Archive for April, 2017

Easter Trip 2017 to Southern Utah with Jack & Lance

Posted in Arizona, Road Trip, Utah on April 23, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  552,423

Odometer (ILX):  195,000

Trip Distance:  827 Miles

The Arizona Department of Transportation has a sense of humor!

Back in the saddle again, at last!  My trusty silver steed came back into action 11 days ago after its recent bodyshop visit.  Two friends and I rode off into the Arizona sunset toward Las Vegas, then southern Utah.  The occasion?  Family fun in St. George for the Easter holiday.  It was an 800-miler with some of the best roadtrip tunes in the business.  Lance took over the backseat and I serenaded us with his in-car karaoke.  Our favorite artists to jam out to are Tracy Chapman and Jars of Clay.

“You got a fast car.  I got a ticket to anywhere.  Maybe we can make a deal, maybe together we can get somewhere.  Anyplace is better, starting from zero got nothing to lose.  Maybe we’ll make something.  Me, myself I got nothing to prove.”  Classic lines from Tracy’s “Fast Car.”

The Panda Express in Kingman, Arizona was just the spot to satisfy our cravings for orange chicken and Beijing beef at the halfway point on our drive to St. George Friday night.

Saturday was a day full of activities and good food.  We had breakfast at Bear Paw on Main Street in St. George, and then hiked around on the Red Hill overlooking town.  It was a perfect day with a light breeze and clear skies.  My brother Payton had laid out an assembly line for painting Easter eggs at his home in Santa Clara so we stopped by there and dyed a few eggs of our own with the kids.  I took Jack and Lance up to Snow Canyon and we played around in the sand dunes for an hour.

My grandma and grandpa were hospitable during our unannounced drop-in and even served up lasagna and garlic bread.  We got to spend an hour enjoying the serene backyard patio from the comfort of lounge chairs and chatting it up.  Later that evening, my brother Bentley had us over to his place for a test drive in his 1968 Chevy Nova SS, tacos on the menu, and a game night.  Great way to close out the night.

Easter Sunday consisted of an egg hunt at my brother’s place – complete with eggs of all sizes, filled with more candy than the entire sweets aisle at Walmart.  Stomach ache!

Add this road to your must-drive lists right this instant:  Arizona Highway 89A – Vermillion Cliffs.  It’s the best.  This two-laner runs along the Utah-Arizona state line and traverses some of the most vivid landscapes your eyes will ever see.  Plus, you get to stop at the Cliff Dwellers homesite where Native Americans are usually selling wares like jewelry, rugs, and other artifacts.  Finally, you can stop at Lee’s Ferry where a historic 1928 bridge offers a dramatic view of the Colorado River.

That’s the route we took on our return drive to Phoenix on Sunday, while eating way too much Easter candy and jamming out to more classic hits – mostly from the 1990s.

Thanks for coming along for the adventure!

Breakfast burrito from Bear Paw in St. George

Cruising around in mom’s 2004 Infiniti G35.  It turned over 36,000 miles!

View of St. George

Checking out brother Payton’s “Intensa Blue Pearl” Lexus IS300

Easter egg preparation

Nephew Rex collecting his Easter eggs

With Lance and Jack at Cliff Dwellers along Highway 89A

Enjoying the view from Navajo Bridge at Lee’s Ferry

Hiking South Mountain in Phoenix this past week with my friends Dante & Riley

My brother sold his 1993 Legend L coupe to a friend of mine, Brandon, yesterday.

Hanging with my nephews

Scenic pics along Old Utah Highway 91

 

New Acquisition: 2007 Acura TL Type-S 6-Speed

Posted in TL on April 18, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend coupe):  552,392

Odometer (Integra):  239,106

Odometer (ILX):  194,219

Odometer (Legend sedan):  151,406

Odometer (NSX):  106,804

Odometer (Vigor):  106,611

Odometer (TL):  96,755

Whoa, Nelly!  What has Tyson done this time?

If you know me well enough, it won’t come as a shocker that I’ve just expanded the fleet by one vehicle.  With long-term plans for the ILX involving a family member taking over its operations in a couple of months, I needed something to replace it with as a “daily” driver.  The third-generation Acura TL has long been on my list – specifically, one in eye-popping Kinetic Blue Pearl paint color with a manual transmission.  Now a decade old, the KBP TL-S still conveys an attractive presence.  Plus, what’s not to love about quad exhaust tips!

Adding to the “must-have” mentality was the fact that my friends Marc and Chris – both east coasters – have twin KBP TL-S manuals, and they’ve been egging me on for a while now about joining the club.  A few other close friends knew I was on the hunt – and Jason had the winning ticket.  Saturday afternoon, April 8, he sent me a text message with a link to an Ebay auction that had just gone live the evening prior.

It was a gorgeous car – 96,000 miles, original owner, fastidiously maintained since new and totally in stock condition.  My eyeballs widened as I scrolled through the 25 photos with the listing, trying to find anything “wrong” with the car that would turn me away.  Nothing did.  Adding gobs of icing to the cake:  This car was in my home state, about 2 hours north of me in Flagstaff.

I sent a message to the seller right away asking if he’d have time to show me the car the following morning, on Sunday.  And Sunday, I road-tripped the Legend coupe to Flag so I could give the TL a look-see in person.  The car, and its seller Dave, were as nice as could be.

I opened the driver side door – taking note that I still couldn’t see even so much as a scratch or ding on the car – and do you know what was sitting on the driver’s seat?  A printout from an Excel spreadsheet showing every line item of maintenance since new.  Needless to say – it was love at first sight, and I knew at that point this was the TL for me.  The test drive solidified that conviction.  Dave and I took the car out onto the Interstate 17 northbound onramp and I gave its 286 horses a little workout.  It was awesome, and there was no turning back.

By that evening, we had come to an agreement and a deposit was sent.  On Monday, Dave emailed me a whopping 36 PDF scanned receipts detailing the car’s maintenance since new.  Geek mode set in and I prepared a maintenance spreadsheet, of course.  By Tuesday, I had a check in hand for the balance, and on Wednesday, I took delivery of the car.  Logistics worked out perfectly, since Dave needed to fly out of Phoenix airport for a business trip, so he drove the car from Flagstaff for me and I just covered his rental car for his return trip.

Now was the fun part.  My friends have known for some time that the 2004-2008 Acura TL is one of my favorite cars of all time.  In fact, we lovingly call it the “3GTL” and enjoy sending spy shots to one another when we see one on the road.  You’ll recall in my recent blog post that the ILX came back from a 6-week accident hiatus on Wednesday, too. The wheels in my head started spinning.  What if I invited some friends over to see the refreshed ILX, but in reality, the TL could be there to surprise them?

And so it was done.  I carefully figured out the timing and played it out in my head.  When roommate James left to run an errand, I quickly pulled the TL into the garage from where I had parked it at the end of the block.  Then I put a cover over it.  Later that evening, he and a couple other friends came over and learned about the latest Acura-quisition.   Here was the video of the reveal:

The best part about the car enthusiast community isn’t the car itself but the network of people you get to meet through it.  I’ve already staged a couple of “copycat” photos with my Chris in Maryland since we both have twin cars, times two.  Here are photos of his Legend + TL, and my Legend + TL.

Chris’ cars

Tyson’s cars

I look forward to having some fun with my new Type-S and as of later this summer, it will become the primary daily driver as my brother Payton will take over operation of the ILX.

Here are a few more photos!

This conversation was with Dave, the seller.  “Door ding free zone” — I love this guy!

First look at the car on Sunday, April 9th

Dave’s garage.  He sold the TL to make way for the white 2017 Porsche Macan you see in the background.

Initial odometer reading when I first took the driver seat:  96,565.

That color just pops!

Back in Phoenix on the night of delivery

Just before heading to the house to stage the surprise reveal

TL stickered at $38,795 with this equipment

Check out that DVD-Audio demonstration disc collection!  Can’t wait to try out the sound system!

Exhaust tip polish!  Before and after:

Getting a little crowded in this garage.

My friend Conor’s reaction was about like mine when I learned of this car.

Haha.  I’m glad there are others out there who get just as excited about stuff like this as I do.

Thanks for reading!

ILX Accident & Reconstruction

Posted in ILX on April 14, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  552,392

Odometer (ILX):  193,298

Had you noticed my lack of ILX updates in the last 6 or so weeks?

My car recently got disassembled almost more than it had been since its original build in May 2012.  Thanks to a late February fender-bender, it was out of commission while the qualified team at Impact Auto Body in Mesa, Arizona put it back to 100% roadworthiness.  Lead representative “JJ” and his team were kind enough to snap some photos along the way so I could follow the car’s progress.  I had a nice intermission and excuse to drive around the older cars.

Now, back to racking up the miles I go!

Initial damage February 28, 2017 at 7th Ave & McDowell Road in central Phoenix.

Sad day!

Awaiting the tow truck after GEICO inspector had done his initial estimate.

Off she goes!  They opted to tow it even though the car was fully driveable.  The airbag light was on, even though the airbags did not deploy.  Didn’t want to risk something triggering the system to deploy.

Impact Auto Body in Mesa, Arizona was the place for the restoration.

Here are just a few of the many photos the Impact team was able to take for me.  They’re out of sequence because I’m using the WordPress upload utility to submit all 23 photographs at once.  But you get the idea.

Impact’s attention to detail was phenomenal.  We ended up doing an entire new wiring harness, front apron, and wheel, in addition to the obvious bumper, headlight, foglight, and fender.

This past Wednesday, April 12th, I got the car back in all its pristine glory.  It looks great again.  I’m actually amazed at how incredibly perfect the paint match is.  The front end (sans hood) is already protected with a clear bra.  That hood, by the way, didn’t get refinished.  It still has 193,000 miles worth of wear and tear – including a rock chip that I got on the Alaska trip last year.  I’m proud of that one and I didn’t want to lose the story behind it.

Thanks to JJ for his tireless efforts in getting this car back on the road for me!

Home and tucked away in the garage for a couple of photos.

Hope everyone has a great Easter weekend.  I’m off to southern Utah (in the freshly restored ILX, of course) with a couple of friends.

180 Degrees Automotive: Featuring Sarah “Bogi” Lateiner

Posted in Arizona, PAPA on April 10, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Integra):  239,106

Did you know?  Fewer than 2% of auto mechanics are female.  There are plenty of women who have interest in getting into the industry, but many can’t find work because they aren’t qualified.  And they can’t build the skills to become qualified until they land a job.  It’s a cycle that Sarah “Bogi” Lateiner has sought to break by changing the way people think about women in automotive.  Last Wednesday, Bogi invited the Phoenix Automotive Press Association (PAPA) to her shop in central Phoenix, Arizona that serves as a repair facility as much as an educational institution.

Women from around the community – and around the country – come to Bogi’s to learn the trade.  For some women, it may be the first time they’ve picked up a wrench.  I know for a fact that many of her “students” probably already know a heck of a lot more than I do.  I’ve had professionals handle my car maintenance for years now – aside from air filters, batteries, and easy stuff, I haven’t ever dipped too far into the mechanic scene.  Now I’m inspired to.

And thus the reason why Bogi’s facility is called 180 Degree Automotive:  It turns the perceptions and stereotypes 180 degrees, causing people to think twice about letting a gender difference dictate anyone’s ability to be skilled in automotive trades.  Our group of automotive journalists enjoyed getting a behind-the-scenes look.

Bogi co-hosts a TV show on Velocity Channel call “All Girls Garage,” and the main project taking place currently is a build called the Chevy Montage.  A team of women is putting together a 1957 Chevy pickup truck (equipped with a BMW M5 engine) that will debut at the SEMA show in Las Vegas in November.  We got an inside look at the place where the magic happens: a nondescript industrial building at Camelback Road and 7th Avenue that is definitely more than meets the eye.  The lobby contains a quarterly art exhibit featuring local artists.  And the garage bays themselves are tidy and organized.  I guess it takes a woman’s touch!

We thank her for the hospitality and wish her the best of luck in finishing up the SEMA build!

Here is a feature video on Bogi from “Assignment America” 7 years ago.

Drove the Vigor to the scene

Entrance

Art gallery on exhibit in the waiting room

Social hour

Eyeballing the shop

Here are a few other pics from over the weekend.  We had some friends come up from Tucson.  Two of them were in a pair of “CB7” (1990-93) Honda Accords, including this EX coupe and SE sedan.

The sedan had 299,927 miles on it!

On his return trip, Corey sent me this pic to confirm the car achieved its milestone.

Honda party at the house.

Jon, Corey, Ryan, Tyson, Ben, Trevor, Chris

James‘ Focus RS, on test for the week, joined the party, as well as Michael’s 2001 7-series.

And Donald’s Vortex Blue TSX 6-speed.  Neighbors must think we’re car crazy.  They’re right.