Friday, June 28, 2019

Almost 30 Years Old: 1990 Acura Legend

This next car comes from tipper Jeff who writes: The words "restored" and "Acura Legend" aren't typically used together, but a clean/low miles ride nonetheless.  Couldn't have said it better myself!  Find this 1990 Acura Legend offered for $5950 in Jacksonville, FL via craigslist.

 From the seller:

1990 Acura Legend 
fuel: gas 
title status: clean 
transmission: automatic 

88k miles. Full paint job, new everything, including brakes, suspension, gaskets, interior gutted, reconditioned, original leather, new ac compressor, new alternator 
Way way too many things to list, if you are a serious buyer, we can go over every single detail. No expenses spared. I love these cars and they hold their value. Moving on to another one.

See a better way to drive a classic Acura?


  1. Family friend who was Doc had one of these back when they were new. I remember him giving me a ride in it and I was sufficiently impressed with how fast it was back then.

  2. For about 8 or 9 years I owned a 1990 Legend L 4 door sedan as my daily and it was fantastic. Good performance, nice handling, solid build quality, comfortable, etc. I bought it from the original owner at about 50K and put about 75K mostly trouble-free miles on it before I regrettably sold it and replaced it with a used 1998 Audi A4 2.8 Quattro. One of the dumbest automotive decisions I've ever made, and I've made several.

    When I bought it, the Legend was practically showroom new. The owner had kept the car mint and much of the interior was covered in protective plastic. Many years later it was starting to develop an automatic transmission slip when under load (like freeway onramps or passing) and it experienced a faulty ABS system. Those two problems combined with an upcoming need for a timing belt/water pump replacement made me receptive when a relative was looking to sell the Audi to me.

    My Legend was rust and accident free, but the clear coat was starting to peel at the corners and the leather interior was getting eaten by the sun. The money I spent on the Audi could have been put into the Acura and I'd have been better off.

    For years now I've kept an eye out for a replacement Legend. I've found a few that were near perfect, but always at times where I couldn't take on another car. I'm not sure I'll ever buy another, but I'd like to. Because I follow the market on these cars pretty regularly, I can say that this coupe listed above is nice, but overpriced. It's listed at about twice what I would expect it to actually sell for. If I was the seller, I'd consider offers over $3000 and feel lucky if I could get $4000 or more.

    Here's the deal: These are great cars if you can find one that's been well maintained and mostly kept out of the harsh sun. But at anything beyond the $3K-$4K price range, you could instead buy a better and/or newer car than a Legend. I hate to say it, but at that price, I'd probably go for a Lexus LS or maybe even a newer Honda Accord. Or realistically I would make another bad automotive decision and spend the money on something way worse because I'm a dummy.

    I'm skeptical that these Legends will become a big hit with the JDM and/or Radwood crowd because they were mid-range in their day (when compared to all offerings) and ignored by the tuners and ballers. If you were a tuner, you stuck to 4-cylinders. If you wanted to stand out, you went with a Lexus or Infiniti. This was just seen as a nice, but generic Japanese offering. It was a loaded Camry with better styling. This will keep the prices low, but good examples will continue to be scarce.

  3. I've owned two of these over the course of over 20 years. I finally sold my 88 LS Coupe 5sp back in 2014. It was one of the nicest in the country and had less than 80k miles.

    They're awesome cars - fun to drive and super-reliable, but there is zero parts support for them, and it's now rare to even find one in a junkyard. I had a huge stockpile of spare parts, but if I ever were in a significant fender bender, then I would be out of luck. Since I drive my cars instead of use them as garage queens, I decided to let it go.

    That said, this is a great looking car, but its Achilles heel is the automatic transmission. As stated, finding one with a working ABS is next to impossible - the accumulators go bad and they are NLA, like most of the other components. The other main issue is that the electronics tend to go a little flaky due to deteriorating solder joints.

    Nice-looking car, but way overpriced, especially considering that this is an L version, rather than an LS. This one is mostly original - looks like someone upgraded the sound system, and the rear spoiler was added from an LS.

  4. Had to have one when they first came out. Waited for about 4 weeks until I could get one with a 5 speed manual. Great car, absolutely loved that thing until a piece of rebar flew out of a truck while I was passing him. The bar hit the windshield and then went through the roof like a bullet. No injuries but the broken glass and the damage caused by the bar to the roof of the car was too much for me. (Super perfectionist back then) was too much for me so after repairs I traded the car away. Cant even remember what I had after that car.

  5. Agree on price, straight up crack pipe. Kind of surprised about the parts being no longer available, given the Honda roots. I didn’t know that.

    1. I can still get Honda parts for my '76 CB400F motorcycle. Sad that they've left the early Acura models to disappear. The 2nd gen Legend coupes though... mmm.

    2. I suspect that the 2nd generation is or will be subject to the same parts availability issue as they were also relatively low production. The other G2 problem is that the engines are prone to head gasket failure. The most common remedy for that is swapping the 3.2 for a 3.5 out of an RL.

  6. Such Great cars! in '95 I bought an '88 4dr with a manual. It had 90k miles and paid $6000 for it, but the suspension was too soft for my taste, so installed H&R/Koni springs/dampers, thicker bars. Sold it for a '94 4dr manual Legend that remained factory except for 16" GS wheels.. loved them both but '88 was a blast to drive...


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