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Weekly Craigslist Hidden Treasure: 1993 Honda Legend JDM

Car Culture

What makes this Legend different from US-spec Legends?

Aside from the second generation NSX, when was the last time you could honestly describe a new Acura as ‘cool?’ To be clear, Acura’s current lineup consists of excellent all-around vehicles, especially the top-selling RDX mid-size crossover. But is it cool? Not so much, no. But there was a time when Honda’s luxury brand built cool mainstream vehicles and one of the best was, hands-down, the Legend. Launched in 1985, the Legend nameplate lived until 1995 when the second-gen model was dropped.

Acura, for whatever reason (which turned out to be a bad one), dropped the Legend name for RL, which later morphed into today’s RLX. Some once believed RL stood for ‘Refined Legend,’ but it doesn’t matter. Neither the RL nor the RLX have the Legend’s ideal combination of design, luxury, and sport. There’s a reason why Acura has sadly fallen behind its German rivals.

For those of us who grew up in the 1990s, it was the second-gen Legend we likely remember most. Launched in 1990, this Legend was available as both a coupe and sedan and came powered by a 3.2-liter V6 with around 200 hp. Power went to the front wheels through either a standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed slushbox. A six-speed manual came later in the lifecycle. The Legend also offered a host of advanced features for its era, such as dual front airbags, speed-sensitive steering, automatic climate control, heated leather seats, four-wheel ABS brakes and even a hands-free phone. The coupe variant also came with electric soft-close doors.

Some have wondered whether Acura could have fitted a V8 under the hood and the answer is ‘yes.’ However, Honda/Acura decided against doing so because it would have stolen the spotlight from the also V6-powered halo model, the original NSX. The Legend was the mainstream flagship, meaning it was a slot below the NSX in terms of prestige.

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Because of its overall packaging, this Legend was a major sales success in the US and other parts of the world where it was sold, including Japan, which brings us to this week’s Craigslist find.

For an unknown reason, someone felt like importing this Japanese Domestic Market (JFM) 1993 Honda Legend (the Acura brand is US-only) to the US. Its US arrival is actually very recent (last week) and now it’s for sale. Before anyone starts wondering whether the import was legal or not, the ad firmly states it was done so legally and there’s paperwork to prove it. With just 67,000 original miles, the JDM Legend is nearly identical to its US counterpart, save mainly for right-hand drive.

The exterior and its black paint look to be in remarkably good condition given the car’s 26 years old. The gray interior also looks excellent and even comes with the original plastic factory wrap near the visor and some remaining plastic wrap on the door sills. Unfortunately, this Legend is equipped with the four-speed automatic, but the seller claims it shifts smoothly without any issues. The air conditioning and heat work as well and there are no known problems with the V6.

The asking price is $7,500 and the car is currently located on what appears to be a farm in southern Tennessee. It’s really not hard to find a quality used second-gen Legend for sale these days, but how often does one with right-hand drive come up for sale at this condition? Drive this thing to any Acura dealership today and it’ll still be the coolest car on the lot (save for the new NSX).

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