Archive for the Integra Category

August Already: Group Drive to Gurley Street in Prescott, Arizona

Posted in Arizona, Integra, Road Trip on August 6, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (TL): 98,000

Odometer (ILX):  201,000

Odometer (Integra):  239,826

Trip Distance:  226 Miles

Just when I thought the Aztec Green on my Integra was an obnoxious color, my friend James had to get ahold of a 2017 Honda Civic Si in Energy Green and totally upstage me.  Talk about eye-popping.

This weekend, a few friends and I took a trip to the high country.  In all we had 12 participants and 6 cars out for the Saturday drive, including mostly Japanese cars but with a Domestic and a German for good measure.

  • 1992 Acura Integra GS-R 5-speed – Tyson and Brian
  • 2006 Acura RSX 6-speed – Jack and Jarett
  • 2017 BMW 430i M-Sport – Beau and Cole
  • 2017 Honda Civic Si 6-speed – James and Rob
  • 2017 Infiniti Q50 Red Sport – Matt and Alan
  • 2005 Pontiac GTO 6-speed – Kyle and Sally

I had the oldest vehicle by 13 years so I suppose it’s okay that I brought up the tail end of the pack for most of the drive.  Truth is, I gave that little 1.7-liter 4-banger all she had.  The relatively steep grade from Wickenburg (2,057 feet) to Prescott (5,368 feet) took us through one of Highway 89’s most curvy and technical sections in the state of Arizona.  But it also left me feeling like I was a little out of my league in terms of power and handling.

That didn’t matter; I was enjoying the scenery — not to mention the fact that the weather outside was 20 degrees cooler than we had back home in Phoenix.  I opened my moonroof for the first time since about April!

Knowing beforehand that one specific stretch of 89 is a notorious speed trap, we joked that James should take the lead in that unmistakable neon Civic and perhaps distract any highway patrol officers along the way so the rest of us could slide by at a good clip without the risk of getting pulled over.  I’m happy to report that nobody from our group had any run-ins with the law, which is admirable considering that Matt and Kyle, each with 400 horsepower at their command in the Q50 and GTO respectively, were in vehicles highly capable of breaking the speed limits.

Prescott, the Yavapai County seat and once the capital of the Arizona Territory in 1864, is a popular summertime destination for many Phoenicians like us looking to beat the heat.  Its 40,000 residents probably get used to seeing groups of sports cars and motorcyclists rolling through town almost every Saturday and Sunday during the warmer months.  Luckily for us, we had no issue finding ample parking near the walkable downtown district in a relatively new, 4-level garage.

The tougher challenge was finding a restaurant able to accommodate a dozen people without any reservations.  Gurley Street Grill, just a block away from us, saved the day and set us up in a comfortable spot on the back patio.  To the foodies of the blog audience, you’ll be pleased to know that I took a picture of my turkey croissant and side of cottage cheese.

See?  Even a pickle spear.

We enjoyed the mountain air and each others’ company before packing up and heading back to the Valley of the Sun.  There was some switching of passenger assignments and Rob accompanied me for the drive back, willing to put up with my loud little Integra’s 4,500 RPM whirr at 80 miles per hour as we made the descent down Interstate 17.  He also reminded me to fasten my lap belt.  The automatic shoulder belts in that car always make me forget that there’s another step in the process.  Thanks for coming along for the drive!  Some more news & info follow below.

Other Prescott trips for your reading pleasure:

Short video clip:

Heading into the town of Wickenburg.  We call it Wickentrash, but don’t tell anyone who lives there that.

Fuel and snack stop at Mobil along Highway 93.

Following Matt’s Q50 into the foothills of the national forest

On up the mountain, following Jack’s RSX

Arrival in Prescott on Highway 89

Town view as seen from our parking garage

Enjoying this visitor for a few days.  Brian, from Orlando, was here from Tuesday until Sunday.

Lunch on the Gurley Street Grill patio

Group shot.  Rob, Tyson, Matt, Alan, Cole, Jack, Brian, James, Sally, Kyle, Jarett, Beau

Here are some other news updates and reading links:

A/C Blog from Highline Car Care

Years ago I became acquainted with my friend Wes because he helped me take care of some preventive maintenance on a 3rd generation Honda Prelude I owned at the time.  Later, he did some work on a 1988 Legend coupe I was restoring.

Today, Wes has grown his auto repair business into one the Phoenix area’s premier facilities.  I thought it was interesting to read this informative write-up on how automotive A/C systems work and the importance of maintaining them.  At this point in the summer, we are all grateful for properly functioning air!

Roadkill 78 Lincoln Story

There’s something so cool about the concept of taking a 40-year-old car, hitting the open road, and seeing how many destinations you can hit in a 35-day road trip.  And that’s exactly what a couple of students did in this recent write-up on Roadkill.com.  I think you’ll enjoy the words and photos as much as I did.

Sunset time in the TL the other day.

Another fine AZ sunset, this time in the Legend sedan

Brian from Florida took my NSX on a trip to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon Friday.  It was about a 600 mile trip or so, I think.  He was thoughtful enough to snag this picture at one of the viewpoints.

On a related note, a friend sent me this a few days ago:  Someone posted on the NSX Owners Group on Facebook that his car had over 427,000 miles on it.  Not bad!  Guess mine may have some life left.

Some of Honda’s finest from the 1990s.  That Accord SE belongs to friend and loyal reader Hy.

And since the Vigor really is just a ‘grown up’ Accord, here’s one more pic for today.  It’s a Desert Mist Metallic 1994 Vigor at an auto show when it was brand new.  Thanks to reader Dillon for the awesome find!

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Reader’s Ride: Vlad’s 2015 Honda Legend

Posted in Integra, Legend, Reader's Ride on July 5, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Integra):  239,459

The one and only Honda Pro Jason (“HPJ”) has a network of Honda and Acura enthusiasts that puts mine to shame.  (85,000 YouTube subscribers, 128,000 Facebook followers, and 82,000 Instagram followers).  He’s kind of a big deal in the community but he’s still humble about it!

Jason put me in touch with one of his followers who’s taken an Acura RLX (successor to the Legend & RL, which debuted for the 2014 model year) and completed a badging conversion to Honda Legend.  Overseas, the RLX continues to be called the Legend.  Here are a few words from my new friend Vlad from Seattle, Washington:

I had about 16 Hondas in my life and currently have 5.  I bought my Acura RLX back in 2015.  It is the Advance model.  I went on my first trip with my wife in August 2015 to Scottsdale; I really love that place.  Right now, I only have 13,900 miles on it, and I just completed my Honda Legend conversion.  I found a guy on eBay who shipped me all Honda parts to me.

However, I still want to find and somehow get the airbag from Honda Legend with the “H” emblem on it and floor mats with”LEGEND” on them.  I can only get those from the Philippines since they have left-hand-drive Honda Legends there and those floor mats will fit.  I have only had this conversion for one week and already have many compliments.  So many people stop by and look at it and are surprised that this car originally is Honda Legend.

Below are some photos that Vlad shared with me.  Hope you enjoy!  Such a clean ride.

I escaped the heat over the long holiday weekend to head 45 minutes up the hill from Phoenix where it was 20 degrees cooler.

Car of choice for the day was the 1992 Integra.

Since everyone got such a kick out of the 1982 Chevy Citation in the last post, how about another fine piece of 1980s General Motors metal?  This is my friend Spencer’s 1989 Pontiac Grand Prix SE.  It’s seriously one of the cleanest I’ve seen in decades and it only has 82,000 miles on the clock.

It’s a lot like my mom’s of the same year when I was a kid.  Except, mom’s was a 5-speed manual!

I sought out a spacecraft yesterday.  Back in February, an artist thought of a clever way to repurpose a concrete truck tank.  He painted it up like a space capsule that had parachuted out of the atmosphere.

Unfortunately, the shiny speck in the distance here was about as close as I could get, thanks to it being right along the busy I-10 freeway and set back from the road behind a fence and a good distance away.

Fireworks last night from my friend Greg’s 16th-floor condo balcony!  Not a shabby way to close out of the holiday.

Hope everybody had a great one!

Visitor from Philly, Bartlett Lake, Car Updates, & Upcoming Trips

Posted in Integra, TL on May 25, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  552,450

Odometer (ILX): 198,657

Odometer (TL):  97,286

Ahoy!

Here’s a short and disorganized update as we get ready to kick off the 3-day Memorial Day holiday weekend.  I was lucky to have my friend Derek visiting from Philly for a few days this week so I did my best to introduce him to Arizona life.  We took a Saturday drive with several friends to a small reservoir about 50 miles northeast of my house called Bartlett Lake.  It was a nice escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.  On Sunday, we stopped by Papago Park for some hiking, then later cooled down with some gelato at a place called “Frost” in the Biltmore Mall.

I’ve had to cycle through a few cars for some maintenance needs.  The Legend sedan got an A/C recharge at Hon-Man in Tempe last week.  There’s a small freon leak and it had lost its charge over about a three-year timeframe.  The ILX got an oil change in preparation for an upcoming trip to my brother’s cabin in southern Utah.  And the Legend coupe is scheduled to get a replacement vehicle speed sensor (VSS) next week so it’ll be ready to go to Sacramento for this year’s NALM (coming up the second week of June – roughly a 2,000 mile round-trip adventure).  The VSS has lasted since 319,000 miles in 2008 so I suppose it’s time.

I finally got the NSX washed from its trip to Las Vegas for WestFest.  The Vigor came out for Sunday brunch at NCOUNTER on Mill Avenue in Tempe.  The Integra went to a small meet recently in that same area.  And the TL continues to impress me with its fun to drive attributes every time I take it out.  I installed some OEM color matched splash guards (amazingly, still available new, and with a < $100 pricetag for all 4) and a set of all-weather floor mats on the interior.  Perhaps my favorite update on that car was that I picked up a Queen album on DVD-Audio.  Can you imagine how good Bohemian Rhapsody sounds on max volume 40 with that media?  Concert hall.

Does that cover all of the cars?  Haha, I think so.  Here are a few pics to hold you over until my next adventure.

Integra meet pics.  Club member Dillon parked alongside me with his ‘rust’ colored hood.

Great group of enthusiasts!

I’ve driven by this sign a lot but never taken the time to stop.  I finally had a reason.

Honestly not even sure what “TL” business is but they didn’t seem to mind me parking there.

What do you think of those new splash guards?

Photo by my friend Jim who stopped by.

Jim’s 2008 base TL automatic – only 50,000 miles on it!

ILX loaded up and headed toward Bartlett Lake last Saturday.

The lake gang.  And my shockingly white shoulders.

Setting up camp

With Derek, hiking around Papago Park

Tempe’s historic Mill Avenue Bridge

Brunch with Lance

Vigor out and about at my former office.  This building was once home to US Airways.

My friend Matt stopped by this afternoon in his 1994 Legend LS.

Suuuuuper-duper clean, 110k-mile Sirius White Pearl.

Even the engine bay was spotless

Photo from reader Tim of a 1986 dealership.  I like it!

Finally, check out this Redline Reviews feature on the 2018 Acura TLX.  The last 4 or so minutes are an impromptu dialogue with host Sofyan Bey from when I visited Maryland a couple of weeks ago.  Have a great holiday weekend!

 

 

Two Integra Feature Stories: The Truth About Cars, Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car

Posted in Integra on May 12, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Integra):  239,106

Odometer (ILX):  197,837

Happy Friday!

My little green machine is getting more than its fair share of time in the spotlight, thanks to its feature on “The Truth About Cars” written by Steve Lynch, who joined for our recent escapade up Mount Lemmon near Tucson.  The comments that spilled in were nostalgic in nature, with over 70 people chiming in to throw in their $0.02 or more about the “glory days” of Honda and how they had this memory or that regarding the sport coupes of the brand’s yesteryear.

The car also got some publicity in a magazine.  After 12 years and 140 issues, collector car publisher Hemmings has announced that its “Sports & Exotic Car” magazine will be retired.  Many of my readers will recall that I had the honor of getting my Legend featured in the November 2014 issue.

Now, the Integra is representing as well.  The May 2017 issue (yours for only $6.95!) contains a Buyer’s Guide for the 1992-93 Acura Integra GS-R, and the feature car for the story belongs to yours truly.  Power team Jeff Koch (photography) and Mark McCourt (prose) delivered a top-notch, educational piece for potential GS-R owners.

Cover feature even!

“NSX Jr.”  I like it!

A couple of weeks ago, I snapped some photos in the Melrose area of central Phoenix – roughly 7th Avenue & Indian School Road.  It’s an “up and coming” part of town but still has a few original mid-century era buildings that haven’t yet been restored.

One example is this dry cleaning shop.

I’ve already had the article made it up into an acrylic plaque for my garage – now to find a wall space large enough to hang it!

Speaking of mag features, my ILX got its moment in print recently as well.  The May-June 2017 issue of Arizona Driver Magazine contains the story on my recent trip to the Nellie E Saloon in western Arizona.

Thanks for the feature, Editor Joe!

Couple other last news bits before you start your weekend:

What do you think of my new TL plate?

My friend Matt came over last night in his ’03 CL-S and brought some DVD-Audio discs.  Have you ever heard of such a medium?  The sound quality is phenomenal!  Fleetwood Mac on max volume!

Joint milestone with my friend Chris.  Making history in our twin cars.

This was a jaw-dropping high-miler I saw the other day.

CHECK YA LATER!

Canyon Carvers: A 1992 Prelude & 1992 Integra vs. Arizona’s Catalina Highway

Posted in Arizona, Integra, Prelude, Road Trip on March 19, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  551,894

Trip Distance:  304 Miles

A quarter-century ago in 1992, you could set foot into your local Honda or Acura dealerships and drive away with any number of sport coupes.  From the eco-friendly CRX Si at $11,900 to the flagship NSX at $65,000 MSRP, there was something for just about everyone.

Automotive journalist Steve Lynch (The Truth About Cars) and I decided to pit two against each other that are most alike in price & performance:  The Prelude Si versus the Integra GS-R.  Coming in at about $18k and $17k respectively, they shared more than just a price point.  They each offered a 160-horsepower 4-cylinder powerplant and a slick-shifting 5-speed manual transmission.

Arizona’s “Catalina Highway,” one of the state’s most scenic twisty roads, seemed the perfect spot to carry out our evaluation.  At 26 miles in length from its base in Tucson to the summit at Summerhaven, it climbs nearly 6,000 feet in elevation to over about 8,200 feet – high enough that even now in late March there is snow along the roadside in some stretches.  Arizona, snow?  Yes – it happens.

Joining for the excursion were two friends who preferred to exercise their American muscle and grunt:  Will in a Chevy SS and James (Six Speed Blog) in a Dodge Durango R/T.  Each one offered more than double the horsepower of our Hondas so it wouldn’t have been a fair fight to include them in the comparison test.  Besides, we found a better way to put those two against each other:  an exhaust sound-off contest.  More on that when you watch the YouTube video.

When you saddle up in the Integra GS-R, you have to be alert and attentive.  The automatic seat belts close in on you forcefully as if to say, “Buckle up.  You’re about to take a hell of a ride.”  A crank of the B17 motor and a glance at the 8,000-RPM redline tell you the car is all about the high-revving playtime.  And even though the car is old enough for historic plates and has its share of mechanical quirks consistent with 239,000 miles on the odometer (hello, ABS light on the dash!), it revs happily like a toddler and the chassis tuning is stiff.

The Prelude takes a more sophisticated approach.  Its futuristic dashboard communicates all relevant driver information in typical Honda sensible fashion.  But its engine’s behavior and suspension’s refinement make it less of a rev-machine.  It’s torquey enough at low RPM that the driver doesn’t feel like he or she has to push it to the limit.  Seats are comfortable and supportive, sounds are more subdued, and it acts like a much more responsible daily driver – with a fun side for the weekends – than the trouble-maker Integra.

We all did enough key-swapping throughout the mountain cruise to come to pretty much the same conclusion.  If I had Marty McFly’s DeLorean and transported myself back in 1992, my $18k would be better spent on a Prelude than an Integra.  Reason being, we all spend far more time in day to day mundane driving situations – traffic, commuting, and the occasional interstate cruise – than we do carving up a canyon road or sprinting around an autocross track.  The Prelude is a better all-around value for the money.

For reference, a prior Mount Lemmon trip in which we took a similar parade of sporty Hondas up the mountain.

Oh, and the Durango versus SS?  Skip to the end of the video to see how that contest went :).

Preparing for our ascent

The V8 contenders

Headed on up the mountain

Prelude in the lead

Arrival at Summerhaven – elevation 8,200 feet

And perfect weather!

Lunch at the Sawmill Restaurant

Sweet potato tots!  (insert heart-eye emoji)

Few more pics up at the ski lift area

Integra engine bay

Prelude engine bay

Making our descent

And finally, a visit from my friend Matt today in his 2003 CL Type-S 6-speed!  235,000 miles and it looks & drives like new!

Here are a few links to share:

TSX Travels Acura Anniversary video that I was honored to be a part of:

 

Quick Trip to Los Angeles: Historic Honda Roots & Dinner in West Hollywood

Posted in California, Car Show, ILX, Integra, Maintenance, NSX, Road Trip on November 20, 2016 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  548,869

548869

Odometer (ILX):  185,579

185579

Trip Distance:  758 Miles

phx_weho

Would you believe that American Honda, the powerhouse that sold a record 1.5 million vehicles across the Honda and Acura brands in 2015, got its humble roots selling just motorcycles out of this small office space in Los Angeles?  Some 57 years ago, here at 4077 W. Pico Boulevard, the company first took root in the United States, but it has forever since changed the landscape of the powersports and automotive industries.

American Honda's first corporate office - Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA.jpg

Today, that same office space has changed hands probably more times than one could count, and is currently leased by an acupuncture & wellness facility.  Sadly the condition has deteriorated substantially and the neighborhood isn’t all that great.  I happened to be in the area yesterday morning so I stopped by for a pre-sunrise photo.  The building is available for lease, and it would sure be a lot of fun to move in and create a museum or replica of the way things used to be.  Dreams.

honda_pico_boulevard_2016

Looking westward down Pico Boulevard.  The roads were surprisingly quiet at this hour.

pico_boulevard_honda_2016

Thanks to the lady selling tamales on the street next door for taking this quick shot of me.

tyson_on_pico

Last Sunday, I met up with a few fellow second-generation Acura Integra drivers at a park in Tempe, Arizona for a little meet & greet.  Now 26 years old, this bodystyle has aged pretty well and the few that survive are in the hands of enthusiasts like the handful of guys I met that day.  It seems most people consider the Integra a blank canvas upon which to express his or her own sense of style, but I’ve decided to keep mine original to its 1992 factory configuration.

meet2

It’s always fun to meet with other car-nuts at events like these.  Especially in cases, like this one, where the host brought out Dunkin Donuts to share with everyone.  Thanks to German for that!

meet1

For years I’ve waited for the right opportunity to take a photo of my “Vig” at “The Vig.”  The Vig is a restaurant on 16th Street in central Phoenix that has some of the best brunch in the valley.

the_vig

The 1992 NSX has been under the knife for the past week or so, getting a completely refreshed Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) to rectify a warning light that’s been showing up for a long time.  Braking performance under normal circumstances have been unaffected, but the ABS is deactivated when the light is on.  This is a very common issue for the early NSX models like mine, and luckily Science of Speed offers an upgrade kit designed specifically for this application.  It involves retrofitting the later model year (2002-05) NSX components.

nsx_spare_bay

I’m picking up the car the first part of this coming week.  SOS did also recommend a few other maintenance items that will wait until my next major “90K” service coming up in 4 years.  The timing belt and water pump were changed in January 2011 under the previous owner’s ownership, so they aren’t quite due yet.  That was a $2,200 service at the time.

For having driven the NSX 26,000 miles in the 5 years I’ve had it, it’s actually been relatively inexpensive to own & maintain.  GEICO did just raise my 6-month premium to $179 because the street address at which I now reside is higher risk.  Interestingly enough, the NSX is still far cheaper to insure with full coverage than the 2013 ILX (which comes in at over $300) even though the NSX is certainly worth much more.

nsx_at_sos

This weekend’s travels took me to California on Thursday afternoon.  The Los Angeles Auto Show kicked off last week with Media Days being held on Wednesday and Thursday.  Typically, I would have been there as a journalist with the Redline Reviews team to cover the event’s new car reveals, but my work time-off situation wouldn’t quite allow for it.

Still, I was determined to participate in the after-hours stuff so I set out in the afternoon for what should have been a six-hour drive to Hollywood for a dinner engagement with about 30 other people.  Lucky for me, I also gained an hour due to time zones because that drive in reality ended up taking over 8 hours.  Construction zones in multiple places on Interstate 10 and the expected LA rush-hour traffic made for slow going.

desert_center

My Garmin Nuvi GPS unit crept up its ‘delay’ timer the closer I got to my destination.

delay

At least red is a pretty color!

red

I did finally make it to the venue at “Tortilla Republic,” though, and just 15 minutes before it started.  Here, I’m pictured with Sofyan, Aaron, Rob, and Peace who are the backbone of the Redline media group.  I’m hoping to partner with them in two months at the Detroit Auto Show if I can play my cards right with the time-off request.  Cross your fingers!

tortilla_republic_group

Hollywood’s “Walk of Fame” is home to 2,500 stars like this in the ground.  It was walking distance from my motel and I happened to snag a picture of one of the stars, Mariah Carey’s, while en route to breakfast on Friday morning.

mariah

Sunrise in downtown Los Angeles

los_angeles_morning

I made one major pit stop on the way home, to see some friends in Palm Springs.  Scott & Sandy are a couple who I’ve featured on the blog previously.  Their ever-evolving automotive collection spans a wide variety of tastes, from their 1992 NSX to a 1980s Mercury Bobcat (rebadged Pinto), to their latest:  a 1964 Mercury Park Lane which they just had brought over on a transport truck from Houston.  It’s waiting for some brake work so we didn’t take it for a spin, but those guys sure have some great taste in cars!

scott_sandy_tyson

I took a spin in their 41,000-mile (!) 1976 Cadillac Seville which rode like it was on a cloud.

seville_dash

Also checked out Scott’s latest toy:  a 1991 Civic “RealTime 4WD” wagon that he’s going to restore.

rt_wagon

Many thanks to Scott and Sandy once again for their hospitality.

Finally today – I’d like to make a quick introduction to my friend Melissa, who has launched her own blog.  It’s called “Working from Home.”  In today’s workplace, thanks to the advances in telecommuting, you can be in virtually any part of the world and still be connected to your day job.  I’ve participated in conference calls from the road, logged into my email from airplanes and hotel rooms, and been on Skype meetings while in another state.  It’s starting to matter less and less that you’re seated in desk 4S018 at Phoenix Plaza Corporate Office staring at 4 cubicle walls.

melissa_logo

Case in point:  I worked with Melissa on a daily basis for over 4 years, but I never met her.  She was over 2,500 miles away at our Rhode Island office and I was based in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Did the geographic distance make us any less productive as coworkers?  I honestly don’t think so.  And herein was born the opportunity for Melissa to create an outlet where she could share some of her learnings over the many months of working from home.

Be sure to check out the article “Are You On Mute?” under the “Real Work” section.  It’s one of my faves.

Have a great Thanksgiving week!

500k Milestone Five-Year Anniversary & Shapshots: An Acura a Day for 7 Workdays

Posted in ILX, Integra, Legend, MDX, NSX, Vigor on November 4, 2016 by tysonhugie

Because why not?  Space #1 B1-346 always looks nice at my office.

  • Thursday, October 27 – 2017 Acura MDX

mdx

  • Friday, October 28 – 1994 Acura Legend Coupe

coupe

  • Monday, October 31 – 2013 Acura ILX

ilx

  • Tuesday, November 1 – 1994 Acura Legend Sedan

gs

  • Wednesday, November 2 – 1992 Acura NSX

nsx

  • Thursday, November 3 – 1992 Acura Integra GS-R

integra

  • Friday, November 4 – 1994 Acura Vigor GS

vigor

Hard to believe it’s been 5 years since the day I drove to Acura’s headquarters in Torrance, California and rolled onto the red carpet with 500,000.1 miles on the odometer in my 1994 Legend coupe.  I’m now 48,850 more miles down the highway in that car and don’t plan on retiring it any time soon.  Many thanks to those of you who have been along for the ride from the beginning, as well as those who came onboard more recently!

I’m catching a flight this afternoon to Orlando, Florida for this year’s NSXPO event.  More to come on that soon.

Have a great weekend!