Car Show: Phoenix “Hot Import Nights”

Posted in Arizona, Car Show on November 26, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,905

531905

Odometer (ILX):  105,232

105232

Hey, everyone.  Just about to set sail on a road trip to Utah for a long Thanksgiving weekend (is anyone surprised?), but have a few pics to share.  Last Saturday afternoon in Phoenix, I took advantage of the perfect weather by zooming up to South Mountain in the ILX (moonroof open, of course) for a quick loop around one of the overlooks.  Here’s a shot from westbound on Loop 202.

202_signs

Rolling on Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix.

downtown_phx

Scenic overlook with Phoenix in the background.

ilx_at_south_mountain

I also swung by one of the local “pick & pull” junkyards to see what kind of treasures I could dig up.  I didn’t end up finding much.  The second-generation Legend sedan inventory was plentiful, but this Granada Black 1994 LS was the only coupe in sight.  At only 170k miles, it was retired at a young age.

coupe_in_junkyard

Later that night, I hit up this car show:

hin_logo

“HIN” is a well-known acronym in the import car enthusiast scene, particular among “tuner” types (think Fast & Furious).  This was my first time at a Hot Import Nights event.  There are a total of 19 HINs held annually, spanning from Seoul, Korea, to Honolulu Hawaii.  The Phoenix-based event is always one of the last of the year, and it’s held at the Phoenix Convention Center, starting at 5:00 p.m.  Here are just a few of the rides in attendance.  This super-clean 1991 Acura NSX was one of my personal faves.

nsx

On display with it were a die-cast model car and the factory hardbound sales brochure.

nsx2

Interesting ‘rust’ finish on this Civic coupe.

civic2

This Eclipse was just a little over-the-top.

eclipse

Clean Civic

civic

And a really low Accord

accord

Finally, just one TSX in this mix, this brown one on an airbag suspension

tsx

…. with curtains in the back windows.

tsx_curtains

This was a good one:  VW wagon with a (stocked!) grocery cart in matching white.

vw_wagon

The plate?  “Grocery Getter.”

vw_plate

RSX

rsx

And a few shots I captured of the ILX as the sun was setting over central Phoenix that evening

ilx_central_phx

Chase Field in the background:  Home of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team since 1998.

ilx_chase_field

Sayonara until next time!  Happy Thanksgiving.

ilx_sunset

2014 Los Angeles, California Auto Show

Posted in California, Car Show, ILX, Road Trip on November 20, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,869

531869

Odometer (ILX):  104,848

104848

Trip Distance:  764 Miles

la_map

It would have cost me $460 to fly round-trip from Phoenix on Southwest for this week’s trip to Los Angeles.  Was there any question I’d rather get behind the wheel and just drive?  Still I get the “Are you driving or flying?” question from plenty of people who don’t yet know me well enough!  For this trip, I had a copilot who’s a fellow seasoned driver:  Jason from Las Cruces, who you’ve read about on Driven for Drives, accompanied me on this trip to the City of Angels. laas_building

The LA Auto Show started in 1907 with 99 vehicles on display at a skating rink.  Since then, it has evolved into one of the largest annual automotive events in the country, filling 760,000 thousand square feet of space at the Los Angeles Convention Center. I’ve attended on two occasions in the past:

I attended this year’s show as an Associate Editor for DC-based automotive media company Redline Productions.  Jackson and Sofyan from the Redline management team had asked me to work with them on some vehicle launch videos, and I was excited for the opportunity to collaborate with them again.  Jason rolled into Phoenix on Tuesday afternoon from Las Cruces, New Mexico, and we hit the road just in time to savor some of Phoenix’s worst afternoon stop-and-go westbound traffic on Interstate 10.  It was a relief when we finally broke free from the gridlock and set the cruise on 80 for the next 5 or so hours.

lax_arrival_

(photo credit to Jason)

Taking the ILX for a quick lap around Los Angeles International Airport’s terminal 5 to scoop up Sofyan and Rob, we checked in at the Sheraton in downtown LA for the night and charged up our batteries – literally and figuratively – for the adventures the following day would provide.  Equipped with our press credentials and loads of ambition, we attacked Wednesday’s Auto Show with organization and strategy.

Throughout the day, each automaker got a 25-minute window of time to “wow” the journalists.  We got ahold of the schedule and decided which press conferences we each wanted to attend.  When we weren’t following the hordes of press people around, we spent time tidying up our scripts and networking with old friends, some of whom we hadn’t seen since last year’s show.  I ran into Acura’s Chuck Schifsky and we caught up for a few minutes. chuck_tyson_at_booth

300_review

I got my moment in the spotlight when I did an on-camera preview of the newly-refreshed 2015 Chrysler 300 (above picture captured by a friend during my on-cam time), and then had some free time to explore at my leisure.  Some of the automaker booths offered free food, drinks, and swag, so I was keen to keep my eyes open for such goodies.  In all, I walked over 5 miles during the day while exploring the huge conference center, according to my iPhone’s “Health” app.

The afternoon hours flew by, and before we knew it, the 5:45 p.m. PA announcement was made:  The show halls would be closing in 15 minutes.  We hurried to wrap up our current activities and then made our way back to the hotel.  The evening’s activities included dinner with a friend from Acura’s PR team and then a drop-in at a Hyundai-sponsored after-party at historic Hotel Figueroa.

hyundai_party

Honda’s all-new 2016 HR-V model, a subcompact crossover based on the Honda Fit platform, was the subject of my focus on Thursday morning for day 2 of the auto show.  After completing a quick vehicle intro on camera for Redline Reviews, I scampered quickly to the Acura press conference which was scheduled to begin at 9:35 a.m.  Luckily I was able to score us some second-row seats for the entertainment.  Right on cue, we were surrounded by thundering music, spotlights through smoke, and a gigantic countdown clock on the big screen ahead of us.

Acura’s Senior Vice President Mike Accavitti took the stage and teed up his introduction of the refreshed 2016 Acura ILX.  As most of my readers will know, the ILX debuted for the 2013 model year and aside from some new standard features, has been largely unchanged since.  For 2016, the car will now get a host of new appointments to sweeten its appeal to young car buyers looking to enter the luxury segment.

ilx_with_tyson

The climax of Mike’s presentation happened when two Acura ILX models – one in silver and one in stunning Catalina Blue – blazed their Jewel Eye headlights at us and drove up onto the elevated stage.  Mike proceeded then to teach us a little about what makes the new ILX so special.

tyson_sofyan_with_ilx

Among those highlights are the following:

  • Now-standard 201-horsepower, 2.4 liter direct-injected 4-cylinder motor (up 51 horses from the prior “base model” engine)
  • Standard 8-speed dual-clutch transmission
  • New front & rear styling, including signature Jewel Eye headlamps
  • Addition of power passenger seat and available memory seats
  • Seven-inch touch-screen on the instrument panel
  • New trim levels:  Standard, Premium, and Technology Plus.
  • Available A-SPEC package for Premium & above – rolling in 18″ wheels, fog lights, suede seat inserts, red instrument illumination, gray interior stitching, and aluminum brake & throttle pedals
  • Advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies (blind spot detection, rear cross traffic monitor)

I’m saddened by the elimination of the 6-speed manual as a transmission offering, but I love everything else about the new ILX. It looks like Acura has listened to customers who had complained about the previous ILX 2.0-liter “base” engine being underpowered, at only 150 horsepower.  I love the resurrection of of the “A-SPEC” name, as it’s great to see Acura getting back to its “Precision Crafted Performance” heritage.  I look forward to taking a new ILX for a spin.

Among the show’s other world debuts were some important vehicles, 18 of which are listed on the show’s Wiki page under the “2014” heading. All-too-soon, it was time for Jason and me to collect our gear and ponder the 400-mile trek back to the desert.  We said farewell to our friends from Redline Media and grabbed some boxed lunches to-go from the Media Center, then hit the road.  Jason was great company for the drive and I thank him for coming along!  Thanks also to the Redline Productions team for making it a great experience.  I hope that you as my readers enjoyed the show as much as we all did.  Below are the rest of my pics!

return

This is a video of an 8-minute segment of the Acura press conference, leading up to the ILX rollout/unveil.

Wednesday morning view from the 20th floor of the Sheraton in downtown Los Angeles view_from_hotel

Jason, Tyson, Rob, Sofyan, ready to tackle the first day of the Auto Show

tyson_with_redline_crew

Media Center:  Getting set up with our camera gear

media_center

The 2016 Acura ILX waits under black covers until its reveal the following day.

ilx_under_cover

Celebrity encounters in the Media Center:  Steve Ewing, Sr. Editor of Autoblog, and Steve Siler, featured author in Car & Driver

tyson_steve

tyson_steve_siler

Another celebrity encounter:  Davis Adams of Honda Public Relations, and “Lance the Driver.” tyson_davis_lance

And a third!  This is the MAN behind Acura:  Mr. Kurt Antonius.  His name appeared as the designated point of contact on the press releases back in the mid-1980’s when the Acura brand was created as a separate entity from Honda.  He’s since retired, but still comes back to attend the shows from time to time.  It was great to run into him! tyson_kurt_antonius

Honda HR-V debut

honda_hrv

Filming the HRV with Jason and Sofyan the following morning

group_with_hrv

Dinner meet-up with great friends

alex_tyson_vince

Hyundai after-party with a plexiglass cover over the swimming pool at Hotel Figueroa so we could walk on top of it. hyundai_party_2

Additional pictures of today’s 2016 Acura ILX unveiling – first, Mike Accavitti’s presentation. mike_presentation

This is the A-SPEC model that rolled out to the stage in Catalina Blue.

ilx_front_right

Interior

ilx_int

Rear

ilx_back_detail

Rear again

ilx_back

Front

ilx_front

2.4 liter engine

ilx_engine

Driver’s side interior

ilx_int

Driver’s side exterior

blue_ilx_side

Accompanying silver ILX on display, with the new accessory 18″ wheels

ilx_side

Nice looking rear end

ilx_right_rear

My good friend Scott who works for Acura’s media agency, Mullen

tyson_scott

A few other sights from around the show: Mazda – with Jason conducting a review of the newly-revised 6 mazda2

Volkswagen’s sexy new “Golf R”

golf_r

Subaru

subaru

Toyota

toyota

Hyundai

hyundai

Infiniti

infiniti

Infiniti concept car

infiniti_concept

Bentley

bentley

Audi

audi

BMW

bmw

Lexus

lexus

My trusty old car when leaving the Sheraton to head home from Los Angeles.

departure

Whew!!!!  Thanks for reading!

Las Vegas to Palm Springs: Crossing the Mojave National Preserve

Posted in Arizona, California, ILX, Road Trip on November 14, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend): 531,809

531809

Odometer (ILX):  103,603

103603

Trip Distance:  628 Miles

final_map

“Stop the car RIGHT NOW!” I ordered to Justin as my eyes affixed on the quickly passing Roy’s Motel sign on the passenger side of the car.  Obediently, he cocked the steering wheel to the right and we skidded to a stop on the gravel shoulder from about 55 miles per hour in a cloud of dust.  The lengths that I go to for a photo-op is sometimes extreme!

What had caught my eye was a remnant of old Route 66:  A true time capsule of architecture from 1936 in Amboy, Nevada that stood as a reminder of what the Mother Road once was.  Justin positioned the ILX for a photo op and I immortalized the moment digitally for you all to enjoy.

roys4

Determined to keep the weekend fun going, on the heels of our Zion National Park hike, Justin and I decided to explore some new turf and visit friends in Palm Springs, California.  My mom served up some delicious sourdough French toast and we hit the road with a full tank of gas and full stomachs.  The 100 mile stretch between St. George, Utah and Las Vegas, Nevada was a repeat for me as I’ve driven it hundreds of times.  Still, the Virgin River Gorge through the northwest corner of Arizona always provides amazing views in any direction.  In its day, it was one of the most expensive stretches of interstate in the country.

virgin_river_gorge

It was the route we took after rolling through Las Vegas that brought some excitement to the adventure.  Shortly after crossing into the California state line (and passing the landmark “Buffalo Bill’s” casino & rollercoaster) in Primm, we rolled onward for only about another 10 miles on Interstate 15 southbound before exiting on Nipton Road at mile marker 286.  I turned over the ILX reins to Justin for a little while.  The next few hours were spent in the desert backcountry – winding our way along two lane highways that combined whoop-de-doos, seemingly endless straightaways, and plenty of roadside scenery to enjoy.  Pavement conditions were less than optimal, as Justin frequently had to dodge huge potholes while clipping along at 65 to 75 miles per hour.  At least the ILX steering is pretty responsive.

ilx_in_desert

It’s a good thing we had fueled in up Las Vegas because amenities were extremely sparse out there.  We rolled around with windows down, moonroof open, and music blaring — the temperatures were perfect for an open-air cruise.  We blasted through the town of Cima without even batting an eye, but Kelso was worth a closer look.  It got its start in 1905 as a railroad depot for the line between Utah and Los Angeles.

When the mining industry boomed in the 1940s, the population maxed out at around 2,000 residents.  The mines, however, were only open for a decade and – you’ve all heard this story before – the town pretty much dried up.  Today, the original 1923 depot has been restored and serves as the visitor center.  Fun fact:  Due to its remote nature, Kelso residents didn’t get access to television until the 1970s.  (nice overhead shot here from Scott Haefner)

kelsoDepot01

Further down Kelbaker Road from Kelso, we drove past 45 square miles of sand dunes in the Mojave Desert Preserve.  The road crossed over Interstate 40 and eventually led us to our next pit stop in Amboy – home of Roy’s.  I wish Roy’s was still open for business, but its doors shut shortly after the interstate bypassed Amboy in 1972.  Can you imagine being able to time-travel to the heyday of Route 66 and experience what it must have been like?  Amboy’s population is 4, and those residents refer to their town as “The ghost town that ain’t dead yet.”

roys_lobby

There’s not a heck of a lot to see or do in Amboy today, but just a bit to the west (and visible from the highway) is a 6,000-year-old cinder cone volcano that looks like it would be fun to hike around in or on.  Our destination in Palm Springs awaited – and Justin was anxious to pick up the pace – so we moseyed onward.  We breezed through State Route 62 in the town of Twentynine Palms, named by a colonel who surveyed the land in 1852.  Palm Springs was just another hour beyond that, and we arrived just in time for a fantastic sunset.

psp_evening

Here are the rest of the pictures from this leg of the journey.

Accident-induced traffic at the NV/CA state line near Primm.  All that red!

traff

Justin driving past the Kelso railroad depot.

kelso_rr

Distance marker near Kelso.

amboy_baker_sign

Kelso sand dunes.

kelso_sand_dunes

I loved this straightaway with telephone poles running parallel to the road.

phone_poles

Rock formations nearing Amboy.

rocks

Arrival at Roy’s in Amboy, California.  Look closely for a special message Justin sent me from the moonroof of the car.

roys3

And yet again.

roys1

Waiting for a freight train to pass by.

train

ILX interior.

waiting_for_train

Monday morning:  heading back to Phoenix from Palm Springs.

driving_ilx

Rest area just east of Quartzsite, Arizona.

bouse_rest_area

Love how friendly the interpretive signs are:  “Enjoy Arizona.”  We sure did!

enjoy_arizona

Thanks for joining!

Hey, on the subject of car longevity:

My friend Scott shared this article with me.  It shows just how much butt-kicking Honda does with regard to vehicle reliability when compared to other makes.  My favorite part was the section about how the Accord model singlehandedly “beats all of Europe.”

Enjoy!  Link here.

coupe_at_target

Utah’s Zion National Park: “The Subway” Hike

Posted in Hikes, ILX, Road Trip, Utah on November 12, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,804

531804

Odometer (ILX):  103,488

103488

Trip Distance:  80 Miles

stg_to_zion

Grab a $5 footlong before getting started with this post.  The Subway I’ll be introducing you to today, however, isn’t any kind of sandwich.  It’s something far better:  It’s one of the most remote and scenic canyons in the country.  Growing up in southern Utah, I was lucky to have several national parks right in my own backyard.  Utah, in fact, is often considered the country’s national park capital because there are five parks in close proximity.

falls

Zion National Park covers 229 square miles but it’s most known for 15-mile-long Zion Canyon.  Its designation as a national park happened almost exactly 95 years ago, in November 1919 under U.S. President Woodrow Wilson.  The canyon itself is up to 1/2 mile deep and cuts through the sandstone rocks in dramatic red and orange colors.  Back in May 2013, I shared a throwback post about a few of my visits to Zion including my favorite hike of all time, Angel’s Landing, which ascends a narrow pathway through terror-inducing heights with 1,500-foot cliff drop-offs on both sides.  Yeah, don’t lose your footing.

park_sign

For years I’ve known of a hike called The Subway but it wasn’t until this weekend that I actually got the chance to experience it.  Due to its treacherous nature and in the interest of preservation, access to The Subway is heavily restricted by the National Park Service and a backcountry permit is required.  My mom reserved a permit for our group several months in advance, so we set aside the date and planned our visit around a fixed date.

group_in_ilx

Bright and early on Saturday morning (do people ever say they got up “dark and late”?), five of us piled into my ILX and headed toward the entrance to Zion in Springdale.  It was a cozy squeeze but only about a 40-mile trek.  We ran into a traffic delay just before entering park limits, thanks to a 10K run that caused a road closure.  By the time we’d retrieved our permit from the Visitor Center, driven 8 miles up Kolob Terrace Road, and unloaded our gear, it was around 10:45 in the morning when we started the hike.

kolob_terrace_rd

For the next 6 hours, we’d be traversing some of southern Utah’s most rugged and scenic landscapes – with many of the fall colors at their peak, too.  Motivated and full of energy, we practically skipped down the singletrack dirt trail for the first 1/2 mile or so.  Terrain was level for the time being.  Soon, though, we started dipping down rocky, steep (and sometimes slippery) red dirt as we made our way to the base of the canyon.  A few of us had walking sticks, but Justin and I did the best we could to find our footing without the assistance.  The lower in elevation that we got, the more clearly we could hear the babbling of the Virgin River as it carved its way through the canyon.  Aside from a couple of cairns here and there, we had very few points of reference to go on.  Sometimes, the trail was wherever we wanted it to be.

river_crossing

We frequently had to climb up, over, or around boulders that were bigger than SUVs.  They came in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.  Some had edges that looked so precision-cut, they almost seemed man-made.  About an hour into the hike, it became apparent that getting our feet wet was going to be inevitable, so we swapped our footwear for water-friendly Teva sandles and continued onward.  Multiple times we did end up having to cross the Virgin River as we headed up the canyon.  One of my favorite things about The Subway hike was its solitude:  In our entire day of hiking, we encountered probably fewer than two dozen people.

It seemed like it took forever, but we finally started noticing that the canyon narrowed and we crossed over some eye-catching tiered waterfalls.  Just around the corner, The Subway was there in all its glory, and we spent some time in that area admiring the surroundings.  The actual section of the hike that has rounded subway-like walls is only about 1/4 miles in length.  It lies between two peaks called the North and South Guardian Angels.

tyson_in_subway

Glancing at her watch, my mom alerted us to fact that it would start getting dark in just 3 hours.  The last place any of us wanted to be at dusk was stuck inside the canyon, so we somewhat hurriedly started back-tracking toward the trailhead.  I found it interesting that the reverse hike often times offered completely different looking views than what we had seen on the first leg.  It was a bit unnerving when Justin and I came across a group of 3 people who were terrified:  “We’ve think we’ve missed the exit.” (referring to the area where we needed to climb up out of the river bed and ascend to the trailhead).  Justin and I were quite certain we hadn’t yet gotten to to that point in the trail.  Still, it made my heart skip a beat to think that we might end up hopelessly lost and need to spend the night in a dark canyon.

Sure enough, we did find our way out and we spent the last ounce of our energy (and our last few drops of bottled water) on climbing the 1,000 or more feet in elevation to the parking lot, just as the sun started dipping beneath the horizon.  I passed by a man who was clearly struggling to carry a bunch of camera gear and offered to lighten his load.  He graciously accepted the offer and had me unlatch his heavy tripod so that I could carry it to the top for him. It was such a relief to get to the summit and know that we had finished our mission safely.

The Subway offered up an experience that I won’t soon forget!  More pictures follow below – hope you enjoy them.

First, a very short (15-second!) video.

Stuck in Saturday morning traffic in Rockville, Utah – headed to get our backcountry hiking permit.

rockville

Arrival at the Left Fork Trailhead.

justin_with_ilx

Todd and Tia getting ready for the descent into the canyon.

zion_wilderness_sign

Making our way down the steep slope toward the Virgin River.

descent

Fall colors as mom makes her way through the canyon.

tia_hiking

Justin shows off his strength with this huge boulder.

justin_holding_rock

Obligatory hiking selfie.

tyson_todd_tia

Pit stop along the river as we headed toward The Subway section.

tyson_justin

More fall colors.

leaves

Small waterfalls were found throughout the canyon.

justin_on_rock

Scenery unmatched.

view

One of several terraced waterfalls.

steps

Arrival at The Subway.

subway_5

The Subway.

subway_3

This was as far as we went into the depths of The Subway.  We would have needed to rappel to go any further.

subway_2

Taking a breather before starting the return trip.

subway1

The Virgin River cascades down this smooth rock face.

falls2

Back at the trailhead, victorious!  Aunt Jodi, Justin, Tyson.

finished

Despite not having any service, my iPhone somehow calculated my daily steps at 22,872 – equaling 11.03 miles and 59 flights of stairs.

health_info

It’s no wonder my legs were still sore even a couple days later.  Hope you enjoyed the hike!

2014 SEMA Show in Las Vegas: Quick Visit

Posted in Car Show, ILX, Nevada, Road Trip on November 10, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,768

531768

Odometer (ILX):  103,446

103446

Trip Distance:  1,133 Miles

overall_weekend

Vegas + Cars = Fun.  Las Vegas, Nevada is one of the entertainment capitals of the world, but add on top of that the fact that the city plays host once a year to one of the biggest car conventions on the planet, and the fun factor skyrockets off the charts.  The SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show is a place for vendors to display their wares – and anything that’s automotive-related is fair game.  Some 60,000 domestic and international buyers are expected to visit the 4-day show each November at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Over the next few blog entries, I’ll share with you the highlights of a 4-day, 1,133-mile trip through Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and California.  This first one will include just the SEMA piece.

My friend Justin and I hit the road on Friday morning in the ILX to make our way to Sin City for this year’s show.  Drive time was only about 4.5 hours – not too painful at all.  We found our way to the convention center on Paradise Road and parked the ILX, shuffled our way indoors along with hundreds of other people who were also arriving for the last day of the show.  Right off the bat, I ran into my friend Nyko from Local Motors who had a booth outside next to a huge Meguiar’s display.  My main focuses for the SEMA show during our short visit were to meet up with my friend Jason and to document the Honda / Acura booth so that I could share it with you all.

convention_center

The eye-catcher this year was the “Andaro Blue” customized 2015 Acura TLX, built by Galpin Auto Sports. It featured:

  • Aero body kit with new front and rear bumpers, side skirts and deck-lid spoiler
  • ADV5.0 M.V2 SL custom wheels with gunmetal inner and liquid smoke outer – 19×9+38 Front/19×9+35 Rear
  • Pirelli 245/40/19 P Zero Tires
  • RSR Sport SI Series suspension kit with fully adjustable coilovers featuring 36-way damping adjustment
  • Wilwood Superlite 6 Piston Caliper with 14″ Vented Rotor Front Brakes
  • Wilwood Superlite 4 Piston Caliper with 14″ Vented Rotor Rear Brakes

Have a look at this beauty.  A camera simply cannot do justice to how eye-popping that custom color was in person.

tlx1A

tlx2A

tlx3A

tlx4a

tlx5a

Indeed I did find “Honda Pro” Jason there at the show – standing among several highly modified Honda Fits in the Honda booth.  I’ve introduced you to Jason before here and he’s a fellow high-mile connoisseur, having logged over 200,000 miles on his now-sold 1997 Honda Civic EX coupe.

tyson_jason

The rest our short visit was spent wandering around wide-eyed and trying to soak in as much as possible.  I managed to find my brother and his wife in the show, as well as connect with a few friends who were also there for the occasion.  Below are a few of my other pics from the day!

tyson_driving

Vegas-bound!

justin_tyson

Highway 93 northbound, approaching Hoover Dam from the Nevada side.

hwy_93

With Nyko from Local Motors.  He and his company were part of the ALV program last month.

nyko_tyson

Feasting my eyes on the Galpin-modified 2015 TLX.

tyson_with_tlx

Overview of the Acura booth.

acura_booth

A few PHX-based friends who we ran into at the show.

alan_matt_chris_tyson

Heading up an escalator to eyeball some other vendors.

tyson_escalator

My sister-in-law and brother, with a wildly-modified, 6-door stretched Dodge Ram pickup.  No, it’s not street legal.

tyson_kyann_bentley

Lexus booth with a couple of RC coupes.

lexus_rcf

Toyota concept car.

toyota_concept

Next up:  An action-packed hike in southern Utah’s Zion National Park.  See you soon.

Throwback Thursday: Highlights from 2003

Posted in Legend, Throwback on November 6, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,765

531765

Odometer (ILX):  102,174

102174

It won’t come as a surprise to any of my readers that I was the Historian of my Boy Scout troop growing up.  I am a person who obsesses over the details of dates, events, and experiences.  In fact, for about 15 years now I’ve kept a daily journal.  If you asked me what I did on November 6th of five, six, or ten years ago, I could look it up and tell you in detail.  It’s that bad.  Now, sometimes it’s handy to have such an addiction.  It makes for some fun reminiscing.

Before the digital camera age – and even for awhile after it started – I was having 3″ x 5″ photo prints made up at Walmart for every picture I ever took.  The other day I pulled out one of three huge boxes that are chock full of car pics.  That’s right, just car pictures.  They’re organized by month & year, of course, making it easy to “pick a date – any date” and see what my automotive interests were like at the time.  I can get sidetracked for hours thumbing through pics.

car_pics_box

This week, my time travels took me back to 2003.  I was still in “honeymoon” phase with my 1994 Legend LS coupe, having picked it up with 95,000 miles on the odometer in March of that year.  What else happened in 2003?

  • Apple launched iTunes (and it went on to sell 10 million songs within 4 months)
  • Finding Nemo and Bruce Almighty hit the box office
  • The average cost of a gallon of gas was $1.83

For starters, let’s look at this shot from April 2003 in St. George, Utah.  That DIXIE painted on the red sandstone rocks in the background refers to the community’s nickname as “Utah’s Dixie,” having been founded as a cotton-growing farm town by Mormon pioneers in the early 1860s.

coupe_dixie

Around that same time, I landed (pun intended) my first real job — at an airline.  SkyWest Airlines is a regional carrier that dates back to 1972 and currently operates as Delta Connection and United Express.  I commuted from home to the St. George-based corporate headquarters while attending school part-time for my degree at the local community college.  My role at SkyWest was in aircraft records maintenance (imagine that, keeping track of maintenance – doesn’t sound like me at all, right?).

skywest

I remember how excited I got when I found out there was another employee who drove a Legend coupe.  Looks like I still had a thing or two to learn about how to park between the lines.

skywest2

A friend from high school grabbed a Legend coupe of his own.  Here, Blair and I are standing next to our Legends at my family’s garage.  Blair still has his Frost White 1992 LS coupe today.

blair_tyson_garage

Another view of the garage, this time featuring Grandpa’s Heather Mist Metallic 1997 Acura 3.5 RL.  And don’t miss my dad’s antler collection.

rl_legend

Blair and I got together frequently for photoshoots and car detailing sessions.  Here’s a shot of us taken overlooking the city.

tyson_blair

In June of that year, I took some off-roading adventures to Beaver Canyon a hundred miles or so north of town.  I remember when my brother snapped this picture.  My T-shirt was a few sizes too big and I can’t remember the last time I wore athletic socks like that.  At least the Legend’s sense of style hasn’t aged as much as mine has.

tyson_2003

It didn’t take me long until I’d let that “mod bug” bite me.  At 21 years old, it was bound to happen.  I put a set of 18″ chrome Kaotik Z5 wheels on the coupe (the first of over a dozen sets of wheels and tires I’ve gone through of the years).  I must have had a thing for cargo pants & shorts that year.

tyson_legend

In July, I made a trip to Salt Lake City and met up with my friend Chi.  His Taffeta White 1994 Legend LS coupe was fully tricked out.  I especially loved his “Type II” license plate.  Chi has since sold his Legend.

chi_tyson

These pictures were taken at a shopping center called Trolley Square.

tyson_chi

Thanks for taking the quick drive with me down…

memory_lane

Check out this Acura-only parking I found when I took the NSX to dinner last night.

acura_parking

This weekend?  Road trip, of course:  A quick drop-in at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, and some hiking in southern Utah.  See you on the flip side.

Reader’s Ride: Dave’s High-Mileage 1992 Honda Accord Coupe

Posted in Reader's Ride on October 30, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,761

531761

Odometer (ILX):  101,770

101770

We all know that a 400,000-mile achievement is nothing for the fourth generation (1990-1993) Honda Accord.  After all, that’s the same model of car that got Joe LoCicero to a million miles last year.  But my friend Dave in St. Louis got some pretty good life out of his Arcadia Green Pearl 1992 Honda Accord LX Coupe 5-speed before selling it just recently.

Dave’s Accord ownership started out 15 years ago when he picked up the car with 120,000 miles on it.  For many years it was his daily commuter.  Then, it went to his newly-licensed son as a hand-me-down car.  It had 414,672 miles on it when the new owner took the keys on October 9th a couple of weeks ago.  The Accord has moved on and I hope it lives to see 500,000 and beyond.

Screen shot 2014-10-09 at 8.27.53 PM

IMG_2

IMG_4

IMG_10

IMG_6

Nice job on keeping an old Honda alive, Dave!

Unrelated fun video for today:

Quick update on my brother Payton’s wicked Lexus IS300.  He’s completed his manual transmission swap and the car is back on the road.  He ran it on the dyno and pulled horsepower numbers in the 600’s.  Some kids just can’t get enough power!  I’m content with my measly 201 horses.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 104 other followers