Arizona Acura Legend Meet: Space Age Restaurant

Odometer (Legend):  521,840


Odometer (ILX):  35,000


Here’s a family portrait if I’ve ever seen one!  These people are as crazy about Acura as I am.



There aren’t quite enough Acura ILX owners to get a meet together in my area yet, but I’m still hanging out frequently with the old Legend crowd.  I’ve been going to Legend meets for over 10 years.  This weekend, I got together with a bunch of other Acura fans and we took a scenic drive to lunch.  Final stats:

  • 8 Legends
  • 2 Miatas

Trip Distance:  192 Miles


This was our initial meet-up in Casa Grande, Arizona.




We made our way via Florence Boulevard to Interstate 8 which would’ve led us to San Diego, California if we stayed on it about another 5 hours.  Exiting at Gila Bend, this sign gave an idea just how close to the Mexican border we were.


As the entrance sign at the west end of town announces, Gila Bend is home to fewer than 2,000 people.  Or, more specifically, “1,700 friendly people, and 5 old crabs.”  Thankfully, we didn’t meet any of those crabs during our short visit.


Gila Bend was founded in 1872 and named for a 90-degree bend in the Gila River near where the town is located.  The Space Age Lodge and Restaurant opened in 1963 and has been a signature landmark on the main road through town ever since.


On Saturday, our group took over part of the dining room and enjoyed the space-themed decor as well as the cuisine.  The chicken quesadilla was most excellent, and if my friend Ari’s chocolate milkshake tasted half as good as it looked, I bet that was tasty too.  The restaurant itself is also known as “Outer Limits.”



If it’s offbeat, I’m probably going to want to eat there!  The theme here reminded me a lot of the Red Planet Diner in Sedona, Arizona where I went with some friends back in January.


Joe, Michael, and Ari


Tyson, Robert, and Gabe


Kelvin and Ian


There was a special occasion for our Legend meet.  Long-time Legend enthusiast Rosalinda chose to spend her 29th birthday with us.  Mark and Rosalinda have shared many of their special days with their brothers and sisters from the Acura family.  Even their wedding in 2009 had multiple individuals from the Legend forums invited.


Here’s a video of our group’s talent (or lack thereof) at singing happy birthday to her:

Back outside, it was time to line up the cars for a traditional photoshoot.  This looks like we’re preparing for some type of group huddle but we were really just shooting the breeze and talking cars.



Here are the individual rides and a little bit of information on each.  First is Austin’s 1987 Legend sedan. This car is was the oldest in the bunch but still ran amazingly.  Austin swapped the transmission on this car from an automatic to a 5-speed several years ago.  He also owns a Sherwood Green 1994 Legend GS.  Legend owners, I’ve found, often prefer to own multiple versions of the car.


This is Gabe’s 1992 Legend LS coupe:  yet another Legend that has at one point in its life undergone major surgery.  This car is special because the motor itself is in fact out of a 1997 Acura 3.5 RL.  Gabe’s car is equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission and he’s got a lot of nice upgrades both inside and out.


Here’s the newest member of our Arizona Legend owners club:  Joe.  Joe picked up this 1995 Legend LS coupe just a couple of weeks ago from a local craigslist listing.  It’s a Cashmere Silver Metallic automatic with about 150,000 miles on it.  Joe is glad to be onboard with the Legend family and aside from an intermittent ABS light illuminating on the dashboard, says that the car is running great.


Here’s Jordan’s 1991 Legend L coupe.  Jordan’s done some motor work on this one.  Instead of being equipped with a “Type I” 200-horsepower engine, it’s been swapped to a 230-horsepower “Type II.”  Jordan has a full exhaust system and some other performance upgrades to keep himself ahead of the pack when it comes to acceleration.


And this is Rosalinda’s 1993 Legend sedan, with the appropriate license plate “93LEGND.”  This is a custom two-tone paint job that is one of a kind.  The car is running on 17″ wheels from a 2004 Acura TSX.  This is actually a set of wheels that I used to own and I told to the Bandonis a few years back.


Here’s Michael’s 1994 Legend LS sedan. This car is painted pearl white but it used to be Desert Mist Metallic like mine.  Michael’s got some suspension upgrades like Koni red struts and he does all the work himself.


This is my 1994 Legend GS sedan 6-speed.  I’ve had it for 5 years but it usually gets driven fewer than 2,000 miles per year.  When I picked this car up, the intent was to have a replacement for the Legend coupe, which at the time had over 300,000 miles on it and I thought might be nearing the end of its useful life.  As we now know, that Legend coupe never ended up dying.  The sedan turned over 144,000 miles on its way to the meet.


These are some rolling shots from our drive westbound on Interstate 8 from Casa Grande to Gila Bend.



The abandoned gas station where we took our pictures was a destination in itself.  Anyone who follows my blog knows that I have a fascination with creeping around abandoned places, so I couldn’t resist taking a peek inside this one.


The roll-up door on the side of the building was already open, but inside it looked like just a bunch of junk.



Rosalinda’s 1993 Legend definitely won the award for the cleanest engine bay.  Immaculate!


It seemed only fitting that Mark wore his “I void warranties” T-shirt, based on the Miata he was driving.


Here’s Mark (and his steering wheel) goofing off in the Space Age parking lot.  Mark’s Miata packs quite a punch.  It’s got over 270,000 miles on the body but the entire drivetrain has been enhanced.


Turbo!  Mark’s 5-speed Miata would undoubtedly out-accelerate and out-handle any of the Legends at the meet.  He’s also equipped it with a full rollcage.  This is a race-ready ride if I’ve ever seen one.


And, it’s tradition for Mark to sprawl out across the hood of my car at meets so we carried on that legacy.


This is Ian’s 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer.  Ian’s been a part of Drive to Five since I first met him over a year ago and he was driving a Civic Si at the time.  The Lancer is a nice replacement!


A few other pictures from throughout the day.



Gabe captured this picture of me driving back to the Phoenix area via Highway 238.


It was great to once again reunite with old friends and share our love for these great cars.

Today, I did a little junkyarding in the 2013 ILX.  There’s a local “pick & pull” yard in Chandler, Arizona where you can pay $2 (and bring your own tools) and help yourself to any parts you’re looking for.

Among the treasures I walked out with, I found a “Type II” badge from the intake manifold of this 1994 Legend GS sedan automatic.


It looks right at home placed on the 2.4 liter powerplant of the ILX, right?  Ha!


I have always loved the bodystyle of the 1987-1990 Acura Legend coupe like this:


I found one of those cars in the junkyard, too.  It was in pretty sorry shape.


However, the taillights looked good and they are particularly rare, so I grabbed them.  The 1990 model year was the only year when the lenses were clear / red as opposed to amber / red.  I’ll clean these up and re-sell them.


Gotta love scavenging.  Hope everyone’s had a nice weekend!

16 Responses to “Arizona Acura Legend Meet: Space Age Restaurant”

  1. So whose is the red Acura Legend coupe pictured above? ❤ Love.

    • Isn’t that a beauty? That’s Jordan’s car. He takes pretty good care of it. I’ve always thought red was a really flattering color on that bodystyle. We should have kept Little Red!

      • Or perhaps you’re talking about the early bodystyle car toward the end of my post? Unfortunately I don’t know who owns that one, since it’s a picture I found on Google Images. Someday I’d love to own one of those! Remember when we looked at one of those in the 1990’s? You called it “Mocha” but the correct color was called “Tuscany Taupe Metallic.” It was beautiful!

      • Yeah, Little Red will always be in my heart. I was talking about the random post at the end of this blog…the car like Wendy’s mom used to drive, though Jordan’s is AMAZING as well!

  2. DAMN! I was going to sneak down there for a nice 3 day weekend, but our building ended up working over time. *sigh*

    I’ll keep an eye out for future SW meets to see if I can make it down.
    (fly down!)

    • Dave, we would’ve loved to roll out the red carpet for ya! Sorry you ended up with an overtime work weekend. We most likely won’t get the Legend gang together again until the fall. Summertime is just too toasty around here, unless we planned it around a cruise to the nearby mountains (Payson, Sedona, Jerome, Flagstaff). I’ll keep you posted!

  3. That red G1 Coupe is magnificent looking. It’s the entire reason I came to this thread through facebook. It’s kind of false advertising even if the other stuff was cool too. Lol

    • I know! That car is to die for! An 87-90 coupe is the only bodystyle of Legend that I haven’t yet owned. Yesterday I looked at a 1989 automatic with cloth interior. It has 212,000 miles on it and runs decent (some ticking lifters, which is very common) but it won’t pass emissions and the automatic transmission is kind of a deal-breaker for me. Still, it would make a very fun restoration candidate and could probably be scooped up for < $1k. I'm giving it some consideration. Here's the craigslist link. Wouldn't it look great with those 1990 taillights that I just picked up? Haha

  4. Woot I made it into the drivetofive blog!!! I think it may be time to clean the Miata’s engine bay for sure. Maybe I will make a DIY thread on, I got a lot of questions on my engine detail at the meet.

    • Heck yeah! Glad to feature the Miata – you’ve put a heck of a lot of work into that thing. I can’t believe how much it’s changed since I first drove it at around 250,000 miles. Looking forward to seeing what you’ve got up your sleeve next. And by all means, I’d love to see the engine cleaning DIY. Your 93’s Type I looked absolutely showroom fresh at the meet.

  5. Looks like it was lots of fun! When I saw Mark on the hood, I was thinking he would be a good candidate to feel what a high pressure hose feels like. (kidding) Everyone’s Legend looked great. Nice find at the junkyard too! 2.4L Type-II…Why not? I need to get out to a few in my area someday.

    • Jason, for some reason, Legend owners like to get all over my cars like that. Look at this picture from a meet in February 2009 in southern California when I took the sedan:

      Haha, Aaron looked like he was having way too much fun there. Anyway, yeah it’s always fun to hike around the junkyards and see what kind of treasures can be found. I always make it a point to look at the odometers of the cars, too. Of the 6-7 Legends that I saw in the Chandler Pick-N-Pull on Sunday, none had gone further than 190,000 miles before being junked.

  6. That red 87-90 Legend has beautiful rims. They are the factory rims right? Reminds me of the 1990-1991 Honda Accord EX factory rims. These are links to 90 Honda Accord:

    With beautiful rims like these, there is no reason to go aftermarket.

    • Carlos, you’re absolutely right. The alloy wheels of the Honda / Acura products from the late 80’s to late 90’s had a beautiful finish on them and some very clean, simple designs. The only fault with those Legend coupe wheels (and I’m guessing it would be the same with the 1990-91 Accord EX) is how tough they are to clean. I’ve had to shine up a few sets of them, and it required resorting to a toothbrush for those hard-to-reach spokes.

      On a somewhat related note, there’s a local wheel shop here in Phoenix that specializes in refinishing wheels. The shine on my Legend 16″ wheels had disappeared due to clearcoat oxidation, but for $125/wheel they were re-powdercoated with a finish that has a lifetime warranty. I’m thrilled. If you ever have a set of wheels you need shined up, let me know.

  7. Richard Says:

    I enjoyed the page but my 1990 Red LS Coupe has been off the road for fifteen months. I replaced the motor since the one I bought it with for $400.00 had ticky tappets at 314,000 Km. Yes, I am in Canada and then the motor did not start after the initial first run.
    It took a whole year coming up with some money to fix it and it was a CPS and then found the relay for the fuel pump also went. It still is parked but will pick up that relay soon. The color is a dark red metallic and has dark grey wool interior with an automatic. I moved too in this time and moved to Powell River B.C. where it is like a car/bike show every day ! Seems my Nissan Micra’s odometer is about to pass the Legend’s though but will be honestly happy once this smooth beast is running unless I burnt out the computer too. Lol.
    I will come back with a pic once I wash her.

    • Ticky motors are a gen 1 Legend “feature.” Sounds like yours is in good hands and I hope it’s back up and running soon! Would love to see some pics when that happens. Thanks for stopping by my page.

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