Archive for March, 2014

Brad’s Visit Part 1: Phoenix – Flagstaff – Kingman, Arizona

Posted in Arizona, ILX, Road Trip on March 31, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,074


Odometer (ILX):  72,728


Trip Distance:  306 Miles


How would you like to walk out on a glass platform and look at the ground nearly 4,000 feet below?  Would that give you a little bit of vertigo?  (photo credit:  Hualapai Indian Reservation)


This weekend’s adventure was a visit to a hole in the ground that’s neither the deepest nor the widest in the world, but is nevertheless famous due to its size and colorful landscape:  The Grand Canyon.  My friend Brad flew in from New York to enjoy the view at one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Despite the fact that I live in the Grand Canyon state, I sure haven’t spent much time there lately.  I’ve only been a few times that I recall.  One was was eight years ago, in March 2006 when my Legend had 211,000 miles on it.


Keen Acura fans’ eyeballs will notice those 2004-2006 Acura TL 17″ wheels I was sporting at the time.


Another trip to the Grand Canyon was a railroad trip to the south rim in May 2011.  To a lot of people (both Arizonans and otherwise), the G.C. is a “see it once, never go back” type destination.  What they don’t realize is that the canyon offers a vastly different perspective depending on each of the various viewpoints available.

After enjoying brunch on Saturday morning in Tempe, Brad and I quickly hiked to the summit of Arizona State University’s “A” Mountain.  A gigantic yellow A, there since 1955, proudly communicates Tempe’s school spirit.


Later that afternoon, we headed northbound on Interstate 17 in the ILX toward Flagstaff, Arizona.  Along with the elevation gain from 1,100 feet to 7,000 feet, the temperature dipped accordingly.  87 degrees became 67 degrees by the time we arrived at historic San Francisco Street in Flagstaff.

We wandered around for a few minutes and stumbled across the community’s oldest pizza place – Alpine Pizzeria which first opened 41 years ago.  Dessert was served up at the Galaxy Diner, a Route 66 relic that I visited on my Twin Arrows drive back in September 2012.  The hot fudge sundae was every bit as tasty as I remembered it being.  After indulging, we hit the road once more and tuned in to XM channel 74 – we’d had enough pop music for the day.  Instead, our playlist was opera.  Brad’s a big-time opera fan and a frequent flyer of the Metropolitan Opera in New York.   I’m making an effort to diversify my musical interests, so I enjoyed a sampling of some of his favorite pieces.

It took us about two hours of driving westbound on I-40 across the pitch black night to arrive at our nightly destination in Kingman, exhausted but satisfied from a successful day.  The next morning, we would be wowed by one of Mother Nature’s most amazing features in scenic panorama view.

For that, check in tomorrow.  It’ll be worth your while.

Here are a few pictures from Saturday’s fun.

Brunch at NCOUNTER in Tempe.  I recommend the “loaded” omelet.


The 1918 Hayden flour Mill has served as an area landmark for nearly a century.  Tempe’s main street is named “Mill Avenue” for it.


Admiring the view of Tempe from the hike on “A” Mountain.


At the summit – only around 1,400 feet but it was a stair-stepping experience and still left me a bit winded!


Flagstaff, Arizona.  Home of the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks.


So, Brad accidentally dumped an entire shaker of peppers onto his slice of cheese pizza at Alpine.  And then he STILL ATE IT.


Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church on Cherry Street – love the architecture here.


Galaxy Diner, a great spot for food since the 1950’s.


Our waittress’ response when I ordered a hot fudge sundae:  “We’re out of ice cream.”  My disappointment reached epic levels.  She must’ve seen it in my face, because soon she cracked a grin and said she was kidding.  Sundaes for all!


Giving this XM channel a whirl for a change.  I didn’t even know it existed.  Look at me being all cultured.


Come back tomorrow!  The fun’s just getting started.

Interview for Hemmings Magazine Feature

Posted in Arizona, Legend, Reader's Ride on March 29, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,055


Odometer (ILX):  72,010


Hemmings is the world’s authority in classic car news and classifieds. For anyone who’s into the collector car hobby, you’ve already heard the name before.  My friend Scott’s Lotus Esprit made the cover of Sports and Exotic Car in December 2011.


It’s hard to believe, but cars from the 1990’s are now becoming classics.  Several weeks ago I was approached by author Jeff Koch about a feature story he was putting together on high-mileage vehicles.  We got together on Wednesday for some Q&A and then a photoshoot of the Legend in nearby Papago Park.


  • Jeff:  Would you mind popping the hood?
  • Me (“eek” face):  Sure, but I think it’s gonna be dusty in there.
  • (as the hood goes up)
  • Jeff:  Are you kidding me?  There is no way in hell anyone who reads the magazine is going to believe this car has half a million miles on it.

Ha!  A little while later:

  • Jeff:  You said that’s stock ride height?
  • Me:  Yeah
  • Jeff:  Jeeze, it looks like it’s sitting on the bump stops from this angle.
  • Me:  Well, that’s what my Legend enthusiast friends call the “500,000 mile sagging suspension.”


Jeff told me that my paperwork/documentation on the car was “the most complete I’ve seen in 20 years of doing this.”  That’s what I like to hear.

We had a great time.  He liked the roll-down rear windows and the automatic door closers.  I offered to put my new-in-the-box driver side floor mat in for the interior photo-op, but he said he would rather take the picture of my floor mat that had a hole in it.  The hole was worn by the heel of my shoe over many years and miles of travels, and thus it helped tell the story of my Legend.

We ended up getting some great pictures and we’ll probably see the article sometime later this year.  Jeff said this will mark the first time an Acura Legend has been featured in the magazine.  Sweet!




Thanks Jeff for taking the time to meet with me!


Be sure and check out Jeff’s blog here for the latest on all the cool cars he gets to photograph and review.

Before you close that browser, take a quick peek at my friend Stephen’s immaculate 1994 Legend GS.


Feast your eyes on that depth of that Granada Black Pearl paint.  Would you believe this car has 218,342 miles on it?


Thanks Stephen for following the blog and for sharing these pics with me/us!


Here’s a sneak peek of where I’m off to this weekend.  Tune in next time for a full report.



Throwback Thursday: Meguiar’s HQ Meet 2008

Posted in California, Legend, Road Trip, Throwback on March 27, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,050


Odometer (ILX):  71,848


Anyone who’s ridden in my Legend knows that I’m a clean freak when it comes to my car.  My friend Alex one time gave me a pair of booties that I could slip over my shoes before getting into the car.  Was it a joke or was he serious?  I guess I’ll never know.  Years ago, I even bought a roll of protective “dealer plastic” on Ebay that I keep over the carpet on the door entry areas.


Here’s part of my current detailing arsenal.


From a young age, my dad instructed me in the ways of car finish maintenance.  Our car care products were always Meguiar’s brand.  Did you know that Meguiar’s has been around since 1901?  It’s no wonder they’ve mastered the right types of products for keeping a vehicle looking its finest.

Six years ago, in March 2008, I traveled from Phoenix, Arizona to Irvine, California (roughly 800 miles round-trip) to attend a detailing seminar at the Meguiar’s US headquarters.  There are some photos I captured while en route on westbound Interstate 10.




Upon arrival in Orange County, I met up with two fellow Legend fans:  Penny and Steve.


Penny drives the Sherwood Green 1994 Legend GS sedan 6-speed, and Steve drives the Taffeta White 1995 Legend L sedan automatic.  Believe it or not, Steve bought that Legend brand spanking new and he still drives it today.


Penny, double-chinned Tyson, and Steve.


Here are some photos from a similar meet that had been held the year prior.

What are your car detailing products of choice?

1995 Acura Literature: “Preferred Pre-Owned”

Posted in Brochures on March 25, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,040


Odometer (ILX):  71,797


Many thanks to my friend (and Acura sales & leasing consultant) Paul at Ed Voyles Acura for sending me some awesome literature in the mail!

Here’s a screen shot from the Excel spreadsheet where I keep track of my inventory.  In total, I have collected 75 items that pertain to general Acura interest (ranging from full-line model brochures to press kits, greeting cards, postcards, paint chips, things of that sort).  Then, I have a separate 50 or so items that are specific to the Legend (brochures, promotional videos, posters, etc).  It’s become quite the library!  I talked about some of it here.


Here’s a new piece that I picked up just this past weekend.  It’s a 12 x 12 detailed brochure on the 1991 Legend sedan that I got from my friend Mark in Los Angeles.


Acura, like most luxury automakers, has a very robust program in place to resell its lightly-used vehicles.  Even back in the mid-1990s, there were advertisements like this one that made “original owners want to buy them back.”


Along with that campaign were printed various types of literature, including this pamphlet and booklet that Paul sent to me.  These were printed in 1995 and contain detailed information about the Preferred Pre-Owned program as it related to the NSX, RL, Legend, SLX, TL, Vigor, CL, and Integra models.



The brochure has 24 pages of detailed information about what WAS and WAS NOT covered in the Preferred Pre-Owned vehicle warranty program.  One of my favorite recommendations in the brochure was:  “As an aid for the next owner, keep all maintenance receipts with the vehicle if it is sold.”  Something that I love to see when I’m browsing the classifieds is a vehicle that’s fully documented back to new.  I’d be far more comfortable buying a 200,000 mile car with full maintenance history than one with 100,000 miles and zero paperwork.


Toward the end of the booklet there’s one page called Required Maintenance Record.  I don’t think these 14 boxes would have lasted me very long, considering my Legend’s maintenance spreadsheet now contains 236 lines of data.


Perhaps the best part of the whole package was a postcard attached to the back cover.  The idea here was that owners could register themselves as members of the Preferred Pre-Owned program.


I wonder if I should fill one out for my Legend and just see what they do with it when it gets there?

Side Note:  For any who are interested in picking up a really clean RSX 6-speed, have a look at this beauty:


My friend Buck is getting ready to part with his 2002 RSX Type-S.  It’s immaculately maintained with only 91,500 miles on the odometer.  The interior is black leather.  The RSX is customized with 17″ wheels from the 2007-08 Acura TL Type-S.  For inquiries, reach me at the email listed in my “About” page and I’ll put you in touch with Buck.  The car is located in southern Utah.


Thanks for looking!

ILX Drive: Los Angeles, California

Posted in California, ILX, Road Trip on March 23, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,038


Odometer (ILX):  71,667


Trip Distance:  764 Miles


Anyone hungry?  I know where you can find a donut that’s 32 feet in diameter.

This weekend, I hit the highway and headed to the Golden State.  It only takes me about 6 hours to get from my house to Los Angeles.  Unfortunately, sometimes it can then take 6 hours to get from the suburbs of LA into LA, but that’s another story altogether.  Gotta love southern California traffic sometimes.  It was a great couple days of fun in the sun for me and for a few friends.  My friend Jeff was visiting from Calgary, Alberta so we had coordinated the weekend around his visit.


My Acura ILX knows Interstate 10 well, having traversed that road just a couple of weeks ago for the visit to Palm Springs, California.  I threw the gear selector into 6th and sailed off at 3,200 RPM with a full tank of gas.  My only two stops on the drive out were in Quartzsite, Arizona (for string cheese and a Muscle Milk – some of my preferred road trip snacks), and Palm Desert, California (for a 91-octane gas stop at Chevron and a bite to eat at Burger King).  One thing I noticed as I descended toward sea level was the tangible power gain from the ILX 2.4 liter.  Its 201 horses seem to breathe a little easier at that elevation.


I’ll highlight just a few of the memorable activities from the weekend.  I’m a huge Back to the Future fan, having seen each of the 3 movies in the series probably a dozen or more times.  Next year on October 21, 2015, I better be doing something exciting because that’s the date that Marty McFly traveled to when he departed from 1985.  I recently learned of the real-world locations of some of the movie’s scenes.  One of them was the McFly house in Pacoima, California not far from Interstate 5, pictured here in a screen capture as part of “Lyon Estates.”


Determined to scout this out, I headed up I-405 first thing on Saturday morning to cross that off my list.  Traffic, thankfully, was flowing smoothly throughout the day – I must’ve gotten lucky.  The early morning ‘marine layer’ had yet to burn off so it looked a bit overcast, but temperatures were in the mid-60’s and it was a perfect morning to do a little sightseeing.  Finding the McFly home was a piece of cake since I had the address in-hand.  As I rounded the corner onto Roslyndale Avenue, the street immediately looked familiar to me.  It didn’t look like anyone was home, so I pulled the ILX into the driveway for 30 seconds and snapped a photo.

Here’s the movie screenshot and my own version below it.


Mission:  Accomplished.  Next up, I headed southbound on I-5 and made a special visit in Orange County about 60 miles later.  My friend Mark in Laguna Hills had invited me over to pick up a few Acura goodies he wanted to part with.  He hooked me up with an OEM car cover for the 91-95 Legend coupe, a 1991 Legend sedan promotional brochure, and an Acura banner.  Score!

Back in the saddle I went, ricocheting northbound on I-5 again. (I probably drove 150 miles without even leaving the Los Angeles Metro area that morning.)  I met up for lunch with my friend and colleague Vince who works in Acura Public Relations.  I’ve interacted with him on the ALV program and most recently at the Detroit Auto Show.  It was great to catch up with him.  Our lunch locale of choice was a cozy retro diner in Culver City called Dinah’s.  I do highly recommend the mushroom burger & sweet potato fries!

The ocean beckoned, so for the rest of my day I joined up with Jeff and others for an afternoon at Manhattan Beach.  While parking was a bit of a challenge (and it doesn’t help that I won’t settle for just any parking space), I got settled in and tried my hand at a couple games of beach volleyball.  We all enjoyed a beautiful sunset from the pier later that evening.



This morning, my friends and I had breakfast at 26 Beach in Venice, known for its varieties of French toast.  After that, I had to stop by Randy’s Donuts on La Cienega in Inglewood for a photo-op.  Randy’s dates back to 1953 and its Wiki page talks about 16 movies that it’s been featured in, including Iron Man 2.  Here’s a picture of Tony Stark reclining inside the donut from Iron Man 2.


And my ILX pictured there earlier today.


My last stop before taking off for home was a car show sponsored by 742 Marketing that my friend Aaron had invited me to.  Aaron’s ILX was one of over 200 vehicles registered.  His ILX is vastly different from any other.  It started out as a bone stock Bellanova White 6-speed, but he’s since customized it with a custom quad exhaust, sport suspension, aftermarket wheels, and many other enhancements.  His next upgrades will be made under the hood, as he told me he’s hoping to hit “beyond 400” horsepower.  You go Aaron!


I pulled off a 33.1 mpg overall trip, not too shabby considering some more-spirited-than-normal driving in LA to take advantage of that great sea-level performance.  Another fun weekend road trip in the books.  The long, straight stretch of Interstate 10 through the desert was a fine place to spend Sunday afternoon.  Thanks for tagging along!


The rest of my trip’s pics will follow in sequential order. First was my dinner stop in Palm Desert on Friday.


Here’s what the Back to the Future street looks like.  Familiar to anyone else?


The famous house.  I wonder if there’s a DeLorean in the garage.


Thanks, Mark, for this awesome Acura banner!  It will go in the garage soon.


I spy!  Check out that Silver Moon ILX Hybrid on Interstate 405.  I spotted about half a dozen ILXs on the road during my travels in/around Los Angeles.


A couple of GPS screen shots to consider.  It’s not uncommon to see 7-lane-wide freeways in LA.  Each of the “up” arrows on my Garmin Nuvi meant that I was okay to be in any of the 5 center lanes.


What a mess of cities!


Lunch at Dinah’s in Culver City, famous for its fried chicken since 1959.


The place was bustling at noon on a Saturday.


Mushroom & Swiss = top notch.


Notice the “Culver City” signage in the background in my picture here with Vince.  He knows a lot about the history of the area and its infrastructure.


Off to the beach.  I actually took this picture so that I could remember where I had parked.


A little beach volleyball with Andrew, Jeff, and Rick.


Typical layout of homes in Manhattan Beach.



Sunset was phenomenal.



This is a tunnel that goes under the runways at LAX International Airport on Sepulveda Boulevard.


Venice, California, for this morning’s breakfast meet-up.


Which of these 18 different types of French toast would you pick?


I went with the Lemon Curd.  It tasted as great as it looked.


Randy’s!  It’s too bad I was already full of French toast or I would have eaten a donut.  Or two or three.


Aaron’s custom ILX 2.4 liter at the 742 Motoring Car Show.


Not bad MPG’s on this old ride.


Sayonara until next time!

Throwback Thursday: Hugie House, December 2003

Posted in Legend, Throwback, Utah on March 20, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,034


Odometer (ILX):  70,627


Check it out – an impromptu Acura ILX meet at a mall parking lot in New Jersey earlier this week.  My friend Chris said he saw the opportunity to park its car next to a couple of siblings, so he took advantage of the photo opportunity.


Cool to see how Bellanova White, Silver Moon, and Polished Metal all compare in the real world.  Thanks Chris for sharing!

This week, we’re turning back the clock just a little over a decade.  I was 22 years old and proudly driving my 1994 Legend LS coupe that had only 120,000 miles on it.  Somehow one day, we ended up with all my family’s cars parked out in front of the house on the street.  Maybe dad was cleaning out the garage?  He’s the only person I’ve ever known to mop the garage floor on his hands and knees. It’s no wonder I ended up with obsessive compulsive disorder.


St. George, Utah.  Here’s what our lineup looked like in December 2003.

  • 1996 Toyota Tacoma 4×4 5-speed – Dad’s
  • 1997 Acura 3.2 TL – Mom’s
  • 1994 Acura Legend LS Coupe 6-speed – Mine
  • 1992 Toyota Pickup 4×4 5-speed – Bentley’s
  • 1986 Acura Legend Base Sedan 5-speed – Payton’s


Of all those vehicles, my Legend is the only one that’s still in the family today.  Dad’s Tacoma was traded out for a black 2004.  Mom’s TL was sold when she got a black RL.  Bentley rolled his pickup on its side and ended up getting into diesel pickups.  And Payton went to a Maxima and eventually an IS300.

It’s been fun to see the evolution of my family’s car choices over the years.  Our Honda driveway started out something like this in 1998, with my 1989 Prelude Si, my brother 1984 Civic S, mom’s 1993 Legend, and a project 1988 Legend.


November 2004 – Payton’s 1996 Nissan Maxima, Bentley’s 2001 Lexus IS300, and my “winter beater” 1991 Acura Legend.  (The 1994 coupe was stored away while I attended school at Utah State).


By 2006, my brothers have moved into trucks.  Pictured here was mom’s 2000 Acura 3.5 RL, Payton’s 1997 Toyota Tacoma, my 1994 Legend, and Bentley’s 2004 Dodge Ram.  Monster truck madness.


The trucks kept getting bigger.  In January 2009, brother Bentley had a 2008 Ford F-250 Powerstroke that matched the Milano Red paint on my mom’s 1994 Legend LS coupe perfectly.


I’ll have to see if I can get current pictures of some of the family rides together this summer.  What’s in your family’s driveway today?

Tooting my own horn a little:  On Tuesday night, I went to a meeting with the local automotive journalist group, called the Phoenix Automotive Press Association (“PAPA“).   After some presentations, we saddled up in these karts and tore up the track for 10 minutes.


I ended up placing 2nd out of 8 participants.  And Tim, the winner, was an SCCA-level (Sports Car Club of America) professional driver!  So I didn’t feel bad at all losing to him.  Haha.  These karts were sweet – all electric, and FAST.


I might have gone a little heavy on the throttle on the way home after having floored that kart around the corners for 14 laps.

Finally, a little update on my story about the ILX roadtrip to Castle Hot Springs from a few weeks ago.  Remember how the long-since-closed resort northwest of Phoenix was going up for auction?  Well, apparently it did find a buyer.  Stay tuned for further developments.  Thanks, Leif, for the info!


I’m off to Los Angeles tomorrow for the weekend.  Safe travels to one and all.


Forgotten Acura SUV: The SLX

Posted in SLX, Throwback on March 18, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,013


Odometer (ILX):  70,563


Congrats, Dad, on hitting 111,111 miles today in your 2010 Hyundai Sonata!  You’ve taught me well.  Err, vice versa.


Those of you who follow automotive industry news have already learned about some strategic business & operational changes at Acura headquarters these days. A new business unit, headed by Erik Berkman from Honda R&D, was formed with the intent of focusing on making improvements to the sedan lineup.  Then just a week or so ago, Acura’s Sales & Marketing efforts were further differentiated from the parent Honda company with Mike Accavitti at the helm of the Acura side.

The company’s SUV lineup – 3-row MDX (new for 2014 model year) and 2-row RDX (new for 2013 model year) have been undisputed home runs from a sales perspective.  In fact, SUV sales now account for greater than 60% of the Acuras that are making their way into buyers’ garages.

It wasn’t always that way.  Back in the mid-1990’s, Acura was first and foremost a sedan automaker.  But SUV market was picking up speed, and fast.  Acura made a bold move and did something that would get them into that market with urgency:  It rebadged an already-existing SUV as one of its own.  The Isuzu Trooper was a long-time favorite of outdoors enthusiasts, so Acura made its own version.

Have you ever even heard of the Acura SLX?  Probably not.  In 1996, Acura sold 108,008 vehicles.  Only 2,565 of those were SLX models.  Isn’t it interesting how the tables have turned in the last 18 years and the Acura SUV lineup has overtaken the sedans as the breadwinners?  I present to you, the Fall/Winter 1995 cover of Acura Driver magazine:


SLX was touted as “The Most Civilized Way to Leave Civilization.”


And how about these taglines?

“Designed for Drivers with a Well-Developed Sense of Adventure – And an Equally Well-Developed Sense of Taste.”

“Tough Enough to Go from Paris to Dakar.  Elegant Enough for Those Who’d Prefer Simply to Stay in Paris.”

SLX was far from a star performer on the sales floor, but it got Acura’s foot into the SUV door and paved the way for today’s MDX crossover.  Despite getting a slight cosmetic refresh in 1998, SLX sales declined all the way until the MDX came onto the scene in 2000.  That first 1996 SLX was powered by a 190-horsepower, 3.2 liter DOHC V6 engine.  The automatic transmission featured a winter mode that would start in 3rd gear to lessen wheelspin on slippery surfaces.  Shift-on-the-fly 4-wheel-drive was an innovative feature for its time.

The SLX wasn’t the only child of the Honda-Isuzu relationship.  You might also remember the Isuzu Passport / Honda Rodeo twins.  In all, the SLX shared its truck-like platform with a total of 8 other vehicles in that first generation:

  • Acura SLX
  • Chevrolet Trooper
  • Isuzu Bighorn
  • Holden Jackaroo
  • Holden Monterey
  • Honda Horizon
  • Opel Monterey
  • Subaru Bighorn
  • Vauxhall Monterey

Unlike the Trooper, though, the SLX only came with an automatic transmission and only came with one engine choice — the 3.2 liter from 1996-1997, and the 3.5 liter from 1998-1999.  The SLX was branded as “Not Acceptable” by Consumer Reports for its first two model years due to a high rollover tendency.

I recently snagged some original factory literature on the SLX and I was amused at some of the advertising for this vehicle.

SAFARI-SIZED MOONROOF:  Whether you’re appreciating the towering skyscrapers of Manhattan or the spectacular granite faces of Yosemite, the expansive, power-operated moonroof of the SLX affords both front and rear passengers a breathtaking panoramic view of the great outdoors.


Plush interior.


Also, here in 1996 was when we first saw Acura shifting from the named models (Legend, Vigor) to an alphanumeric nomenclature (RL, TL).  This snippet from that same Fall / Winter 1995 Acura Driver magazine talks about the transition.


Perhaps my favorite option on the SLX was this one:


Whether you’re heading to the sweltering wastes of Death Valley or exploring the tundra of the Arctic Circle, the SLX can be fully equipped to help you handle any navigational or climactic challenge.  A new electronic multi-meter combines a compass, altimeter, thermometer, and barometer into a single, easy-to-read, liquid-crystal display.

Nowadays those types of gizmos come standard on a Corolla.  Check out those 70/30 split rear doors.


Only 4 exterior colors to choose from here.  And none of them were particularly exciting.


But the bottom line is:  I want one!  It would be a fun conversation piece if nothing else.  And I want a circular driveway like this to park it in.


Hope you enjoyed the history lesson!

I got some service reminder coupons in the mail this week.  Every time Acura sends these out, I get 3.

Feeling the love for sure.


ILX + TL Photoshoot: Silver Bullets

Posted in Arizona, Ghost Town, ILX, Reader's Ride on March 16, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,008


Odometer (ILX):  70,444


Greetings, fellow roadtrippers.

I decided to break in a new (to me) Nikon D90 camera and get a few sunset pictures of my ILX and a friend’s TL on Friday night.  You first met Devan and his 2006 TL back in October.  The TL is equipped with the Tech Package and finished in a brilliant Alabaster Silver paint.  We think my Silver Moon ILX paint may be just a tiny bit lighter in color than the Alabaster.  Devan’s car has 81,000 miles on it and runs great.  These pictures were taken at Papago Park near the Tempe / Phoenix border.


In the background is “Hole in the Rock” — an area where visitors can hike up to a natural sandstone opening in the rock and admire the view.  After eight years of living in the PHX area, I still haven’t hiked that.


Devan and I both have the ‘Agriculture’ vanity license plate option on our Acuras.  Its black & white design compliments a silver car well.


You may notice that Devan has also done some subtle updates to the nose of his TL with some Plasti-Dip treatment on the front grille.


A closer look:


Face-off.  For having debuted a full 10 years ago, the 3rd generation TL design still looks modern today.


Nice looking pair of Acuras.  I wonder how long it’ll take me to pass Devan up in mileage?


As a professional detailer, Devan takes great pride in keeping his Acura immaculate.  Follow his work on @dnaautodetailing on Instagram or on his Facebook page.  Just view that interior:


Now, usually when I post interior pics, I crop out door jambs because they are unsightly and dirty.  I intentionally left Devan’s pictured here because they are JUST SO CLEAN.


It was a great Arizona evening.  We are blessed with great sunsets nightly.


Finally, a couple of solo shots.  I do love those LED tails on the TL.


The ILX had received a bath, too, so it was looking rather nice in the evening light.


Thanks Devan for meeting up!  Keep rolling that beautiful TL.


This weekend I’ve got family in town and I stuck around the Phoenix area.  My cousin Logan plays for the Williston State College Tetons baseball team, based out of Willison, North Dakota.  I went over to watch his team play a game at Chandler-Gilbert Community College on Saturday.


Perfect weather for a ballgame!


With uncle Dart and aunt Wendy.


I also did a bit more urban exploration.  Many of you will remember last April when I took a drive on Gates Pass in Tucson, Arizona and visited Old Tucson Studios.  On the way back from that trip, I stopped an abandoned Nickerson Farms Restaurant in Picacho Peak, about halfway between Tucson and Phoenix.

April 14, 2013 – Notice the roof of the building still intact, despite having been out of operation since 1979.


March 15, 2014 – The entire red roof of the building has now collapsed and the building is taped off with caution tape.  The entire surroundings are covered in “No Trespassing” signs (unlike last year) so I didn’t dare take a peek inside this time.


Another look from the front of the building


And looking from the south side


If it has to do with abandoned buildings, ghost towns, or anything of that sort, you know I’m interested!  Just point me in the right direction and throw me a camera.

Throwback Thursday: Before I Had Cars

Posted in Throwback on March 13, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  528,959


Odometer (ILX):  70,056


Be Kind, Please Rewind.  Hit the rewind button on that VCR because we’re motoring way back this time.  Say, 25 years ago or so.  I’d already put 100,000 miles on this Big Wheel at grandma’s house in Logan, Utah.  I drove it so erratically I’d somehow managed to make its plastic front tire completely out-of-round.  I loved peeling out and skidding to a stop.


Soon it was time to upgrade to a real bike.  Before my “car days,” I loved bicycling as much as I love automobile travel — and for the same reasons:  independence, mobility, and opportunity for adventure.  I’d hop on my old Huffy pictured below (with mismatched tires, mind you!) and cruise the neighborhood in Logan aimlessly.

Circa 1989 – I would’ve been 7 or so at the time.  Let’s make special note of those stonewashed jeans and the fact that my T-shirt was several sizes too large.


That bike (“The Wave” as I remember the model name being) ended up getting backed over by my dad’s truck when I inadvertently left it sitting in the driveway one night.  Soon, though, I upgraded to a new one.

August 1990 – First Day of School at Hillcrest Elementary with my younger brother Bentley (he’s in the red pants).


Later on, I saved up my money and bought a $300 Specialized Hard Rock about 21 years ago.  It was a teal green color and I outfitted it with a water bottle holder and a speedometer.  That bike was my pride and joy.  Such a proud purchase, in fact, that I used to wax the frame and clean the rim spokes by hand frequently.  Believe it or not (and something tells me you will believe it if you know me well enough) I also kept track of the maintenance I did to it and I saved the original owner’s manual and associated paperwork for many years after the bike was long gone.


Along the way, there were other wheeled toys that came and went, like this purple and gray 1992 Yamaha Badger ATV that found its way into our front living room one Christmas day.


Some of us always have to be on the go!

My life forever changed on November 19, 1997 when I got my Utah State Office of Education “Driver Practice Permit” (pictured below).  A month later, I got my full-blown license, and the rest is history.


Of course, I wasn’t always riding in style those early days.  I drove an old American family sedan called a Celebrity.  But it didn’t matter.  I loved that car for the same reason I loved my bikes.

The Legend coupe got its turn at the dealership today.  It had only been 2,122 miles since my last oil change almost 6 months ago in late August.  I need to drive that car more often!  My service advisor, Dana, did mention that there are some leaks we should probably address and the brakes are about halfway used up, but no other serious items of concern.


Now get out and drive!

Double Feature: HondaPro Jason & “Random Drive” Blog

Posted in Arizona, ILX, Maintenance, NSX on March 11, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  528,911


Odometer (ILX):  70,002


Having been ‘raised’ on 3,000 mile clockwork oil changes with my Legend, I’m really digging the fact that I don’t have to visit the dealership that often anymore with the ILX.  Sure, the service advisors and amenities are top notch and I enjoy my visits, but the fact that I can go for 3+ months and (in this case) 8,580 miles on a single oil change is pretty dang awesome when you’re a busy person like me.  I was $120 out the door for a “B13” service – 0W20 synthetic oil (my car’s 12th oil change), tire rotation, and an engine air filter.

As I was sitting in the lounge catching up on some work, my advisor Dana came up with me with my old air filter in a plastic bag and an eyebrow raised just slightly.  “I think we’re going to want to change this one,” she said while showing me the filter’s black grilles.  I smirked a little, “Yeah, I did a little off-roading.  Go ahead and change it.”  I guess that dirt-road trip to Castle Hot Springs a few weeks ago caught up to me after all.


Back on the road I went!


Today, I introduce you to my friend Jason Richmond.   Along with so many of us, Jason is a committed enthusiast to the Honda and Acura brands.  In fact, he took his brand loyalty so far as to create a special YouTube channel, Facebook page, and Instagram account dedicated to sharing news and features on “all things Honda.” It’s no wonder Jason prefers to go by HondaPro Jason.


His YouTube channel has amassed 10,000 subscribers and his Facebook page about 20,000 followers.  Jason knows a thing or two about keeping his fans happy.  He definitely appreciates a high-mileage car, too.  As of last December,  his own 1997 Civic EX coupe had 212,000 miles on the odometer when he sent me this picture.


And it still looks pretty dang nice for the year & mileage!  A true testament to his care & maintenance.


Jason launched a contest recently wherein he asked his followers to accurately match a picture of an Acura Legend’s odometer to its famous owner.  Of course, I knew right away he had posted about Ludacris.  And I won a sticker!  So thanks, Jason, for sending my winnings right on over!  I installed my prize, this “Don’t Hate” sticker, on my 1992 NSX a few days ago.



For anyone who wants to get in touch with Jason, he’s at and he’s based at Schaumburg Honda in Schaumburg, Illinois.

In today’s other news:

You’ve all been introduced to my friend Cody and his 1993 Acura Legend L Sedan 5-Speed.  My 2013 Acura ILX, by the way, has already surpassed Cody’s 22-year-old Legend in miles!


With the intent of sharing the story of cars and their drivers, Cody has launched a blog of his own.  It’s called Random Drive.


Cody invites his readers from near and far to share their own stories of vehicle ownership.  For some of us, a vehicle is far more than an A-to-B source of transport.  It’s a friend, a travel companion, and a source of great pride.  Be sure and click “Share Your Story” to submit yours.

Every car and driver has a story to tell and I want to hear and share yours! The vehicles that we use everyday are such an integral part of our lives and I think that each and everyone should be shared in a fun way. Help me share your vehicles history and story!

Cody recently featured a story on his old “junkyard find” 1997 Cadillac Catera, and he’s bound to have more fun car adventures to share.  Add this one to the (growing) list of other blogs you all need to check out and subscribe to.


Fun final fact:  Last Thursday at around 5:00 p.m. was the first time in the 21 months that I’ve been driving my ILX that I actually pulled up at a stoplight next to one.  This was in Fountain Hills, Arizona on Shea Boulevard eastbound.  The girl with big sunglasses in the Bellanova White Pearl ILX wouldn’t even acknowledge my presence.  Didn’t she know how big of a deal this was for me?  Oh well.