undergone quite a bit of maintenance which I highlighted in this post.  As of today, under my ownership it’s had 11 oil changes with 5W20 conventional oil and I’ve driven it 11,848 miles over the past 6 years.  That comes out to just 1,974 miles per year.  My service advisor, Dana, said after I pulled into the Service driveway, “You need to sell this one.” I rolled my eyes and grinned.


In she goes!


Luis Sofre is one of my blog followers who works at the dealership.


The good stuff.  Fresh baked cookies, every day.  My favorite are the oatmeal raisin.


Paul, Jack, and I walked around outside to see what kind of cars were on the lot.  There was a Bellanova White Pearl ILX 6-speed parked on the raised platform just outside the front doors.


This Silver Moon automatic had the bodyside moldings which I opted out of when I ordered my ILX.


Waiting for the oil change and entertaining ourselves.


And ready to roll again after an oil change and NO WASH.  I always specify that I don’t want them to wash my car when I drop it off for service.


Clean bill of health received.  The only note the technician made was that the Michelin Primacy tires (manufactured in 2007) are getting old.


Ending mileage when she went back into storage.


Later that afternoon, I took the NSX to a meet at Science of Speed.  SOS is a performance shop in Chandler, Arizona that specializes in the 1991-2005 Acura NSX and the 2000-2009 Honda S2000.


In attendance were a few very special and rare S2000 “CR” models, including these two in Apex Blue Pearl and Rio Yellow Pearl.  CR stands for Club Racer, and fewer than 2,000 S2000s were made in this trim.  Shigeru Uehara was the man behind the S2000 design, and some of you may remember him as the man who signed my Legend’s dashboard.  The S2000 CR has a lower ratio steering rack, stiffer suspension, and a body kit / spoiler that allegedly reduces the coefficient of lift by 70% compared to a stock S2000.


Finally, I wanted to share a few pictures from a recent trip to the local pick-n-pull junkyard with friends.  For $2, the “Ecology” facility in South Phoenix will let you enter the yard with your own tools and scavenge for anything you might need.  Here was the lineup of our vehicles in the parking lot – Nissan (x2), Lexus (x2), Acura (x2), Mitsubishi and Mini Cooper.  My friends have pretty good taste in cars.


There were a few Legend sightings inside, including this Granada Black Pearl 1994 L coupe.


The guys pulled a few parts that Nick needed off an older Infiniti Q45.


It’s always entertaining to walk through the car graveyard and contemplate all the stories the vehicles would tell if they could talk.  Some lived very short lives, while others appeared very used up.


If you haven’t already, swing by the Drive to Five Facebook page and give it a thumbs up.


Thanks for following along!