20-Year Birthday for the Legend

Odometer (Legend):  527,124

527124

Odometer (ILX):  55,975

55975

acura_badge

Travel back to 1993 with me for a moment.  Bill Clinton was the 42nd president of the United States.  Two of the big movies that year were Jurassic Park and Mrs. Doubtfire.  The average price for a gallon of gas was $1.16.  And I was only 11 years old.

It was October 1993 when my 1994 Acura Legend LS coupe was assembled in Honda’s Sayama, Japan factory. The build date is indicated at the top right of this sticker in the driver’s door jamb.

build_sticker

Twenty years later, it’s still on the road.

This Legend coupe was the 832nd made for the 1994 model year.  The car was originally allocated to Stevens Creek Acura in Santa Clara, California but was transferred at some point to Acura of Pleasanton, in Pleasanton, California.  The original owner of the car, Patricia, told me that the car had been on the lot for quite some time.  In fact, the dealership sat on it for over 6 months.  The car spent its first 251 miles as a “demo” car for client test drives.

front_right

Patricia drove the car an average of about 10,000 miles per year for its first 9 years, primarily sticking around the Bay Area in California.  Patricia is a triathlete and personal trainer.  She had specifically sought after a car that would be sporty and fun, yet luxurious at the same time.  This car hit the spot.

Here’s the abridged chronology of my Legend’s lifetime.

  • October 1993:  Build Date
  • September 1994:  Initial sale to Patricia with 251 miles
  • September 2002:  Sold to 2nd owner Carla with 91,500 miles
  • March 2003:  Sold to Tyson with 95,000 miles
  • May 2003:  100,000 Milestone
  • December 2005:  200,000 Milestone
  • July 2007:  300,000 Milestone
  • October 2009:  400,000 Milestone
  • November 2011:  500,000 Milestone.  Featured at “Drive to Five Celebration” at Acura Headquarters
  • October 2013:  Currently at 527,000 Miles

The Legend’s Carfax report is about 8 pages long, jam-packed with service records, emissions compliance results, and registration renewals.  The car has been serviced at 19 different Honda/Acura dealerships over its lifetime, as far east as Princeton, New Jersey and as far west as Fife, Washington.  If anyone wants some entertaining reading material, email me and I’ll forward you a copy of the PDF document.

I was lucky to obtain quite a bit of paperwork dating back to when the Legend was brand new.  I thought this would be a fun chance to share some of that with you.

Here’s a Pre-Delivery Inspection dated March 17, 1994:

pre_delivery_inspection

Original invoiced dealer:  Stevens Creek Acura in Santa Clara, California

stevens_creek

MSRP:  $41,885 including $385 for Destination & Handling

msrp

Dealer invoice on the car was $35,125

1994_legend_dealer_invoice

Original sales price of $35,500 on September 24, 1994.  Patricia made a hefty $25,000 down payment!

bill_of_sale_original

Fast forward almost 9 years, and I had begun my search for the perfect Legend at age 21.  Here is a printout of my AutoTrader search results dated March 24, 2003.  Similar Legends were priced anywhere from $9,900 to $10,799 on this page.

autotrader_printout

The Kelley Blue Book values at that time were as follows:

  • Retail:  $13,225
  • Private Party:  $11,060
  • Trade-In:  $8,750

kbb

The Legend was priced at $9,950 but I negotiated to $9,500 and paid cash when I picked it up on March 26, 2003 in San Jose, California.

Here’s a picture from April 2003 in St. George, Utah.  I was the proud new owner of a sub-100,000 mile Acura Legend LS coupe.

tyson_with_coupe

This picture was taken with my friend McKay Rollins who had been an inspiration for the purchase, having owned a green 1991 LS coupe that I fell in love with years before buying a Legend of my own.

tyson_with_mckay_and_coupe

And this last throwback picture was taken ten years ago in October 2003 at Sugarhouse Park in Salt Lake City, Utah at one of the first Legend meets that I ever attended.  Hard to believe it’s been a decade since that day.

legend_meet_2003

Left to right:

  • Jason; 1988 Legend L Sedan
  • Eric; 1987 Legend L Coupe
  • Tyson; 1994 Legend LS Coupe
  • Branson; 1993 Legend LS Sedan

Those were good times.  I look forward to seeing what the next decade will bring.  Though my daily commuter is now the 2013 ILX which I am enjoying a great deal, the Legend lives on as a weekend cruiser.  As a celebration of its birthday, I took it out at sunset for a quick photoshoot last night in Papago Park, Phoenix Arizona.

front_left_1

interior

right_rear_1

front

interior_right

front_right_1

engine_bay

left_rear_1

Thanks for being a part of the journey!  Now, would anyone care for a slice of cake?

acura_cake

22 Responses to “20-Year Birthday for the Legend”

  1. Hey Tyson- yeah 20yrs for some of our cars.. Pretty cool. You made me check my white coupe’s door jamb- 1/94. So I guess mine has a few months to go for 20yrs from build date. I have a lot of paperwork on that coupe but can’t match all the details you have on yours. I’ll have to check my ’94 GS..
    So did you really buy a cake?! Next year it will be legal and can buy it some beer 🙂

    • Marc, I wish I could say I was that crafty but I didn’t make the cake! I found that image on Google. Looks delicious though. Your white coupe is coming up with a b-day soon. I need to check the build date on my GS sedan as well. It’s hard to believe these cars are that old – they’ve aged well.

      I’d love to see some of the paperwork you’ve got on your 94LS and 95LS. Have you logged any of the maintenance on those cars into a spreadsheet?

  2. Tyson- I did start to make spreadsheets for both of my coupes but need to update them.
    You had me wondering so walked the dog and took a look at the ’94 GS. How about that- its 20yrs old too. 10/93 in the door jamb

  3. You put so much work into your blog entries, and it shows! Nicely done!

  4. She still looks beautiful. I never realized how expensive these were when they came out. Well maybe I did but I had forgotten. Good stuff, happy driving.

    • Thanks, Terry. I’m pretty proud of my little Legend. It has a few mechanical and cosmetic needs to address but still looks good and drives nice. I’m sure the newer Acuras are every bit as capable of 500k & beyond. I hope your TSX is providing reliable service. It’s a gorgeous ride. Agreed on the pricing – I looked at an inflation calculator and saw that the Legend would’ve been priced at nearly $60k by today’s standards.

  5. Happy Birthday to the DMM LS coupe!
    Looking forward to many more blog entries and adventurous tales!
    (now *I* need to go check my door jam sticker)

    • Let me know what you find out! Our cars are getting so old! I’m debating about putting “Historic” plates on the Legend when it hits 25. That would be a fun little update.

  6. Penny~Lady6spd Says:

    Hey Tyson!
    Congrats on the anniversary of your ‘baby’! Love the throwback pic of the 2003 Sugarhouse meet! Saved!

    You have any thoughts about when we might start seeing an increase in the value of our Legends? I’m sure you saw the write up regarding the G2 Legends becoming classics. The value can’t get much lower in value… maybe when they become 25 yrs. old

    I checked my door jam sticker and the last 4 digits are 5552… it that 5 thousandth car or 5 hundredth car? Also my GS was built in 12/93… a little info I didn’t know!

    What the heck is on that cake? Love it! I bet it was as awesome as your legend coupe!

    Drive on, friend!

    • Penny, thanks for the comment! It’s great to hear from you. Are you by chance going to the meet in Santa Monica on 10/27? I think Tommy was going to reach out to you. I’ll be there for sure.

      As for Legend values, it’s really tough to say. We’ve already seen some of the rare, nice-condition ones go for a premium price. We all know how tough it’s getting to find one in decent shape these days. In my opinion the prices have definitely bottomed out. Hang onto your GS for a few years yet, I think we’ll see an upswing.

      Looks like your car is the 5,552nd made for 1994 model year. One thing to keep in mind is that there were far more sedans made (sometimes up to 20,000 per year) than coupes (around 4,000 per year). But, it goes without saying that your Sherwood Green GS 6-speed is an ultra rare breed and I would guess there can’t be more than a dozen or two that were even made in that configuration to begin with.

      Unfortunately I didn’t make that cake, but it is a rather interesting frosting, isn’t it? Haha. Remember when we ate cake at Islands during a Legend meet for our “fake birthdays”? Those were good times.

  7. Happy birthday to your Legend Tyson.

    I did not know your car was built at the Sayama plant. So was my 2005 Acura TSX.

    I wonder if that factory plant has visitor tours. I would be all over that. The people working at that plant sure know how to build cars!

    • Hey Carlos, yes, it was Sayama. I had actually put Tochigi in the post originally but my friend Ben corrected me. There were only a few “special” models made at Tochigi, including the NSX and the S2000. I would love the chance to visit the Sayama factory someday. I google mapped it and it appears to be a couple hours outside Tokyo. Looks like I need to plan an international adventure in the next couple of years to investigate.

  8. Hopes for 20 more!

    Great blog entry Tyson. Do you still keep in touch with the guys (Jason, Eric and Branson) form 10 years ago? I wonder if they still have their Legends and what conditions they’re in.

    • Hey Dillon, thanks! I still keep fairly close tabs on Branson and Jason but I’ve lost tough with Eric. None of those guys still have their Legends from that picture. Branson now has a white 1995 LS coupe 6-speed, though. I still can’t believe I’ve had my car so long!

  9. Jason Pawela Says:

    Tyson, great write-up on the Legend’s birthday! Amazing it’s now 20 years young and it still looks sharp! Shave the beard, and you’d look about the same too back in ’03. Looking forward to seeing what the next decade will bring for it. 🙂

  10. Jason Lewis Says:

    Happy birthday to your Legend! The signature on the dashboard – who is it from?

    • Thanks Jason! Your name looks familiar – are you a former / current Legend owner, too?

      The signature on the dashboard dates back to September 2010 and belongs to Shigeru Uehara. He was the father of the NSX and the S2000 at Honda but has since retired.

      I met him at a giant S2000 meet at Honda headquarters in Torrance, CA. People were having him sign their ash trays and things like that. I handed him a silver Sharpie and said, “Please sign my dash.” (He had an interpreter there who translated it to Japanese for me). Here is a post where I shared the picture of him signing it.

      https://drivetofive.wordpress.com/2011/04/10/london-bridge/

      And more on Shigeru Uehara here:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shigeru_Uehara

  11. Hi Tyson! My son found your blog and there you were! I am McKay’s wife, now widow, as he passed in 2006. Glad to catch up with you! That was a fun chapter in our lives!

    • Oh, wow. Hi Joan! It’s great to hear from you! I should have thought to try and reach out back when I posted this but I didn’t know how to reach you. Thanks so much for saying hello. I just went and read McKay’s obituary – sorry that it took me 9 years to learn of his passing. He was a great man. I’ll email you.

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