Blackbird the Legend & ILX Production Launch

Odometer:  513,863

I got a little artsy on my way out of work this afternoon and snapped a few iPhone pictures of my car on campus.  I’ve worked at the Scottsdale, Arizona office of CVS Caremark Corporation for almost 4 years now.  It’s a stable day job and gives me the schedule flexibility to take some great road trip vacations each year.  Right now I’m working as a project manager in our IT department.

Since I’m talking about work, here’s a part of my cubicle.  Yes, with a LEGEND trunk lid emblem on the wall that I picked up at the junkyard years ago.  The lava lamp and giant PEZ dispenser give me some visual excitement when I get sick of staring at spreadsheets all day.

The 1994 Legend is doing well this week.  No issues to report, and ice cold A/C which is a relief in our Arizona inferno summer.  Next scheduled maintenance will be a 5W30 oil change at 516,449 miles per the Acura of Tempe maintenance reminder.

I’ve been humming the theme song from that ride at Disneyland, “It’s a Small World,” ever since I got a photo text message from my friend Ian yesterday afternoon.

I’ve shared before how many of my friends send me random pictures of Acuras that they see driving down the road, just because it makes my day.  Well, yesterday I got the following text from Ian (who’s not necessarily a Legend “enthusiast,” but he sent to me because he knew I’d find it interesting).   He moved from Phoenix to Atlanta a month or so ago.

  • “I passed this 4 door Legend today and took a pic because it had a strange fin over the top of the rear windshield.  It was color matched and looked factory.  It’s difficult to see in this picture but it’s the best I could get.  Have you ever heard of or seen anything like that?”

It took only one glance at the picture and I put 2+2 together.  Ian had just passed my friend Joe on Georgia Hwy 74!  The roof spoiler, from a company called Sarona, made the connection unmistakable.  Joe and his family have been friends of mine since 2006 when I stayed at their home during my cross country road trip to the NOPI Nationals Motorsports Supershow in Atlanta.  Even more interesting – the Legend that Joe was driving (and that Ian spotted) is one that I actually picked up for Joe in December, 2006 in California.  It’s a rare Granada Black Pearl GS 6-speed that he calls “Blackbird.”  Quick history lesson here:

Taking the keys from the car’s first (and only) owner, Sivaram on December 17, 2006.  I was 24 years old and excited to play “transporter” for Joe and drive the car about 10 hours from San Francisco to Las Vegas:

150,000 miles – yet the seats looked absolutely brand new:

Even better yet:  This guy was so particular about recordkeeping that he’d made an entry into a little log book with each and every single fuel fill-up over the car’s life.  Twelve years’ worth!

Picture from the drive back to Las Vegas, where Joe was to pick up the car at a later date.

More photos here of that whole adventure.

I saw Blackbird again in 2009 at the NALM (National Acura Legend Meet) in Branson, Missouri.  Joe had added the roof and trunk spoilers.  The car looked better than ever.  The photo here was taken at the dealership in Springfield that graciously hosted our group for a (rainy) BBQ.

I spoke with Joe about his car this morning and did confirm that Ian had spotted him on Hwy 74 yesterday afternoon.  He reports that Blackbird is now just over 250,000 miles and still trucking along on its original drivetrain and clutch.  Yet another testament to Acura reliability when under the ownership of someone who takes exceptional care of their vehicle.

Acura comparo:  I was grabbing a Subway sandwich on my lunch break and happened to park a couple of spaces away from a 2001-2002 Acura CL.  The CL was the logical replacement to the Legend coupe when the Legend was discontinued after the 1995 model year.  The one pictured here is mechanically a very close sibling to my Legend:  3.2 liter V6, 225 horsepower (mine is 230) and 16″ wheels.  Any similarity in styling, though is tough to pick out.

Reader News:  Sending my congrats to my friend Jeff in Dallas for his milestone today in his 1994 Legend LS coupe!  131,000 and barely broken in!

Jeff’s Legend coupe, though about 383,000 miles “younger” than mine, started out looking very close to mine as a 1994 Desert Mist Metallic LS.  Over the years, though, it’s transformed into what we like to refer to as my car’s evil twin.  He added a number of hot modifications, including 18″ Acura A-Spec wheels, clear/red taillights, and JDM one-piece headlights.

Looking great, Jeff.  And keep that odometer rolling.

The latest in the 2013 Acura ILX series of videos was released yesterday – this one highlighting my recent visit to the Honda Manufacturing of Indiana (HMIN) facility in Greensburg, Indiana when the ILX started production in April.

I was privileged to travel to the plant for the “line-off” event while about 2,000 associates looked on as the first production ILX rolled off the assembly line.  I got a front-row seat for the festivities and was able to meet with Jeff Conrad and a few of the other associates who are proud of Acura’s newest offering.

The entire story is featured on Acura’s Facebook page, under the “ILX Experience” tab.  Click on the “Tyson’s ILX Blog” page and you’ll be able to read the article there.  In the meantime, here are a handful of pictures.

Press credentials – woohoo!

Just moments before the big event.

And the new car rolls up.  The first production ILX was a Fathom Blue 6-speed.

Associate Jen from Corporate Communications took me on a tour of the facility.

These are Acura ILX quarter panels, freshly stamped on-site!

Yes, it was windy in Greensburg that day!

Proudly wearing my green Honda ballcap (with a hard hat inside it) back at home in Arizona.

I had a great time during my visit and it was an honor to be a part of such a special occasion for Acura.  Until next time… drive on!

6 Responses to “Blackbird the Legend & ILX Production Launch”

  1. Another great post to a great blog. Write on, Tyson! And ride on!

  2. Kevin Amoth Says:

    It’s a great day when my email includes a new blog from Tyson!

  3. Tyler S. Says:

    UtahSt8! What’s that Arizona plate on your cubicle wall from? Oh, and it’s not March anymore, Tyson!

    • Good catches, Tyler! Yes the cubicle picture is a few months old and I do have my calendar set to June now. The AZ plate is just a random one from my collection – I’ve been hoarding old license plates for years now. It’s in really good condition for being from 1969. As for UTAHST8, that plate was proudly worn by my 1991 Legend L coupe and then my 1991 Prelude Si 4WS while I was going to school at the University. Aggie Pride!

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