Acura NSX “WestFest” 2017 – Las Vegas, Nevada – May 4-7

Odometer (Legend):  552,434

Odometer (NSX):  107,620

I have to give my friend Tony Ciervo some credit.  The Malibu, California native is the original owner of a 1991 Acura NSX in Berlina Black that’s about to roll 70,000 miles.  Now, that’s not a huge mileage achievement by any stretch, but can you imagine buying a car new and keeping it for over 26 years?  That’s commitment.  “What do you do for a living?” I asked him, noting that I pegged him as a bit of a brainiac/nerd from the get-go.  (Maybe it was the socks w/ sandles he was wearing).  “I’m a mathematician,” he said.  “Go figure,” was my response.  He started laughing.  It took me a minute to recognize the pun that I’d just created.  Gotta love someone with a sense of humor.

The NSX Club of America (NSXCA) has a strong regional chapter in the southwestern United States.  And what better way to round up a few crazy car-people than setting up a meet in the city that never stops partying – a city that receives 41 million visitors each and every year.  Cinco de Mayo weekend saw about 60 NSXs overtaking the streets of Las Vegas, Nevada in a 3-day event called “WestFest,” put on by region leader Les Rowe with the help of a handful of other volunteers.

In attendance at the event were people and cars from an assortment of demographics.  There were members who flew in from around the country and even one guy from Japan.  The cars ranged in model year from 1991 through 2005 when the first generation ended, and we even had a few new, second-gen 2017 NSXs in the mix.  One of them was driven up by none other than Acura’s own Kelly Lynch from the Torrance, California-based Public Relations team at headquarters.  We were glad to have her and her sister Jody joining in for the fun and games.

Our host hotel was a long-time Las Vegas landmark since 1986, the Gold Coast casino with its 87,000 square feet of gaming space.  Conveniently located within the lobby is a TGI Friday’s restaurant and a Java Vegas coffee shop, both of which saw plenty of my business over the course of our event.

For me, one definite highlight was reconnecting with my buddy Fred (above), who I’ve known for upwards of 13 years but who I hadn’t seen for about 10.  At that time, we were both driving Acura Legends and crossed paths at various meets.  Oddly enough, we think the last time we saw each other was at NALM 2007 in Las Vegas.  Here, in fact, is a photo of us together at the dinner table during that event (I’m second from left, and he’s at the far back of the table on the right).  Time flies.

So it seems fitting that exactly 10 years later, we’re back doing the same thing but with NSXs instead.  Fred has a “Midnight Purple” 1995 NSX with over 180,000 miles on it that’s wearing Hawaii plates.  It’s been all over the country, and unlike a lot of NSX owners, Fred isn’t afraid to “daily drive” his.  My kind of guy.

My trusty 1992 Formula Red NSX performed flawlessly on the 300-mile trip to Las Vegas, delivering ice cold air conditioning and as much comfort as can be expected from a 25-year-old, two-seater sportscar.  I did take the opportunity to rock out to the Top Gun soundtrack on audiocassette – specifically, “Danger Zone.”  The car rolled over its 107,000th mile somewhere along the way.

On Friday, our group was hosted by a dealership called Findlay Acura about 20 minutes away in the suburb of Henderson.  General Manager Kevin Hicks rolled out lots of red carpet for us, including a taco truck, audio entertainment, and these lovely ladies.  We enjoyed spending a few hours at his facility and we were even able to send a couple of club members to the roof so they could capture an aerial photograph of the parking lot.

There was a go-karting event in the afternoon at Gene Woods Racing Experience but with temperatures pushing triple-digits, I opted out.  I spent the evening hunkered down in air-conditioned environments including a bar called Charlie’s where I met a drag queen named Farrah Moan.  I hadn’t heard of her, but apparently she’s kind of a big deal on the TV show “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”  Things went smoothly until my friend Tony got his bare foot (he was wearing flip flops) stepped on by her high heel.  That’s what you get, Tony!  Haha.

Despite the fact that most people who visit Vegas don’t stray too far from the Strip, there’s actually plenty to do outside city limits from a recreational perspective.  Club member Chase Heath developed a 200-mile scenic drive route for Saturday’s activity including waypoints at Mount Charleston and Valley of Fire State Park.

I elected to join for just the second half of the drive, so I met up with the group at Aliante Casino for lunch and hopped in with the caravan for the afternoon portion.  But before that, I made a special visit to my friend Jeff’s place.  Jeff has been in my “car family” for well over a decade now.  He went from a 1993 Legend coupe to a 2003 CL and now to a 2008 TL.  It just so happened that my visit fell on his 41st birthday.  He took the NSX for a spin and enjoyed it.

Our caravan of 43 NSXs rolled out for an afternoon in the red rocks of the Valley of Fire.  The scenery feels a bit surreal – curvy roads that cut through vivid sandstone rock formations.  You feel like you’re in a car commercial out there.  We sure enjoyed ourselves and we got plenty of attention in the process.  I just happened to fall in line with 5 other Formula Red NSXs when we got back on Interstate 15 for the trip back to the hotel.

Things concluded in the ballroom at Gold Coast, with our banquet dinner, awards presentation, and closing remarks.  It was truly a memorable event and gets me excited for NSXPO which will be held in September in Wisconsin

I knew I’d found the right spot when I saw a fellow NSXer on the 2nd floor of the parking garage

Not bad accommodations

All checked in and credentialed

Separated by 16 years

May Lee from the NSXCA leadership, me, Les Rowe (SW Chapter leader), Kelly from Acura

Arrival at Findlay Acura on Friday morning

Group shot!

NSXs for days

Back of T-shirt design.  It’s supposed to be a poker chip.

Nouvelle Blue Pearl really pops in the sunlight.

More from dealer day.

With Fred from San Diego.

Group shot

In the NSX with Jeff

Group drive to Valley of Fire

Scenery

Caravan of red NSXers on I-15 south

Banquet dinner venue at Gold Coast casino

Hope you enjoyed coming along for the ride!

14 Responses to “Acura NSX “WestFest” 2017 – Las Vegas, Nevada – May 4-7”

  1. So. Many. NSXs.

    Seems like an awesome trip! Gotta love the Kenny Loggins choice, and I’m equally impressed that the tape deck still works. How many NSXs were there in attendance, total? One other question- what are you getting for mpgs with yours?

    • This event was smaller in scope than the annual nationwide “NSXPO” but I think we had about 60 cars and 90 registered attendees. I honestly haven’t checked MPG in mine but the window sticker says 19/24 and it’s just a 3.0 V6 with a 2,900 lb car so I think I pull high 20’s if not 30 on the highway!

  2. Good stuff, as usual. Your posts are very informative and entertaining. Write on!

  3. Brad Heffran Says:

    Looks like it was a fun weekend! Did you find that your NSX’s new seats are more comfortable on a long drive, or was it mainly a cosmetic revamp?

    • That very thought crossed my mind yesterday about mid-way through my 4.5-hour drive home. They ARE more soft and comfortable. The old leather over time had hardened and was almost plastic-like. So, cheers to a comfy butt!

  4. The ‘Valley of Fire’ state park sounds pretty menacing – but looks like it provides some spectacular scenery. Love that you’re still running a tape deck in the NSX and the Top Gun cassette gave me a laugh. Sounds like you had a great trip!

    • Thanks Adam! Yeah I’d been through VOF State Park in the past but in the ILX. The landscape is pretty but it can be an unforgiving place in the summertime. The wind kicked up quite a bit and was blowing sand in our faces. Joys of being in the desert!

  5. In answer to your opening statement amusing “…but can you imagine buying a car new and keeping it for over 26 years?”

    You know… somehow I think I can.

    Maybe when the 93SE hits 25 I can trade it in on an NSX… you know like a direct swap 🙂

    And naturally I still prefer the gen 1 version

    • What’s the build month/year on the 93SE? Just so I know when to plan a 25-year celebration. Come to think of it, my NSX & Integra are both hitting that age this year. Party time.

  6. Carlos Says:

    Have you driven the 2017 Nsx?

  7. SO many NSX but I know its not as many as the NSXPO. So cool to meet up with an old friend years later in different cars and for Acura’s PR to make an appearance in a new ’17 NSX. I’ll have to stay at the hotel sometime. Lots of history there I bet.

    • For sure – it was a memorable weekend for so many reasons! I wish I had time to drive out to NSXPO in Wisconsin this coming September but it’ll probably end up being a fly-in like Orlando was for me last year.

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