Legend Feature: Curbside Classics Website

Posted in Blog, Legend on April 12, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,145

529145

Odometer (ILX):  73,760

73760

“Every Car Has A Story”

Ain’t that the truth!  Curbside Classic is one must-see website where cars’ stories are told in great detail.  I recently submitted a guest write-up to Managing Editor Perry Shoar and invited him to use it on the site.  It was published on Wednesday as a “COAL” – Car of a Lifetime – and has garnered over 90 comments since.  It seems there are skeptics in the crowd who raise eyebrows at the thought of an original clutch that’s traveled nearly 530,000 miles.  Ha!

cc_banner

Here’s a direct link to the article for any who wish to read it.  Therein, I chronicled the story of my half-million miles of travels from long before I even owned my long-lived Acura Legend coupe.  Those of you who have followed me for any length of time will probably find certain aspects of the story a re-run, but  I hope you’ll enjoy it nonetheless.

cc_feature

Swing on by CC and take a peek.  They’ve got some great features.  As it turns out, the Legend model has been featured previously, too.  Editor Brendan Saur posted this write-up last June.  Thanks to Perry and the rest of the CC Team for seeing fit to publish my contribution!  Have a great weekend, all.

Mustang Mania: MAA & Marti Auto Works

Posted in Arizona on April 10, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (NSX):  97,756

97756

Odometer (ILX):  73,721

73721

Any classic Ford lovers out there?  The Ford Mustang is turning the big 5-0 this year, and that’s a pretty big deal.  America’s favorite pony car has sold over 8 million units since its debut in 1964.  Chances are, most of us have ridden in one or even owned one at some point.

Phoenix local Sam Haymart has been involved with a commemorative drive to celebrate the Mustang’s anniversaries every 5 years since the 30th anniversary event took place in 1994.  His program is called Mustangs Across America (MAA).  This year, the event has surpassed any prior registration count:  518 vehicles.  Most of the participants are taking on the full enchilada:  A 2,400-mile drive from Los Angeles, California to Charlotte, North Carolina.  Man, I wanna join in!

maa_drive

The end point, Charlotte, is home to a Motor Speedway where a big Mustang birthday bash is being held, sponsored of course by Ford Motor Company.  Tonight, they’re in the Phoenix area so I met up with the group at a western-themed place called Rawhide on the south end of town, not far from Interstate 10.  Tomorrow night, they’ll be in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and from there, they’ll continue the eastward journey stopping in the cities identified on the map above.  If they’ll be in your area, it’ll be worth your while to rendezvous with the group and take part!

This made me excited for the 10th Annual National Acura Legend Meet (NALM) coming up in late July.

Check out the photos below from my visit tonight to the designated meeting point.

ilx_at_rawhide

Rawhide welcomes visitors from over 90 countries each year.  The site is a replica of an 1880′s town.

rawhide_sign

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ – RAWHIDE!  I know you’re singing it with me now.

tyson_rawhide

Here’s a peek inside Rawhide. There’s food, entertainment, and – of course – a mechanical bull you can ride if you’re over 48 inches tall.

rawhide_inside

Giddy on up.  Let’s take a look at some of these cars.  “Wicked Pony” on the plate.  Yeah, pretty sweet.

tyson_with_mustangs

Believe it or not, I’m a fan of this green color.

rawhide

Here’s a glimpse of what the rest of the parking lot looked like this evening.

mustangs2

Mustangs of all years are welcome at the event.  Most are later-model cars, but a few die-hards had brought out their classics to put on some serious miles.  There were license plates from all around the country represented.

mustangs3

This participant had his or her map and clipboard ready to go on the dashboard.

interior

“You Have to Understand:  It’s All About the Car.”  I need that plate frame!

plate

More from around the parking lot.

mustangs6

Windshield banner on this one.

mustangs1

Racing stripes only look good on a Mustang.

mustangs4

Steakhouse food looked pretty dang tasty, too.

rawhide_steakhouse

Here’s founder Sam Haymart’s personal car that’s been vinyl-wrapped as the event’s pace car.  It’s a 1994 5-speed that’s been fully restored to mechanical perfection in preparation for the drive.

maa_pace_car

I wish all the MAA participants a safe and enjoyable drive to North Carolina!

Shifting gears a bit, I wanted to share a related story from earlier this week.  As part of the Phoenix Automotive Press Association (PAPA), I get to see some pretty neat stuff.

Arizona native Kevin Marti has always had a passion for Ford.  His company, Marti Auto Works, has built its name for the last 30 years as one of the world leaders in reproduction Ford parts for model years 1955 through 1989.  The PAPA organization got an exclusive tour last week of his service center which has been painstakingly set up to look like a 1970 dealership.

Stepping through the front door into the bright blue building, even the smell exudes a feeling of nostalgia.  Over the past few decades, Kevin and his wife Shelly have collected hundreds of period-correct items with which to equip their shop.  True to how a dealership would have looked some 40 years ago, there’s a parts counter, “new car” area, and a service lift with all the correct tools that would have been used in that era.

I’ve collected so much Acura stuff from the 1990′s that someday I could see myself doing something similar to this.  Ha!  Hope you enjoy seeing some pictures below from our tour.  Thanks to our PAPA founding president, Larry Edsall, for coordinating this opportunity.

marti_sign

Let’s take a look inside.  And a step back in time.

marti_outside

Meet Kevin, the man behind the operation.

kevin_tyson

Kevin told us a story about this “The Man’s Car” banner that was used in Mercury Cougar advertising.  A year later, after Mercury had sold far more units to women than to men, that slogan was understandably retired.

mercury_the_mans_car

Here are a couple of neat items:  A data plate machine and a broadcast sheet printer.

data_plate_broadcast_sheet_printer

Vehicle lifts.

lifts

Lots of neat photography including an assembly line shot of the 1966 Mustang.

wall_photos

Parked in the showroom:  1967 Mercury Cougar, 1968 Ford Mustang.  Behind the Cougar (which, by the way, is a stick-shift that I’d love to test-drive!) is a stand with factory literature and brochures for these and for many other classic Fords, all in original condition.

cougar_mustang

Kevin told us about how he got started in the business.

kevin_marti

Here’s the parts counter.

parts_counter

Grab a Coke!  I’m not sure if the machine worked, but if it did, I’m sure all the Cokes therein would have been flat.

coke_machine

I thought the “6,000 Mile Motor Oil” was an interesting concept.  I think this was probably long before synthetic oils came into play.  These days, I’m driving my Acura ILX upwards of 8,000 miles on a single oil change.

motor_oils

Touch-up paint.

touch_up_paints

Philco was a battery, radio, and TV company back in the day.  From 1961 to 1974, Philco was owned by Ford.  Part of Kevin’s collection of memorabilia includes these television sets and a refrigerator.

philco_televisions

Check out that vintage alignment machine!

alignment_machine

On a fun last note, I took a coworker’s Porsche for a spin at lunch on Tuesday.  This is a “Speed Yellow” 2007 Porsche Cayman.

tyson_with_cayman

It’s equipped with a 2.7 liter flat 6 motor and a 5-speed manual transmission.  Power is 245 horsepower which is adequate for a car of that size.

cayman_badge

Impressions?  Fun.  Loved the engine note and the eye-catching looks.  Gearshift was precise and handling predictable.  I didn’t much care for the climate controls, the ignition location (left of steering wheel), and the overall seating position.

 

cayman_interior

Still, a sweet ride!  And I thank my coworker Tim for letting me give it a whirl!

Foglight surgery on the ILX tonight – I finally got around to replacing that broken passenger side housing.

ilx_fog

We made it to Friday!  See you again soon.

Cars & Coffee / Supercar Saturday Pictures

Posted in Arizona, Car Show on April 8, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,140

529140

Odometer (ILX):  73,452

73452

Car culture in the Phoenix, Arizona area is alive and well year-round.  On any given weekend, you’re bound to see a fair share of classic and collectible cars.  One of the events that I attend regularly is called Cars & Coffee.  An entire parking lot fills to the brim every first Saturday of the month, and I took my 1992 Acura NSX out this past weekend.

corvette_nsx

Here are a few of the other vehicles in attendance.

cc

This one really puts a size differential into play.  A Nissan GT-R dwarfs my friend Neil’s Berlina Black NSX.

neil_nsx

It’s easy to see that “anything goes.”  The diversity of vehicles in attendance at C&C was evident.

cc2

Nice rides all around.

cc3

This event is one of things worth getting up early on a Saturday for.

cc4

Oh, and did I mention a Bugatti Veyron was in attendance.  We’re looking at a couple million dollars right here.

cc5

Makes my NSX and this Porsche seem so humble in comparison.

vette_nsx_porsche

My friend Chase showed up in his 26,000 mile beautiful NSX, too.  In the background you’ll notice a Volvo much like the one that Irv Gordon drove to 3,000,000 miles not long ago.

chase_nsx

Another red NSX.  They were scattered throughout the show!  This was a 1996 with 40,000 miles and a bunch of performance goodies.

peter_nsx

Of all the cars in attendance, this one intrigued me the most.  This is called a Facel Vega.  It was produced from 1962 through 1964 in France and powered by a Chrysler engine.

facel2

I loved those subtle tailfins with integrated brake lamps.

facel1

Rallying the troops for the next event:  Supercar Saturday.  About once every six months, a Scottsdale-based company called Supercar Specialists hosts a road rally of sorts that I’ve attended on a few occasions.

rollout

Here, a hundred or so cars got together for a cruise to the mountains.

lineup

Even an Enzo Ferrari made came out to play.

enzo

Meeting & mingling with other car owners before heading to the hills.

lambo_nsx

Gotta love that color.

lambo_nsx_2

Yet another Formula Red NSX.

nsx

And Chase’s car again.

nsx_benz

After distributing maps to the day’s destination, everyone got in their cars and rolled out in a giant caravan.

rollout2

Start your engines.

group

There’s a sexy black Lambo.

lambo

I followed my friends Kelvin and Neil as we made our way toward the Interstate 17 northbound onramp.

following_neil

A couple more taken by others.

1097203_671509089552972_5822701394933339534_o

1890504_671508972886317_5098680243340559438_o

Hope you enjoyed the pics!

 

Reader’s Ride: Daniel’s 2012 Acura TL

Posted in Reader's Ride on April 6, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,120

529120

Odometer (ILX):  73,359

73359

daniel_tl_left_rear

The ultimate in Touring Luxury, this is one TL that’s dressed to impress.

Having previously owned a Honda Accord coupe, Daniel knew he wanted to step things up a notch and get into the Acura game.  That’s why when he landed a promotion at work, the next logical step was to reward himself with a handsome new car.  Enter the Crystal Black Pearl 2012 TL.

daniel_tl_interior

Daniel’s TL was one of perhaps only a handful that were originally outfitted in “SHIELD” attire as part of a promotional campaign with the Avengers movie.  SHIELD = Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement Logistics Division.

tl_front_right

Initially branded with a SHIELD sticker on the front doors, Daniel removed that but left the unique accessory wheels and OEM body kit.

tl_ilx_2

With just 41,000 miles on the odometer, his car still looks and smells now.  The lip spoiler on the back window is a nice subtle upgrade.

ilx_with_tl

Daniel and I took the TL to lunch and I must say, it was one smooth ride.  I especially enjoyed the ventilated seats.

tl_ilx

The neighbors stopped by in their new Dodge Durango and asked if they could be part of the photoshoot.  Sorry, guys!

neighbors

Here’s what the SHIELD TLs looked like in show form.

Thanks, Daniel, for sharing your passion for Acura!  Let’s get together again soon.

Hey, check out this awesome cross-country road trip in a BMW 5 series.  The thread is 7 pages long but if you’re like me, you’ll be addicted.  Thanks to my friend Lou for the link.

Around the Country in 80 Days

bmw

Friday Photo Challenge – Cast Your Vote!

Posted in Blog, Reader's Ride, Utah on April 4, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,106

529106

Odometer (ILX):  72,982

72982

Of course it rained the day after I washed the Grand Canyon dirt off my ILX.  Oh well.

ilx_at_office

I love photo scavenger hunts, so I created one.  On February 7, 2009, I went for a scenic cruise in northern Utah’s Cache Valley on a brisk sunny day.  My 1994 Acura Legend had 364,980 miles on it at the time.  I stopped to take this series of pictures.  The location didn’t really have any significance.  I probably just felt like pulling over to document the scenic mountain range in the background.  The intersection was 1950 North, 200 West, in Logan, Utah.

utah1

utah2

utah4

utah5

The idea struck me.  How closely could my friend Ryan duplicate the photo with the street signs, 5 years later?

I sent it to him, to my mom, and to my friend Tyler.  Let’s see how they did.

Original

1

Ryan’s Audi

3

Mom’s Lexus

2

Tyler’s Honda

4

Who gets the prize?

I guess I should decide what the prize is, too.

Have a great weekend, all.

Brad’s Visit Part 2: Grand Canyon Skywalk, Arizona

Posted in Arizona, ILX, Road Trip on April 1, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,096

529096

Odometer (ILX):  72,767

72767

Trip Distance:  354 Miles

kingman_skywalk_scottsdale

111 years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt said:

“The Grand Canyon fills me with awe. It is beyond comparison—beyond description; absolutely unparalleled throughout the wide world… Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is. Do nothing to mar its grandeur, sublimity and loveliness. You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is to keep it for your children, your children’s children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see.”

Sixteen years later in 1919, the Grand Canyon was officially named as a national park.  I echo President Roosevelt’s sentiments and encourage any of you who’ve not yet seen the Grand Canyon to plan a trip there soon.

A little background on today’s destination:  The “Skywalk” attraction didn’t come around until about 7 years ago.  It’s a horseshoe-shaped glass platform 70 feet in length that extends from the canyon wall.  Anyone who’s afraid of heights should steer clear, but for me it posed a unique opportunity and I was thrilled to finally get the chance to experience it.  The $31 million structure is said to be able to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake and is engineered to hold the weight of 822 people @ 200 pounds each.  Max capacity is set at 120 people, though.

overhead

(photo credit – Hualapai Indian Reservation)

From our hotel in Kingman, Brad and I headed out in the ILX on an overcast Sunday morning and drove up US Highway 93 to the eastbound turnoff toward to the Skywalk, taking us through the trailer town of Dolan Springs.  The attraction is located on the Hualapai Indian Reservation, and thus a part of our entry fee went toward a surcharge for entering the Indian land.  Guess they’ve gotta make that $31M back somehow!  The last 9 miles of our drive on Diamond Bar Road were graded dirt/gravel, but that didn’t deter us.  You’ve all seen me off-road the ILX before.

skywalk_turnoff_with_ilx

rough_road_sign

The ILX felt right at home in the desert environment.

ilx_front_diamond_bar_road

The Skywalk experience far exceeded expectations for me.  After parking the car, we checked in and picked up a map of the area. Included in the fare was a full meal as well as a shuttle ride to 3 different destinations and thousands of photo opportunities.  The first was called Hualapai Ranch.  It was an attempt at re-creating an old Western town, complete with a saloon and some stables.  We had our lunches there, and the portions & quality were great.  I went with the baked chicken.

eagle_point_sign

The second stop, Eagle Point, was where action revved up.  The tour bus stopped and Brad and I raced off among a stampede of foreign-language-speaking tourists.  The canyon in all its splendor was there for the viewing.  It was unnerving to stand at the cliff’s edge and be buffeted by strong wind gusts.  We were ushered through a metal detector and got busted for attempting to take our cell phones onto the Skywalk – d’oh!  You see, no “personal effects” whatsoever are allowed.  No cameras and no phones.  Into a locker those items went.  We put disposable booties over our tennis shoes and took a step outside on the 4-pane glass with our eyes affixed on the canyon floor some 4,000 feet beneath us.  It was unreal.

tyson_brad_on_skywalk

There were actually gaps between the panes in the glass floor wide enough to stick a finger through.  I knelt down to show that to Brad and to poke my finger through the opening, and the lady standing next to me nearly passed out while watching me.  She was clutching onto the hand railing so hard her knuckles were white.  Ha!  An employed photographer was on-site to take our pictures – for a fee, of course.

The final stop of the Skywalk shuttle bus was to Guano Point, so named for a mining operation that took place there in the 1930′s where bat guano (dung) was extracted from the area.  The view surrounded us as we made our way to the end of the point.  Brad and I met people from all over the world as we offered to take pictures for others.

guano_point_sign

tyson_at_guano_point

Fulfilled in our mission, we headed back toward the Phoenix area via Stockton Hill Road to Kingman.  A Las Vegas tour bus stirred up a huge cloud of dust ahead of me on the 9-mile dirt road that surely left my ILX needing its nostrils (air filter) needing to be cleaned or replaced once more, but it was well worth it.  Drive to Five attraction rating:  5 stars.

Here are a few of the pics from our trip, as well as a very short video.

Pierce Ferry Road, eastbound from US 93.

pierce_ferry

About 21 miles from the West Rim, we confronted this sign.

gcwest_sign

Made it!  Parking lot was paved despite the road being unpaved.

ilx_in_parking_lot

Lunch at Hualapai Ranch, after being greeted by these two cowboys.

hualapai_ranch_men

Not bad!

meal_at_hualapai_ranch

The gift shop also had homemade fudge.  We tried a few samples.  Okay, a bunch of samples.

fudge

Eagle Point – a windy day but with great visibility.

tyson_1

Magnificent views all around.

tyson_2

Skywalk pictured here at left.  Future plans for the area are a high-end restaurant, a museum, and other amenities.

canyon_view

The Skywalk gets two thumbs up from Brad.  Check out those stylish booties.

tyson_brad_on_skywalk_4

This was my favorite perspective – just sitting down and looking through the glass.

tyson_brad_on_skywalk_3

Our photographer encouraged us to take this one.

tyson_brad_on_skywalk_2

More admiring the views from Eagle Point.

tyson_at_canyon

Warning sign from the mining equipment at Guano Point.

warning

tyson_at_eagle_point

Back on the road again, stirring up a cloud of dust.  I had to laugh at the people who were taking their convertible Mustangs on the road with the tops down.  Hope they hit the car wash before returning those rentals.

pavement_ends

Quick roadside photo op on the unpaved portion of Diamond Bar Road.

ilx_front

Who needs asphalt anyway?

tyson_with_ilx_diamond_bar_road

Brad and I pit stopped for a few minutes to admire the Joshua Tree forest.

ilx_dash

The colors of the desert were so vivid.

ilx_joshua_trees_2

Dirty dirty.

ilx_joshua_trees

Finally back at the house, and taking the old NSX out for a bite to eat.  Nice GQ pose, Brad.  Hey, follow this guy under “@bm89″ on Instagram.  He’s meant to be famous! 

:)

brad_with_nsx

Love this sexy ride.

tyson_with_nsx

Hope you enjoyed the trip!

Sometime this weekend I get to install a $120 replacement foglamp assembly and a burned out bulb on the ILX.  My driver’s side foglight bulb lasted 71,400 miles before burning out, and the passenger side has had a crack in it for several thousand miles.  Time to get that front end fixed back up.

ilx_fog

Brad’s Visit Part 1: Phoenix – Flagstaff – Kingman, Arizona

Posted in Arizona, ILX, Road Trip on March 31, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  529,074

529074

Odometer (ILX):  72,728

72728

Trip Distance:  306 Miles

phx_flg_igm

How would you like to walk out on a glass platform and look at the ground nearly 4,000 feet below?  Would that give you a little bit of vertigo?  (photo credit:  Hualapai Indian Reservation)

skywalk

This weekend’s adventure was a visit to a hole in the ground that’s neither the deepest nor the widest in the world, but is nevertheless famous due to its size and colorful landscape:  The Grand Canyon.  My friend Brad flew in from New York to enjoy the view at one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Despite the fact that I live in the Grand Canyon state, I sure haven’t spent much time there lately.  I’ve only been a few times that I recall.  One was was eight years ago, in March 2006 when my Legend had 211,000 miles on it.

tyson_with_legend_at_grand_canyon

Keen Acura fans’ eyeballs will notice those 2004-2006 Acura TL 17″ wheels I was sporting at the time.

legend_2006

Another trip to the Grand Canyon was a railroad trip to the south rim in May 2011.  To a lot of people (both Arizonans and otherwise), the G.C. is a “see it once, never go back” type destination.  What they don’t realize is that the canyon offers a vastly different perspective depending on each of the various viewpoints available.

After enjoying brunch on Saturday morning in Tempe, Brad and I quickly hiked to the summit of Arizona State University’s “A” Mountain.  A gigantic yellow A, there since 1955, proudly communicates Tempe’s school spirit.

tyson_at_asu_a

Later that afternoon, we headed northbound on Interstate 17 in the ILX toward Flagstaff, Arizona.  Along with the elevation gain from 1,100 feet to 7,000 feet, the temperature dipped accordingly.  87 degrees became 67 degrees by the time we arrived at historic San Francisco Street in Flagstaff.

We wandered around for a few minutes and stumbled across the community’s oldest pizza place – Alpine Pizzeria which first opened 41 years ago.  Dessert was served up at the Galaxy Diner, a Route 66 relic that I visited on my Twin Arrows drive back in September 2012.  The hot fudge sundae was every bit as tasty as I remembered it being.  After indulging, we hit the road once more and tuned in to XM channel 74 – we’d had enough pop music for the day.  Instead, our playlist was opera.  Brad’s a big-time opera fan and a frequent flyer of the Metropolitan Opera in New York.   I’m making an effort to diversify my musical interests, so I enjoyed a sampling of some of his favorite pieces.

It took us about two hours of driving westbound on I-40 across the pitch black night to arrive at our nightly destination in Kingman, exhausted but satisfied from a successful day.  The next morning, we would be wowed by one of Mother Nature’s most amazing features in scenic panorama view.

For that, check in tomorrow.  It’ll be worth your while.

Here are a few pictures from Saturday’s fun.

Brunch at NCOUNTER in Tempe.  I recommend the “loaded” omelet.

brad_tyson_brunch

The 1918 Hayden flour Mill has served as an area landmark for nearly a century.  Tempe’s main street is named “Mill Avenue” for it.

tempe_hayden_flour_mill

Admiring the view of Tempe from the hike on “A” Mountain.

brad_hiking

At the summit – only around 1,400 feet but it was a stair-stepping experience and still left me a bit winded!

tyson_brad_a_mountain_hike

Flagstaff, Arizona.  Home of the Northern Arizona University Lumberjacks.

tyson_in_flagstaff

So, Brad accidentally dumped an entire shaker of peppers onto his slice of cheese pizza at Alpine.  And then he STILL ATE IT.

pizza

Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church on Cherry Street – love the architecture here.

church_in_flagstaff

Galaxy Diner, a great spot for food since the 1950′s.

ilx_at_galaxy_diner

Our waittress’ response when I ordered a hot fudge sundae:  “We’re out of ice cream.”  My disappointment reached epic levels.  She must’ve seen it in my face, because soon she cracked a grin and said she was kidding.  Sundaes for all!

tyson_brad_galaxy_diner

Giving this XM channel a whirl for a change.  I didn’t even know it existed.  Look at me being all cultured.

opera_radio

Come back tomorrow!  The fun’s just getting started.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 80 other followers