Archive for the Legend Category

1999 2.3CL Acquisition, Utah Trip, JCCS, and Legend Meet

Posted in CL, Legend, Road Trip on October 20, 2020 by tysonhugie

Chris from Baltimore gets upset with me when I don’t start a blog post with a proper odometer reading.  “COVID changed everything,” he said.  Well Chris, I’m here to set the record straight and not only deliver a single odometer reading, but I’m going to give you ten of them.

I’ve sorted them in descending order.  Now, here’s the game: In the comment section, I need you to tell me which car aligns with which reading.  I’ll check your answers and see how you did.

Odometer Total:  2,226,058

Odometer Average:  222,605

I have to catch you up on a few things.  I stepped away from the computer for a few weeks and somehow another car landed at the house.  These things happen when you least expect it.  

The important thing about this latest arrival is that it completes this puzzle:

While a full photoshoot is still pending – and unfortunately I don’t have all the cars in a single color – the lineup is all accounted for, and I’m excited to introduce the latest member of the family:  My Milano Red 1999 2.3CL Premium.  This car arrived in Phoenix last week from San Diego, California where it had spent its entire life.

With just 138,000 miles on the odometer, it comes in at one of the lower mileage cars in my collection.  Its condition and color/5-speed trans configuration made it too perfect to pass up.  Milano Red was a one-year-only color for the final year of the first-generation 1997-99 CL.  

The CL is also only the second Acura I’ve owned (out of 22 total now) that was built in the United States.  It was an important model at the time because it was both designed and manufactured in America.  According to the VIN sticker on the driver door jam it came off the assembly line in Ohio in August 1999.

While maintenance records on this car were few (read: completely absent) I do know that the clutch is new since the selling dealership delayed me a few days while inquiring about the car since it was not yet ready to show/drive.  I also see that drive belts look relatively new, but the car will definitely need a few items of preventative maintenance for good measure and peace of mind.  

Here’s a video showcasing the delivery and first impressions for my YouTube audience.

The first week of October, I took an 1,800-mile road trip to visit family and friends in Utah.  My chariot of choice was the 1994 Legend LS, which had been begging to roll the 575k-mile mark for some time.  It performed well, and I enjoyed the chance to connect with family members who I hadn’t seen since May/June during my PMC Edition road trip.  

The fall colors were in full bloom in Providence Canyon in Cache Valley of northern Utah.  My dad & stepmom and I took a 5-mile hike to soak it all in.  The running joke is that here in Phoenix, we don’t get changing colors of leaves.  Instead, we get changing colors of license plates as all the snowbirds from Michigan and Minnesota come in for the winter season.

The highlight of the trip was definitely picking up my 90-year-old grandma and taking her about 25 miles north to the Idaho state line.  We cashed in some lottery tickets and came home $74 richer.  

While the National Acura Legend Meet (NALM) was cancelled much like so many other events in 2020, we did still get a group together of locals for a very informal drive to the Superstition Mountains in northeast Mesa a couple of Saturdays ago.  Here’s a video and a few photos.

One of my many car show traditions that was modified this year was the Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach.  This year, it went to a ‘virtual’ format.  My 1996 2.5TL was featured in a YouTube video.  It’s in here at 6:55.

My mom had a long layover on Sunday and we had enough time for a late lunch, so I borrowed my friend Devan’s six-door, three-row 2000 Lincoln Town Car funeral limo to pick her up.  What a floaty awesome boat.

The ILX got some new wheels thanks to a cheap Craigslist find.  Some of you may recognize these 17″ “waffles” from the 2007-08 TL Type-S.  These ones are chrome, and I don’t really mind it.  The car rides nicely on 235 width tires as opposed to the 215s that it came with.

Coming attractions:  Tomorrow, Acura is putting me into a Fathom Blue 2021 TLX for a seven-day evaluation, and in the coming weeks/months I’m also going to be doing reviews on a fancy Odyssey Elite and a Civic Type R.

Talk to you soon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AutoHunter 

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

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

Video 2

Video 3

Video 4

Video 5

Video 6

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

NSX Video

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

Tiny Travels, Home Improvements, and Vigor Auction Underway

Posted in Brochures, House, ILX, Legend, NALM, Vigor on July 11, 2020 by tysonhugie

Hello from Hell-o.

No, seriously.  It’s 115 degrees outside and it feels about like you would expect for AZ in mid-July.  At least it was my washing machine that decided to bite the dust this week instead of my air conditioning unit.

I’ve been cooped up a bit and needed to stretch my road trip legs again, so yesterday I took the Legend coupe on a 200-miler through the desert west of Phoenix.  It was a pretty simple little loop that provided a nice getaway.

The highlight, of course, involved food.  I had to sample the Green Chile Burger at a little drive-in called Screamer’s that I saw featured in a news article not long ago.  I ate indoors – I don’t think they do in-car service at this drive-in, at least not this time of year.  And the burger was everything it was cracked up to be.  It feels like a special treat to eat like that nowadays, because my diet has changed a lot now that I’m eating at home.  I’ve lost 15 lbs this year.

I might have also lost something else this year – a little bit of what sanity I had to begin with, when I decided to deck out my garage as a cheesy 1990s used car dealership a while back.  Hope you get a kick out of this 45 second commercial.  The $50 I spent on Amazon swag was well worth the results.

But for reals, I’m selling a car.  It’s time to re-prioritize and think about my short-term and long-term plans for the Acura collection.  It’s now been 5 years (exactly) since I picked up my 1994 Vigor GS in Colorado and brought it home.  I’ve enjoyed it for 13,000 miles, and shown it at RADwood and Japanese Classic Car Show.

Now it’s time to move it along to the next worthy owner.  Here’s a link to the auction.  This makes my Acura Vigor officially the first Vigor ever sold on Bring a Trailer.  The site has had 14 Legends and at least that many Integras.

How come I’m selling?  Let me count the ways.  Career uncertainty, I can’t drive it (and my 8 other cars) enough, there are other projects and cars I have in mind in the future, it’s a good chance to free up some garage space, and to help the Vigor model gain recognition since the enthusiast network is so obscure and forgotten.  So bid away!

Along with that, I filmed a 14-minute very detailed video about the ins & outs of the car.  The intro to the segment involved re-creating the cover photo from the 1994 Acura full-line brochure.

I extend thanks to my friend Josh of Clymer’s Carport for his innovation and creativity in developing a custom, hand-built Hot Wheels display board for me.  I put together a video on it.

I recently created a login for Newspapers.com and started browsing the archives from the 1980s and 1990s.  I dug up some particularly cool ads for Acura dealerships from back in the day.

A friend of mine picked up a 6-speed ILX to replace his RSX as a daily driver.  It’s “Fathom Blue.”  Last month also marks 8 years of ownership for me with my ILX.

My friend Chuck found an old pic that was taken the day after I got the car new in 2012.

I decided to do some small upgrades to the west garage on my property.  It’s a small space where I keep one car, my lawn mower, and other yard care items.  A neighbor recommended Garage Flooring LLC as a place to pick up plastic tiles, so I placed an online order and did the install.  I opted to not put tiles over the entire floor but only about half of it for now.

NALM Arizona Update

The announcement was made on 6/26 that in light of current events that are heavily impacting the Arizona region currently (and for the foreseeable future), it is prudent to postpone this year’s National Acura Legend Meet to fall 2021 instead.  More to come as registration re-opens, but our placeholder dates are October 6-10, 2021.

On the 4th of July I picked up my friend Lance for breakfast in a 6-door limo that’s being stored at my house.  It belongs to my friend Devan.  The car is 20″ longer than a quad cab Duramax pickup.  I had to ramp up my depth perception a little.

I also enjoyed a little excursion in the Super Sonic Blue 1999 Integra.  A few Saturdays ago (I think – my sense of time is all out of whack lately), some friends and I cruised up the twisties of Highway 89A to Prescott.  We stopped along the way to pay respects to the 19 firefighters who were killed during the 2013 Yarnell Wildfire.

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend staying safe out there.  Send ice cream and snowflakes.

May 2020 Updates: Car Projects, House Projects, New YouTube Vids, & Upcoming Travels

Posted in Detailing, Integra, Legend, RL, TLX, Vigor on May 11, 2020 by tysonhugie

Can we talk about how cool this little LED sign is?  Found this baby on some random Facebook sponsored vendor’s ad.  Imagine me getting ads for Acura related merchandise.  How dare they think they know my life!

I’m wrapping up about 8 weeks in quarantine as I type this, and if it weren’t for the occasional socially-distant excursion like a couple of weeks ago at my friend’s pool nearby, I might have lost my insanity altogether.  Say hello to Midge the pup there in the lower left.

Car updates have been on the checklist as usual, and I’m pretty satisfied to say that I’ve accomplished pretty darn near everything I wanted to do when I set out to make my isolation time as productive as it could possibly be.  The 1992 Integra got a fresh coat of VHT wrinkle black paint on the valve cover.  It’s something I’d been meaning to do on the engine bay for a very long time.  Check it out!

The RL got a new under-hood insulation pad to replace the one that was ripped before.

The Vigor got some suspension bushings and brake pads at Hon-Man.

The laundry room (aka showroom entry) got a new LED lamp like the one I installed in the garage itself.  Here’s the before & after.

Here’s a video of those updates.

The SLX is getting a brake master cylinder as we speak.  And then I think I’m seriously done for a bit.  Famous last words, right?  Okay so that gets the chore updates out of the way for the most part.

Take a peek at this cool article from a 2001 issue of a magazine called “Velocity.”  It was an Acura/Honda enthusiast mag, and it talked about a guy named Leszek who put 500k on his 1992 Legend sedan by using it as a taxi.

Fast forward a couple of decades.  Leszek got rid of his Legend at 530k and then went into an RL that got 450k.  Then he moved to Lexus, and now he’s with Mercedes.  I found his website – aptly named “Legendary Private Car” – and emailed him.  See his email response below.

In fitting timing, a friend needed airport transport last week so I decided to dress the part and pick him up in appropriate fashion, name tag and all.

This is what happens when you’ve been in quarantine 8 weeks and take things way too seriously.

Check out this cool little info blurb I got from a friend about the original concept for the 1987 Legend coupe.  They almost named it the Legend Climax.

YouTube is still a major source of entertainment for me as I’ve spent quite a bit of time creating videos.

Here are the latest two productions:  A tour of the garage, and then an intro to the assembly of a display rack where I’m showcasing my (100+) brochures in the garage now.

Garage Tour

Display Build

I won’t see much of you all for the next few weeks.  Work is still busy, but going through a state of change as the hospital system I’m with transitions through the different phases of the coronavirus pandemic.  I’ll be taking a mandatory two-week furlough the first two weeks of June.

But guess what – I’m about to make lemonade out of lemons.  I’ve just arranged to get a long-term loan in a 2020 Acura TLX PMC Edition starting May 29th.  I’ll be taking that car on a 6-state, 2,000+ mile adventure.  You’ll read about it here sometime in June.

Lastly, I’ll leave you with a little bit of Q&A.  A couple of weeks ago, I was corresponding with Patricia who bought my 1994 Legend coupe when it was new.  I had a few questions for her that I emailed in a Word document.

You might get a kick out of her answers – especially the last one.

1 – I understand you were the original owner of the (now nearly 600,000 mile) 1994 Legend. What did you drive before buying that car?

Honda Prelude

2 – What about the Legend coupe particularly caught your eye or interest when it was new?

Loved the styling and the feel of luxury – it was my first aspirational car purchase.  The color was not my first choice – I wanted the dark green but there were no more of that color in stock in California

3 – What was it like to be in the market for a Legend back then? Was the trim, color, and configuration that you wanted difficult to come by, or was the car already in inventory and readily available?

I answered this question above – the Legend was marketed by Acura as their sporty luxury brand

4 – One particularly cool aspect of your car history is that you seem to prefer a stick shift, since the BMW 530i that you replaced the Legend with was also a manual transmission. What do you drive today, and does it also let you row your own gears?

The last car I drove was an automatic Lexus 250 – I wanted to continue to drive a manual but was later convinced an automatic was better for resale.  I just read a recent article that most automotive companies are no longer offering manual transmissions.

5 – Your ownership of the Legend lasted about 9 years and 90,000 miles, which is longer than many people keep a car. What were some of the road trips or experiences that stand out as highlights during that time?

Difficult to remember but, living in Northern California provides anyone who loves to drive so many opportunities for open roads and beautiful vistas.

6 – When you sold the Legend, did you ever think you’d be interviewed for a questionnaire about it 18 years later?

No – I was surprised when I received your phone call, identifying yourself as the new owner, and wanting to connect.

7 – On a scale of 1 to 10, how crazy do think Tyson is?

Off the charts 10+

Take care and stay safe, everyone!

1999 GS-R & 2000 RL Walkarounds, TBT Home Videos, & Garage Signage

Posted in House, Integra, Legend, Milestones, NALM, Prelude, RL, Throwback on April 23, 2020 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend coupe):  573,000

That took me long enough.  The Legend coupe was at 572,XXX ever since getting back from Florida last October.  I was getting sick of that 2 staring me in the face.  I’ve been plugging away over here in my director chair coming up with content for YouTube.

Except, I don’t just occupy a director chair.  For a total of 9 episodes now, I’ve taken each car in the collection and cleaned it, prepared supporting documentation, filmed it, edited the footage, and uploaded it.  I’ve scheduled releases through the beginning of June, each Saturday.  That was a lot of work but it’s also been super rewarding.

The Legend video has made it into 2 news articles (Motor1 and Carscoops) and even an article in Germany.  As I type this on Wednesday April 22nd, the view count has surpassed 120,000 in just the 3 weeks it’s been live.

Here are two more uploads exclusive to the blog since they won’t be public on the channel for a while.

Integra SSBP GS-R Video

RL Video

I also took a little bit of time to put together a summary video of the 15-year history of the National Acura Legend Meet.  This 5-minute piece captures select highlights from each year of the event starting in 2005.

The other day, I was rummaging through my case of printed car pics.  Back in the day, I used to have all my media printed up at Walmart.  I have hundreds of photos in plastic organizers, split out with dividers according to model, month, and year.  This shouldn’t surprise any of you.  But I came across a couple of photos from 2004 of my 1989 Prelude Si – the first Honda that really got me hooked – and it prompted me to do a little more digging.

These pictures show my friend Branson holding a camcorder and recording the scene.  We were looking at my then-wrecked (former) Prelude at a salvage yard in St. George, Utah.  We just happened across the car coincidentally.  I’d sold it about four years prior, and the new owner was rear-ended which ultimately was the demise of the car.  To this day I still have the rear “H” emblem off the trunk lid in my display case at home.

Anyway, I was determined to find the footage that Branson filmed that day.  And I did.  Below is a video showing the scene.  It opens up to October 30, 2004 when he and I were swapping wheels on a newly-purchased $700 project car, a 1991 Legend L coupe 5-speed, that I’d purchased from my friend Mike to use as a “winter beater” while I was going to school at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.

The video then cuts to Branson’s footage of the Prelude.  Next it takes you through some other things like me attempting to start detailing that $700 pile of junk.  Some things never change.

Below is another video from the same “Hi8” cassette tape that I found interesting.  It contains test drives of my 1986 Chevy Celebrity with 194,000 miles (displayed as 94,000) when I bought the car back for a brief moment of time in spring 2005.  It also has a clip of driving the Legend coupe.  It had about 165,000 miles on it at the time and as you’ll notice, it had the “TCS” (Traction Control System) light in the gauge cluster illuminated.  I remember that being because of a faulty TCS Control Unit, which was fixed later in September of that year.

Perhaps most interesting from this video though is that it has a brief walkaround of the 2000 Acura 3.5 RL, which I ended up buying back earlier this year after it had been passed around the family for 14 years.  The RL at the time of the video clip had only 23,880 miles on it.

Today, it has about 212,000.  Thankfully, it looks about the same cosmetically with the exception of now having the factory 16″ wheels on it instead of those awful aftermarket chrome 17’s.  You’ll also get introduced to our family cat, Gizmo, who is long gone.

Video quality has come a very long time over the last 15 years, hasn’t it?

I’ve crossed a few more home-improvement projects off the list in the last couple of weeks, including something I’d been meaning to do for a while.  Below you’ll see the last addition to the garage:  A sign for my (pretend) dealership.  The lettering is made from 3D foam from a company in LA called Front Signs.  I told them the design I had in mind, supplied the artwork, and they mailed me a box with everything I needed including the template to get everything installed in proper alignment.

The letters came in plain black so they needed to be primed, painted, and clear coated.  The whole process took a couple of weeks because I ordered all the supplies online as opposed to breaking my quarantine and going to the hardware store.  Additionally, the lamp you see there was ordered on Amazon and I had to run the power cord through the garage cabinet in order to get it wired up and working.

Here’s how it played out in a 1-minute video.

The next garage to get more work will be the ‘west’ garage which is begging for some custom flooring and paint.  All in due time.

A friend tipped me off on an article that showed up in the February 2020 Japanese magazine called Honda Style.  The magazine reads “backwards,” in other words, the pages flip from left to right instead of right to left.  The SH-AWD 1997 SLX that was part of last year’s RADwood build made a 3-page article!  I ordered 2 copies of the mag and sent one of them to the Public Relations team at Acura.

Lastly, a friend in Seattle hooked me up with an ‘actual’ 1992 GS-R window sticker, although it’s missing a chunk.  This helps as a point of reference either way, especially when coupled with the replica that Jason helped me with a couple of years ago.

Hope everyone is having a safe and enjoyable week out there.  Take care.

‘Homemade’ Film Festival (6 Videos) & Other Random Projects

Posted in Detailing, ILX, Integra, Legend, NSX, SLX, Vigor on April 14, 2020 by tysonhugie

Odometer (ILX):  223,692

Checking in on all of you out there!  Let me know how you’re doing.

I’ve been productive around here playing Steven Spielberg when I’m not tied up in work meetings from home.  Get your popcorn ready.  Actually, make a couple of batches while you’re at it.  If you’re in the mood for a movie marathon at some point, here are some selections I cooked up, with walkarounds for some of my cars.

Most are still ‘unlisted’ and will debut on my public YouTube channel on the dates indicated (subject to change!).  You’re welcome to wait and just watch them then!

ILX Detail – Public

1992 Integra – Public

NSX – Premieres April 18

Legend Sedan – Premieres April 25

SLX – Premieres May 2

Vigor – Premieres May 9

The RL has not yet been shot but I’m prepping the car over the next couple of days.

Here are a few ‘beauty shots’ taken at the time of each film shoot.

I had the Vigor console out the other day in order to get the serial number so I could track down the radio anti-theft code.

Used the SLX to haul some firewood.

Did a bumper light restore on the 1992 GS-R.

Dug through some magazine articles to archive more stuff.

Adopted a friend’s modified 1995 NSX for a few days while he refinished his garage floor.

Received a massive Easter egg delivery from family in Utah.

Hung up some art work in the ‘ugly’ one-car garage that usually gets no attention.

And detailed my mower, topped off with an “A” emblem on the motor.

This morning’s work teleconferences started off with an Acura wine glass of iced coffee.

As you can see, I’m staying plenty entertained here.

What have you been up to?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s the video link.

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

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

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

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

Have a great (and safe) weekend, all.

Weekend Update: Jason & Jandi’s Visits, Working from Home, Automotive Stuff

Posted in Arizona, Brochures, Integra, Legend, Model Cars, RL, SLX on March 21, 2020 by tysonhugie

Odometer (RL):  211,776

How is everyone doing?  I saw a meme the other day:  “What a year this week has been.”  Yeah, sounds about right.  I’m going to spare you from having one more place to read about the current state of the world around us, because I know your TV and your social media feeds are absolutely saturated with it.  Over here in Arizona, my travels have dialed back to just the occasional trip to the grocery store or drive-thru – in fact, those are the only 2 trips I took all week.  And as much as I love being on the go, I have actually kind of enjoyed being homebound.  Shocker.

For one thing, I spent about 2 hours in the yard this morning with a complete cosmetic revamp.  Mow, trim, weed killer, and sweep.  It was satisfying and refreshing, especially in this gorgeous spring weather.  I have projects underway with the house, with the cars, and with work, not to mention writing / YouTubing / organizing / planning / journaling.  I spent an hour this afternoon on the phone with grandparents catching up.

Sometimes having a chance to slow the pace of life down a little isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  And even though my travel calendar has been wiped clean for at least the next couple of months, I’m confident I’ll stay busy and productive.

I had a couple of visitors in town earlier this month including my friend Jason and my cousin Jandi.  Jason drove in from Las Cruces in his Contour so we could go meet with Kevin Marti of Marti Auto Works, who has a specialty Ford facility on the western outskirts of Phoenix.

Kevin is a licensee to Ford’s complete production database – in other words, he can authenticate and give detailed background on just about any FoMoCo vehicle.  His “Marti Reports” are the renowned source of truth when it comes to production numbers rarity.  I last visited his place in 2014.

My cousin from Idaho also visited and we had a nice time enjoying the weather and company.  I’ll let the photos and video below tell the rest of the story because it’s a wide variety of automotive updates I can share with you all.

I was originally scheduled to volunteer as a driver during the Mecum collector car auction a week ago.  I had my credential and everything.  But then I pulled out given current state of the public situation.  But I’m on the list for next year and I will get to drive some cool stuff like this (while I awkwardly sit in the driver’s seat and let people bid on “me.”).   Coverage from my visit to Mecum last year is here.

My home office is set up and I moved my desk in my bedroom so that it looks out the front window.  Now, I just need a better monitor setup.  Stat!

I juiced a couple dozen oranges that I got from a friend’s tree. Citrus trees are in season right now here!

I had the Legend coupe out last week to visit friends in Gilbert with a huge new home.  The ceilings inside it are 16 feet tall.

My neighbor Chuck got a couple cool cars from a relative in Texas.  One of them is this 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner.

The other is this 1930 Model A.  Both were temporarily stored in my backyard for a time.

The Legend sedan saw some daylight last week.

And the RL.

And the NSX was my ride of choice for a last minute grocery store run.  For Diet Coke – only the essentials.

I received a recall in the mail today for the 2000 RL’s airbag.  I was sort of surprised Acura is having to recall 20-year-old cars.  But the letter basically stated that parts for the repair aren’t even yet available.

One of my YouTube subscribers asked me to give an update on the rooftop model cars, so I did that in the video too.

An ‘Instagram friend’ sent me some stickers – check out this one in the shape of a G2 Integra.

I took the opportunity last weekend to check in with some good friends who have helped me a lot over the years with automotive projects and other things.  Hy and Linda, thank you!

After that, I met up briefly with my friend Ken who has a 2006 ‘Suzuka Blue’ Honda S2000.

One of the projects I’m keeping myself busy with now is a categorization of about 50 pieces of literature related to the Acura Legend.  Over the last 20 years I’ve collected (what I believe to be) every piece of print media that had the Legend in it.  I’m in the process now of sorting them all out so I can copy & PDF to share with others.

This dealership even offered a “beeper service” to page you when your car was ready.  Whoa.

Here’s a glimpse of what we’re talking about.

The last bit of news is about the SLX, which hasn’t moved for about 10 days and is leaking a puddle of various fluids on my nice garage floor right now, haha.

A friend (again from Instagram) connected me with a resource that was able to decode the VIN plate in the engine bay.  I now know exactly what each of those ‘options’ listed at the bottom are.  The summary is below in Excel.

My former SLX, the one that Acura rebuilt as a “resto-mod” with RDX drivetrain, is sitting on display right now at the Honda headquarters in Torrance, California.  Acura Public Relations representative Andrew sent me this picture.

I also found a couple article on the SLX, which I’m adding to my archive.

That’s it for now!  Everyone stay safe out there, and I’ll talk to you soon.

NALM AZ 2020 Registration is Live, Integra & SLX Updates, Visitors in Town

Posted in Detailing, Integra, Legend, Maintenance, NALM, NSX, SLX on March 6, 2020 by tysonhugie

Odometer (SLX):  141,046

If you’ve ever wanted to visit Arizona, I’ll give you a reason.  This year’s 16th annual National Acura Legend Meet is now open for registration as of this past Sunday.  In the first 5 days, 13 vehicles have already signed up.  We could be on track to witness the largest meet of its kind since 2014 in Los Angeles which saw about 30.  Come be a part of history.

Link to Registration Instructions

In other news, my blogging time has been limited lately because I’ve put a little more effort into my YouTube channel which is nearing 6,000 subscribers.  I invite you to join me there for a few updates on automotive projects and other activities.  I usually post a new episode (or more) each Sunday.  I’ll post 5 of them here to catch you up.  Some are still ‘unlisted’ so I can stagger them out over the next few weeks.  Get your popcorn ready.

Integra Part 4

Integra Part 5

Integra Part 6

SLX Video 10 – The Project that Never Ends!

Do you want to test-drive 10 cool cars in 5 minutes?  Then I have just the video for you.  Last Saturday, I had a really unique experience of helping my friend Greg (the same guy who I wrote about with all the Japanese RHD cars) document the driving experience for a collection of cars that he’ll be auctioning off on Bring a Trailer website later this month.  Among them was this exceptionally rare 1989 Pontiac ASC-McLaren Turbo Grand Prix with only 5,500 miles on it.

Check out that tech!

Here was the list of cars, in order of appearance in the below video:

  1. 1989 Pontiac Turbo Grand Prix
  2. 2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK55 AMG
  3. 1989 Dodge Lancer Shelby 5MT
  4. 2000 BMW M5 6MT
  5. 1989 Honda Prelude Si 4WS 5MT
  6. 2000 Honda S2000 6MT
  7. 1992 Toyota Aristo (RHD)
  8. 1992 Jeep Wrangler Renegade 5MT
  9. 1990 Nissan 300ZX TT 5MT
  10. 1992 Autozam AZ-1 (RHD) 5MT

Which was my favorite?  Honestly, and this might get me in trouble with my Honda friends, I fell in love with the BMW M5.  The sturdy shift feel, the power, the growl, and the utility of a ‘sportscar’ 4-door sedan with a manual really made that one check all the boxes for me.

And speaking of Bring a Trailer auctions, you might have missed this so I’ll share it here.  A record-setting sale took place this week when a 1994 Legend LS coupe 6-speed sold for over $25,000.  Here’s the link.  

Maybe my own collection will be worth a dollar or two someday as well?  I guess time will tell.

As Spring Training baseball games get underway here in Arizona, we are soaking up our last few weeks of very enjoyable weather and I’ve been spending quite a bit of time working on the never-ending list of “to-do” items.  The latest 1999 Integra, which started out with a laundry list of 50 “needs” that I listed in an Excel document, has already been through half.  So in two months’ time, it’s come a really long way.

One of the major milestones for that car was a comprehensive ‘professional’ detail, for which I engaged the help and services of a friend named Travis who helped not only with the interior & paint, but with removal of the hodge-podge of aftermarket stereo & alarm spaghetti wiring that was strung throughout the car.  It was strangled.

The results speak for themselves.  This paint was rough, and it came out brilliantly.

The NSX doesn’t get a video this time around, but I took it to the experts at Science of Speed for a regular checkup and it’s doing great at 116,000 miles.

I had a few special guests in February including folks from Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Detroit, and Seattle.  The guest book is nearing page 50 and I’ve already purchased a second volume because pages are running out.

Here’s Tim:

Jaysen and his sister Tavali

Brad and Richard

Dave

Finally, I had to share some new wallhangings in the garage.  I loved this anniversary 1986-1996 photo enough to frame and hang it up.

And the one in the middle here – I have to show you that a little more closely.

It contains the 6 Acura models from 1997.

The paragraph suggests that you pick whichever one fits “your definition of luxury.”

Except, the punchline suggests you should just buy a big garage and own all 6 (highlighted above).

Does that remind me of anyone else you know?  This is the ad that goes along with it.

Have a great weekend!

K1 Speed Go-Karting Event & Holiday Travels, & Automotive Updates

Posted in Arizona, ILX, Legend, Milestones, PAPA, SLX, Utah on December 22, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (ILX):  222,222

It seems I’m getting quite a few chances to put the pedal to the metal lately, including a visit to Apex Motor Club earlier this year, and two events at Bondurant a few weeks ago.  This time, I joined some fellow members of the Phoenix Automotive Press Association and we scaled back the size of our racecars to engage a little bit of friendly go-karting on a Friday morning.

K1 Speed opened its doors for an early morning race session specifically for our group.  I was proud to finish in the first half of the pack, but I was clearly outclassed by more skilled drivers in our group.  K1’s cars are all-electric, and they’re a lot faster than you’d think!  I put some of the driver training to work and honestly thought I’d rank better in the final standings.  Journalists John Priddy (left) and Wally Cahill (right) still let me at least pretend I was a first-place winner on the podium post-race.

Coming in at first place was newly-appointed Managing Editor for ClassicCars.com, Tom Stahler.

I spent the remainder of last weekend in northern Utah where temperatures dipped to a frigid 15 degrees during my visit.  I was poorly prepared from a wardrobe perspective.  But, I enjoyed the cozy and warm homes of friends & family members.  This was the scene on the campus of Utah State University where I graduated with my undergraduate degree 14 years ago this month.  Go USU Aggies!

Sunny, Jason, and Brady met up for some Mexican grub in Salt Lake City.

And it was of course awesome to see my grandma, who’ll be 90 next month.

Below are some photos of other recent visitors and events, as we near the end of this year (and this decade).  My stepdad and mom were passing through Phoenix on a long layover flight this week, so I met up with them at the airport terminal for a bite to eat.

The cars have kept me busy these last few weeks.  The NSX got an emissions check & new registration tags, the Integra GS-R got a battery, the Legend GS got new Michelin tires, the ILX got an oil change, the RL got a trip to Tucson, and the SLX got a much-needed bath after RADwood.

Here were some visitors from around the state who stopped by to say hello.

I also welcomed an out-of-towner from Austin, TX who’s been a friend of mine for many years.  In fact, he’s the one who sent his 1993 Legend L sedan over to Arizona when it needed to find a new home in 2015.

My friend Karna sent me some sweet promo materials including a leaflet that had an NSX postcard that looks just like the real thing.

My friend Eric sent me some awesome-smelling cologne called Chrome Legend.  I’ll be saving that bottle!

Andrew from Acura PR sent me two signed posters celebrating this year’s “IMSA” race series wins.  I’ll be giving one away to a lucky blog reader.  If you’re interested, let me know!

He also sent me the 11×17 display poster that was used at RADwood.

I like how they adjusted the original MSRP on there to nearly $60k in 2019 dollars.

I scored a few swag items from Ebay on the 1996 Isuzu Trooper because I was curious to see what kind of literature they put out back then, and how it compared to SLX stuff.  As it turns out, some Troopers were better-equipped than SLXs!  Example:  The “Limited” model had headlight wipers.

I had an idea for a Christmas photo with red & green when my roommate James was road-testing a 2020 Toyota 4Runner recently.  He had it nice and caked with mud for this early-morning glamour shot.

Twins!  I’m looking after my friend Jason’s 1992 Integra GS-R right now.  His car is 0718 and mine is 0343 so they’re separated by only 375 vehicles on the production line.  Jason will be picking up his car in a few weeks, but in the meantime it’s enjoying being reunited with a close sibling.

Aztec Green overload.

“Drive your Legend to work” day, as requested by my friend Alex recently.

Yesterday, the ILX celebrated 222,222 miles on the odometer.  I made sure I was driving 2,000 RPM at 22 miles per hour.  And, I was driving with 2 friends on the 202 “South Mountain” freeway which is a brand new 22-mile stretch of interstate, literally opened just minutes prior.  Amazing how the stars can align when you want them to!  (Or when you want them “two.”).

Apple Maps still doesn’t even show the freeway as existing yet.

Before you go, I thought this was pretty cool and wanted to share.  My friend Owen in Washington spent a couple years of his life gutting and restoring an old Bluebird bus into a liveable RV.  Look at the level of detail in the finished product!

Two new episodes on my YouTube as well.

Have a great Christmas!