‘Legends of Speed’ Phoenix Art Museum Exhibit & ‘Hard Parking’ Podcast Feature

Odometer (Legend):  572,202

There’s a new exhibit in town at the Phoenix Art Museum.  It’s called Legends of Speed.  Sounds right up my alley, right?  And in coincidental timing, I hosted a meeting of Legends at my house this weekend, too.  They aren’t very speedy.  We’re lucky they’re even still on the road at this age.

A friend was in town from Alberta with a drone that’s worth more than most of my cars.  He put it to use on Sunday flying high above Uptown Phoenix to capture a few photographs of my property.  I’ve become accustomed to the fact that neighbors get to see this kind of spectacle on a regular basis.

In attendance at the meet-up was a trio of rare Cayman White Pearl 1995 LS coupes owned by Branson, Travis, and John.  CWP was a one-year-only color for the last model year of the Legend.  The car pictured in the middle received an engine transplant within the last couple of weeks and is on its road to restoration.  Isn’t it hard to believe that a 1995 model is now 25 years old?

Opened 60 years ago, the Phoenix Art Museum welcomes about 350,000 guests annually.  The new ‘Legends’ exhibit marks only the second time that a major exhibit in the Museum has focused on automotive art.  The first was “Curves of Steel” in 2007.  From now through mid-March 2020, attendees can visit Legends of Speed in the Steele Gallery at the facility on Central Avenue & McDowell Road in central Phoenix.  The exhibit is comprised of over 20 significant and historic racecars.  Each one was carefully curated for a specific reason and is shown with supporting informational placards.

This one is particularly important in racing history.  It’s a 1968 Ford GT40 that won the 24 Hours of Lemans race two times – in 1968 and again in 1969.  It made 331 laps averaging 115 miles per hour.  Makes me dizzy just thinking about it.

Another of the cars was a 1911 Franklin that was driven in the Cactus Derby – an off-road race from Los Angeles to Phoenix from many years before an interstate freeway linked the two cities.  I can’t imagine making that then-542-mile route in a primitive car like that on entirely dirt pathways.  It took driver Ralph Hamlin about 16 hours to do it.

It was also special for me to see this green 1929 Bugatti Type 35.  It was driven by Hellé Nice, the first Woman’s Grand Prix winner.  In 2016, I had the opportunity to interview Miranda Seymour who wrote a book called The Bugatti Queen all about Nice.  Note that the stick shift for that car is located outside the passenger compartment, and right next to the brake lever.  Be careful which one you grab.

One of my fellow journalists at the press preview asked the question, “What’s the collective value of all the cars on display here?”  Without skipping a beat, our guide grinned and said, “We don’t place a value on art.”  Check out the intro page to the exhibit which includes a short video and check out the cars if you’re in the area over the next few months.  Adult admission is $23.  Below are a few more photos of my Legendary meet up and this legendary exhibit.

If you have time, check out this hour+ long podcast that I was featured on recently with my friend Jhae who hosts “Hard Parking,” featured on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Link here

And finally, I realized that today is the 8-year anniversary of the day I rolled 500,000 miles at a red-carpet party in Torrance, California.  So it took me 8 years to drive 72,000 miles, which means the car gets driven exactly 9,000 miles per year – about 1/5th what it used to drive when it was my sole/daily driver.  Throwback vid:

12 Responses to “‘Legends of Speed’ Phoenix Art Museum Exhibit & ‘Hard Parking’ Podcast Feature”

  1. That exhibit looks really cool – I love historic race cars, and that show seems like it has some real gems. The fact that those racers would run insane speeds with exactly zero safety equipment is mind-boggling. And I’ll definitely have to check out the podcast!

    Very cool to see that video again of the 500k celebration. Since you’re at 572 now, do you think you’ll try to drive it a bit more to get it up to 600,000, or are you content to just keep doing the 9,000 annual miles pace?

  2. I like that 500k celebration video. 🙂 Both of us are driving our cars similar mileages per year. I average about 12,000 miles per year on my TSX.

  3. Ira Leventhal Says:

    Sole… as in one car?! Man will that day ever happen again? haha

    • Come to think of it, I think there might have been only a very brief time when I first got the car that it was my ‘only’ vehicle. Probably for a year. Then I had a winter beater Prelude, and another Prelude, and another Legend. From 2011 onward I’ve had 3 cars or more. But the coupe was primary from 2003-2012.

  4. Sounds like a very cool art exhibit, I bet my uncle has wandered through it as well! I’ll have to email him and find out. I never get tired of that 500k mile video, either. So cool to have it all documented, alongside everything Acura did to help celebrate.

    • Totally! The local TCG chapter is planning a walk through the exhibit this Saturday. I might go again just to enjoy it with a different group of people. Haha

  5. The following is my favorite Legend coupe video. It is awesome. 😀 https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FKxKUhPEAwc#fauxfullscreen

    • I had forgotten all about that one! Wow – 11 years ago, I only had 342,000 miles on the car. I remember filming that out at the Loop 202 freeway in east Mesa when it was recently completed. Thus our ability to freely capture car-to-car footage with little traffic.

  6. A lot of magic hour footage there. Either sunrise or sunset? The light during those times makes everything look great.

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