Intermission: Die-Cast Model Car Update, Upcoming Events
Odometer (Legend): 534,423
Odometer (ILX): 137,344
I’m about through my 9th summer in Arizona and every year I get a little bit more accustomed to having my metal shift knob “brand” my right palm with the imprint of a 1-6 gear pattern. We broke a couple of records in the past week or so – 117 degrees Fahrenheit or some nonsense like that. I kind of lose track after it gets above about 105. Besides, I’m sitting in an air-conditioned (read: frigid) office for 9 hours during the workday and I can’t even see the sunshine over my 7-foot-tall cubicle walls, let alone feel it.
Summer is in full swing, and with that I mean I’ve been too busy to even focus much on posting regular updates here.
Here’s what we have to look forward to in the coming several weeks:
- This weekend: Road trip to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah
- Next weekend: Road trip to Palm Springs & Idyllwild, California
- Labor Day: Surprise! No plans yet for the 3-day weekend
- September 12: Honda S2000 Event (details TBD, this one isn’t announced)
- September 23-27: National Acura Legend Meet in Houston, Texas
- October 8-11: Acura “NSXPO” in Palm Springs, California
Sneak peek of the landscape in Bryce Canyon:
So I hope you’ll come along for the ride as we make the rounds to some of these fun activities.
In the meantime, it’s been about 18 months since I last looped you all in on my project involving 6 die-cast model cars that have been sitting on my rooftop since December 2009. For the last nearly 6 years, those cars have seen the wrath of Phoenix weather: persistent heat, drenching “monsoon” rainstorms, and those famous late-summer dust storms that we giggle and call “haboobs.”
So from glistening 1:18 scale metallic paint & chrome, my unfortunate test cars have now faded, yellowed, and weathered as one would expect. I climbed up on the ladder this afternoon when I got home from work to see just how bad things have gotten. The BMW 3-series driver side door was wide open. I closed it back up – not that it’ll help keep the interior any nicer, seeing as how it’s a convertible.
Here’s how my Maserati looks. This one is on a west-facing side of the chimney. It clearly sees direct sunlight a lot.
Whereas the ’57 Thunderbird, right in front of it, looks amazing. It’s by far my best survivor.
The BMW 3-series lost a headlight sometime in around 2012. The red seats are baked brown.
The SL500’s front grill has deteriorated almost entirely.
The Aston Martin isn’t too bad. It gets shaded in the afternoons.
I think the ’57 Nomad might be my favorite. The way the paint has chipped away and the chrome has yellowed makes it look like a real abandoned car. I get a “Christine” feeling when looking at it. Who else here loves the Stephen King movie?
It’s as if I can hear “Bad to the Bone” playing when I look at it.
It looks like a real 58-year-old car. Someone suggested that when my science experiment concludes (end date: TBD), I should take one of these cars and “restore” it. Do I have any hobby modelers in the audience who are good with a paint gun?
As for current events, I had a few fun friend encounters this week. I rolled out to Gilbert, Arizona in the Legend to check out a friend’s newly-built home.
Thanks, Todd, for the tour! I’ll be back for the pool party!
I also had a visit from my friend Asim who’s based in Washington, D.C., but was in town for work. I went to start the NSX so we could drive it to Roka Akor restaurant in Scottsdale (great sushi, btw!) and it wouldn’t start. It cranked all day long but seemed like it wasn’t getting fuel. Feeling a little defeated (and a lot embarrassed) I told Asim, “Well, we’ll have to take the Legend. It starts every time.” And it did.
I’m a little proud of myself for figuring out – and fixing – the NSX starting problem all on my own. I found out in some googling that the “main relay” is a common weak point. The solder joints inside the relay get broken or cracked, causing the connection to be lost and thus the fuel pump to receive no power. I followed some instructions and located the relay behind a panel inside the cabin, just behind the seats.
I had the relay re-soldered by a friend (but ordered a $70 new one, for good measure), reinstalled it, and the NSX started up on the first crank! I treated the car to a hand-wash last night.
Slippery when wet. Still cleans up decently for having 100,900 miles on the odometer.
Also this week I got to meet up with my friend Michael who formerly joined a Drive to Five group drive in his BMW 7-series. He’s since sold the 7 but stayed within the BMW family. Look at his GORGEOUS 1987 BMW 635csi. 118,000 miles on the odometer and every record since new. I promise — I saw them. Michael pulled out an inch-thick portfolio from the glove compartment dating back 28 years. Unreal. He let me take the car for a spin and it drove incredibly for such a vintage car. The A/C blew colder than my 2013 ILX!
Lastly, I had to laugh when a friend showed me this ad for an immaculate 2000 Acura Integra GS on Ebay. The car is clean and all, but you know what my favorite part was? The guy has created a binder for his service records. Even the cover of the binder has a sketch of the car, a title in appropriate font, and the dates for original purchase and second owner purchase. I need to meet that guy.
Safe travels, happy Friday (soon!) and enjoy the weekend.