June 2015 - Frank Ancona Honda blog

June 26, 2015

What to Expect from the 2016 Honda Pilot

Just in time for your summer family road trip, the 2016 Honda Pilot is designed with the family in mind. The Pilot’s size is between the smaller CR-V and the larger family-of-five Odyssey, outfitted with all of the features a family that is constantly on the go needs. The Pilot’s design has been upgraded in response to drivers’ desires from the 2014 and 2015 models, providing a custom family hauler vehicle for the modern family with the classic Honda performance under the hood.

Image Credit: Honda

Image Credit: Honda

The Pilot feels like an all-new vehicle with sleeker, rounder edges compared to the boxy design of the 2015, taking design cues from the popular CR-V. Despite the 3.5 inch increase in length and 1.8 inch increase in wheelbase, the Pilot is lighter by 286 pounds thanks to the upgraded design. The 2016 model makes use of its space, offering more cargo room behind the third row than most other SUV’s in the market. For extra storage, the 2016 Pilot also has a new under-floor compartment with a lid for convenient storage. Total, the Pilot offers 109.2 cubic feet of storage space with seating for up to eight passengers

The 3.5 liter V6 engine provides 280 horsepower with 262 lb-ft of torque, an upgrade in power from the 2014 thanks to the new direct-injected engine. The transmission is now a six-speed automatic in the first three trim levels with the ZF nine-speed transmission in the Touring and Elite trims. With more power than before, the Pilot still manages excellent fuel economy for its size, offering 27 mpg highway and 19 mpg city driving.

As for features, the Pilot comes in five trim levels. The LX is the entry level model, moving up to the EX, EX-L, Touring and Elite trims. The LX’s features are pretty basic to keep the price point down, but starting with the EX the features get interesting. Apart from the LX, there are at least three USB ports and Lane Watch side-view camera standard. On all models, backup camera is standard. The Honda Sensing safety suite is available on all models except the LX, offering road and lane departure warnings, forward collision warning and braking and adaptive cruise control.

All-in-all, the Pilot is ready for a family to slap on their kids’ sports affiliations and their stick figure family stickers before they hop in for a summer road trip.

June 19, 2015

Frank Ancona Honda Celebrates Father’s Day

Sunday, June 21, 2015 is Father’s Day, a great holiday to spend time with your dad no matter how young or old you are. Frank Ancona Honda is celebrating Father’s Day by helping out our Honda family find the perfect Father’s Day gift, hosting some dad-tastic specials and showcasing some of the awesome dads we have here at the dealership.

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We get it, shopping for dad gets harder every year. His garage is full of everything he needs (and some things you want!) plus funny dad shirts are getting old. Not to worry, Frank Ancona Honda has a great way to help you find the perfect gift for your dad. Email us or Tweet us with a little bit about your dad and we will help you find the perfect accessory for your dad’s vehicle any lifestyle.

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If your dad has everything he needs for his car, Frank Ancona Honda is also offering two service specials that will save your dad time, money and stress. You can buy a pre-paid oil change card that includes six free oil changes and two tire rotations, presenting a savings of over $100. You can also save your dad money by giving him a coupon card that reduces the price of his car service. The coupon ranges from saving $10 when he spends $100 to saving $70 when he spends $500 or more.

Tell dad to give us the card when he arrives for his service appointment and we will take care of everything else. Both offers expire July 8, 2015, so give your dad the gift of keeping his vehicle in top working condition.

In addition to personal shopping and service specials, Frank Ancona Honda is also celebrating some of the great dads we have working for us at the dealership. Check out these photos of our very cool dads hanging out with their families.

James Trotter and his daughter Angelica.

James Trotter and his daughter Angelica.

Dave Heitman, our new general sales manager, with his family.

Dave Heitman, our new general sales manager, with his family.

Shawn Wakeman being Forever Royal and Forever Cool Dad with his son.

Shawn Wakeman being Forever Royal and Forever Cool Dad with his son.

Brad Turner, finance director at Frank Ancona Honda, showing off his strong selfie game with members of his family.

Brad Turner, finance director at Frank Ancona Honda, showing off his strong selfie game with members of his family.

June 15, 2015

Vintage Honda: The T360 and S500

Honda has a unique history compared to other automotive brands. Honda started out as a motorcycle company after WWII in Japan and quickly became an engine innovator. In fact, the first few vehicles from Honda all had motorcycle engines under the hood! Frank Ancona Honda wants to showcase the vintage Honda and take a look at the first two production vehicles – the T360 and S500.

Honda T360

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Before there was the Honda Ridgeline, the T360 was the Honda pickup truck of the day. The T360 was the first production vehicle ever from Honda, introduced in 1963. It stayed in production until 1967 and 108,920 were made. The T360 had a small 356-cc straight-4 gasoline engine which was also found in the Honda S360 roadster prototype that never made it to production. Top speed was 62 mph with this engine, producing 30 hp at 8,500 rpm.

The T360 is a very small pickup because of Kei regulations. Kei allowed the T360 to be in a lower tax bracket, so Honda followed regulations that restricted the size of the truck. There were no color choices – people who bought the T360 could only purchase the “May Blue” color.

The T360 was a rear wheel drive pickup and was offered in three different styles. The T360F was a flatbed, the T360H was a flatbed with folding sides and the T360V was a covered van. A rare version of the T360 is called the Snow Crawler which had tracked propulsion units in the back. it was a useful car for Japanese climate and terrain, but its price tag was hefty, so they were only seen in certain areas of northern Japan.

The T360 was the start of the Honda automobile line and its pickup popularity spurred the T500, a similar pickup truck that was slightly larger in many ways. The T500 had a 38 hp 531 cc version of the T360 engine with a top speed of 65 mph delivering 7,500 rpm with a redline at 9,000 rpm. The T500 was also 20 centimeters longer than the T360. Instead of “May Blue,” the T500 trucks were all painted “Moss Green.”

Honda S500

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The Honda S500 is the second automobile to be put into production and is also the first sports car that Honda produced. A sports car was a natural option for Honda’s new automobile line since they started as a motorcycle company. The S500 has chain-driven rear wheels and four-speed manual transmission point heavily to Honda’s background and expertise in motorcycles.

The engine was another high-tech motorcycle engine with a dual overhead cam straight-4 with four carburettors. The engine is a 531 cc and produced 44 hp at 8000 rpm and a redline of 9,500 rpm. The S500 engine was meant to displace the 492 cc that was supposed to be in the S360 that never reached production. The S500 was a mere 1500 lb and could reach a top speed of 80 mph.

Honda innovated with the S500 and impressed with the four-wheel independent suspension, front torsion bars and rear diagonal coilover shock absorbers. The S500 was so unique that many competitors raced to get their own version of the sports car, including Toyota.

The S500 was released four months after the T360 in 1963 but was only in production for one year. 1,363 Honda S500 were produced, making the sports car a complete rarity. In 1963, the S500 cost $1,275 and also came with a hardtop version that was slightly pricier.

June 8, 2015

Summer Car Maintenance Tips Before Your Road Trip

Summer is finally here and many people are busy planning their fun-filled road trip across the country. There is a lot to do before your wheels hit the open road, but make sure prepping your car for summer travel is on the top of your priority list. A fun summer road trip can end really fast if a vehicle hasn’t had proper maintenance for the hot roads and long distances. Here are some summer car maintenance tips to make sure your trip includes a flawless drive.

Photo Credit: Honda

Photo Credit: Honda

Make Sure Your AC Works

While the AC doesn’t have a whole lot to do with safety, sitting in a hot car for miles of a road trip is extremely uncomfortable. It may give you childhood flashbacks to your parents old beat up car before AC was standard in vehicles, but that doesn’t mean your family has to suffer through it! Test the AC while driving to work or running errands around town to ensure it blows cold the entire time. If not, it is time to get your AC recharged.

Check Headlights, Turn Signals and Windshield Wipers

Many people don’t think to check the miscellaneous functions on their vehicle before a road trip. Having a headlight or taillight out can result in poor visibility and possibly a ticket. Turn signals should be in working order to stay safe while driving. While you don’t want a downpour on your road trip, rain could happen so your windshield wipers should be in top working order. Consider applying RainX to your windshield for extra rain protection.

Fix Your Tires

There are a lot of miles on your road trip and every one affects your tires. Start your tires out right at the beginning to avoid problems down the road. Make sure your treads are deep enough for proper traction. You also want to adjust your tire pressure for summer driving. Tires should deflated because summer weather increases the tire pressure one pound per every 10 degrees.

Refill Fluids

Gas is not the only fluid you need to worry about on a road trip. Make sure your transmission fluid, antifreeze, radiator coolant, engine oil, brake fluid and windshield wiper fluid are at the optimum levels before going on your road trip.

Double Check Towing Capacity

Before you hook on a boat or camper or load your vehicle down with suitcases, double check your manufacturer’s guidelines on weight limits and towing capacity. If you are towing something behind the vehicle, check the trailer’s tires and brake lights while you’re at it.

Check Your Brakes

Chances are you are going to have plenty of opportunities to test out the responsiveness of your brakes on your road trip! People will stop unexpectedly to find their turn or you might encounter some daring wildlife crossing the highway. Your brakes should be dependable so you can avoid these dangers without damaging your vehicle or the people in it. Bring your vehicle in to be services so a thorough brake inspection can be conducted.

June 1, 2015

Michael Ancona Attends Memorial Day Indy 500 Race

The Indianapolis 500 race day on May 24 was an intense fight for Honda drivers in the 500 mile race. Michael Ancona, president of Frank Ancona Honda, attended the Indy 500 in the Honda Suite box. At the end of the day, Graham Rahal was the highest Honda finisher coming into 5th place. The winner of the race was Juan Pablo Montoya who came back from a 30th start to first place, passing up another teammate of his three laps away from the finish to win. Will Power, last year’s Indy 500 winner, finished in a bitter second place.

View from the Honda Suite Box at the Indy 500

View from the Honda Suite Box at the Indy 500

Rahal was only 2.3 seconds away from coming into first place. Rahal has never won the Indy 500, although his father did in 1986. Rahal has come into the top five placements twice and the top 10 three times. In interviews, Rahal stated that he feels like he won since he finished first for Honda, according to ABC News.

The Honda race kits for their Indy 500 cars were the talk of the race circuit, especially when Honda changed their race kits with the move to the oval race track. Honda was the sole engine supplier for the IndyCar from 2006 to 2011 and their aero kits made the other competitor manufacturers work extra hard to get their cars ready for the Indy 500.

The Indy 500 started with drama on the first lap as driver Takuma Sato made what other racers called a “boneheaded move” trying to go three wide and pass others. This move resulted in a multi-car wreck in the first lap, forcing Sage Karam to retire from the race. Another incident in lap one caused Montoya’s car to be hit, requiring him to pull over for a pit stop for fender repairs. This is the set back that put him in 30th place.

At last year’s Indy 500, there were no incidents for 149 laps, a record that was not broken this year. In the last 15 laps of the race, there were five intense lead changes leading to Montoya’s victory. The drama increased when there was another multi-car wreck in Turn 4. Surprisingly, no cars went airborne in the Indy 500. A few minor injuries occurred where drivers were taken away in an ambulance.