Should I buy this car?

My boss has offered to sell me his 89 Acura Legend with 215k miles on it. He has just replaced the tires, the brakes, and the clutch on this car and he says some other things, he’s not sure, I have to ask his wife. It runs good and has got the V6 with a manual 5-speed. I will ask his wife about the other repairs and maintenance that has been performed, specifically the timing belt as this maintenance item alone will cost $600 or more. He is selling it for $1k. Does this sound reasonable or should I talk him down? Especially if the timing belt needs replaced. I would expect that if it really has had the work and maintenance all done on it that I can expect to get another 50k or more miles out of it before it dies. We are in college right now and really need a car and would prefer not to make payments so this seems like it could be a good deal for us and provide us with a reliable college hooptie that we can drive for a few years.



A 1000 Bucks For A Car? You Can’t Expect Much. You Are In That “Throw Away” Or “Demolition Derby” Price Category.

Roll the dice if you’ve got a $1000 dollars you can miss. Make sure it isn’t dangerous because of corrosion damage!

If I could get 50,000 miles out of $1000 cars, that’s what I’d be driving!

Save some money and then shop. What do you mean “we” (We are in college right now . . . )? Do you have imaginary friends?


We is me and my husband. Sorry, I tend to change from me to we because of that. We are what you call “non-traditional” college students. Decided to go after we were already adults for a while.

If the chassis of the car isn’t rusted, the car might be ok. I doubt that you will find much of a car for less than $1000 or even $2000 for that matter. Whether or not it is the right car for you depends on how you intend to use it. If the car is to be driven for local driving and you aren’t going to drive many miles a year, the car may be fine. If you are planning long trips, this isn’t the car for you.

I purchased a car to go to graduate school. It was a 1947 Pontiac that I paid $75 for back in 1961. I replaced a coupled of tires and it made the 350 mile trip from my home to graduate school, although it used a quart of oil every 250 miles. Once I got to my destination, it was used locally to drive back and forth to campus. In those days, we had reasonably good train service and I could make train connections back home and the time was within 15 minutes of the time it would have taken to drive the distance.

As I said, if the frame isn’t rusted out, the fact that the car has new brakes, clutch and tires is a plus. It may even be a good deal if you have to do a timing belt. Keep in mind, however, that this car isn’t a car for coast to coast runs. lists this car as about $2K for low retail. If it checks out body, frame, and mechanically, then I think it is worth the risk. You can put quite a few repairs into it if needed.

I think you are doing the right thing by investing your time and resources in a college education. Some of my best students have been older, non-traditional students. The price on the car may just give you the financial break you need for transportation.

The body is clean and no rust that I could see. This car has lived in central Oregon its whole life so it has seen probably no salt use on the roads. The interior is a little messed up but nothing a few seat covers won’t take care of; shame too, as the interior is black leather. We’ll mostly just drive it around town although sometimes we do like to make the 450 mile drive to Cali to visit with relatives.

If it doesn’t need a timing belt it sounds like a good buy. When you’re shopping in the $1,000 range anything is a gamble, but the Legend is a very reliable car, so it might be worth a shot. I don’t think there’s much “talking down” at this price. If you don’t want the car someone else will.

Maybe the price is low because it needs a timing belt, which would almost double the price of the car. You really need to see receipts or records of some sort to prove when the belt was last replaced.

Also be aware that maintenance, parts, and repair costs on a Legend are generally a bit higher than other Honda products.

Whatever you buy, assume it will need “something” within a month or two, so keep some money aside for that.

Edmunds says that the private seller price for a clean 1990 Legend in Portland is a little less than $700. The high mileage drops the price by $200. But condition is everything. If it really is in good condition, it might be worth as much as $1000 to you.

BTW, there was no 1989 price listed, but it should be a little less than the 1990. This is also for the base sedan; the base coupe and all L or LS models will be worth at least a few hundred more.