Petpad's Pet of the Year 2001


You guessed it, right? It had to be. It could be no other. The First Annual Petpad Pet of the Year Award goes to (drum roll, please, with trumpet flourishes) ...


AckVig -- The First Annual Petpad Pet of the Year


First Annual Petpad Pet of the Year


You've already seen his Vig and his photographic skills on the Club's home page. That photo is fast becoming a classic—others have already used the image on their web pages. The full size original of that photograph is simply stunning. (The image on the Club's home page doesn't do any justice to the original—the home page image was cropped and reduced for technical tradeoffs.)

It takes an artist's eye to shoot a pic like that. It's a powerful image because its composition is so simple that its message can't be misunderstood. It's so simple... it's elegant. Powerful and elegant.

Just like his 1993 Frost White Vigor LS 5-speed with sunroof. Yes, that's right. A Vigor LS with a dealer installed sunroof! And you thought you knew all about Vigors!

FORCE/VIGOR -- Frost White 93 LS 5-Speed

We noticed something about Ack's car at the Washington, DC Club Meet. There is not a single parking-lot-ding on either side of his car. The doors and fenders are flawless! When asked about it, he replied, "I don't know. I never thought much about it."

To which we reply, "C'mon, man, even brand new cars have parking-lot-dings. What's the deal?"

The odometer says almost 274K miles, but there's some controversy around that. It may actually be closer to 174K, and AckVig has the papers to prove it. It seems the odometer had a problem as it rolled past 40,000 miles and it ended up at 140,000 instead. The original owner tried to get it fixed but was told that state and federal law prohibited turning it back.

The AckVig Story actually begins back in 1987. This was a good time for young Jermaine Greene. A sophomore in high school, he was delving deeper and deeper into his new love—rap music—and was starting to move beyond his first loves—Star Wars and acting in local stage productions. Coincidentally, this was the year Acura first introduced the Legend Coupe (which won that year's Motor Trend Import Car of the Year Award) and that made an impression on him.

Then in 1991, the whole game changed. Acura released a redesigned Legend. They transformed their flagship into a "sleek and graceful, yet formidable and growling killer whale." And to accompany it, Acura introduced a "smaller, sleeker, more agile tiger shark—the Vigor." And young Jermaine took notice.

Ack Vig: An Etymology

One thing AckVig noticed during his surfing was that nowhere in print or verse did anyone use quite the same, unique phraseology that he liked to use when referring to Acuras. (Remember: Acura came into his life at the same time rap music did.) Although the term Ac (short for Acura) can be attributed to New York Hip-Hop slang (it had been used there for years), no one ever shortened the rest of the mouthful of names to suit our man. So he did it himself, shortening Legend to Ledge and Vigor to Vig, as it just rolled naturally off the tongue. As a final visual touch, he capped off "Ac" with a K, so it looked better in printed verse.And thus the terms Ack, Ack Ledge, and Ack Vig were coined. New words for the Hip-Hop vocabulary—new words for the World—terms such as the "Ack dealer" are used daily everywhere. And they came from our man!

All through college he had his eye on the Legend and the Vigor. But after graduation, he didn't need his new BS in Business Administration (Kentucky State University) to realize that both cars were beyond his financial reach in his present job. Over time, though, one thing lead to another and Ack fell backwards into gainful employment with a state government agency. Finally, he had a secure and much better income. And an Acura was now a real possibility.

But first, he had to do his research. He began to surf the World Wide Web for anything and everything that was Vigor. He discovered he couldn't find much on the web using the common search techniques, so he taught himself to search in clever ways. When he learned that Acura was still called Honda everywhere in the world except North American, he taught himself to search for "Honda Vigor" as opposed to "Acura Vigor." Then he discovered that surfing with the international search engines, and not just the Americanized ones, got even greater results. He coined these search methods "guerilla surfing."

As he continued surfing the web, he began to accumulate a considerable body of Vigor knowledge. He also made contact with Akiya (Nuthin' But a "V" Thang) in Japan, and Tom "The Tominizer " Kliem (House of Vigors) in Ontario, Canada, two early Vigor/Internet pioneers.

But researching Vigs on the net and adding new words to the American lexicon (see sidebar) aren't the same as driving and owning a Vigor. It's like the difference between knowledge and experience.

AckVig with his Homeys

Ack had been tracking a particular Vigor for sale in the classified pages for several weeks. The starting price of $12,000 was out of his price range but, no one was biting and the price kept getting lower until it settled at an-unheard-of-at-the-time-and-area $9,500. Ack was salivating, but the time and price weren't quite right and he had to pass. And then the seller stopped running the ad.

Nothing happened until a few months later, when Ack saw the same Vig now priced at $7,500! It was time to move. So he made arrangements to see the car, went to take a look, and fell in love immediately. He couldn't believe its showroom condition. This was just too good to be true.

And so it was. The mileage was 168K. Very high for a car that age. The owner of the car told him that the previous owner had had the odometer problem described earlier. So which was it? 168K or 68K miles? That would explain why the seller started out asking $12,000—at the time, that would have been a fair price for a Vigor with 68K miles. And 168K miles could scare off other prospective buyers—thus, the ever-lowering price.

But AckVig, on the other hand, had done years of research. And he had owned two Honda products before, both Accords with high mileage. So he listened to the story with polite interest, dismissed it, assumed that the car had 168K miles, and that was that. (But it drove and ran soooo...)

Then, going through the hand written portion of the meticulous maintenance records, Ack found scribbles from the original owner supporting these claims.

And AckVig drove off in the newly christened FORCE/VIGOR.

Now an official Ack Vig roller, Ack returned to the Internet with a renewed zeal, and discovered a kid in Texas who had recently founded a little section of the net he called The Yahoo Acura Vigor And Legend Club. That was almost 13,000 club posts ago. Since then, many adventures have come and gone, but one thing is constant: "FORCE AND VIGOR REMAIN ALWAYS...."


"When men lack a sense of awe, there will be disaster." Lao Tzu



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