Throwback Thursday: 1986 Legend Restoration

Odometer (Legend):  526,959


Odometer (ILX):  54,228


Seeing a neglected Acura for me is like seeing a neglected stray dog or cat.  I have this compulsive reaction to want to bring them all home and nurse them back to health.  That’s why, in November 2003, I approached the owners of this Florence Blue Metallic 1986 Acura Legend sedan in St. George, Utah and asked them if they wanted to sell it.

A $200 purchase later, and my brother Payton and I drove away (in a puff of blue smoke) in this 210,000 mile 5-speed.


It surely needed a lot.  Aside from the obvious cosmetic issues, it needed some mechanical TLC.


Replacement CV axles were the first to go in.  A Saturday detail brought new life to the paint.


Then the real fun began.  I found a set of junkyard 1989-1990 Legend sedan wheels for it.


Over a 3-month period, this tired old Legend got a new stereo system, indiglo gauges (hey, they were all the rage in 2004!), fresh window tint, and JDM clear corner lenses up front. It hardly looked like the same car.


Oh yeah, I found that half-bra for the hood, too.  And we touched up the bumpers and added chrome to the grille.


It was a fancy ride for my brother during his sophomore year of high school.  When he upgraded to a 1996 Maxima, I took over the old Legend and drove it to northern Utah where I was then attending college.  I already had my 1994 Legend coupe, and parking was difficult to come by, so I found a new owner for the ’86.  It was sold in the fall of 2004 to this college student named Amy.  Here was the key hand-off.


As I recall, the car had about 225,000 miles on it by then.  I haven’t checked in on that old Legend in nearly 10 years now.  It could very well still be on the road, but I’m guessing it’s gone to that Acura graveyard in the sky.

Payton, btw, is now driving a Lexus IS300 turbo.  It’s a little faster than the 2.5 liter 1986 Legend.



In high mileage news, most of you probably saw by now that the 3-million-mile mark finally came and went for NY native Irv Gordon who bought his 1966 Volvo P1800 new.  Since that day, he’s driven the car through 49 states.  He completed his milestone on Alaska Highway 1 a couple of days ago.  Check out the article on Yahoo.  Congrats, Irv!

4 Responses to “Throwback Thursday: 1986 Legend Restoration”

  1. Irv is the Man! You gotta really love a car to drive it 3 million miles.

  2. “Up next on The Speed Chanel: Legend restoration with Tyson – stay tuned.”

    = )

    • Haha, exactly! Always got some kind of project going on at my house. I’d love to quit my day job and just work on Acura restorations for a living. It’s fun to take an old clunker and make it shine.

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