Archive for June, 2016

New Acquisition: “Aztec Green” 1992 Acura Integra GS-R

Posted in Integra on June 30, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  543,542


Odometer (ILX):  173,425


Odometer (Integra):  236,453


From a 1992 Acura full-line brochure:

In March of 1986, the Acura Division was created to accomplish a deceptively straightforward mission:  offer the best-engineered, most satisfying automobiles in the world.  In the five years since, Acura automobiles have firmly established themselves as acknowledged leaders in every facet of automotive design and engineering.  The name Acura has come to represent an impressive line of true drivers’ cars, each painstakingly engineered to enhance the driving experience.

To this end, every Acura is a synthesis of state-of-the-art performance, stimulating handling, carefully honed ergonomics, innovative safety engineering, refined aerodynamics, and unprecedented dependability.  From the exotic NSX to the elegant and sophisticated Legend Sedan and Legend Coupe, the aggressive new Vigor and the responsive Integra sports sedans, each Acura has been acclaimed unreservedly by the automotive press.  And each has been received just as enthusiastically by an even more influential group of automotive critics:  the people who own Acura automobiles.

I was only 4 years old on March 27, 1986 when the Acura brand launched.  I can’t believe it’s over been 3 decades.   But by the late 1990’s, I was obsessing over my mom’s “Rio Red” 1990 Integra GS sedan as a teenager.


Wasn’t mom stylin’ with her “C TIA GO” plate?  (Her name’s Tia)


I pulled that baby right onto our front lawn in St. George, Utah for a photo.


These lines still look good today.  Frameless door windows, just like my Vigor.


There was nothing ultra special about that particular car.  It had an automatic transmission and retailed at just $16,675 as Acura’s entry level offering.  Perhaps its most memorable features were the motorized safety belts for the front seats.  They’d zoom around as soon as you closed the door.  Forget air bags, though.  Safety tech was a whole different ballgame back then.

In May 2000, Britney Spears came out with “Oops, I Did It Again” and I was a graduating from high school.


Well, 16 years later.  Oops.  I’ve adopted another project Acura.  This marks, I think, my 15th Acura overall and the 6th that I currently own.  Please join me in welcoming to the fleet an Aztec Green 1992 Acura Integra GS-R.  This completes the collection for now, as I’ve picked up enough vehicles to re-create this image from an early 1990s Acura brochure.  Pictured left to right:  Legend coupe, Vigor, Integra coupe.  Front and center:  NSX.


I have met some awesome Honda-heads along my 18 years (and hundreds of thousands of miles) of driving.  One of them is Lance Roling from the Seattle area.  I connected with Lance through a mutual friend who I’d met via some Acura Integra enthusiast forums (  We started chatting in May 2015 when I learned that Lance had an Integra GS-R — the last piece I needed to complete my jigsaw puzzle of Acuras.  We met in real life six months later when he came on a visit to Arizona.  And now, I’ve managed to pry that GS-R out of Lance’s hands.


This GS-R is remarkably well kept.  Try to remember the last time you saw a second-generation (1990-1993) Integra that hadn’t been motor-swapped, lowered to the ground, and driven to hell & back.  Lance’s car had some modifications done to it which have been painstakingly reversed, bringing the car back to stock condition as if it were 1992 all over again.  Anyone who’s tried finding parts for a Honda that’s more than 20 years old knows how tough it can be to source such items, but he leveraged his network and got it done.  Throughout the restoration process, he sent me photos.

If you want to cut to the chase, here’s a 6-minute video showing the first time I saw the car, a part of the drive home, and a walkaround at home in Arizona.

Here now are all 6 of my Acuras and original MSRPs.

  • 1992 Integra GS-R:  $18,540
  • 1992 NSX:  $65,000
  • 1994 Vigor GS:  $28,735
  • 1994 Legend LS Coupe:  $41,885
  • 1994 Legend GS Sedan:  $41,885
  • 2013 ILX 2.4:  $30,095

Total $226,140 — Nearly 1/4 million dollars in cars if considered by their original prices, but not worth a fraction of that today.  I’m planning on making a full-blown “introduction” post to each of my cars at some point in the coming weeks, and (of course!) even re-creating a series of official Acura brochure photographs with my own versions of those press cars.  The latest addition is a GS-R model, which was the highest-performing Integra of its time and was offered for only 2 years in this second generation bodystyle.


The car is powered by a 1.7-liter 4-cylinder motor pushing 160 horsepower.  Updates from the base models become apparent starting with the exterior.  The GS-R has more aggressively-styled front and rear bumpers, body-colored side moldings, and VTEC / GS-R badges.


The engine itself was a remarkable feat of engineering which set itself apart for developing such power from a small package.  At that time, it produced more power per liter than any other normally-aspirated car sold in the United States.  I think that achievement was later beat by another high-revving Honda, the S2000 roadster.


Production numbers in specific detail (by color) have never been disclosed by American Honda, but it is known that following were the numbers for GS-R models in total by region (thanks Wikipedia):

  • USA 1992 Integra GS-R:  3,118 units
  • USA 1993 Integra GS-R:  850 units
  • Canada 1992 Integra GS-R:  602 units
  • Canada 1993 Integra GS-R:  255 units
  • Total North American production:  4,825 units


The 1992 Integra was offered in 9 different colors, but only 3 were available on the GS-R:

  • Aztec Green Pearl
  • Frost White
  • Milano Red


Here are a few “progress” pics that Lance shared with me as he got the GS-R ready over the past year or so.


The aftermarket suspension and exhaust were replaced with OEM.


Lance is a professional detailer with Ceramic Pro and put the car through a full treatment.


OEM exhaust installed.


Right rear quarter panel polished.


Spoiler clear coat refinished.


Wheels deep cleaned, inside and out!


Engine bay fully detailed.


Now sitting on OEM suspension.


My first test-drive in my new GS-R was on Tuesday, May 31st, 2016 when my friend Jason and I arrived in Seattle, Washington on the return leg of our Alaska road trip.  Lance even “reserved” milestone 234,567.8 miles for me, so that occurred during my test-drive.  I loved the car right away, so I finalized the deal with Lance.

Can you tell how excited I was?


Headed out in Woodinville to put a few miles on.


Lance in the passenger seat and Jason in the rear.


Milestone 234,567.8.  And yes that ABS light is on!


Jason said head room wasn’t all that cramped!


Fueling up at Chevron before heading back to Lance’s shop.


Now some photos from my actual pick-up of the car on June 24, 2016 and the long drive home to Arizona.  This was a long-awaited day in history, so when my 6:00 p.m. Friday night flight from Phoenix to Seattle on Southwest Airlines got delayed by nearly 90 minutes, it really put a damper on the moment!


The Seattle airport was crawling with people because Obama was in town and that sent everything into a tizzy.  But eventually my friend Stephen made it to the curb and I took a seat in his Audi A4 for the 40-ish minute drive to Woodinville where Lance had the Integra stored at his shop.  Right off the bat, I was spoiled by fantastic Seattle weather.  My friends were all in hooded sweatshirts and I hadn’t even packed anything with long sleeves.


My friend Cory rolled in with his 1997 Acura 3.5 RL to join the late night party.  (That RL, by the way, has beyond 250,000 miles on it, too).  By the time I finished my transaction with Lance and chit-chatted a bit, it was midnight so Stephen I hit the road and went to his place in Renton where we crashed out for the night.  That was my first time getting the Integra onto an onramp and having a little fun with it.  I enjoyed each of its 5 gears!


6:00 a.m. came very early on Saturday morning but Stephen and I both had places to go and people to see.  The drive home came out to around 1,600 hours and 24 hours of travel time.


Deja vu was the feeling as I headed east on Interstate 90 over Snoqualmie Pass since I had just been there a few weeks ago on the trip back from Alaska in my ILX.  Weather conditions were foggy but the road was dry and traffic was light.  Here’s where I started getting to know my new Integra.  The tape deck iPod adapter did its job, but I honestly did not even listen to any music for about the first couple of hours.  I was too busy enjoying the sound of that 1.7 liter humming along at 4,200 RPM at 75 miles an hour.


The car is honestly a big fatiguing to drive long distances.  The windows are frameless so there is a higher than normal level of wind noise.  The engine note is understandably pronounced, and because it’s a hatchback with little sound deadening out back, the road noise also becomes a factor.  On top of that it’s a pretty tightly-sprung car with lots of energy and light weight.  Result?  I proclaim it a far better canyon-carver then interstate cruiser.  But I already knew that would be the case.  Long hauls are why I own the Legend(s).


In a lick of time, I was already crossing across the Columbia River Bridge and into northern Oregon.  I stopped briefly at the Welcome Center but the front door was locked (even though I was within business hours).  I found a neat little side-road just northwest of La Grande; it was historic Highway 30 that carried traffic through the region before Interstate 84 was punched through.  I checked out a now-decommissioned bridge and hiked around for a few minutes to stretch my legs, then continued on into La Grande.



Pumping one’s own gas in Oregon is against the law, as I mentioned on the return from Alaska.  I asked the gal at the Shell station to “fill ‘er up” with Premium, and she asked, “V Power 91, or ethanol-free 91?”  What in the world?  I’ve never heard of a station having two kinds of 91 to choose from.  I went with ethanol free, then had lunch at a restaurant called Smokehouse in the downtown district.  Meatloaf was top-notch.


I set my sights on Idaho because I knew I had a special event to be a part of there – Josh’s 500,000 milestone – so I was motivated to keep moving as quickly as I could.  The Idaho Welcome Center was a perfect setting to catch my breath one more time.  Temperatures were in the mid-70’s and the grassy lawn was well maintained.  I sat down in the shade and soaked in the scenery because I knew that within a couple of days I’d be back in the Arizona heat.


After Josh and I hung out for awhile in Kuna (outskirts of Boise), I left town and headed toward Twin Falls, Idaho which was only about 2 hours away.  I soon ran into a motel crisis unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my travels.  About 25 minutes outside town, I decided to call ahead and get my reservation at Motel 6 set up.  I was surprised to learn that there was no vacancy.  ANYWHERE!  I called a total of about 15 places in both Twin Falls as well as in the next town, Burley, and found nothing.  Apparently there was some event going on at the nearby Snake River that sold everything out.  Look at my outgoing call list & times.


The result was that I ended up having to drive another two hours to the next available stopping point, which happened to be my dad’s place in northern Utah.  The speed limit in desolate southern Idaho was 80 miles an hour, so I held close to a van in front of me that was doing about 85 and pressed onward into the night (after stopping for a Red Bull as I needed a caffeine kick to remain alert).  I made it and happily passed out on a “real” bed later on.


Everything from Utah onward felt like a drive around my neighborhood because I’ve traveled those roads so frequently over the last 18 years since I got my license.  I hauled dad, stepmom, and step-sister to breakfast at “Herm’s Inn” (pictured above) on Sunday morning and later paid a visit to my friend Ryan who let me tool around in his Honda S2000 for a few miles.  In Salt Lake City, I visited my friends Branson and Jeremy who are fellow “car guys,” and it was good to catch up with them.  I pressed on through the evening hours and made it to my mom’s in St. George just in time to catch the a vivid sunset hitting the red rocks of Pioneer Park on the north end of town.


My final 400-mile stretch to Scottsdale took place on Monday evening.  There was a 45-minute delay on Interstate 15 south of Mesquite, Nevada due to a semi truck accident.  I was relieved that the Integra performed well in the stop-and-go traffic, despite ambient temperatures at 113 degrees and with the A/C on full blast.  I was home by 9 p.m. and pooped!


It was a special and memorable opportunity to pick up this Integra and I hope you enjoyed coming along for the ride!

Here are more photos from this adventure.

Stephen, Cory, myself in Woodinville, WA on pick-up night


With Cory, Stephen, and Cory’s RL


Saturday morning in Renton, WA.  So much green!


Departing Stephen’s house.  His Legend GS hides at right, under a cover.


I-90 seems like a familiar place to me these days.


Feast your eyes on those RPMs in 5th gear!  Yeah, the ABS light is (still) on.


Ascending Snoqualmie Pass with some fog ahead.


Happy behind the wheel!


Quick meeting with Stephen (again) as he’d caught up to me.


Chug some of that 92!


Everyone remember “automatic” seat belts?  This Integra has them.  They run on a motorized track.


Oregon Welcome Center



Crossing the (now-decommissioned) bridge on Hwy 30 in Perry, near La Grande.


Historic downtown La Grande, Oregon


I liked this old JC Penney storefront


Meatloaf for lunch!


Little bit late on the Idaho state line shot!  This is all I caught!


Checking oil at a rest area.  Level was good!


Lots of signage for the Oregon Trail.  One of my favorite old computer games!


Dusk falling in Burley, Idaho when I was in the process of trying to find a motel.


The rest of my drive that night.


Taking the family to breakfast on Sunday


Visiting Ryan and his Audi compound!


The white 1994 S4 was my favorite of the bunch.


We also took his S2000 out for a top-down cruise.


Sharing the road in Cache Valley with some bicyclists.


Visiting Branson in South Jordan, UT.   This is his 1995 Legend LS 6-speed with 171,000 miles.



And visiting Jeremy in Herriman, Utah with his BMW 5-series.


Arrival in southern Utah – photos at Pioneer Park in St. George.



It seemed only fitting that I get a photo at the same home where mom’s red Integra had been parked, some 20 years ago.


Home sweet home.


Josh Clymer Update: 500,000 Mile Acura TSX Achievement!

Posted in Milestones on June 26, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Integra):  235,869


Ladies and gentlemen:  He’s made it.  Join me in welcoming Mr. Josh Clymer to the Half-Million-Mile Club (HMMC) and extending heartfelt congratulations on this impressive achievement.


I’ve followed Josh for some time now – a few years, in fact, since I first stumbled across his then-300-something-thousand mile Acura TSX on Acura’s Facebook page.  Over the years I’ve watched him dutifully log miles during his work commute and post updates from time to time.  His blog is at  I’ve also seen him total his car – twice – and rebuild it at great expense to keep it alive.  I’ve seen him surpass now both the 400,000 and 500,000 mile marks.  And this car doesn’t seem like it’s stopping any time soon.

It was Saturday, June 25th around 4:00 in the afternoon when we departed Josh’s home in Kuna, Idaho with 499,998 miles on the odometer to fulfill his long-awaited Big Five milestone.  I’d just arrived moments earlier in my newly-acquired 1992 Acura Integra GS-R but we left it parked – I wanted to ride shotgun for Josh’s special moment.  More, later, on that Integra.  The destination for our 500,000 mile ride was none other than Kuna’s top-rated Mexican restaurant, called Enrique’s.  I treated Josh to dinner and presented him with a glass plaque that Jason of Driven for Drives and I had made up.

So here you go:  Join the event in the below 6-minute video.  I apologize in advance if I blow your eardrums at around 4:30 on the timer because I sort of screamed in the video.  Guess you had to be there.

Heading out for the big moment


Southbound Linder Rd just before the roll-over


There’s the spot!  Boise Street, I think.  Westbound after we’d made a corner.


Let’s get a close-up of that excitement!


Josh told me I couldn’t post this one.  I’m going to anyway, ha!  But I want to mention here that Josh has TWO blue Acura hats.  One tried and true example that he retired, and a brand new one that he donned after his milestone.


Celebratory dinner spot


Chicken fajita burrito.  I could eat only half of it.  The other half went to Josh’s dog, Abby.


Presentation of the glass plaque.


And the victorious TSX looking proud.


Congrats, my friend!

The Heat Is On

Posted in Arizona, Blog on June 23, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  543,536


Odometer (ILX):  173,250


Please start playing this video before you read today’s post.  Let it give you some background music.

Okay, you know the heat is bad when twice in one day, you see cars on fire on the side of the road.  It happened on Monday.  First, this red Corvette and then a white Altima later in the day near my house.  I guess these extreme temperatures are taking their toll on more than just us human beings!


You haven’t lived until you’ve felt 120 degrees on your face, or burned your hand on a metal shift knob.


My buddy Sunny was in town from Utah this past weekend and my friends and I enjoyed showing him around a little.  One of the stops we made was to my storage unit in Glendale where I keep the 1994 Legend GS.  We pulled it out and went to lunch nearby at a neat place I discovered called “Kiss the Cook Restaurant.”



Hours are 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Kiss the Cook has some of the best omelets in the Phoenix Valley.  I actually went with a grilled cheese and it was tasty.



Funny thing about the menu is that it does promise a kiss with every meal.  Our kisses were indeed delivered after paying our bill.  However, as soon as I got outside I realized what a horrible idea it was to take them.  My eyes scanned the parking lot for the nearest dumpster and I promptly threw them away.  Can you imagine putting a Hershey Kiss in your pocket – or anywhere – and getting into a vehicle that’s been baking in 120 degrees?  No thanks!


I sold my 1993 Legend L sedan this week.  Details will be shared at a later date, but it’s going to a very worthy home and my final mileage on the odometer was just a bit under 179,000.  I only had the car for about a year and I had big plans for it, but just never had enough time, money, or space to really make anything happen with it.  It’s better off going to someone who will actually put it to use.


The transport truck has already arrived on the other side of the country!  It took only 2 days in transit.


Getting loaded up:

I wanted to share a few photos that I received from friends this week.  First off, my friend Scott who worked for American Honda once attended an Acura NSX preview event in 1990 when the first generation NSX debuted.  Here are photos of him with that car.  I also enjoyed seeing the other (now-vintage) models in the background.


Scott has aged just as gracefully as these Acuras in the last 26 years.  Wink wink!  Notice – if you look closely at the license plate in the above photo, it reads:  “YOU’RE FOLLOWING THE MOST SATISFYING CAR ON THE ROAD.”


Speaking of RED cars, my friend Paul sent me this yesterday.  Did you know that for the 2017 model year, Acura is (finally) offering a bright red color on the ILX?  It’s called San Marino Red, and I think it looks fantastic.  I would have opted for that color if it had been available in 2013!  My Silver Moon is kind of “blah” in comparison.


And finally, check out these beauties.  My friend Ira’s TLX and my friend Anthony’s TL-S.


Stay cool out there!

Group Drive & Hike: Water Wheel Waterfalls in Payson, Arizona

Posted in Arizona, Hikes, ILX, Road Trip on June 19, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend): 543,531


Odometer (ILX):  172,944


Trip Distance:  175 Miles



What if I told you Arizonans there’s a place within an hour of Phoenix where you can slice 20 degrees off the temperature and dip your toes in the refreshing East Verde River?  Maybe it would be best if I kept this place a secret, but since I’m feeling generous I’ll clue you in to this secluded little watering hole.


It’s the season of “beat the heat” so many of the destinations you’re likely to see me hit up this summer will be to higher elevations where I can get a reprieve from the Phoenix oven.  This one in particular has been on my Destination Spreadsheet for some time now.  On Saturday morning, my house in Scottsdale became the meeting point for a variety of cars and people ready for adventure.  Here were our attendees:

  • Tyson, Clayton, and Miles:  2013 Acura ILX
  • Peter and Jack:  2002 BMW 325iT
  • James and Rob:  2016 Chrysler 300
  • Paul:  2013 Acura TL SH-AWD
  • Kyle:  2005 Pontiac GTO
  • Sunny:  2013 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T
  • Brad and Kenny:  2013 Audi RS5

Brad described it as “quite a menagerie.”  A menagerie is defined as:  A collection of wild animals kept in captivity for exhibition.  Sounds about right when referring to this bunch of cars & gents.  Though, in this case, all were unleashed from captivity allowed to roam freely in the hills of the Tonto National Forest surrounding Payson, Arizona.  The one-way trek to our destination was only about 80 miles but ascended 3,800 feet in elevation.


For the most part it’s a 65-mph split highway but the curves can be fun and they require constant attention.  The ILX with 3 occupants and 100-degree temperatures bogged down on the steeper grades and I found myself downshifting to 5th gear and even 4th occasionally to keep up with the pack.  From Payson, we continued north past a couple of roundabouts and hung a right on Houston Mesa Road.  The road narrowed to two lanes and had some nice curves for the next 8 miles until we arrived at Water Wheel Campground.  Luckily, we found ample parking to stash our 7 vehicles but things were filling up quickly with a lot of Saturday adventure-seekers like ourselves.  Parking was $8 via cash / self-service, with envelopes to be deposited in an opening in a post near the trailhead.


The hike itself does not stick to any specific route but rather follows the East Verde River upstream however a hiker decides to follow it.  We did find a path along the west side of the river that had some welcomed shade from overhead trees – even at 88 degrees I managed to break a pretty aggressive sweat.  The sound of the gushing river next to us helped give a sense of refreshment even without taking a dip.  There came a time when we needed to crawl up and over some large boulders and we paved our own way, or followed people who were ahead of us.


At one point it looked like we needed to cross the river itself so we carefully collected our balance and hopped across.  The rocks were slippery at times.  For the return, I opted to just remove my shoes & socks and put them in my backpack so that I could walk barefoot across the water and not worry about a slip & fall incident.  The water was chilly but it felt great.  We wandered a bit further upstream and saw a series of waterfalls coming down.  Jack whipped out the selfie stick for a group photograph and Kyle got brave enough to jump in the water.


By the time we made it back to our vehicles, we’d only been hiking about an hour and a half round trip.  The overall hike distance is about 2 miles each way, and I think we probably only went about half that.  So there is much more to see and we all want to get back up there, but we were ready for lunch and a few people needed to be back by late afternoon so we headed back to Payson.  For grub, we dined on the patio at Buffalo Bar & Grill.  The wait staff had already lined up several small tables for us in anticipation of our arrival and the service was top-notch.


It was great to break away from the Valley’s heat and get up to the mountains for some clean air and a little time with Mother Nature.  Water Wheel Falls was just what the doctor ordered for a quick day-trip.  Thanks to my friends for joining!  Here’s a short video with some highlights of our excursion.

Pre-departure in Scottsdale


Fuel stop at the Chevron in Fort McDowell:  Tyson, Peter, Jack, James, Rob


Backwards baseball caps for the bros.


Kyle caught this pic of my ILX, Sunny’s Sonata, and Peter’s 3-series in his sideview mirror.


Getting through Payson and to the campground.


Kyle’s mean GTO in the rearview.


Parking at Water Wheel Falls


Paul’s TL was blindingly clean in the Arizona sunlight.


Clayton gave us a wave before we started the hike.


Information at the trailhead.


Coming up on the first of a series of falls.


Here’s where we had to crawl up and over some rocks on the river’s edge.


Sunny preparing to cross the East Verde.


James got a little wet.


Group shot thanks to Jack’s selfie stick.


Solo shot.


Back in Payson with our diverse lineup of vehicles.


Peter’s wagon rolled 205,000 yesterday and still looks great.


Buffalo Burger at Buffalo Bar & Grill.




Sunny and I took the Legend out and ended up next to a nice lady in a Vigor 5-speed!


I spotted a G2 Legend sedan in Beverly Hillbillies (1993 movie) about 10 minutes in!


And a very thoughtful friend brought me back a souvenir from his Hawaii trip.


Get over to TSX Travels!  Josh is about to have some big news SOON.


Back to the Routine: Car Washes, a Magazine Feature, and Racing NSXs

Posted in ILX, Legend, Vigor on June 12, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend Coupe):  543,280


Odometer (Legend Sedan):  150,380


There’s nothing like an inbox of 1,300 unread emails to come back to after being out of the office for 9 business days!  I spent Monday digging out from underneath all that nonsense that accumulated during my Alaska trip.

It’s always such an ordeal around here to get to a coin-op car wash.  I don’t have access to a pressure washer at home and I sure as heck wasn’t going to attempt the muddy ILX detail with my measly little garden hose in the driveway.  Luckily I had about $20 worth of tokens for the local car wash at Miller Rd & McDowell Rd in Scottsdale, so I cruised over there.  Here’s how that ended up going.

  • Dang, the car wash is now closed and has construction fence around it.  So much for that wasted $20 in tokens.
  • I guess I’ll google “car wash” and find others.
  • Drove to 2 more locations about a mile away.  Neither was self-serve.  Scratch that.
  • I know there’s one in Tempe at McClintock & Apache; I’ll just go down there.
  • Looks like it’s $1.75.  I’ll just blow the few quarters I have and see how far I get.
  • (Time ran out).  Definitely need more.  I’ll have to go get more change, but I don’t have cash.
  • I’ll google “Wells Fargo ATM.”
  • Went a mile away to the Wells Fargo branch, inside a Safeway store, at Rural & Broadway.
  • Well, now I have to break this $20.  There’s a Pei Wei in the parking lot and I’m kind of hungry.
  • (After eating and getting change) Alright, back to the car wash.
  • And finally, finished the job.  Then drove home.
  • And washed the car again in the driveway anyway.

Nothing irks me like wasted time and effort, but I did finally get the job done – an initial swing at it, anyway.  The whole back end of the car feels a bit like sandpaper because of the contaminants on the paint, and I may have given my new Hoover vac a workout with all the pebbles in the driver’s footwell.  I do not usually condone the use of a foam brush!  But in this case, heavy duty was absolutely required for the bugs on the front end!


I even took the high pressure spray to the door jambs with the doors OPEN!  Dirt was caked in there.


Finished result, not too shabby!


Today, as a matter of fact, marks the 4-year-anniversary of the day I got the ILX with 16 miles on its odometer.  It has a little more than 172,000 miles on it.  I don’t have an exact number because my friend Jack has the car in Las Vegas until tomorrow.  But that comes out to around 43,000 miles per year.

It was good to get the other cars awakened after a 2.5-week slumber.  The Legend coupe was reluctant to start – initially I got only a “click” but no “crank,” so I ended up rolling backwards down the driveway and doing a clutch start in reverse.  Now it runs fine after cruising around a little.  I’m still trying to figure out if it’s a battery issue or a starter issue.  The starter (aftermarket, Denso) was barely installed 3,000 miles ago, back in December by Hon-Man locally in Tempe.


I drove it to work on Friday.


My brother is up to his eyeballs in projects for my NSX which is at his place in southern Utah.  The passenger side window regulator went out on him, so he sent me this picture while tearing in to replace it.


Night shot, cruising around in the 1994 Vigor


And a night drive in the 1993 Legend sedan (Christmas tree of dash lights here!)


This one will be up for grabs (cheapo) soon.  I’m waiting to hear back from a couple of potentially interested parties.


On Saturday I buzzed over to Glendale and pulled the 1994 Legend GS out of storage for a bath.  The dust was bad!


At home with the 93.


I went and viewed a house in Central Phoenix I’ve been eyeballing.  It has a 5-car garage 🙂


Back to storage.


Later in the evening, stopped by the Scottsdale Pavilions weekly car show.  It seemed to be domestic car overload.  Camaros and Mustangs for days.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that!


The sunset was stunning last night.  Arizona always does them right.


I was pretty thrilled to get a few copies of the May-June issue of Arizona Driver magazine in the mail this week.  I’d recently submitted an article about a group drive some friends and I took to Chiricahua National Monument.




And finally:  Check out this hot ride:

Acura NSX Time Attack 2 Vehicle

This NSX will be tearing up the Colorado mountains in a couple of weeks at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.  From Acura’s press release that was distributed on Thursday:

Acura will field a pair of 2017 Acura NSX supercars in the 100th Anniversary of the running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 26, marking the North American racing debut of Acura’s next-generation NSX: the pinnacle expression of Acura Precision Crafted Performance and the only supercar made in America.

Acura NSX Time Attack 1 and 2 Vehicles

Pikes Peak has been on my must-see list for some time now.  I would have driven it a couple of summers ago when I was in the area, but it was closed for a bicycle race and my friends and I drove Mount Evans instead.  It’s good to see the NSX making its way into the professional racing circuit and I’m anxious to see how it performs!

Hope everyone has had a great weekend!

Alaska Trip Finale: Stops in Utah; Home in Scottsdale, Arizona

Posted in Alaska, Arizona, ILX, Road Trip on June 5, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  171,688


Total Trip Distance:  7,909 Miles

I can’t believe it’s over.  I did it.  After 16 days on the road and 7,909 miles traversed, I’ve successfully driven not only to Alaska, but to the Arctic Circle, and back.  It was a trip that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.


I couldn’t (and wouldn’t) have done it alone, so I thank Jason for being such a great trip companion even though we took separate cars.  Also thanks to the many folks who followed along for the adventure online, and especially those who offered hospitality along the way.  In all I drove through 8 states and 3 provinces.  Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Alberta, Yukon Territory, and British Columbia.  I documented the trip in 13 blog posts including this one, so if you’re just now tuning in, feel free to keep scrolling backward to start from the beginning.  My nightly stops were at these locations:

  • Washington, Utah
  • Butte, Montana
  • Edmonton, Alberta
  • Pink Mountain, British Columbia
  • Teslin, Yukon Territory
  • Fairbanks, Alaska (x 3)
  • Teslin, Yukon Territory (again)
  • New Hazelton, British Columbia
  • Cache Creek, British Columbia
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Kuna, Idaho
  • Logan, Utah
  • St. George, Utah

I have to say it’s remarkable that I was able to take a 170,000 mile car on a journey of this length and never have to think twice about it getting me from A to B.  I didn’t need any of my 3 spare tires.  I didn’t check or add oil at any point on the drive.  As a matter of fact, the last oil change from 8,000 miles ago still says I have 40% life remaining according to the “maintenance minder” in the car.  This is why I drive the car that I drive.  Relentless reliability.

On Thursday morning, I departed Josh’s place in Kuna, Idaho and I had about a 300-mile day to my dad & stepmom’s place in Cache Valley, northern Utah.  I gave my dad a hand washing his Ford F-350 and then dined later in the evening at my favorite restaurant in town, called El Sol.  Ryan, who Jason and I met up with on the first leg of our journey, joined again for the occasion.

Friday, I made my way southbound and traveled virtually the entire length of the state of Utah from north to south, staying at my mom’s place in Washington.  Along the way, I paid a visit to my grandpa because it happened to be his 86th birthday.  And the final stretch took place yesterday, when I drove the last 400 or so miles of my very long journey home.  Phoenix welcomed me with 114-degree temperatures.  Welcome summer.

Here’s a 17-minute video that documents my journey in bits & pieces from start to finish.  Viewers beware:  It may cause motion sickness and it’s mostly just me shooting “selfie style” and narrating some of our stops.

Utah state line


Dad’s 1990 F-350 XLT Lariat Dual Cab 4×4


Dad’s new 2016 Honda Goldwing motorcycle.  Packed with tech!


This thing even has navigation.


We took a night drive up to visit my Grandpa Hugie at Providence Cemetery.  He passed away in 1989 when I was only 7 years old but I still have great memories of him.



View of Cache Valley from my dad’s back deck


ILX in grandma’s backyard


The home across the street dates back to the early 1900’s and it’s the home my grandma grew up in


Heading southbound on Hwy 89-91 which passes through “Sardine Canyon.”


Arriving in St. George about 6 hours later


Visiting the nieces and nephews in St. George


Arrival at home in Scottsdale


Check out that nasty interior, too


Two pages of handwritten fuel log, from start to finish.


The nerd in me couldn’t resist putting this in electronic format so I could run some metrics on it.  I fueled up 41 times and spent a total of $826.52 on gas after taking into account the Canadian exchange rate.



Back in the U.S.: Stops in Seattle, WA & Boise, ID

Posted in Alaska, ILX, Road Trip on June 1, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer:  170,440


Overall Trip Distance:  6,741 Miles

Back in the US of A!  It was a real contrast to our wide-open, no-traffic drive through the Yukon when Jason and I got stuck in 6 lanes wide of bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-405 in Seattle yesterday afternoon.  I’m starting to wonder if coming back to civilization was a good thing or a bad thing!  Nevertheless (or always the more, as my Grandpa would say), we have successfully arrived in the Lower 48 and it’s been a great (shorter) last couple of days on the road.


We got out of Cache Creek bright and early on Tuesday and made our way down the Trans-Canada Highway with the Fraser River at the base.  It was gorgeous scenery, turn after turn.  There were a total of about 6 or 7 tunnels of varying length as we made our way southbound.  The town of Hope was as charming as it sounds, and one stop we made there was at the wrecking yard for Jamie Davis Towing.  Jamie’s company is famous because it’s featured in the Discovery Channel “Highway Thru Hell” TV show.  Since the roads are so critical to keep commerce alive, and the weather conditions can be so rough, Jamie’s business deals with all sorts of hardships.



Jason and I were treated to some of the best hospitality I’ve ever received, a little ways down the road in Abbotsford.  This small B.C. city resides just on the north side of the United States border.  Pam’s beautiful place which overlooks the valley is home to two Acuras:  her 2006 TSX and 1991 NSX (and a couple of motorcycles).  She is a truly genuine Honda fan, and a gracious hostess.  Pam fixed us salads to-go and let us catch our breath for a few minutes at her home before we headed out on our way.


The border checkpoint at Abbotsford moved fairly slowly but we got through in about 25 minutes.  The U.S. Customs agent recommended that I stop at a gas station and clean off my license plate.  Ha!


Jason and I weaved around through some beautiful northern Washington back roads before connecting with Interstate 5 which led us south to the Seattle area.  Our first stop there was to visit my friend Lance at his shop in Woodinville and take a look at a beautiful 1992 Acura Integra GS-R which he’s been restoring.  He even let me roll 234,567.8 miles on a quick test drive.


Yesterday evening, I met up with some family members and friends at a bar & grill not far from my motel for a bite to eat.  They all told me I must’ve brought the nice weather with me because it’s been so rainy in recent weeks (it’s Seattle – go figure!).


This morning, Jason and I walked to the IHOP next to our Motel 6 in Issaquah and shared one last meal together before parting ways.  He’d decided to continue heading south through Oregon and California, but I needed to head more east and begin making my way toward Idaho and Utah.  I got out on the road headed eastward on Interstate 90.  While attractions along I-90, I-82, and I-84 were pretty slim, it was nice to be able to set the cruise control.  The interstate climbs through a beautiful pass in the Cascade Range called Snoqualmie Pass at a little over 3,000 feet in elevation.

My car rolled 170,000 miles right at that location.



Once the terrain leveled out a bit, I arrived in Yakima and met up with a long-time friend named Chris who works in the school district there.  Chris and I met 11 years ago at a Seattle-area Acura Legend meet and we’ve stayed in touch ever since.  He still has his Legend but has also added a couple of other fancy cars to the stable:  A Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 and a Mercedes-Benz 500SL.  I must say, he has great taste in cars!  We met up briefly to catch up and I got to check out his Benz up close and personal.  The retractable top is fully automated with the touch of one button, and the open/close procedure is quite the complicated sight to behold!


From there I went on into Oregon by crossing the massive Columbia River.  In Oregon and New Jersey, gas is not self-serve.  I fueled up in La Grande and an attendant asked me if I wanted premium and how much to add.  I asked her to fill up the tank.  Another guy worked on squeegeeing my windshield while I waited.  It felt odd having someone else do those sorts of tasks for me!  Oregon and New Jersey are the only states with that law.  Actually, “all” gas sales used to be full-service until 1947 when California was the first state to adopt self-serve.  It caught on.


This evening I crossed into Idaho and I’m staying the night with my good friend Josh who you all know as the 497,500-mile TSX guy from  Josh and his Great Dane pup Abby are great hosts and I’m about to settle in for the night’s rest, but we took his TSX out for burgers at a restaurant called Ram and my friend Kevin met up with us for some chat, too.  Tomorrow, I continue on into Utah and chopping another 400 or so miles off on my return drive to Phoenix.  Thanks as always for following along!



A few more pics from the last couple of days.

Downshifting to let the car’s engine brake for me on the steep grades of the Trans-Canada Highway 1


One of the many tunnels we passed through


Hell’s Gate Airtram – I would like to try this sometime.  I bet it’s like the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.


Another tunnel on Highway 1


Green scene(ry)


Bathroom break in Yale, B.C. at the Esso gas station


Railroad tracks running through the canyon


Visiting Jamie Davis tow company


Pam’s home in Abbotsford


Pam with her immaculate Acuras


Pam fixed us a delicious salad.  My mom will appreciate that this was the best-rounded (and most colorful) meal I’ve had this entire trip!


U.S. border delays as shown along Highway 1


More info on the delays


Trip timer has now maxed out!


Out for a test drive in the Integra GS-R


This Band-Aid was a clever way to “fix” a bruised Lexus RX


Dinner with family…


… and friends!


That’s Tony and his wife Justi – and this is their immaculate 2005 BMW convertible.


Later that night, I met up with Stephen who drives this beautiful 1994 Legend GS


With Stephen


More of Chris’ Mercedes.  I love this car!  Don’t mind the dirty ILX in the background.



I thought Yakima was a nice town!  Just the right size.


Back in Idaho.  Feels like forever since Jason and I passed through this state a little over a week ago!


My Idahoan friend Kevin and his 2016 Mazda 6 after dinner.


Headed back to Josh’s in the famous TSX


Quick shot with Josh


Signing out for the night!