Sunday Drive to “PHOENIX” Marker, and Some 2016 NSX Sightings

Odometer (Legend):  534,350


Odometer (ILX):  136,770


Trip Distance:  67 Miles


Lots of cities & towns across America have letters or numbers painted on mountainsides nearby to represent something symbolic.  My hometown in southern Utah has a huge white “D” on the hill since St. George is “Utah’s Dixie.”


But, there aren’t many towns that have an entire 7-letter word spelled out in massive 100-foot-tall letters!  For anyone who’s driven nearby on Loop 202 or northbound on Ellsworth Road, you’ve probably seen this view (you’ll have to click/zoom at top left):


Located on Usery Mountain in Mesa about 20 miles east of Phoenix, a giant “PHOENIX” marker is made of rocks that have been painted white.  It took a Boy Scout troop over 5 years to assemble them in the early 1950’s.  Most of the information that I found stated that the marker served as a guide for aircraft at the time, similar to the concrete arrows found across America.


Unfortunately, access to the PHOENIX sign is a little tough right now.  I made it almost all of the way there and then ran up against a metal gate with not one, but 3 padlocks attached to it.  Those, along with the plentiful “NO TRESPASSING” signs, kept me from trying to get any closer.


I did the best I could to capture a photo with my car, of course.


From there, I looped around toward Saguaro Lake on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.


I promise, I was having a good time!


These cliffs at sunset are brilliant.  I need to get back out there at the right time of day.


Sending some hearty congrats out to TWO friends who’ve joined the ranks of “Bellanova White” Acura TLX ownership in the last week or so.  Ed in North Carolina went with the 2.4 liter.  Here it is parked next to his roommate’s 3.5 RL:


And Ira in Oregon traded his TSX 6-speed in on a new 3.5 liter TLX SH-AWD.


A stunning purchase if I do say so.  Well done, guys!


Let’s have some NSX Talk for a minute.  This guy Sheldon has a mileage achievement to share that’s pretty dang impressive.  His NSX has logged 400,000 miles!


Tuesday was a special day for the Arizona NSX fanclub since we learned that two production-spec NSXs were headed our way as part of a testing shakeout during the “#AcuraNSXOnTour” campaign.  My sources had told me to be at the Acura of Tempe dealership between 3-5 p.m.  So, I drove my own 1992 NSX to work, thinking I’d leave directly from there to head to the dealership in the afternoon.  What I didn’t anticipate was extreme weather:


My poor car saw rain for the first time in my 3.5 years of ownership.  Oh well!  As my friend Mike said, “Don’t worry about it.  It’s not like it’s going to melt or anything!”  Very true, Mike.


The arrival of the 2016 NSX models was delayed, and the ETA was pushed back to 7 p.m.  An anxious crowd of about 20 people started assembling at the dealership around that time.  Current NSX owners comprised the majority of the group, though most didn’t have their NSXs with them.


One attendee was a guy named Stewart from Fountain Hills who has never owned an NSX but who was specifically invited by dealership management who is interested in getting one.  He’d better get in line!  I don’t know how many cars will be allocated to each dealership, but I heard that there will be only 8 NSXs produced per day at the Ohio assembly plant.


By 8:30 p.m., I’d waited 90 minutes and the NSXs hadn’t arrived.  I had to take off because I was already late for a dinner engagement.  I received a text message just minutes later from my buddy Jhae who was still waiting – I’d missed the arrival by just a teeny bit of time.  No worries, I stopped by this morning with my friend Kelvin and we had the cars all to ourselves inside the service bay.


The red one looked clean, but the black one had clearly spent a lot of time on the road.  It was covered in dust and the front end was buggy.


Still, I’d take one!  Would you choose the red or the black?

Hope everyone is having a good week.  Before you go, check out these awesome roads in a short “Dream Roads” video put together by Infiniti!  I’m determined to visit some of these.

18 Responses to “Sunday Drive to “PHOENIX” Marker, and Some 2016 NSX Sightings”

  1. I’d like to see the new NSX in the Blue Pearl.

  2. I’d take either color!! Quite anxious to hear what you have to say after spending some time behind the wheel of one.

  3. 67 miles? That must be one of the lowest trip distances you’ve ever reported! The pics show you don’t have to go far to see some interesting things though. I think the new NSX looks better in red, but the best of all has to be that red they used for its intro at the Detroit Auto Show. I think they chose the same paint for the TLX launch… and then didn’t offer that color as an option. Haha.

    • I know, they always tend to tease us with those colors like “Athletic Red” for product unveils and then tone down the colors when it comes time for production. Boooo! Haha

  4. Are any of those dream roads in the USA? They looked awesome. My favorite was the one that goes right next to that awesome crashing waterfall at 0.16 and it says Trolstigen. WOW!

  5. That’s awesome getting up close to the NSX. I haven’t seen one in person yet, though I am planning on making it to the NAIAS in January, hopefully I’ll get to see one before then.

    As for the Bellanova White Pearl TLXs, they look great! If I were to get a new TLX anytime soon it would be in that color with Espresso leather!

    • Yes I agree, the Espresso leather is really classy! And that’s awesome you’ll be at NAIAS. I’m planning on going again for sure so we’ll have to meet up.

      • Yeah for sure! I believe my IMPA membership is valid press credentials too. They haven’t posted the info for 2016 yet. It would be really cool to go during the press days.

  6. I’m really loving the look of the new TLX! If only they offered a 6 speed manual.

  7. I’m glad I came across your blog. I’ve always been a tremendous fan of Acura especially the older years. Great read!

    • Hey, thanks! Yeah – a lot of my friends say I’m stuck in the 90’s! I guess they’re right. It was a great era for Japanese cars. Thanks for reading the blog!

      • I couldn’t agree more! My favorite thing about 90s Japanese cars are the interiors. Everything is clear, simple and beautifully positioned. The Legend was one the first cars I fell in love with. Check out my blog when you get a chance.

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