Trip to Torrance, California: Honda S2000 “Homecoming III” Event

Odometer (Legend):  535,296

535296

Odometer (ILX):  140,911

140911

Trip Distance:  861 Miles

scottsdale_to_torrance

How does a lowly Legend owner get a VIP invitation to a car show with over 200 Honda S2000 sportscars?  Luck of the draw, I guess!  It happened to me and I made a special trip to Honda’s North American headquarters in Torrance, California this past weekend to celebrate the occasion.

s2k_vip

photo_vehicle

It’s been almost exactly 5 years since I attended the last s2000 meet-up of this magnitude.  That one was called “Homecoming II” and was organized by the same individual who put on this year’s shindig.  I shared a write-up, photos, and short video of that event on the Acura Legend forums at the time (it occurred just 6 months before I started this blog, or you would have seen it here).  One of the many highlights of that event was the chance to personally meet Mr. Shigeru Uehara, the father of the NSX & S2000.

tyson_with_uehara

My Legend had just 441,000 miles on it at that time, so it’s taken me 5 years to add another 94,000 miles.

“Homecoming III” was slated to be even bigger and better than the prior event.  I took off from work last Thursday afternoon and hit Interstate 10 westbound.  Well, not right away.  Interstate 10 in Phoenix is a bit of a danger zone right now, with about a dozen random “car shootings” taking place over the last couple of weeks.  I detoured around Loop 101 until I got to Avondale before hitting the 10.  The 430-mile drive was smooth sailing and it reminded me of how I racked up so many miles on the Legend in the first place: Low revs on the highway (fewer than 2500 at 75 miles per hour), smooth ride, and a great stereo.  It was sundown by the time I rolled LA town via I-10, Highway 60, I-605, Highway 91, and I-110 to my exit on Sepulveda Boulevard.  Welcome to Los Angeles.

sunset

Friday was an action-packed day including meetings with key contacts at Acura regarding next month’s NSXPO convention in Palm Springs.  By late afternoon, my ‘hired driver’ (AKA, trusted friend) Peter had arrived at our hotel in Torrance with the NSX which would also be attending Homecoming, so both cars were safe and sound on location.  I worked up a sweat doing some last-minute detailing in the parking lot (LA is experiencing a heat wave and the humidity is killer!), but both cars ended up glistening with some Meguiar’s quick detail spray and a little tire shine.  My friend Ira had arrived from Portland in his 2002 Acura NSX in Long Beach Blue Pearl, as seen here in the background.

cars_with_iras

Game day (Saturday) came quite a bit earlier than we’d hoped.  My alarm went off at 3:15 a.m., in fact.  By then, I’m sure Peter was regretting his decision to volunteer as my second driver for this crazy adventure.  We had a 4:25 a.m. meet-up with others from our hotel, a 4:45 meet up 2 miles away with the 12 other “showcars” in the Homecoming event, and a 5:05 arrival at Honda’s huge campus where we staged the showcars in a “mock” situation.  I’m telling you, the ENTIRE DAY had timing laid out with that kind of precision.  Exhausting.

ice_duty

In the meantime, Event Director Mike Trinh put us to work – breaking ice bags, filling up the cargo beds of two Ridgeline pickup trucks, and throwing in bottled waters and iced teas.  By 7:30, we were ushered into hiding with our cars around the backside of the building while the row after row of Honda S2000 rolled onto campus and into their designated (by color) parking areas.  If you’re afflicted with a moderate to severe case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder like I am, you’ll greatly appreciate that the fact that every section of the parking lot was perfectly color coordinated.  See what I mean?

red

white

blue

The S2000 model has a huge enthusiast following, as do so many other Honda models.  The “S2K” (as it’s lovingly been named) sold over 66,000 units in total from its first year in 2000 through its final year in 2009.  I know a few of my loyal readers are lucky enough to own such a vehicle, including Conor.  This is his baby:

conor

I talked for a bit with Chris Martin from Honda Public Relations and he asked me to help him pull a 2016 Honda Pilot out of the garage and bring it over to the showcar area.  I happily obliged, and though my drive distance with the Pilot couldn’t have been more than 1/2 mile, it was my first time in the all-new redesigned model and I liked what I saw.  Chris also had an Accord coupe and an HR-V on display.  The HR-V was a 6-speed manual!  It seemed like it would be a blast to drive.

tyson_chris

From his wireless microphone, Mike T kicked off the opening ceremony and announced the originating city and owner’s name for each of the “showcars” as they filed in during a parade.  Peter and I were sandwiched into the middle of the pack, but in line next to one another.  I took the lead in the NSX and Peter followed in the Legend as we pulled into the main event parking lot amid a cheering crowd.

legend2

One of the key highlights of the morning was getting to visit the Honda “secret museum” down the street a few blocks on Van Ness.  I think this marked my fourth time going in there, but it never loses its appeal to witness the preservation of such neat low-mileage examples of important Hondas of the past.  Best of all, I reconnected with pioneer Acura founding executive Kurt Antonius and the Manager of Auto Shows & Exhibits, Dave Heath.  Kurt is pictured here.

tyson_kurt

This is one of the vehicles on display:  A 78-mile (yes, 78!) example of the 2004 Acura NSX.

peter_nsx

78

We were starving by this time, so our first stop when we got back to the S2K Homecoming location was to get in line for the Habit Burger food truck.  It was worth the wait!  Italian ice was served up for dessert – a perfect remedy for the extremely humid weather that left us all chugging water and looking for any slice of shade we could find.  Around 2:00 p.m., Mike kicked off the closing ceremony which included a raffle of dozens of items that were donated by event sponsors, many of which were quite high in value.  I laid low for the rest of the afternoon back at our hotel, and made the return drive to Phoenix bright and early on Sunday.

One bonehead moment to share from the 6-hour drive home:  I stopped briefly to use the restroom at the Love’s gas station in Quartzsite, Arizona just after crossing in from California.  As I shuffled through paperwork and garbage on the passenger seat to collect a pile for the trash, I inadvertently threw my $80 sunglasses away in the trash bin.  It wasn’t until I was a mile down the freeway that I went to grab for them on the seat and realized they weren’t there.  I debated about whether I should return, but decided it was worth it.  So, the folks fueling up at Love’s gave me a few weird looks when I returned to the station and took the lid off the trash bin so I could root around in there.

Yep, found the glasses.

Many thanks to the friends who made this memorable weekend possible!  Here are the rest of my photos and a 4-minute video.

Someone else’s video:  My parade entrance starts around 5:50.

Friday meeting location at Honda’s main office in Torrance.  This is the lobby.

honda_lobby

Found a random place for dinner that evening.  Looked a little retro.

burger_place

A 2016 ILX was improperly parked in the showcar area bright and early.  So, it got towed.

ilx_towing

Die-hard Honda fan, Steven, trailered this race-ready Honda S800 all the way from Dallas, Texas for Homecoming.

s800

Lining up – Peter in the Legend, me in the NSX.

following_legend

Parade fanfare.  I’m still trying to track down video coverage of this.

legend1

Ira’s gorgeous Long Beach Blue NSX with 28,000 miles.

ira_nsx

The crowd assembled for the opening ceremony.

opening_ceremony

Interior of a 39,000-mile red NSX on display.

nsx_interior

Lineup of yellow S2000s

yellow

And silver ones…

silver

And black ones…

black

Visiting with my friend Ben (left) who’s a fellow Legend owner, as well as Mike (center), the guy in charge.

ben_mike_tysno

The S2000s were led into he facility by Acura NSX “Pace Cars” which each wore this decal.

pace_car

Interior of the HR-V 6-speed.

hrv_interior

The 2016 Accord Coupe.

2016_accord

NSX + Legend

nsx_coupe_2

NSX + Legend again

nsx_coupe

legend_in_show

coupe_interio

Abandoned roadside Legend spotting this morning on I-10!  Looked like it had seen better days…  It had already been tagged by Highway Patrol.

broken_down_legend

By the way, I had a couple of neat features happen this week.  First, this photo share from music artist “Fabolous” who has 2.5 million followers on Instagram.  He posted an old (2007) photo of my Legends in Logan, Utah on his page on Thursday and it’s up to almost 27,000 likes now.

fabolous_share

The second share was from Acura HQ when they featured a photo of my coupe for #FanFriday.  Sweet!

acura_share_insta

Thanks again for coming along on this adventure!

21 Responses to “Trip to Torrance, California: Honda S2000 “Homecoming III” Event”

  1. When I turn 60, I want a NSX like Ira has.

  2. That color coordination is brilliant. Awesome that you brought two cars, and the Legend is a true elder statesman!

    • Indeed – I loved the color coordination. The interesting thing was seeing the one-off “custom” cars all by themselves – one orange, one lime green, etc. There was some aerial / drone photography taking place throughout the day so I’m hoping to get my hands on some of those images soon. Hope you had a great weekend Mark!

  3. The building in Torrance looked familiar! 🙂 And I did not even know that was YOUR Legend on the Acura Insta post when I filled the outlined heart in with red (“liked” it). You’re the trend setter and I should have recognized your amazing photo. I bet Conor would have loved to be there….

  4. Looks like a great event! Surprised it was only 1 day though. Color coordination at its best.

    • If we had better turnouts at NALMs we could do a similar thing with the color coordination. Yes one day was hardly enough to experience very much, but still people drove from all over the country to participate. During the opening ceremony, they asked people to raise hands if they thought they were the farthest drivers. There were people from Georgia and from South Carolina in the crowd. Dedicated!

  5. Now THIS is Honda heaven! Right down to the color coordination and that gorgeous Long Beach Blue!

  6. Look at all those S2000s! I wouldn’t have realized this kind of event took such precise (and earlyyyyyy) timings. Glad the Legend got to make this trip. Is she equipped with a new clutch these days? If so, maybe it’s time to get that car on a path to all zeroes across the odometer 🙂

    • Nah, I haven’t replaced the clutch yet (and at this point I think the OEM one has long since been discontinued). I think I have to go Exedy aftermarket when it’s time for replacement (gasp!). The car leaves for Houston a week from Wednesday — 2,400 miles round trip. Ready or not. Is this a good time for me to become a AAA member? Haha

  7. Wow! Looks like you and Peter had a pretty awesome weekend. I’ve always had a soft spot for the S2K and I was sad when Honda discontinued it. I love how well organized the event was. Happy Monday Huegs! Have an awesome week!

    • Those S2Ks are such blast to drive! The “AP1” (earlier) models had a 9,000 RPM redline! Of COURSE you appreciate the level of organization at this event – it was perfect for someone who loves attention to detail. And a happy Monday to you as WELL! Give me one reason to stay here, and I’ll turn right back arou-hound. 🙂

  8. I love the color coordination of the S2K’s. It looks sooo cool. Also, there’s a different Legend in the background of your second picture (right after the map screenshot) and you posted a 93 Legend odometer picture a couple of weeks ago. Did you buy another Legend?

    • Good eye, my friend. Yes – you’ll read more about it later this week but I’ve added another automobile to my collection. She’s not pretty, so don’t get your hopes up! 🙂

  9. Chris Green Says:

    Who signed the dash of the Legend? I should know, but I don’t! Awesome that two of your cars got a place of honor at this show!

    • Another eagle-eyed reader, you are! Haha. That signature belongs to Mr. Shigeru Uehara, the pioneer of the NSX & S2000 models. I met him at the “Homecoming II” event (precursor to the one this post talks about) in Sep 2010. He’s the man pictured in the 4th pic in this post. A lot of people were having him sign ashtray doors, posters, etc. I handed him a silver Sharpie and said, “Here, would you sign my dash?” He smiled and happily obliged 🙂 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shigeru_Uehara

  10. Great post, Tyson! Glad sad I couldn’t make it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen your Legend with the “show” mats…whole interior looked minty clean! Hope you can track down the parade vid as I’m sure we all want to see it. Also would like to see Mr. Uehara sign your NSX now. 😉

    • Thanks Jason! We wish you could have been there. I just edited the post last night to include a video of the showcar parade. It’s embedded just below the other video, and my entrance starts around the 6 minute mark I think. I do need to get Uehara-san to sign my NSX but I’m not sure if / when he’ll be making it back to the states.

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