Archive for August, 2020

Quick Sierra Vista Arizona, & Southern Utah Trips (+6 Videos)

Posted in ILX, Integra, RLX, SLX on August 20, 2020 by tysonhugie

Trip Distance:  400 Miles

Well, well, well!  A video that I filmed with Honda about a year and a half ago has debuted.

Get your Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn in the microwave because I have quite a few videos to link you to in this post.

‘Kokoro’ in Japanese means “heart.”  There’s a series of “Honda Kokoro” videos hosted by my friend Charles, Honda Brand Culture Champion, who has just recently retired.  I was the main character in the 6th video, which just came out yesterday.  I think the legal and post-production hurdles that set this back dilute its timeliness (3 of the cars featured there are gone, and 4 more are added) but it’s still a super fun memory.

My friend Chuck has a collection of very obscure vehicles.  If it weren’t crazy enough that he owns a custom 1988 Acura Legend convertible (the Legend wasn’t even offered from the factory in a convertible bodystyle), he also has a Dodge Dakota pickup convertible (yes, that one was a thing!), and a 1998 Acura SLX with only 54,000 miles on it.

How he managed to assemble a grouping so eclectic I’m not quite sure, but I decided to make a 6-hour round-trip from Phoenix to Sierra Vista, Arizona visit to pay him a visit this past weekend.

The vehicle called into action for the occasion was my 1996 SLX, since aside from the RADwood show last December, this would be the first time I would meet up with a fellow SLX owner.  Luckily, even though the summer heatwave was intense, I made the trip to & fro without incident.  My air conditioning even kept things cool the whole way.

It was nice to reconnect with Chuck and Patty, and we dined at one of Sierra Vista’s great Mexican restaurants.  The city is located only about 20 miles from the Mexican border, so authenticity is accounted for.  Chuck and I also took the convertible Legend out for a cruise.  I shot a few video clips that I pieced together.  Here’s the outcome.

(Special preview – this isn’t even public on my channel yet!)

Thanks, Chuck & Patty for hosting!  Please pardon our masklessness for the photo, and in other instances of the videos in this blog.  Rest assured I do have a mask in every single car and I wear them regularly.

Here are a few other updates in recent travels and current events.

With the automotive event calendar being wiped almost entirely clean this year thanks to COVID-19, some venues have reinvented themselves in digital format. One of them is the Future Collector Car Show (FCCS) which hosted a virtual car show on YouTube.  I was among 18 finalists who made it to the final round for Best of Show with my 1999 Integra.  Here’s a video that was published on the YouTube channel of the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles.

(My car shows up 15 minutes in)

I took a trip to Utah a couple of weeks ago to see some family members.

My mom and stepdad and I dined from Cliffside Restaurant overlooking St. George, Utah.

The trusty old 2013 ILX rolled 225,000 miles, and I filmed a few minutes of video.

I also shot video of mom’s 2016 RLX.

And finally, several weeks ago I had company from a couple of Integra-owning local friends, Eric and Chris.  It was nice of them to stop by, and I got some video clips then too.

I especially like Chris’ T-shirt.  “Hoard Hondas, Not Toilet Paper.”

My T-shirt was pretty special too.  It was a one-day-only design made available on Blipshift.

Lastly, my friend Andy stopped by to show me his 2005 Lotus.

I guess that’s it for now.  Just catching you up on the latest.

A Newer Vigor: My Garnet Red Pearl 1996 Acura 2.5TL Acquisition

Posted in TL on August 15, 2020 by tysonhugie

Odometer (TL):  262,058

I sold one obscure 5-cylinder Acura, and managed to pick up another.

Meet my Garnet Red Pearl 1996 Acura 2.5TL in all its glory.

Or, as it turns out, its lack thereof.

It’s perhaps the most basic Acura I’ve ever owned — the most stripped-down trim level of its kind, in fact.  It is equipped with cloth seats instead of leather (the brochure calls it “high-grade tricot cloth,” to be specific).  It doesn’t have a moonroof, heated (or powered) seats, keyless entry, or heated mirrors.  It’s a $27,900 example of exactly what the dealer would have sold you if you told them you wanted the bargain basement Acura TL that year.

Said Acura:

The 1996 Acura TL Series is an entirely new automotive concept.  It’s a carefully crafted pair of touring luxury sedans – sophisticated automobiles that meld the refinement and gratifying comfort of a world-class luxury car with the performance and response of a thoroughbred sports sedan.

Inspired by the elegant character of legendary old-world touring sedans of the past, but constructed to the most exacting standards of modern automotive technology, the Acura 3.2TL and 2.5TL are clearly destined to redefine the essence and the spirit of luxurious performance automobiles.

So why did I even care enough about this car to have it transported 1,454 miles to my doorstep?  I guess I’m a sucker for the underdogs.  This old TL was clearly appreciated by ‘someone;’ otherwise, it would have never made it to 262,054 miles on the odometer.  It sat in a classified listing on OfferUp for over 8 months, illustrated in poor-quality pictures and covered in leaves on a rainy day in Lacey, Washington.  The seller must have been shocked when I inquired; he probably even forgot his ad was still active.  He was selling the car for his father.

My fascination with the first generation 1996-98 Acura TL goes back over 20 years.  In April 1998, I was 16 years old.  Do you remember when you could request brochures from automakers online and they’d mail them to you?  I did that.  I ordered brochures for the RL and TL models, and the deluxe 12×12 mailings arrived a couple of weeks later.  I still have the brochures, and the envelope they came in.  Acura spent $3.00 in postage just to ship them to me.

I was of course in no place to buy a new car at that time.  I was driving my Chevy Celebrity and working part-time at a copy shop in my after-hours.  In 2003, though, I did get a chance to check out a first-gen TL in real life.  My mom picked up a 1997 3.2TL in Cayman White Pearl with around 65,000 miles on the odometer.  I liked the look and feel of the interior, the conservative exterior, and the fact that its V6 was essentially a Legend 3.2 powerplant.   Mom drove that car for two years until upgrading to a 2000 3.5 RL, which you’ve read about on my blog.

Keen eyes will note that I put 16″ Legend GS wheels on mom’s car briefly.

And in full bling-bling fashion, toward the end, the car was decked out with clear signal lenses & 18″ wheels.

The TL that just landed in Phoenix is unique even aside from being a base model.  Its engine is the 2.5 variant, otherwise known as the exact inline-5 from the 1992-94 Acura Vigor.  And the paint color is a one-year-only offering.  Garnet Red was carried over from the 1995 Legend for just one model year in the TL, its introductory year.  In fact, the color is so rare it wasn’t even listed as an available option in the brochure for the 2.5TL (see below).  But here I have proof that such a car exists.

There were only two TL colors that were one-year only:  Garnet Red in 1996, and Crystal Blue in 1998.

This ‘new-to-me’ TL becomes the second-highest mileage vehicle in my collection, having traveled 45% as far as my 574,000-mile Legend.  And so begins another project series for YouTube, similar to the 12-episode playlist I’ve created about the SLX.  I guess the bottom line is, I found a project car with a Vigor engine, a Legend color, and a rare optioning configuration that puts me one step closer to completing the 6-model late 1990s Acura full fleet lineup shown below.

Post in the comments if you can name the last vehicle I’m missing.  You better believe I’m on the hunt.

Interior – check that cloth!

176 hp of fury

After a first wash – yes, that back bumper is beat up

Sneak preview of my baby steps with the detail.  You know I love this part!

Headlight 2-step resto already completed

Oh, and you know what confirmed that this was the right car for my next project?  Guess what I saw when I Google street-viewed the home address of the selling owner.  The TL was parked next to an Acura Legend sedan.  Boom.

Enjoy this video and check back next time for the first round of updates!