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Re: 3.0 coupe vs. 2002 Advice?? (archive)

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Posted by Hwa on March 09, 2000 at 03:07:06:

In Reply to: 3.0 coupe vs. 2002 Advice?? posted by laldog on March 08, 2000 at 20:33:17:

If you have the money (over 10k, realistically), go for the 3.0, while they are still relatively cheap. A couple of years ago, the Rick Cole auction house put it on their list of the top 10 cars to appreciate in value over the next few years, and a lot of the good ones seem to have already been sold to investors. When my brother and I went to buy one last year, we missed our appointment with the seller by about 5 minutes (we stopped to help a lady push her stalled Volvo off the street). When we arrived, another customer had beaten us to the deal and was already writing out the check. His car was a '74 or later 3.0 coupe, and here he was, buying another one!
Eventually, we found one in decent shape, but it is still costing us a bundle to keep running. We've had to replace the radiator, water pump, and rear subframe bushings. With the dual downdraft Webers, it's only getting about 15-17 mpg, compared to about 20 for my '02 with the 32/36. Structurally, it seems like a more solid car than the '02, even when it had the old/rotten subframe bushings. And it hides its extra weight very well with the power steering; in fact, on a tight winding road, it feels almost effortless, compared to the '02. The downside to this is a considerable loss of road-sensing feedback (even with 60-series tires), which is one of the joys of driving an '02. It lacks that feeling of immediacy, that connection to the road (and the engine), which an '02 driver misses when he's driving just about anything else.
On the plus side is its exclusivity. I see another 2002 once a week, whereas a coupe passes my way but once a month, if I'm lucky. It's about as rare around here (S.F. Bay Area) as a Ferrari. And just as elegant, in my opinion. At the risk of offending others on this board, I'll say that the '02 takes a back seat to the coupe in terms of both exterior and interior style. But it makes up for it (almost) with its back seat; I've tooled around town with 3 people in the back of my '02 without complaints. The coupe is really just a 2+2.
Both should be very reliable if well cared for. If you decide to keep the points setup, the coupe is easier to maintain because its distributor is way out in the open at the front of the engine, whereas the '02's is almost tight up against the firewall/cowl area. Going to electronic ignition would make this a moot point of course...
And be wary of aftermarket sunroofs. My brother's coupe has a cut-and-install conversion that looks very professional, until you notice that the roof is flexing. This is revealed by a hairline fracture of the paint at one of the corners of the roof's opening. My mechanic, a coupe restoration specialist, estimates that it will cost about $8k to cut off the roof and weld on one with a factory, reinforced sunroof.
Hope this helps, and good luck!


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