Archive for the Legend Category

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!

‘Legends of Speed’ Phoenix Art Museum Exhibit & ‘Hard Parking’ Podcast Feature

Posted in Legend, PAPA on November 4, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  572,202

There’s a new exhibit in town at the Phoenix Art Museum.  It’s called Legends of Speed.  Sounds right up my alley, right?  And in coincidental timing, I hosted a meeting of Legends at my house this weekend, too.  They aren’t very speedy.  We’re lucky they’re even still on the road at this age.

A friend was in town from Alberta with a drone that’s worth more than most of my cars.  He put it to use on Sunday flying high above Uptown Phoenix to capture a few photographs of my property.  I’ve become accustomed to the fact that neighbors get to see this kind of spectacle on a regular basis.

In attendance at the meet-up was a trio of rare Cayman White Pearl 1995 LS coupes owned by Branson, Travis, and John.  CWP was a one-year-only color for the last model year of the Legend.  The car pictured in the middle received an engine transplant within the last couple of weeks and is on its road to restoration.  Isn’t it hard to believe that a 1995 model is now 25 years old?

Opened 60 years ago, the Phoenix Art Museum welcomes about 350,000 guests annually.  The new ‘Legends’ exhibit marks only the second time that a major exhibit in the Museum has focused on automotive art.  The first was “Curves of Steel” in 2007.  From now through mid-March 2020, attendees can visit Legends of Speed in the Steele Gallery at the facility on Central Avenue & McDowell Road in central Phoenix.  The exhibit is comprised of over 20 significant and historic racecars.  Each one was carefully curated for a specific reason and is shown with supporting informational placards.

This one is particularly important in racing history.  It’s a 1968 Ford GT40 that won the 24 Hours of Lemans race two times – in 1968 and again in 1969.  It made 331 laps averaging 115 miles per hour.  Makes me dizzy just thinking about it.

Another of the cars was a 1911 Franklin that was driven in the Cactus Derby – an off-road race from Los Angeles to Phoenix from many years before an interstate freeway linked the two cities.  I can’t imagine making that then-542-mile route in a primitive car like that on entirely dirt pathways.  It took driver Ralph Hamlin about 16 hours to do it.

It was also special for me to see this green 1929 Bugatti Type 35.  It was driven by Hellé Nice, the first Woman’s Grand Prix winner.  In 2016, I had the opportunity to interview Miranda Seymour who wrote a book called The Bugatti Queen all about Nice.  Note that the stick shift for that car is located outside the passenger compartment, and right next to the brake lever.  Be careful which one you grab.

One of my fellow journalists at the press preview asked the question, “What’s the collective value of all the cars on display here?”  Without skipping a beat, our guide grinned and said, “We don’t place a value on art.”  Check out the intro page to the exhibit which includes a short video and check out the cars if you’re in the area over the next few months.  Adult admission is $23.  Below are a few more photos of my Legendary meet up and this legendary exhibit.

If you have time, check out this hour+ long podcast that I was featured on recently with my friend Jhae who hosts “Hard Parking,” featured on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Link here

And finally, I realized that today is the 8-year anniversary of the day I rolled 500,000 miles at a red-carpet party in Torrance, California.  So it took me 8 years to drive 72,000 miles, which means the car gets driven exactly 9,000 miles per year – about 1/5th what it used to drive when it was my sole/daily driver.  Throwback vid:

Company from CA, SLX + NSX Pics, Legend Matching Odometers, & Other Car Updates

Posted in Arizona, Integra, Legend, NALM, RL, SLX, TLX, Vigor on October 28, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (ILX):  219,230

How was everyone’s weekend?  It’s been busy around here as I’ve been getting back to my routine.  Just two days after returning from the mega Florida trip, I had company in town from San Diego and San Francisco for a few days.  My guest book is spilling over onto page 41 since I bought my house in September of 2016.  Let me know when you want to book your reservation (rental cars are available).

I’ll let the photos tell the story below because there’s really not much else to elaborate on.

Ryan and I took the ‘homeless’ white Legend that I’ve been storing for about a year to brunch.

He has his sights set on the Vigor.  At 6-foot-6, he barely fits in that thing.

We also took the 1992 Integras out for a spin.

I’d like to introduce my friend Michael’s new 1996 Prelude Si.  It’s beautiful!

Ben and Smiley arrived on their way back to the Bay Area from Florida on Saturday evening.

Ryan’s Accord 6-speed was looking extra juicy.

I took the Legend for its emissions test last Wednesday.  It passed the test without any challenges.

Here are the recordings for pollutants since I first registered the car in Arizona about 12 years ago.  In some cases the numbers are questionable or inconsistent.  Actually – the numbers this time were better than they were 2 years ago, for all 3 measures.  Go fig.

I needed to juggle some cars around so I parked the 2 ‘reds’ in the driveway for a few pictures on Sunday.  You’ll see more of the SLX in the coming months as it’s involved in a special project.

Similar gauge layout, vastly different driving experiences.

Do you prefer Formula Red or Radiant Red?

My buddy Chris from Maryland, who has the twin to my Legend GS sedan, knew that his recent trip to Florida would cause his car to surpass mine in mileage.  So we figured out a way to commemorate the milestone.  I took my car to Wendy’s and recorded the odometer after I parked it back in the garage.

The reading was 161,440 at the time.

So Chris, similarly, took his Legend to Wendy’s.

And he captured a picture at 161,440.  At this point, Chris’ car is likely to stay ahead of mine for the foreseeable future.

I took a scenic drive on Sunday in the RL out to Saguaro Lake in the Tonto National Forest.  I was scouting drive & lunch locations for a potential bid to host the 2020 NALM event here in Phoenix next fall.

More to come on that, but here’s a 3-minute preview video to the scenery & venues for consideration.

Have you been following any updates on the special Acura TLX PMC Edition?  It’s a TLX built at the NSX factory in Marysville, Ohio, and they’re only making 360 units.  The first one I saw in person was #026, on 7/26/2019 at Acura North Scottsdale.

And since that one was behind velvet ropes, the first one I actually sat in was #146 on 9/26/2019 at Acura of Tempe.

I’ve yet to get behind the wheel but it’s a pretty cool car because it blends Advance and A-Spec packages which historically have been mutually exclusive.  Have a good week!

National Acura Legend Meet 2019 Recap & Videos: 5,600 Miles Round-Trip to Florida

Posted in Legend, NALM, Road Trip on October 24, 2019 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  572,169

Trip Distance:  5,600 Miles

It’s about time.  I’ve been home for over a week from the longest trip I’d taken since 2016, but I’ve been trying to play catch-up.  Below is some event coverage I’ve put together already that you may wish to peruse.

If if you’re more a watcher than a reader, you can fast-forward all the way to the bottom of this post because there are 4 YouTube episodes there for your viewing pleasure a total of about 40 minutes’ worth of runtime.  How about that?  You get to experience a 13-day road trip in a fraction of the time.  You’re welcome.  Haha.

NALM – the National Acura Legend Meet – has led me to various parts over the country over the course of its now-15-year run.  From New Jersey in 2011 to Sacramento in 2017 and Milwaukee in 2012 to Houston in 2015.  Which reminds me, I need to rummage through my closet and see how many prior-year NALM T-shirts I still have.

This year’s voyage was unlike any other.  As time goes on, long-distance road trips get more challenging:  I’m older, the car’s older, parts are tougher to come by, and it’s more and more difficult to break away from work for such an extended period of time.  But the reward – or the juice, as my boss likes to say – is totally worth the squeeze.  In other words, if it’s NALM, I’ll be there.  Plan it in Tierra del Fuego if you want to.  I’ll probably drive there.

I stayed with a variety of friends throughout the trip, which took me through 7 states as I stayed on (or close to) Interstate 10 the entire way.  One night was spent in the luxurious garage of Jason from Pawela’s Garage.  A couple of days later, I got to drive the Guinness World Records “Longest Continuous Bridge Over Water” (that’s a lot of qualifiers) which runs 23 miles over Lake Ponchartrain in the New Orleans area.  I’m a sucker for “world’s largest” anything, and most of you know that about me by now.  And I got to meet a long-time blog reader and friend named Carlos in Miami who proudly showed me his stack of records on his 2005 TSX.  Thanks, Carlos!

Key West, Florida is a destination that had been on my Excel “road trip bucket list” for some time now.  It felt like something I should probably cross off since I’d already be in the same state, so my trip was lengthened by 2 days in order to allow me to visit the Southernmost Point in the Continental United States.  And that side-trip was 100% amazing.  Coincidentally, I had a couple of Arizona friends in the area who invited me on a catamaran for a sunset ‘dinner cruise’.  Thanks again for that, Hy and Linda!

I checked in for the NALM festivities during dinner on day two of the event, while everyone was chowing down on tacos at Jimmy Hula’s in Ormond Beach.  My favorite part of the program happened the next day, when our Legends swarmed Daytona Beach – on the beach itself.  Daytona is one of the few oceanfront areas in the country where you can still drive your personal vehicles on the sand.  I guess when you consider I had my Legend in Los Angeles earlier this year, it pretty much drove from the west coast to the east coast this calendar year.

And perhaps as a reward for that achievement, my car was one of five Legends allowed to park inside the showroom at AutoNation Acura North Orlando, where General Manager Rob Breedlove was gracious enough to roll out the red carpet for our entire pack of Legend fans.  He staffed the BBQ grill outside while our group was addressed by Honda Brand Culture Champion Charles Schnieber about the history of Acura and some fascinating trivia.  Thanks Rob!

All too soon, it was time to conclude our festivities with a beachside pizza party & awards ceremony.  I was awarded a certificate for having the cleanest floor mats in the group, which admittedly was a little unfair because the mats I had in the car are only used for shows and I don’t actually daily drive with them!

My last stop before making the marathon trek westward was to visit an Acura enthusiast in Jacksonville named Andrew, who I can only describe as “me, but on the east coast.”  Andrew has a significant collection of cool cars, including a Honda Odyssey, Honda Ridgeline, an Acura Legend, two Acura CLs, and an Acura NSX.  He and his wife rolled out the hospitality in a big way and I felt right at home.

On my way home, I stayed another night with Jason in New Mexico – this time, celebrating a milestone with him.  (We’re kind of making this a habit).  This time, the achievement happened in his now-100,000 mile 2014 Lexus IS350.  I was happy to be able to celebrate with him.

You’re all asking:  How’d the car do?   Well, it delivered 27 mpg and performed pretty flawlessly for its age and miles.  The only maintenance items worth mentioning were a bottle of power steering fluid used up, a pair of new tires installed for precaution (they’d been a worn before I even left Arizona), an oil change, and replacement of a taillight bulb.  My comprehensive fuel log is posted below – totaling about $640 in fuel expense.

And in Excel form for the nerds in the house.

When it comes to adventures, this was definitely one of the most memorable I’ve had.  And I thank you for coming along on the journey with me!

Jason’s garage

“Prada Marfa” – a worthwhile offbeat destination in rural Texas:  It’s a fake Prada store in the middle of nowhere.

This sure felt like a marathon.

Checking out my friend Michael’s TSX Sport Wagon in San Antonio

Dinner group at Flying Saucer in San Antonio

Rolling 567,890.1 on the coupe with 234.5 on the trip meter

Tire replacement needed in Tallahassee – Discount Tire had my size & brand in stock!

Carlos’ TSX and DJ’s MDX in Miami

Headed out on the “Overseas Highway” to Key West – remarkable scenery

My two-night stay in Key West – highly recommended

Southernmost Point!

Unreal sunsets on our dinner cruise

I stopped by Acura of Pembroke Pines on my way back through the Miami area, and one of the individuals I met was Jon in his gorgeous Monte Carlo Blue NSX

Sean stopped by too – he’s a NALM veteran, as he and I attended the first event in 2005 together!

Sunrise view from host hotel, Coral Sands Inn, in Ormond Beach

Daytona Beach scenes

Chris and his 1994 Legend GS 6-speed.  He authored the last post on this blog.

“World’s Most Famous Beach”

No car club event is complete without plenty of good grub.

Dealer day photos

Presentation from Charles, with my Legend in the foreground

Houston meet-up with Josh and Mark

Home at last!

For your viewing pleasure!

Episode1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4