Legendary Convertible

This is an Olympia White 1988 Acura Legend L coupe unlike any you’ve probably ever seen before. The first-generation Legend coupe was an award-winning car right off the bat when it debuted for model year 1987. It was named Motor Trend’s Import Car of the Year. At $27,550, it was Acura’s answer to the European sport coupes in the luxury marketplace. But someone was inspired to take the exclusivity even a step further and create a custom convertible from what began as a regular Legend coupe L.

Early in its life, the Legend underwent a professional cosmetic rework to remove its roof and reinforce the unibody with an innovative system of steel braces under the rocker panels. The work was performed in High Springs, Florida by Coachbuilders Limited (now Drop Top Customs). Reportedly only about 10 or 12 first-generation Acura Legends were converted at that time, and few (if any, besides this example) have survived the three decades since.

The mechanical drivetrain remains unchanged from new, including the 161-horsepower 2.7-liter “C27A” V6 and four-speed automatic transmission. Aside from the addition of 16” upgraded 1997-99 Acura CL chrome wheels, the overall look and feel of the car has changed very little over the years. Still fitted to the car is its original dashboard-mounted information center digital computer, which delivers at-a-glance information on oil level, gas mileage, and other metrics. Even the second-generation Legend coupe which came a few years later did not get such a feature.

Records on the Legend convertible’s first four years are limited, but it spent from 1992 through 2005 in Minnesota. At that point, it was relocated to Arizona at 57,000 miles on the odometer. Since then, it appears to have changed hands an impressive five times, landing in the garage of the current owner in August 2013. And from there it’s probably not going anywhere for a while, as the owner is a long-time Acura owner and enthusiast named Chuck who enjoys his occasional top-down cruises.

With the odometer now at just over 112,000 miles, the car has only been driven about 1,000 miles over the last seven years since it last changed hands. But even though the mileage is low, time and desert deterioration had been taking their toll on the mechanical and cosmetic condition of the car. Under Chuck’s ownership, it’s received a service of all fluids as well as replacement of motor mounts.

Today, the Legend convertible is still a work in progress and Chuck has plans to restore the interior among other things. The convertible top itself is a custom unit, but the material is in poor condition, so this car is a sunny-day-only ride. But that’s just fine for Chuck since it’s a solid driver and one of the best attention-getters in the region.

[Source: Tyson Hugie]

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