Readers’ Rides: TL Type-S Twins

Odometer (Legend):  532,417

531417

Odometer (ILX):  110,773

110773

welcome

For awhile now, I’ve had a not-so-secret obsession with the 3rd generation Acura TL “Type-S” that was offered in model years 2007 & 2008.  I’ve always thought it’s one of Acura’s best designs and even today, 7+ years later, I break my neck trying to catch a glimpse every time I spy one out on the road.

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Apparently, I’m not alone.  Why else would my friends Chris and Marc have each gone to such great lengths to seek out and buy such a car?  Last month, Chris had his 2008 TL Type-S transported from Austin, Texas, to Baltimore, Maryland after a sight-unseen online purchase.  And last week, Marc flew to southern Florida and picked up his 2007 Type-S, only to immediately get in the car and drive it nearly 1,200 miles home to New Jersey.  There is just something about these elusive Type-S 6-speeds that makes them that special.

Chris’ neighbors in Havre de Grace, MD had a glimpse at an extremely rare sight last Friday when Marc paid a visit and the two “Kinetic Blue Pearl” TLs met for the first time.

  • Chris’ car:  2008 with 61,000 miles
  • Marc’s car:  2007 with 174,800 miles
  • Both:  Absolutely immaculate

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Head-to-head.  A Texas car ends up in Maryland, and a Florida car ends up in New Jersey.

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These guys are making me want to join the KBP TL-S 6MT club (that’s a mouthful) in a big way.

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Nice looking rear ends.  These TLs are powered by a 3.5 liter V6 that pushes out 286 horsepower.

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One of my favorite designs from Acura, ever.

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I suppose it’s only a matter of time until the TL-S “bug” gets the best of me and I join the club.  I asked Chris to tell me a little about what makes his TL-S so special.

When the 2004 TL came out, instantly fell in love with the exterior styling and the fit and finish of the interior.  I couldn’t wait to hit my local auto show to sit inside one. At the time I was content driving my somewhat rare 20th Anniversary Edition Nissan Maxima. But I knew if something ever happened to that car, the TL would be the next one in my driveway. The icing on the cake was Acura’s offering of a 6-speed manual transmission.

Seven years later, the Maxima was gone and it was a matter of time before I picked up another sports sedan. I knew the Type-S had returned for 2 years and was the model I had to have as I’ve only been interested in cars that are rare or harder to find. After spending months performing nationwide searches for a TL Type-S with a 6-speed manual, I noticed all the results were black, white, silver and carbon bronze; though I knew a blue and red one existed but they always seemed to be automatics.

After reading numerous threads and research, the Kinetic Blue and Moroccan red were definitely the rarest colors equipped with a manual trans.  I wasn’t a big fan of the red so it would have to be blue.  After months of searching to no avail, a kinetic blue Pearl result finally popped up on Carmax with no photos as the ad was fresh.  The mileage was incredibly low and knowing how rare these cars were I had to have it and bought it sight unseen. Luckily for me it was a one-owner with all Acura maintenance up to date and the factory A-Spec kit had been installed.  I took delivery of a rare and near showroom quality car and couldn’t be happier with it.

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chris_interior

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Marc’s comments were similar.  Following are his own words:

The 2007/8 TL Type-S had been on my wish list since first seeing them on the road when Acura brought back the Type-S model at that time (’07). Very similar to back in the mid-90s and I would see 2nd gen legend coupes on the road and think how nice they looked. After seeing a Sherwood Green Legend LS coupe on a highway in Florida that looked stunning, I knew some day I would own one. At that time they were too costly for me.

So fast forward to the years 2007-08 and my search ended in owning not just one but two low-mileage legend coupes that have essentially been garage queens. The 3rd gen TL-s was new to the road at this time and was a bit too costly for me. And I had the Legends now so I figured maybe a few years down the road…  So fast forward to today and my daily driver car (an ’02 TLs) started to exhibit some of their notorious transmission failure symptoms. I started to look around for an 07/08 Type-S with 6 speed manual. Figuring the cars were now at 7-8 years old, prices are pretty reasonable. Unfortunately, much like trying to find a well-cared-for and clean manual Legend coupe, the same holds true for the TLs. I found a couple local ones with higher miles, but test drives proved they may not have had an easy life. I had always really like the Kinetic Blue Pearl color, but I was leaning now towards a White Diamond Pearl with black/gray interior.

Right after the New Year I come across a 2007 Kinetic Blue Pearl just listed on a popular auto classified site. This color combo with the two-tone black/gray with 6MT is becoming pretty scarce. It was traded in at an Audi dealer in south Florida. At first look, the mileage was high at 174k so my first thought was it was too many miles and too far away. But at closer examination, the pictures revealed a very clean car. Then looking at the Carfax report, it revealed an extremely well-maintained car — one that had been to the dealer for every required service. And I also find out it was a one owner and by a gentleman in his 50s.

Things start to sound intriguing as I figure the car also has likely been racking up these miles on the smooth, pothole free, unsalted roads of Florida. One thing leads to another, I figure it was worth the risk of buying a cheap one-way ticket to Florida and drive the car over 1300 miles back to NJ. Fortunately my intuition proved correct and the drive home was a blast. Kind of ironic how 20 years prior when I laid my eyes on that Sherwood Green Legend coupe and knew I had to have one, I was now traveling to Florida to buy a different Acura that I had been lusting over.

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Dreams do come true for Acura fanatics!  Thanks, guys, for sharing these pics – as well as your great enthusiasm for these amazing cars.

Hey, before you all click away, check out this sweet video.  My brother Bentley has put a lot of time & effort into building a custom 1968 Chevy Nova SS.  Now, it’s the subject of an online contest by H&S Motorsports called “Guess the Power.”  If you watch this video, “like” the H&S Motorsports Facebook page, and comment your HP guess, you have a chance of winning a hat.  Go for it.

11 Responses to “Readers’ Rides: TL Type-S Twins”

  1. some nice twins there!!

  2. best stock Acura wheels by a mile.

  3. Epic TL-Ss! Kudos to both gents’ dedication in searching them out.
    And Bentley’s SS is a beast. I see that a keen eye for exacting detail runs in the family…

  4. Wow that Nova is amazing. So what is the HP? :). I’m guessing 950
    Thanks for posting up the Kinetic Blue twins thread. I know you will have one sooner or later!

  5. Awesome treasures! I’ve always had a heart on for the same generation TL’s, it too was one of my favorite design from Acura. Same went for the RL, loved the 2007/2008 (suddenly feeling the urge to search the auto ads)

  6. As awesome as the TLs is, a quick drive today in one of my legends proved that they may not be as quick or nimble, but there is still something about them…elegant and smooth on the road…makes you just want to hang on to them

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