Archive for April, 2014

ILX Review: RNR Automotive Blog

Posted in Blog, ILX on April 30, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (ILX):  76,439



For those of you who are always hungry for more car websites to digest, I’ll add another entree to the buffet.  I met a Phoenix-based automotive journalist awhile back and he has featured my 2013 Acura ILX on his page, “RNR Automotive Blog.”  Editor Ruben has a knack for details and I find his writing engaging and informative.  Go take a look at his page!

RNR Automotive Blog

Here’s the link to the article about the ILX specifically.  Stay tuned because he’ll be doing a similar write-up on my Legend and on my NSX in the near future.



If you’re on Instagram, you can also follow “@rnrautoblog” for great shots of the latest cars Ruben is reviewing.


Thanks Ruben!


Acura Group Drive: Canyon de Chelly, Arizona

Posted in Arizona, ILX, Legend, Road Trip on April 27, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,275


Odometer (ILX):  76,294


Trip Distance:  600 Miles





“It’s raining Dippin Dots!” exclaimed Roger as he tightened his hooded sweatshirt and squinted into the freezing wind gusts that were driving snow pellets toward us.  As Roger and the other 5 of us carefully hiked our descent into a 700-foot-deep red rock canyon in a remote part of northeastern Arizona, we occasionally sought shelter from the elements by staying near the rock walls or underneath archways.  We hadn’t anticipated those types of conditions when planning a late April hike in Arizona, but the experience was unforgettable.  I wouldn’t change a thing.


For this weekend’s Drive to Five, come with me to a place that’s sacred to the Navajo Nation and is home to a rich history, dating back as far as 900 AD.  It’s a place with some of the best-preserved ancient ruins in existence and contains scenery that matches the Grand Canyon in its awesomeness.  I’m talking about Canyon de Chelly National Monument, an 83,000-acre site that’s visited by over 800,000 people each year.  For this trip, I was accompanied by a few friends who, like me, have an appreciation for great road trips in great cars.  We took three Acuras:

  • My 2013 ILX 2.4 6-speed @ 75,000 miles
  • Jason’s 2010 TL 6-speed @ 41,000 miles
  • Joe’s 1995 Legend coupe automatic @ 161,000 miles


Let’s make sure you know how to say “Chelly” before we get too far down the road.  It’s pronounced “Shay.”  Though, for reasons you’ll soon see, there were a few times during the trip when I started to wonder if Canyon de Chelly ought to be called “Canyon de Chilly.”  Mother Nature dished us up a generous helping of ice-cold temps, but that didn’t keep us from braving the weather and feasting our eyes on some of the earth’s finest landscapes.  Canyon de Chelly was set aside in 1931 as a unit of the National Park Service.



My friend Adam and I met up with Joe and his dad, Roger, on the northeast outskirts of the Phoenix area before beginning our ascent through the Tonto National Forest on Highway 87.  As quickly as we started gaining elevation toward Payson’s 5,000 feet, we were thoroughly drenched with roads that were wet enough to cause hydro-planing.  We made just 3 stops on the 5-hour drive to Chinle, Arizona which is a settlement at the mouth of the canyon.  Upon arriving in Chinle, Jason and Jouhl from Las Cruces, NM arrived in Jason’s black TL and completed our trio of Acuras.

One of only two “sit-down” restaurants in the entire town of Chinle, The Junction, was a great place for us all to dry out and to plan the rest of our visit to the area.  We dined on authentic Navajo tacos made from homemade frybread and beans.  After a check-in at the Holiday Inn, we rolled our Acura caravan into the western entrance of the monument just a bit down the road.  Jason and I swapped cars for a few of those miles — that TL’s 3.7 liter V6 is a torquey monster!).


Our first stop after checking in at the visitor center was the White House Ruins viewpoint.  Adam took one look at the dark clouds approaching at rapid speed from the southwest.  “That’s coming this direction,” he said.  Despite his warning, we prepared ourselves for the canyon’s most well-known hike and set out on a descent into its depths.   Not long into our hike, the Dippin Dots came down and the wind picked up speed.  Adding to those challenges, the sandstone terrain was slippery when wet and our sneakers quickly became caked in several pounds of mud.  At one point, I heard Jason lose his footing in the mud from behind me.  He nearly tackled me to the ground as he struggled to regain his balance, but he and his Canon SLR camera survived without a scratch.  We had a good laugh about it moments afterward.



Two sandstone tunnels and a couple of bridge crossings later, we had completed the 1.25-mile one-way hike to the ruins where Anasazi people once lived from 900 to 1200 AD.  The last 800 years have taken their toll on the infrastructure, slowly eroding the once-elaborate buildings and returning them to the earth, but we still got a great look at what’s left of them.  A Navajo woman and her daughter were sitting near the ruins with a table where they displayed pottery and other wares for sale.  We saw only one other group of hikers.  I loved the canyon’s feeling of serenity and seclusion.



Our return hike was accompanied by another flurry of snowflakes, but we made it to the summit and Roger said, “According to my Fitbit, we just hiked 79 flights of stairs.”  We happily took refuge in our leather-lined Acuras with heated seats and fast-acting climate control systems.  Aside from a few photo-ops at other viewpoints along the two-lane canyon road, we had a much-needed low-key evening in Chinle.

Today, Joe and his dad departed for Flagstaff in the early morning hours, while Adam, Jason, Jouhl and I went back for a peek at the North Rim of the canyon.  The views were stunning, just as I knew they’d be.  Soon it was time to part ways and return to our respective homes.  Adam and I made just one stop on our 300-mile trip back to Scottsdale.  Thanks to now-sunny weather, the drive was enjoyable and passed by quickly.  I hope you enjoy the photos and video!


Adam and Tyson en route.


After meeting up with Joe.  By the time we got to Payson, we both said, “What’s up with this weather?”


Pouring rain as seen from the hotel lobby in Chinle, Arizona.


First stop:  Food, of course.


Authentic Navajo Taco on frybread.  It tasted amazing.


Jason and Jouhl showed up to join the party.


Checking at the Canyon de Chelly Visitor Center, we were warned about “Hazardous Weather.”  But that didn’t stop us.


Lining up for a beauty shot at the White House Ruins trailhead.


The view as we began the descent on our hike.


Winding our way down the 700-foot drop-off via switchbacks and tunnels that hugged the side of the mountain.


Passing through one of the tunnels.


And coming out the other end.


Roger, Joe, Jouhl, Jason making their way down the trail.


We saw patches of blue sky.  It looks a lot warmer than it really was!


Muddy shoes and chilly winds, but 360-degree scenery made up for all that.


Crossing a bridge.


Group photo at the White House Ruins:  Roger, Joe, Jouhl, Jason, Adam, Tyson


A Navajo woman and her daughter selling jewelry and pottery.  Notice:  They do take Visa and Mastercard!


Back at the trailhead for some photos with the Acuras and their owners.


Let’s get a move on!


Next viewpoint.




Here’s what the view from that sheer cliff looked like.  The vertical lines along the canyon walls are called “desert varnish.”


Adam, Joe, Roger, Tyson, Jouhl, Jason


Last viewpoint for the day:  Tsegi Overlook



Sunday morning:  The clouds had parted but the cold temps remained.


Back into the monument for a few more viewpoints.


This Navajo vendor displayed her jewelry on the hood of her Ford Taurus and secured it with cords and rocks to keep the wind from carrying it away.


Mummy Cave Overlook.


Antelope House Overlook


Side note:  Did you know that the Navajo tribe taxes virtually everything?  Our meal last night had “Tribal Tax” tacked on.


And the fuel pump at Chevron had a “Navajo Nation Fuel Excise Tax.”  Interesting.


The return drive to the Phoenix area looked a whole lot different than the rain-soaked outbound trip.


Thanks for coming along!

Josh’s 400,000 Mile Mark

Posted in Milestones, Reader's Ride on April 26, 2014 by tysonhugie


This just in!

As I jet for the door on a weekend road trip to Canyon de Chelly, I have to share something with the D25 audience. One of our own hyper-milers has achieved an incredible feat on his 2005 Acura TSX this week.

Josh from Boise, Idaho turned the big 400,000 on Interstate 84and he documented the occasion on his blog, TSX Travels, for all of us to enjoy.  I first introduced Josh to you last August when he and I got together on my drive to Washington state.


Check out Josh’s detailed write-up here where he’s included a video of the milestone as well as a full report from his local Acura dealership about the health & wellness of his Acura now that it’s entered 400k territory.


Huge congratulations to Josh (and his trusty TSX) and here’s to many more miles of fun!  You’re giving me a run for my money!  Also, I look forward to meeting up with you this summer for some tandem Acura drives.


Watching Josh’s video reminded me of 5 years ago when I watched those same numbers roll over on my Legend.

Have a great weekend!

Throwback Thursday: August 2007 Legend Meet in Monterey, California

Posted in Legend, Throwback on April 24, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,271


Odometer (ILX):  75,470


My attention span at work today has been about a 2 out of 10.   I spun my office chair around this morning and started to gaze at the giant US map pinned to the wall in my cubicle.  “Where to?” I pondered.  That’s what I do when I need an escape from the endless emails that seem to multiply in my inbox.


I can spend hours clicking around Google Maps.  The coast of California caught my eye.  Though I last saw the ocean on my trip to Los Angeles about a month ago, it’s been quite a bit longer since I really experienced the beauty of the Pacific.  Lately, I’ve been craving a road trip up the California coast.  To hold me over, I dug up some old pictures from an Acura Legend meet held 7 years ago in Monterey.  Get a load of this scenery.


That Sirius White Pearl 1994 Legend GS sedan 6-speed at far left was mine.  This trip took place in the brief window of time when my 1994 Legend coupe was undergoing repairs from an unfortunate Texas deer collision incident.  The white Legend was a comfortable ride to and fro.  It had around 210,000 miles on it at the time.


The good news is that I’ve kept in touch with most of the folks in the picture.  The bad news is that I only know of 1 or 2 who still have their Legends today.


Nevertheless (or always the more?), scenery like this ocean landscape never seems to get old.


It was during this trip that I met up with a long-time friend named Sergio who drove a beautiful 6-speed Milano Red Legend coupe.


Who invited that TL to the party?


I think I still have that shirt.  And a little more facial hair.




Group drive.


Before you click away, wanna see a pretty amazing road trip in action?  Check out the website for America Sin Limites (“America Without Limits“).  Imagine a nearly 9,000-mile drive from Patagonia in South America to Alaska.  In a 1980’s Cadillac limousine!  I learned about this crazy endeavor via Curbside Classic this week, when an automotive journalist spotted the limo in Eugene, Oregon.


These avid road trippers have already been on the road for over two years, having begun their adventure in the 1989 Caddy in early 2012.


The trip hasn’t been without incidents.  In scrolling through the Facebook page, I see that they have already had to do extensive motor and suspension work on their car throughout the journey.


I would SO do this type of trip.  Guess it’s time to start planning.

ILX Trip: Southern Utah, Easter Weekend

Posted in ILX, Road Trip, Utah on April 20, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,249


Odometer (ILX):  75,302


Trip Distance:  852 Miles



“Clunk.. clunk.. roll.. clunk…”  That’s what I heard loudly from the roof of my car when I pulled out of the Chevron gas station in Hurricane, Utah this morning.

I turned to my passenger, Justin, with a look of “What the heck was that?” and then realized what had happened just in time to look in my sideview mirror and watch a pickup truck towing a 5th wheel trailer obliterate a glass bottle on the road into smithereens with its tires.  I am a total airhead.  I had inadvertently left an unopened bottled juice beverage sitting on the roof of the ILX and driven away.

Aside from that disappointing little mishap, it was a seamless weekend of family and friends in the scenic southwestern corner of Utah.  And the ILX, as always, flawlessly transported me and my friend nearly 900 miles in comfort.  Among the weekend’s activities:  a visit to the grandparents, a car show, my niece’s 3rd birthday party, some hiking, and an Easter egg hunt.  It’s a miracle we were able to squeeze so much into just a couple of days.

For the drive up from Phoenix, Justin and I had a silver Acura caravan with a 2005 TL and the 2013 ILX.  A friend needed the TL transported from Arizona to Utah so we were happy to oblige.


Some traffic delays that were caused by construction on on Interstate 15 north of Las Vegas put us about 45 minutes behind schedule, but we made it safe and sound to St. George on Friday evening.


On Saturday, we went to the 29th annual Hurricane Easter Car Show.  I’ve been attending this annually since 2004, usually entering the Legend but occasionally displaying other cars like my Prelude 4WS, and the NSX.  Here are the pictures from last year.  Hurricane is a small town of 14,000 people, yet the car show every Easter weekend attracts from 8,000 to 10,000 spectators.


This year, my brother Bentley entered his 1968 Chevy Nova SS in the “Muscle Car” category.  The Nova turned plenty of heads with its metallic red paint and new deep-dish wheels.  Not to mention the goodies under the hood:  This Nova is powered by a 525+ horsepower Chevrolet LS3 motor — essentially a Corvette powerplant that’s been upgraded for additional power output.  The factory 5-speed transmission has been swapped for a 6-speed.  It’s no wonder the car ended up taking home a first place trophy in its category.  I’ve yet to take the Nova for a spin, but I surely will soon.


We rendezvoused with some friends for an afternoon of hiking some of southern Utah’s famous red rocks and closed out the evening with some birthday celebrations for my niece Vivienne.  By Sunday morning, the Easter Bunny had deposited several dozen plastic eggs throughout the yard so we watched the kids fill up their baskets with newfound treasures.  Each of the eggs also had a 50 cent piece inside.  I should have pocketed a few myself – that’s gas money!


Justin and I worked our way home to Phoenix via the remote backroads of northern Arizona, including my favorite:  Highway 89A.  This two-laner climbs from 2,000 feet at the desert floor in Fredonia to nearly 8,000 feet at Jacob Lake via curvy mountain grades.  I watched the exterior temperature readout in the ILX dip from 75 degrees to 64 degrees as we neared a road at the summit that takes off toward the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

The ILX is well suited to such mountain passes, especially with its sharply tuned 6-speed manual transmission.  Descending to the valley floor once more, the Vermillion Cliffs shone brightly ahead of us in vivid red.  We saw very little other traffic.  We made a stop at the 1928 “Navajo Bridge” which straddles a canyon some 600 feet above the Colorado River.


After one final stop in Flagstaff for a bite to eat, we continued home to the Valley of the Sun.  Here are a few of the pictures from the weekend that I hope you’ll enjoy!

Following the ’05 TL on Highway 93 north of Kingman, Arizona


Just before Hoover Dam — this hitchhiker had a ways to go!


The ‘red’ traffic area shown here from the map on my phone was probably 15 miles in length.  It was tedious stop-and-go on Interstate 15 northbound as we headed toward Mesquite, Nevada.


“This traffic jam brought to you by Ray Bans.”  Justin let me borrow these shades.  I lost mine but have another set on order.


You know you’re driving slowly when your GPS unit asks if you’d like to switch to “Pedestrian Usage Mode.”


Nevertheless, we made it, and Saturday was a beautiful day in southern Utah.


Jeremy took the wheel of the ILX for a few of our visits.  “Close your eyes and see if you can tell when I’m shifting,” he said.  He thinks, mistakenly, that he can shift a manual transmission smoother than I can.


We’re really not as cool as we pretend to be.


Back patio conversation with the grandparents.  These folks are my most loyal readers, and I thank them for their support!


Looping around a giant guitar on Tabernacle Street in historic downtown St. George.


And now, a few photos from the Hurricane Easter Car Show.


Justin, Tyson, Jeremy with the 1968 Nova SS.


Too much power under that hood.


Notice that even the gauges have been updated.  The factory bench seat has been replaced with supportive, sporty buckets.  And my, does that paint glisten.


Next up, we headed to the “Red Hill” of St. George to hike around.


St. George is home to Dixie State University and proudly displays a “D” on the hillside.


Shane, Tyson, Jeremy


My dad happened to be wearing a commemorative 500,000 mile T-shirt at the pool later that day.  These were designed and screen printed by a close friend and fellow Acura enthusiast, Dave, prior to my 500k milestone two years ago.


B-day bash for 3-year-old Vivienne.


Easter egg hunt on Sunday morning


Here’s Beckam


And this is Viv.  Aren’t they the best?


On the road again, and turning 75,000 miles in the ILX.


Here’s the exact location where it happened, eastbound on Hwy 89A nearing the Vermillion Cliffs.


I couldn’t help but pull over for a few photo-ops in this amazing terrain.


Hope you enjoyed the trip as much as I did.


Flashback Friday: First Driver License

Posted in Legend, Prelude, Throwback on April 18, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,215


Odometer (ILX):  74,337


Oh my.  I came across a color copy of this 1990’s artifact the other day.  Issued the last day of 1997, I was 5-foot-8 and 130 pounds of ear-to-ear grinning 16-year-old.  I’m pretty sure I bolted from the DMV and did a few cartwheels in the process as I was finally a fully legalized driver.


While we’re looking back, here’s a shot from around that same era.  My 1989 Honda Prelude 2.0 Si at the time was equipped with some blingin’ 15″ Optima wheels.  Mom’s 1993 Acura Legend L was looking pretty fly, too.  This was taken in 1998 at my grandparents’ cabin near Elk Meadows Ski Resort in the mountains east of Beaver, Utah.


I also scanned this beauty from around the same time.  Grandma’s Chevy Beretta.  It was a 1990, I think?  I loved that car, and actually I still find Berettas attractive when I see them on the road.  Call me crazy.


I finally got around to test-fitting an OEM Legend coupe cover that my friend Mark gave me several weeks ago.


All bundled up!  Perfect fit, just as I expected.  Thanks, Mark!


My friend Chris in NJ tipped me off on this stunning Crystal Black Pearl 2014 Acura ILX, customized by Acura of Pembroke Pines, Florida.  It’s sitting on 19″ Vossen wheels and stanced with Eibach lowering springs.


Absolutely gorgeous!  And, it’s already been sold to a lucky owner.  It’s amazing how a few subtle updates will really make a car “pop.”


I’m off to Utah until Sunday for some family festivities, so stay tuned for a trip write-up in the coming days.  The ILX is closing in on the 25,000 mile home stretch to its first 100,000.  Thanks for joining me on the way there!

New York Auto Show – Acura TLX Production Model Unveiling

Posted in TLX on April 16, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,207


Odometer (ILX):  74,301


I had a bunch of meetings on my calendar today at the office, but can you guess which one was the most important?


That’s right.  My calendar was solidly blocked from 10:30 to 11:30 Arizona time for today’s Acura press conference.


It was an important day for Acura enthusiasts.  New York City’s “International Auto Show” was the place to be.  As each automaker queued up the  lights-camera-action for its press conference,  automotive enthusiasts from around the globe tuned in to lay eyes on some hot new 2015 model year cars.  Acura’s conference was held at 10:50 in the morning Arizona time, and I made sure to block some time out accordingly so I could watch via the live YouTube feed.


The all-new TLX, as a blend of current/outgoing TSX and TL models, will go on sale sometime this summer.  You’ll remember when I traveled to the Detroit Auto Show to see the prototype uncovered for the first time.  In the months since then, the TLX has been refined and readied to become a full-blown production model instead of just a piece of art.

Acura’s Mike Accavitti took center stage and introduced the TLX as a vehicle with “more performance, more prestige, and more technological sophistication” than ever before seen in its predecessors.  Matt Hargett took the stage next and discussed some of the car’s key features and multiple powertrain choices, ranging from a 206-horsepower 4 cylinder to a 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V6.


Thanks to 2theRedline star Sofyan Bey for sending me a few pictures from his front-row seat at the conference, including the following three.


Nice looking interior!



Side profile shot courtesy of

2015 Acura TLX Unveiled at NYIAS

Acura’s full press release is here.  I admit I’m loving that blue hue and sure wish I’d been able to see the action in real life.

I’ve been absent from the blog for a few days as I’ve had company visiting from out of town.  My friends Jeff (Calgary, AB) and Shane (Salt Lake City, UT) spent some time here in Phoenix with me so I was in host mode instead of driving all over the state.


Jeff did borrow the ILX for a couple of days while I had to work, so that gave me an excuse to treat the old Legend to a 35-mile round-trip commute to the office.  The car was happy to get some time on the open road.


Another Acura found its way to my home this week, too.  I took delivery (on behalf of an out-of-state friend!) of a 2005 Acura TL automatic on Monday.  It will soon go to its new owner in Utah.


But for now, this Alabaster Silver automatic TL with 163k miles on it will enjoy being a part of the Acura family at my house.


I haven’t even had a chance to take it for a spin yet since Jeff and I brought it back to the house.


Hope everyone’s week is going well!


Legend Feature: Curbside Classics Website

Posted in Blog, Legend on April 12, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,145


Odometer (ILX):  73,760


“Every Car Has A Story”

Ain’t that the truth!  Curbside Classic is one must-see website where cars’ stories are told in great detail.  I recently submitted a guest write-up to Managing Editor Perry Shoar and invited him to use it on the site.  It was published on Wednesday as a “COAL” – Car of a Lifetime – and has garnered over 90 comments since.  It seems there are skeptics in the crowd who raise eyebrows at the thought of an original clutch that’s traveled nearly 530,000 miles.  Ha!


Here’s a direct link to the article for any who wish to read it.  Therein, I chronicled the story of my half-million miles of travels from long before I even owned my long-lived Acura Legend coupe.  Those of you who have followed me for any length of time will probably find certain aspects of the story a re-run, but  I hope you’ll enjoy it nonetheless.


Swing on by CC and take a peek.  They’ve got some great features.  As it turns out, the Legend model has been featured previously, too.  Editor Brendan Saur posted this write-up last June.  Thanks to Perry and the rest of the CC Team for seeing fit to publish my contribution!  Have a great weekend, all.

Mustang Mania: MAA & Marti Auto Works

Posted in Arizona on April 10, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (NSX):  97,756


Odometer (ILX):  73,721


Any classic Ford lovers out there?  The Ford Mustang is turning the big 5-0 this year, and that’s a pretty big deal.  America’s favorite pony car has sold over 8 million units since its debut in 1964.  Chances are, most of us have ridden in one or even owned one at some point.

Phoenix local Sam Haymart has been involved with a commemorative drive to celebrate the Mustang’s anniversaries every 5 years since the 30th anniversary event took place in 1994.  His program is called Mustangs Across America (MAA).  This year, the event has surpassed any prior registration count:  518 vehicles.  Most of the participants are taking on the full enchilada:  A 2,400-mile drive from Los Angeles, California to Charlotte, North Carolina.  Man, I wanna join in!


The end point, Charlotte, is home to a Motor Speedway where a big Mustang birthday bash is being held, sponsored of course by Ford Motor Company.  Tonight, they’re in the Phoenix area so I met up with the group at a western-themed place called Rawhide on the south end of town, not far from Interstate 10.  Tomorrow night, they’ll be in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and from there, they’ll continue the eastward journey stopping in the cities identified on the map above.  If they’ll be in your area, it’ll be worth your while to rendezvous with the group and take part!

This made me excited for the 10th Annual National Acura Legend Meet (NALM) coming up in late July.

Check out the photos below from my visit tonight to the designated meeting point.


Rawhide welcomes visitors from over 90 countries each year.  The site is a replica of an 1880’s town.


Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ – RAWHIDE!  I know you’re singing it with me now.


Here’s a peek inside Rawhide. There’s food, entertainment, and – of course – a mechanical bull you can ride if you’re over 48 inches tall.


Giddy on up.  Let’s take a look at some of these cars.  “Wicked Pony” on the plate.  Yeah, pretty sweet.


Believe it or not, I’m a fan of this green color.


Here’s a glimpse of what the rest of the parking lot looked like this evening.


Mustangs of all years are welcome at the event.  Most are later-model cars, but a few die-hards had brought out their classics to put on some serious miles.  There were license plates from all around the country represented.


This participant had his or her map and clipboard ready to go on the dashboard.


“You Have to Understand:  It’s All About the Car.”  I need that plate frame!


More from around the parking lot.


Windshield banner on this one.


Racing stripes only look good on a Mustang.


Steakhouse food looked pretty dang tasty, too.


Here’s founder Sam Haymart’s personal car that’s been vinyl-wrapped as the event’s pace car.  It’s a 1994 5-speed that’s been fully restored to mechanical perfection in preparation for the drive.


I wish all the MAA participants a safe and enjoyable drive to North Carolina!

Shifting gears a bit, I wanted to share a related story from earlier this week.  As part of the Phoenix Automotive Press Association (PAPA), I get to see some pretty neat stuff.

Arizona native Kevin Marti has always had a passion for Ford.  His company, Marti Auto Works, has built its name for the last 30 years as one of the world leaders in reproduction Ford parts for model years 1955 through 1989.  The PAPA organization got an exclusive tour last week of his service center which has been painstakingly set up to look like a 1970 dealership.

Stepping through the front door into the bright blue building, even the smell exudes a feeling of nostalgia.  Over the past few decades, Kevin and his wife Shelly have collected hundreds of period-correct items with which to equip their shop.  True to how a dealership would have looked some 40 years ago, there’s a parts counter, “new car” area, and a service lift with all the correct tools that would have been used in that era.

I’ve collected so much Acura stuff from the 1990’s that someday I could see myself doing something similar to this.  Ha!  Hope you enjoy seeing some pictures below from our tour.  Thanks to our PAPA founding president, Larry Edsall, for coordinating this opportunity.


Let’s take a look inside.  And a step back in time.


Meet Kevin, the man behind the operation.


Kevin told us a story about this “The Man’s Car” banner that was used in Mercury Cougar advertising.  A year later, after Mercury had sold far more units to women than to men, that slogan was understandably retired.


Here are a couple of neat items:  A data plate machine and a broadcast sheet printer.


Vehicle lifts.


Lots of neat photography including an assembly line shot of the 1966 Mustang.


Parked in the showroom:  1967 Mercury Cougar, 1968 Ford Mustang.  Behind the Cougar (which, by the way, is a stick-shift that I’d love to test-drive!) is a stand with factory literature and brochures for these and for many other classic Fords, all in original condition.


Kevin told us about how he got started in the business.


Here’s the parts counter.


Grab a Coke!  I’m not sure if the machine worked, but if it did, I’m sure all the Cokes therein would have been flat.


I thought the “6,000 Mile Motor Oil” was an interesting concept.  I think this was probably long before synthetic oils came into play.  These days, I’m driving my Acura ILX upwards of 8,000 miles on a single oil change.


Touch-up paint.


Philco was a battery, radio, and TV company back in the day.  From 1961 to 1974, Philco was owned by Ford.  Part of Kevin’s collection of memorabilia includes these television sets and a refrigerator.


Check out that vintage alignment machine!


On a fun last note, I took a coworker’s Porsche for a spin at lunch on Tuesday.  This is a “Speed Yellow” 2007 Porsche Cayman.


It’s equipped with a 2.7 liter flat 6 motor and a 5-speed manual transmission.  Power is 245 horsepower which is adequate for a car of that size.


Impressions?  Fun.  Loved the engine note and the eye-catching looks.  Gearshift was precise and handling predictable.  I didn’t much care for the climate controls, the ignition location (left of steering wheel), and the overall seating position.



Still, a sweet ride!  And I thank my coworker Tim for letting me give it a whirl!

Foglight surgery on the ILX tonight – I finally got around to replacing that broken passenger side housing.


We made it to Friday!  See you again soon.

Cars & Coffee / Supercar Saturday Pictures

Posted in Arizona, Car Show on April 8, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,140


Odometer (ILX):  73,452


Car culture in the Phoenix, Arizona area is alive and well year-round.  On any given weekend, you’re bound to see a fair share of classic and collectible cars.  One of the events that I attend regularly is called Cars & Coffee.  An entire parking lot fills to the brim every first Saturday of the month, and I took my 1992 Acura NSX out this past weekend.


Here are a few of the other vehicles in attendance.


This one really puts a size differential into play.  A Nissan GT-R dwarfs my friend Neil’s Berlina Black NSX.


It’s easy to see that “anything goes.”  The diversity of vehicles in attendance at C&C was evident.


Nice rides all around.


This event is one of things worth getting up early on a Saturday for.


Oh, and did I mention a Bugatti Veyron was in attendance.  We’re looking at a couple million dollars right here.


Makes my NSX and this Porsche seem so humble in comparison.


My friend Chase showed up in his 26,000 mile beautiful NSX, too.  In the background you’ll notice a Volvo much like the one that Irv Gordon drove to 3,000,000 miles not long ago.


Another red NSX.  They were scattered throughout the show!  This was a 1996 with 40,000 miles and a bunch of performance goodies.


Of all the cars in attendance, this one intrigued me the most.  This is called a Facel Vega.  It was produced from 1962 through 1964 in France and powered by a Chrysler engine.


I loved those subtle tailfins with integrated brake lamps.


Rallying the troops for the next event:  Supercar Saturday.  About once every six months, a Scottsdale-based company called Supercar Specialists hosts a road rally of sorts that I’ve attended on a few occasions.


Here, a hundred or so cars got together for a cruise to the mountains.


Even an Enzo Ferrari made came out to play.


Meeting & mingling with other car owners before heading to the hills.


Gotta love that color.


Yet another Formula Red NSX.


And Chase’s car again.


After distributing maps to the day’s destination, everyone got in their cars and rolled out in a giant caravan.


Start your engines.


There’s a sexy black Lambo.


I followed my friends Kelvin and Neil as we made our way toward the Interstate 17 northbound onramp.


A couple more taken by others.



Hope you enjoyed the pics!