An alarm piercing the Saturday morning silence at 5:15 is just about the worst sound imaginable; it’s almost on par with a catastrophic engine failure or your phone shattering on the concrete. But car enthusiasts know this sound can only mean one thing: car shows. And boy was I glad I got up for these ones.

We hit the road at 6:15 and stopped for the essentials of coffee and donuts on the way down. An hour and 45 minutes of relatively uneventful travel later and we had arrived at the Arboretum ready for Supercar Saturdays. Our timing ended up being perfect to watch the cars roll in.

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The sound of the engines and the sheer variety of cars must’ve really captured my attention since I managed to get only get a few pictures. Though, I did manage to get a shot of an RS3, which from what I can tell, is still not for sale in the U.S. yet.

I also got a shot of a gorgeous dark blue LC500 with my phone, but don’t worry, staying true to my brand affinity, there is more Lexus metal to see later on.

Wandering through the rows of cars after the initial wave of vehicles parked made me realize I definitely have a type. And as it turns out, that type is Japanese vehicles. Please contain your shocked gasps as I know this is entirely unexpected. The first vehicle of the day that got me really excited, however, belonged to the Canadian Domestic Market. It was an Acura CSX Type-S!

The CSX looks like a Honda Civic with added luxuries, and that’s exactly what it is. The CSX was only sold in Canada as Acura’s smallest offering, predating the ILX that was sold here. Further investigation led me to find that this was, in fact, a real CSX that was legally imported from Canada and not just the rebadged Civic that I first thought it was. The CSX Type-S has the same engine as the Civic Si, so a letter of compliance from Honda is all that’s needed to allow it to be legally imported into the US.

We then ran into a JDM market car that I am mostly certain was not imported legally.

Keeping with the JDM theme, despite being made in England, the next cars that caught my attention were three Civic Type-R’s all parked next to each other. We got to chat with the owners for a bit. I found out that one of the owners was from Wyoming, and only one of the three was able to mostly avoid paying the dealer markup. He said the only markup for him was attributed to dealer installed accessories.

I think the Civic Type-R looks much better in person. The front looks very purposeful, and while the same can be said for the back, I’m still not entirely sold on the rump of the Type-R.

The same cannot be said, however, for the TSX wagon I saw next. Typically, I prefer stock cars, but this wagon was modified very nicely. 

It also helps that the TSX wagon, especially in this blue, is not a bad starting place, either.

Finally, we got to another blue machine and one of my favorite cars of the weekend: this absolutely stunning LC500.

This car was driven by someone from the Lexus Corporate Office so I was able to ask a ridiculous amount of questions about it and get them all answered! I learned that this particular car had the sport package which gets goodies like four-wheel steering and a carbon fiber roof. I also learned that the LC is produced in the same factory as the LFA and the Mirai since each car employs carbon fiber, just to name a few facts. I was also very jealous of his Lexus branded lawn chair that is peaking into the above picture.

I will say that the thought that went into this car is truly incredible. I’m especially impressed with the ability of the engineers to essentially bring a concept car to the road. Lots of hoops had to be jumped through to make it work, but they did it.

We took a few more laps, returning to look at and talk about the LC a few more times, and on the last lap before we left, I couldn’t believe my eyes. A preproduction Lexus LS500 had shown up. Supposedly it was late because it got a flat tire on the way over. It seems like the Arboretum is the place to see preproduction Lexus models since we got to see the preproduction LC500 last year!

I power walked over to the LS, and ran into the driver of the LC so I was able to get filled in on the new model. It was absolutely gorgeous and filled will many complex details.

It’s also very big in person; it’s actually the longest Lexus ever produced, even longer than the LX.

The VIN was particularly interesting for me. For all of the preproduction cars, they create fake VINs so they cannot be registered, and they typically consist of mostly zeroes.

After getting my fill of these new Lexus models, we climbed into my old ’04 RX330 that’s worth about 25 times less on a good day. Still, I was content to be in my trusty old Grocery Grabber because it almost didn’t make it down. The leak in the power steering rack finally caught up with us again, and the car ended up slowly losing all of its fluid.

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A point stuck home the day before when the power steering pump groaned on cold starts and actually made the car sound supercharged under any load. Topping it off with Dexron fluid allowed us to take it down to Supercar Saturdays, and get it back home.

The next day, on our way to Lake Mills Cars and Coffee, we dropped it off at our mechanic. After the quick trip to Illinois, the Grocery Grabber is now sitting at over 227,500 miles and patiently awaiting its repair.

Now, Lake Mills Cars and Coffee is a much smaller event than Supercar Saturdays, but we had to stop as it was on our way up to Northern Wisconsin and there are still some gems to be found. This time my photos were lacking even more; I only managed to get a picture of this GT3 RS on its way out.

There was also this gorgeous NSX that was actually driven by someone at Acura’s Regional Office.

And, finally, my favorite car of Lake Mills was this Legacy Spec.B. Two summers ago, I was absolutely in love with this generation of Legacy and Outback. And while I still love these cars, I was seriously considering them at that point. A silver 2008 Spec.B popped up for sale at the Lexus dealer in Milwaukee.

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I tried to see it in person, but it wasn’t at the dealer yet. A few days later, they posted pictures of the car online, and, shortly after, the car was sold. I had a feeling this car was that same Spec.B, and looking up the CarFax after we left confirmed that it was. So, I guess I had an encounter with the one that got away.

However, I am still very pleased with my old RX330. It happily carted my dad and me from Wisconsin to South Barrington and back. And as I sit here writing this “up north”, I can’t wait to get my Grocery Grabber back to keep putting on miles and keep taking it to more car shows.

Bonus LC because it is just that pretty.