I just got back from 5,600-mile round-trip road trip from Phoenix, Arizona to southern Florida.
Which means, my car has traveled most of North America. In 2006, I took it to Fairbanks,
Alaska. And let’s keep in mind the car has already been to New Jersey, as well as into Mexico
(twice). I think it has the continent pretty well conquered from north, south, east, and west.
It takes a special kind of crazy to get into a 25-year-old, 565,000+ mile vehicle and embark on a
trip of that distance. But, that’s exactly what I did the first week of October when it was time to
make an annual trek to the 15th Annual National Acura Legend Meet. The meet, dubbed
NALM, has been held since 2005 in various locations around the country: From New Jersey to
California, Milwaukee to Houston, and now the eastern coast of Florida, it’s covered just about
every corner. And I’ve been to each and every one of them.
Without a doubt, the thought of a model year 1994 vehicle being a “classic” today makes a lot of
us feel old. But, as Randy Travis once said in a song, “Time marches on.” I first bought my
Legend LS coupe as a daily driver in 2003, with a mere 95,000 miles on the odometer. For
almost a decade it carted me around as my primary means of transportation – logging sometimes
upwards of 40 to 50,000 miles per year thanks to weekend excursions and other travels. The
Alaska trip alone was 8,000 miles in distance.
Today, the aptly-named Legend lives on, as a weekend cruiser for trips just like my NALM
journey from the past couple of weeks. While it burns some oil and leaks power steering fluid,
the core components from the October 1993 build date continue to press on reliably including a
3.2-liter V6 and 6-speed manual gearbox. And what better way to put the Legend’s longevity to
the test than a trip to the southernmost point of the United States, in Key West?
NALM has been a ‘thing’ since 2005, and all of the events are summarized here:
This year’s NALM brought out about 20 vehicles and offered up a variety of activities to
entertain the group, including a tour of Daytona International Speedway, a scenic cruise on the
beach, an open house at a dealership in Orlando, and a beachside pizza party / awards ceremony. After so many years of coming to these events, it’s started to feel a lot more like a family reunion
than a car club gathering. Best of all, Legend people take care of each other: For example, one
member experienced an unexpected fuel pump failure. Luckily for him, another attendee had a
spare, and yet another had the skill and knowledge to perform the install right on the spot. The
broken down Legend was back on the road in a matter of hours.
As for my own car: It went through a bottle of power steering fluid, received an oil change, and
needed a new taillight bulb. That’s about it. My trip involved 26 different fill-ups and the car delivered 27 miles per gallon. Oh, and that total fuel expense ran $637. But the experience of crossing off a destination that had been on my bucket list for years? That’s priceless.
Check out my 4-part video series on how the trip went:
[Source: Tyson Hugie]