Friday Flashback: Mom’s 1993 Acura Legend L Sedan
Odometer (Legend): 522,209
Odometer (ILX): 38,438
To many people, a car is much more than a mode of transportation. A vehicle carries with it a lot of memories. I really liked this video about how a man sought after a 1948 Plymouth Convertible to give it to his parents for their 60th wedding anniversary. The Plymouth was the same bodystyle as one they’d owned when they got married.
There’s one car to which I can attribute the root of my Acura fascination.
My mom purchased a Geneva Green 1993 Legend L sedan in the summer of 1997. It had 53,960 miles on the odometer and was offered for sale by a small local dealership in St. George, Utah called St. George Auto Center that has since closed. The car had an interesting history. It had spent 2 years of its life in Maui, Hawaii. Here is the screen capture of a recent AutoCheck report:
My mom picked up the car for $19,995. I was 15 years old at the time and I loved the car. She let me take it on dates through high school after I got my license.
Here’s a picture from the day we bought it in June 1997.
Other pics from over the years.
Detailing day. Check my red 1989 Honda Prelude Si in the background.
A new set of 16″ polished aluminum Optima wheels, clear marker light lenses, and chrome fender trim had been added. This would have been around 1998.
Later, we went for maximum “bling” and put on a set of 18″ Niche Bella wheels. Mom had the hottest ride in town.
It was during this time that I also first started getting involved with the Acura Legend online enthusiast community, of which I’m still a part. In the late 1990’s, one of the first sites dedicated to this car was launched by a California-based gentleman named Jim Trinh. Jim’s 1991 Legend LS sedan, which he named Vivian, was the centerpiece of his site: Legend.org.
To this day, Legend.org is still up and running, though only as an archive. It hasn’t been updated for probably a decade.
I remember snail-mailing Jim some 5×7 prints of my mom’s car – yes, this was before I even knew how to scan and email, and Jim entered my name in the “2nd Generation” portal of the site under 1993. Two pictures are still there.
And one in the Gallery:
I was away for a couple of years from 2001-2003 and my mom sold the car during that time (in essentially mint condition!) for $7,000. Here is a picture of the date the sale happened in September 2002 at 137,984 miles.
That buyer traded it only a couple of months later on a Dodge pickup at a dealership in Boise, Idaho. That’s the last I heard of the car.
I’d tracked the Legend over the years via Carfax, so I knew it was still in Idaho (and has sustained a couple accidents). I had guessed the mileage must be well over 200k.
One day at work in 2009, I was waiting for an application to run on my computer, and (as I always do) I started browsing craigslist ads. Of all the cities to search, I clicked Boise for the heck of it. Searched for Acura Legend, and… there it was. It took just one look at the picture, and I knew this was the car. Aftermarket spoiler gave it all away. That spoiler was a gift to my mom on Mother’s Day 1998. The clear corner and bumper lights were things that I added.
I called the number in the craigslist ad. I asked him if he could read me the VIN to the car. When he got halfway through the number, I finished it for him. He couldn’t believe I knew the VIN of the car he had for sale. I told him the long story short about this car and asked him to send me some detailed pictures.
The story got even more interesting. This guy ran a town yard and had only owned the car about a month. The car, as it turns out, was involved in a high speed chase. A police cruiser had to do two pit maneuvers to get the car stopped and arrest the driver. That’s what the quarter panel damage came from. When I shared this story with the my friends at the Legend forums, they started calling this the “Outlaw Legend.”
A friend helped me track down two articles about the police chase:
As officers picked up the suspect vehicle again on Fairview, the decision was made that the driver was placing the public at extreme risk and the decision was made by BPD supervisors to pursue the suspect. Officers pursued the suspect east on Fairview to Five Mile, south on Five Mile, and west on Executive. Executive turns into Pine. At Pine and Eagle Rd, the suspect turned south. Two Boise Police officers used the PIT maneuver to stop the suspect vehicle. The suspect vehicle tried to drive away after the first PIT, so a second officer used the PIT maneuver again which finally stopped the suspect vehicle. Both the officer’s car and the suspect vehicle came to rest on Eagle Rd just south of Pine on the railroad tracks.
These are the pictures I received from Rick at the towing yard. The paint didn’t hold up too well, it appears.
And the next surprise: At some point during the car’s life it got supercharged by Idaho Speed Center! No wonder the police had such a time catching this guy.
The interior had seen better days.
Aftermarket stereo – probably worth more than the car was at that time!
The battery had been relocated to the trunk.
It was rough seeing the car in that kind of shape, especially after how well my family had cared for it back in the day. If it hadn’t been for a steep $1,600 pricetag, I might have picked it back up for sentimental reasons.
According to AutoCheck, as of April 2011 the car was still on the road in Boise because the registration was renewed that month. This means that someone must’ve spent the money to repair the body damage that happened in 2009.
Something tells me I haven’t seen the last of this one. I tried checking with the tow yard just a couple of months ago to see if they’d share any information about where it ended up, but they weren’t cooperative.
I guess it’s only a matter of time until it pops up again.
I picked up a GoPro camera this week so I played around with it on my commute to work this morning. Here is my 10-mile commute (15 minutes) shortened to just a little over 2 minutes. Enjoy!
I’m off to southwestern Colorado in the ILX tomorrow! I parked next to one of my favorite Hondas at lunch today: a 2001 Electron Blue Pearl Honda Prelude SH. Love that color. Hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!