Archive for July, 2016

Throwback Thursday: December 1997 “Dirt Wheels” Magazine Feature

Posted in Throwback on July 28, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Integra):  236,569

236569

Odometer (ILX):  176,656

176656

From an early age, I became obsessed with any wheeled mode of transportation.  I created intricate roadways for my Hot Wheels and die-cast model cars in the front yard.  I even remember “driving” those model cars on a treadmill that was rolling a slow speed.  And I used to wash and wax my bicycles.  Seriously.  (I’m at left here, Aug 1990)

bikes

It’s no wonder I’ve become the car fanatic I am today.  But before I received my driver license, I was behind the wheel of a different kind of ride:  my family’s all-terrain-vehicles (four wheelers).  Dad’s bright yellow 1995 Yamaha Kodiak 400 cc go-anywhere beast became my pride and joy.  It was later outfitted with an aftermarket Warn winch up front and was virtually unstoppable in any terrain.

kodiak

Best of all, my grandparents at the time had a cabin in central Utah with access to hundreds of miles of ATV trails.  In fact, one nearby town (Fillmore), to this day hosts an annual “jamboree” where riders come from all around the country to enjoy a weekend of fun and adventure.  This year’s National ATV Jamboree jamboree took place about a month ago.  It’s akin to the National Acura Legend Meets that I’ve so religiously attended over the last decade.

paiute_atv_trail

The Paiute ATV Trail system, named for the Native American tribe that originally settled the area, is seemingly endless.  There are some 800+ miles’ worth of trails waiting to be driven, and the main loop would take 25 riding hours to complete.  I always dreamed of doing that:  Strapping a tent to the rack of my four-wheeler, taking a cooler of food essentials, and just driving for days.  Seems like even at age 14, I had an appetite for the open road.

I can’t believe it’s been two decades!  In August 1997, I wrote a letter to Dirt Wheels Magazine asking them to include a photo in the “Parting Shot” section.  That photo was taken along the Paiute ATV Trail sometime during that summer.  At left is brother Bentley on the Yamaha Kodiak, in the middle is brother Payton on the Kawasaki Mule, and at right (with bleached hair!) I’m sitting atop the Polaris Trail Boss.

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Another view from different perspective.

view2

This was my letter to Dirt Wheels.  That signature!  How many 15-year-olds do you know who take themselves that seriously?

letter

Well, it worked.  Four months later, my submission showed up at the very top of the page.  I rushed to the newsstand as soon as I got my issue in the mail so that I could buy up several extra copies.

parting_shot

Here are some other photos from our ATVing adventures over the years in the late 1990s.  First was my grandparents’ cabin, nicknamed “Paradise Found,” during a snowy winter.  The most important part of this photo is the trunk lid of my 1986 Chevy Celebrity which is clearly visible at bottom left.

cabin

Bentley, dad, mom, Payton, and me.  And Shadow!  Our pup.  Out hiking somewhere in the mountain range.

hike1

Grandma giving a thumbs-up.  Helmets for safety first!

doce

Hiking with grandma, and cousin Braxton.

hike2

Payton riding on the front of the Mule, I guess?

mule2

Wintertime 4-wheeler ride.  With chains on the tires.

snow2

I miss that T-shirt.  “GET FOCUSED.”

tyson

Views for days.

view

Thanks for coming along on the ATV ride down Memory Trail!

New Domain Name, Some Integra Maintenance, & A Visitor from Oregon

Posted in Legend, Maintenance, Integra on July 26, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend Coupe):  544,040

544040

Odometer (Legend Sedan):  150,439

150439

Odometer (ILX):  176,539

176539

I’m all grown up now.  After over 5 years on a free WordPress account, I’d reached about 85% of my allowed media capacity and kept getting warnings about going over.  I’ve shared 14,541 photos on the blog and they take up 2.6 gigabytes worth of space.  So, it was time to upgrade, and along with a paid registration came the opportunity to become an official “dot-commer.”  You can now find this page by typing in simply “drivetofive.com.”  Celebrate good times (c’mon!).

Today’s updates fall into the “hodge podge” category.  Surprise:  I didn’t go anywhere this past weekend.  I’ve had too many other things going on house wise, career wise, and otherwise.  But I did get to enjoy spending time with a visiting friend from Oregon, beat the heat at a Sunday matinee, and attend a planning call with the NSX Club of America (NSXCA) about current events and activities.

The NSXCA, by the way, is sporting a new website of its own.  Check it out.  I can assure you the internal member page is pretty slick – including downloadable copies of the Club’s quarterly magazine, NSX Driver.  Worth the $40 membership annually if you’re an owner or even just an enthusiast.

nsxca

We even occasionally get “insider” deals on stuff like, say, the new NSX.  Berlina Black, anyone?

2017_nsx

Also in the cool car category is this stellar-looking 1982 DMC DeLorean.  Believe it or not, my boss drives this car and she’s the original owner!  She was proud to show it off last Friday at the office and the next time we get the chance, we’re taking it for a spin.  Maybe I can even get some time behind the wheel.  Unfortunately Shea Blvd doesn’t have anywhere we could safely get up to 88 miles per hour, so maybe another time we could try that.

delorean

My friend Kyle and I did an overnight car swap which was a nice change of pace.  He borrowed the ILX and I got the keys to his 400-hp 2005 Pontiac GTO 6-speed.  It has just a little over 101,000 miles on the odometer but looks showroom fresh inside & out thanks to Kyle’s attention to detail.  I was a little paranoid to even drive the thing, but I greatly enjoyed my commute home on Friday afternoon.   The GTO is a car that demands brute force to drive.  The clutch is heavy, the gear shift takes effort, and the doors close with a resounding thud.  There is nothing delicate or dainty about this car.  Not to mention the fact that the exhaust note will awaken anyone within earshot – a mile away.

gto

The Integra came back into service after a couple-week hiatus.  Tait Johnson, better known as “Hon-Man” of Tempe, Arizona, went through the old 1992 GS-R and gave it a real thorough once-over.

gsr

The main service item he addressed was a timing belt & water pump change.  This is a routine maintenance item in most 1990s Honda cars, due every eight (?) years or 90,000 miles.  In the Legend, I routinely hit the mileage limit before the time limit over the years.  Additionally, I had Tait address a couple of suspension/braking concerns and install a new catalytic converter.  Some of you may recall that this car failed emissions last month when I tried getting it registered for the first time here in Arizona.  Now she’s passed with flying colors.

honman

List of completed maintenance items

hon_man_list

Emissions report – success!

emissions_test

And Arizona’s newest resident!  “Action Auto Title,” by the way – shown in the background – is a third-party DMV agent that I’m trying out for the first time.  Do you hate going to the DMV as much as I do?  This place was a breeze!  I was assisted immediately.  The plate was cozy and smelled of a scented candle.  And the rates are only a fraction more expensive than the DMV.   $55 for two year tags – you just can’t beat that.

new_plate

I whizzed out to Tonopah on Saturday in the Legend to get its fluids up and moving.  This car won’t be seeing much action until the National Acura Legend Meet (NALM) in Atlanta this coming September.

coupe_dash

coupe_tonopah

tonopah

I polished tips on both the sedan & the Integra.

tips

Later that evening, I stopped by the weekly “Pavilions” car show in Scottsdale.  My friend Michael was attending in his black 2006 Acura TL that he wanted me to check out.  It’s in great shape for being 10 years old!

michael_tl

tyson_integra

My friend Justin made his arrival from Roseburg, Oregon on Sunday afternoon.  He’s a fellow car nut who I’ve followed on Instagram for some time now.  And for whatever reason, he decided to leave his beautiful, green state and subject himself to summer’s wrath here in Phoenix during the hottest time of the year.

tyson_Justin

His 2010 Audi A3 TDI wagon got him around in style, though.

justin_with_cars

Speaking of Oregonians, congratulations are going out to my buddy Ira in Portland who took delivery of a 2016 TLX in Crystal Black Pearl on Monday.  His new ride is outfitted with the complete Sport Underbody Kit and the accessory wheels.  Instead of a key handoff, his drive-away was accompanied by a (very) “high five.”

ira_high_five

And lastly, I don’t know how my buddy Alex does it, but he has a way with capturing odometer readings.  Check this one out.  Rolling over 95,000 miles, with a 95-degree external temperature, driving 59 miles per hour.

Thanks for sharing, Alex!  I can’t compete with that!

alex_odo

Weekend Road Trip: Phoenix to San Diego, California for James’ Birthday

Posted in California, ILX, Road Trip on July 18, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  543,881

543881

Odometer (ILX):  175,686

175686

Trip Distance:  730 Miles

phxsan

You really can’t get a much better  7-day weather forecast than this.  Highs in the 70s. Lows in the 60s.

sd_forecast

It’s no wonder us Phoenicians don’t think twice about flocking to the coastline in mid-summer for a gasp of sea air from time to time.  Yesterday afternoon, I was sprawled in the shade of a palm tree on the grass at the Hotel del Coronado.  The Pacific coast was a picture of perfection:  a light breeze, the sound of the crashing waves, and the smell of fresh flowers.  The grounds at the “del” were immaculate as always.  The historic hotel, built in 1888, has always been a place for San Diego’s elite to vacation.  It’s no wonder the cost for 2 hours of parking is $30 and brunch costs $90.

hotel_del_coronado

My seven friends and I didn’t pay for either, as we’d opted to park several blocks away (for free) on a surface street and we ate at Panda Express instead.  But at least the scenery didn’t cost us a penny, and I think a couple of the guys may have even snagged a seashell or two to take home as a souvenir.

The reason for the season was a birthday gathering:  James turned 30 last week and he decided to take the party to Southern California.  It’s only about a five-and-a-half hour drive from Phoenix to San Diego, and with enough advance notice, James was able to arrange an “AirBNB” home for our group in the convenient North Park part of town, right off the I-8 and I-805 freeways.

tyson_kyl

Kyle took the wheel of the ILX on Friday afternoon for the drive out so that I could telecommute from the road, in the passenger seat.  By the time we descended to sea level at the coastline, the sun had dipped below the Pacific and nighttime had fallen.  Our three-story home for the weekend was right off Idaho Street & El Cajon Boulevard:  “The Gateway to Mid City.”  Saturday morning took us to Pacific Beach which was bustling with people and entertainment.  The water temperature was brisk initially but really not all that bad.  I’d forgotten my flip-flops so I spent $5.99 on a two-pack of them at CVS Pharmacy which promptly fell apart as soon as a strong wave ripped one off my feet.  I guess I got my money’s worth.

pacific_ocean

tyson_in_pacific

We spent the evening in San Diego’s uptown “Hillcrest” district, exploring the streets, freeways, and cuisine.  I twas a a contrast to see the many people outside enjoying the weather.  Central Phoenix after-hours is usually somewhat of a ghost town in comparison.

hillcrest

That brings us to our visit to Coronado Island on Sunday morning.  Once isolated from ‘mainland’ San Diego, Coronado (Spanish for “crowned one”) became connected in 1969 thanks to a 2.12-mile, curved bridge.  It’s five lanes wide with the center lane reserved for emergency use as well as a reversible lane for peak traffic times.  Up until 2002, the bridge cost a $1.00-per-car toll for westbound traffic, but that toll was discontinued after the original bond had been paid.  Today, the roadway carries 75,000 vehicles per day.  We encountered fairly heavy traffic not on the bridge itself, but after arriving on the island and making our way to Hotel del Coronado.  (not my pic here)

coronado_bridge

coronado_island_sign

Interestingly enough, the San Diego – Coronado Bridge is the third-deadliest “suicide bridge” in the United States.  Between 1972 and 2000, some 200 people jumped to their deaths.  There are signs along the road urging people to call a suicide hotline.  Yikes.

suicide

The Hotel del Coronado is home to what is believed to be the world’s oldest living Christmas tree.  First decorated in 1904, a huge pine tree on the grounds continues to be decorated every December.  Unfortunately I didn’t snag a picture of it, but it was far too big to fit in the viewfinder when I walked underneath it anyway!

Interstate 8 brought us back to the desert on Sunday afternoon, where reality soon set in and it was time to do laundry and get ready for the work week.  But the memories will live on we’re glad we got to enjoy the birthday festivities in such an awesome place as San Diego.  Thanks for joining for the trip!

Shell station in Gila Bend, Arizona

tyson_dino

Sunset and windmills on westbound I-8 Friday night

sunset

Pacific Beach on Saturday with Rob and James

rob_james_tyson

This is a “Baked Bear” ice cream sandwich.  Cookie on one end, brownie on the other end, and cookie dough ice cream in the middle.  TDF (to die for).  Especially since the cookie & brownie were warmed up.

ice_cream_sandwich

Kyle borrowed the ILX and we drove behind for a block or two in James’ Lexus RX450h.

following_ilx

Entering El Cajon Boulevard

boulevard

Crossing the San Diego – Coronado Bridge

crossing_coronado_bridge

Arriving at the Hotel del Coronado

coronado_sign

Group photo overlooking at the beach at the hotel:  Rob, Kyle, James, Tyson, Chandler, Jack, Michael, Chris

group

ILX after fueling up in Tavern Rd in Alpine

alpine

Have a great week!

“RealTime Collection Hall” Honda Museum Unveiling – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Posted in Car Show on July 15, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  543,818

543818

Odometer (ILX):  174,826

174826

This must be what Honda Heaven looks like!

group_eating

Acura race team driver Peter Cunningham knows a thing or two about vintage Hondas.  After all, he’s driven them competitively since 1987 – nearly 30 years!  Peter’s car collection has now grown to include some of the rarest of the rare – including a vehicle or two that were never even originally sold here in the United States.  He and I go back quite a ways.  In fact, I threw him the key to my NSX last October at the Palm Springs NSXPO so he could take it for a spin.

airport

I caught a flight to Milwaukee on Wednesday morning bright and early from Phoenix.  Luckily, my “early bird” Southwest check-in gave me an “A” group boarding priority so I was able to get a window seat right over the wing, just where I wanted it.  In-air travel time was right around 3 hours.  Right off the bat in MKE, I noticed how humid it was – but I wasn’t complaining – the temperature, at 88 degrees, was 20 cooler than back home.

glendale_weather

My yellow 2016 Kia Rio from Dollar Rental was a sight for sore eyes.

tyson_rio

At least I wasn’t at risk of losing it in a parking lot.  I was, however, in dire need of re-learning to drive an automatic transmission.  I exited the rental car lot and realized I still had my inspection waiver I needed to give back to the attendant.  So I had to loop around and re-enter the garage.  I found a place to quickly park the car with the hazard flashers on so I could run over and turn in the paperwork.  It wasn’t until a few minutes later when I returned to the car that I realized:  I had left it idling in “DRIVE” with the emergency brake activated the whole time.  As in, I hadn’t even put the car in park.  Doofus move.  But that’s how I’m used to driving my stick shifts!  Coast into a space, pull up on the brake, and voila.  Thankfully the Rio didn’t go anywhere while I’d stepped away.

i43

The location of Peter’s museum was about 20 minutes north via Interstate 43.  It’s a convenient area with easy freeway access.  I wasn’t sure until arriving exactly who had been invited nor what to expect during the program.

realtime_logo

Peter’s Collection Hall – dubbed “RealTime” Collection Hall – is named after the race team with which he’s competitively driven since the 1980s.  Among the vehicles on display is a souped-up Acura TSX which itself is a seasoned RealTime race veteran.  The location of the Hall is not far from RealTime Racing’s headquarters in Saukville.  Aside from a small sticker on the glass front door, it’s not well marked, and that’s by design.  This is intended, after all, to be an exclusive, invite-only, private facility for special occasions like this first one.

case

The interior space is divided into a few distinct areas:  Immediately upon entering the building, the showroom greets the visitor with a highly-polished concrete floor and special signage.  A glass counter showcases rare brochures and other artifacts from Honda history.  And included in this area is Peter’s pride and joy – a 1981 Accord 3-door with 4,657 original miles on it.  The car at 35 years old is so well-preserved it seems like it may have been teleported through time.

accord_vamos

accord_odometer

Continuing on into the first of two warehouse areas, the walls are lined with special Honda and Acura automobiles that are backed into their assigned parking spaces.  For this grand opening, the center aisle was filled lengthwise with end-to-end banquet tables that had dinner seating capacity for I would guess at least 100 people.

sandy_tyson

At the far end of this room is a painstakingly-constructed reproduction façade of Honda’s original North American headquarters which was located in Los Angeles in the 1960s.  The signage, aspect ratio, and even drainage system (though indoors) has been designed in exact detail to mirror that of the original building.  The “real” location (4077 Pico Boulevard), incidentally, is currently up for lease and most recently housed an acupuncture studio.

4077pico

There were too many cool cars on display to even begin to comment about each, so I’ll post a 5-minute video below and let my readers take a stroll through the Hall at their own leisure.  The opening night program consisted of a few remarks by Peter from the balcony while everyone was seated for dinner (catered by Poco Loco Cantina).

Peter acknowledged the many people who had traveled great distances to attend.  One guest, Guido, had flown in all the way from Germany.  Among those who’d been invited were a few great friends of mine, including Jhae from Phoenix, Ben who I’ve known for years from the NSX community, and Scott & Sandy who are friends from Palm Springs who I visit regularly.  Ben and I posed for a photo next to the 1987 and 1990 Legends on display.

ben_tyson

On Thursday I woke up to sunny weather in Glendale and spent the morning getting my bearings with the neighborhood.  I’d arranged to meet my friend Brad near the WI/IL state line but we hadn’t yet defined a meeting point.  My drive down I-43 and I-94 was a breeze – within about an hour I’d already pulled over for a customary photo at the Illinois state line.

tyson_il_state_line

Our meeting point ended up being Kenosha, a beach town on Lake Michigan.  It was great to catch up with Brad and also take a gander at his 2004 Honda Accord coupe 5-speed which he’s had since new.  I offered to trade him my yellow Kia for it but he didn’t entertain the idea.

brad_tyson

Back at the Milwaukee airport, I made myself at home at Gate C21 by spending about an hour wiping out 250 missed emails from my work inbox.  Reality set in about 3.5 hours later when I came out of the Phoenix Sky Harbor terminal and walked into the blow dryer that is our summer evening weather.  Gotta love it!  Thanks for coming along!

I took this photo before flying out so that I could remember my parking space

ilx

Traditional flight beverage:  OJ!

oj

This is the interior of that <5k mile 1981 Accord

accord_interior

The Power of Dreams, indeed!

collection_entrance

My favorite car in the collection:  Peter’s “Monaco Blue” Acura NSX.  It’s one of only 3 in this combination (black interior, 6-speed manual transmission) for the model year.

monaco_nsx

Hey, that looks familiar!  Peter has a GS-R similar to mine and with almost the same odometer reading (241,000).

gsr

This 1995 Accord was something special.  “DX” base model:  Manual windows, manual mirrors, manual locks, no radio, no air conditioning, and a 5-speed manual transmission.  Bare bones, but with fewer than 10,000 miles!

accord_dx

This is a 1966 Honda T360:  Honda’s first production automobile!

t360_tyson

Column shift manual transmission.  That would be fun to drive!

t360_interior

Here’s the man with the vision!  Peter himself.

peter_tyson

RealTime race driver Ryan Eversley and his girlfriend Jen were seated next to me.

eversley

Jake Cole (fellow NSX fanatic), Peter, and me

jake_peter_tyson

What is this stuff around the wheel well of this Ford Taurus?  Rust is abundant in WI and something I rarely see in my area.

rust

Some nice homes in the Glendale area.

glendale_homes

Headed south toward the Illinois state line

i43a

chicago_milwaukee

Lake Michigan in the background, as seen from Kenosha.

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It’s pretty out there, and weather couldn’t have been better.

lighthouse

Brad’s 2004 Accord was looking good in the parking lot at lunch.

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Have a great weekend!

Oceanfront Property in Arizona: Road Trip to Miami

Posted in Arizona, ILX, Road Trip on July 12, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  543,818

543818

Odometer (Vigor):  105,755

105755

Odometer (ILX):

174751

Trip Distance:  164 Miles

miami

I’m really giving you all quite the summer 2016 vacation!  It seems only fitting that this weekend’s destination is as much of a vacation spot as last week’s (“Florence“).  Miami, Florida would have been a stretch for a weekend drive – some 2,363 miles from home – not quite close enough for a day-trip.  But Miami, Arizona is.  And it’s been about 5 years since I last talked about that little spot on the map, in October 2011.  So let’s go back and take a look around.

tyson_rob

Like most of the towns in Arizona’s wild western frontier, Miami got its start in the mining industry in the 1870s.  The hills of the surrounding area were rich with copper, and prospectors flocked to be a part of the industry in those early years.  Miami proper was founded in 1907 and tracts of land were officially sold for development after the first train arrived there in 1909.  Within a year, there were about 1,300 people calling it home.  Interestingly enough, 100 years later, that population had only grown by about 500 people.

us60

Today, Miami is a quiet (and even run-down) little community that while only 77 miles from the hustle and bustle of urban Scottsdale, feels like stepping back in time a century or so.  My friend Rob decided to join me for the drive.  It took us only about 90 minutes to get to Miami from my home – straight east on US Highway 60 and through a pass in the Superstition Mountains in my ILX.  Along the way we stopped in a similarly time-warped community called Superior.

superior_main_st

Most of Miami is pretty run-down.  The residential side-streets – many of which are so skinny they’re one-way – have poor pavement conditions and steep grades.  The small homes are sad, with crumbling foundations and stair steps.  Most have chain link fences around their yards and “NO TRESPASSING” signs in abundance.  One particular such sign was kind of entertaining.  “Do I have to speak to you in 12 gauge?” with the image of a gun.  Real friendly neighborhood over there!

houses_miami

A friend had recommended some Mexican grub so we made our way down to Guayo’s El Rey restaurant.  We happened to time our arrival right when church let out, apparently.  The place flooded with hungry (but well-dressed) lunch-goers as soon as we’d been seated.  “Anything to drink?” asked the waittress.  “Sure, a Diet Coke,” I said.  Before she even turned to Rob to ask for his beverage order, she’d walked away.  She brought back a pitcher of Diet Coke for both of us.  I guess she figured we both wanted the same thing!  At least the food was delicious.

guayos_el_rey

Miami’s Sullivan Street is the main thoroughfare – or was, at least, until the current US Highway 60 was put in a block to the south.  The owner of one antique store that Rob and I visited told us that Miami was once home to 30 brothels during its boom.  I enjoyed walking through a few of the historic shops.  I was surprised to come around the corner in one of them and see the front end of a 1950 Buick in there:  The exact same car that my Grandpa Hugie owned in 1954.  I’ve blogged about it here.

buick_front_end

Unfortunately, that Buick (or piece of it, anyway) wasn’t for sale but I left my contact information with the store owner in case they ever decide to part with it.  Rob and I cruised back to civilization after enjoying a few minutes on Memory Lane.  Thanks for being a part of the adventure!

We got a kick out of how the road stripes lead right up to the front door of the Pinal County Administration Building in Superior

pinal_admin_building

Sullivan Street, Miami

sullivan_st_miani

These railroad tracks just end!

tracks

I read this as “Slow Children At Play.”

slow_children

Overlooking Miami from someone’s driveway

miami_overlook

Don’t try and eat at Guayo’s El Rey on a Wednesday!

miami_restaurant_hours

This is the combo #1.  Shredded beef taco, enchilada, and a refried bean tostada.  Are my food connoisseurs in the blog audience happier with this than they were with my buffalo chicken bites last week?

mexi_grub

ILX parked on Sullivan

sullivan_st_miami_2

Making friends with a “fry guy” statue

tyson_fries

Rob checking out the wares inside the antique shop

rob_antique_store

The soda fountain isn’t open yet

miami_main_street

Headed back toward Phoenix via US 60

us60_2

Queen Creek Tunnel (1952)

queen_creek_tunnel

What did you think of my new T-shirt?

stickshift_shirt

Couple other news bits!  You all remember that 1993 L sedan I had for about a year?  It’s been in Florida for a few weeks now and it’s getting a full restoration, courtesy of my friend Alan.  Follow his “Build Thread” here!

93L

Alan at work!

alan

My brother Bentley sent me a progress picture yestererday showing the new leather he’s installing in my NSX.

new_seat

Thanks to my friend Erik for sending me this awesome calendar featuring European Domestic Market Hondas!

calendar

Finally, a few have asked for a more thorough recent video of the Legend.  I pulled it out on Saturday for a cruise and filmed 11 minutes’ worth of action for you.  I’m going to leave this “Unlisted” instead of public since I realize that it makes it look like I ran a stop sign at 6:30.  In the words of the movie Clueless, “I totally paused!”

Have a great week!

4th of July Weekend 2016: Florence, Arizona Road Trip

Posted in Arizona, Legend, Road Trip on July 6, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  543,770

543770

Odometer (ILX):  174,186

174186

Trip Distance:  135 Miles

florence_trip

On one end of the spectrum, you have Florence, Italy:  the home of the Renaissance and the capital of Italy’s Tuscany Region.  It’s a place filled with art, culture, and class.  It would take about a 15-hour flight to get there.  At the complete other end of the spectrum, there’s another Florence I’d like to introduce you to:  Florence, Arizona.  It’s the capital of Pinal County, home to one of the state’s largest prison facilities, and a now-defunct railroad stop.  But, you can get there in about an hour from Phoenix and it offers a “culture” all its own.

florence_sign

I took my Legend coupe out for a half-day of exploration on Sunday morning to give Florence a whirl.  Along the way, I stopped at a noteworthy waypoint suggested by Roadside America:  The Pork Shop in San Tan Valley.  This place is known for its meat.  They have seven types of smoked bacon, as well as sausages and burritos.  At 9:45 in the morning I wasn’t hungry for any of those items, and I think it may have been closed for the day anyway, but that didn’t stop be from taking a few pictures out front next to the giant tank that’s been decked out like a pink pig.

pig_front

I zig-zagged my way across the desert southeast of Phoenix as I made my way toward Florence on two-lane roads, often times with telephone poles alongside me.  There was really no one else on the roads so it was a chance to turn up the volume on my Jock Jams or whatever else was playing on the iPod at the time.  I do recall having “Every Day Is a Winding Road,” by Sheryl Crow coming on and thinking that was an appropriate soundtrack for my drive.

florence_entrance

Hooking up with Highway 79 at the T in the road, I headed south and Florence was just 4 more miles down the highway.  It took just a few minutes of winding through the historic downtown district to get a feel for the lay of the land.  Main Street was dead – a total ghost town if it weren’t for the random C6 Corvette parked southbound on the west side of the street in front of some shops.

main_street_florence_az

I snagged a few photos and started thinking about lunch.  Unfortunately my first choice was a place that wasn’t open.  Painted in bold blue letters were the words DONUTS and SALAD BAR.  That struck me as an odd combination of food offerings.  They must be trying to cater to a wide variety of clientele.  Maybe I could a glazed donut with a splash of ranch dressing?

donuts_salad_bar

I ended up continuing westward on Highway 287 to Coolidge for lunch instead of eating in Florence — it was still early anyway.  So early, in fact, that when I arrived at my destination – “Gallopin’ Goose” – it was still 20 minutes before they opened.  For some reason, even though the sign says “Breakfast All Day,” the place doesn’t open until 11:00 a.m.  Go figure.  I guess everyone in Coolidge eats breakfast really late.

gallopin_goose

As it turns out, it was worth the wait.  I had the place to myself and also the attention of the entire wait staff.  I sat myself at the bar and was immediately helped by “Chrissy” who was laying on the flirts pretty thick.  Before I’d even been handed a menu, she’d rattled off about 5 or 6 drink specials.  “Just a lemonade please,” I told her.  It was quiet in there – just the sound of country music on the jukebox!

gallopin_goose_interior

Appetizers were buy-one, get-one-half-off so I went with the buffalo chicken “bites,” and the chips & salsa.  I probably only ate half what was given to me, so Chrissy got me two styrofoam boxes and a styrofoam cup (for the salsa) to take my leftovers.  The Legend doesn’t have a cup holder.  I think this was the first time I’ve ever had to hold a cup full of salsa between my legs as I drove away.  Right down the street from Gallopin’ you’ll find the Casa Grande Ruins.

salsa

I had one more visit to pay before looping back to the Phoenix area, and that was to say hello to my friends Mark and Rosalinda Bandoni.  I’ve known them for the better part of a decade and they’re good people.  In fact, they invited me to their wedding 7 years ago.  Today, they live in a two-story home there in Coolidge and have a kitty named Abra and three vehicles.  Mark has developed his hobby of model car building in recent years and he showed me his growing collection of completed projects.  I never had the patience to work on stuff like that.

mark_rosalinda_tyson

The return drive was mostly on Interstate 10, since I decided to take an easy path by hitting the freeway at the McCartney Road interchange.  It was a nice little Sunday loop and I hope you enjoyed taking it with me!

pork_shop

Cruising through San Tan Valley, Arizona.  It’s pretty desolate out there.

az_highway

Vintage looking signage on Main Street in Florence.

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Building in Florence

florence

Lunch at Gallopin’ Goose.

gallopin_goose_food

Mark’s review of G.G. wasn’t all that praiseworthy!

mark_text

What’s wrong with this picture?  Ugh.

sqeaky_clean

I thought this sign inside Mark’s garage was kind of funny.

mark_sign

The Integra got tint yesterday!

integra_tint

My receipt at Texas Roadhouse the other night said it right!

roadhouse_message

Have a great rest of your week, all!

Green Acura Photoshoot & July 2016 Diecast Model Car Update

Posted in Integra, Model Cars, Vigor on July 2, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend Coupe):  543,567

543567

Odometer (Legend Sedan):  150,392

150392

Odometer (Vigor):  105,648

105648

Odometer (Integra):  236,457

236457

If you’re color blind, I apologize, but we have to make a miniscule distinction here:

  • Arcadia Green Pearl:  BG-30P
  • Aztec Green Pearl:  BG-29P

They’re only off by one number!  And, when you get those two side by side, it’s easy to see why!

fronts4

vtec_molding

Teal green was such a 90’s thing, wasn’t it?  I remember that even the home my parents built back in 1994 had teal green carpet in it.  This is a picture of my youngest brother Payton, sometime in the mid-90’s.  Not so sure about the look on his face, but who who ever thought it was a good idea to wash down scrambled eggs with Diet Coke?  Bleh.

payton

Anyway, I sort of miss seeing green on the roadways.  Maybe it’ll make a comeback?  I decided to pull my two green machines out for a few photographs in the afternoon heat just for the sake of comparing the two shades.  But first, a photo with Jack’s 2006 RSX which happened to be at my house at the time.  Separated by 14 years!

rsx_integra

Integra is scheduled for new window tint on Tuesday.  I’ll go with 20% like the Vigor has.

backs

I worked up a sweat running around to get these pics.

right_sides

Some wear & tear on on the front end here (consistent with 236k miles) and I’m trying to track down the “plugs” that cover up the holes where the license plate used to bolt in.

fronts3

The neighbors don’t care about me blocking the road.  I’ve done it dozens of times before.

fronts2

Blinded by the light.

greens_backs

I was asked a week or so ago by a loyal blog follower if I could provide an update on my “other” cars:  The ones that reside on my rooftop.  So, here are current pictures of the fleet of diecast 1:18 scale models that have been living on my chimney since around 2009.  The purpose of this exercise, at least initially, was to regularly monitor the wear & tear that each vehicle experienced due to being exposed to the weather.  I was good about taking photos every 6 months for a couple of years, but lately I forget the cars are even up there unless someone reminds me.

As it turns out, Mother Nature hasn’t been too friendly to them.  Take, for example, the current condition of my BMW 3-series convertible.

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2009:

bmw2009

2014:

bmw2014

2016:

bmw

The car that’s weathered the (literal) storms the best has definitely been my black 1957 Ford Thunderbird.  Aside from a little bit of chipping on the nose, the paint is all intact (though oxidized).  And since this car is parked on the west-facing side of the chimney, it receives more daily Arizona sunlight than most of the others.

thunderbird2

The plastics have discolored but I bet the paint would buff out with a wax job.  Should I try some on the trunk?

thunderbird

I think this is a 312-cubic-inch V8 motor.  It might take some TLC to get it running again.

tbird_engine_bay

The Maserati 3200GT was red at one time.  Then it faded to pink, and now there is very little paint at all clinging to dear life.

maserati2

Sorry, but Italian build quality is not impressing me right now!

maserati

The Mercedes-Benz 500SL is looking pretty rough as well.  The plastic grille slats have completely disintegrated.  Here in Arizona we receive about 300 days of sunshine per year.  So if this car’s been up there for 7 years, that’s 2,100 days of being beat on.

mercedes2

mercedes

The Nomad is looking like a real restoration candidate.  It was well kept in the beginning.

2009:

nomad_may_2011

2016:

nomad3

Someone needs to do a full restoration on this thing now.

nomad

Hope everyone is having a great holiday weekend!