Archive for the Accord Category

AZ Offbeat Destinations: Wigwam Resort, Cheese N’ Stuff, Miracle Mile, & Herberger Park

Posted in Accord, Arizona, ILX, Legend, NSX on September 30, 2020 by tysonhugie

I’m still here!  While my attention has been pulled a lot of directions in recent weeks, I owe it to the few loyal readers of the blog to chime in from time to time.  At least I haven’t forgotten my WordPress login credentials yet.

I just got home a few minutes ago from picking up my latest project car from the repair shop – for the second time – after a blower motor replacement in the climate control system.  Isn’t it funny how a single replacement item can exceed what you paid for an entire car?  Yep, just happened.  I have to keep reminding myself how much I enjoy this hobby.

The guest book had been relatively quiet for the entire summer until just a couple of weeks ago, when I hosted a get-together with some ‘car friends’ locally, and my brother breezed through town.  He was en route to Texas so he stopped in for an evening meal at Taco Guild in central Phoenix.

My own travels have dialed back considerably, but that also means I’ve had more of a chance to explore my surroundings locally.  I’ll show you a few of the places I’ve checked out in recent weeks.

The first is the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park, Arizona.  It’s only about 25 miles from my place, but it offered a nice “staycation” destination for an over-nighter.  Room rates for locals are only in the low $100’s.  The resort itself dates back to 1929 and has 331 rooms, 2 restaurants, 3 pools, and a 26,000-square-foot spa.  A friend and I stayed over on a Friday night and enjoyed pretending like we were somewhere far from home.

Another place I checked out was right by my house.  For years I’ve driven past this little deli called “CHEESE N’ STUFF” at the intersection of Central Avenue & Camelback Road in Phoenix.  With a name like that, I couldn’t say no.  The interior is totally frozen in time – almost as if the clock stopped in about 1975.  Decor consists of wood paneling, family photos (the place is family-run, after all), and a general store-style shelf setup.  Some of the signs on the wall looked like they had been printed in Print Shop in 1987, adding to the nostalgia.

I can’t remember what this was called but it was literally just 7 types of cheeses, no meat at all.  And I was shocked at how tasty it was.

Here’s a fun one.  The below photo has a sort of Chinese character look archway to it, but it’s actually designed to resemble an abstract picket fence with the letters M M M.  That stands for Miracle Mile McDowell:  a stretch of road that was once a bustling corridor of culture and business in the 1950s.  Later, a new freeway system made the road obsolete, the pavement was widened to remove roadside parking, and businesses started to dry up.

The arch itself was installed in 1991 in an attempt to create a feeling of togetherness between the sides of the road that were now so far from one another.  And since then, there have been many initiatives to revitalize McDowell but for now, the buildings mostly stand empty.

The last place I’ll introduce you to is G. R. Herberger Park, located near 56th Street & Indian School road in Phoenix.  It’s best known as being the location of “Arizona Falls.”

Waterfalls, in Phoenix?  How?  Well, this is part of the Salt River Project:  A series of canals and waterways that bring much needed water to Phoenix and have done so for over 100 years.  This particular location is the site of a 20-foot drop in the canal.

It was once a place for picnics and recreation, but later was forgotten and closed off for many years.  In 2003, the location was restored and saw construction of a hydroelectric power plant and some exhibits.

I’ve had a chance to connect with some awesome folks in recent weeks, including this meet-up in Tempe with Kai and Hy in their exceptionally clean Honda Accords.  I was the odd man out in the NSX.

I also hosted the aforementioned Acura Legend meet-up at my house a couple of weeks ago.  In all, we had eight Legends in attendance.

My friend and fellow journalist Jeff Koch put together a great article on Hemmings that you might get a kick out of.  The link is below.  And based on the nearly 50 comments that it garnered, maybe there are a few people who actually “get” my weird obsession.

https://www.hemmings.com/stories/2020/09/21/guaranteed-you-dont-like-acuras-nearly-as-much-as-tyson-hugie-does

You may or may not be following the latest news with regard to the launch of the second-generation Acura TLX, but I am.  The 2021 models went on sale on Monday 9/28.  I’m planning on scooping one up next spring.  Looks good, right?

If you have a few minutes to kill and you’re addicted to online auctions like Bring a Trailer and Cars & Bids like I am, you might want to look at this new site called AutoHunter.  I’m one of the auction writers who have been working on getting things off the ground.  I already wrote for ClassicCars.com (the parent site) prior, so this was a logical move.

AutoHunter 

Do you all remember the Mulberry Red 1990 Accord EX I sold over a year and a half ago?  It traded hands just a couple of weeks ago to a friend of mine named Brent who lives in Michigan.  He has a great collection.  He sent me this photo of the Accord alongside his 1990 Legend and 1990 Prelude.  Talk about an epic throwback trio.

And closing things out, if you want to hear / see more about how I’m dumping money and time into my latest project car, here are videos 2 through 6 in the 1996 2.5TL series.  It’s actually been a lot of fun.  I drove the car to Payson, Arizona and back over the weekend and it’s a solid cruiser even at 262,000 miles.

Video 2

Video 3

Video 4

Video 5

Video 6

Bonus content:  video I put together of some upgrades to a family member’s NSX.

NSX Video

Hope that keeps you busy for a little bit.  And, I hope you’re all well!  Leave me a comment and say hello.

Legend Coupe 17-Year Anniversary Video & Justin’s High Mileage Accord

Posted in Accord, Legend, Maintenance, Milestones, Spy Shots on March 27, 2020 by tysonhugie

Odometer (1992 Integra GS-R):  251,430

I’m making the most of my time in isolation!  This is just a quick “Happy Friday,” to you all.

A friend rode his bike past the window in my bedroom that looks out to the street out front.  I call it my drive-thru window.  I moved my desk so that I could look out of it while working from home during quarantine.

My work team held a ‘virtual’ happy hour by way of a smartphone app called House Party.  Connectivity was glitchy at best with 8 people trying to stream video and chime in at the same time, but it was fun to see everyone.

Introducing, Banner Health Regulatory Team!  Bunch of all-stars right here.

I snuck out of the house yesterday in the SLX for a trip to the drive-thru because I was craving Taco Bell.  The safari sunroof let in a lot of fresh air which was good for my mental well-being!

Yesterday, March 26, also marked 17 years since the day I flew to San Jose and picked up my Legend coupe, and it’s hard to believe that much time has already passed.  I fulfilled the wishes of one blog reader in particular (ahem – Tim!) who’d requested a current walkaround of the car in modern day.  I also took the opportunity to assemble a collection of other memories from over the years including a couple clips from the Alaska trip in 2006, a few segments from National Acura Legend Meets, and an alphabetical sequence of my state line photographs.

Here’s the video link.

Along with that, Tim sent me some follow-up questions that I’ll answer here.

1. I can’t tell that it has mismatched paint – I’m color-blind, so maybe that’s why (although gold/silver usually isn’t a problem for me). It looks really good through video.
In some lighting it’s less noticeable than in others, but you can really see the blends from the front fenders into the doors sometimes.  The roof, trunk top, and rear bumper have also been resprayed at some point (clear coat failure got the best of them).
2. What are the two levers on the passenger side seat? One is to make the seat flip forward (as a long-time owner of several coupes, I’m very familiar with that feature!), but what is the upper one?
That top one is a pretty innovative seat-access solution.  It’s a switch that activates a motorized forward & back seat adjustment so you can get out from the back seat without having to put forth a ton of effort or reach for the lower one.
3. When you tally your maintenance, do you include bodywork? For my own maintenance spreadsheet, when I tally cost per mile, I’m uncertain whether to include or exclude the new wheel I had to purchase after a pothole, the rust repairs on the rear quarter panel, etc. I’ve kept those in so far, but I’m not sure if that should be in a  different spreadsheet.
No, the maintenance is strictly ongoing items like mechanical service and repairs.  It has some tires, but not all (since I had so many sets of aftermarket wheels & tires that I was swapping out all the time).  It also does not include the cost of registration, insurance, or fuel.
4. I love that there is no evidence of oil, coolant, or soot coming out of the tailpipe when it drives by. 572,000 miles, and the exhaust still looks clean.
It actually does burn some oil so I’ve started keeping an eye on that.  Higher-mile Legends develop issues with the valve stem seals so that’s something on the checklist long-term.  If I sit at a stop light or let the car idle quite a while, then take off, I’ll see some blue smoke.
5. Do you do the hydraulic tensioner with every timing belt and water pump, or do you just do that “as needed”?
Yes, as far as I know the tensioner has been changed each time I’ve had a timing belt / water pump service.
6. I know a lot of 2nd gen Legends have had head gasket issues – any tricks for avoiding that problem, or is it just “luck of the draw”?
Good question – that’s where the EGR maintenance comes into play.  It’s a widely accepted notion that the carbon buildup in the EGR system is what causes the timing in the C32A to be off, contributing to a lack of cooling on one of the rear cylinders where the head gasket is prone to failure.  It’s a tell-tale story that we’ve heard many times on the Legend forums and Facebook groups.  Of course, it goes without saying that the rest of the cooling system also has to be kept in very proper working order – radiator, hoses, fans, and relays.
7. Any drawbacks to putting the original stereo head back into the car? Personally, if I didn’t have iPhone/iPod connectivity and Sirius XM with all the driving I do, I’d go bananas on long drives.
I agree – the only reason I haven’t swapped the Bose back in is because I need the iPod connectivity for now.  If and when the car is retired to a ‘show’ piece only, the Bose will need to go back in for originality’s sake.
8. The Katzkin kit is holding up really well. If I keep my Accord long enough to need to replace the leather, I’d definitely give that company a look.
I neglected to zoom in on the driver side outboard seat bolster, which is actually showing a fair amount of wear.  The Katzkin kit (at least the one I used) uses vinyl on the non-seating surfaces, and it’s pretty cracked.  If I were to do it all over again, I’d get a “full leather” kit.
And speaking of Accords, I want to take this moment to introduce a fellow high-miler who reached out via email this week.  This is Justin’s 2003 Accord coupe from Texas, with 627,551 miles on the odometer.

Justin says he drives currently upwards of 100k miles per year.

Here’s the latest “spy shot” video I put together, in case you hadn’t seen it on my YouTube.  Keep the submissions coming.

Have a great (and safe) weekend, all.

Weekly Digest: A Marathon, Some Accords, & NSXPO Follow-Up

Posted in Accord, Milestones, NSX, Reader's Ride, Running, Vigor on October 10, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  563,679

Odometer (Accord):  302,093

I have all sorts of news to catch up on here but I’ll keep the message short & sweet so the photos can tell the story.  There have been a lot of articles coming out on the recent NSXPO in San Francisco, but I’m particularly pleased with how this one came together.  I wrote a short piece on a father & son from Tucson, Arizona who both own NSXs.  It’s here on AcuraConnected.

I took the ILX to southern Utah over the weekend and competed in my 12th St. George marathon.  For about the first half of the 26-miler, it rained.  Adding to the struggle, my meager 3 miles of training didn’t amount to adequate preparation (shocker!) and my pace-per-mile reflected that.  In all it took me nearly 5.5 hours to finish, but my mom was there waiting for me at the finish proudly.

The ILX rolled 208,000 on the way to Utah Thursday evening.

My niece and nephews made a great cheering squad at about mile 25 when I passed by them (slowly).

Mom sat this one out but spent the day volunteering instead.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had some ‘car fun,’ including a visit from my friend Michael who has a Fathom Blue ILX.

A couple of fourth-generation Honda Accords made their way to the house (for short- or long-term, not yet known) but I’m doing a bit of work on each one and enjoying getting to know the platform.  This particularly nice one is from a one-owner history right here in the Phoenix area.  While showing over 136,000 on the odometer, it easily looks like a car with < 50,000 miles on it.

Plus, what’s not to love about those automatic seatbelts.  Just like the ones in my two Integras.

This Mulberry Pearl car was featured on my YouTube a couple of months ago and I was shocked how quickly the video took off.  It’s now been viewed over 50,000 times and commented on over 700 times.  People have a lot of love for these old Accords!

The second Accord is this 1993 SE with 302,000 miles on it.  While it runs and drives well and has a very solid background & maintenance history, it does need some cosmetic and mechanical help so I’ll be putting some effort into it as time permits.

My friend Brad and his roommate Richard from Chicago stopped by.  Brad, sorry to post this one with your eyes shut!  But glad you were able to make a fly-by visit in Phoenix on the tail end of your 2,000-mile national park tour!  By the way, our weather cleared up right after you left.

I visited Acura of Tempe yesterday to drop off my NSX for a new timing belt & water pump, and took the time to admire my friend Leon’s 2001 Integra Type-R which is on display in the showroom.  You’ll recognize Leon’s car from JCCS 2018 in Long Beach recently.

My loaner while the NSX was in for service was this new TLX V6 SH-AWD with only 2,000 miles on it.  Do you like it?

I thought this article was a worthwhile read on a guy who hit 600,000 miles on his Accord, if you get time to check it out.

Finally, here are some cool ads someone sent me for the Vigor.  Acura’s marketing agency back in the day really had some skill.

Have a great day!

 

 

 

Travel News Bits: St. George, Prescott, Canyon Lake, & Upcoming Monterey

Posted in Accord, Integra, Legend, Milestones, Misc Travel, Road Trip, Vigor on August 20, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  563,514

Odometer (Vigor):  111,707

Hours (Boat):  4,000

Trip Distance:  225 Miles

Let’s get up to speed on some of the last few weeks’ activities as summer winds down here in Arizona.  In late July, some friends and I traveled to southern Utah for a few days at my brother’s newly-remodeled home. The pool was pretty inviting!

Headed northbound in Kyle’s 2008 Pontiac G8 GXP 6-speed.

James drove up in his tester of the week, the 2018 Accord.

We also took a quick jaunt to the mountains of Payson, Arizona a couple of weeks ago with 8 attendees and 6 cars, including 3 Acuras, a Mazda, a Pontiac, and an Infiniti.  Leading the pack in power and presence was Vlad’s 2017 NSX, recently customized with performance exhaust downpipes from Science of Speed.  I was happy to bring up the tail – my 1994 Vigor is a fun and nimble machine, but its tired suspension, old Michelins, and 176-horsepower motor were no match for the others in this group.

Lunch at Prescott Brewing Company.

Fueling up at the Mobil in Wickenburg.

After 3 years of ownership, I finally had the Vigor’s upholstery worked on.  The driver seat “Cognac” leather was torn along the side bolster, so I had Naro from TrimFit in Phoenix clean it up for $250 last week.  He succeeded masterfully.

I also got around to having a lot of small dings removed from the 1992 Integra GS.  Jorden of Anytime Dent had the car for about 4 days and cleaned up every panel.  It came out looking perfectly.  I snagged a pic while at Starbucks parked next to a 1989 Legend.

This past Saturday, we took Kyle’s new (well, 1993 model year) boat out to Canyon Lake which is about an hour away from my place.  Contrary to popular belief, Arizona does have its fair share of lakes and waterways.  This one is a reservoir formed by the Salt River which is Phoenix’s primary water supply.  The spot is noted by the red marker at top right here.

I tried my hand at riding the tube.  Two days later, I realize I must have been clutching to it pretty aggressively because my arms are realllllly sore.

And yesterday, I took the Legend GS to church and it rolled 160,000 miles.

My Integra GS-R is getting ready for a trip to the California Coast.  It will be featured as one of about 40 cars in Pebble Beach at the inaugural “Japanese Automotive Invitational” show this Saturday 8/25 and Sunday 8/26.  The space belongs to Infiniti, who has partnered with Motor Trend to bring everything together.  Participating vehicles are being brought in from across the nation, including an exceptionally clean 1990 Legend LS coupe from Florida with only 54,000 miles on it.  Pick up is anticipated for sometime this week!

I’ll be attending part of the ‘car week’ activities as well, as I’m scheduled to attend an Acura private reception this Thursday at the Carmel Valley Lodge.  I’ll be flying in and out of San Jose.  I’ll bring you a full report next week.

That’s a wrap on recent news for now!

Check out this plexiglass magazine display that I picked up!  Soon to be fastened to a wall inside my house or in the garage.

Looks like a car-party at my house.

Beautiful Payson, AZ summer afternoon.

Evening meet-up with Michael (ILX) and a few other folks at Tempe Town Lake Marina.

Drive to Five Review: 2019 Acura RDX SH-AWD Advance

Posted in Accord, RDX, Vehicle Reviews on August 9, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  563,495 Miles

Odometer (RDX):  911 Miles

Refined, Dynamic, and Xceptionally equipped.  I guess that’s how I’d define the acronym that Acura pinned on its latest version of the crossover that so many have come to know and love.  Does it look at home in this garage?

The Acura RDX, now in its third generation, is a power player for the Acura brand.  It sells over 50,000 units per year.  That success is impressive given the competitive segment that the RDX plays in:  It seems, everyone is trying to get in on the crossover game.  Over the years, I’ve been able to see firsthand the evolution the RDX.  Back in 2016, I put a prior-gen model through its paces on a mountain climb.

Building each upon advancements in technology since the RDX first launched in 2007, the 2019 model year version was first shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January 2018, and it went on sale six months later.  You can see the differences between the third and second-gens here.

I got my hot little hands on the first one in the Phoenix area media fleet this past Wednesday.  It only had 775 miles on the odometer when I turned the key.  Or rather, pushed the Start button.  This is a level of tech I’m not accustomed to!  You can practically get a whiff of the new car smell just from looking at the interior.  What if they made scratch & sniff computer monitors?

Getting settled into the RDX, I enjoyed the step-in height right off the bat.  I’m accustomed to riding low to the ground, so this was a nice change of pace – especially when I needed to throw my backpack and laptop into the back seat as I left the office.  Speaking of the seats, the driver’s seat was ergonomic perfection – especially when cranked up to Level 3 on the ventilation setting.  It is August in Phoenix, after all.

The RDX is about as well-rounded as any vehicle can be.  It exhibits polite road manners, it’s easy to maneuver and park, scoots down the road with plenty of power, and offers up some great utility for folks with active lifestyles who need that extra cargo room or ground clearance from time to time (in my current collection of 7 Acuras, none have All-Wheel-Drive capability – sadly).

Over my seven days with the RDX, I had time to capture perspectives of both positive and negative nature.  Maybe it’s easier to just summarize a few of those points in list form.

  • Loved:  Power, ELS audio system, visibility, illumination, seats, step-in height, fit & finish, ride quality, convenience tech (power liftgate, smart key, head up display), panoramic roof, storage solutions, HVAC effectiveness, overall size – not too big, not too small, gauge cluster display (fun graphics upon start/stop), CarPlay interface
  • Disliked:  Touch pad interface, dynamic selector placement (I’d prefer a volume knob front and center instead), occasionally intrusive safety tech, default automatic start/stop, black wheels

Performance is the name of the game, with the RDX producing 272 horsepower (that’s two more than my 1992 NSX!) out of a 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder.  A ten speed automatic transmission (again, outdoing the NSX with double the gears!) puts the power to the ground lickety-split.  I found “Sport Plus” mode to generate a surprisingly quick acceleration experience for a vehicle that weighs nearly 4,000 pounds.  I got a kick out of the graphics on the Snow mode setting.

It’s worth mentioning that as an audiophile, I greatly appreciate the efforts made to create a great sounding listening experience in the cabin.  I was provided some ELS Studio 3D audio files on a USB stick that I played at max volume.  I can say with a certainty that Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing” sounds at least as good in the new RDX as it sounded in my old TL Type-S with a DVD-Audio sound system.

Acura’s return to its “Precision Crafted Performance” mantra from the brand’s early days is evident here, especially considering the RDX can be outfitted in A-Spec.  The A-Spec trim has always been known as the sportiest, and offers up suspension & handling updates among other features.

Tipping the cash register at just over $48,000, this RDX was highly equipped, but still offers a nice value for those wanting a well-rounded package.  I thank the folks at Acura for the chance to put this one through its paces for a few days!

I’ve uploaded a video capturing some of my experience with it.

Here you can see the head-up display

Multiple camera angles when putting the vehicle into reverse

When I parked the RDX and walked away, I received a notification about where it was located.  This could be handy at concerts, in unfamiliar cities, etc.

Roommate took this while I was playing Musical Cars on Saturday morning.  The RDX felt right at home swapping spaces with some fellow Acuras.

Out and about on Saturday with Greg’s 1995 NSX.

Visiting Vlad who has a Civic Type-R.  He liked the RDX, too.

Safe seating for my Chipotle take-out transport!

Lots of controls down here to the left of the steering wheel.

View from the cargo compartment

And the cargo compartment itself.  Pretty roomy!

Until next time!

Bonus material – I have another Honda at the house.  This one needs some love.