Archive for the TL Category

“West Rim” 17-Mile Hike at Zion National Park in Southern Utah

Posted in Hikes, TL, Utah on September 18, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  554,721

Odometer (TL):  101,487

Trip Distance:  900 Miles

For some reason it’s always two days after a hike when the worst cramping and soreness start.  My friend Kyle described the contortions he had to make when getting out of the car last night:  “I twisted out of the car like a geriatric.”  And he’s only 32!  A 17-mile, 8-hour-long hike can really give your leg muscles a run for their money.  I paid for it on my end, too.  But it was worth it.

Having grown up about 45 minutes from Zion, in St. George, Utah, I’ve spent plenty of time in the park but it never seems to get old.  This specific trail – the “West Rim” – was new to me and gave a never-before-seen perspective on some of the park’s 229 square miles of beauty.  Some 4.2 million people visit the park each year, but I’d dare say that most of them don’t attempt a one-day hike as ambitious as the one that we did.

Once again my mountainman (mountainwoman?) of a mother, Tia, reigned athletically supreme as she led our pack of 7 adventurous hikers on a quest through the southern Utah backcountry.  Though technically a downhill hike for its majority, the West Rim trail had its fair share of grades — enough that I guzzled down about 6 bottled waters over the course of the day.  I liked how with each water I finished, my backpack got a little bit lighter to carry.

The terrain on the West Rim took us through many different types of trails:  Wooded forest, singletrack pathway through a field, shale rock, cliffside on sandstone, and a lot in between.  All the while, we were afforded some of the best views that money can’t buy.   Luckily for us, even the weather was prime – with our start temperatures at the Lava Point Campground around 50 degrees and the finish in the low 70s.

We found a consistent pace and alternated who got to lead the pack.  I usually preferred to stay toward the back of the lineup, and wherever space allowed, we usually walked two abreast so we could carry on conversations with one another.  At one point, Kyle and Sandy broke away for an ‘optional’ one-mile out & back side trip to “Angel’s Landing” – a spectacular viewpoint atop a 1,500-foot-tall sandstone cliff to the canyon below.  I’d already seen it, and by the time we got to that decision point, we were already 14 miles into our 17-miler, so I opted to rest my legs.

By the time we finally were within eyesight of “The Grotto,” where a shuttle bus would pick us up and take us to the visitor center to get my stepdad Todd’s truck, we broke into a jog because we were so excited, and because it felt easier on the quads and knees than taking a slower walk.  No pain, no gain!  We finished strong.  And we celebrated:

We were grateful for the chance to refuel our bodies later that evening.  Kyle and Rob and I decided to consume as many carbs as we could, so we paid a visit to an Italian place on Tabernacle Street in St. George called Cappeletti’s.  The lasagna was top-notch.  True to tradition, mom fixed us a breakfast of hotcakes the following morning pre-departure.  There’s nothing like a drizzle of maple syrup to undo all the calorie-burning we’d done the day prior!

Here is a 3-minute video, along with some photos of our weekend!

TL at Sunset in Kingman, Arizona on the way to St. George Thursday night

Mom had left us goody bags

Taking my brother’s 1968 Chevy II Nova SS to lunch.  It has a 525-horsepower “LS3” V8 and 6-speed manual transmission.

Outdoor dining at 25 Main.

Now taking a ride in my other brother’s 700+ horsepower Lexus IS300.  What a beast.

I dictated a shopping list to my 6-year-old niece.  Can you decipher this?

It says:  hamburger, pita bread, trail mix, and water.

Morning of the hike!  Aunt Jodi dropped us off at the trailhead.

Six bumps on a log

 

Starting out at a brisk pace

Taking a breather and eating some snacks

Following a few signs toward the destination – with mom in the lead

Approaching “Scout Overlook” near Angel’s Landing

Panoramic views.  See the road at the bottom of the canyon?

Side trail to Angel’s Landing

Headed on down

Dinner spot that evening

Lasagna!!

Departing mom’s on Sunday morning after breakfast

Riding in the backseat of my own car

Side note – I checked on the model car project!

Labor Day Weekend 2017 – Palm Springs, California Trip & TL 100,000 Milestone

Posted in California, Road Trip, TL on September 5, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  554,713

Odometer (TL):  100,468

Trip Distance:  542 Miles

Cue the confetti.  We have another 100,000-miler in the house!

It’s rare for me to own a car with “only” an odometer reading of 5 digits.  In fact, the lowest mileage car I’ve ever owned aside from my 2013 ILX that I got new, was my 1994 Legend coupe that had 95,000 miles on it when purchased in 2003.  That car has come out of hiding a few times in recent days, and several of you have asked why I haven’t posted any updates.  Check out this sunset last night at the Phoenix Financial Center 19-story building on Central Avenue.

The Legend is still trucking along, and the building itself is legendary in its own way.  Constructed in 1964, it was designed to look like a computer punchcard.  My favorite story about its construction is that (Legend has it!) there is a time capsule within the building that was supposed to have been removed in 2012 which has never been found.  We’re now 5 years beyond that date!  I’d be tearing the place apart to find it.  Here’s the story of what I did this Labor Day Weekend.

Nestled at the eastern base of the 10,000-foot-tall San Jacinto Mountains, there’s a city in Southern California that’s made a name for itself as a popular weekend destination.  Palm Springs is home to 44,000 people and some of the best mid-century architecture in the country.  I’d be crazy to not take advantage of a 3-day holiday weekend, and it seemed like a perfect destination.  On Friday afternoon, a friend and I hit the highway and headed westbound to see what the city could offer us.

Luckily for me, my 2007 Acura TL was about to pass a pretty big milestone.  It took the car 10 years to rack up 100,000 miles.  I had to pull over about 30 miles east of Quartzsite, near the Arizona-California state line to celebrate and capture the occasion on video.

We rolled into the Hard Rock Hotel on Indian Canyon Road and valet parked the TL before going out on the town.

The next day was primarily spent lounging next to the pool, despite the fact that it was 104 degrees outside and we had little shade to work with.  One of Palm Spring’s roadside wonders is the “pink door house,” so we made sure to stop there on the way back to Phoenix on Sunday morning.  Bubble gum pink, it sure is.

More pics below from the weekend’s shenanigans.  Coming up later this week:  A flight to Milwaukee for this year’s “NSXPO” annual Acura NSX meet-up.  No, sadly, I won’t be driving out there.  But I’ll at least enjoy whatever festivities I can from the comfort (or discomfort?) of a rental car.

Roadside stop in Quartzsite with my copilot

Palm Springs in all its glory, set against the San Jacinto peaks

Our hotel for 2 nights

Best coffee (ahem, “koffi”) shop in town!  They have 3 locations.

The frozen white mocha hit the spot.

Other news:  I got to check out & drive my friend Daniel’s 2018 Acura TLX A-Spec last week!  It wasn’t my first time behind the wheel of such a car (see Maryland trip) but I greatly enjoyed a more thorough test drive.

Daniel’s car accelerates, handles, and looks like a true sports sedan.

I must say I don’t mind it one bit!  Give it a clutch pedal and I’m sold!

Another shot of the Legend + PSC building last night.

Road trip to Tucson & back today with coworker Amanda for work.

Lastly, remember how some Hondas of old had “5 speed” badging like this?

A friend told me about these $9.99 Amazon emblems that say “6 speed.”  I got one.  As a joke, I promise.  I’m not going to install this permanently!  But I thought it would be funny to mock up with Scotch tape for a picture.

The TL needed a quick pic too!

Have a great week!

Logan, Utah Weekend Trip: Family History, Tasty Food, & Great Roads

Posted in Road Trip, TL, Utah on August 16, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  554,414

Odometer (TL):  99,872

Trip Distance:  1,700 Miles

Merrill Vernon Hansen was my great-grandfather.  Born September 18, 1902, he would have been turning 115 years old next month, but he passed away before I was even 4 years old.  About the only thing I remember of him was when he’d stick his big finger in my face and say, “Are you grandma’s boy?”

Merrill was a man who I wish I had gotten to know better – along with so many of my other ancestors.  But one of the highlights of the past weekend in my home state of Utah was thumbing through a few of his books where he’d written messages inside the covers.  One such example was this page from his Holy Bible.  He was 21 years old and getting ready to depart for the “Eastern States Mission” for his church when he wrote this down on Friday, February 29th, 1924.  Not a bad penman!

Grandpa Hansen had a lot of preparations to do at that time.  A week and a half later on Wednesday, March 12th, he would be departing for New York City and spending the next two years of his live giving voluntary service, with very limited contact with family and friends back home in Utah.  So on March 7th, he bought shaving cream for 35 cents.  On March 8th, he got a haircut for a quarter.  And that same day, he bought flowers for his mother as well as for his girlfriend Della – who later became my great-grandmother.  Guess they did the trick.  Here was his expense ledger.

It was later in his life when Merrill opened up what we believe to be Cache Valley’s first automotive service station.  I talked about that here a few years ago.  He lived a long and prosperous life until his passing in 1985.

I was glad to learn a little more about Grandpa Hansen thanks to a weekend road trip up north.  In the 4 months I’ve had my 2007 TL, the poor thing has been stashed away in the garage for a good chunk of that time.  I decided to change all that – in a big way – by taking a 4-state, 1,700 mile journey to visit friends & family.

I had a special guest along for a good chunk of this ride:  My 87-year-old grandmother (and Merrill’s daughter), affectionately known to our family as “Lamb,” took the passenger seat for a time.  With a bad left hip and a frail build, she’s used to being transported in vehicles with higher step-in height, like her PT Cruiser or dad’s MDX.  So when she sunk into the cockpit of my car, she said, “In these sedans, you just disappear.”

I’d only driven a mile or two northbound on Highway 89 in Logan Utah with her and had to pull over one more time – grandma hadn’t fastened her seat belt so the car was warning me with its repetitive beep.  We got that taken care of.  We completed our shopping trip to Kohl’s for some bath towels and a lunch date at Cache Valley’s best pizza joint, called Fredrico’s.  Grandma is the most savvy shopper I’ve met:  We got $36 worth of merchandise for $2.71 thanks to her gift card mailer and some clever couponing.  Score!

Rewinding to the start of the trip, I experienced one of Arizona’s famous “monsoon” thunderstorms on Highway 93 between Wikieup and Kingman – drenching me enough that visibility was next to nothing and I became grateful for fresh wiper blades and grippy Michelin Pilot tires.  By sunset, I rolled through Las Vegas and then had only two hours left until my nightly stop at mom’s place in southwestern Utah.

After a workday in St. George, I motored 4 more hours north.  The TL makes a long-haul drive pretty effortless, thanks to its torquey V6 and low revs in 6th gear.  The sound system – I’ve said this before but it deserves another mention – is absolutely rocking.  You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Celine Dion “Us” blasting through an ELS Surround Sound System.  Most of Interstate 15 is set at 80 miles per hour speed limits so the farmland passes by with ease and quickness.

My friend Branson and I did dinner that evening in Salt Lake at one of my absolute favorite (though very “chain”) restaurants:  Texas Roadhouse.  I’ve known Branson for 14 years now.  We initially connected – this won’t surprise any of my readers – through the car community since at the time we were both driving Acura Legends.  His current Legend coupe, in fact, inspired my selection for the TL’s license plate, so it seemed appropriate that we lined the two cars up side by side for pictures.

Finally, on Saturday morning I hit northern Utah and southern Idaho.  My friend Ryan (guess what – met him through his old Legend, too!) introduced me to his current collection of Audis.  He has 6 cars and in that sense he “speaks my language” as a car hoarder myself.

I also had the opportunity that afternoon to visit the campus of Utah State University – born in 1888, and later, the institution that granted me a Bachelor’s degree in 2005.  The Business facilities have vastly improved since my time on campus but it was fun to roam around some of the same pathways and corridors I hadn’t seen in 12 years.

Dad took me and my niece Vivienne for an ATV ride a few miles up Providence Canyon near his home and we got to check out a couple of waterfalls.  He whipped up homemade tacos and we dined al fresco on his back deck in Providence overlooking the valley below.  The sunset across the Wellsville Mountains always seems a bit like a postcard.

The reason for the trip overall came on Sunday morning, when I transported grandma to Kaysville near Salt Lake City for a church service.  My 21-year-old cousin, Cache, just returned last week from his two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church.  His mission assignment geographically centered around Anaheim, California.  A congregation of about 200 people, including friends, family (like me), and other “ward” members gathered in the chapel to hear Cache address the crowd.  He recounted some interesting stories and words of wisdom.

Cache’s experience was a lot like mine:  I spent the years 2001-2003 in southern California on a similar mission.  Here my assigned “companion” and I were riding a tandem bike in September 2001.

These were some of the children in a family we taught in the community of Ramona.

Cache’s mom, my aunt Shelly, hosted an open house with enough food to feed everyone (times two) and then I hit the open road to continue my long southward trek home.

It was convenient for me to spend another night in St. George and visit a few more family members on my way.  I opted to take the more scenic way home via Fredonia and Flagstaff, Arizona as opposed to going through Las Vegas again.  It was a good choice:  Open roads, stunning scenery, and a to-go lunch of a chicken salad sandwich from grandma.

Hope you enjoyed being a part of this journey!

Branson doesn’t like the camera!  Here he was taking the TL for a spin.

Those rolls at Texas Roadhouse, though!

Odometer on Branson’s coupe.  He’s had it since around 120,000.

Garlic bread, dripping in butter, from Fredrico’s in Logan.

The home in Logan where I lived until I was about 13.

With grandma, and my brother Payton, at a family member’s gravesite.

Someone likes Buicks!

Figured I might as well cross off a state for the TL since I was only a few miles away.

It was around that time that it rolled 99,000 with Ryan at the wheel.

Ryan knew about a scale that we could drive onto at a nearby manufacturing plant.  We hopped out of the car.

The TL weighs 3,540 pounds without us in it.

Saturday night vibes – having gelato from Zeppe’s Italian Ice.

Scooter race!

Another page from Grandpa Hansen’s Bible.

How many choices do you need?  Maverik in Washington, Utah.  First time I’ve ever seen 88 octane “Clear Gas Ethanol-Free.”  I just went with Premium 91.

Jacob Lake, Arizona

Vermillion Cliffs, Arizona

My favorite piece of road.  This straddles the UT-AZ state line.

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!

 

 

Weekend in Maryland: A Meet & A Milestone Along the Susquehanna River

Posted in Legend, Milestones, TL on May 1, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  552,429

Twins.  Check out those T-shirts, and check out the cars!  This was summer 2015 at the National Acura Legend Meet (NALM) in Houston, Texas with my friend Chris from the Baltimore area.

In January 2016, Chris flew to Phoenix for the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction.  It just so happened that his trip also involved a special 150,000-mile rollover for my car which we celebrated at Papago Park near the Phoenix-Tempe border.  In a fitting second half to the story, I’ve now flown to his neighborhood on the east coast and rolled 150,000 miles on his Legend GS.  Cool, right?   By now this kind of nerdy behavior shouldn’t surprise any of my readers.

Piggybacking on this special weekend event were some other activities, including a visit from a few of our friends at Redline Reviews with a brand new 2018 Acura TLX and a taste of some of Maryland’s finest crab cakes.  Sexy cars and tasty food – that’s my kind of vacation.

Friday afternoon’s PHX-BWI flight was delayed three times, making a painfully late arrival even worse (as in, 1:00 in the morning the next day).  When I finally got on the ground in Baltimore, I opted to catch an Uber to a shady nearby motel rather than having my friend Chris drive the 50 or so miles to come pick me up at that hour.  Room 241 of the Motel 6 on Nursery Road smelled a lot like an ashtray, and when I got up the next morning, so did all my clothes.

That didn’t matter though, we had an action-packed day ahead.  The first unexpected twist was that Chris picked me up in his wife’s Chevy Cruze as opposed to a Legend or a TL, but it all made sense later on.  We made our way northbound through a series of bridges & tunnels to get to his place in Havre de Grace.  The Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, at 1.4 miles in length, takes drivers underneath the Patapsco River.

Chris had milestones on the brain, and I ended up rolling one on EACH of his two Acuras.  The first was in his 2008 TL Type-S – a car in many ways a twin to my own recently-purchased TL.  It has, however, a few things that set it apart:  20,000 fewer miles, a black interior as opposed to my ivory, and some special aerodynamic equipment in the form of an A-Spec body kit.  I rolled the odometer to 78,000 miles on the way to the local grocery store in Havre de Grace for donuts.

Not long afterward, loyal Legend lover Kevin from Georgia arrived on the scene.  He was wearing a blue T-shirt commemorating my 2011 milestone in my coupe.  Looking good, Kevin!

We prepared our roll-out toward a burger & shake spot called Arctic Circle (much more “hometown” than the chain I had pictured it to be) where a few other friends were already there waiting for us.

Right off the bat, I recognized the “Still Night Pearl” Acura TLX A-Spec that Sofyan Bey, Redline Reviews’ host, had driven up from Virginia a couple of hours south.  The TLX was his tester for the week – fresh out of the gate from a media launch in Kentucky and fresh in automotive news as it barely debuted two weeks ago at the New York Auto Show.  We were lucky to catch a first glimpse.

The next stop on our tour took us to the picturesque Susquehanna River where recreational fishermen and boaters were taking advantage of the unusually warm and humid April afternoon.  There were so many visitors, in fact, that we had to travel another couple of miles up the road to a grassy picnic area in order to find parking that would accommodate everyone.  Chris’ Legend GS rolled its 150,000th mile at precisely the designated spot – arrival at the boat ramp.  A few more folks had showed up for the party, including Marc from New Jersey in a pristine 42,000-mile 1995 Legend coupe, Karna in a 2001 Honda Prelude SH, and Jaysen and Davey in their Legends.

I got the chance to take the wheel of a couple of those cars and it’s always a treat when a friend entrusts me with his or her pride and joy.  Chris had arranged for our group to visit “Legends Vineyard” in Churchville, Maryland.  For $7, we were able to sample about 10 different wines.  It seemed appropriate that most of the cars parked out front during our visit were Legends!  A few of the other guys had to depart shortly thereafter, but Kevin, Chris, and I dined at MacGregor’s in downtown Havre de Grace where I sampled the most popular menu item:  crab cakes.  They were divine.  These pics are for you foodies!  (Looking at you, Brad and Tim)

Tartar sauce & cocktail sauce on the side.  That potato, though!

As the sun set on our busy Saturday, we admired the scenery from the Havre de Grace Promenade at the waterfront.

Sunday’s events were a lot less structured in nature, and that made for a nice low-key day.  Chris & Kera served up scrambled eggs, sausage, & toast which I washed down with some super-smooth chocolate milk from a dairy up the road in Pennsylvania.  Chris and I decided to check out one of the local salvage yards but it had only 3 Legends in inventory and they were already pretty well picked-over.

It was already time to start making our way toward the Baltimore/Washington International Airport, so we cruised down I-95 toward the city, stopping for a bite at Chop Pit Beef for lunch.  It’s a historic spot that I’d describe as “Arby’s but a million times better.”  I had the ham & beef combo sandwich with the house BBQ sauce.  To Die For!

Many thanks to Chris for being such a great host and to the many friends who came out to play.

IN OTHER NEWS…

For years (about 7, to be exact), I tried getting ahold of the license plate “ACURA” for one of my cars.  The Arizona DMV’s website always told me that the combination was unavailable, which came as no surprise.  Initially I settled for “THACURA” which had my initials in it.  But miraculously one day, it popped up.  I snagged it and proudly put the plate on my 1994 Legend GS sedan.

The story got even better this past weekend, when my friend Dan had me over to his home in Mesa to show me his new 2013 Viper.  In the trunk of the Viper was a gift for me – a vintage Arizona license plate with ACURA on it.  A real plate, mind you.  Last registered in 2001.  What are the chances?  And the best part is that the design is period correct for my car.  According to AZPlates.com, this maroon style ran from 1980 through 1997.

The DMV issued me a new registration sticker and allowed me to put the old plate back into use – some 16 years after it had last seen the roadways!

Few more pics from the Maryland trip below!

Signing Kevin’s trunk liner.  This has become a tradition.

Rear 3/4 view of the new 2018 TLX A-Spec.

TLX interior.

Too excited for my own good.

Looking northward from the bank of the Susquehanna River.

Geek mode, activate.

What better place to take a convoy of Legends?

Parked outside…

Party time at Chris’ place!  Set up like bowling pins.  We just needed another one front & center.  Maybe next time I’ll drive out and play frontrunner.

Quick pic with Marc before he headed back to New Jersey.

New Acquisition: 2007 Acura TL Type-S 6-Speed

Posted in TL on April 18, 2017 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend coupe):  552,392

Odometer (Integra):  239,106

Odometer (ILX):  194,219

Odometer (Legend sedan):  151,406

Odometer (NSX):  106,804

Odometer (Vigor):  106,611

Odometer (TL):  96,755

Whoa, Nelly!  What has Tyson done this time?

If you know me well enough, it won’t come as a shocker that I’ve just expanded the fleet by one vehicle.  With long-term plans for the ILX involving a family member taking over its operations in a couple of months, I needed something to replace it with as a “daily” driver.  The third-generation Acura TL has long been on my list – specifically, one in eye-popping Kinetic Blue Pearl paint color with a manual transmission.  Now a decade old, the KBP TL-S still conveys an attractive presence.  Plus, what’s not to love about quad exhaust tips!

Adding to the “must-have” mentality was the fact that my friends Marc and Chris – both east coasters – have twin KBP TL-S manuals, and they’ve been egging me on for a while now about joining the club.  A few other close friends knew I was on the hunt – and Jason had the winning ticket.  Saturday afternoon, April 8, he sent me a text message with a link to an Ebay auction that had just gone live the evening prior.

It was a gorgeous car – 96,000 miles, original owner, fastidiously maintained since new and totally in stock condition.  My eyeballs widened as I scrolled through the 25 photos with the listing, trying to find anything “wrong” with the car that would turn me away.  Nothing did.  Adding gobs of icing to the cake:  This car was in my home state, about 2 hours north of me in Flagstaff.

I sent a message to the seller right away asking if he’d have time to show me the car the following morning, on Sunday.  And Sunday, I road-tripped the Legend coupe to Flag so I could give the TL a look-see in person.  The car, and its seller Dave, were as nice as could be.

I opened the driver side door – taking note that I still couldn’t see even so much as a scratch or ding on the car – and do you know what was sitting on the driver’s seat?  A printout from an Excel spreadsheet showing every line item of maintenance since new.  Needless to say – it was love at first sight, and I knew at that point this was the TL for me.  The test drive solidified that conviction.  Dave and I took the car out onto the Interstate 17 northbound onramp and I gave its 286 horses a little workout.  It was awesome, and there was no turning back.

By that evening, we had come to an agreement and a deposit was sent.  On Monday, Dave emailed me a whopping 36 PDF scanned receipts detailing the car’s maintenance since new.  Geek mode set in and I prepared a maintenance spreadsheet, of course.  By Tuesday, I had a check in hand for the balance, and on Wednesday, I took delivery of the car.  Logistics worked out perfectly, since Dave needed to fly out of Phoenix airport for a business trip, so he drove the car from Flagstaff for me and I just covered his rental car for his return trip.

Now was the fun part.  My friends have known for some time that the 2004-2008 Acura TL is one of my favorite cars of all time.  In fact, we lovingly call it the “3GTL” and enjoy sending spy shots to one another when we see one on the road.  You’ll recall in my recent blog post that the ILX came back from a 6-week accident hiatus on Wednesday, too. The wheels in my head started spinning.  What if I invited some friends over to see the refreshed ILX, but in reality, the TL could be there to surprise them?

And so it was done.  I carefully figured out the timing and played it out in my head.  When roommate James left to run an errand, I quickly pulled the TL into the garage from where I had parked it at the end of the block.  Then I put a cover over it.  Later that evening, he and a couple other friends came over and learned about the latest Acura-quisition.   Here was the video of the reveal:

The best part about the car enthusiast community isn’t the car itself but the network of people you get to meet through it.  I’ve already staged a couple of “copycat” photos with my Chris in Maryland since we both have twin cars, times two.  Here are photos of his Legend + TL, and my Legend + TL.

Chris’ cars

Tyson’s cars

I look forward to having some fun with my new Type-S and as of later this summer, it will become the primary daily driver as my brother Payton will take over operation of the ILX.

Here are a few more photos!

This conversation was with Dave, the seller.  “Door ding free zone” — I love this guy!

First look at the car on Sunday, April 9th

Dave’s garage.  He sold the TL to make way for the white 2017 Porsche Macan you see in the background.

Initial odometer reading when I first took the driver seat:  96,565.

That color just pops!

Back in Phoenix on the night of delivery

Just before heading to the house to stage the surprise reveal

TL stickered at $38,795 with this equipment

Check out that DVD-Audio demonstration disc collection!  Can’t wait to try out the sound system!

Exhaust tip polish!  Before and after:

Getting a little crowded in this garage.

My friend Conor’s reaction was about like mine when I learned of this car.

Haha.  I’m glad there are others out there who get just as excited about stuff like this as I do.

Thanks for reading!