Brad’s Visit & “Ignition” Phoenix Car Show

Odometer (Legend):  531,491


Odometer (NSX):


Odometer (ILX):  94,381



For once, I let someone else do all the “heavy” driving for me this weekend!  Anyone who’s followed D25 long enough knows that in most cases, a long holiday weekend means some kind of crazy cross-country drive.  This time, I’m pleased to report that the cars and I are resting up and enjoying some much-needed downtime.  Brad, though — he’s a man on a mission.  Brad is a Drive to Five reader from Chicago, Illinois who got a wild hair last week and decided to hit the open road in his 2004 Honda Accord coupe and head for the southwest.

On Friday evening, I received a text message from Brad about how he’d just passed a “big crack in the ground,” accompanied by a picture of the Grand Canyon.  Holy smokes – this guy had covered some serious ground in just a matter of a few days!  Following my recommendations, he’d already conquered Colorado’s Mount Evans as well as the Million Dollar Highway.  And he was heading straight for Phoenix!

Confident that his Honda’s A/C had never had to work quite as hard as it was on Saturday, Brad arrived safely and soundly to central Phoenix.  His timing couldn’t have been better:  Some friends and I were attending a car show called “Ignition,” held at the historic 1965 Veterans Memorial Coliseum on 17th Avenue & McDowell Road.


Brad’s Graphite Pearl 2004 Accord EX coupe is a true one-owner and a low-miler.  Brad has gone to great lengths to keep his Accord in top shape both mechanically and cosmetically, though the Illinois winters at times make that a challenge.  He reported getting the car’s 10-year best-ever mileage of about 38 miles per gallon in the hills of Colorado on this very trip.  This came as a surprise, since he’d been so aggressive with the throttle at times.  The Accord’s 16-valve 2.4 liter iVTEC 4 cylinder motor generates 160 horsepower, and Brad said he definitely gave each one of those horses a workout on the way to the top of 14,000-foot-tall Mount Evans.



Just 74,000 miles on the Accord!


I had the chance to ride along with Brad for a few miles, and the car — as well as Brad’s 5-speed shifting skills — were as smooth as could be.  His visit was short, but fortunately he was able to join for lunch and meet a few of my friends.  Brad’s now well on his way back to Chicagoland, having made it all the way to Albuquerque, New Mexico by later in the evening.  Safe travels, Brad, and thanks for making a pit stop in my neighborhood!

The Ignition car show drew a wide variety of vehicles (and owners) but I’ll highlight just a few things.


The Coliseum venue itself has an interesting story.  Considered architecturally state-of-the-art when it was built in the mid-1960’s, the building today is a little run-down.  It can still accommodate nearly 15,000 people and continues to host the Arizona State Fair each October, but most larger events have since shifted to other arenas in the downtown Phoenix area.  The Coliseum has had its share of highlights over the years, though, including a sold-out concert by Elvis Presley in 1970.  The Phoenix Suns basketball team played there from 1968 through 1992. 



I entered my NSX in the show, and it ended up parked next to my friend Matt’s Infiniti Q50 and a Tesla Model S.


Loved this four-door hardtop Pontiac Bonneville.


This 1948 Chrysler belongs to Roger, and it’s one of 30 (yes, THIRTY) Chrysler vehicles in his collection.  I asked him if he’d buy anything that wasn’t a Chrysler.  His response was “Mopar or No Car.”  I like that brand loyalty!


Believe it or not, that little red car is a vintage Subaru 360.  Its curb weight is only 1,000 pounds.


I enjoyed all the original paperwork & window sticker on this one-owner, 55,000-mile, 1986 Oldsmobile 442.


Lunch-bound in the ILX:  Jeremy, Brad, Tyson


Jeremy, by the way, is a proud owner of a new (to him) 2004 Acura TL 6-speed with the full A-Spec underbody kit.


I was feeling artsy and the lighting was right, so I grabbed a couple pictures of the 1992 NSX on the way out of the Coliseum.



Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend!

8 Responses to “Brad’s Visit & “Ignition” Phoenix Car Show”

  1. Az state fair at a coliseum. Thats first class!

    Brad must have needed some nice weather, and the SW won’t disappoint.

    Looks like there was quite the variety of vehicles at the show, looks like a good time!

  2. Hmm.. Chicago to Phoenix sounds like fun! Someday… There is so much to see in the southwest. We should have gone to Canyonlands national park while we were there!

  3. Tyson, it was great to see you and your friends! Wow, what a week. That’s definitely a drive I’ll never forget. I was fortunate that everything went so smoothly during those 4000 miles, including the flawless performance of the old Accord. Less fortunate were the casualties… a bird that dive bombed my car in a huge wind storm, a frog that tried to hop across a Kansas highway, a caterpillar in Missouri that wasn’t quite quick enough in crossing two interstate lanes, and of course the countless flying insects now part of the front end of my car. Sad but unavoidable.

    Thanks for the warm (108 degree!) Phoenix welcome! The NSX looked beautiful at the show — and like it had just come off the dealer showroom in 1992. The condition in which you keep your Acuras is remarkable. Bring one of them to the chilly Midwest sometime!

    • Brad, thanks for making your new Phoenix friends (including myself) a part of your long journey! I’m glad you had such a great time and hope we can connect on another road trip adventure in the near future. Glad you’re home safe & sound.

  4. The NSX looked beautiful!

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