Archive for January, 2016

Acura’s 2016 Super Bowl Commercial Teaser & Chris’ Visit Underway

Posted in Legend on January 28, 2016 by tysonhugie

Greetings!  Acura’s marketing team asked me to share this with you all:  it’s a teaser for an upcoming ad that will air during the first quarter of this year’s Super Bowl.  While the 2017 NSX in most regards is old news, having been shown in various iterations over the last 4 years, it’s almost time for it to (finally) go on sale – tomorrow, in fact, at Barrett-Jackson – and I’m sure they’ll have a memorable ad in the upcoming game to attract a few more buyers.  A sweepstakes will also soon be launched that will offer racetrack test drives of the new NSX to winners.  More details on that are on the way!

We’re already off to a busy start with my friend Chris being in town from Baltimore for a few days.  I picked him up on Wednesday morning from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.


First stop was at Smashburger at Tempe Marketplace


Then I put Chris to work right away.  We decided it was time to ditch the “boy-racer” aftermarket air intake that came on my 1993 Legend L sedan and reinstall the original airbox and piping.  Notice that Chris was wearing appropriate Acura technician apparel.


We did find out that we were missing a few hoses and pieces of hardware, so we headed down to the local “pick & pull” junkyard to scavenge around.  We found about a dozen G2 Legend sedan and one G2 Legend coupe.


Back at the house, time for some tear-down.


This is an “EGR Tube” with 149,990 miles worth of carbon build-up inside it.  The photo doesn’t fully illustrate, but the opening is almost fully clogged.  One of the projects Chris and I are undertaking is a clean-out of this piece.


Superman at work over there.  Doesn’t he look comfortable?


We’d worked up an appetite so we went to a place in Scottsdale called Hogs & Hops BBQ.


Left to right:  Josh, James, Tyson, Chris, Jimmy, and Mirel


You’ll see more of these guys later in the weekend!

“Future Classics” Car Show & Barrett-Jackson Visit

Posted in Arizona, Car Show, Legend on January 27, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  540,769


Odometer (ILX):  153,863


There’s a new generation of “classic” these days.  If you’re like me, you still think 1990 was about 10 years ago… not 26 years ago.  That means that the cars I lusted over as a teenager and as a new driver are now hitting that first milestone at 25 years old.  Of course I can (and do) appreciate virtually any era of cars:  I’d go crazy if I could get my hands on a 1950 Buick, or a 1968 Nova like my brother’s, or a 1972 Ford Gran Torino Sport like one my dad used to own.

But the cars I’m more excited about are the ones that rolled around the streets when I was growing up.  Maybe that’s part of the reason why I’m hellbent on acquiring the entire early 1990s model year fleet in my Acura collection.


Hagerty Insurance and recognized the growing appreciation for cars from 1975-2005 and put on an event specifically catered to those (oft-forgotten) three decades’ worth of automobiles.  It was called the Future Classics Car Show (FCCS).  The venue for this first-annual event was “City North” located at 56th Street in Phoenix, just off the Loop 101 freeway.  Organizers had arranged to seal off a shopping & entertainment district called High Street for the occasion.  I rolled in with my 1994 Legend coupe around 5:30, and judging started by around 7:30.  The $10 entry fees were donated 100% to the Red Cross.


I enjoyed the wide variety of cars at the show, and the sense of fellowship everyone displayed.  It didn’t matter that I parked in between a Porsche 911 and a Nissan Pulsar – we all got along and enjoyed the show together.  Among other cars that my friends brought were Michael’s BMW 635csi, Kai’s Lexus LS400, Peter’s BMW E46 Wagon, Mike’s Acura NSX, Kyle’s Pontiac GTO, John’s Mustang and more.


A definite highlight was meeting Jonathan Klinger of Hagerty, the man who inspired this very blog.  You see, from October 2010 through October 2011, Jonathan blogged about his experience in daily-driving a Ford Model A for an entire year on 365 Days of A.  It was March 2011 when I started Drive to Five.  Jonathan is visiting from Michigan this week and was one of the judges at FCCS.


My friend Kyle and I broke away from the show to head over to the opening night at Barrett-Jackson collector car auctions.  Since 1989, Scottsdale Arizona has become a mecca for car enthusiasts each January as over 1,000 vehicles are auctioned off.  The Scottsdale auction is Barrett’s largest, and it always brings out the high rollers with fat wallets.  Just how much money are we talking about?  In 2007, a 1966 Shelby Cobra sold for $5.5 million.  Spendy!


Acura is a major sponsor this year and hosted an opening night gala for VIP guests.  The venue was decorated in festive garb and offered food, drinks, and live music for entertainment.  Here are the rest of my pics from Monday night’s fun.

Right-hand-drive 1989 Nissan 300ZX imported from Japan


Always a sweet treat to see a well-kept Subaru SVX!


I’ve always had a special love for these Lexus SC coupes


My buddy Mike making an entrance in his Acura NSX


Kyle’s mean-looking GTO representing the domestics among so many imports


Barrett-Jackson auction area


Chris, Trey, Tyson.  I worked closely with Chris on planning last year’s NSXPO


This 1954 Corvette is Serial Number 001.  It will be auctioned this week along with two other VIN 001 Vettes.  $$!


And of course, Acura will be auctioning its first production 2017 NSX on Friday night.  Any guesses what it’ll bring?


I have my tickets, and I’ll be there!  Stay tuned.


Quick Overnight Drive to Sedona, Arizona: Devil’s Bridge Hike

Posted in Arizona, Hikes, ILX, Road Trip on January 24, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend Sedan):  149,926


Trip Distance:  250 Miles


See my friend Ira perched there atop this natural sandstone arch?  I had sweaty palms when taking this picture of him:  Visions of a slab of rock fracturing from the arch and sending him down on a 100-foot drop to the earth below.  Kids, don’t try this at home.


Ira paid me a visit from Portland, Oregon this weekend.  While the PDX area in which he resides offers virtually any sort of outdoor creation within about an hour radius, what he doesn’t have – and what he came to Arizona to see – was some of the natural beauty of the southwest.  We hit the road on Friday afternoon in the ILX and headed out on a 2-hour drive to quaint Sedona, Arizona.  It’s home to about 10,000 residents and nestled in a landscape of vivid red rock formations.  Sedona is popular destination for people who want to “get away from it all” – the whole vibe is one of relaxation, self-discovery, and detachment from the hustle and bustle of daily life.


By the time we checked into the Sky Ranch Lodge on Airport Road (located at a vantage point high above the town), nighttime had fallen.  The keys to suite #280 were “real” keys:  heavy, brass-colored, old-school things.  I can’t remember the last time I stayed at a hotel or lodge that hadn’t gone the route of the credit card-style swiper.  Though the city lights were nice, the real view that we wanted to see would welcome us the following morning.  A light cloud cover kept the sun from highlighting the colors of the surrounding mountain range, but it was still a breathtaking sight to behold.


We picked up a few provisions from the local AM/PM – namely, in my case, 2 donuts and some chocolate milk.  Ira made the better decision by getting a banana and bottled water.  Just a 6 mile drive up Dry Creek Road, we found the turnoff for the hiking trail to Devil’s Bridge.  By now it was only about 8:00 in the morning and we were only the second car in the parking lot.  The first mile or so of the hike was on a rugged road – passable by most trucks, SUVs, and even a Subaru Outback we witnessed with a daring driver at the wheel.


Then, the trail split and headed east toward the hills.  We were in shorts – ill-prepared for the 38-degree start temperature – but quickly forgot about the cold as we got our cardio workout in for the day.  In all, our hike would take us up the equivalent of about 40 flights of stairs.  The sandstone rocks at times were perfectly placed for hiker access.  Along with the higher elevation came more snow and mud – leftovers from last week’s winter storms.



“Where the heck is it?” I caught my breath, and asked Ira as we kept trudging along.  Then I glanced to my left.  We had already arrived.  The ice made for a slippery surface upon which to navigate, so I played it extra cautious while feeling my way out – sometimes crouched down and walking on hands and knees – to the arch itself.  I took note of how quiet the surroundings were when we stood completely still.  Coupled with the fact that no other hikers were in the immediate area, and that we had absolutely zero cell phone signal, it made for a great feeling of peace and quiet.  Soon it was time to make the return trek which went by quickly.

Ira and I enjoyed a hearty breakfast at Creekside Restaurant along Highway 179 on the way out of town.  It was just what the doctor ordered to satisfy those cravings we’d built up from burning a few calories along the trail.  Enjoy the rest of the pictures from our quick overnight trip, and for anyone visiting Arizona who wants a great taste of nature without hiking the entire Grand Canyon, I highly recommend hitting up the Sedona area for a trip to Devil’s Bridge.   Here are the rest of my photos from the trip!

ILX at the trailhead


My “Look ma, no hands!” pose atop Devil’s Bridge


Ira back in Scottsdale, driving the NSX on Portland Street – fitting because he’s from Portland


Congrats also to my friend Mirel who picked up a(nother) Legend LS coupe 6-speed!


And one last little blurb here:  I was on the news on Friday morning with my car!  Tomorrow, there’ll be a car show in the evening called “Future Classics.”  It’s open to any vehicle from 1970 through 2005 model year.  I am entering my 1994 Legend coupe.


A few of us were asked to report to the 3TV Studio on 7th Avenue for a 3-minute intro to the car show on Good Morning Arizona.


Here’s the video.  My (quick!) moment in the spotlight comes around 2 minutes in.  And watch for my wave at the very end!

Coming up this week:  A visit from a special friend, and a trip to the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction, where the first 2017 Acura NSX will be auctioned to a lucky new owner this coming Friday night.  I have my checkbook ready.


Signing out for now!






2016 Arizona Rock & Roll Half-Marathon Weekend

Posted in Arizona, NSX, Running, Vigor on January 20, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  540,655


Odometer (ILX):  153,336


Over here, we enjoyed our 3-day holiday weekend with friends from New York and Texas, as well as family members from Utah.  January in Arizona is prime time for perfect weather, so for the next several weeks I’ll be hosting folks from around the country who want to bask in our desert sunshine.  Next on the docket will be a road trip to Sedona this coming weekend so stay tuned for that.  This past Sunday morning, I participated in the Arizona Rock & Roll Half-Marathon, sponsored by PF Chang’s restaurant.

Along with about 11,000 other finishers, I ran from University Avenue near downtown Tempe, Arizona, on a counter-clockwise 13.1-mile circle through Scottsdale and Papago Park, and then finished at Tempe Beach Park in front of thousands of spectators.  It’s always a rush to come around the final bend and see the banners and finish line in the distance, then dig deeply for every available ounce of energy and make a strong finish.  My so-so running pace put me in the middle of the pack as far as my age range was concerned.

My friend Lance summed up part of his weekend here in Arizona as “Acura Merry-Go-Round” because we rotated through some different cars during his stay.  The Arcadia Green Vigor was the vehicle of choice for primary transport to and from the marathon exposition at the Phoenix Convention Center downtown, to brunch, and to the race start line itself.


Fez on Central was a great place for some open-air dining.


The Vig at its parking space on race day in Tempe, Arizona.


I was able to host more than a dozen friends at my home on Saturday night with a carb-heavy dinner menu consisting of spaghetti with two types of sauces, grilled chicken, and all sorts of side dishes.  My mom and stepdad were nice enough to staff the kitchen and carry out most of the duties there while I was entertaining.  It’s the most use my appliances have had in the 7 years I’ve lived in the home.


On the race day itself, we met up at the start line (in “corral 3,” anyway) with seasoned runner Beau.


Post-race reception and runner recovery area at Tempe Beach Park.


Here were my standings.


Conor and I took the NSX out for a Saturday cruise to Papago Park.  It was his first time driving an NSX and he was sold!  His current S2000 satisfies his need for speed in the meantime.


Kyle’s GMC Sierra could have easily driven right over my hood.


Lance and I took the NSX to meet up with fellow road tripper James Lee for brunch at MacAlpine’s in central Phoenix.  Look at how a 2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 dwarfs a 1992 NSX in size comparison!


The Vigor went in on Monday morning to Midas for a new muffler to replace the rusted-out original.  Peace and quiet again!


It also received an oil change this afternoon.


Thanks to Dana & the crew for the fine service as always.


That’s about it from this end!  Tune in next week.

Detroit: 2016 North American International Auto Show

Posted in Car Show, NAIAS on January 13, 2016 by tysonhugie

Good morning!

I’m looking out of my 6th floor hotel window right now at gray skies and white ground.  I’m definitely not in Arizona.  This week, I put away the car key and hopped on a Delta Flight to Detroit for the 24th annual North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).  This marks my fourth trip to Motor City for NAIAS, and prior write-ups are here:

On the docket this year were some significant world debuts.


Once again as with the Los Angeles Auto Show, I joined forces with the crew from Redline Reviews to prepare content for their ever-growing YouTube channel of car reviews (now at over 180,000 subscribers).  It was an action-packed few days and I’ll share just a few highlights with you.  Between Monday and Tuesday’s “Press / Media Days,” I walked about 18 miles throughout the COBO Convention Center.  And they were miles well spent!  I was surrounded on all sides by some of the most technologically-advanced, innovative, and stylish vehicles on the planet today.  The goal for our visit was to capture short “first look” video segments on about a dozen of the most revolutionary new or substantially changed models.


The moment I landed at gate 74 of DTW airport, I knew it was frigid outside.  But even as an Arizonan, it didn’t phase me too badly as I was prepared with a heavy coat (which I use once a year for occasions like this).  My white Toyota Corolla rental car (yawn) blended right in with its snowy surroundings.



Both Monday and Tuesday consisted of super early wake-up calls – especially taking into account a 2-hour time difference between Michigan and Arizona.  The convention hall was full of bustling energy and I quickly forgot about how tired I was when I saw the glistening sheetmetal under the spotlights.  The cars, the people, and the social events kept me fully entertained and the days flew by.

I helped the Redline crew by hosting segments on the following new or updated models:

  • Acura Precision Concept:  This creation of the design studio (with Dave Marek at the helm) comes to us as a glimpse at the new styling direction for the brand.  While this car as a whole won’t end up as a production model, certain design elements will.  The new grille, dubbed “Diamond Pentagon” does away with the previous “shield,” and the long front end / short rear deck exude rear-drive proportions.  The concept is pretty exaggerated, with suicide doors and a massive information screen on the instrument panel.  What were formerly known as Jewel Eye headlights have now become Jewel Constellations.


  • 2017 BMW M2:  This 365-horsepower M-car comes at us as an aggressively styled and tightly packaged performance coupe.  An available 6-speed manual is perhaps my favorite feature, but I’m a huge fan of the overall design and I can see myself owning something like this.


  • 2017 Ford Fusion:  Ford’s bread-and-butter midsize sedan gets a refreshed front & rear in an attempt to retain its market share against competitive rivals from Japan (Accord, Altima, Camry).  Higher trim models now have a rotary dial transmission selector and a new 2.7 liter twin turbo V6 puts power at the lead of its class.


  • 2018 Lexus LC500:  This car is so “out there,” it’s hard to believe it’s a production model and not a concept.  It’s powered by the same motor as the current RC-F model, its smaller sibling.  LC500 sets its sights on Mercedes S-Class Coupe buyers and is likely to have a pricetag at or near the six-figure mark.  I can tell you from sitting in the driver seat:  It felt worth it.


I’ll include links to these videos as soon as Redline has them available, but for now just enjoy the rest of the photos from my trip below!

First, a video segment from the Acura press conference:

My first time to a “Big Boy” restaurant, near Detroit airport in Romulus.  Apparently, these are a “thing” in Michigan.


Acura booth with the Precision Concept under a cover (day before the press conference)


With Sofyan Bey, host of Redline Reviews


Chrysler has ditched the “Town and Country” name and called its new minivan the Pacifica (resurrecting an old name)


Volvo’s handsome new S90 sedan was turning more than a few heads.


Mercedes’ new E-class carries over the design elements from the larger S-class


Honda debuted an all-new (2nd generation) Ridgeline pickup truck.  It shares an engine with the newly launched Pilot, and carries over its unibody construction which is unique for this segment.  Neat feature:  an in-bed stereo speaker system.  Perfect for tailgating.


Hanging with the Honda man himself, HondaPro Jason (in the green Honda hoodie, of course)


Networking with a few other industry professionals, including Matt Landish  (AutoWeb) and Jason Cammisa (Motor Trend).


Infiniti’s new Q60 picks up where the G37 coupe left off.  I quite enjoy this design!


A few photos from the networking:  First with Derek Powell and Davis Adams (Honda).


Steve Siler (Car & Driver) and Brian Gurney (Mercedes-Benz)


Acura’s press conference gives homage to the original 1986 Legend from the brand’s 30-years-ago beginning.


Few shots of the Precision


Front 3/4 is the best angle, I think.


The taillights are “scooped out” in a sense.  Wide rear haunches there.


The steering wheel is NSX-inspired.


Closer look at those “Jewel Constellation” headlights.


Spy photog and all-around awesome person, Brenda Priddy.


Downtown Detroit showing a little blue sky as I left Cobo Hall after day 2.


Dinner with a few local friends:  Mike, Dave, and Waseem


Thanks for coming along!

Porsche-Inspired Coffee, New Wheels, & Upcoming Detroit Trip

Posted in Legend, NSX, Vigor on January 9, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  540,492


Odometer (ILX):  152,358


Happy 2016.  I’ve been up to my eyeballs in work.  “Welcome Season” at the office is an annual window of time when I’m one of 225,000 employees at my company putting in some extra effort to make sure things go smoothly in the new calendar year.  Somehow, though, I’m going to skip town for the next 3 business days and head to Detroit this coming week.  Think anyone will miss me?  We’ll see.

This afternoon I’m typing this entry from a new coffee shop in Old Town Scottsdale, Arizona called “Fourtillfour.”  3:56.  As in, the Porsche 356, a sports car produced from 1948 through 1965 that still today has a strong enthusiast following.


Only half of the 76,000 356 models originally produced are estimated to be in existence today.  But one entrepreneur decided to launch a themed coffee joint in Scottsdale that was inspired by Porsche – complete with a Snap-on tool chest and plenty of automotive memorabilia on the walls.  Seems like my kind of place.  The hot chocolate’s not bad either.




About the only automotive news I can share from the last week or so is that 3 of my 6 Acuras are wearing ‘new shoes’ now.  I took the opportunity while I had the Vigor in the garage at home to throw it on jacks and pull the tires off.  Ever since I got the car last July I’ve been wanting to have the 15″ alloy wheels refinished.  Sans a few bumper bruises, the body of the car is pretty dang mint, but those wheels endured 21 years in Colorado and had a few scars.  Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists in Phoenix got that taken care of for me.






I also put a set of refinished wheels on my Legend GS sedan, and I put my 1992 NSX back to its factory original setup.  While the car looked really nice on its 17″ wheels all around (those were from a 2002-05 model), I think it handles much nicer on the staggered 16″ rear / 15″ front setup that it left the factory with 24 years ago.  The older I get, the less I care about how it looks and the more I care about how it drives.  Besides, there’s a sheer sense of satisfaction the purist in me gets by having the car look the way its designers originally intended.



I need to extend a quick congrats to two friends who made excellent automotive purchases in recent weeks.  First is Scott with his 2014 Jaguar XKR.  This thing is a looker!  He met up with me today at Fourtillfour and took me for a ride.


The second is my buddy Chase in Utah who picked up his dream car, a 1991 NSX.  Chase, we’re twinners now!  Congrats guys!


And I haven’t shared any Legend “Spy Shot” posts in several months, but I’m still collecting them.  My friend James had a good one today from a TV episode.  Thanks for keeping an eye out everyone.



So I’m off to Michigan bright and early tomorrow and I’ll bring you updates from the Auto Show if / as time permits.  Otherwise tune in later in the week for a recap!  Talk soon