A 150,000 Milestone, Barrett-Jackson Auction, and Papago Park Meet
Odometer (Legend): 541,020
Odometer (ILX): 154,063
Get comfy on your office chair / easy chair / toilet. (I know some of you *cough* Chris *cough* read my blog from there). It’s time to recap the last four days’ worth of activities here in Arizona. I had friends visiting from the east coast for a few days and our schedule was packed with activities, most of which revolved around automotive stuff. Are you surprised? I doubt it.
Among the highlights were a big milestone for one of my Legends, a day at one of the world’s premier collector car auctions (and VIP access while watching a $1.2 million car find its new owner), a scenic desert drive in the Superstition Mountains, a Sunday morning hike near Arizona State University, and a 12-car meet-up in Papago Park with some Acura fanatics. Let’s get this party started. Inline with these stories are four YouTube videos for your viewing pleasure. If you’re so inclined, subscribe to my channel! I need just one more YouTube subscriber to put me at 500, and you know how much I love hitting milestones. Channel Link
Chris was one of my guests. He’s the guy with a ‘twin’ Legend to mine who drove to last year’s Houston Nat’l Acura Legend Meet (NALM) to meet up with me there. I reserved for him the opportunity to roll 150,000 in my car when he flew in for his visit from Baltimore. His request specifically was a “sunset” rollover, so that’s what we had. Around 5:30 p.m. on southbound Galvin Parkway in Phoenix, he hit the 150,000 milestone in my car and Thursday evening we got a few pictures (duh!) to commemorate the occasion. That car has only been driven 18,000 miles in the nearly 8 years I’ve owned it.
After rolling into Papago Park for a more appropriate photoshoot.
And the video:
On Friday, Chris and I spent the entire day at the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in Scottsdale. This place was a candy store for any automotive enthusiast. Just one drawback: These were some very expensive sweets. I saw cars routinely crossing the auction block for 6-figure pricetags, and each time a vehicle met that amount, the spectating crowd would cheer and clap in excited support. When Chris and I weren’t watching the auctions, we were browsing the automobilia, tire-kicking the classics inside & out, chowing on footlong sausages from the food trucks, and PEOPLE-WATCHING. If I had a dime for every guy I saw with a mullet and a “Camaro SS” cutoff T-shirt, I could have probably bought a Camaro SS!
I’ll spare the details of the dozens of cars that caught my eye as we made the rounds, but I did really enjoy a few things, like this old Cadillac.
This pearl white Dodge Stealth only had 55,000 miles on it.
A 2000 Bentley Arnage with <50,000 miles, sold for $30,000. You’d look like a millionaire for $30k!
There were, of course, plenty of tailfins in attendance, like the ones on this 1958 Buick.
The front ends of those cars are equally shiny.
This one was for Kevin – a rare 1963 Chevy Corvette split-window coupe.
But the real draw was Lot #3007: a 2017 Acura NSX, VIN 001, scheduled for auction at 7:30 in the evening.
So, Chris and I made our way to Skybox #15 which I’d been given tickets to. The Skybox was a flight of stairs up, and overlooking the left side of the stage. Senior leaders from Honda & Acura started filing in by around 6:00 p.m. in anticipation of the big event. Jay Leno’s Ford F-150 pickup truck went for something like $200,000, and a Chevy Camaro “COPO” Edition went for over $300k, so I felt like Acura would be well positioned to get a good price for its new NSX. What I didn’t expect, though, was just how crazily the bids would climb.
Moments before the “athletic red” NSX made its way up onto the stage, all the Acura folks were ushered out to accompany it. Chris and I were about the only people left in the booth to watch from that area. A short video introduction played on the screens flanking the auction stage. All proceeds for the new NSX were to benefit two charities, the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and Camp Southern Ground.
At the blink of an eye, the bids were already at $600,000. Then a million. More perks were thrown in – special ride-alongs at the Indy 500, backstage passes to a concert, yada yada. Slowly the price crept one more time to $1,200,000 and then it capped off. The auctioneer’s gavel hit the podium and the car was SOLD to Rick Hendrick, founder of Hendrick Automotive group. Hendrick has been known to buy similar cars for similar prices. Apparently he paid $1M for a Z06 2015 Corvette not long ago. At least he spends his money on fun things!
Hendrick will be customizing his future NSX in the coming weeks and months. After all the one driven across the auction block was in fact a pre-production car and not destined for sale to the public anyway.
With Chris, showing our Skybox view
NSX Project Leader Ted Klaus, and Honda Vice President John Mendel
RealTime Race Team Driver Peter Cunningham
The NSX making its way to the auction block
Up on the stage it goes
Celebrating with VP Sales, Jon Ikeda, after the auction
Text from Ted Klaus showing the SOLD sign with $1.2M written in sharpie across it.
Video of the auction.
That brings us to Saturday, when we finished working on some maintenance on my 1993 Acura Legend L sedan. By this time, my friend Jake had flown in from Virginia so he lent us a hand installing some hydraulic hood struts. Soon afterward, we hit the road in the 1994 Legend GS and the 1992 NSX for a 100-mile round-trip drive to Tortilla Flat, one of my favorite destinations in the region. Slow-moving traffic and less-than-optimal road conditions kept us from really pushing the limits of the cars too far, but we had a great time enjoying the perfect weather and soaking up the scenery. Saguaro cacti dotted the landscape – something my east-coast friends don’t get to see much.
We dined at the saloon-style restaurant and then made our way back to the Scottsdale area. Here are the pics from that day.
Original intake installed – I threw away the aftermarket Ebay setup that the car came to me with.
Jake taking the wheel of the Legend GS. As a BMW guy, he appreciates a car with nice handling!
Just after lunch in Tortilla flat, with John Wayne and walls covered in thousands of $1 bills
Chris enjoying the sunshine so he could take a tan back to Maryland with him
Just before heading back to civilization
Video of Chris at the wheel of the Legend sedan
Sunday morning, I had a brunch spot in mind so we took the Legend coupe to downtown historic Tempe, Arizona. It turned 541,000 miles on the way there, and Jake captured this picture from the backseat, of me capturing the milestone. Documentation of documentation!
We burned off a few of our breakfast calories by hiking up ASU’s “Hayden Butte” to get a nice view of the cloudless winter day.
That afternoon, it was Legend-mania as we made our way to a Phoenix area meet at Papago Park. The guys helped me clean up the cars so they were ready for action. Peter came as well so he could assist with transport.
Shot taken by Jake as he was following Peter (NSX) and me (1993 sedan) to the meet venue.
Jake with the high-miler.
Here’s the lineup!
Can we just talk about Jimmy’s seats for a second? These have lived underneath sheepskin seat covers since new!
Group shot – missing a couple folks who came later in the afternoon.
My 1994 LS coupe
Phil’s 1992 LS coupe
Jimmy’s 1994 LS coupe
Jimmy’s 1994 GS sedan
Tyson’s 1992 NSX
Mirel’s 1994 LS coupe
Mirel’s 1993 LS coupe
Tyson’s 1994 GS sedan
Tyson’s 1993 L sedan
Walter showed up with the famous “Acura Legend Concept” which has been featured previously on the blog.
And Chuck brought his 1988 Legend ragtop (custom)!
Chris got a taste of Vigor-ous driving today.
I sent him to the hills near Superior and Miami off US Highway 60, but snowy weather proved treacherous!
What a whirlwind weekend of car craziness. Huge thanks to my friends near and far for taking part in it with me, whether here in person or via the blog. Adios for now.
Edit: Almost forgot to share – here’s the final (extended) version of that Super Bowl Commercial teaser I showed you last time!