Labor Day Weekend Fun: Chuck’s Ragtop

Odometer (Legend):  526,845


Odometer (ILX):  53,066


Hey, here’s something you don’t see every day:  Legend convertible!


This 1988 L coupe was converted when new (at a cost of around $10,000) to a convertible.  The car today has about 111,000 miles on it but runs amazingly for being 25 years old.  Chuck, Paul, and I took it for a Sunday drive around the Phoenix East Valley area.  Wind buffeting was pretty extreme in the backseat but the car rode as smooth as could be.


I commented to Chuck, “This thing sure gets a lot of looks.”  He responded, “They’re not looking at the car; they’re looking at those 3 crazy guys who are insane for driving with the top down when it’s 105 degrees.”


Hot or not, we had our fun tooling around in this unique ride.


It was an action-packed weekend playing with cars.  On Friday night, we welcomed road tripper Ben who I featured recently on a Reader’s Ride.  Last weekend, Ben was at the National Acura Legend Meet in North Carolina and he’s been working his way back to the west coast via some exciting destinations (Jacksonville, New Orleans, Austin, and El Paso).

  • Left:  Chuck’s 1993 Sirius White Pearl Legend LS coupe 6-speed with 31,000 miles
  • Right:  Ben’s 1992 Frost White Legend LS coupe automatic with 190,000 miles


Chuck (same owner of the convertible pictured above) was gracious enough to bring the low-mileage coupe out for the occasion, even though it was raining.  He told me this was only the second time it’s ever been driven in the rain.


We receive over 300 days of sunshine in Phoenix per year, but this wasn’t one of them.


We tried out a restaurant that’s been featured on the Travel Channel in Chandler, Arizona called “Chino Bandido.”  I must say I was impressed – especially with the sugar cookies they gave out for dessert!


Later, Ben came over to my place to visit.


My Legend coupe got a much-needed bath after the long journey to North Carolina.  I also took the time to polish the chrome exhaust tips with some Mother’s Mag & Aluminum polish.  The results are pretty striking!


On Saturday morning, the Legend went in for a 5W30 oil & filter change at Acura of Tempe.  I was able to get this service for free since I use a punch card and had accumulated enough punches for a freebie.  It had been exactly 4,300 miles since the last oil change (performed on June 26).  I believe that might have been the longest I’ve ever driven the car between changes, but I’ll have to check the maintenance spreadsheet to be sure.


My friend Paul who drives a TL SH-AWD stopped by to visit, too.  The lounge amenities at the dealership make it a great place to hang out.  Cookies, chips, and drinks – not to mention WiFi and leather chairs.  It’s better than home!


The technician’s inspection notes about the Legend’s mechanical needs were as follows:

  • Driver’s P/S Rack Boot Leaking
  • Differential Leaking
  • Transmission Leaking
  • P/S Fluid Low

I had asked for “no wash” and they complied, which was great since I had just detailed the car by hand this week.


Ever wondered what the private party resale value is on a car with over 500,000 miles?  A friend of mine ran some numbers on the value of my Legend, just for kicks.  Unfortunately, the Edmunds website didn’t even want to give him a $ figure!  A dialog box popped up saying, “Total Mileage Cannot Exceed 400,000 Miles.”  Oh, is that so?


Next, he went to Kelley Blue Book.  These numbers are pretty promising.  $2,472 as a private party value in “Excellent” condition, even with the mileage factored in.  Not too shabby!


In ILX news, I noticed that my front left marker light has now burned out.  I’ve actually been anticipating this for quite some time.  Ever since I first started driving the car in June 2012, I’ve driven with headlights + foglights on for safety almost 100% of the time.  So it’s no surprise that after thousands of hours of illumination, a bulb has finally given up.


I stopped by Autozone to see if they had such a bulb in stock, but was told that it’s a dealership-only thing.  Bummer.  I will fix it and roll onward!  I’m having a great time with the car as the summer heat slowly starts saying goodbye.  I can’t wait until it’s windows-down weather in Phoenix again.

Thanks Ben, Paul, and Chuck for some fun weekend times!

4 Responses to “Labor Day Weekend Fun: Chuck’s Ragtop”

  1. LOVE Chuck’s rare ride! How is the body roll when driving? Was it a full on convertible conversion including all the needed bracing?

    105 degrees isn’t too bad. One time I was down there in a rented convertible I HAD to put the top up as it was 116 outside. Thats pretty darn hot!

    • Dave, Chuck is looking into suspension mods that will help level the ride out, but from the back seat I couldn’t detect any body roll more than a normal Legend has. It was a well done conversion – there are steel beams welded to the rocker panels to provide chassis rigidity. Hey one great thing about the conversion – tons of head room! Can’t say that about most Legend coupes! 🙂

  2. Nothing like a ragtop to give you the wind in your hair and a few million miles of headroom! Looks like Chuck did a perfect job at the conversion. Any plans on getting the recommended repairs for the Legend taken care of or do they not seem very urgent? Hope Tempe Acura gives you the red-carpet service for how many times you’ve been in!

    • Jason, I think I’ll go ahead with the maintenance items on the Legend in the next couple of months. None of it (for now, anyway) is affecting driveability but you know I like to be on top of my maintenance game. Tempe Acura sure does treat me right!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: