NALM 2016 in Atlanta Day 4: Dyno & Drag Events
No, we’re not talking about dinosaurs and drag shows. We are talking about couple of traditional car-meet activities that took place today as part of our festivities here in Georgia. Here we go, from Wikipedia:
A dynamometer or “dyno” for short, is a device for measuring force, torque, or power. For example, the power produced by an engine, motor or other rotating prime mover can be calculated by simultaneously measuring torque and rotational speed (RPM).
A few horsepower-loving Legend owners put their money where their mouths were this morning at Lamar Walden Automotive in Doraville, Georgia. In the interest of parking ease and sparing a few of us from fighting metro Atlanta rush-hour traffic, most of us carpooled to the venue which was about 40 miles south from our host hotel in Oakwood.
A stock Legend – in 2nd generation anyway – was rated at around 200 horsepower when new, but how much horsepower do these cars have 20+ years later? As today’s activities taught us, the number can vary widely. A couple of our members’ cars put down numbers in the high 100’s, and one heavily-modified version achieved 327 horsepower. I took video today that I’ll compile into a NALM summary when all is said and done! Each run had plenty of spectators.
Chris Miller threw me the keys to his 1994 Legend GS 6-speed for the return drive to Oakwood and it understandably felt like home since our sedans are identical twins, separated by only a few VIN sequences. Chris’ car has about 2,000 fewer miles on it, sitting around 148,000.
We stopped for lunch at Zaxby’s and I indulged in some of the best fried chicken fingers I’ve ever tasted. In a little over two weeks’ time, I’m supposed to be competing in a 26-mile marathon in my hometown. The fact that I’m eating so horribly on my vacation and slacking on the workouts means that run is going to be a very difficult one when the time comes.
I test-drove a very rare car back at the hotel: Alan’s 1995 L 5-speed in Garnet Red Metallic. Garnet Red was a color offered ONLY for the 1995 model year (the last year of production), and only on L models. The fact that Alan’s car has a manual transmission makes it even more of a unicorn. It drove incredibly smoothly for 297,000 miles.
And just look at it!
This evening we rolled out en masse toward Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Georgia for the “Year One Fast Friday” at the 1/4 mile dragstrip. My $20 participant entry fee was very well spent. And the few hours of waiting to get my car’s nose to the start line were also well worth the 16.7 seconds it took me to get to the finish line. Maybe I should have gone a little more slowly to really enjoy the scenery along the way? Our crew had a great time and I counted over 15 Legends that raced. This is higher than any previous NALM event to my knowledge.
Since we had such a presence at the venue, the announcer over the loudspeaker frequently addressed our group as “The Acuras” and Chris Miller even had the announcer state something about how I “must have really trusted my Legend” because I’d driven it all the way from Arizona and was about to race it with 546,000 miles on the odometer. I felt a little embarrassed but whatever! My car is burning a lot of oil – after having idled for a long time in the staging lines, when I took off I noticed blue smoke. Time for some valve stem work, I guess.
I turned off the Traction Control System, rolled up my windows, and let her rip when the light went green – or nearly a full second later (sucky reaction time). I blasted through first, redlined in second, and I don’t really remember what happened after that. All I cared was that Chris was just short of a car length behind me on my left side and I had a gigantic grin on my face.
One of the other (non-Legend) folks at the strip made a comment, “Is tonight an Acura shootout event?” Well, yeah! As of this writing, I think our fastest ‘Legend’ was in fact Alex’s BMW 540i with a 15-second something time. I’ll update this post when I learn the final standings for real. Videos are pending, I promise!
The 32-mile drive back to our host hotel went quickly thanks to chat from my friend Eric in the passenger seat, and my friend Ryan had arrived from South Carolina so he was right on my tail. Thanks for checking in!
Alex’s 1997 BMW 540i 6-speed is aptly named the “BM Trouble-You.”
Kevin’s car behind the special coned-off car wash area
En route to Doraville
Alex, Eric, and Waseem shooting the breeze
This is Steve, who came all the way from New South Wales, Australia for this meet!
Evan’s two-tone 1993 LS coupe. He’s from Tennessee
Kevin’s “Polar Bear” 1994 LS 6-speed
He has the 2nd-highest-mileage car, behind yours truly.
But look at that immaculate interior!
Kevin talking Legends with Marc and Matthew
Hanging with Ann Marie and the cutest baby I’ve ever seen.
Heavily modified 1992 Legend driven by Lou from Pennsylvania
Steve D arrived and washed his 2007 RL A-Spec
Following Chris to the dragstrip
The RL wearing a Legend badge. Indeed, it was sold as the Honda Legend overseas.
Marc wins the ‘best plate’ award.
Ready to rock and roll.
Kevin at the wheel of my car. Just before I popped the engine bay open for 5 seconds and then said “Show’s over,” as soon as I realized how dusty it was in there. Kevin got a kick out of that.
Tyson, Kevin, Alex, Steve, Waseem
Marc signing in at the dragstrip
Getting our numbers painted on the windows in shoe polish.
Chris lining up next to me on the dragstrip.
Comparing timeslips post-race
Chris, Alan, and me
Chris’ car is looking fly with those newly-refinished 16″ wheels
Final timesheet standings. I was right lane. Chris ended up making a second run and he undercut me with a 16.50 or so.
Hanging with Eric in the stands. And a goofy face!
Alan got so bored in the staging lanes, he pulled out his camp chair and straw hat to kick back!
Come back tomorrow for our “dealer day” at Carland Acura, a car show, group dinner, and awards ceremony. Things are just getting good out here!