NSXPO 2017 – Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

Odometer (Legend):  554,713

Odometer (NSX):  108,654

Trip Distance:

  • 2,912 Miles (Southwest Airlines)
  • 120 Miles (Chevy Spark Rental)

I had a family reunion this past weekend.  My “car club” family, that is.  For the third year in a row, I attended the annual gathering of Acura NSX owners & fans called NSXPO.  In 2015, the event was in Palm Springs.  In 2016, it was in Orlando.  And this year, it was in the Milwaukee area.  While I would have loved to have driven my car the 1,800 or so miles from Phoenix, I opted rather to take a redeye flight and rent a powder blue Chevy Spark for a few days.  It got the job done.

Hosting this year’s event was a team led by RealTime Racing’s Peter Cunningham, a seasoned and highly awarded race driver and the newly-appointed President of the NSX Club of America (NSXCA).   RealTime’s operations have always been based out of Wisconsin, which is convenient since one of the nation’s premier racetracks is located about an hour north of Milwaukee.  It’s called Road America and goes by the title “America’s National Park of Speed.”  Now after 60 years, the 4-mile course is home to over 400 performance driving events annually.

It seems that with each year, the size and scope of NSXPO expand.  Now covering 4 full days and two half-days, the event drew participants from across the United States as well as internationally.  Many drove great distances to attend.  Schedule wise, I missed out on the Road America events on Wednesday & Thursday, but made it to some special tours on Friday and the Concours d’ Elegance on Saturday.  Best of all, I reconnected with over 40 friends, all while enjoying great weather & food.

Thanks to a late evening dust storm at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport, my delayed flight to MKE caused me to arrive at the large Osthoff Resort at a pretty crazy hour:  4:04 in the morning.  I found the suite I was sharing with my friend Jhae and crashed out for a few hours.  Venues for Friday’s activities were laid out in a logistically favorable order – working our way south with our first stop at RealTime Racing in Saukville.

Lunch was picnic-style in the town of Mequon on the western shores of Lake Michigan, a body of water so large it felt like we were perched along the ocean.

From there, we made our way to the RealTime Collection Hall, established in July 2016 and now extensively stocked in vintage and collectible Honda & Acura automobiles and memorabilia.  My heart of course is partial to the two Acura Legends in the collection, but perhaps my favorite car now is the 1981 Honda Accord Limousine which was stretched 42″ and comes complete with a Betamax video cassette player and two telephones.

Check those amenities!

Capping off the night in style and class, we took over the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM) along the shores of Lake Michigan in downtown.  The architecturally distinct and ultra modern building made a picturesque backdrop for the 100+ NSXs lined up along the front driveway.  We enjoyed a banquet style feast inside from 5 different food stations while a silent auction was going on.

My rental car didn’t even get moved on Saturday, which was nice.  Our activities centered around the Osthoff Resort.  Catching up on sleep from the prior late night, I didn’t creep out of bed until nearly noon – just in time to grab a burger & brat along the banks of Elkhart Lake and wander out onto the dock.  I ran into Acura President Jon Ikeda and Acura NSX Project Leader Ted Klaus while checking out the cars parked on the lawn for the Concours d’ Elegance (Jon is at right here).

Around 4:00, fellow Arizonan Jhae Pfenning and I helped coordinate a drive around the historic race loop that was once a professional race circuit on public roads before the construction of Road America.  Cocktail hour started at 6:00 p.m. in the Grand Libelle Ballroom, and dinner kicked off an hour later.  I enjoyed sitting among a few Wisconsin locals at my table.  David Hobbs, British race driver and NBC sports commentator, addressed the congregation while we dined.  It was announced that the 2018 NSXPO date and location will be September 27 through October 1, in the San Francisco area.

My departure day was Sunday, but I squeezed in a visit with a few local friends before hitting the airways.  First was my friend Michael who drove his family all the way up from Chicago (about a 2 hr drive) to have lunch with me in Glendale.  It was great to reconnect with him (and his Vortex Blue TSX).  And the next was with Ryan who’s local to Milwaukee and who I’ve known “online” for a couple of years but hadn’t met in person.  He brought his red TL out for the occasion.  Thanks Mike and Ryan!

Mike’s TSX

Ryan’s TL

My 3.5 hour flight home was made shorter by the fact that I was seated next to friend and colleague Chris Willson.  Chris runs a Chandler, Arizona-based NSX & S2000 performance facility called Science of Speed and holds a leadership role as Treasurer with the NSXCA.  We touched down in Phoenix around 8:00 p.m. on Sunday to a brisk 100 degrees.  Home, sweet (hot), home.

My hat goes off to the NSXPO 2017 planning committee for the countless hours of effort invested in pulling off what truly was a “September to remember.”

A 6-minute video and some additional photos follow!

Leaving the Integra at PHX airport East Economy lot (4 days of parking cost me $44 – ouch)

Dashboard of my Chevy Spark LT.  I rolled 26,000 on that thing.  This was my 2:08 a.m. arrival.

I found Waldo!  Waldo, Wisconsin that is (population 503).

Peter addressing the group at RealTime

Such a colorful weekend

Couple of imposters in our midst…

With Craig who drove all the way from California in his 57,000-mile NSX

Complimentary colors

RealTime Collection Hall (RTCH) with TLX-GT

Honda Heaven

Photo with Peter, May Lee, Chris Willson at RTCH

NSX lineup at Milwaukee Art Museum

NSXs for days!

Okay, sure!

Peter C and John Watts, from Acura

Morning view on Saturday from the balcony of my room at the Osthoff

Very special (and rare, 1 of 2) 1998 NSX Zanardi Prototype

Hand-controlled 2017 NSX

Check that stick shift lever!  It actually controls the throttle & brake

Anybody hungry?  Brownies for lunch.

Dock extending into Elkhart Lake

Text from Peter when I dropped him a note thanking him for the hospitality.

Rolling 240,000 on the Integra on my way home from the airport

16 Responses to “NSXPO 2017 – Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin”

  1. Conor Kenrick Says:

    Can’t wait till I can join! See ya in a few weeks!!!

  2. I’ve heard many nice things about Wisconsin and your pics do it justice, now about those winters…

    Great event overall I wonder if anyone has thought of one for the TSX?

    Finally, please don’t say you specifically asked for a Chevy Spark. I’m guessing you choose it because everything else was taken… please say yes 🙏

    • At 2:00 in the morning (2 hours after my original scheduled arrival) I was just thrilled the rental agent at Alamo in the Milwaukee terminal was even willing to stay open until our flight arrived! I would have taken virtually anything with an engine and 4 wheels. That Spark got me 36 mpg but took about 15 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph. Needless to say I didn’t drag race against any modified NSXs.

  3. Fred’s Midnight Purple NSX looks great for having done nearly 200,000 miles. Does Fred have a blog detailing the miles he’s been doing in his Legend? Peter’s collection looks as though it’s grown compared to your visit last year. I’m loving the white US wagon he had on the top rack. I’ve probably neglected in mentioning that I purchased one of these a few months back… Have yet to take the thing on a road trip, though. Shame on me!

  4. Those NSX folks really know how to put on a meet don’t they? Looks awesome!

    • That’s for sure. Of all the Hondas and Acuras I’ve owned, the NSX community is the most organized, the most devout, and the most brand aware. Many have owned their NSXs since new. I wish I could instill that kind of commitment in Legend people (or even Vigor people, ha!). But I guess part of the fun in owning one of those “niche” cars is having a more exclusive and small enthusiast following. Speaking of – I hope your coupe is doing well and in recovery from the recent parking lot incident if you elected to have it fixed right away.

  5. So much NSX! Every single car from the NSXPO was drool-worthy. Any 2002-2005 models in Silverstone Metallic? 😉

    One request- have you thought about doing a walk-around and review of your NSX, like you did for your Legend? I, for one, would be interested in seeing it!

    • Definitely, the thought has crossed my mind and I should definitely do a walk-around of the NSX. Come to think of it, I need to do the same for the TL. Homework assignments!

  6. Have you been counting all those NSXs at night instead of sheep?

  7. WHAT A TRIP! Couldn’t sneak out a brownie for Jack and I? What is so special about the Zanardi Prototype?

    • Zanardi was special because it was a coupe (non-Targa) but had the larger 3.2 L 290 hp motor and 6MT trans, plus tuned suspension and different aesthetics (wheels, floor mats, badging). All in all it comes down to more of a rarity factor than any tangible performance gains, I think.

  8. Chris R Green Says:

    Looks like a lot of fun! I’ve got to see the RealTime collection someday — I think I’d be in heaven!

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