Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Type II V6: 1995 Acura Legend L

In 1981 the US Government and Japanese auto OEMs (under heavy pressure from US OEMs and labor unions) entered into a voluntary export restraint that limited the total number Japanese cars exported to the US to 1.68 million.  This limit was intended to be a temporary restriction with increasing limit each year, but was subsequently extended all the way through 1995.  The interesting by product was that Honda & Toyota brought some up-market offerings as a way to maintain revenue figures, much to the chagrin of Cadillac, Lincoln, and others who found their days as king of the luxury market were numbered.  Find this 1995 Acura Legend L here on eBay bidding for $4,773 with a few hours to go, located in Aurora, IL.

The 2nd generation Legend was introduced in 1991 and was an instant competitor to all manner of Oldsmobiles, Lincolns, Buicks, Cadillacs and anything else with an up-market attitude.  The thing that the Legend did better than its competition was rock solid reliability, adequate shock damping (not too much, not too little -- this was, after all, a luxury car) and a silky smooth V6 powering the front wheels.  This was not your father's Oldsmobile, and it made you wonder why on earth he would have purchased an Oldsmobile in the first place!!

The secret sauce behind the Legend wasn't some ancient pushrod iron boat anchor -- it was an Acura C32A V6, which was a 3.2 liter SOHC screamer that produced 230 horsepower and 206 ft-lbs of torque without the aid of VTEC or extra camshafts.  It is funny to think of a car like this as "old school" but it is today compared to the whiz-bang gadgetry hidden under plastic engine covers in modern cars.  The Legend was available with a nice 6-speed manual gearbox, but you'll have to do with the 4-speed auto in this one, which is probably a better transmission for a front drive commuter, such as it is.

See another Japanese classic?


  1. ~ Damn ! $4773.00 winning bid. That was quick !!

  2. Actually, Honda did EVERYTHING better than the Detroit brands with the Legend.

    Well, almost.

    I recall in 1986 driving a first-gen Legend and a top-line Taurus on the same day. The Legend was slightly better-built, though the Ford was unusually good for a Detroit product. But the Legend's 2.5L V6 was quite short on beans, while the pushrod Ford 3.0 did surprisingly well. All in all, it was a tie, and on pricetag the win went to the Ford.

    Now, over time the Hondas/Acuras got better, the second-gen Legend like this one (though I much prefer the sedans) ended up the best big FWDer ever built, while the Taurus got worse.

    1. I thought the Volvo 850 was the best front - driver that was ever built.

  3. Jumped into my friend's ragged Taurus and as we roared along I couldn't comprehend how this hunka junk could sound so .....kind of good. Turned out it was the SHO and he was merciless on that car. He was constantly approached by people wanting to buy it for the motor. The rest of the car truly was a write off.

  4. Perfectly nice. Great value for $4800. Boooooooring though.

  5. ~ I like the shape but you are right, Tom ---- Lexus SC300 or SC400 is a much more capable car.


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