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Second Generation Legend (1991-1995)

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Old 05-16-12, 05:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Acura: Birth of a Legend

Acura:
The Birth of a Legend

The buzz at the Montreal Auto Show’s press day 25 years ago in January was all about the arrival in Canada of a just-launched Japanese luxury brand that had already created a Legend.

Up to that time Canadians contemplating a luxury car were limited to offerings from one of the long-established North American car makers or the handful of traditional European marques, but that changed as 1987 dawned and Acura unfurled its banner at Montreal’s annual auto extravaganza to become the first Japanese up-market brand sold here.

Acura bravely took its place among 23 car companies from 15 countries displaying some 400 vehicles at the Place Bonaventure venue. But parent Honda was concerned about setting its new brand apart in potential buyers’ minds and located the Acura stand on the show’s lower level well away from its own main-floor exhibit.

Acura didn’t need much space anyway as it only had 2 models to offer, the mid-size “executive luxury” Legend sedan at $26,000-$30,000 and the compact and sporty $13,000-$17,000 Integra. But it drew plenty of attention nevertheless.



Canadian car buyers would have to wait until March to actually get behind the wheel of an Acura, purchased from one of the 20 dealers established across the country by Acura Canada execs bullish about the new brand – which had launched a year earlier in the United States. According to a report I wrote on the show, they foresaw the dealer network expanding to 100 by 1990.

It didn’t quite unfold that well, in part because Acura soon faced additional home-grown rivalry with the arrival of Toyota’s Lexus and Nissan’s Infiniti divisions. But Acura did in short order establish itself as a distinct and successful brand and carve out a strong share of the North American luxury market, outselling Mercedes, BMW and Lexus by 1990 and seeing sales reach almost 200,000 in 2005. Here in Canada, it has sold 400,000 vehicles in the past 2-1/2 decades and currently has 50 dealers.

Setting up a separate luxury division was a bold move in the late 1980s when Japanese cars were still associated in most Canadians’ minds with the subcompacts that had led the way for a couple of decades.

Until the $26,000-starting-price Legend sedan’s arrival, the most expensive Japanese sedan in Canada was Toyota’s 1987 Cressida at $25,968, with the $22,987 Nissan Maxima not far behind. Honda’s priciest offering that year was its top-of-the-line Accord at $16,945. Among rival imports from Europe, an entry-level BMW 3-Series started at $25,825, an Audi 4000S at $24,975 and the cheapest Mercedes-Benz, a 190D, at $38,900, although things like Saabs, Volvos and Peugeots could be acquired for less than $20,000.



But a generation of import buyers brought up on Japanese brands were deemed ready to step up and, in Acura’s case, that was to the Legend, which my 1987 show story described as a “handsome contemporary-styled sedan powered by a potent 151-hp, 2.5-litre 24-valve V-6.” The 3- and 5-door, 113-hp, 1.6- litre-engined Integras would serve as a supporting cast.

The roots of the Legend were entangled in a joint project with Britain’s Austin Rover Group that resulted in cars being produced in Britain and sold as the Honda Legend and Rover 800 (the latter marketed for a period as the Stirling in North America).

The Legend wasn’t revolutionary but did incorporate the latest and best technology. Its stiff monocoque structure was wrapped in aerodynamic bodywork – the coefficient of drag was 0.32. The overall shape was angular with pronounced bumpers, the front with a neat little air dam underneath, and flush headlamps. I complained at the time it looked too conservative.



It was 4,810 mm long, which is 120 mm shorter than the current Acura TL, and weighed in at just 1,396 kg, compared to today’s fully-laden TL at 1,820 kg.

The interior had, to quote myself, “a European, no-frills-functional” rather than luxurious look, certainly by today’s standards, with large round analogue gauges, a thick-ish rimmed and tilt-able 4-spoke wheel, front seats upholstered in moquette cloth and full carpeting. Features included an electric sunroof, cruise control, AM/FM radio with cassette player, remote trunk and fuel filler releases, air conditioning and, well, not much more.

The motor was a 2.5-litre, single-overhead-cam V-6 rated at 151 hp at 5,800 rpm and 154 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. This may not sound like much, but it was a lot more than the 121hp the BMW 325’s 2.7-litre inline-six was making, hence my “potent” comment. Some might recall that Honda was winning Formula 1 championships in this period.



The Legend came with a 5-speed manual or optional 4-speed automatic transmission; with the former, acceleration to 100 km/h required about 8 seconds and top speed was 216 km/h. Fuel economy was rated at 12.6 litres/100 km city and 9.1 highway (the current 3.5-litre, 280-hp TL’s ratings are 10.4 city/6.8 highway).

Suspension was by double-wishbones up front with trailing links and struts in the rear, and it came with 205/60R15 tires on alloy wheels pointed by speed-sensitive steering and stopped by disc brakes all round.

The original Legend was good enough to make Car & Driver magazine’s top 10 list for three years in a row and was joined later in 1987 by the considerably pricier, prettier and quicker coupe with 2.7-litre, 161-hp engine (that found its way into the sedan in 1988). The first generation was produced until 1990.

The third generation arrived in 1996 with the Legend name missing from the deck lid, replaced by the RL badge that has never seemed to resonate in quite the same way.
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Originally Posted by Blackend
Good to meet you too Willie. I tell ya, when we were walking the Auto-X course and you guys started pulling in, I had no idea who it was until I saw the green machine and we're all like "ooohhhh, that's Willie and the Acuraholicks!"

Glad you guys made it out, and nice meeting all of you.
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Old 10-05-12, 05:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice birth and history of all Legends.
Good info.
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Old 10-05-12, 08:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks just some stuff I found on the net.
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Originally Posted by Blackend
Good to meet you too Willie. I tell ya, when we were walking the Auto-X course and you guys started pulling in, I had no idea who it was until I saw the green machine and we're all like "ooohhhh, that's Willie and the Acuraholicks!"

Glad you guys made it out, and nice meeting all of you.
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Old 02-05-13, 12:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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hey i have a 1991 acura legend 5 spd looking for parts is are you parting out any legends i need 4 window motors and rear lights
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Old 02-08-13, 08:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by dubz sk View Post
hey i have a 1991 acura legend 5 spd looking for parts is are you parting out any legends i need 4 window motors and rear lights
Sorry but I'm not parting any out you may want to post in the wanted section.
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Originally Posted by Blackend
Good to meet you too Willie. I tell ya, when we were walking the Auto-X course and you guys started pulling in, I had no idea who it was until I saw the green machine and we're all like "ooohhhh, that's Willie and the Acuraholicks!"

Glad you guys made it out, and nice meeting all of you.
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Old 06-02-13, 12:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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got this emailed to me this mourning as well. http://acuraconnected.com/2011/07/06...-now-classics/


Legend 6MTs – The Acura Legend was a great car through 2 generations and 10 years of sales. Within the Legend line-up, the 6-speed manual transmission Legends, sold in 1993 and 1994, were some of the best. The Legend 6MT marked one of first times that a 6-speed transmission was used in anything other than an exotic sports car. The transmission was coupled with a powerful 230hp V6 engine and sport suspension. Very few 6-speed Legends were produced, in particular, the 4-door Legend GS 6MT which only sold around 400 units in the 2 years it was available.
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Originally Posted by Blackend
Good to meet you too Willie. I tell ya, when we were walking the Auto-X course and you guys started pulling in, I had no idea who it was until I saw the green machine and we're all like "ooohhhh, that's Willie and the Acuraholicks!"

Glad you guys made it out, and nice meeting all of you.
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Old 06-02-13, 12:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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maintained properly oh yeah that will be classics
I saw some classic cars this past Friday in the parking lot of Home Depot off Woodhaven in Brooklyn cool cars but didn't see a legend in the mix.

Legends are the best cars Honda and Acura ever made.
Definitely is history.
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Old 06-02-13, 12:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I lost my 1992 Acura Legend to Sandy it was in immaculate condition
I currently have the TSX 4 cylinder 2.4 Turbo charged.
Its fast and nice.
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Old 06-02-13, 01:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear of your lose. I'm still trying to recover from the damage to mines. I was in the final stage of the restoration I started in 2011, only to wake up to a smashed back. It has taken forever to get the parts and I still have some ways to go. I'm pretty sure the TSX does NOT come close LOL...
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Old 06-02-13, 02:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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sorry to hear that as well. i didnt know our cars were the 1st japanese luxury cars in the US.
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Originally Posted by Blackend
Good to meet you too Willie. I tell ya, when we were walking the Auto-X course and you guys started pulling in, I had no idea who it was until I saw the green machine and we're all like "ooohhhh, that's Willie and the Acuraholicks!"

Glad you guys made it out, and nice meeting all of you.
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Old 06-02-13, 06:54 PM   #11 (permalink)
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This thread makes me more proud of my legend


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Old 06-10-13, 07:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The referenced/linked article has at least one inaccuracy: It indicates GS Legend 6MTs were produced only in 1993 and 1994. The fact is that the Type II was produced over 3 model years: 1993, 1994, and 1995. The 6MT GS was only available in the 4-door sedan in 1994 and 1995; in other words the 1993 GS 6MT was coupe-only.

This makes me doubt the figure of 400 total 4-door GS-6MTs. Back about 10 years ago I'd read (on this very forum) that about 1,125 6MT 4-doors were sold in the USA in 1994-1995 combined. I think it's safe to say it's a really low number either way.

I still remember going to an Acura showroom with a friend and looking at a brand-new '91 Legend sedan that was parked inside. It was priced at a then-unobtainable $31,000-ish (new Corvette territory) and shimmered like a well-engineered jewel. Love at first sight for me.

Unfortunately the article is also depressing because Acura/Honda have been in a serious slump for well over a decade, probably starting in 1996 with the stupid "RL" and "TL" naming decision. Acura/Honda used to have the cojones and innovated excellence. Nowadays it is quite clear that Hyundai has supplanted Honda in this role, and that is a sad thing. Honda leadership and design just called it in, like they didn't even care. And still aren't caring nearly enough even today... Sorry, just my 2 cents.
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Old 06-10-13, 07:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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it says the 6 speeds that were intraduced in 93 and 94 not the GS. because they changed parts in 95 as some will say the those years are the best years for the 6 speed.
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Originally Posted by Blackend
Good to meet you too Willie. I tell ya, when we were walking the Auto-X course and you guys started pulling in, I had no idea who it was until I saw the green machine and we're all like "ooohhhh, that's Willie and the Acuraholicks!"

Glad you guys made it out, and nice meeting all of you.
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Old 06-10-13, 07:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L3GDKANG/JDMKANG View Post
it says the 6 speeds that were introduced in 93 and 94 not the GS. because they changed parts in 95 as some will say the those years are the best years for the 6 speed.
Good point, but I don't think there was a 6MT on any Legend unless it was a GS. If it was an MT on a non-GS Legend then it was a 5-speed. So if it's a 6MT, then it's a GS, which was available on the coupe from 1993 thru 1995 and in the sedan in 1994 and 1995. The article just made it sound like there were no 1995 6MTs, which is not true, I've seen them.
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Old 06-10-13, 07:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Eric S. View Post
Good point, but I don't think there was a 6MT on any Legend unless it was a GS. If it was an MT on a non-GS Legend then it was a 5-speed. So if it's a 6MT, then it's a GS, which was available on the coupe from 1993 thru 1995 and in the sedan in 1994 and 1995. The article just made it sound like there were no 1995 6MTs, which is not true, I've seen them.
all coupes from 93-95 that are manual trans are 6 speed there was never a gs coupe ever. The GS is a sedan only option on our cars. if you wanted a manul trans in a sedan after 94 that was a 5 speed it would have to be a L no LS option for a manual trans for 94/95 thats why the GS only came with the 6 speed for the manual trans.
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Originally Posted by Blackend
Good to meet you too Willie. I tell ya, when we were walking the Auto-X course and you guys started pulling in, I had no idea who it was until I saw the green machine and we're all like "ooohhhh, that's Willie and the Acuraholicks!"

Glad you guys made it out, and nice meeting all of you.
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