Long ago, when I was just a wee lad, I was mercifully given a 1983 Buick Century sedan. Like most dysfunctional families, it was a hand-me-down from the folks. Unfortunately my folks had terrible taste in cars, with proof lying in the fact that their other cars were Oldsmobiles and Cadillacs. But I took it in stride because my mindset back then was "Cars are just good for transportation." And after much abuse ... I mean usage, the poor thing fell apart like the plot of a Paulie Shore movie. I was in need for something better. A car that catered to my heart's desire, which was now bent on luxury and sportiness.
A thorough search led me to the path of the Acura Legend, an excellent balance between the two criterias. Legends embellished graceful elegance blended with a smooth, powerful engine. I instantly fell in love with it the first time I laid eyes on one. So in 1995, I purchased a pre-owned 1991 Acura Legend LS sedan at Mountain View Acura. Actually, this was my second Legend. My first Legend was a 1989 L coupe, but that's another story.
Requirements of A Good Son
When I drove it over to my parents' house to show them, it spawned a gaping awe on their faces. Taking a brief moment to compose herself, my mom finally asked "Isn't that a little much for you? You're too young for such a car! Why couldn't you be a good son and get something inexpensive and thrifty like a Honda Civic?" I gave her a mortified look and cried out "But mom! That's what the mortals drive!" And thus began my journey down the path of the Legend ownership. As for my mom .... you see, she's part of a breed that believes a car is only good for getting from point A to point B .... so getting anything fancy or extravagant is a waste of money. Talk about saving a buck worse than a minority slum lord.
But for me, I've come to the conclusion that if you're forced to spend a chunk of your life riding in a car, you might as well make the most of it. Apparently a new Acura Integra, Honda Civic, or Honda Accord didn't appeal to me like it should have, being that I grew up in the era of "generation X". Maybe it was because a pre-owned Legend offers everything those car do, and more, in a sleek, affordable package. Or perhaps I didn't want something voted "Gangsta's Automobile Choice of the Year". After all, to paraphrase Freud, "Sometimes a Civic, is just a Civic .... no matter how much you fix it up."
Distinction Among Peers
Legends are (I should say "were" since Honda stopped shipping them over to the states) marketed primarily to appeal to stable, middled-aged family adults. So I know a lot of people see me driving one and think it's just a deliquent, young punk driving around in his old man's car. To prevent people from mistakenly identifying it as my "daddy's" car, I set out to customize my Legend around my own taste. A taste that screamed out "No normal adult would fix up their car like this!". There were plenty of Legends out there, and I wanted to be distinct from all of them. It was a pursuit of uniqueness to stand out from the Legend consortium. Christianing my car Vivian, I mapped out a plan (which I dubbed Project Vivian) to accessorize and upgrade her. And what started as a quest soon turned out to be a fun hobby. But even though I try to differentiate myself from other Legends, I'll still be part of a great group of owners.
It seems whenever Legend owners cross paths, they all follow an unspoken code of conduct that centers around respect and courtesy. I believe it's due to the fact that we're bonded together by one great car, without the aura of superiority and snobbishness (ie- Lexus). Well, at least that's what I've been experiencing. Everytime I run across another Legend owner, we always smile at each other or nod in approval. If both sides have fixed up Legends, a thumbs up from both sides usually occur. And if both owners are out of their cars, a chat and exchange of ideas about performance and ownership loyalty usually ensues. This is unlike car owners of other manufacturers. For example, Mercedes and Lexus owners will stick their noses in the air trying to out-snob one another. And if you've ever had the misfortune of witnessing owners of tricked up Hondas or Integras on the same block, you can tell they only have contempt and malice towards one another. They would definately kill each other if the chance arises. But they do show respect when big brother Legend comes rolling around. But this is not to say we're like Saturn owners. Ugh! The fact of the matter is, we're just darn friendly towards one another.
Most excellent! On Tuesday March 18th, 1997, at 07:30 AM in the morning, Vivian turned the big 100,000! I was on my way to work and had to pull over to the shoulder on the freeway to take this picture (try explaining this to the police). Except for some rattling (apparently just due to old age and my lowered suspension), Vivian has been very very reliable ever since I got together with her back in 1995, when she only had 63,000 miles. She's still going very strong to this day, still feeling vigorous and new. I have the feeling she's going to last me a lot longer than I would expect.