The Legend Returns
Odometer (Legend): 515,177
Odometer (ILX): 9,478
The 500k mile Legend is back in business! After a month-long hiatus for some cosmetic rework, it was ready for retrieval this weekend in my hometown of St. George, Utah where my brother had a friend of his work on bringing it back to life.
The car went from looking like this:
And finally, to this:
The above picture is one that I received from my brother when he notified me that the car was ready to roll.
Anxious to see how it turned out, I grabbed a dirt cheap fare on Spirit Airlines and flew out of one of the smallest airports I’ve ever been to – Williams Gateway, in Mesa, Arizona yesterday afternoon.
As it turns out, “Lisa” who sat next to me in 17F was a big Acura fan, too, having owned two TL’s and an MDX.
Upon arrival in Las Vegas, Nevada, I caught a $39 “St. George Shuttle” ride that would transport me the 100 miles to where my car was located. From my vantage point in the row behind our driver Richard, my eyes spied the odometer of a Drive to Five Champion — the Ford Econoline van we were riding in had just over 506,000 miles on it. How fitting that my ride to pick up my high mileage Legend was also in a high mileage shuttle bus.
Finally reunited with my family and my car. The paint work turned out phenomenal!
My nieces Ali and Addy hitched a ride to breakfast this morning before I hit the road.
And a parting shot before rolling out on my journey home to Phoenix.
The car’s not been washed and it’s dirty from rain.
The drive from there was about 428 miles and took me around 6.5 hours today.
It was a change to again be in a vehicle that revs so low at highway speed. The ILX, by contrast, is doing about 3,400 RPM at this speed.
Hell0, Vegas! Sorry, no time to stop and visit you today.
Onward to Highway 93 where I snapped a couple of pictures just north of Kingman, Arizona.
It’s good to have my baby back home. Throughout the duration of the long drive, I had a lot of time to reflect on how the driving experience compares in my old car and my new car. It’s odd how having spent nearly 10,000 miles with the ILX almost made my once-familiar Legend feel a bit foreign to me. The first thing I noticed when I got back into my old car was its characteristic smell.
My thoughts would be best illustrated in list form:
- The long coupe doors have tons of storage space for my sunglasses, day planner, and anything else I need to stow.
- The quality of the leather also feels superior in the Legend. When I press my arm against the gathered leather in the door panel, it’s got cushion.
- I like the 4-spoke steering wheel with a place to rest my hand at the bottom.
- Better placement of the climate controls – higher on the dash and easier to reach. Also, the vents are well positioned. In the ILX, the two driver’s vents are hidden directly behind the rim of the steering wheel on either side.
- Seat comfort. The side bolsters on the Legend coupe as well as the contoured seat bottom are a lot more supportive than in the ILX.
- The ride is very plush and comfortable. This is probably in large part due to the fact that most of my 515,000 mile suspension (including the struts themselves) is original and worn out, therefore very cushy.
- I love non-digital odometers! There’s just something more fun about watching numbers actually roll by than seeing them light up electronically.
- I’ve gotten used to that exterior thermometer! It’s handy to know what the temps outside are doing.
- Cornering is by far superior. I took the interchange today from I-15 to Hwy 93 in Las Vegas at a rate of speed that the ILX would surely handle with ease, but my Legend felt like it might almost roll over!
- The thickness of the steering wheel makes the car feel more “substantial.” I also like the smaller overall diameter.
- Push-button start has spoiled me, too. I got in the Legend with the key in my pocket and inadvertently went to reach my hand for a button on the dash without a key. Oops! Gotta have a key for this one.
- The driver position is better. In the Legend, the foot wells are shallow and the dash feels low.
- Cabin isolation. Despite the fact that the ILX engine revs much higher than the Legend at highway speed, my old Legend has quite a bit of wind noise from the driver’s door window so the ILX is better here.
- Fuel economy and gas gauge accuracy. My ILX gets 32-33 mpg. It also has a MUCH more accurate fuel gauge. My Legend’s needle will linger ABOVE “F” forever, fall slowly to half-tank by about 250 miles, then dip like crazy to “E.”
- I love the 3-flash blinker feature that happens when the turn signal lever is “blipped” just slightly. It’s really handy for lane changes, and in the Legend I had to hold the lever in place while I made my changes.
- Steering wheel audio controls are very handy. In my Legend, since I have an aftermarket Pioneer sound system, the wheel controls are deactivated and I have to reach for the stereo to make any changes.
Overall, both Acuras are a pleasure to drive. I’m impressed with how far Acura vehicles have advanced and I’m happy to report that the new model still feels every bit as “quality” as my built-to-last Legend. The ILX will continue to be my daily driver.
Oil life 60% with about 4,500 miles driven on this change. I had an interesting conversation with my friend Matt who drives a corporate lease vehicle 2012 Nissan 370Z which he got in February. We even took the time to plot our mileage accumulation on the same graph. The ILX, shown here in red, overtook his Nissan’s odometer last week during my drive to Milwaukee and back. Didn’t take me long to catch up!
Now we’ll see who gets to 10,000 first.
A familiar ILX ad showed up on the inside cover of a car magazine that I was thumbing through at the airport yesterday.
Just for fun:
Remember that bite-sized vehicle durability evaluation I’ve got going on? A couple of these die-cast 1:18 scale model cars have now been on my rooftop for nearly 3 years. Phoenix sunshine is brutal on car finishes — does the same extreme weather also take its toll on model cars?
Summer has taken its toll on my little fleet. The last time I went up to check on the cars, the BMW’s door had been blown open and the Mercedes 500SL had its trunk blown open by a recent dust storm. The red paint on the Maserati 3200 GT is fading at an alarming rate. The “chrome” on the 1957 Thunderbird has lost it luster and the windows and plastic lenses on every vehicle have yellowed to some degree.
The next Phase of testing: Corrosion. I took a highly concentrated saltwater solution and gave each car a good spray.
Nerdy, absolutely! But at age 30 I’m having just as much fun playing with my miniature cars as I am having with the full size ones!