Archive for the Arizona Category

Desert Valley Auto Parts Junkyard Trip, a Video Collaboration with Chris, & a Visit from Jay

Posted in Arizona, Blog, Integra, NSX on February 26, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  156,369

Odometer (Integra):  246,561

I clearly don’t watch enough TV, because somehow I missed the fact that a local Phoenix area junkyard was the set of a Discovery Channel TV show back in 2011.  The series, called Desert Car Kings, was filmed at Desert Valley Auto Parts (DVAP) near 7th Street & Deer Valley Road on the north end of town.  I haven’t been able to find any episodes online but there are a handful of short clips on YouTube and it looked like a pretty cool series.

The desert is indeed a great place to look for vintage cars and parts.  While interiors, dashboards, and rubber/vinyl trim pieces age and crack terribly, usually the fundamental body parts – frames, panels, and engine components – stay remarkably rust-free and preserved. I frequently visit the local junkyards for that reason, but the ones I’ve been to have a lot newer cars in them and sometimes aren’t very well organized.  DVAP was laid out in a very orderly fashion by make.

Desert Car Kings lasted for just 1 season and 10 episodes, but one of the things they did during the show was restore cars from the junkyard.  That’s always sort of been a fantasy of mine:  Plucking a car from the path of imminent destruction (the crusher), giving it new life, and putting it on the road.

My friend Dane who you met on the recent MDX trip to Nevada introduced me to DVAP.  He is quite the connoisseur of vintage and collectible cars, with the following in his collection currently, from oldest to newest:

  • 1959 Imperial Crown
  • 1964 Dodge 440
  • 1966 Chrysler Town & Country
  • 1969 Imperial LeBaron
  • 1992 Dodge Stealth R/T Twin Turbo
  • 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 4×4
  • 2010 Lincoln MKZ

Can you sense some Mopar loving there?  Dane and I visited DVAP on a Saturday morning and got more than our $2 admission worth wandering around and checking out the inventory.  In the end, we didn’t make any purchases.  Here are 8 minutes of random video I recorded.

Check out this lineup of a couple of the year 1992’s best performance sport coupes.

This weekend, my friend Chris came over to grab lunch with me.  I met him a couple of years ago through the local Integra club (“AZ Second Gens” – about 50 members strong) and have followed his car adventures on his YouTube channel ever since.  Here’s the link so you can take a look and subscribe for yourselves.  We did a car-key swap and headed to lunch at a burger place a few miles away.  Here are a few minutes of video of the meet-up.  It was great to link up.

Here’s the video Chris put together.  27 minutes worth!  Get your popcorn ready or order a pizza first.

While you’re on YouTube, I have some other gems for you.  Check out this next video if you get 30 seconds to spare.  It’s an Acura commercial from around 1993.

What caught my eye right away – without even having to do rewind and replay – was the bridge crossing of an NSX and a Legend at about 8 seconds in.  “Navajo Bridge!” I screamed in my head.  I’ve driven over it dozens of times.  What’s odd, though, is that the video was shot just 2 years before a new bypass bridge west of the original 1929 bridge was completed.  The deck that the Legend & NSX were being driven on is now only open to pedestrian traffic.  Even so, how can I possibly resist re-creating this with my own cars in the newer bridge that runs parallel to it?

Notice in the freeze-frame above, the distinct pattern of criss-cross metal railing along the side.  Below, I’m standing on the same bridge (but along its west side, instead of east) and you can see the newer bridge in the background.

A couple of weeks ago, I joined some friends for brunch at 5th Avenue Cafe in central Phoenix.  Roger showed up in his 1965 Dodge station wagon, and I took the NSX.  There was a little bit of ‘something for everyone.’

Earlier in the week, I got to go to lunch in a 1962 Porsche owned by my friend Bob.

It had an incredible amount of interior space for a vehicle of that size!

I had company from San Diego this past weekend:  My friend Jay rolled into town on Thursday evening in his 2008 Mercedes-Benz SL550 drop-top.  What a stunning ride in Storm Red.

He and I cruised down to Tucson on Saturday morning to meet up with some friends for brunch at Cup Cafe inside the historic Hotel Congress.

Perfect day for a patio chat.

Baked egg something-or-other.  Those potatoes were my fave, though!

Jonathan making his attempt at a group shot, selfie style.

Jonathan and his roommate Corey’s garage.  I approved.

And a quick clip of me driving Jay’s Benz.  It’s 100+ more horsepower than I’m used to handling.

Thanks, Jay, for the visit!

I think you’re all caught up now!  Have a great week!

Video Release: “Fabulous Fives” 555,555 Milestone; Visits with Joseph & Michael

Posted in Arizona, ILX, Legend, Milestones, NSX on February 5, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  558,967

Odometer (Vigor):  109,340

It’s no mystery that my friend Josh Clymer and I are Mileage Masters.  We thrive on seeing that odometer turn just one more digit…. again, again, and again.  About 5 years ago, Josh launched a blog called TSX Travels, and he began documenting his journeys in his 2005 TSX, just like I started with this blog in Spring 2011.

Josh and I have collaborated on drives and milestones in the past, despite the fact that we live 926 miles apart.  In fact, we got together for a “Dueling Acuras” video production in February 2016.  Somewhere along the road, we got the crazy idea that we should coordinate our all-fives roll-over for the same time and place.

Well, here’s the grand finale!  Josh drove from Boise, Idaho, I drove from Phoenix, Arizona, and we met in the middle – St. George, Utah – for a monumental milestone celebrated together last October 7th, 2017.

It was a busy and fun weekend here, with a friend visiting from southern California and a trip to a new destination in Arizona to see another friend’s car collection.  Years ago when Honda was first getting into the transportation industry, its first mobility tools were scooters and motorcycles that were sometimes sold under the advertising tagline “You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda.”

I think the same general motto holds true today for Honda and its other other brands, because my friends Joseph and Michael are two of the most quality individuals I’ve ever met.  Joseph is the proud owner of a 1992 Acura Vigor and I first met up with him at last year’s Japanese Classic Car Show.  He rolled into Phoenix on Friday afternoon in a newly-acquired 2003 Acura CL in stunning Aegean Blue Pearl with only about 60,800 miles on the odometer.

We enjoyed a night out in Old Town Scottsdale with friends, including sampling the dessert menu at Sugar Bowl, a landmark for the last 60 years since it opened in 1958.  The hot fudge sundae was (as my mom says it) “T-D-F.”  Or, in other words, to die for.

Saturday morning, Joseph and I took a road trip in the NSX about 35 miles away to the west end of the Valley near the base of the White Tank Mountain range.  There, a small community has sprung up in recent years called Verrado.  Though it falls within the broader Buckeye, Arizona city limits, Verrado is very much a self-contained and unified little town.  Its cozy Main Street had a variety of restaurants, and we chose Tempo Urban Bistro for our meet-up with another Acura-owning friend, Michael.  He drives a 2014 ILX 2.0.

Michael’s latest acquisition – which he shared as a surprise after brunch – was a 1988 Acura Legend L sedan Florence Blue Metallic.  From the moment I opened the driver door and took a whiff of the interior, it took me back to some of my prior cars.  That classic “Old Honda” smell is something so unmistakable.  We took the Legend for a spin and it drove smoothly and solidly – a testament to its build quality for being nearly 30 years old.  Can’t wait to see what Michael’s plans are for it.

Speaking of blue cars, I took the opportunity to do a little test-driving this weekend too.  One of my local dealerships, in Tempe, Arizona, now has a 2018 Accord Sport 6-speed manual in stock.  It’s finished in “Still Night Pearl” – a striking color shared with the TLX A-Spec.  The driving experience left me overall pretty impressed.

The Accord’s motor is small:  a 2-liter turbo, but it’s able to crank out over 250 horsepower.  That made ample “oomph” to get up to highway speed on the I-10 onramp at Warner Road with ease.  The clutch was soft and the car felt “big” to me – perhaps because I’m used to daily-driving my little Integra.  I think it’s awesome that the Accord is still offered with a stick shift for those of us who prefer to row our own gears.  For $31,200, it’s a lot of car for the money.

Here’s a video from the day trip to Verrado and some scenes with Joseph’s CL, too.

Group out at Sugar Bowl in Scottsdale

Saturday morning NSX cruise

1988, 1992, and 2014

The Accord that I test drove had a few miles on it, at 133

Have a great week!


Sunday Brunch at the 1929 Wrigley Mansion, More Visitors in Phoenix

Posted in Arizona, Integra, Legend, Milestones, Misc Travel on January 30, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  558,659

Odometer (Integra):  246,106

Imagine being wealthy enough in the late 1920s to own several mansions across the United States:  Chicago, Philadelphia, and other cities — the smallest of which, in Phoenix, at 16,000 square feet.

William Wrigley Jr. was an entrepreneur from a young age, starting his own business selling soap and baking powder at age 29.  At that time, he would give his customers 2 packages of chewing gum as an incentive with each can of baking powder they purchased.  Wrigley’s chewing gum soon became more popular than any of his other products, and the rest was history.  Wrigley went on to hold a controlling interest in several other companies, own the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, and build 5 residences.  Next time you’re chomping on a stick of Big Red, think of him.

Wrigley’s mansion in Phoenix (photo above from 1949), is set atop a 100-foot-tall knoll with views of the Biltmore and the community below.  Construction was completed in 1931, only a year before Wrigley died at age 70.  The mansion went on to be owned by another big wig in the food industry: Geordie Hormel, known for creating Spam (he also claimed to have invented the corn dog).  Hormel bought the Wrigley mansion as a $2.6 million 50th wedding anniversary for his wife, and restored it to his former glory.   He passed away in 2006 but the facility lives on as a private club for Sunday brunch, fancy weddings, and other special events.

On Sunday, January 28th, 86 years and 2 days after William Wrigley passed away, I rolled up the steep driveway from Telawa Trail Road with my dad & stepmom and valet parked my Legend sedan for a brunch reservation I’d made online about 6 weeks prior.  The view of the city was spectacular and the weather couldn’t have been better.

We had about 15 minutes to wander around the facility before being seated at our table, so we went upstairs to see a few of the 24 bedrooms and 2 of the 12 bathrooms.  All of the finishes, materials, and fixtures retain their original appearance but have been well preserved or restored.

Hearty buffet provisions were available in 3 separate rooms:  The first, with fruits, bagels, and salad items for lighter fare.  The second had the main brunch courses:  beef, prime rib, shrimp, lobster, potatoes, and an omelet station.  And the last was up a few stairs in what appeared to be a library, stocked with all sorts of cupcakes and other sugary goodness.  Each time one of us would get up from our seat to make another pass at the buffet, the servers would come around while we were gone and roll up our napkins again.  There was a lot of fine attention to detail.

For $59 a plate, the Wrigley champagne brunch is definitely not a McDonald’s McMuffin value menu, but for a rare treat with special guests, I thought it was well worth it for a way to spend a classy Sunday and get a panoramic view of the city skyline on a crystal blue January day.  We returned to the valeted Legend feeling full and satisfied.  “You’re going to have to roll me to the car,” Tanya said.  No wonder we weren’t hungry again until much later that evening.

The revolving door at Hotel Hugie hasn’t had a break yet — the month of January I ran at nearly 100% occupancy and loved it.  Last week, Dad & Tanya drove 1,421 miles in fewer than 48 hours from Seattle to Phoenix for a trade show called Oasis.  Each January, it draws more than 3,000 buyers to the Phoenix convention center to see and order knick-knacks and souvenirs for their gift shops and visitor centers.  Dad and Tanya hand-craft wooden items like antler-adorned walking sticks, keychains, magnets, and money clips for their company, Yellowstone River Trading.

It was an action-packed few days with the family visiting, with lots of things to do outside the 9-5 trade show grind.  We dined at some new restaurants, visited an escape room, and took care of a few home improvement projects.  I also spent a bit of time at the local junkyard, harvesting a piece of a quarter panel to repair some damage to the left rear corner of my Legend sedan.  It was my first time using a heavy-duty angle grinder and I am pleased with the results!  Thanks to my friend Mirel for the tools and the expertise.

New and old pieces of quarter panel.  Updates to come!

Below are a few more photos from recent events.  I received a visit from Redline Reviews’ Editor-in-Chief, Sofyan Bey.

Here’s a 5-minute video filmed just before dropping Sofyan off at the Sky Harbor airport.

Earlier in the week, I dropped off Kevin from Duluth, GA.  I’ve been to the airport a lot lately!

Kevin recently sold his 1994 Legend L sedan.  He had owned the car for 18 years, 11 months, and 26 days.  Fortunately, he still has a 1994 LS coupe, his “Polar Bear.”

I got my front bumper plugs installed on the Vigor – paint matched & all!

Integra parked streetside just west of Chase Field, where the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team plays.

Visiting the Oasis gift convention.

Dinner at ‘Camp Social’ restaurant on 7th Street in Phoenix – we ate in a little trailer like that!

Pretty cool old-school Ace Hardware sign.

Dinner on the patio at Hula’s Modern Tiki, with special guest Jake the poodle.

Home Depot on a Saturday in the coupe.

Junkyard find:  1989 Honda Accord LX 5-speed

It had 349,271 miles on it!

Escape room group in Tempe, Arizona

Legend sedan parked at Wrigley’s valet area

Upstairs hallway at Wrigley Mansion

View from our dining table

Buffet room #1

I spotted my car valet parked below

Tanya & dad

Headed back to real civilization after a few minutes living the high life.

Organizing my new Kobalt tool chest!

Fits right in in the garage.

Have a great week!

2018 Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction: Bring Your Checkbooks!

Posted in Arizona, Car Show on January 22, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  558,578

Odometer (NSX):  109,724

“Tyson, you’re going to have to dip into your savings to get this one!” pronounced my friend Kevin as we admired a 1969 Cadillac unlike anything we’d ever seen before.  The car was a running and driving jacuzzi.  You read that right; the “Carpool Deville” pictured below was one of many automobiles (1,729 in fact) up for grabs at this year’s 47th annual Barrett-Jackson collector car auction.  Speedo or bikini not included!

Barrett-Jackson brings automotive enthusiasts (usually, with large pocketbooks) together with rare & collectible vehicles.  It’s the perfect combination that attracts thousands of people like me to Scottsdale, Arizona every January to spectate.   This year, I attended with my friends Chris and Kevin, who are colleagues from the Acura Legend enthusiast community.  Kevin was pretty excited.


Each year, it seems the bar gets raised ever higher:   More cars, higher sale prices, and special guest appearances.  Little did I know going into Saturday’s auction that I would be in the same room as former U.S. President George W. Bush.  But that’s exactly what ended up happening.  Joining Mr. Bush on the stage was none other than Jay Leno himself.  And the Corvette they were promoting ended up being the auction’s third-highest sale for the week, with the $1.4 million pricetag going to charity.

The energy in the room was off the charts, with people standing up from their chairs, holding up their phones, and clapping / cheering each time the high bid went up another notch.  That’s the kind of crowd spirit that makes Barrett-Jackson such a fun annual tradition, even if means paying $16 for a baked potato for lunch.  The entertainment is far more than worth it.  Check out my video below for a small taste of what the scene was like, including George Bush’s remarks about the Corvette being a “damn good car.”

Perhaps our favorite car in the running this year –  since Chris had made us watch it on TV the evening prior – was a 1978 Ferrari 308 customized for the TV series Knight Rider by George Barris.  The styling certainly wasn’t for everyone, but the car’s provenance – a word I’m coming to learn is very important in the auto collector community – made it something special.  We watched it bring $85,000.

Another cool vehicle that we kicked the tires on was this 1990 Honda NSX, straight from Japan and looking pretty crisp in right-hand-drive configuration.  It had 49,000 miles on it and brought a $47,000 pricetag.  Notice – all of the cars get the final sales price written on the SOLD tag with a black Sharpie.

Below were the stats for Barrett’s overall results this year, courtesy of my friend Jonathan Klinger who is the Vice President of Public Relations at Hagerty Insurance.  Many thanks to him for keeping us in the loop via email on the daily happenings over at the auction block.  And thanks, too, to Hagerty’s CEO, McKeel Hagerty, for extending some heartfelt and kind words about the up-and-coming import collector car community when we ran into him right outside the auction area.  It was great to get to meet him.  Pictured here are McKeel, Chris, Jonathan, and myself.

Final Numbers for Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale 2018:

  • Overall Total: $116.7 million
  • 1,721/1,729 lots sold: 99% sell-through rate
  • Average Sale Price: $65,692
Overall Top 10 Sales (excludes charity cars):
  1. 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder – $1,430,000
  2. 1952 Ferrari 212 Europa – $1,100,000
  3. 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Cutaway Coupe – $1,100,000
  4. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 – $770,000
  5. 1966 Shelby GT350 Prototype #001 – $605,000
  6. 2015 MTI Racing Boat – $548,900
  7. 2006 Ford GT Heritage Edition – $495,000
  8. 1968 Chevrolet Corvette L88 – $495,000
  9. 1958 Chevrolet Corvette Custom Convertible – $440,000
  10. 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge Ram Air IV Convertible – $440,000

Oh, and that hot tubbing 1969 Cadillac?  It sold for a value-priced $24,000, or about 6 times the cost of a traditional hot tub.  But for the sake of being able to say that your hot tub had a 472-cubic-inch V8 engine?  Priceless!

Thanks to the Barrett-Jackson team for the chance to attend such an awesome event.  Here is an 8-minute video that I captured of some of the highlights from my perspective, as well as a few additional photos.

Media Pass.  Here we go!

Life-sized Camaro “Hot Wheels” display.  Loved this!

Wide-eyed and soaking up the eye candy from the Salon Collection area.

I could go for a 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS!

This baked potato weighed more than an infant child.

Ran into a few friends, including Jack & Brad.

… And a buddy Tom from the NSX community.

I love these kinds of production number breakdowns.  I will be making something similar for my Legends the next time they’re on display.

Kevin went crazy each time we saw a split-window 1963 Corvette.  He needs one.

This 1930 Cord was front-wheel-drive.  Not something you saw very often during that era.

Food vendors galore!  Chris got a funnel cake.

Love the 1955-57 Chevy Bel Airs.

One of them had some appropriate looking props affixed to the passenger window.

Interior of the 1969 Cadillac hot tub.  The description sheet made it clear to mention, in large caps at the bottom, that the car cannot be registered or driven on public roads.  Bummer.

On our way out, we saw VIN 001 2019 Ford Mustang “Bullitt” Edition, a 50-year throwback to the original Bullitt that was driven by Steve McQueen.  It sold for $300,000.

Hope you enjoyed coming along to the auctions!  A few final sidebars today:

Looking for some midday entertainment to keep your mind off those meetings at the office?  My buddy Josh who you know from TSX Travels has launched a new channel about his latest toy.  The channel is called NSX Experiment.

My friend Cody’s extremely rare and well-kept 1993 Legend L sedan 5-speed hit Bring a Trailer today.  Take a peek and watch the action for the next 7 days at auction!  Good luck, Cody!

And finally, we have to congratulate my friend Eric in KY who found a good home for his red 1989 coupe a couple of days ago. He’s pictured here at left handing off the keys.  Congrats on the sale, Eric!  So many deals to be had.

Have a great week, all!

Mom’s Visit, Half-Marathon, Vigor Bumper Refinish, Future Classic Car Show & Special Guests

Posted in Arizona, Car Show, Legend, Running, Vigor on January 21, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  558,577

Odometer (Integra):  245,989

My guest room is fully booked this month — if it seems I’m light on travels, it’s because I’m hosting all sorts of company.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way!  Now if only I offered free breakfast & a fitness center.

Mom flew down from southern Utah for an annual tradition:  The Rock & Roll Half Marathon which starts & ends in Tempe, near Arizona State University.  We have the whole routine down to a science:  Where to have brunch the day prior, what to wear, where to park the car, and even where to meet at the conclusion of the race.  Because – let’s face it – we already knew that mom was going to beat me to the finish line by a solid half-hour or more.  And she did.

I missed out on the North American International Auto Show this past week.  In case you missed it too, there were some big announcements from Acura with the debut of the all-new 2019 RDX sport utility vehicle.  AND – drumroll please – the Type-S name is coming back!

That same day, I had “Ultimate Finish” – a mobile bumper repair/repaint operation – come over to the house and re-shoot both bumpers on my 1994 Vigor GS.  I must say, for having been a driveway job and completed from start to finish in a matter of 6 hours, it turned out phenomenally.  They charged me $300 per bumper.

I attended the third annual Future Classics Car Show on the upper parking deck of the Scottsdale Quarter shopping center.  It was quite the grab-bag of vehicles, but that’s what makes the show interesting.  James took his 1999 Isuzu VehiCROSS, Kyle his 2005 Pontiac GTO, and Scott his 2012 Mini Cooper.  I was in the 1992 Integra GS-R.  None of us went home with any awards but we enjoyed hanging out with fellow gearheads for the evening.

The following evening, I had a couple of special guests arrive.

Peter Cunningham, President of the NSX Club of America (NSXCA), and Donald Osborne, auto appraiser extraordinaire, came over for a VIP visit to my humble car collection.  We went to dinner nearby at a Casa Añejo.  Meanwhile, my roommate picked up my friend Chris from the Phoenix airport.  A few years ago, we started the tradition of Chris visiting Arizona each January for a several-day visit which centers around attending the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction.  I’ll have more on that in a dedicated next post!

Chris put a few miles on my cars while I was at work the next couple of days, including taking an 800+ mile drive to southern Utah and back in a single day.  He’s a little nuts, but I guess that’s why we get along so well.  Destination #1 was Monument Valley, one of my favorite places.  He also hit up Four Corners and spent a little bit of time in Colorado and New Mexico.  As in, probably a footstep’s worth of time in each!  My car was dirty so I spent a good chunk of the afternoon today getting it cleaned up.  I decided to film a walkaround video since a few had asked for a current one.  Ask and ye shall receive.

Below are a few more photos of the last few weeks’ activities.  Have a great evening!

Picking up mom at the airport

Pasta prep

Dinner crowd at my place

Saturday morning in downtown at the marathon expo

View from the patio at our brunch spot:  FEZ

Tyson, Kevin, Adam, Jon, Tia, Rob, Julio at brunch

Doing a little yard sale-ing with mom (she’s in the sideview mirror proudly holding up a new red dress she purchased for $5)

Mile 10 of the marathon on Sunday morning, with the clock already showing just under 2 hours elapsed.

Finished!  And headed home.

Departure back to Utah, dropping off mom at the airport

Peter Cunningham signing my guest book at the house

Donald Osborne, Chris, me

Airport run in the Legend sedan to pick up Kevin from Georgia

Tyson, Kevin, Chris

Chris’ post to the 5,000-member “ALOE” group on Facebook.  It stands for Acura Legend Owners & Enthusiasts.

Breakfast at Zookz on Camelback

Chris heading out to Carefree to see the world’s largest sundial.

Chris and Kevin enjoying a relaxing evening in my backyard.

More to come, soon!

2017 Annual Mileage Summary & Kai’s 1989 Honda Accord SE-i Coupe

Posted in Arizona, Blog, Milestones on January 7, 2018 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  557,697

Odometer (Accord):  42,757

Put on your thinking caps and pay attention, class.  It’s that time once again:  Let’s take a quick glance at how the mileage numbers played out for 2017.  Year over year, overall miles were down by a long shot:  43,000 this year compared to 58,000 in 2016.  Keep in mind, though, that 9,000 of those miles in 2016 were attributed to the Alaska trip.

The most expensive car to keep on the road was the Integra at $0.30 per mile.  Looking back at my maintenance records, the work done was extensive:  radiator, A/C repair, tires, windshield, and other items brought the tally to over $2,000 spent to go about 7,400 miles.  Hopefully though (crossing fingers here) I’ve now addressed most of the big-ticket items and the car will be trouble free with lower operating costs going forward.

The TL, of course, is now sold but I included its mileage here since I did log about 5,000 miles on it during my 6 months of ownership.  So there you have it.  Microsoft Excel is a beautiful invention.  Oh, and yesterday I put a few miles on my Honda lawnmower.  Here in Phoenix, we get our Fall season in January.

The rest of today’s updates won’t have a lot of rhyme nor reason but will rather be a collection of pictures from recent events.  It was a pretty low key holiday season for me.  A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of having Hagerty’s Aaron McKenzie and his wife in my home.  My guest book is now on page 18, filled with noteworthy people who have paid me a visit.  Maybe some of you readers will sign in this year?

I played transporter for a couple of friends who needed a ride to Tucson from Phoenix the week before Christmas.  They were big guys – and we were in the Integra!  I would have selected a different car, had I known!

It seemed like my coworker Jack and I were the only ones at the office in the days leading up to that holiday weekend. If you squint your eyes and look very closely, you’ll see his RSX and my Integra tucked into a corner of the parking garage at work.

I headed out toward Utah on Friday afternoon, December 22nd and traffic was luckily pretty light.

Someone was feeling mischievous and reorganized the letters on the marquee sign at the Mobil gas station in Kingman.  It used to say “DOG PARK.”

Speaking of signs, this classic at Larsen’s Frostop in my hometown of St. George, Utah has been a local landmark for many decades.

Checking out a pretty posh piece of property near my brother’s new place.

Family dinner and gift-giving activities at my brother’s place on 12/23.

Admiring some of the clever work of the Arizona Department of Transportation along Interstate 15 southbound.

My roommate James road-tested a Honda Civic Type-R for 7 days.

We took it over to the Scottsdale Pavilions car show and it drew a lot of attention.  It was a truly engaging performance machine – abundant power, great gearbox, tight handling.  Its demeanor makes for a perfect canyon cruiser or weekend toy, but it’s not something I could see myself driving on a daily basis.  The styling is a bit of a turnoff except for the interior.  It had the most amazing red bucket seats.

I celebrated my 36th birthday.  It’s always fun to look back at old pics, like this one from my 5th.  Stripes for days!

Here’s one taken with my dad.  Was that a steering wheel in front of me?  Perhaps!

Friends really spoiled me.  There were plenty of references to my favorite things, like movies from the 1980s.

My niece and nephews put together a banner for me.

And I had a night out with friends.

I’ve had 2 Legendary visitors in recent weeks, including Sanjay in a 1993 Legend L.

And Mirel in a 1993 Legend LS.

My cousin Chad and his wife Miranda visited and borrowed the Vigor for 4 days to get around.

I got to drop them off at the Scottsdale airport in class & style.

This was the whole family flying out on my uncle’s company’s private jet.

It wasn’t a HondaJet, but I still thought it was pretty cool.  For $13 million though.  Yikes.

And the last feature of the day:  This is my friend Kai who came home to Arizona for the holidays and found himself a project car.

That car is this 1989 Honda Accord, which doesn’t look like anything too special, but does have a very unique story.  It was purchased new in Hawaii in May 1989 and lived there for 7 years before coming to Arizona.  It has only about 42,800 miles on it and was owned by only one person before Kai picked it up from a craigslist ad in Tucson.

Here’s a short and very amateur walkaround video showing how nice of shape it’s in for being nearly 30 years old.

Kai left the car with me to take care of it since he had to fly home to Michigan.  I took it out for a quick cruise on Saturday morning.

Really nice interior.

Pop-up headlights all around!

I created a display document to go on my wheelstand.

Kai even has a copy of the check written for $19,000 when the car was new.

That brings us up to speed!  I hope everyone had a great weekend!


VIP HondaJet & NSX Event in Scottsdale, Arizona – November 11, 2017

Posted in Arizona, NSX on November 12, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend Coupe):  556,317

Odometer (Legend Sedan):  156,015

Odometer (NSX):  109,174

Got a cool $4.5 mill burning a hole in your pocket?  You might just want to look at the latest solution in business travel mobility:  A jet aircraft manufactured by Honda.  Restaurateurs, entrepreneurs, and wealthy businesspeople around the country now have the opportunity to travel in style and comfort.  The increased work-life balance, improved productivity, and reduced stress thanks to avoiding delays, layovers, security lines, loud passengers, and seat assignments are big motivators that Honda hopes will drive customers to pick up its HA-420 aircraft.

Plus, and here’s something I just learned, there are 398 airports in the United States with commercial airline service, but 3,052 airports that allow aircraft like the HondaJet to utilize.  So it truly does open the door to being in multiple places in a shorter amount of time.  “Welcome to your new corner office,” is the tagline for Honda’s foray into air travel which debuted in early 2016.

Just check out that cockpit!  Technology for days.  But does it have lane keeping assist, cruise control, or VTEC?

While such a lofty purchase won’t be making its way into my humble fleet any time soon, it’s fun to dream.  I had the opportunity at an event on Saturday night to get up close and personal with the HondaJet.  Its fine leather and high tech almost made me wonder, “How come this thing isn’t called an AcuraJet instead?”  It’s powered by the HF120 Turbofan motors, rated at 2,000-pound thrust-class with air start up to 25,000 feet, a 4.5 thrust/weight ratio, and 5,000 hours between overhaul.  That’s all a foreign language to me, but it’s said to result in best-in-class durability and reduced operating costs, something we can all surely appreciate.

Also on display in the private hangar were the ScienceofSpeed-built, stunning Nouvelle Blue Pearl 2017 Acura NSX customized for this year’s SEMA trade show in Las Vegas by Chris Willson and his team from Chandler, Arizona.  Ride-and-drive opportunities were made available on a first-come, first-served basis for attendees who wanted to take a lap around the block in Scottsdale’s Kierland area in a stock NSX.  The event was a collaborative effort by Phoenix’s 3 area Acura dealerships (Peoria, Scottsdale, and Tempe).

My friend Rob and I enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and beverages while having a look at the cars and chatting with other attendees.  And the test-drive later that evening in a “Curva Red” 2017 NSX did not disappoint.  The car drives, handles, and performs like nothing else I’ve ever driven.  If I play my cards right, I’d like to get my hands on one for a full 7-day evaluation someday.  I’ll be sure to bring you all along for the ride.

Premium parking for local NSX Club of America members was made available right in front.  I drove my 1992 NSX, of course, and was one of several “Formula Red” owners in attendance at the program.

Nice sunset overlooking the Scottsdale airport.

Ice sculpture!

Some of the night’s testers.

TLX A-Spec on display as well.

I had my Legend GS sedan out and about yesterday to clean out some cobwebs.  The car has a tendency to lose its battery charge over a few weeks’ time if not regularly started and driven, but purrs like a kitten once fired up.  I drove over to the Tempe area for a snapshot at the Mill Avenue bridge.  Temperatures were in the mid-80’s.

I celebrated a milestone on the way home.  The sedan has almost exactly 400,000 fewer miles on it than the coupe.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!