Legend Retirement and ILX Birth

Odometer:  514,200

Friends, family, and fellow Acura fanatics:  I’ve got a new car.

Thanks to Acura I’m the proud driver of a brand new 2013 Acura ILX, 6-speed manual with 2.4 Liter, 201 hp engine.  It’s finished in Silver Moon exterior, black interior, and outfitted with accessories to align exactly with just how I want it to look.  I love it!  “New car smell” is something I’ve never until now experienced for myself.  The newest car I’ve ever owned – my 1994 Legend – was already 9 years old when I bought it in 2003.  I’ll be sharing my experience with this new ILX from behind the wheel and behind the scenes in the coming 12 months.

Without further ado, I present the newest Tyson-mobile in all its glory.

New meets old.  Big shoes to fill here!

From worn out old-fashioned key to brand new I-key.

Here’s how my day went.  Come along with me for the ride.

Arrival at the Acura dealership yesterday morning.

Love at first sight?

Where’d my rims go?

Check that interior.  Minty fresh!  Still in plastic wrap.  6-speed manual transmission.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

A quick peek at the initial odometer.  I haven’t seen that many zeroes in… ever.

First order of business:  Customize it!  A bunch of boxes of goodies had arrived in preparation for our day.

The 2.4 Liter ILX comes from the factory already nicely equipped with the Premium package.  But you’ll notice right away that I outfitted my ILX with features that will set it apart from others:

  • Sport Underbody Kit
  • Rear Lip Spoiler
  • 17″ Diamond Cut Accessory Wheels
  • Illuminated Door Sills
  • All Weather Mats
  • Trunk Tray
  • First Aid Kit

The front bumper had to come off to install the under body spoiler.

Technician Simon getting started with the install of the decklid spoiler.

I had to take a picture of this wheel well because I don’t know if it’ll ever be this clean again!

Same with the rest of the undercarriage.

It’s finished!  Lowered back down off the lift.  I’m digging the 17″ accessory wheels.

And the obligatory key hand-off photo with John Watts, Senior Manager of Acura Digital Marketing.

Finally rolled the car outside to get a good look at the finished product.

Meeting with Daniel Yong (left) who works on the Accessories team at Acura corporate. Pictured at right is Simon who performed the install of all the accessories.

Now, out on the town last night!  Downtown Phoenix made the perfect backdrop to some rolling video scenes that you’ll see on arriving to YouTube in the near future.  I’ll let you know when to tune in!

First fuel up.  It’s like feeding my new baby with a bottle of 91 octane.

For those who have followed Drive to Five and the Acura Facebook page since last year, you’ve seen that I’ve been privileged over the last several months to meet and interact with some of the amazing people at Acura who brought the ILX to life and who are excited that it represents the next generation of Acura automobiles.  This car truly reflects the level of pride and commitment that each of those individuals have in the quality product that they build.

As the ILX is inducted into my garage, a tribute is due to my trusty old Legend that hit 500,000 miles last November.

For the first time since March 26, 2003, my 1994 Legend LS coupe will not be my primary “daily” car anymore.  I started this Drive to Five blog in March 2011 and have shared my travels with my readers since then, but my history with this car (and with Acura in general) dates back many years prior to that.  I still vividly remember that day 9 years, 2 months ago when I excitedly took these pictures before assuming ownership at about 95,000 miles on the odometer in San Jose, California.

I’m a historian.  If you haven’t already noticed, I love documenting things – using pictures, stories, videos, or any means possible.  I’ve kept a daily journal for over 10 years now.  As I prepared for the Legend’s imminent retirement, I dug out my box of journal books (I’ve now switched to an electronic version) and found the entry from March 26, 2003 when I took delivery. First, a look at my day planner page.  This was a big week for me – I was also interviewing for my first “real” job at SkyWest Airlines, which I did end up getting.

Journals:

Following are some of the words that I wrote.  As you can see, my excitement was hard to contain.

3/26/2003

I’m on American Airlines flight 129 from Las Vegas to San Jose.  It was crazy getting to this point.  The McCarran airport is huge!  I had to find gate D-10.  I only brought a carry-on.  It’s kinda weird to think that I’m carrying $9,500 cash right now!  Scary.  11:30 p.m.  I’m home and in a new car that I couldn’t be more thrilled with.  This Legend is one SWEET ride.  Just glides down the freeway.  And the 6-speed — mmm.  Plus it’s been babied.  I have a huge book of records, and scratches on the car are almost nonexistent.  I lucked out!  Carla and Kent picked me up at the curb of San Jose airport.  The deal was made quick.  I knew the car was for me the second I saw it in the driveway.  Kent made me a taco and I paid the $9,500 cash, then I sat in the car for 10 hours, stopping only in Baker and on I-5.  The ride was awesome.  I blasted my tunes.  There is no CD player, but I used my adapter and I loved it.  It’s good to be home.  I’m so glad things worked out for today.  I am thrilled with the Legend.  I’ve been dreaming about one for probably 5 years.  Bentley will be excited too.  Ahhh… so much to do tomorrow – it’s been a busy day.  I traveled about 1,600 miles I think (via plane and car).  Carla was cool; I like her personality and she was really concerned about me being comfortable with the deal, etc.  She even emailed me to make sure I got home safely.  I put 696 miles on the car.

Little did I know what those first 696 miles would later become, 9 years down the road.

  • 419,200 miles driven
  • 35 U.S. states visited
  • 3 Canadian provinces visited
  • 1 Mexican state visited
  • 6 houses lived in, in 2 states
  • 3 college degrees
  • 2 freezing Utah winters
  • 6 hot Arizona summers
  • 7 National Acura Legend Meets
  • 1 valet parking job
  • 13 different sets of rims
  • 5 tickets, 1 window tint warning, and 1 drug search
  • 1 break-down & tow
  • 2 deer collisions
  • 4 different jobs/employers
  • 158 oil changes at
  • 18 authorized Honda & Acura dealerships
  • And a partridge in a pear tree

The car has paid for itself over and over again.  I’ll continue to drive it with some regularity and keep Drive to Five alive with updates.

I’m really excited, though, to experience a whole NEW level of driving technology (19 model years newer than what I’m used to!) that’s brought out in the 2013 ILX.  We’ll see if this new car is as road trip friendly as my old trusty Legend has been.  I’m already planning out some summer adventures to make sure the ILX gets plenty of use, and I’ll of course share the experiences with my readers.

Two miniature milestones have already come to pass.

50 miles

100 miles

Now, if I can just get used to a newfangled I-Key, cell phone connectivity, push-button start, and driving a vehicle that’s smarter than I am.

Stay tuned as the ILX adventure gets underway!

23 Responses to “Legend Retirement and ILX Birth”

  1. Tyler S. Says:

    So many congratulations, Tyson! That new Silver Moon beauty is going to treat you well — can’t wait to read about all the adventures to come.

    • Thanks, Tyler! Yes from Desert Mist to Silver Moon, I think I made the right color selection. I thought about doing the Crystal Black Pearl but I’m afraid the desert doesn’t mix well with black! Hope to see you soon so you can check out the new ride.

  2. Penny~Lady6spd Says:

    Wow! Congrats, Tyson for a job well done! Looking forward to furture blogs!

    • Penny, I appreciate that! I know you approve of the choice to go with the 6-speed transmission on this one! Hope you and your Sherwood Green Legend GS are doing phenomenal. I need to get out to southern California with the new car soon.

  3. The end of an era. When’s the first road trip?

  4. Joyce McGregor Says:

    I sensed your excitement vicariously, as I read about your new ride. I am jealous in a way, but so happy that you get to experience the brand new feel, smell, and ownership. It would be much like having a new baby – as you said. Way to go!!!! Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy!

  5. Adam Stewart Says:

    Congrats, man! I know putting your coupe aside will be a bit of a sad occasion, but I’m still very curious how the new ILX treats you over the next year.

    I may not be a part of the Legend community anymore, but seeing this post is starting to inspire me to document the travels I’ll be doing in my new car, which is just a shade under 200K. I think I’ve got a lot of time behind the wheel to do before I can catch up!

    • Adam, good luck on your quest for 200k! Sounds like you’re close. Are you still in the 7 series? I am actually headed your way next month so I will drop you a line. Unfortunately I’ll be flying, but it’s only a matter of time until the ILX finds its way to Colorado…

      • FoxCruiser Says:

        Unfortunately, I had to let go of the 740iL a couple of months ago due to the transmission dying… it had made it a total of 254,750 when I traded it to someone with the facilities and the time to get her back up and running like she should. I ended up with a ’98 Grand Prix for all of a month but she decided to throw a bunch of electrical issues at me.

        I ended up with a 1995 540i; basically the same engine as the 740 put into the smaller E34 5-series. The big difference is the transmission; I’ve got a third pedal and six gears versus a more fragile slushbox so I’m pretty happy. Let me know when you get out this way; I’d be happy to let you give her a spin!

  6. Francesco Says:

    So the old Legend is retired??congatulation for the new ILX!!the panda is 244k km now… 🙂

    • Keep on rolling the panda! I still have the Legend and will drive it on weekends and occasionally to keep the fluids going. It is definitely not just getting parked as a museum piece – that car begs to be driven. I hope you are doing great. Thanks for following the blog from all the way over in Italy, Francesco.

  7. Wow, WoW, and WOW! Niiiiiiiiiiice choice on the body kit, and trunk spoiler! Acura needs to make those available when you “build and price” on the Acura webpage. New ILX or new Accord? HHhhhmmmmmmmm. congrats buddy!

    • Hey Dave, glad you approve the accessorization choices! I think it turned out pretty well too. I know you’re all about teh nice OEM upgrades. Now if only they made an air refiner and some other goodies for this 😉 Thanks for the congrats too.

  8. Congrats! Can you post some pics of the illuminated door dills? Love all the OEM accessories you got. Makes the car look sporty but still classy. Enjoy all the new gadgets!

  9. Cograts Tyson! I want to step in some of that lucky dog poop! haha! Love the accessories and wheels you were able to choose. I’ll be looking forward to some feedback on what you think of the new ILX

  10. Your ILX looks fabulous!!! I just bought the white ILX premium one,and I love it!!!! Very expect the coupe come out!!!

    • Thanks for subscribing to the blog, and congratulations on your new white ILX! Did you opt for the 2.0 automatic, the 1.5 hybrid CVT, or the 2.4 6-speed? Would love to see pictures. You’re going to have a blast with it.

  11. I just had to read… I don’t even know how I got here. lol

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