Brad’s Visit & “Ignition” Phoenix Car Show

Posted in Uncategorized on August 31, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,491

531491

Odometer (NSX):

98514

Odometer (ILX):  94,381

94381

nsx_front_right

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_tyson

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.

brad_with_cars

accord_legend-2

Just 74,000 miles on the Accord!

accord_legend

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.

coliseum

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. 

outside_cars_2

outside_cars

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.

cars

Loved this four-door hardtop Pontiac Bonneville.

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!

48_chrysler

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

subaru

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

olds_442

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

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.

ilx_tl

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.

nsx_front

nsx_left_rear_low

Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend!

Motor City Masters: Hollywood, CA TV Show Finale in the ILX

Posted in California, ILX, Road Trip on August 28, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (ILX):  94,087

94087

Trip Distance: 780 Miles

scottsdale_to_hollywood

What started as the location of a single adobe hut in 1853 has grown to become one of most recognized and prominent places in the world because of its ties to the motion picture industry.  Its name was coined by a man named H.J. Whitley who bought a 500-acre range there in February 1887 and filed the deed with the Los Angeles County Recorder’s Office with the name specified.  Hollywood merged with the City of Los Angeles in 1910 and has since grown to become one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in LA.  As of the 2008 census, it was home to over 22,000 people per square mile!  Let’s go there.

Motor City Masters is a Hollywood-based reality TV show centered around automotive design.  Automotive spy photographer Brenda Priddy invited me to accompany her to an exclusive Hollywood party in connection with a viewing of the show’s final episode.  The concept of MCM is pretty simple:  What started as a group of 10 automotive designers was whittled down via elimination in various design events to just two finalists:  Bryan Thompson and Camilo Pardo, pictured below.  The winner at the end of the series would receive $100,000 cash and a 2014 Chevy Camaro Z28.

bryan_camilo

I took a half day off work on Tuesday so that I’d be able to cruise out to southern California for the occasion.  The drive from the Phoenix area to Hollywood takes about 6 hours and is spent almost entirely on Interstate 10.  Miraculously, I hit zero traffic delays until just 4 miles before my scheduled exit on Highway 101.  Making my way northbound on Gower Street, the white HOLLYWOOD sign that I’ve seen so many times before on movies and in TV was there ahead of me in the distance, plain as day.   The challenge was getting anywhere near it!  Look at these loop-de-loop residential roads!

hollywood_roads

Talk about a maze.  Plus, what the map there doesn’t convey is that the roads in most cases are barely wide enough to fit a single car through, and the turns are tight with blind corners.  Topping that off, the grades are steep.  My Garmin Nuvi GPS unit had to recalculate a couple of times before I found the party house location.

Along the way, though, I did happen to cross right through Lake Hollywood Park which had a perfect viewpoint of the Hollywood sign.  Did you know that the letters in the Hollywood sign are each 45 feet tall?  That’s four stories!  The sign was originally constructed in 1923 and it said “HOLLYWOODLAND” to advertise a new housing development.  In 1949, the “Land” part was dropped, and by 1970 the sign had deteriorated badly.  It was restored in 1979 to its current condition.

ilx_with_hollywood_sign

The party I attended was hosted by a man named Axel who has a beautiful glass-walled, modern home overlooking the city with a pool in the backyard.  Weather was perfect and the amenities were top notch.  Best of all, I got to meet a couple of the show’s cast members.  We watched the final Motor City Masters episode, but were disappointed to learn that “our” pick – Bryan – ended up in 2nd place.  In the end, though, he still came out ahead.  Bryan had struck a dealer with Camilo earlier in the show:  Whoever won first place would get the cash, while the second place winner would get the car.  Bryan plans on selling the Camaro and allocating the funds to a scholarship fund for design students.  Pretty cool of him!

pool

I eventually broke away from the party in anticipation of a long night’s drive ahead.  Once I got past the Palm Springs area, I felt like I was all alone with the truckers out on I-10 in the desert.  I passed dozens of them.  The interstate was smooth sailing, though.  Even though it’s taxing at times, I like to drive at night just because it’s cooler out and there’s less traffic to deal with. Of the 15,605 songs on my 80-gig iPod Classic, this one randomly came on at 1:53 in the morning.  Fitting.

system_of_a_down

Give it a listen.  I rolled into my driveway around 2:45 in the morning, tired from a long day but feeling like it was all worth it!  Here are the rest of my pics.  Enjoy, and thanks for coming along!

Approaching the Hollywood sign

gower_2

Making my way up the steep, curvy neighborhood roads

gower

Hollywood Lake Park

tyson_hollywood_sign_2

More views from the park

hollywood_park_view

Heavy tourist activity around here

hollywood_park_2

Looking to the southeast

hollywood_park

Arriving at Axel’s place for the party

camaro

Brenda, who’d invited me to the party

tyson_brenda

You can see the Hollywood sign from the house

tyson_hollywood_sign

Acura-only parking!  My friend Scott parked behind me in his RDX, and my friend Chris parked behind him in a TSX.

ilx_rdx_tsx

Watching the show.

group

Another angle

screen

Kevin and Bryan, both cast members from the show (goofing off!)

tyson_kevin_bryan

 

Utah State Highway 153: Beaver Canyon Scenic Byway in the ILX

Posted in ILX, Road Trip, Utah on August 25, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,490

531490

Odometer (ILX):  93,204

93204

Trip Distance:  1,061 Miles

map

pinevalley1

Welcome aboard for an AZ-NV-UT-NV-AZ weekend!  The route between Phoenix, Arizona and St. George, Utah is a long-time favorite of mine.  An old friend of mine got hitched on Saturday evening, so I made the trek to my old stomping grounds to participate in the festivities and to reconnect with a few family members.

hwy_74

While waiting for a gas pump to continue filling my 13-gallon tank with 91 octane, I was rooting around in the center console for my key so I could lock the car and go inside the convenience store for a drink.  A voice from behind me said, “Excuse me sir…” I was a little startled and looked up to see it was a friend from my hometown, Danny! Here I was, 200 miles from home, and he was also 200 miles from home – randomly meeting up at a Mobil gas station in small town Kingman, Arizona. It’s a really small world indeed.

danny_tyson

Saturday evening’s wedding was held in Pine Valley Utah.  I’d been there before around Christmas 2012.  The drive from St. George to Pine Valley on State Route 18 took about 40 minutes. The elevation gain lends itself to a change in landscape, as the vivid red sandstone rock formations transition to pine trees and greener surroundings. Pine Valley’s afternoon weather was absolutely perfect for the wedding festivities, so it was appropriate that the ceremony was held outside on the lawn of the bright white, historic 1868 chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

pine_valley_chapel

I paid a quick visit to my brother Payton who’s knee-deep in a car “build” that’s been underway for over a year now. He’s converting his blue Lexus IS300 to a stick shift and performing all sorts of drivetrain upgrades in the process.

On Sunday morning, I picked up a special copilot for the day’s drive, Grandma McGregor.  She’d already packed us up a couple coolers full of picnic lunch supplies and food, so we threw those in the back seat and headed out northbound on Interstate 15 toward Beaver.  The 100-mile drive went quickly thanks to the posted 80 mph speed limits that took effect a couple of years ago.  Upon arrival in Beaver, we met up with my mom, stepdad, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew who’d arrived in a separate vehicle (mom’s 2003 Lexus GS430).

grandma_tyson

Beaver’s State Route 153 dates back to 1945.   It’s 40 miles long, but the 13 easternmost miles to the city of Junction, Utah are unpaved.  The 27 miles that are paved are a glorious place to take a nice-handling sports sedan like the ILX.  Grandma and I started our drive from Beaver and headed for the hills.

hwy_153_route

Making our way  eastbound, Highway 153 enters the Fishlake National Forest as it climbs into the Tushar Mountains.   The road first winds along the Beaver River at the base of the canyon, then begins a sharp ascent to its 9,200 foot elevation at its highest point on the paved portion.  The grades reach up to 9-10% and it’s very common for vehicles to overheat going uphill or to lose braking control going downhill.  Extreme drop-offs have taken many victims over the years – including some accidents that we’ve witnessed firsthand.

153

We made it to our destination at the top of the hill, near Eagle Point ski area.  My brother has a cabin under construction there that we took a look at.  Afterward, we traversed a one-lane dirt road deep into the woods and paid our respects to the location where the cremated remains of some of our dear family members were buried.  The ILX got a little muddy, but it was worth it.

picnic

The descent on Highway 153 went quickly.  Knowing that I had a full day’s drive still ahead of me (8 more hours) in getting back to the Phoenix area, I turned over the reins to my stepdad, Todd, who drove the ILX the 100 miles from Beaver to St. George.

By 9:30 p.m. that night, I’d arrived at home in Scottsdale — tired, but feeling very fulfilled about a great weekend.  This was my favorite song from the drive home.  I listened 3 times in a row, at full (level 40) volume.

Thanks for coming along on the trip!  Here are a few more pictures.

Entering Utah from Arizona on the outskirts of St. George

utah_welcome

My brother’s pool.  Anybody want to come take a dip?

bentley_pool

Photo-op with the ILX on the south end of town.

ilx_old_airport_road

This was the same place where I took my mom’s 1993 Legend L sedan back in June 1997.  The surrounding landscape has changed a great deal over the last 17 years, but the rocks remain exactly the same.  I found out, by the way, that the old Sherwood Green Legend is long gone.  As of August 2011, it received a “junk” title in Boise, Idaho and there has been no record of it on Carfax since.  RIP, Legend!

legend1997

Arrival in Pine Valley, Utah

pine_valley_arrival

Premium parking at the wedding

wedding_parking

Reunited with my friend Kati at the wedding

kati_tyson

My grandma is a whiz!  How many 81-year-olds do you know who text message?

doce_text

Arrival in Beaver, UT with grandma and making a fuel-up at Sinclair for $3.84.

sinclair_gas_station

Mom captured this pic of me passing them on Hwy 153 heading up Beaver Canyon

ilx_hwy_153

High elevation cruising!

hwy_153

Brother’s cabin construction underway

b_cabin

Quick photo-op with one of the best road trip companions I’ve ever had!

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Arriving at our picnic site

ilx_doce

Lexus and Acura off-road vehicles

ilx_gs

Niece Vivienne was the star of the show.

picnic2

Group photo:  Kali (with Vivienne), Grandma, Tia, Tyson (with Rex)

group

Todd at the wheel of the ILX for part of the return trip

todd_driving_ilx

Throwback Thursday: Vintage Magazine Reviews of the Legend Coupe

Posted in Throwback on August 21, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,485

531485

Odometer (ILX):  91,845

91845

My, technology has come a long way in 20 years, hasn’t it?  The realization comes pretty quickly when you’re thumbing through a magazine from the 1990’s and see this kind of ad for Radio Shack.  Tape decks galore!

ad

Has the automotive world come just as far?  I’ll let you decide.  Today, I’ll share with you a couple of fun articles that were written about the Acura Legend LS coupe when it was brand new.  First, this February 1993 write-up by Automobile Magazine.  The car was cited as having a 0-60 time of 6.8 seconds, a 15.3 second quarter mile, and a 146 mph top speed.

automobile_feb_1993

Next up, a multi-page comparo from Car & Driver, written that same month (February 1993).  The Legend was set against the Cadillac Eldorado, the Lincoln Mark VIII, and the Lexus SC400.  Spoiler alert:  They ended up concluding that the Lexus SC400 was the best car on the planet.  And the Legend?  Last place.  Now I ask:  Which automotive design has withstood the test of time most gracefully?  The SC still looks good, and the Legend without a doubt.  But the Lincoln and Caddy?

Cover

cover

Page 1

1

Page 2

2

Page 3

3

My favorite line:  “The Legend dusts the SC400 in a sprint to 100 mph.”  Remember, the SC400 had a V8!

Page 4

4

Page 5

5

Page 6

6

Page 7

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Page 8

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Lastly, a quick scan from a “Competitive Comparisons 1995-96″ booklet that was distributed as part of a salesperson training course.  Here, Acura pins the 1995 Legend L coupe against the BMW 325i.

acura_competitive_comparisons

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Hope you enjoyed these blasts from the past as much as I did!

Legend Spy Shot Roundup #3

Posted in Legend, Spy Shots on August 19, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,483

531483

Odometer (ILX):  91,751

91751

When you’re in Arizona, the best parking spaces at the supermarket are not defined by their proximity to the front door.  They’re the ones with shade.  This is proper parking:  shade in a curb spot way as far away from the entrance as possible.

legend_at_safeway

My friends know how excited I get when I see a Legend on the road, so years ago they started sending me pictures every time they see one.  It wasn’t until recently that I decided to start saving the pics.  We’re really getting quite a nice collection of shots!

Remember:  I love seeing these photos, but please always send them to me after you’re off the road.  Keep the roadways safe!

And now, I bring you the latest in reader-supplied pictures!  Let’s kick it off with my personal favorite, a 1994-95 LS coupe in Desert Mist Metallic with Oregon plates.  My friend Dusty saw this beauty on Scottsdale Road.  It’s a rare find:  one of only 550 Legend coupes in its color/trim configuration for those years combined.

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(photo adjusted for angle)

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The next three were from Conor in New York.  That 1989-90 sedan looks right at home carrying plywood on the interstate!

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This G2 sedan somehow ended up with a mix & match set of wheels.

conor_2

This Canterbury Green Metallic has some aftermarket chrome accents on the B pillar.

conor_sighting

This Milano Red 1994-95 coupe came from Jim in Arizona.

jim_1

As did this Rosewood Brown 1991-92 L sedan.

jim_2

And this 1989-90 LS sedan.

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Nick in Utah sent this artsy black & white shot of a 1994-95 L or LS sedan.  Probably in Cashmere Silver Metallic.

nick

Ryan from Utah found a rare 1994-95 Legend GS sedan in Desert Mist Metallic.  It had over 230,000 miles on the odometer and was looking pretty nasty.

ryan_sighting

Brett in California found this Granada Black Pearl 1994-95 LS coupe.  Behind bars!

brett

Dave in Washington spotted this 1994-95 LS coupe.  It might be Sherwood Green Metallic but it’s tough to tell.

dave

Jason from Louisiana saw this 1989-90 sedan while on vacation in California.

jason_sighting

Extra credit goes to Paul from Georgia for spotting two-in-one G2 sedans.

paul

He also sent me this 1994-95 L coupe in Cashmere Silver Metallic.

paul_2

Josh in Idaho found this bashed up sedan while on the job.

josh_sighting

Tim from New Jersey saw this Cobalt Blue 1991 L sedan at a Mexican restaurant.

tim

And this 1993 LS sedan (with 15″ coupe rims) at a Wawa convenience store.

tim_sighting

Stephen from Washington saw this 1994-95 L/LS sedan in Desert Mist Metallic on his morning commute.

stephen

Ryan from Arizona spotted this clean 1993-95 L/LS sedan in Cashmere Silver Metallic.

ryan

And Ian from Arizona saw a 1991-92 L sedan in Persian Red Metallic.

ian

As well as this 1991 L sedan in Golden Glow Pearl with Washington plates.

ian_sighting

Dillon in North Carolina saw this Cashmere Silver at his workplace and had a nice chat with the owner.

dillon_sighting

Nice job to all for being on the lookout for Legends!

Group Drive: Mount Graham, Arizona

Posted in Arizona, ILX, Road Trip on August 17, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,438

531438

Odometer (ILX):  91,696

91696

Trip Distance:  390 Miles

graham_map

Just a half hour after eating the biggest plate of chicken enchiladas of my life, I was already regretting it.  The road I was carving up in my 2013 Acura ILX was so curvy, it was making me nauseous.  After 8 or 9 miles of zig-zagging up the side of one of Arizona’s tallest mountains, I got stuck behind a slow-moving pickup truck.  Joe, from the passenger seat, said, “Good, maybe my lunch will go back to my stomach now.”  Ha!  I guess I hadn’t been the only one holding my breath and hanging on for dear life!  At least it wasn’t like that time when I was 8 years old and lost my lunch in the backseat of my aunt Jodi’s SUV.

highway366

10mph

Arizona Highway 366, also known as the “Swift Trail,” climbs southern Arizona’s Mount Graham in the Pinaleño Mountains at 10,717 feet in elevation.  It’s open from May through November and was designated a state scenic parkway in 1993.  There are some great resources online about this road but due to its remote nature, I’ve never been able to make it over there and check it out until yesterday.  Here’s one very detailed write-up, with the following excerpt:

The Swift Trail, with twenty-nine paved miles and the remainder gravel, begins seven miles south of Safford on U.S. 191. Turn southwest on Arizona Highway 366 and ascend a gently sloping bajada studded with creosote, mesquite, and acacia trees toward the looming Pinaleño Mountains.

ilx_graham_view

The temperature can (and did, for us) vary by up to 30 degrees from the base of the road to the summit!  “It’s like driving from Mexico to Canada in an hour and a half,” said one author.  Joe and I watched as we passed 4,000; 5,000; 6,000 foot signs.  This road maxed out at over 9,000 feet!  The landscape changed dramatically, too.  The desert floor gave way to taller trees and every curve offered a new viewpoint of the valley below.  Guardrails?  Non-existent.  This was a two-hands-on-the-wheel driving experience.  With exception for shifting gears, of course, because in my case there were plenty of high-RPM shifts through 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gears to power up the steep grade and keep the momentum.

Just check out this road!

graham_road

For this experience, I was joined by a few friends.  I present to you, the contenders:

Tyson’s 2013 Acura ILX 2.4:  201 horsepower

ilx_badge

Paul’s 2013 Acura TL SH-AWD:  305 horsepower

tl_badge

Matt’s 2014 Infiniti Q50S:  328 horsepower

q50_badge

Our day started out in the Phoenix area with a quick breakfast stop at the Krispy Kreme store on Superstition Springs Road in Mesa off US 60.  No road trip is complete without appropriate fuel, right?  Or in this case, a sugar rush.  From there, we made our way eastward through the mining towns of Superior, Miami, and Globe.  Miami, Arizona is the “Copper Center of the World”  (or at least that’s what their entrance sign below said).

ilx_in_miami

About 80 miles from Globe, we arrived in the small town of Safford.  The best Mexican place in town, Casa Mañana, was bustling with hungry midday lunch traffic, but we enjoyed the menu and hospitality before heading southbound on Highway 191 toward Swift Trail Junction.  There, we’d be taking Highway 366 all the way to the summit of Mount Graham, some 29 miles later.

swift_junction

Matt and Alan took the lead in the Q50, Paul and Peter followed suit in the TL, and Joe and I brought up the rear in the ILX.  I knew I’d be making some photo and video stops along the way and didn’t want to hold the other guys up.  Besides, did I think I was going to be able to set the pace with a full 100 horsepower fewer than either of them had under the hood?  No thanks!

tl_in_motion

Still, I gave the ILX tires and suspension a pretty good beating.  The rev-happy 2.4 liter spent most of its time in the 3,000 to 5,000 RPM range as we made our ascent.  After our short delay behind the slow pickup truck (and after our stomachs had the chance to settle just slightly), Joe and I zoomed back to an exhilarating pace and made our way up the switchbacks.  Finally, we made it to the end of the paved road where the other guys had already started taking a few pictures.  Despite the fact that the temperature at the base of Graham was 100 degrees, we were now in 67 degrees and enjoying it immensely.

matt_paul_tyson

I couldn’t resist exploring a bit down the dirt road ahead, so we followed that for a couple of miles which led us to a campground.  The downhill return to Safford went quickly – so quickly, in fact, that I could smell burning tires and brakes.  My sweet tooth got the best of me and I succumbed to a pit stop at “Taylor Freeze” for a root beer freeze in the town of Pima.  A phenomenal Arizona sunset closed out the day as we returned to the Phoenix area.  In all, the drive took us about 9 hours round-trip including the breaks and the lunch stop.  Another adventure in the books for me — and for all of us.

sunset

Thanks for being a part of it!  Here are the rest of the photos and a short video.

Peter and Joe up front in the ILX

peter_driving_ilx

Lunchtime!

casa_manana_sign

Those “creamy enchiladas.”  I think there was an entire tub of sour cream on this plate.

enchiladas

It’s almost as if my ILX and Paul’s TL were having a fight and didn’t want to park next to one another.

acuras

Starting the ascent up Highway 366

ilx_graham

Made it to the top!  Or, at least where the pavement ends.

tyson_on_road

Three Japanese luxury sport sedans

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Venetian Ruby is a great color on that Q50

q50_tl_ilx

Quick stop at the campground after doing a little off-roading (sorry, Matt & Paul!)

ilx_q50_tl

Back to the highway we go

curves

Photo op at scenic viewpoint

q50_parking

Just can’t get enough of these Arizona skies

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Cars were looking good!

lineup

Fuel stop in Thatcher, Arizona at Shell

gas_station_group

Taylor Freeze.  Stop there sometime for a shake or malt!

taylor_freeze

Reader’s Ride: Dillon’s 2004 Acura TSX

Posted in Reader's Ride on August 14, 2014 by tysonhugie

Odometer (Legend):  531,435

531435

Odometer (ILX):  91,191

91191

It’s finally time to recognize one of D25’s most loyal readers and someone who has contributed content various times to the blog.  Dillon from North Carolina is known in some circles under the alias “Hondatalover” and his concept car renderings have inspired many to make updates to their cars, including the manufacturers themselves.  Here’s an example of one of his Photoshops.  More of his custom ILX models are featured in this thread on Acurazine.

Special ILX

chop2

TLX coupe!

TLX Coupe rearlogo

Dillon’s personal car is a 112,000-mile Premium White Pearl Acura TSX.

tsx_front_left

Dillon sent me these current photos of the car on a scenic back road in North Carolina.

tsx_back

tsx_front

Even the interior is still spotless at 10 years old.

dillon_tsx_interior

I’ve always liked how the needles on the TSX gauges are facing down when the car’s off.

dillon_tsx_gauges

tsx_left

That OEM spoiler is a nice looking upgrade.

right

Here’s a little interview I had with Dillon to get some background on his car.

List the Honda & Acura products you’ve owned in order.

1998 Honda Accord LX, 2004 Acura TSX (current)

How did you first learn of Acura? What inspired you or your family to buy your first?

Learned from Acura through Bell Ford, a local in-town, dealership when mom was looking to buy a pickup.  I spotted the TSX and walked over to it and mom came over with me and the sales man.  We started looking around at the car and mom eventually asked for a test drive.  Then it was ours in 2008.  :)

What about the Acura brand has kept you so loyal?

The quality of the product at its competitive price.  The driver focused driving dynamics and the styling as well will snag any buyer looking for a entry-premium or near-premium car.

What’s your favorite song or album to blast while driving your TSX?

Is this where I post all of my Pandora stations?  I honestly can’t say one in particular.  80’s Rock if I really had to but I’ll listen to everything there is if it sounds good.  It all depends on the road, who I’m with and my mood.

If you could were to offer feedback to Acura about the company’s current model lineup, what would it be?

A more focused sedan lineup with a coupe or two that offers core signature Acura technologies and maybe even some firsts for the brand.  My advice to the designers is to step outside of the box and put their passion on paper and have it finalized and thoroughly refined.  The marketing could be more raw and exciting as well.  I feel the brand needs to stay focused on their performance luxury, and not so much as comfort luxury strategies.   Otherwise I love the brand no matter what and even want to be a part of it.

Thanks, Dillon, for sharing!

Before anyone clicks away, and on the subject of Acura TSX’s, check out the latest from East West Brothers Garage.

ewbg

Kevin, the “East” brother, is currently midway through an adventurous cross-country drive from Washington, DC to Los Angeles, California by way of about 4,300 miles of sightseeing.  The car of choice is a 2012 TSX Special Edition 6-speed.

Photos are being posted along the way, so make sure you check out the EWBG Facebook Page to watch the updates.

Nice bike rack!

ewbg_tsx

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