Archive for November, 2014

Thanksgiving Group Drive: Snow Canyon State Park, Utah

Posted in ILX, Road Trip, Utah on November 28, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (ILX):  105,770


Trip Distance:  426 Miles



Back in the 1850’s, southern Utah’s Mormon settlers discovered a beautiful canyon while searching for lost cattle.  That place later became known as Snow Canyon State Park after prominent Utah pioneers Lorenzo and Erastus Snow.  Since that designation in 1958, it has since become a favorite recreation destination for hiking and other outdoor activities.


The canyon’s views of the red and white sandstone rock formations are beautiful at any time of day, but I enjoy them especially in the early morning light.  For many years while living in the nearby city of St. George, I visited the canyon for car photoshoots and videos.  Here’s an example of one such video I filmed there (7 years ago!  The Legend had “only” around 260,000 miles on it at the time).

It seemed only fitting that I kick off the Thanksgiving holiday with a car meet-up and road trip, so I rallied a few people including my younger brother Payton and a few Honda/Acura-owning buddies so we could get out and enjoy the gorgeous morning and the open road.


Payton’s car was by far the quickest of the group.  It’s a highly modified Lexus IS300 and it’s known to peel out in just about any of its 6 gears.  At over 600 horsepower, it’s more power than I’d ever know what to do with. The last touch on his build will be to reattach the front bumper but mechanically the car is “done.”


Nice color-matched custom interior dash trim.  Notice the stereo has been removed, a custom aluminum plate added, and ready for additional gauges.


Driver’s side interior.


The beast of an engine.  I should have taken a better picture of this, but the attention to detail is unmatched.  It’s spotlessly clean and all of the finishes have been either custom painted or powder coated.


Heading up State Route 18 toward the entrance to Snow Canyon.


Getting passed by Cody’s Cashmere Silver Metallic 1993 L 5-speed sedan.


Nearing the north entrance to Snow Canyon State Park.


Park Entry


It’s amazing how close in hue the Intensa Blue Pearl (Lexus) and Kinetic Blue Pearl (Acura) are.


ILX and Blair’s 2007 Acura TL Type-S with 106,000 miles


Solo shot


In my element!


Standing with the 3 Acuras


Checking out Cody’s Legend engine


Cody’s interior smells like new, and the driver’s seat is near perfect


That car turned over 74,000 miles on the way up the canyon:  It’s just a baby considering it’s nearly 22 years old.


Legend trunk.


Ryan’s 2001 Honda S2000 rounded out the mix of cars.  It’s Berlina Black with 148,000 miles.


Thanks to Cody for these next 3 awesome pics.




Standing with Payton in Snow Canyon


Obligatory family family photo before turkey dinner at mom’s


Hope everyone had a great holiday!  I’m making the return trip to AZ tomorrow morning and will have more to share about this weekend’s adventures in coming days.  Safe travels to all.

Car Show: Phoenix “Hot Import Nights”

Posted in Arizona, Car Show on November 26, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,905


Odometer (ILX):  105,232


Hey, everyone.  Just about to set sail on a road trip to Utah for a long Thanksgiving weekend (is anyone surprised?), but have a few pics to share.  Last Saturday afternoon in Phoenix, I took advantage of the perfect weather by zooming up to South Mountain in the ILX (moonroof open, of course) for a quick loop around one of the overlooks.  Here’s a shot from westbound on Loop 202.


Rolling on Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix.


Scenic overlook with Phoenix in the background.


I also swung by one of the local “pick & pull” junkyards to see what kind of treasures I could dig up.  I didn’t end up finding much.  The second-generation Legend sedan inventory was plentiful, but this Granada Black 1994 LS was the only coupe in sight.  At only 170k miles, it was retired at a young age.


Later that night, I hit up this car show:


“HIN” is a well-known acronym in the import car enthusiast scene, particular among “tuner” types (think Fast & Furious).  This was my first time at a Hot Import Nights event.  There are a total of 19 HINs held annually, spanning from Seoul, Korea, to Honolulu Hawaii.  The Phoenix-based event is always one of the last of the year, and it’s held at the Phoenix Convention Center, starting at 5:00 p.m.  Here are just a few of the rides in attendance.  This super-clean 1991 Acura NSX was one of my personal faves.


On display with it were a die-cast model car and the factory hardbound sales brochure.


Interesting ‘rust’ finish on this Civic coupe.


This Eclipse was just a little over-the-top.


Clean Civic


And a really low Accord


Finally, just one TSX in this mix, this brown one on an airbag suspension


…. with curtains in the back windows.


This was a good one:  VW wagon with a (stocked!) grocery cart in matching white.


The plate?  “Grocery Getter.”




And a few shots I captured of the ILX as the sun was setting over central Phoenix that evening


Chase Field in the background:  Home of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team since 1998.


Sayonara until next time!  Happy Thanksgiving.


2014 Los Angeles, California Auto Show

Posted in California, Car Show, ILX, Road Trip on November 20, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,869


Odometer (ILX):  104,848


Trip Distance:  764 Miles


It would have cost me $460 to fly round-trip from Phoenix on Southwest for this week’s trip to Los Angeles.  Was there any question I’d rather get behind the wheel and just drive?  Still I get the “Are you driving or flying?” question from plenty of people who don’t yet know me well enough!  For this trip, I had a copilot who’s a fellow seasoned driver:  Jason from Las Cruces, who you’ve read about on Driven for Drives, accompanied me on this trip to the City of Angels. laas_building

The LA Auto Show started in 1907 with 99 vehicles on display at a skating rink.  Since then, it has evolved into one of the largest annual automotive events in the country, filling 760,000 thousand square feet of space at the Los Angeles Convention Center. I’ve attended on two occasions in the past:

I attended this year’s show as an Associate Editor for DC-based automotive media company Redline Productions.  Jackson and Sofyan from the Redline management team had asked me to work with them on some vehicle launch videos, and I was excited for the opportunity to collaborate with them again.  Jason rolled into Phoenix on Tuesday afternoon from Las Cruces, New Mexico, and we hit the road just in time to savor some of Phoenix’s worst afternoon stop-and-go westbound traffic on Interstate 10.  It was a relief when we finally broke free from the gridlock and set the cruise on 80 for the next 5 or so hours.


(photo credit to Jason)

Taking the ILX for a quick lap around Los Angeles International Airport’s terminal 5 to scoop up Sofyan and Rob, we checked in at the Sheraton in downtown LA for the night and charged up our batteries – literally and figuratively – for the adventures the following day would provide.  Equipped with our press credentials and loads of ambition, we attacked Wednesday’s Auto Show with organization and strategy.

Throughout the day, each automaker got a 25-minute window of time to “wow” the journalists.  We got ahold of the schedule and decided which press conferences we each wanted to attend.  When we weren’t following the hordes of press people around, we spent time tidying up our scripts and networking with old friends, some of whom we hadn’t seen since last year’s show.  I ran into Acura’s Chuck Schifsky and we caught up for a few minutes. chuck_tyson_at_booth


I got my moment in the spotlight when I did an on-camera preview of the newly-refreshed 2015 Chrysler 300 (above picture captured by a friend during my on-cam time), and then had some free time to explore at my leisure.  Some of the automaker booths offered free food, drinks, and swag, so I was keen to keep my eyes open for such goodies.  In all, I walked over 5 miles during the day while exploring the huge conference center, according to my iPhone’s “Health” app.

The afternoon hours flew by, and before we knew it, the 5:45 p.m. PA announcement was made:  The show halls would be closing in 15 minutes.  We hurried to wrap up our current activities and then made our way back to the hotel.  The evening’s activities included dinner with a friend from Acura’s PR team and then a drop-in at a Hyundai-sponsored after-party at historic Hotel Figueroa.


Honda’s all-new 2016 HR-V model, a subcompact crossover based on the Honda Fit platform, was the subject of my focus on Thursday morning for day 2 of the auto show.  After completing a quick vehicle intro on camera for Redline Reviews, I scampered quickly to the Acura press conference which was scheduled to begin at 9:35 a.m.  Luckily I was able to score us some second-row seats for the entertainment.  Right on cue, we were surrounded by thundering music, spotlights through smoke, and a gigantic countdown clock on the big screen ahead of us.

Acura’s Senior Vice President Mike Accavitti took the stage and teed up his introduction of the refreshed 2016 Acura ILX.  As most of my readers will know, the ILX debuted for the 2013 model year and aside from some new standard features, has been largely unchanged since.  For 2016, the car will now get a host of new appointments to sweeten its appeal to young car buyers looking to enter the luxury segment.


The climax of Mike’s presentation happened when two Acura ILX models – one in silver and one in stunning Catalina Blue – blazed their Jewel Eye headlights at us and drove up onto the elevated stage.  Mike proceeded then to teach us a little about what makes the new ILX so special.


Among those highlights are the following:

  • Now-standard 201-horsepower, 2.4 liter direct-injected 4-cylinder motor (up 51 horses from the prior “base model” engine)
  • Standard 8-speed dual-clutch transmission
  • New front & rear styling, including signature Jewel Eye headlamps
  • Addition of power passenger seat and available memory seats
  • Seven-inch touch-screen on the instrument panel
  • New trim levels:  Standard, Premium, and Technology Plus.
  • Available A-SPEC package for Premium & above – rolling in 18″ wheels, fog lights, suede seat inserts, red instrument illumination, gray interior stitching, and aluminum brake & throttle pedals
  • Advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies (blind spot detection, rear cross traffic monitor)

I’m saddened by the elimination of the 6-speed manual as a transmission offering, but I love everything else about the new ILX. It looks like Acura has listened to customers who had complained about the previous ILX 2.0-liter “base” engine being underpowered, at only 150 horsepower.  I love the resurrection of of the “A-SPEC” name, as it’s great to see Acura getting back to its “Precision Crafted Performance” heritage.  I look forward to taking a new ILX for a spin.

Among the show’s other world debuts were some important vehicles, 18 of which are listed on the show’s Wiki page under the “2014” heading. All-too-soon, it was time for Jason and me to collect our gear and ponder the 400-mile trek back to the desert.  We said farewell to our friends from Redline Media and grabbed some boxed lunches to-go from the Media Center, then hit the road.  Jason was great company for the drive and I thank him for coming along!  Thanks also to the Redline Productions team for making it a great experience.  I hope that you as my readers enjoyed the show as much as we all did.  Below are the rest of my pics!


This is a video of an 8-minute segment of the Acura press conference, leading up to the ILX rollout/unveil.

Wednesday morning view from the 20th floor of the Sheraton in downtown Los Angeles view_from_hotel

Jason, Tyson, Rob, Sofyan, ready to tackle the first day of the Auto Show


Media Center:  Getting set up with our camera gear


The 2016 Acura ILX waits under black covers until its reveal the following day.


Celebrity encounters in the Media Center:  Steve Ewing, Sr. Editor of Autoblog, and Steve Siler, featured author in Car & Driver



Another celebrity encounter:  Davis Adams of Honda Public Relations, and “Lance the Driver.” tyson_davis_lance

And a third!  This is the MAN behind Acura:  Mr. Kurt Antonius.  His name appeared as the designated point of contact on the press releases back in the mid-1980’s when the Acura brand was created as a separate entity from Honda.  He’s since retired, but still comes back to attend the shows from time to time.  It was great to run into him! tyson_kurt_antonius

Honda HR-V debut


Filming the HRV with Jason and Sofyan the following morning


Dinner meet-up with great friends


Hyundai after-party with a plexiglass cover over the swimming pool at Hotel Figueroa so we could walk on top of it. hyundai_party_2

Additional pictures of today’s 2016 Acura ILX unveiling – first, Mike Accavitti’s presentation. mike_presentation

This is the A-SPEC model that rolled out to the stage in Catalina Blue.






Rear again




2.4 liter engine


Driver’s side interior


Driver’s side exterior


Accompanying silver ILX on display, with the new accessory 18″ wheels


Nice looking rear end


My good friend Scott who works for Acura’s media agency, Mullen


A few other sights from around the show: Mazda – with Jason conducting a review of the newly-revised 6 mazda2

Volkswagen’s sexy new “Golf R”










Infiniti concept car










My trusty old car when leaving the Sheraton to head home from Los Angeles.


Whew!!!!  Thanks for reading!

Las Vegas to Palm Springs: Crossing the Mojave National Preserve

Posted in Arizona, California, ILX, Road Trip on November 14, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend): 531,809


Odometer (ILX):  103,603


Trip Distance:  628 Miles


“Stop the car RIGHT NOW!” I ordered to Justin as my eyes affixed on the quickly passing Roy’s Motel sign on the passenger side of the car.  Obediently, he cocked the steering wheel to the right and we skidded to a stop on the gravel shoulder from about 55 miles per hour in a cloud of dust.  The lengths that I go to for a photo-op is sometimes extreme!

What had caught my eye was a remnant of old Route 66:  A true time capsule of architecture from 1936 in Amboy, Nevada that stood as a reminder of what the Mother Road once was.  Justin positioned the ILX for a photo op and I immortalized the moment digitally for you all to enjoy.


Determined to keep the weekend fun going, on the heels of our Zion National Park hike, Justin and I decided to explore some new turf and visit friends in Palm Springs, California.  My mom served up some delicious sourdough French toast and we hit the road with a full tank of gas and full stomachs.  The 100 mile stretch between St. George, Utah and Las Vegas, Nevada was a repeat for me as I’ve driven it hundreds of times.  Still, the Virgin River Gorge through the northwest corner of Arizona always provides amazing views in any direction.  In its day, it was one of the most expensive stretches of interstate in the country.


It was the route we took after rolling through Las Vegas that brought some excitement to the adventure.  Shortly after crossing into the California state line (and passing the landmark “Buffalo Bill’s” casino & rollercoaster) in Primm, we rolled onward for only about another 10 miles on Interstate 15 southbound before exiting on Nipton Road at mile marker 286.  I turned over the ILX reins to Justin for a little while.  The next few hours were spent in the desert backcountry – winding our way along two lane highways that combined whoop-de-doos, seemingly endless straightaways, and plenty of roadside scenery to enjoy.  Pavement conditions were less than optimal, as Justin frequently had to dodge huge potholes while clipping along at 65 to 75 miles per hour.  At least the ILX steering is pretty responsive.


It’s a good thing we had fueled in up Las Vegas because amenities were extremely sparse out there.  We rolled around with windows down, moonroof open, and music blaring — the temperatures were perfect for an open-air cruise.  We blasted through the town of Cima without even batting an eye, but Kelso was worth a closer look.  It got its start in 1905 as a railroad depot for the line between Utah and Los Angeles.

When the mining industry boomed in the 1940s, the population maxed out at around 2,000 residents.  The mines, however, were only open for a decade and – you’ve all heard this story before – the town pretty much dried up.  Today, the original 1923 depot has been restored and serves as the visitor center.  Fun fact:  Due to its remote nature, Kelso residents didn’t get access to television until the 1970s.  (nice overhead shot here from Scott Haefner)


Further down Kelbaker Road from Kelso, we drove past 45 square miles of sand dunes in the Mojave Desert Preserve.  The road crossed over Interstate 40 and eventually led us to our next pit stop in Amboy – home of Roy’s.  I wish Roy’s was still open for business, but its doors shut shortly after the interstate bypassed Amboy in 1972.  Can you imagine being able to time-travel to the heyday of Route 66 and experience what it must have been like?  Amboy’s population is 4, and those residents refer to their town as “The ghost town that ain’t dead yet.”


There’s not a heck of a lot to see or do in Amboy today, but just a bit to the west (and visible from the highway) is a 6,000-year-old cinder cone volcano that looks like it would be fun to hike around in or on.  Our destination in Palm Springs awaited – and Justin was anxious to pick up the pace – so we moseyed onward.  We breezed through State Route 62 in the town of Twentynine Palms, named by a colonel who surveyed the land in 1852.  Palm Springs was just another hour beyond that, and we arrived just in time for a fantastic sunset.


Here are the rest of the pictures from this leg of the journey.

Accident-induced traffic at the NV/CA state line near Primm.  All that red!


Justin driving past the Kelso railroad depot.


Distance marker near Kelso.


Kelso sand dunes.


I loved this straightaway with telephone poles running parallel to the road.


Rock formations nearing Amboy.


Arrival at Roy’s in Amboy, California.  Look closely for a special message Justin sent me from the moonroof of the car.


And yet again.


Waiting for a freight train to pass by.


ILX interior.


Monday morning:  heading back to Phoenix from Palm Springs.


Rest area just east of Quartzsite, Arizona.


Love how friendly the interpretive signs are:  “Enjoy Arizona.”  We sure did!


Thanks for joining!

Hey, on the subject of car longevity:

My friend Scott shared this article with me.  It shows just how much butt-kicking Honda does with regard to vehicle reliability when compared to other makes.  My favorite part was the section about how the Accord model singlehandedly “beats all of Europe.”

Enjoy!  Link here.


Utah’s Zion National Park: “The Subway” Hike

Posted in Hikes, ILX, Road Trip, Utah on November 12, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,804


Odometer (ILX):  103,488


Trip Distance:  80 Miles


Grab a $5 footlong before getting started with this post.  The Subway I’ll be introducing you to today, however, isn’t any kind of sandwich.  It’s something far better:  It’s one of the most remote and scenic canyons in the country.  Growing up in southern Utah, I was lucky to have several national parks right in my own backyard.  Utah, in fact, is often considered the country’s national park capital because there are five parks in close proximity.


Zion National Park covers 229 square miles but it’s most known for 15-mile-long Zion Canyon.  Its designation as a national park happened almost exactly 95 years ago, in November 1919 under U.S. President Woodrow Wilson.  The canyon itself is up to 1/2 mile deep and cuts through the sandstone rocks in dramatic red and orange colors.  Back in May 2013, I shared a throwback post about a few of my visits to Zion including my favorite hike of all time, Angel’s Landing, which ascends a narrow pathway through terror-inducing heights with 1,500-foot cliff drop-offs on both sides.  Yeah, don’t lose your footing.


For years I’ve known of a hike called The Subway but it wasn’t until this weekend that I actually got the chance to experience it.  Due to its treacherous nature and in the interest of preservation, access to The Subway is heavily restricted by the National Park Service and a backcountry permit is required.  My mom reserved a permit for our group several months in advance, so we set aside the date and planned our visit around a fixed date.


Bright and early on Saturday morning (do people ever say they got up “dark and late”?), five of us piled into my ILX and headed toward the entrance to Zion in Springdale.  It was a cozy squeeze but only about a 40-mile trek.  We ran into a traffic delay just before entering park limits, thanks to a 10K run that caused a road closure.  By the time we’d retrieved our permit from the Visitor Center, driven 8 miles up Kolob Terrace Road, and unloaded our gear, it was around 10:45 in the morning when we started the hike.


For the next 6 hours, we’d be traversing some of southern Utah’s most rugged and scenic landscapes – with many of the fall colors at their peak, too.  Motivated and full of energy, we practically skipped down the singletrack dirt trail for the first 1/2 mile or so.  Terrain was level for the time being.  Soon, though, we started dipping down rocky, steep (and sometimes slippery) red dirt as we made our way to the base of the canyon.  A few of us had walking sticks, but Justin and I did the best we could to find our footing without the assistance.  The lower in elevation that we got, the more clearly we could hear the babbling of the Virgin River as it carved its way through the canyon.  Aside from a couple of cairns here and there, we had very few points of reference to go on.  Sometimes, the trail was wherever we wanted it to be.


We frequently had to climb up, over, or around boulders that were bigger than SUVs.  They came in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.  Some had edges that looked so precision-cut, they almost seemed man-made.  About an hour into the hike, it became apparent that getting our feet wet was going to be inevitable, so we swapped our footwear for water-friendly Teva sandles and continued onward.  Multiple times we did end up having to cross the Virgin River as we headed up the canyon.  One of my favorite things about The Subway hike was its solitude:  In our entire day of hiking, we encountered probably fewer than two dozen people.

It seemed like it took forever, but we finally started noticing that the canyon narrowed and we crossed over some eye-catching tiered waterfalls.  Just around the corner, The Subway was there in all its glory, and we spent some time in that area admiring the surroundings.  The actual section of the hike that has rounded subway-like walls is only about 1/4 miles in length.  It lies between two peaks called the North and South Guardian Angels.


Glancing at her watch, my mom alerted us to fact that it would start getting dark in just 3 hours.  The last place any of us wanted to be at dusk was stuck inside the canyon, so we somewhat hurriedly started back-tracking toward the trailhead.  I found it interesting that the reverse hike often times offered completely different looking views than what we had seen on the first leg.  It was a bit unnerving when Justin and I came across a group of 3 people who were terrified:  “We’ve think we’ve missed the exit.” (referring to the area where we needed to climb up out of the river bed and ascend to the trailhead).  Justin and I were quite certain we hadn’t yet gotten to to that point in the trail.  Still, it made my heart skip a beat to think that we might end up hopelessly lost and need to spend the night in a dark canyon.

Sure enough, we did find our way out and we spent the last ounce of our energy (and our last few drops of bottled water) on climbing the 1,000 or more feet in elevation to the parking lot, just as the sun started dipping beneath the horizon.  I passed by a man who was clearly struggling to carry a bunch of camera gear and offered to lighten his load.  He graciously accepted the offer and had me unlatch his heavy tripod so that I could carry it to the top for him. It was such a relief to get to the summit and know that we had finished our mission safely.

The Subway offered up an experience that I won’t soon forget!  More pictures follow below – hope you enjoy them.

First, a very short (15-second!) video.

Stuck in Saturday morning traffic in Rockville, Utah – headed to get our backcountry hiking permit.


Arrival at the Left Fork Trailhead.


Todd and Tia getting ready for the descent into the canyon.


Making our way down the steep slope toward the Virgin River.


Fall colors as mom makes her way through the canyon.


Justin shows off his strength with this huge boulder.


Obligatory hiking selfie.


Pit stop along the river as we headed toward The Subway section.


More fall colors.


Small waterfalls were found throughout the canyon.


Scenery unmatched.


One of several terraced waterfalls.


Arrival at The Subway.


The Subway.


This was as far as we went into the depths of The Subway.  We would have needed to rappel to go any further.


Taking a breather before starting the return trip.


The Virgin River cascades down this smooth rock face.


Back at the trailhead, victorious!  Aunt Jodi, Justin, Tyson.


Despite not having any service, my iPhone somehow calculated my daily steps at 22,872 – equaling 11.03 miles and 59 flights of stairs.


It’s no wonder my legs were still sore even a couple days later.  Hope you enjoyed the hike!

2014 SEMA Show in Las Vegas: Quick Visit

Posted in Car Show, ILX, Nevada, Road Trip on November 10, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,768


Odometer (ILX):  103,446


Trip Distance:  1,133 Miles


Vegas + Cars = Fun.  Las Vegas, Nevada is one of the entertainment capitals of the world, but add on top of that the fact that the city plays host once a year to one of the biggest car conventions on the planet, and the fun factor skyrockets off the charts.  The SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show is a place for vendors to display their wares – and anything that’s automotive-related is fair game.  Some 60,000 domestic and international buyers are expected to visit the 4-day show each November at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Over the next few blog entries, I’ll share with you the highlights of a 4-day, 1,133-mile trip through Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and California.  This first one will include just the SEMA piece.

My friend Justin and I hit the road on Friday morning in the ILX to make our way to Sin City for this year’s show.  Drive time was only about 4.5 hours – not too painful at all.  We found our way to the convention center on Paradise Road and parked the ILX, shuffled our way indoors along with hundreds of other people who were also arriving for the last day of the show.  Right off the bat, I ran into my friend Nyko from Local Motors who had a booth outside next to a huge Meguiar’s display.  My main focuses for the SEMA show during our short visit were to meet up with my friend Jason and to document the Honda / Acura booth so that I could share it with you all.


The eye-catcher this year was the “Andaro Blue” customized 2015 Acura TLX, built by Galpin Auto Sports. It featured:

  • Aero body kit with new front and rear bumpers, side skirts and deck-lid spoiler
  • ADV5.0 M.V2 SL custom wheels with gunmetal inner and liquid smoke outer – 19×9+38 Front/19×9+35 Rear
  • Pirelli 245/40/19 P Zero Tires
  • RSR Sport SI Series suspension kit with fully adjustable coilovers featuring 36-way damping adjustment
  • Wilwood Superlite 6 Piston Caliper with 14″ Vented Rotor Front Brakes
  • Wilwood Superlite 4 Piston Caliper with 14″ Vented Rotor Rear Brakes

Have a look at this beauty.  A camera simply cannot do justice to how eye-popping that custom color was in person.






Indeed I did find “Honda Pro” Jason there at the show – standing among several highly modified Honda Fits in the Honda booth.  I’ve introduced you to Jason before here and he’s a fellow high-mile connoisseur, having logged over 200,000 miles on his now-sold 1997 Honda Civic EX coupe.


The rest our short visit was spent wandering around wide-eyed and trying to soak in as much as possible.  I managed to find my brother and his wife in the show, as well as connect with a few friends who were also there for the occasion.  Below are a few of my other pics from the day!




Highway 93 northbound, approaching Hoover Dam from the Nevada side.


With Nyko from Local Motors.  He and his company were part of the ALV program last month.


Feasting my eyes on the Galpin-modified 2015 TLX.


Overview of the Acura booth.


A few PHX-based friends who we ran into at the show.


Heading up an escalator to eyeball some other vendors.


My sister-in-law and brother, with a wildly-modified, 6-door stretched Dodge Ram pickup.  No, it’s not street legal.


Lexus booth with a couple of RC coupes.


Toyota concept car.


Next up:  An action-packed hike in southern Utah’s Zion National Park.  See you soon.

Throwback Thursday: Highlights from 2003

Posted in Legend, Throwback on November 6, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,765


Odometer (ILX):  102,174


It won’t come as a surprise to any of my readers that I was the Historian of my Boy Scout troop growing up.  I am a person who obsesses over the details of dates, events, and experiences.  In fact, for about 15 years now I’ve kept a daily journal.  If you asked me what I did on November 6th of five, six, or ten years ago, I could look it up and tell you in detail.  It’s that bad.  Now, sometimes it’s handy to have such an addiction.  It makes for some fun reminiscing.

Before the digital camera age – and even for awhile after it started – I was having 3″ x 5″ photo prints made up at Walmart for every picture I ever took.  The other day I pulled out one of three huge boxes that are chock full of car pics.  That’s right, just car pictures.  They’re organized by month & year, of course, making it easy to “pick a date – any date” and see what my automotive interests were like at the time.  I can get sidetracked for hours thumbing through pics.


This week, my time travels took me back to 2003.  I was still in “honeymoon” phase with my 1994 Legend LS coupe, having picked it up with 95,000 miles on the odometer in March of that year.  What else happened in 2003?

  • Apple launched iTunes (and it went on to sell 10 million songs within 4 months)
  • Finding Nemo and Bruce Almighty hit the box office
  • The average cost of a gallon of gas was $1.83

For starters, let’s look at this shot from April 2003 in St. George, Utah.  That DIXIE painted on the red sandstone rocks in the background refers to the community’s nickname as “Utah’s Dixie,” having been founded as a cotton-growing farm town by Mormon pioneers in the early 1860s.


Around that same time, I landed (pun intended) my first real job — at an airline.  SkyWest Airlines is a regional carrier that dates back to 1972 and currently operates as Delta Connection and United Express.  I commuted from home to the St. George-based corporate headquarters while attending school part-time for my degree at the local community college.  My role at SkyWest was in aircraft records maintenance (imagine that, keeping track of maintenance – doesn’t sound like me at all, right?).


I remember how excited I got when I found out there was another employee who drove a Legend coupe.  Looks like I still had a thing or two to learn about how to park between the lines.


A friend from high school grabbed a Legend coupe of his own.  Here, Blair and I are standing next to our Legends at my family’s garage.  Blair still has his Frost White 1992 LS coupe today.


Another view of the garage, this time featuring Grandpa’s Heather Mist Metallic 1997 Acura 3.5 RL.  And don’t miss my dad’s antler collection.


Blair and I got together frequently for photoshoots and car detailing sessions.  Here’s a shot of us taken overlooking the city.


In June of that year, I took some off-roading adventures to Beaver Canyon a hundred miles or so north of town.  I remember when my brother snapped this picture.  My T-shirt was a few sizes too big and I can’t remember the last time I wore athletic socks like that.  At least the Legend’s sense of style hasn’t aged as much as mine has.


It didn’t take me long until I’d let that “mod bug” bite me.  At 21 years old, it was bound to happen.  I put a set of 18″ chrome Kaotik Z5 wheels on the coupe (the first of over a dozen sets of wheels and tires I’ve gone through of the years).  I must have had a thing for cargo pants & shorts that year.


In July, I made a trip to Salt Lake City and met up with my friend Chi.  His Taffeta White 1994 Legend LS coupe was fully tricked out.  I especially loved his “Type II” license plate.  Chi has since sold his Legend.


These pictures were taken at a shopping center called Trolley Square.


Thanks for taking the quick drive with me down…


Check out this Acura-only parking I found when I took the NSX to dinner last night.


This weekend?  Road trip, of course:  A quick drop-in at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, and some hiking in southern Utah.  See you on the flip side.