Odometer (Legend): 535,301
Odometer (ILX): 141,139
This 1993 magazine advertisement got it so right:
“Few people are discerning enough to appreciate the very best. Which, of course, is part of the appeal.”
Let’s just say I allowed another car to creep into the stable: my tenth Acura Legend overall, and my third currently. Pretty soon my house may start looking like “Legend Land” – my buddy Alan’s place near Tampa, Florida. (He has 6)
Please allow me to introduce 1993 Legend sedan production number 29,711. It was manufactured in June of 1993.
- Canterbury Green Metallic (G-75M Paint Code)
- Taupe (Type E) Interior
- 200-Horsepower, 3.2 Liter, “Type I” C32A Engine
The story on this special Legend dates back to the fall of 1993. Mr. John Brindley treated himself to a brand new car from Rosenthal Acura in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It was sold by a salesman named Kirk Slobody whose business card is still carefully placed into the owner’s manual sleeve. John had been cross-shopping a variety of other cars at the time, including stopping by the Lexus dealership in Silver Spring to see what they had to offer. The Canterbury 1993 Legend L caught his eye when he looked at the color palette.
As an “L” trim level car, the MSRP came out to $34,585 including Destination & Handling.
After working a deal with Kirk, John drove away on this 45-day Maryland temp tag.
The Legend was a regular daily driver for the Brindley family for its first 10 years. It became a family tradition for John’s son, Sean, to take pictures with the Legend over the years.
By 1996, the Brindley family moved to Austin, Texas and took the Legend with them. In December 2004, Sean joined the Acura Legend enthusiast forums. He was 16 years old and had just received the Legend (now at around 136,000 miles) as his first car. He started posting fairly regularly, racking up 860 posts – sharing photos, looking for feedback, and participating in the overall ownership community. It was then that he and I first started corresponding, as I was also an excited Legend driver with my newly-acquired 1994 LS coupe.
Sean posted some photos on the Legend forum on June 9, 2005 after his pride & joy Legend had been freshly tinted & detailed. I was one of the first to respond with this comment: “CLEAN! Looks fantastic!” I would have never thought that (almost exactly) a decade later, Sean’s Legend would be making its way to Arizona for a new home. Here’s that forum post:
In July 2006, Sean moved on to a brand new 2006 Honda Accord EX-L coupe 5-speed and the Legend was retired from daily duty. It instead became an airport car for his dad and was used only occasionally. By now, the car has racked up over 150,000 miles. The clear coat on the paint began to fail, the leather seats hardened and cracked, and some mechanical needs surfaced: the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) failed, the Check Engine light came on, and the car developed a few leaks. For the next 9 years, the Brindley family continued to hold onto the Legend as an extra car, but finally decided in 2015 it was time to find it a new home and clear some space.
In deciding the fate of the Legend, a few options were available. A dealership offered $1,000 on trade when Sean’s mom bought a new Volvo. The Brindleys also had the option of donating the car or selling it outright. One last idea was to send the car to the collection of the biggest Legend fan in the country – not Ludacris – but me. So Sean reached out in late April 2015 to gauge my interest in adopting another car into my fleet. Between April and July, Sean and I corresponded about the idea of sending his car to Arizona. While mechanically sound enough to make the 1,005-mile drive from Austin to Scottsdale, we decided it would be our best bet to engage the services of a transport company.
By July 24, a transport truck was scheduled. Sean and his family prepared the car by doing a final wash, taking a few more pre-departure photos, and getting things ready to roll. Sean’s sister, Meghan, tweeted a final photo on the day that the Legend was picked up by Elite Auto Transport at the family home in Austin. Looks like even Tyler the pup was enjoying himself.
It was both a happy and a sad time for Sean, having grown up around the Legend. He was only around 5 years old when his dad had brought the Legend home in 1993, so it had been a member of the family for almost as long as he could remember.
Sean sent me some photos of the final interior wipe-down.
Even though Sean has moved on to classy sportscars like this red Porsche 911, the Legend would always hold a special place in his heart.
There are few original cars in existence with such a rich and intact two-decade history. Sean’s family had logged every gallon of gas since the car was new. The first entry was on September 6, 1993. The odometer read 359.1 miles at that time. The cost of fuel was only $1.25 per gallon and it took $18.75 to fill the tank. The record book goes on for 32 pages with that same level of painstaking detail. They call this log the “SLB,” which stands for Stupid Little Book.
A few words from Sean here (excerpt from an email he sent me):
This is a true one-owner car. We bought it new in Maryland and since then it’s lived in three states (MD, VA, TX). It’s never been in an accident or had any major body work. Car has factory 6 CD changer that won’t eject. If you ever get it out please tell me what CDs are in there — would be interested to know what was being played years ago.
There is a dent on the hood from a truck with a trailer ball backing into us. It happened at a little league game years ago and they didn’t leave a note. There’s another dent in the passenger side rear fender. This is from a trash can in our drive way blowing over during a wind storm. I’m really mad we let this happen. The car shouldn’t have been so close to the trash cans. I’m sure it can be repaired by a talented dent technician. The front bumper has been replaced — not from an accident but by my mom driving over a parking stone at church one Sunday. The low front end got hooked on a parking stone and when she reversed it ripped off. Came home in the back seat of the car and was replaced with a OEM unit.
What you’re getting is what must be one of few original owner Legends left. It’s been loved by its family but it’s time to let it go. I’d really like to see this car enter your collection and can’t wait to see it restored to its new condition.
The fact that the Legend has some dents and dings is understandable given its age and mileage. But the remarkable thing about this car’s two-decade history is that Sean and his family know the story on each and every one of those, as can be seen in Sean’s note. The first order of business when I got ahold of the inch-thick folder of records was to put everything in order chronologically.
Next, I built the Mac-Daddy of maintenance record spreadsheets by combining Carfax records, receipts, and the handwritten notes from that 32-page record book. It took me about an hour to add all the line items. In the end, there were 109 records. The Legend has been dutifully maintained throughout its lifetime – both by John and Sean at home, as well as a few Acura dealerships. It was entertaining to weed through the file and find a few gems: A reference to a tire blow-out, a passenger window replacement from when a frisbee shattered it, and a rattle in the center console that ended up being linked to…. a cassette tape that was stored inside!
There are 49 oil changes on record, indicating that the oil was changed on average every 3,638 miles (a perfect interval). In all, the receipts total $14,396.94. This comes out to an 8 cent-per-mile operating cost over the car’s first 178,000 miles. As a point of reference, my 1994 Legend coupe’s receipts totaled $35,915.40 over its first 533,000 miles, resulting in a cost of 6.7 cents per mile. I went into greater detail (including posting screen shots of the maintenance history) in the 140,000-mile maintenance comparison post recently.
Back to my acquisition of this special car now: On August 3, the Legend was picked up by the transporter in Austin.
Three days later, the truck driver from Elite Auto Transport called me on a Thursday morning and notified me that they’d be arriving in Scottsdale during a certain window of time that afternoon. I was at the house, logged in remotely and working, when I heard the semi truck pull up outside. I took a pic from the front door and sent it to Sean immediately. My delivery had arrived.
The car was every bit as described: Cosmetically a little bit tired, but clearly cared for over its lifetime. I took it for a quick cruise around the block and then had to get back to my work for a couple of hours before really digging in to see what I was dealing with.
First interior photo
The smells, sights, and overall feeling took me immediately back in time to 1997-1999 when my mom owned an identically-equipped (though different color) 1993 L sedan that I used to love cruising around in right after getting my driver license. It was the first car that got me “into” Legends.
It was a bit odd to get used to cruising around in an automatic-equipped car, as my other 5 Acuras are all stick shifts. The 4-speed automatic transmissions in the 1991-95 Legends are notoriously abrupt, especially from first to second gear. Some friends and I lovingly refer to them as the “whiplash” transmissions.
I wasted no time in introducing the Legend to its siblings.
The first place I visited was the Shell gas station on McDowell Road near my place. The car was thirsty for 13 gallons of Premium. I happened to be parked next to a TL and an MDX. It was Acura day at the pumps.
My buddy Jeremy stopped by to check out the new ride. I think he liked it more than his BMW X5 “M”. Hehe.
And so begins another chapter for this 22-year-old classic car. Its needs are many, and my “project car” funds are tighter than ever, but I have a long term vision of restoring it to factory original condition. At some point, one of the upgrades I have planned will be the installation of this OEM trunk spoiler in factory-correct color.
One feature that I’m really getting to love is the cup holder!
Thanks, Sean and the rest of the Brindley family, for sending this cool old car my way!
Oh, and the wait is over! Check out my custom tags on the Vigor.