Buy a New Acura NSX, Get a Custom Film!

Hey everyone! Sorry that it took me such a long time to put this post up, but school was especially stressful this semester. I’m glad that the semester is over, and that I’ll have more time to give the blog more attention. Look forward to more posts in 2017!

I have to admit, the 2017 Acura NSX is quite the looker!
I have to admit, the 2017 Acura NSX is quite the looker!
The interior isn't bad, either.
The interior isn’t bad, either.

Did you know that Jay Leno’s 2017 Acura NSX is #0003? I’m sure you knew that already, right? Why am I talking about this? Well, you and I both know that Jay Leno has one of the most amazing car collections in the world. What makes his NSX really cool is you can watch it’s creation in Acura’s new campaign video called “NSX Originals.”

If and when you drop at least $157,800 on a 2017 Acura NSX, you’ll receive a personalized digital film that matches the exact specifications and serial number of your NSX! Seriously, how cool is that? Pretty damn cool in my book. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough for you, Acura will give you a customized 1:18 scale model that is identical to your NSX! Now, how cool is THAT?

You can immerse yourself in some amazing films of the twin-turbo, V6, hybrid NSX on the microsite (http://www.nsxoriginals.com/acura/en/). You can also watch the build of Jay Leno’s pretty slick NSX at: https://youtu.be/2KzAeU67SXw

According to a release from Jon Ikeda, Acura’s VP and General Manager, “The Acura NSX is a bespoke supercar inspired by an original concept and this campaign speaks directly to that heritage.”

What’s in these films? You can see some behind-the-scenes action of the NSX being built at Acura’s state-of-the-art Marysville, Ohio plant, which highlights the seven key manufacturing periods of the NSX. You might be wondering what those are. Let me tell you. They include: precision robotic welding, space frame construction, a zirconium bath, paint robotics, the three-motor sport hybrid power unit, custom hand assembly, and the rolling dynamometer.

I bet that there won’t be a dry eye in the house when you show your car friends the birthing video of your car!

Also, it’s best to keep that custom scale model out of reach of the kids (or grandkids) – I’m sure that they would LOVE to play with it! Hide it or risk an almost certain, “sorry, I just broke it.” I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the adults are going to want to take the full-size NSX for a spin. But hey, it’s your supercar after all!

Here’s my two cents on the 2017 NSX: After years of teasing us with various concepts, prototypes, and general speculation, the NSX has made a return. The original Honda/Acura NSX was the car that sent Ferrari, Lamborghini, and just about everybody who made supercars scrambling to the drawing board.

The 2017 Acura NSX is what Acura wants you to think of as a “usable supercar.” It’s jam-packed with the hottest technology out there. It’s definitely state-of-the-art, but according to just about everybody who’s reviewed it, that’s not what it is. It’s certainly fast, good-looking, and everything else you want a supercar to be, but a supercar is not designed nor intended to be a car that you can drive every day. While I certainly understand Acura’s point of view, Acura should have followed the original NSX’s footsteps. The 2017 NSX isn’t going to send anybody scrambling to the drawing board. Sticking to the tried-and-true supercar formula brings money in.

I think that the 2017 NSX will sell relatively well, but only time will tell. It’s got some stiff competition, what with the Lamborghini Huracan, Ferrari 488 GTB, Nissan GT-R, and Audi R8.

Does this mean that I don’t like the 2017 NSX? Far from it! I think it’s a fantastic piece of engineering, and certainly a novel idea. Sure, it’s got a lot more computers to save your bacon every day of the week, and twice on Sunday, but every supercar out there is that way. It seems to be a fantastic car. It’s definitely not the car of the future, but it’s one of the faster ways to get to the future. I think it’s safe to say that some of the technology on the 2017 NSX will trickle down to other Acuras in the next few years.

Out and About in Sonoma County and Oregon!

It’s been a while since I published an Out and About in Sonoma County.  However, that’s because I got some great pictures from Oregon AND Sonoma County!  I hope you enjoy them!  I will provide commentary on ALL of the cars – basically fun facts on them!  I also got some pictures from Mother’s Day Weekend up in Redding, CA.  Those are included as well.

This is my 300th post, so next week, I am doing a giveaway of a Roadkill hat!  Every reader or subscriber MUST leave a comment saying that they wish to be entered in the giveaway.  Remember, leave a comment to get a chance to win!

Oregon:  

The Ashland, Oregon ACE hardware store has this simply stunning 1950-52? Chevrolet 3100.  It's absolutely stunning.
The Ashland, Oregon ACE hardware store has this simply stunning 1950-52? Chevrolet 3100. It’s absolutely stunning.  The thing popping up right in front of the windshield is for the air conditioner.  It’s like the air grabber hoods on the hi-performance 1960’s Mopars – it pulls air in when the switch is flipped on.
I'm simply in love with the Harley-Davidson themed paint!  It really helps accentuate the beautiful lines on these old trucks.
I’m simply in love with the Harley-Davidson themed paint! It really helps accentuate the beautiful lines on these old trucks.
Are you a fan of a classic Vespa?  This stunning 1968 Vespa was for sale for a meager $6,000!  I was working on going 50/50 on it with my sister.  It didn't work.  It  has a 1971 engine for a bit more poewr and reliability.  The sidecar gives it a practical side...
Are you a fan of a classic Vespa? This stunning 1968 Vespa was for sale for a meager $6,000! I was working on going 50/50 on it with my sister. It didn’t work. It has a 1971 engine for a bit more poewr and reliability. The sidecar gives it a practical side…

20140606_123559

This is probably the best Jeep badge that the world has ever seen.  It may be a direct BMW rip-off, but whatever!
This is probably the best Jeep badge that the world has ever seen. It may be a direct BMW rip-off, but whatever!
This simply amazing Jeep Jeepster Commando was probably the nicest Jeep that I have ever seen - I don't care if it's 2WD or not!
This simply amazing Jeep Jeepster Commando was probably the nicest Jeep that I have ever seen – I don’t care if it’s 2WD or not!
How's this for cool?  I've never really seen a '32 Ford dirt track racer before, so this was a cool first for me!  I wasn't able to get closer to it, otherwise I would have done a separate blog post on it!  It was a very cool '32 Ford, though!
How’s this for cool? I’ve never really seen a ’32 Ford dirt track racer before, so this was a cool first for me! I wasn’t able to get closer to it, otherwise I would have done a separate blog post on it! It was a very cool ’32 Ford, though!

Sonoma County:  

 

How'd you like this to be in your rearview mirror?  Sorry if I just gave you nightmares...This 1971 Dodge Charger R/T is equipped with the 426 HEMI.  It doesn't get much better than that!
How’d you like this to be in your rearview mirror? Sorry if I just gave you nightmares…This 1971 Dodge Charger R/T is equipped with the 426 HEMI. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Man, this is just one of THE best engines in the world!  Let me tell you a funny story about this car and another car.  Somebody in a 1949 Chevy lowrider tried to do a burnout.  All he did was send a bunch of smoke out of his tailpipes.  The owner of this fine triple-black '71 Charger proceeded to do a burnout without really having to try too terribly hard right through an empty intersection!
Man, this is just one of THE best engines in the world! Let me tell you a funny story about this car and another car. Somebody in a 1949 Chevy lowrider tried to do a burnout. All he did was send a bunch of smoke out of his tailpipes. The owner of this fine triple-black ’71 Charger proceeded to do a burnout without really having to try too terribly hard right through an empty intersection!
If this doesn't make you drool, then I don't know what will!  This stunning 1970 Plymouth Superbird was SOOOOO cool!  It was in the Limelight Green color, along with the Super Commando 440 cubic-inch V8.  More to come on this iconic car.
If this doesn’t make you drool, then I don’t know what will! This stunning 1970 Plymouth Superbird was SOOOOO cool! It was in the Limelight Green color, along with the Super Commando 440 cubic-inch V8. More to come on this iconic car.
Yes, the Superbird really does make the iconic "meep-meep" from Looney Tunes - as does the Plymouth Roadrunner that the Superbird is based off of!
Yes, the Superbird really does make the iconic “meep-meep” from Looney Tunes – as does the Plymouth Roadrunner that the Superbird is based off of!

Redding, CA:  

How's this for nice?  This is probably one of THE nicest Corvettes that i have ever seen!  It was all-original, so it has the punchy 283 cubic-inch V8 and a four-speed manual.  Plus, it's got absolutely amazing looks.  The only thing that isn't original is the wheels, but they went perfectly with the car.  This would be an excellent car for touring the country with.  One of these days I will do that in a classic car - I promise!
How’s this for nice? This is probably one of THE nicest Corvettes that i have ever seen! It was all-original, so it has the punchy 283 cubic-inch V8 and a four-speed manual. Plus, it’s got absolutely amazing looks. The only thing that isn’t original is the wheels, but they went perfectly with the car. This would be an excellent car for touring the country with. One of these days I will do that in a classic car – I promise!

The World’s Craziest Go-Kart!

Go-karts are fun little vehicles.  Some of them can go up to 70 mph – in just a few seconds!  Others can climb up hills.  Most don’t have Chevy big-block V8 engines, though.  Dirt Every Day, a fun off-road show on the Motor Trend Channel has a go-kart with a 454 big-block.  I’m pretty sure that that just elevated the host, Fred Williams, to the crazy-maybe-stupid category.

In the previous episode of Dirt Every Day, Fred had an off-road club of college kids called the Poly Goats come and demolish a 1986 Pace Arrow motorhome.  For those of you who don’t know what makes it so special, I have one number for you: 454.  Nothing else needs to be said.  The Poly Goats made mincemeat of the Pace Arrow.  By the end of the episode, it was a bare chassis with a 454 cubic-inch V8, a Turbo 400 transmission, and a beefy rear end.  That’s a good start for a monster go-kart.

However, Fred needed to build and install all of the necessary components to ensure that this crazy contraption starts, stops, turns, and shifts.  However, every go-kart needs to be safe, so Fred turned to his good friend, Frank, who is an engineer.  Frank helped Fred out by giving him tips about the rollcage.

After Frank, some of the Poly Goats come to help Fred get the crazy kart good to go.  After a long day wiring the pedals, steering column, and shifter, fabricating the wide wheel set, and wiring the engine up, the go-kart is good to go.  Fred wisely decides to not drive the go-kart around his neighborhood.

The next morning, Fred trailers both his mini go-kart and his recently built monster go-kart out to a remote ranch for some off-road hoonage.  He is going to have a shootout.  Instead of him driving both go-karts, he has a couple of Poly Goats come and assist him.  They are brave souls.

One of the contests is where the contestants have to see who starts their engine first.  The big go-kart wins by a mile.  The next contest is a timed obstacle course where the drivers have to go around one or two trees depending on kart size, moving around bottles, and going in between cattle skulls.  The tiny go-kart wins.  Then, a drag race, as drag races have proven to be popular on the Motor Trend Channel.  The big go-kart wins.  You just don’t expect a tiny gas-powered go-kart to win against something with a 454.  Then, Fred decides to have a tug-o-war competition.  Yeah, we all know who won there.

After all of the contests, Fred takes the monster go-kart off-roading.  It looks like a lot of fun.  Don’t do this at home, kids.

A Spectator’s Guide to the Bonneville Salt Flats at Bonneville Speed Week

The Bonneville Salt Flats are one of the world’s fastest places.  The sound barrier was broken there in 1997.  Multiple records have been set there over the years.  It’s also the only racetrack where the ground underneath you can give you sunburns…and taste bad!  I’m hoping to the 2014 Speed Week (August 9-15) with my dad.  I thought it would be smart to tell you what to do and bring as a spectator.  Enjoy.

  • The Bonneville Salt Flats are in the high desert of Utah.  The Salt Flats are located just 5 miles away from Wendover UT, and West Wendover, NV.  West Wendover is a casino town, and Wendover is a pretty neat little town.  Wendover Air Field is located at the edge of Wendover, and it’s the same air field that the Enola Gay took off from with both atomic bombs both times.  There’s a small museum honoring the brave flight crew and the Manhattan Project.
  • Bring a cooler with a LOT of ice and water bottles!  Fill up your cooler with at least 15 water bottles.  That might seem like a lot of water, but temperatures can go as high as 120 degrees.  There is a gas station on the frontage road leading to the Salt Flats that sells gas, water, snack food, and sandwiches.  It is advised to fill up with water and/or gas here.  Vendors sell food and water on the Flats, but they have been known to run out in the past.  Bring your own snack food and a LOT of water and hydrating drinks (people say that Gatorades, Vitamin Waters, and iced tea are also good things to bring).
  • Sun protection is REALLY important here.  The Bonneville Salt Flats have never heard of shade.  Bring your own.  Be imaginative – bring beach umbrellas, sun hats offering head and neck protection, and snow-worthy sunglasses.  The reason for the sunglasses being that tough is that the salt is so reflective that you can get snow blindness.  Vendors do sell heavy-duty sunglasses, but they are overpriced ($20).  Veterans of the salt say to bring skiing sunblock – the reflectiveness of the salt, plus the Sun beating down on you can make your skin look like a tomato.  Running long-sleeved shirts are also a good investment – they mean that you don’t need to worry about your arms, and they help keep your torso relatively cool.
  • Spectators are encouraged to walk the pits and talk with the racers.  Last year, the pits were over 3 miles long and 4 city blocks wide!  They are expected to be larger this year.  Bring a bike or some other form of two-wheeled transportation.
  • Camping chairs are a good investment.  The salt is way too hot to sit on.  The salt will leave burns a mile long on you!  It will also go into your pores and hurt like crazy to get out!  Since there are no grandstands, bring camping chairs with cup holders and an umbrella stand.  You’ll thank me later.
  • Radios are good to bring.  Racer/race information is broadcast on the 1610 AM radio frequency.  Racers also communicate with race officials or their pit crews with CB radios.  If you don’t have a radio, you should get one.  Otherwise, you won’t know anything about a racer or how fast they went!  There is no PA system except for a driver’s meeting on the first day that everybody is invited to.
  • Tarps and shoes:  The salt gets everywhere, and it corrodes whatever it gets on.  Bring a heavy-duty tarp and smooth-soled shoes are a good investment.  I don’t mean VANS, I’m thinking shoes like sneakers.
  • Binoculars are a good thing to bring.  Those tiny birdwatching binoculars you have won’t cut it.  Their field of vision is too small to track a vehicle going 200+ mph down the course.  Spectators can be anywhere from the start line to the final mile marker (Mile 6), but they are always 1/4 of a mile away from the cars for safety reasons.  Get big binoculars with a wide field of vision.  Because many cars are going in excess of 200 mph (some even go 400+!), this is too fast to track with the human eye, according to veteran spectators.
  • Optional entertainment is a good thing to bring, as Bonneville Speed Week isn’t meant to be fast-paced, even though the cars and motorcycles go bloody fast!  Bring the day’s newspaper, a good book, a new magazine, etc.  Some people bring iPads, but it’s hard to read or do whatever on something that reflects the Sun into your eyes.  Taking a nap or working on your tan is also a good idea.
  • Cameras are a must.  Make sure that your camera has a good zoom feature that can capture a car at least 1/4 of a mile away.  Also, make sure that you have something to download the hundreds of pictures you took that day onto.
  • Be prepared to meet lots and lots of nice people.  Lots of the racers are ex-engineers, ex-JPL employees, etc.  When you ask some of the racers what they worked on, and they give you, “If I tell you, and then I kill you” response, they aren’t joking.  Don’t go further than that with them!  Many racers are nice people who will go out of their way to show you their car, offer you a drink, or just chat with you for hours on end.  While there are some people who aren’t people people, there’s a LOT of nice people people.
  • The engines from the cars are very, very loud.  Think Top Fuel on steroids kind of loud.  This is because the engines are large and they have no restrictive exhaust systems on them.  The high-octane racing fuel will burn your eyes if you are too close.
  • Vendor food is good.  If you can name it, vendors offer it.  The food is good, but everybody says the Enola Gay Cafe is the best.  I don’t doubt them.  It’s even got folding tables and chairs for you to sit in!  It starts cooking at 6:00 AM (many racers arrive before then to work on their cars), and stops cooking at 5:00 PM (when everybody leaves the salt).  Many vendors sell t-shirts and other souvenirs.
  • How to get to Bonneville from Wendover is important.  Here are directions on how to get there from the main drag in Wendover, UT.  https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Wendover+Blvd,+Wendover,+UT/Bonneville+Salt+Flats+International+Speedway,+Bonneville+Speedway+Rd,+UT+84083/@40.7604641,-113.9657532,12z/am=t/data=!3m1!4b1!4m16!4m15!1m5!1m1!1s0x80ac2f5b4f0db3a7:0xb33345362043f07d!2m2!1d-114.0355344!2d40.7375496!1m5!1m1!1s0x80ac308e73f0ed1b:0x6c5d8e3c50acde7!2m2!1d-113.895972!2d40.762569!2m1!6e4!3e0.  As you can see, it’s pretty easy.  Also, the volunteers who put on Speed Week have an entry/exit road marked with cones.  Stay inside of the cones.  Going out will mean your car will bury itself into the slushy salt and it will take lots of digging and tugging from multiple pickup trucks to extricate you.
  • Salt Corrosion is one of the worst fears among those of you living back East.  Salt is extremely corrosive, and the Bonneville Salt Flats are no exception – they will turn your car into vehicular swiss cheese!  Think twice about taking your brand-new Ferrari onto the Salt.  If you do, there is a truck stop just off of the I-80 that has a large carwash.  It is recommended that you take your car, rental car, motorcycle, whatever you are driving there, and wash EVERYTHING off!  With your bikes, a garden hose or compressed air will do just fine.  I’ve already talked about shoes, so I won’t go too far into that – just make sure that you can’t find any on them when you get into the car – it tracks everywhere, and it is difficult to get rid of.
  • Where and what to stay in is always a good thing to ask yourself when going on a trip.  There is a Best Western and other small hotels in Wendover, UT.  West Wendover has a Super 8 and multiple casinos.  All of these are booked solid through August 20th.  Same thing with the RV parks.  The mud flats outside of the Salt Flats are your only choice right now, unless you want to stay in Park City, or Salt Lake City.  Both of those are 110 miles away from the Salt Flats.  The mud flats are what they sound like.
  • Clothing is always good to have on hand.  Do NOT wear blue jeans – the tiny rivets in them will leave small, painful burns all over your hips and legs!  If you wear shorts, put sunblock on.  Make sure that your belt buckle cannot touch any skin – it will hurt!  Make sure your shirts are lightweight, light-colored long-sleeved running shirts.  Make sure your hats have a big brim that protects your face and neck.  Skiing sunglasses (not skiing goggles, alien) are also good.
  • Where to eat in Wendover is a good thing to know.  Long story short, follow the racers.  Many of the racers have been coming to the Salt Flats for years, and they know where the best places to eat are.  The Mexican restaurant at the truck stop is a good place to eat, as well as Mildred’s Custom Burgers.  Following the racers is a good idea, but waiting for them to finish eating isn’t.  Waiting for a table can take hours.  Neither restaurant knows what reservations mean, so driving quickly to get ahead of the hordes of hungry racers is smart.  But, sitting at a table inside (where all the racers are) is nice.  The racers talk about their day on the Salt, and previous experiences on the Salt.  Listening to their banter and chatting with them is smart.  Just be thoughtful of those waiting for your table.
  • What to do in Wendover/West Wendover is also good to know.  Wendover Air Field is now a small airport, but it was where the Enola Gay took off from both times with the atomic bombs, and there’s a small museum honoring the brave crew and the Manhattan Project.  The hangars look like they are right out of WWII, but inside, there is a multitude of cool helicopters, planes, and other stuff.  West Wendover has not one, but five casinos!  Wendover has a small movie theater that offers an air-conditioned escape from the boiling desert heat.  There are a few National and Regional Parks (Bonneville is a National Park) in the area.  There is even a 9-hole golf course that takes advantage of the desert to lure golfers onto rocky hills.
  • Gas stations are always a good place to get drinks and gas.  Buy at least 15 water bottles at the gas station on the frontage road leading to the Salt Flats.  The Wendover Truck Stop I have talked about, as well as the small gas station on the way to the Salt Flats.  Don’t ever underestimate Bonneville – it gets hot, and always keep drinking!  Dehydration is a bad thing under the best of circumstances, but you could be dead by the time the helicopter from Salt Lake City arrives.
  • What to do after the racing ends is good to know.  The Bonneville Salt Flats close about 5:00 PM, and they open at 5:00 AM.  Bonneville is on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land, and it is fenced off and gated at 5:00.  When racing is winding down, go back to your car and pack up and head out.  It gets crazy getting out of there at 5:00!  Go into Wendover for a burger or Mexican food.  The racers enjoy an ice-cold beer or two, but don’t let that discourage you!  Go up and talk to them!  They are cool folks!
  • When to get to Bonneville to set up to watch racing:  Bonneville opens up at a bright-and-early 5:00 AM, but most racers get there about 6:00 AM.  The courses open up at 7:00, and the quickest runs happen from 7:00-9:00 AM, as the air is cooler and less humid there.  You have to pay a small amount of money as an entry fee every day as a spectator (racers pay for it when they register their car for Speed Week), but it’s really not much.  Getting there earlier is better.
  • Bring a lot of cash.  Some vendors don’t take credit cards, and the Bonneville volunteers collecting entry fees don’t take credit cards or checks.  Plus, cash is good to take wherever.  You can use it to tip, donate to the Wendover Air Field museum, or even donate to the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA).

I’ve also attached one of my favorite Roadkill episodes, where they attempt to set a landspeed record.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEcbwvNaxE8

Also, take a peek at the SCTA’s website.  http://www.scta-bni.org/Bonneville.html

The colors, excitement, people, cars, and the beauty are just some of the reasons why people return to Bonneville year after year.  It’s called Salt Fever.  Catch it!  Come to Speed Week 2014 and hopefully you can meet up with me and my dad!  Plus, getting to Bonneville is a beautiful road trip in itself.  Enjoy the trip to Bonneville and your time there!