Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Two Day Trip to Vegas: Rock & Roll Half-Marathon

Posted in Uncategorized on November 16, 2015 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  540,151540151.jpg

Odometer (ILX):  146,276


Trip Distance:  600 Miles

This was a quickie!  For < 48 hours, some friends and I slummed it in Sin City for the Las Vegas Rock & Roll Half-Marathon this weekend.  In the interest of time I’ll let the photos tell the story today.

Lance (center) flew in from Dallas for the occasion.  He and I share an affinity for Sour Patch Kids.  I guess James probably doesn’t mind them either.  We fueled up with proper road trip treats in Wickenburg after departing Phoenix.


Pit stop in “Nothing, Arizona.”  What was once a gas station and convenience store called ALL MART has been abandoned for over a decade.  The building is spray painted with “population 4.”  It’s located along a desolate stretch of Highway 93 between Wickenburg and Wikeup, Arizona where cell phone signal is pretty much nonexistent.


James was driving a 6-speed manual 2016 Scion iM.  Fun little car for $20k!


Lunch at Mr. D’s Route 66 Diner in Kingman, Arizona.  Kingman is a city in northwestern Arizona that embraces its Route 66 heritage in a big way.


James and I added an over-easy egg to our burgers.  So good!


View of our hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada:  The “Downtown Grand”.


Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, just a block from our hotel.  There’s a 4-block stretch which has been closed to vehicular traffic since 1994, including 2 permanent concert stages and a nightly light show set against the curved roof.  It was bustling with people, as was expected!


A zipline was running the length of Fremont Street.  One of the many restaurants in that area is Heart Attack Grill:  A place where you can eat for free if you’re heavier than 350 pounds.  They even have a scale out front.


My friend Ryan (at left in the striped shirt) came out to hang with the gang, too.


I spent $5 at the slot machine in the historic El Cortez casino and walked away with 11 cents.  So much for my luck at gambling.


Race day!  Mom came down from southern Utah to participate with us.  The pre-race “starting village” was in the southern part of The Strip in a large open lot, where the thousands of runners could congregate and get ready to pound the pavement when the race started at 4:30 p.m., just after sunset.


View of New York New York casino.


Mom, Tyson, Lance, Beau – ready to rock & roll, in corral 3.  There were 23,000 finishers.  This event was huge.


Running past my employer – CVS!  It was awesome that The Strip was shut down for the occasion.  There was heavy crowd support along the way.  It was windy, cold, and even rainy for a portion of the run.  Even so, we enjoyed running at night under the city lights.


Traffic closure on Las Vegas Boulevard meant that all the side streets were totally jammed when we all finished.  It took almost an hour in the ILX to get back to our hotel which was only a few miles away.


Tomorrow:  I’m off to Los Angeles for this year’s Auto Show, where I’ll be working in collaboration with Redline Reviews to bring you the latest in car news!



NALM 2015 in Houston, Part 2: Exploring Houston’s Scenic Backcountry

Posted in Uncategorized on September 25, 2015 by tysonhugie

The NALM games have begun out here in Tex-Ass!  Welcome to the 11th Annual National Acura Legend Meet.

As I peer down upon the couple dozen cars in the parking lot from our room here on the 16th floor of the Marriott host hotel in Katy, I see some tired cars and some tired people.  It’s been an action packed but very enjoyable day.  Gabe has his 1993 Legend coupe up on a jack stand to address some wiring issues.  Jeff is finishing up a concours-level detail job.  And a few people are unloading stuff from their cars after today’s couple-hundred-mile driving adventure through the Sam Houston Forest.  It was a sight to behold to participate in a convoy of Legends as we visited some photo opportunities and dined on some of the best ‘cowboy grub’ I’ve ever had.


At 9:00 in the morning, NALM Director TJ Vetrone called a driver’s meeting and gave us a briefing on the overall route and destinations we’d be visiting throughout the day.  Along with the help of his dad, John, TJ truly showed us a great time.  Our first stop was an abandoned town called Richards.  Oops, I guess not abandoned:  296 people live there.  For the 45 or so minutes until our arrival, my concentration was aimed as much at the cars ahead of me as it was behind me.  It’s not every day I get to drive down a highway sandwiched in between cars of my same make and model.  I must say I enjoyed the view.


NALM Photographer Dani Stir was the man of the day.  This guy will do anything for a photo-op.  I watched him climb atop a full size Chevy pickup and I watched him stand outside a moonroof at 70+ miles per hour, facing rearward, to capture in-motion shots.  And he did it all with a smile on his face.  Thanks, Dani, and we can’t wait to see how the pics turn out!



Yankee’s Tavern in Carlos, Texas was the dining venue of choice for a late lunch – and what a great choice it was.  Following John’s recommendation, I went with the Patty Melt (and added some mushrooms for good measure).  It was a winning selection!  This thing was juicier than any burger I’ve ever had.  It wasn’t long before TJ and Dani started cooking up another photo idea, so soon we lined up the cars yet again for a picture on the grass just behind Yankee.  I was given the exclusive opportunity to stage both of my cars atop a small hill, with the remainder of attendees grouped below.


On the way back to our host hotel in Katy, we did have just one more stop to make:  The Grimes County Courthouse.  Built in 1894, this structure today stands as an “island” of source with pavement all the way around it.  One at a time, under John’s direction, each driver pulled his car over by the front steps of the building while Dani snapped a photo.

It’s a successful NALM day in the books.  For those who couldn’t make it this year, I hope this gives you a quick glance into how our day went.  There’s much more to come.  See you tomorrow.

Hotel room with a view!


Alan doing some finishing touches on his Legend GS detail:  “Back to Black” on those plastic trim pieces.


Leon installed a NALM sticker on the hood of his 1995 Legend LS.  Official Pace Car!


Kevin saved the day by coming to my rescue with some power steering fluid that I was low on.


Departing the Marriott, following Mike’s gorgeous 195,000-mile 1991 “Golden Glow Pearl” sedan.  Mike bought that brand new.  How many of you have kept the same car for 24 years?


Fuel up in Montgomery, Texas.  Btw, gas is cheap here!  I saw $1.95!


Tyson and Chris – standing with our “twin” GS sedan 6-speeds.  Mine has 148,000 miles and his has 141,000.  The cars are only 145 production numbers apart.  Both were built in February 1994.


A rare sighting – I got to follow my own car while driving Chris’ GS.


Even more rare:  My coupe, with my sedan in the mirror, while driving Chris’ car.  This was just prior to our photo op in Richards.


The four Desert Mist Metallic Legends lined up.  These are all 1994 models.


Tyson and James posing with the cars.


Alan is from the Tampa area and he brings out this straw hat to every NALM.  I need one.


Sorry, just can’t get enough of these butts.


Vanna…. er, Chris Miller!


Legends parked at Yankee Tavern!


16 ounce Rib Eye!  Wednesday nights.  I need to go back.  Blake’s 6-speed 1994 coupe pictured.


Inside Yankee Tavern.


Alan on the phone with his wife Nancy.


Gearing up for a photoshoot on the grass.


Chris taking a look at his engine bay.  Grimes County Courthouse in the background.


Special visit from a Houston local and a good friend of mine – Mark.  He brought his big-bodied bombshell, “Vivian” out to say hello.  Vivian is a 2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8.  She sounds pretty mean with that custom exhaust.


Check you tomorrow!

Brad’s Visit & “Ignition” Phoenix Car Show

Posted in Uncategorized on August 31, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,491


Odometer (NSX):


Odometer (ILX):  94,381



For once, I let someone else do all the “heavy” driving for me this weekend!  Anyone who’s followed D25 long enough knows that in most cases, a long holiday weekend means some kind of crazy cross-country drive.  This time, I’m pleased to report that the cars and I are resting up and enjoying some much-needed downtime.  Brad, though — he’s a man on a mission.  Brad is a Drive to Five reader from Chicago, Illinois who got a wild hair last week and decided to hit the open road in his 2004 Honda Accord coupe and head for the southwest.

On Friday evening, I received a text message from Brad about how he’d just passed a “big crack in the ground,” accompanied by a picture of the Grand Canyon.  Holy smokes – this guy had covered some serious ground in just a matter of a few days!  Following my recommendations, he’d already conquered Colorado’s Mount Evans as well as the Million Dollar Highway.  And he was heading straight for Phoenix!

Confident that his Honda’s A/C had never had to work quite as hard as it was on Saturday, Brad arrived safely and soundly to central Phoenix.  His timing couldn’t have been better:  Some friends and I were attending a car show called “Ignition,” held at the historic 1965 Veterans Memorial Coliseum on 17th Avenue & McDowell Road.


Brad’s Graphite Pearl 2004 Accord EX coupe is a true one-owner and a low-miler.  Brad has gone to great lengths to keep his Accord in top shape both mechanically and cosmetically, though the Illinois winters at times make that a challenge.  He reported getting the car’s 10-year best-ever mileage of about 38 miles per gallon in the hills of Colorado on this very trip.  This came as a surprise, since he’d been so aggressive with the throttle at times.  The Accord’s 16-valve 2.4 liter iVTEC 4 cylinder motor generates 160 horsepower, and Brad said he definitely gave each one of those horses a workout on the way to the top of 14,000-foot-tall Mount Evans.



Just 74,000 miles on the Accord!


I had the chance to ride along with Brad for a few miles, and the car — as well as Brad’s 5-speed shifting skills — were as smooth as could be.  His visit was short, but fortunately he was able to join for lunch and meet a few of my friends.  Brad’s now well on his way back to Chicagoland, having made it all the way to Albuquerque, New Mexico by later in the evening.  Safe travels, Brad, and thanks for making a pit stop in my neighborhood!

The Ignition car show drew a wide variety of vehicles (and owners) but I’ll highlight just a few things.


The Coliseum venue itself has an interesting story.  Considered architecturally state-of-the-art when it was built in the mid-1960’s, the building today is a little run-down.  It can still accommodate nearly 15,000 people and continues to host the Arizona State Fair each October, but most larger events have since shifted to other arenas in the downtown Phoenix area.  The Coliseum has had its share of highlights over the years, though, including a sold-out concert by Elvis Presley in 1970.  The Phoenix Suns basketball team played there from 1968 through 1992. 



I entered my NSX in the show, and it ended up parked next to my friend Matt’s Infiniti Q50 and a Tesla Model S.


Loved this four-door hardtop Pontiac Bonneville.


This 1948 Chrysler belongs to Roger, and it’s one of 30 (yes, THIRTY) Chrysler vehicles in his collection.  I asked him if he’d buy anything that wasn’t a Chrysler.  His response was “Mopar or No Car.”  I like that brand loyalty!


Believe it or not, that little red car is a vintage Subaru 360.  Its curb weight is only 1,000 pounds.


I enjoyed all the original paperwork & window sticker on this one-owner, 55,000-mile, 1986 Oldsmobile 442.


Lunch-bound in the ILX:  Jeremy, Brad, Tyson


Jeremy, by the way, is a proud owner of a new (to him) 2004 Acura TL 6-speed with the full A-Spec underbody kit.


I was feeling artsy and the lighting was right, so I grabbed a couple pictures of the 1992 NSX on the way out of the Coliseum.



Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend!