Archive for the Car Show Category

Fountain Hills “Concours in the Hills,” Eric’s Visit, & SLX/GS-R Updates

Posted in Arizona, Car Show, Integra, SLX on February 13, 2020 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  572,470

My friend Eric sent me a photo of himself (with his Acura TL in the background) under a blanket of snow on the morning of his departure for a visit to Phoenix from Lexington, Kentucky last Friday.  Needless to say, he was ready and anxious to get some AZ sunshine.

Eric’s arrival was timely because we were able to check out some great events taking place in & around town.  One of them was the “Concours in the Hills,” an 1,000+ car show at Fountain Park in Fountain Hills.

The fountain there was the tallest in the world from 1970 through 1980, at 560 feet in height.  We took the opportunity to stroll through the automotive merchandise (“Look but don’t touch!”) and the scenery did not disappoint.  Among the cars on display was an unbelievably rare McLaren F1.  There were a total of only 106 of those built between 1992 and 1998 and they’re going for $20 million or more each.  I’ll take two.  But perhaps my favorite car was this DMC DeLorean in appropriate BTTF garb.

… and complete with a ‘Mr. Fusion’ fuel tank.  I didn’t have any banana peels to deposit at the time.

The Concours has accelerated quickly in growth over its seven years, and for good reason:  It’s one of the premier automotive events in the southwest and it promotes good causes.  This year, proceeds from the event raised over $250,000 for Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

The level of organization and planning that went into the staging was impressive:  Cars were grouped according to make & model.  There was a strong turnout of NSX owners, including my friend Greg with his lovely Formula Red 1995 with fewer than 10,000 original miles.

I also introduced Eric to a portion of our scenic drive that will take place as part of the 2020 NALM event.  It’s a nice 90-mile round trip loop that introduces visitors to the Tonto National Forest and Saguaro lake, capped off with a lakeside lunch at Shiprock Restaurant.

Our host hotel will be the Best Western Chandler Inn, pictured below.  When registration goes live on March 1, it will include a hyperlink for booking at the contracted group rate for October’s event.

On Sunday, my friend Vlad brought his 2000 model year Phoenix Yellow Integra Type R over to the house.  It only has 31,000 miles on it, and the engine bay looks absolutely brand new.

Joining for the pictures was my 1999 Integra which recently had some work done.  After about two and a half weeks at Hon-Man in Tempe, it was ready to retrieve once again.  The good news is that the erratic idle miss/stumble has been resolved with just an adjustment of the valves.  The bad news is that the inspection revealed some prior collision damage to the left rear corner, and a few other issues to resolve in future service visits.  Check out my upcoming YouTube uploads for info on that.

Here’s the video update:

The SLX hasn’t left town since SoCal “RADwood” in December, but it did go in for a visit to one of my local body shops to have some fog lights installed.  The skilled technicians at USA Collision in Phoenix took care of it in a matter of just 3 days.  And the work was not very easy – it required some custom work to get the brackets to properly mount since the corroded original hardware was basically crumbling away.

Eric’s too SLXY for his shirt, but not for his University of Kentucky sweater.  But those fog lights!

Capping off the weekend was a visit to the local U Pull & Pay junkyard on Buckeye Road in Phoenix.  The treasure of the day there was a 1993 Oldsmobile Silhouette minivan, more lovingly referred to as a “Dustbuster” thanks to its iconic wedge styling.  The icing on the cake was the fact that I found an actual Dustbuster in another van a couple of rows away.  This picture begged to be taken.

It was nice having a friend in town, and I always look forward to my guests!

Have a great rest of the week.

49 Years & Counting: 2020 Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction Breaks Records

Posted in Arizona, Car Show, Milestones on January 27, 2020 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  572,435

Meet Craig Jackson:

Craig is kind of a big deal.  He’s currently in the driver’s seat of one of the world’s largest collector car auctions – launched in 1971 by his father, Russ.  Russ first partnered with fellow enthusiast Tom Barrett to sell a handful of automobiles in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Tom eventually retired and Russ passed away, leaving the reins to Craig 25 years ago in 1995.

Craig has since taken the auction to new heights, building it into a mecca that attracts 325,000 automobile enthusiasts annually to its signature and largest event held in Arizona each January.  Jackson has also expanded into other cities around the nation, keeping his team busy throughout the year and facilitating the sale of thousands of vehicles.

Craig is the true definition of a ‘car guy,’ and he wholeheartedly enjoys being part of the industry.  “I like three-pedal cars,” he said at a media event I attended in the days leading up to this year’s program in Scottsdale.  Craig commented on the ever-present questions like, “What should people buy now that will be collectible in X years?”

And the answer to that, of course, is anyone’s best guess, but he suggested that modern internal combustion-powered automobiles as we know them – and especially those equipped with clutch pedals – are positioned well for future appreciation because their days are numbered.  He’s stockpiled a few of his own in his elaborate personal collection.  And speaking of collections, there were a few noteworthy celeb-owned cars up on the docket, including some BMWs formerly owned by Paul Walker.

This year’s auction was the event’s 49th.  I attended in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.  And while I haven’t yet made a four-wheeled purchase, I’ve come away with a lot of souvenirs, memories, and friendships that have been 100% worth the price of admission.  My mom and I made the trek to the “Westworld” venue on Saturday, January 18th and feasted our eyes on the nearly 2,000 vehicles that were up for auction this year.

According to a post on Craig’s Instagram (below), a single gavel was used over the course of the 9-day event, but auctioneers went through six sound blocks.  The 2020 auction became the highest-grossing auction in Barrett-Jackson history, with over $141 million in no-reserve sales.  The intensity and energy in the venue is electrifying, with a vehicle being sold on average every two minutes.

The long-awaited mid-engine 2020 Chevy Corvette with VIN #001 brought $3 million for charity.  Other amazing cars that I enjoyed checking out were the 1963 Modena Spyder California from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, as well as a replica Ford LTD station wagon as seen as the “family truckster” in the Chevy Chase movie “Vacation.”

Lexus auctioned a special edition LC500 convertible, the first of its kind for model year 2021.  It brought $2 million.

Mom and I were a little disappointed after searching the show grounds for Tent 7.  We were hunting for the “Shaggin’ Wagon,” a converted 2003 Ford Econoline van modified to look like the “MUTT CUTTS” vehicle from Dumb & Dumber.  It wasn’t parked where it was supposed to be, so we asked some of the nearby security personnel.  Evidently the van had been vandalized earlier in the week.  “Someone broke the nose off it,” we were told.  Shame!

And now begins Barrett-Jackson’s “Road to 50,” as Craig and his team will spend the next 12 months building up to the 2021 event as its 50th anniversary.  You can bet I’ll be there once again to soak it all in!

Below are a few more photos from my experience at Barrett-Jackson & overall weekend.

Red-carpet arrival at the house for mom’s visit

Brunch date in downtown Phoenix, in the red brick SUV.

Chris (visiting from Maryland) and I rolled around in the same vehicle.  Chris’ claim to fame, in fact, is that he’s driven every one of my vehicles, including the 1992 Integra sedan which sold just 2 days after he left town.

Bueller?  Bueller?  You might recognize this car from a certain movie.

Visitors from Utah feasting their eyes on the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the auction.

A celebrity to me – none other than Mr. Peter Cunningham, current President of the NSX Club of America.

And special thanks to my friend Jonathan Klinger who is a VP at Hagerty, who gave me these awesome socks.

They say:  Driving is good for the sole.

And also thanks to Aaron Cook from Barrett-Jackson’s public relations agency, TimePiece.

Mom and I didn’t score any purchases at the auction, but we each came home with a chunk of metal from the following morning’s rock & roll half-marathon in Tempe.

Finally, join me in congratulating my friend Matt on his 200,000th mile in his 2002 Nissan!  I captured the occasion on video from his back seat.

Thanks for reading & watching, as always!

Future Collector Car Show 2020 & 1992 Integra GS Sale

Posted in Arizona, Car Show, Integra on January 25, 2020 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Integra sedan):  75,604

Trip Distance:  2,155 Miles

I sold my 28-year-old Integra sedan on Tuesday, and the buyer drove it as many miles in his 3-day trip home to Tampa, Florida, as I drove the car over my nearly 2 years of ownership.  Needless to say, he’s enjoying it more than I did!  More in a little bit about who the lucky new owner is and how the exchange played out.

I was walking down High Street in north Phoenix a couple of weeks ago at a car show, glad to be wearing a fleece jacket because it was downright chilly (by Arizona standards) in the shade.

“I like your jacket,” a guy said as I passed by him.  I paused for a second and looked down because I couldn’t even remember what I was wearing.  I realized it was my Nissan GT-R jacket.  The guy then pulled up his shorts a little to show a brightly-colored GT-R tattoo on his thigh.  I said, “Awesome; I wish I had the car but I just have the sweater!”  I guess Nissan people are just as passionate about their cars as Honda people are.

The occasion for the day was the 5th annual Future Collector Car Show (FCCS), an event that started in 2016 as a small production sponsored by ClassicCars.com to recognize and embrace the movement of the ‘new’ definition of classic.  The show has grown and evolved over the years, attracting 150 vehicles for the 2020 program that were selected via an online application process that kicked off last fall.

I had the lone representing Integra, while there were a couple of RSXs on the roster.  Here are some links to prior years’ coverage of this event.  (I’ve been to all five!)

  • 2016 – Legend coupe
  • 2017 – Legend sedan
  • 2018 – Integra GS-R
  • 2019 – Integra GS-R (again)

Over the course of the day, I got the chance to reconnect with a lot of great friends and I enjoyed lunch at Mellow Mushroom while taking a break from the social scene.  The variety of vehicles on display was wide, and while most were modified, there were a few super clean ‘preserved’ original cars like this sweet 1980 Prelude.

One of my faves was this older Lexus SC sitting on new IS wheels.

Three “Bullitt” Mustangs in a row!  One had the license plate “CHSECAR” (chase car)

Wandering High Street

And bumping into friends

Meanwhile, my 1992 Integra sedan was on display, and I’d left a For Sale sign sitting on the dash in case anyone had interest in sending me a message to inquire.

At the end of the day, I received just 1 text message.  It was from a high-school-age kid who came to test-drive the car 2 days later.  Except, he couldn’t drive a stick.  So I drove him around.  He didn’t end up making an offer.  I actually discovered how frustrating it can be to deal with car buyers.  A few of the things I observed or heard:

  • “What’s the lowest you’ll take?”
  • “Does the car need anything now or in the future?”  <Hello, it’s nearly 30 years old, the answer is YES>
  • “Will you take $XX plus 10 monthly payments of $XX?”
  • “If only you were in X location.”
  • “Can I trade you my XX vehicle?”
  • “Why are you asking so little?”  <This one surprised me>
  • “You know Blue Book on this car is only XXX.”  <Facepalm.  I hate ‘Blue Book’ when it comes to vintage cars>
  • “You’ll regret selling it.”
  • “I wish I had the money, but I have XX kids.”
  • “I like the 2 door better.”

I survived all of that, and a legitimate offer did come, however, from a nice gentleman named David in Tampa, Florida who is a dedicated Honda-fan who’s restoring a 1989 Prelude “S” model.  We corresponded a little by email and then text, and arranged his visit for Tuesday January 21st.

Below are a few photos from the transaction as well as photos he sent me from his drive home.

Gift I made up for David of his digital car rending from Darren at I Drew Your Car.

About to leave the garage for the last time.

Key handoff on a rainy Phoenix morning.

Arrival in Florida – that sign looks familiar.  I was just there in October.

Final odometer reading after a successful journey to the other side of the country.

Congrats, David!  Here’s a 1-minute video memorializing the occasion.

PS – If you haven’t already done so, check out the YT Channel “Out Motorsports.” My friend Jake and his crew of skilled journalists are going to publish regular updates on car reviews, performance/track events, and more.

Too SLXY for My Shirt: RADwood 2019 Car Show in Los Angeles

Posted in California, Car Show, Road Trip, SLX on December 9, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (NSX): 116,405

Odometer (SLX): 140,616

Odometer (ILX):  221,578

Odometer (Legend Coupe):  572,261

Trip Distance:  353 Miles

“Hmm,” Chris said from the passenger seat as he shrugged his shoulders.  “Sounds kinda scary.”

I was pretty deflated.  I had just proudly pinned the accelerator to the floor in my red brick of an SLX and it did the best it could to get up to highway speed.  Moments later, he gestured the making of a cross against his chest as we both collectively said our prayers that the old SUV would get us safely to Phoenix, still about 250 miles away, across the barren desert at nighttime with intermittent rain showers.

We made it.  A bit of wind turbulence and poor visibility (one of my headlights is so dim it barely works at all) were about the only problems we had.  We got home to Phoenix at midnight local time after an exhausting day of celebrating the totally tubular 1980s and 1990s in cars & culture.  This was the third time I’ve attended the ‘RADwood’ show in Los Angeles.  In 2017, I took the Legend, and in 2018, I took the Integra sedan.  I always have a riot when being surrounded by such awesome people & cars.

And this time – in a perfectly orchestrated inconvenience – the event was held up a canyon with zero cell signal.  So, from about 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., I spent the day doing what we all did during the 1980s and 1990s:  Actually making real-life conversation with people.  It was pretty freakin’ awesome.

My trip to RADwood was by way of two very special collector cars:  a 1989 Dodge Lancer Shelby (Greg’s) and a 1998 Ford Contour SVT (Jason’s) – both with 3-pedal transmissions.  Unfortunately for us, and for all other show-goers on Saturday, Mother Nature felt like giving us a few rain showers.  While the downpours held out aside from a little trickle here and there, the mud left me wishing I’d brought my galoshes.  It was so slippery, in fact, that I fell down while helping push a Honda CRX with a dead battery into its parking space.  Good thing I had a spare pair of pants on-hand.

At least the 1986 Preludes owned by my friends Chris Hoffman and Chris Green looked spectacular.

The star of the show – at least for me – was a special project vehicle that I had a small role in bringing to life.  It’s right here, pictured with none other than RADwood royalty Bradley Brownell himself, and my friend & automotive journalist Steve Ewing.

You’ll probably remember my old “Fir Green” 1997 Acura SLX that I picked up a year ago from a friend.  It ran & drove okay, but the transmission slipped in third gear and the seats were thrashed.  I enjoyed it for a few months around town as a Home Depot cruiser.  Its life was about to change, however, when Andrew Quillin from Acura Public Relations asked me in late Spring if I had a lead on any SLXs for sale.  I didn’t know of anything decent offhand, so I said, “You can have mine.”

And so it happened.  On June 18, Acura’s fleet management representative drove away in the green beast from my house in Phoenix and I wasn’t sure if or when I’d ever see it again.  Not only did I see it again, but, it had been transformed into a completely different vehicle.  Over the course of the next several months, the SLX spent its summer in Marysville, Ohio, at Honda’s Research & Development facility, getting a cosmetic facelift and a full mechanical transplant.  Behold:

Engineers James Robinson and Jordan Guitar led a team of people who swapped the tired, 178,000-mile 3.2 V6 with a race-tuned 2-liter turbo out of the Pikes Peak RDX racecar.  But they didn’t stop there.  The transmission was replaced with a push-button 10-speed automatic and the vehicle was equipped with Acura’s signature Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD), plus a fully independent rear suspension.  The only subtle hint that this SLX is something a little different is the hue of Performance Red paint and the side exit exhaust forward to the left rear tire.

While official drag-race numbers have not yet been captured, I’m fairly certain the SH-AWD SLX would smoke my stock example in any performance event.  I haven’t yet driven it.  I only took a brief ride during a mid-November film shoot in the San Diego area.  The result of that film shoot is here, brought to life with the creative mind of Acura’s Zach Vlasuk.

As RADwood pressed on, I connected with friends and colleagues from near & far.  I also got to be the eyewitness (or even acting clergy?) for the official sale transaction of a white 1988 Legend coupe that changed hands from one owner to another during the course of the show.  The Acura representation across the show field was in fact pretty impressive:  Even the award-winning second-gen Legend sedan driven by Rob Pia was in attendance, and it won a well-deserved trophy at the conclusion of the show.

Congrats, new Legend owner Daniel!

I made it through the afternoon without any further mud-slides, and I had a great time rubbing shoulders with the leaders & engineers who brought the SLX project to life.  I even had about a dozen of them sign my dashboard with a silver Sharpie, including Executive Creative Director Dave Marek who drew me a picture!

As for the project SLX SH-AWD, it’s gone on to achieve all sorts of fame by way of automotive media outlets in every corner of the country and even internationally.  Here’s an example of one piece by Jalopnik.  And no, I’m not getting the vehicle back, but maybe I can sweet-talk Acura into a test drive.  After some race training, of course :).

Here’s my 5-minute video on this year’s RADwood, and a few photos follow.

Westbound in the SVT Contour

Barrett-Jackson is one of many sponsors & participants in the growing RADwood movement.  Pictured here is Matt Ferguson from Public Relations.

If I were to cheat on Acura, it might be for one of these.  Love it.

Resto-mod SLX sporting custom floor mats, wood trim, reupholstered leather, and a push-button transmission.  But – don’t worry – the tape deck stuck around!

My co-pilots Jason and Chris

Acura senior executive Jon Ikeda was out enjoying the party, too.

Even the former owner of the green SLX, Wyatt, popped in to say hello.

And now – if you are interested – here are a few shots from the filming of the reveal video, and a behind-the-scenes look at some of the effort it took to produce.

Three SLXs in one place!  That never happens.

That engine is more than meets the eye!  And you should hear it!

Setting up a camera mount on my Radiant Red

“For sale by owner” – come and get it!

Actress Amy McRoberts

Andrew from Acura – one of the main brains behind the operation.

Old and new in a San Diego garage

And lastly, since I’m too lazy to put these in their own blog entry, I wanted to thank and recognize a few people who have visited my house in the last few weeks including automotive journalists Clint Simone from Motor1 and Sofyan Bey from Redline Reviews.

I also hosted some fellow Acura friends including my friend Leon who was in town from Los Angeles.

I hope all my readers had a nice Thanksgiving.  I spent it in southern Utah with my RDX-driving friend Shaun and with many of my family members.

Grandma

Mom (and her 2016 RLX)

And the newest member – 1-year-old Ava Mae, inside her Escalade.

Have a great week!

Quick Visit: 2019 Ferrari Club of America (FCA) Meet in Scottsdale, Arizona

Posted in Arizona, Car Show, NSX, PAPA on November 7, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (NSX):  116,205

You want to know how high-class the Ferrari Club of America is?  They have jewelry for sale at their meets.  I kid you not!  I showed up on Wednesday evening to the Scottsdale Doubletree hotel, home base for this year’s massive 300-car club gathering, and took a stroll through the reception hall.  The whole place felt like it was on another level: wine bar, hors d’oeuvres (I always love spelling that), and yes – the finest of necklaces & rings for your perusal.

I was tempted to take the NSX to the meet-up, but I didn’t.  This was a party for the Italians only.  Peter Volny, fellow Phoenix Automotive Press Association member, was one of the key leaders orchestrating this stampede of sportscars.  His team developed a comprehensive website outlining the day-to-day details, which consisted of all the customary ingredients for a quality meeting of ‘car people’:  Plenty of food, driving opportunities, a show (‘concours’ is the proper term in this caliber of club), and performance driving opportunities at the track.  For the track portion, the Ferrari club went to Apex Motor Club which you’ll remember from a recent blog post.

I took a stroll around the property including the “Ferrari Parking Only” section toward the rear.  The cars ranged in age, configuration, and color in a wide variety.  I’m certain many of them held a market value at or beyond the price of my home.  Several of them were covered up – presumably to keep them from being slobbered on by people like me.  Perhaps my favorite feature of any car there was the “BUELER” plate on this ride.  You’ll recall that the famous movie car from the classic 1986 film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” was a 1961 Ferrari 250GT California.

I liked this one particularly, and not necessarily because of its color or condition, but because it had bugs on the front end.  I get the feeling a lot of attendees – especially those from more than a couple hundred miles away – had their vehicles transported to the event in bubble-wrapped, fully-enclosed, climate-controlled shipping containers.  This owner put his Ferrari to use as it was meant to be.

This morning, I visited the Scottsdale Sports Complex where the concours was being held.  Judges wore matching yellow shirts and readily identifiable badges on their lanyards.  It was clear they took their jobs very seriously.  Notice they even opened up the gas door here for closer inspection.  Funny enough, we do that during the judging portion at Legend meets, but usually only when a tie-breaker is needed between two exceptionally clean cars.

This year’s FCA meet is reportedly the second-largest in the club’s history:  It’s surpassed in size only by the 2015 event which was held in conjunction with Monterey Car Week.  I am sure I’ll be seeing a few more ‘raris than usual on my day-to-day travels through the end of the event this coming Sunday morning.  Maybe I’ll even sneak my way into the lineup with my Japanese imposter.

The Doubletree is swarmed in high class cars

No shortage of color out here

I think this might have been my favorite shade

So 1980s I love it.

I drove a car similar to these owned by my friend Greg recently.

And the obligatory NSX picture for this post.  Notice, I found a convertible Crown Victoria at the gas station.

Long Beach Weekend: 2019 Japanese Classic Car Show (JCCS) at Marina Green Park

Posted in California, Car Show, Del Sol, Road Trip on September 26, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (del Sol):  89,349

Trip Distance:  777 Miles

This was a fun way to break up the work week:  My friend Chris invited me to meet up and check out / test drive his very rare model year 2000 Acura Integra Type R.  The car had 48,000 miles on it and handled incredibly.  Like many ‘B-Series’ powered Honda cars, the Type R loves to rev.  Its tachometer goes up to a sky-high 10,000 RPM.  I appreciated the opportunity!

I’m starting to become a ‘regular’ at some of the Southern California car scene activities each year.  The Japanese Classic Car Show (JCCS), now in its 15th year, has been a tradition of mine since I started going in 2014.  Back then, none of my cars were eligible because the cutoff for model year eligibility was in the 1980s.  It’s since been modified, and anything up through the mid-1990s is permissible.

The Key Lime del Sol made the trip this time.  This was the first time it’s made an out-of-town voyage since I brought it to Phoenix from Salt Lake City back in May.  I’m happy to report that the car did great.  Here are write-ups from my prior trips to JCCS.  With the momentum behind the event (growing so much that it had to change venues last year) I’m confident it will be a “thing” for many years to come.

I had a special guest at the house last Thursday afternoon:  My friend Ken from Pennsylvania rolled into town in his vintage 1981 Honda Accord.  His dedication to the event was impressive – even in the face of a breakdown somewhere in Wisconsin, he was able to put a spare fuel pump to use the following day and be back on the road without much time lost.  Driving with an old car in adventure to say the least.  It’s best to live by the Boy Scout motto:  “Be Prepared.”

By the time Ken and I made it out of Phoenix during rush hour, then completed our trek across the desert, our arrival in Torrance at the Holiday Inn was a little before midnight.  The next day, we toured the Honda Collection open house (which I’d visited just recently in July).  I enjoyed a night out with a few local friends before tidying up the del Sol and calling it a night.  My wake-up call on the show day itself always comes very early – in this case it was 5:40 a.m. so I could be at a meeting point in Long Beach by 6:45.

(Why they had this sign up for the “14th” annual 2018 event from last year, I’m not sure.)

This was the largest JCCS in the event’s 15-year history.  Over 400 vehicles were displayed in organized fashion at Marina Green along Shoreline Drive.  The Honda section, as in prior years, was headquartered on the west end of the park.  Luckily I rolled in around the same time as some of my closest colleagues so I got to park near them.

A few particularly cool vehicles caught my eye throughout the day.  I enjoyed my friend Chris’ 1988 Dodge Ram 50 pickup truck.  A Dodge at a Japanese car show?  Yes.  That’s because his Dodge was technically just a rebadged Mitsubishi Mighty Max.  Which reminds me, speaking of rebadges, I think the SLX will make a JCCS debut next year.

At the conclusion of the show, some friends and I dined nearby at the Islands Burger restaurant and hydrated after a day in the sun.  The del Sol got me home safe and sound to Phoenix later that evening.  Until next year!

Rolling 88,888 miles at 88 miles per hour.  I pictured Doc Emmett Brown from Back to the Future:  “When this thing hits 88 miles per hour, you’re going to see some serious shit.”  Well, I didn’t see any of that, but it was still fun to celebrate.

Visit to the American Honda main office

Inside the museum with David and David

Lineup awaiting in staging lanes

Running into friends from all over

My friend Ryan’s 1988 Daihatsu Charade – love it

My buddy Logan

Dave Heath from Honda who works with Auto Shows & Exhibits

The Honda display was nicely laid out

Ever seen a lifted Lexus LS400 on mud tires?

Primary colors?  I think we were just missing blue

Dinner group before my return trip to Phoenix

Last but definitely not least:  The automotive journalist community is pretty small, and is better described as a close-knit family.  Recently, a colleague of mine named Miles Branman in the Southern California region was injured in an accident.

One of the media organizations (similar to PAPA, that we have here in Phoenix) called MPG (Motor Press Guild) has launched a series of auctions in fundraising support of Miles. Among the items up for grabs are some some exclusive collector items donated by Acura.  Check these out:

These are all one-of-a-kind finds, and they’re for a good cause!  The auctions end next Thursday, October 3 at 5:00 Pacific.

Thanks for looking.

RADwood Las Vegas 2019: Hip on the Strip

Posted in Car Show, Legend, Nevada, Road Trip on April 30, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend Sedan):  161,272

Trip Distance:  606 Miles

Greg and Jennifer Davis hit a home run with their wardrobes at last Saturday’s “RADwood” 1980s-1990s car show in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Greg’s “1991 NBA Finals” cap looked brand new, and Jennifer’s T-shirt showcased none other than Pee-wee Herman, who from 1980 through 1992 had one of the most widely-recognized voices in homes across America.  I grew up watching Pee-wee’s Playhouse on Saturday mornings, complete with its talking chair and flying bicycle.

Paul Reubens, who portrayed the iconic nerdy character as the star of the show, is now 66 years old.  Isn’t it crazy how time flies?  For folks like me who grew up with our eyeballs on big-box Magnavox TV sets and who played in the yard with MicroMachines, it’s fun to reminisce about the cars & culture that surrounded us during that era.

RADwood is a venue that specifically showcases that kind of culture.  On Saturday evening in Vegas, I attended my fourth of such an event, and in my fourth different vehicle.  For prior write-ups, here are blog entries from the others I’ve been to:

Each show has had its own unique style and flavor thanks to different venues, timing, and extracurricular events.  The Las Vegas Convention Center hosted this one – the same massive show hall that serves as home base for the SEMA convention each year.  I rolled into the show in my 1994 Legend GS sedan, alongside my friend Dane in his 1992 Dodge Stealth R/T.

Brandon M, Brandon H, Dane, Tyson, Jay, and Ryan

My favorite vehicles weren’t necessarily the most eye-catching or exotic.  Instead, they were everyday vehicles that simply don’t usually get preserved to the level that these were.  I fell in love with a red pearl 1990 Toyota Pickup extended cab 4×4 at the Barrett-Jackson booth that was so clean, you could eat off the undercarriage.

I also struck up a conversation with the owner of an exceptionally pristine 1987 Acura Legend L sedan in Florence Blue.  The Legend, as it turns out, was a family heirloom from the owner’s father who cared for the car from new until he passed away in 2015.

His son has now gone to great lengths to restore and preserve it, complete with paint work, new leather, and a mechanical freshening.  It looked so pristine despite having 180,000 miles on it, and the period-correct “Golden State” California license plates really completed the overall look.

I had a short conversation with Brad Brownell from the RADwood leadership team.  “This is a litmus test for future events in this area,” he said.  In just the few short years since the event first kicked off, it has gained strong momentum.

The group’s Instagram following is approaching the 30,000 mark and there are events in the works for locations across the country and even in Europe.  I can only hope that Arizona gets its chance in the spotlight, and that they’ll allow me to show my entire fleet!

I recorded some of the action on my Sony Hi-8 Handycam in the below video.  I had hoped to capture footage using this 1985 Quasar VHS camcorder that I inherited from my grandmother, but I can’t get it to stay powered up.

Greg and Jennifer took home a well-deserved award for their 1991 Mitsubishi Galant VR-4, pictured below.  That award, in fact, was shaped like the “Aggro-Crag” obstacle that was part of the Nickelodeon TV series “Guts” which ran from 1992 through 1995.  Take me back!

Below are a few additional photos from a RAD afternoon in Las Vegas!  Thanks for reading!

Vegas-bound, and stopped for a photo on Legend Ranch Road off Highway 93

This was the write-up that I displayed with the car

Get Rad!

Ethan Tufts, who handles some of RADwood’s social media as well as his own site, linked here.

Loved this Porsche!

A visit from mom, and from Sunny from Salt Lake.

Exceptionally nice looking BMW M5.

Cruising the Strip after the show, as seen from my friend Jay’s Mercedes-Benz.

And some fun on the drive home:  My friend Chris in Baltimore and I have “twin” cars, and since we were both on the road at the same time on Sunday, we decided to stage some similar photos.  YooHoo beverages included!