Archive for March, 2011

A Meeting of Legends

Posted in Arizona, Car Show, Legend, Road Trip on March 28, 2011 by tysonhugie

Today’s Odometer:  467,833

You could probably find a “cult” following for just about any make/model of vehicle on the road today.  As I’ve learned over the last 8 years of Acura Legend ownership, I’m definitely not the only one with a sick/crazy obsession for this car.   And naturally, I enjoy spending time with others who share that!

Yesterday was an incredible Arizona springtime day — and what better way to enjoy it than by enjoying the open road with some fellow Acura fanatics.  My friend Matt took the helm of the coupe, and I blew the dust off the garage queen sedan to participate yesterday in the Central Arizona Acura Legend Meet.  We made the trek to Prescott Valley, Arizona to tour a repair shop that our friend Tony opened, then enjoyed some of the twisty mountainous roads leading up to the old mining town of Jerome.   Total roundtrip mileage was probably 250-300.

It was a bit of an out-of-body experience to see my car being driven down the road by someone else, but I took that opportunity to snag a few pictures (carefully) from the driver’s seat of the sedan.

Here’s the group shot. The second car from left is my 1994 Legend sedan (only 141k miles!) and the second car from the right is my 1994 Legend coupe (the feature car for this blog).

Both cars made the drive without so much as a hiccup.  I did get the coupe in for some maintenance this week, too. Acura of Tempe has always taken good care of me, and this week’s experience was no exception.   I had the coolant changed, MT fluid replaced, and got an oil change during this visit. Following are the repair recommendations from the technician on my paperwork — none of these are particularly alarming as I’d known about them prior.  The joys of owning an old car!

That receipt, along with hundreds of others, ended up archived in my giant records binder — but only after logging a new line item in the Excel spreadsheet, of course.

Ready, Set, Go

Posted in Blog, Legend, Milestones on March 22, 2011 by tysonhugie

Eight years, 372k miles, and lots of memories behind the wheel.

Thought I’d kick this blog off with a little history lesson/recap on the old “front wheel drive sleigh” (bonus points if you know what movie that line came from) since there are a few hundred thousand miles to get caught up on.  This 1994 Legend LS coupe and I have been through a lot.  Nearly 40 U.S. states, in fact.   I figured it’s fitting that as my 8 year anniversary with this car approaches (we’ll celebrate this Saturday the 26th!) I should document a few of the past memories as well as track some of my future travels to the big half-million milestone.

Most memorable roadtrip by far was to Fairbanks, Alaska and back in 2006 with my dad.  That was a 7,600 mile roundtrip adventure through some of the most awesome terrain I’ve ever seen.  I’d like to someday achieve a visit to each of the 50 states in this Legend.  Hawaii I may need to leave until last since it’s a $1,000 ferry ride each way.  But it’ll happen!

I’ve had a ton of fun with odometer readings over the years, capturing 111,111.1 through 444,444.4, each the 100k milestones, 123,456.7 through 456,789.0 and some other random ones I’m sure.   Here are the dates at which I passed the major ones.

  • 100,000 miles: 5/20/2003

  • 200,000 miles: 12/3/2005

  • 300,000 miles: 7/29/2007

  • 400,000 miles: 10/30/2009

YouTube video of my 400,000 mile roll-over.

And a 450,000 mile roll-over.

So today, here’s a look at how far I’ve come over the last 8 great years.

Taking the keys on March 26, 2003 – San Jose, California:  95,000 miles

Today – March 21, 2011 – Fountain Hills, Arizona:  467,276 miles

And today’s odometer shot:

My maintenance is tracked religiously in an Excel spreadsheet.  Obsessive attention to detail – that’s the name of the game.  I can say with certainty that this car is on its original engine, transmission, and clutch.   The suspension is as it left the factory in Japan.  Same with the exhaust system.  The axles are original but with new boots.   The car has had 142 (documented!) oil changes over its lifetime so far, gone through 4 windshields, and had 5 different timing belts & water pumps at the recommended ~90k mile change interval.

And if you’re into numbers tracking, I’ve also killed two deer, a cat, as well as this unfortunate bird in Palm Springs CA.

The Legend got me through 3 college degrees and has lived at 6 different houses.  It’s been off-roaded, bottomed out, hauled hitchhikers, stuck in the snow, road raced twice in a 100-mile open road race called the Bonneville 100 in northern Nevada at over 100 mph, thrashed an autocross track in Springfield, Missouri, and dyno tested at 414,000 miles in St. George, Utah.  After all that abuse, it’s only been towed one time — when the original fuel pump died at around 399,750 miles on the 101 freeway, just a mile from my home in Scottsdale, Arizona.  I’d trust this old clunker across the country tomorrow.

Known issues – yes, there are plenty!   This car is not a mint condition showpiece.  She’s still rolling strong but is showing some wear and tear. Aside from some understandable cosmetic issues (clearcoat fade, chipped front end, bullseyed windshield), there are some mechanical issues to address too:

  • Leaking power steering pump
  • Rotors should probably be done (last changed at 89k miles!)
  • Original clutch is barely hanging on for dear life
  • Passenger side door lock actuator makes a loud noise when unlocking
  • Climate control blower motor has a mind of its own some of the time
  • Motor mounts and tranny mount need changed
  • Differential seal leaking (per Acura inspection)
  • All original suspension loves to creak and groan sometimes
  • Misc instrument cluster bulbs burned out
  • Infrequent Code 12 Check Engine Light for the EGR system, though I’ve replaced everything!

Aside from all that, this car drives as rock solid at 467k as it did when I bought it at 95k. It starts on the first crank every time. I drive it to work every weekday. No smoking, no oil leaking, doesn’t use a drop of oil between changes. I wouldn’t hesitate to drive it across the country at a moment’s notice. I still easily get 30+ mpg on highway drives in 6th with conservative driving habits. I use nothing but 91 octane fuel, and 5W30 oil at 3k intervals.

Where to go from here?  Keep an eye on this blog for the updates as I roll onward in the Legend for the half million milestone.  I’ll be celebrating at 477,000 (that means the car’s been driven to the moon and back) as well as definitely doing some quality countdown documentation as we near the big 5 together.  Drive onward!


Posted in Blog, Legend on March 21, 2011 by tysonhugie

Here’s my late entry into the world of blogging! I was inspired today by another car guy’s blog about his crusade to spend an entire year behind the wheel of a Ford Model A, (  so I figured I’d share some of my own adventures from behind the wheel of a car that’s a few years newer than his, but with a little bit more road experience under its belt. Stay tuned and join me for the ride to half a million miles in my 1994 Acura Legend.