1999 2.3CL Acquisition, Utah Trip, JCCS, and Legend Meet

Chris from Baltimore gets upset with me when I don’t start a blog post with a proper odometer reading.  “COVID changed everything,” he said.  Well Chris, I’m here to set the record straight and not only deliver a single odometer reading, but I’m going to give you ten of them.

I’ve sorted them in descending order.  Now, here’s the game: In the comment section, I need you to tell me which car aligns with which reading.  I’ll check your answers and see how you did.

Odometer Total:  2,226,058

Odometer Average:  222,605

I have to catch you up on a few things.  I stepped away from the computer for a few weeks and somehow another car landed at the house.  These things happen when you least expect it.  

The important thing about this latest arrival is that it completes this puzzle:

While a full photoshoot is still pending – and unfortunately I don’t have all the cars in a single color – the lineup is all accounted for, and I’m excited to introduce the latest member of the family:  My Milano Red 1999 2.3CL Premium.  This car arrived in Phoenix last week from San Diego, California where it had spent its entire life.

With just 138,000 miles on the odometer, it comes in at one of the lower mileage cars in my collection.  Its condition and color/5-speed trans configuration made it too perfect to pass up.  Milano Red was a one-year-only color for the final year of the first-generation 1997-99 CL.  

The CL is also only the second Acura I’ve owned (out of 22 total now) that was built in the United States.  It was an important model at the time because it was both designed and manufactured in America.  According to the VIN sticker on the driver door jam it came off the assembly line in Ohio in August 1999.

While maintenance records on this car were few (read: completely absent) I do know that the clutch is new since the selling dealership delayed me a few days while inquiring about the car since it was not yet ready to show/drive.  I also see that drive belts look relatively new, but the car will definitely need a few items of preventative maintenance for good measure and peace of mind.  

Here’s a video showcasing the delivery and first impressions for my YouTube audience.

The first week of October, I took an 1,800-mile road trip to visit family and friends in Utah.  My chariot of choice was the 1994 Legend LS, which had been begging to roll the 575k-mile mark for some time.  It performed well, and I enjoyed the chance to connect with family members who I hadn’t seen since May/June during my PMC Edition road trip.  

The fall colors were in full bloom in Providence Canyon in Cache Valley of northern Utah.  My dad & stepmom and I took a 5-mile hike to soak it all in.  The running joke is that here in Phoenix, we don’t get changing colors of leaves.  Instead, we get changing colors of license plates as all the snowbirds from Michigan and Minnesota come in for the winter season.

The highlight of the trip was definitely picking up my 90-year-old grandma and taking her about 25 miles north to the Idaho state line.  We cashed in some lottery tickets and came home $74 richer.  

While the National Acura Legend Meet (NALM) was cancelled much like so many other events in 2020, we did still get a group together of locals for a very informal drive to the Superstition Mountains in northeast Mesa a couple of Saturdays ago.  Here’s a video and a few photos.

One of my many car show traditions that was modified this year was the Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach.  This year, it went to a ‘virtual’ format.  My 1996 2.5TL was featured in a YouTube video.  It’s in here at 6:55.

My mom had a long layover on Sunday and we had enough time for a late lunch, so I borrowed my friend Devan’s six-door, three-row 2000 Lincoln Town Car funeral limo to pick her up.  What a floaty awesome boat.

The ILX got some new wheels thanks to a cheap Craigslist find.  Some of you may recognize these 17″ “waffles” from the 2007-08 TL Type-S.  These ones are chrome, and I don’t really mind it.  The car rides nicely on 235 width tires as opposed to the 215s that it came with.

Coming attractions:  Tomorrow, Acura is putting me into a Fathom Blue 2021 TLX for a seven-day evaluation, and in the coming weeks/months I’m also going to be doing reviews on a fancy Odyssey Elite and a Civic Type R.

Talk to you soon!

20 Responses to “1999 2.3CL Acquisition, Utah Trip, JCCS, and Legend Meet”

  1. Here are my guesses for your odometer game:

    Legend Coupe
    2.5 TL
    Aztec Green GS-R
    Legend Sedan
    Blue GS-R

    Congrats on the newest acquisition! I have never seen a clean CL from that generation. Also TL-S wheels on the ILX look fantastic! I’ve been scouring KSL and Facebook for some I could put on my TSX.

    • You nailed it! I’ll have to mail you a gold star certificate, haha. Yeah thanks for the congrats! I looked at a few different CL’s over the past year or so… they are notoriously pretty ratty. This one was on the high end of my ideal price range, but it was worth the expense. I wasn’t sure if the TL-S wheels would look decent on the ILX but I must say I’m happy with how they turned out.

  2. The new acquisition is a real beauty! Love the design and the color scheme of the one you bought. At 138k miles, it’s just past the unofficial Honda break-in period! Hope you have fun with this one.

    The 3G TL Type-S wheels really pop on the ILX! Also looking forward to your reviews of the new vehicles listed. I’m willing to bet it’s the Odyssey you’ll want to keep the keys to as the ultimate road trip vehicle. 😉

    • I know, seriously. Carl Pulley from Honda’s team walked us through some of the tech and feature content of the Ody and I was pretty blown away. The second row does all sorts of magic tricks, including sliding side to side as well as fore and aft. All sorts of room for activities back there. Stay tuned!


    Admittedly, jealousy set in when I saw the condition of the CL you picked up; which isn’t too much of a surprise seeing the millage. I’d say you’re one lucky guy to find a 99′ in Milano Red in as great of condition as it appears, but I’m sure luck had nothing to do with it. I’ll be curious to know if the 2021 TLX lives up to your expectations (although I’m really waiting for the Type-S version).

    More importantly, what’s next on the purchase list? If you were to round out the decade of the 90’s, by my count you’re absent a 99′ TL. And, while my favorite color for that car is Monterey Blue; Heather Mist Metallic is the more exclusive color I’m betting you would aim for.

    • You got me there. I’m technically still missing a 1999+ TL, and if you really want to get down to details, I’ve also never owned a 94-01 Integra sedan. At this point I might call it “done,” but you never know, haha. I have to sell a car or three before I go buying anything else. Yeah I’m stoked to see what the TLX feels like! I’ll be sure and report back. Thanks Ty.

  4. Nice Acura CL. I like the light interior. Prefer it much more so than dark interior. Makes car look classy and large inside. I really like those seats. Looks very comfy. The quality of the leather looks great.

    • The light interior is both good and back. I like the airy feeling, but I had to intentionally turn the floor mats upside down so my shoes weren’t touching the carpet when I was in and out for some pictures recently. I think I’ll have to get some all-weather mats. It’s a really satisfying car to drive – typical Honda shifter.

  5. Nice find on the CL don’t know how you did it but this was a very under-rated model at the time and obviously more rare today. “Fun Fact” did you know that the 2.3 4-cyl had 2 lbs-ft more torque than the 3.0 6-cyl!? Too bad there was the 50 hp difference though… Hey but at least you found one with a manual!

    I wish you reminded me about Japanese Classic Car Show being virtual this year… that one I could have attended 😉

    So… a 2021 TLX for a seven-day evaluation & the Civic Type-R. Hmm

    • Wow, I learned something new with the Torque Trivia! Thanks for that. Yes, perhaps you’d like to meet up this week/weekend since I’ll have the TLX? And I’ll certainly keep you posted when the CTR makes an appearance… not yet scheduled.

  6. Hi Tyson,
    Didn’t you also own a 2008 TL? I think that was also built in the States, no?

    • Oh yeah! I had a 2007 TL-S for about six months in 2017. I believe that was made in Ohio, too. Its current owner, Dave, is probably going to read this. He can chime in and let us know how it’s doing!

  7. Oh man, I’m already looking forward to the TLX and CTR reviews (the Odyssey, of course, I’ll read, but I can’t say that will be as much of a cliffhanger).

    Cool “automotive potpourri” post! I really like the new addition- the first gen CL is one of my favorite Acura designs from the last 25 years. Any plans to take it for a proper Tyson-esque road trip to really welcome it into your fleet?

    • Travels in the CL will be fairly limited until I can get it in for a timing belt replacement. Unfortunately, records were pretty light so there’s a bit of questionable history, despite the fact that the car “looks” really impeccable. Definitely looking forward to putting it through its paces in due time, though!

  8. So glad you found a minty-fresh CL to round out your family tree, Tyson! Enjoyable videos too. Stay well out there, keep cool!

  9. This car is CLEAN. Red is my COLOR. Just sayin’. Thanks for the layover royal treatment. It was a huge surprise, and I have had perma-grin ever since. I hope R ‘n’ R happens in January so that I can take another garage inventory vid…. 🙂

  10. Your CL reminds me of our 6th gen Accord. Obviously similar features and drive train, but ours was also 1 owner and oddly enough had 138k on it. Got it from Houston last year. It had been dealer serviced, but the timing belt had never been replaced so that was high priority after we bought it.

    I like the new wheels for the ILX. I’ll look forward to your upcoming reviews. Glad your family is well and you could see them.

    • Thank you! Yeah it seems there was a lot of ‘shared’ engineering among cars from that era (which is fine by me – it makes it a lot easier to find parts!). Hope you have a great weekend.

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