What Now?

Odometer:  502,006

The Drive “Past” Five is well underway and quite a bit has happened since the red-carpet reception at Acura a couple of weeks ago.

This past weekend, the old Legend was exercised on a fun excursion to witness a piece of history.

Union Pacific 844, also known as the “Living Legend,” is a steam locomotive that’s been in service since 1944, 50 years before my Acura, and the only survivor of 10 such locomotives delivered to Union Pacific that year.  The train came through Arizona this weekend in connection with the state’s centennial celebration.  My friend Matt and I had a chance to see 844 roll past us and it was an incredible experience to witness the sheer momentum it carries (220 tons worth!).

Here we are parked alongside a frontage road in Picacho, Arizona upon the train’s arrival on Saturday, November 12th.

We were able to “pace” the train for several miles before stopping to watch it be serviced.

The locomotive was serviced in Coolidge, Arizona before continuing its journey into the Phoenix area.

The Legend made the trip effortlessly.

The following day, I entered the car in a “Battle of the Brands” car show in Chandler, Arizona.  This show was hosted by SanTan Honda and SanTan Subaru who operate dealerships that are adjacent to each other.  There was a great turnout from the Honda & Acura community, including my friend Spencer and his dad, Warren, who brought out their extremely well kept 1994 Legend LS coupe in Cashmere Silver Metallic.  It looks pretty showroom fresh for having around 210,000 miles on it.

Spencer and his dad were also sporting their “500,000” congratulatory shirts that my friend Dave from the acuralegend.org forums developed as part of a group buy.  Awesome!

My friend CJ and his brother Neil stopped by to check out the rides.  As you can see we battled the rain most of the morning but still had a great time at the show.

I couldn’t resist a classic hubcap picture with an exotic 1991 formula red NSX in the reflection.

In the end, neither Spencer nor I took home a trophy in the “Stock Honda” class but two Legends with a combined nearly 3/4 million miles certainly represented very well how enduring and reliable that Acura products can be.

This week I had the privilege of being one of Acura’s guests at a launch of the 2012 Acura TL in connection with Zagat.  It was hosted at Siren Studios in Los Angeles and featured some of the best food & company I’ve enjoyed in a long time.

A high-class affair for a high-class brand with an exceptional car.

In other news:  It was time to get the 2-year registration renewal taken care of on the Legend.  Residents of Maricopa County, Arizona get to go through an emissions inspection if we want to keep our cars registered.  Last week it was time to get the coupe checked out.

As I pulled the car into the Scottsdale, Arizona station, the technician asked me if my Legend was rear wheel drive.  This happens every time I take the car to get smog tested.  The 1991-1995 Legend’s 3.2 liter longitudinally-mounted engine (engineered that way for optimal weight distribution) always throws people off.  I assured the guy that my Legend is front wheel drive.

“Did you just have this detailed at the dealer?” he asked.  I told him I keep the car that clean all the time.  And finally, when he looked at the odometer.  “Did you hear about the guy with a million miles who got a brand new Honda?”  And yes, of course, I told him I was familiar with Joe’s story.

Here are the test results, historic through current.  The Legend got straight A’s yet again.

December, 2006:  255,000 Miles

  • Hydrocarbons:  .43
  • Carbon Monoxide:  6.18
  • NOX:  .81

November, 2007:  302,000 Miles

  • Hydrocarbons:  .26
  • Carbon Monoxide:  6.66
  • NOX:  .37

November, 2009:  401,000 Miles

  • Hydrocarbons:  .59
  • Carbon Monoxide:  5.97
  • NOX:  1.15

November, 2011:  500,000 Miles

  • Hydrocarbons:  .18
  • Carbon Monoxide:  2.72
  • NOX:  1.19

After the technician handed me the paperwork and told me the car had passed with flying colors, he said, “Good luck on the next half million!”

In looking through some of my paperwork I discovered that I still have the very first safety inspection that was performed on the Legend in my ownership.  This is dated 3/27/2003 – just a day after I bought the car.  It had 96,160 miles on it.  The mechanic had mistakenly written the make as “Honda” instead of “Acura” and later crossed it out.  A common oversight!

And I even have the receipt from the first time I ever put gas in this car, on 3/26/2003 in Firebaugh, CA right off Interstate 5 Southbound.  $2.49 for Premium octane — not too shabby!

Lastly:  I was lucky to purchase this Legend from an owner who took equally good (if not better!) care of it.  My Legend’s life started in the San Francisco Bay area and was original sold from Pleasanton Acura.  Patricia, who bought the car at the end of 1994 with 294 miles on it, was able to dig up these pictures a few days ago from when the car was a brand new baby.

Interesting how the car still looks almost identical today.  As you can see there’s still plenty of activity for the Legend as things roll onward beyond the half-million milestone.  I’ll keep the updates coming as we continue the adventure.  Thanks again for being a part of the ride.

2 Responses to “What Now?”

  1. You’re becoming the Acura “Event” repeat offender! I’m jealous!!

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