August Already: Group Drive to Gurley Street in Prescott, Arizona

Odometer (TL): 98,000

Odometer (ILX):  201,000

Odometer (Integra):  239,826

Trip Distance:  226 Miles

Just when I thought the Aztec Green on my Integra was an obnoxious color, my friend James had to get ahold of a 2017 Honda Civic Si in Energy Green and totally upstage me.  Talk about eye-popping.

This weekend, a few friends and I took a trip to the high country.  In all we had 12 participants and 6 cars out for the Saturday drive, including mostly Japanese cars but with a Domestic and a German for good measure.

  • 1992 Acura Integra GS-R 5-speed – Tyson and Brian
  • 2006 Acura RSX 6-speed – Jack and Jarett
  • 2017 BMW 430i M-Sport – Beau and Cole
  • 2017 Honda Civic Si 6-speed – James and Rob
  • 2017 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport – Matt and Alan
  • 2005 Pontiac GTO 6-speed – Kyle and Sally

I had the oldest vehicle by 13 years so I suppose it’s okay that I brought up the tail end of the pack for most of the drive.  Truth is, I gave that little 1.7-liter 4-banger all she had.  The relatively steep grade from Wickenburg (2,057 feet) to Prescott (5,368 feet) took us through one of Highway 89’s most curvy and technical sections in the state of Arizona.  But it also left me feeling like I was a little out of my league in terms of power and handling.

That didn’t matter; I was enjoying the scenery — not to mention the fact that the weather outside was 20 degrees cooler than we had back home in Phoenix.  I opened my moonroof for the first time since about April!

Knowing beforehand that one specific stretch of 89 is a notorious speed trap, we joked that James should take the lead in that unmistakable neon Civic and perhaps distract any highway patrol officers along the way so the rest of us could slide by at a good clip without the risk of getting pulled over.  I’m happy to report that nobody from our group had any run-ins with the law, which is admirable considering that Matt and Kyle, each with 400 horsepower at their command in the Q50 and GTO respectively, were in vehicles highly capable of breaking the speed limits.

Prescott, the Yavapai County seat and once the capital of the Arizona Territory in 1864, is a popular summertime destination for many Phoenicians like us looking to beat the heat.  Its 40,000 residents probably get used to seeing groups of sports cars and motorcyclists rolling through town almost every Saturday and Sunday during the warmer months.  Luckily for us, we had no issue finding ample parking near the walkable downtown district in a relatively new, 4-level garage.

The tougher challenge was finding a restaurant able to accommodate a dozen people without any reservations.  Gurley Street Grill, just a block away from us, saved the day and set us up in a comfortable spot on the back patio.  To the foodies of the blog audience, you’ll be pleased to know that I took a picture of my turkey croissant and side of cottage cheese.

See?  Even a pickle spear.

We enjoyed the mountain air and each others’ company before packing up and heading back to the Valley of the Sun.  There was some switching of passenger assignments and Rob accompanied me for the drive back, willing to put up with my loud little Integra’s 4,500 RPM whirr at 80 miles per hour as we made the descent down Interstate 17.  He also reminded me to fasten my lap belt.  The automatic shoulder belts in that car always make me forget that there’s another step in the process.  Thanks for coming along for the drive!  Some more news & info follow below.

Other Prescott trips for your reading pleasure:

Short video clip:

Heading into the town of Wickenburg.  We call it Wickentrash, but don’t tell anyone who lives there that.

Fuel and snack stop at Mobil along Highway 93.

Following Matt’s Q50 into the foothills of the national forest

On up the mountain, following Jack’s RSX

Arrival in Prescott on Highway 89

Town view as seen from our parking garage

Enjoying this visitor for a few days.  Brian, from Orlando, was here from Tuesday until Sunday.

Lunch on the Gurley Street Grill patio

Group shot.  Rob, Tyson, Matt, Alan, Cole, Jack, Brian, James, Sally, Kyle, Jarett, Beau

Here are some other news updates and reading links:

A/C Blog from Highline Car Care

Years ago I became acquainted with my friend Wes because he helped me take care of some preventive maintenance on a 3rd generation Honda Prelude I owned at the time.  Later, he did some work on a 1988 Legend coupe I was restoring.

Today, Wes has grown his auto repair business into one the Phoenix area’s premier facilities.  I thought it was interesting to read this informative write-up on how automotive A/C systems work and the importance of maintaining them.  At this point in the summer, we are all grateful for properly functioning air!

Roadkill 78 Lincoln Story

There’s something so cool about the concept of taking a 40-year-old car, hitting the open road, and seeing how many destinations you can hit in a 35-day road trip.  And that’s exactly what a couple of students did in this recent write-up on Roadkill.com.  I think you’ll enjoy the words and photos as much as I did.

Sunset time in the TL the other day.

Another fine AZ sunset, this time in the Legend sedan

Brian from Florida took my NSX on a trip to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon Friday.  It was about a 600 mile trip or so, I think.  He was thoughtful enough to snag this picture at one of the viewpoints.

On a related note, a friend sent me this a few days ago:  Someone posted on the NSX Owners Group on Facebook that his car had over 427,000 miles on it.  Not bad!  Guess mine may have some life left.

Some of Honda’s finest from the 1990s.  That Accord SE belongs to friend and loyal reader Hy.

And since the Vigor really is just a ‘grown up’ Accord, here’s one more pic for today.  It’s a Desert Mist Metallic 1994 Vigor at an auto show when it was brand new.  Thanks to reader Dillon for the awesome find!

Have a great rest of the weekend!

10 Responses to “August Already: Group Drive to Gurley Street in Prescott, Arizona”

  1. That was a really fun drive. I was surprised that the Honda Civic Si had no problem keeping up with that GTO and Infiniti on the curves. Too bad my car mate didn’t enjoy the curves as much as I did.

    • Haha. That spirited driving isn’t for everyone! I think the Si deserves a short video – it’s been a while since you added to your YouTube library. Get on it!

  2. How strong are those NSX engines?! Geez, 427k and he just now gets smoke, while running boost? Sheesh.

    Great post. The road trip looked like fun. Always cool to see a 2nd-gen ‘Teg still on the road and keeping up with modern traffic. And yes, on behalf of the foodies in your readership, thanks for remembering us! (slow claps)

    Have a great week!

    • Lol at the slow claps. Far too kind. And yeah, the thought crossed my mind that despite being a little slow, my 25 year old car still made the trip with zero issues, provided cold A/C, and probably even delivered some good MPG. I do need to investigate an intermittent check engine light, and the ABS light is on due to a bad pump. All in due time…

  3. Looks like a lot of fun and “coolness” especially up in Prescott. Just curious since I haven’t done a group drive in far too many years but back in the day CB radios (remember those) were the means of communication. What do you guys use today is it FaceTime, Hangouts or similar?

    BTW Tyson you needn’t make apologies for the Vigor’s lack of speed up where the air gets thin. Just remember slow & steady wins the race… I took the 93SE out yesterday morning and just cruised leisurely it was definitely different.

    Thanks for the links and fun read…

    • Glad you can relate – I’m no speed demon and even if I had a car that was capable of ripping up those highways I’d probably keep things pretty conservative and enjoy the scenery. 5 of the 6 vehicles in Saturday’s caravan were equipped with walkie-talkies. We were all programmed to the same channel, and range was surprisingly good. It made a nice way to stay in touch regarding next stops, things to look out for, and general road trip banter.

  4. That Integra gets markedly quicker if the AC is turned off 😛 Sounds like a great drive and definitely the ideal roads for the car you brought!

    • Haha, oh yeah, that’s right! My little “Go Baby Go” button consists of deactivation of the A/C. We did have a great drive, and we lucked out on being able to find a great restaurant at a moment’s notice. I’m just about to step over to O.M. and read your lasted blog entry as well. Hope it was a nice weekend!

  5. Nice to see the ILX is not forgotten in the mileage updates. Looks like it was literally a cool drive to Prescott. There’s something fun about pushing a car with modest power up those steep grades. I’m looking forward to having my right foot planted on the floor later this month when I have just 160 horses to climb some mountains. Haha.

    • I’m glad someone noticed the ILX mileage update! My brother sent me that a couple of weeks ago. Actually I may be seeing that car this coming weekend. I have a TL trip planned to northern Utah (1,600 miles round trip) for a family event and will probably stop over at my brother’s to see the kiddos. Hey, 160 horses are plenty to get your Accord coupe moving! Saddle up and hit the highway.

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