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bcarey

Thoughts on early 2002s?

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I'm close to buying a 1969 2002, but I understand that there are several improvements that were made in the 70-73 cars. This is to be my semi daily driver; is there any reason I should pass on the 69 and wait for a slightly later model?

Thanks!

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Well, the seatbelts mounting/function improved a bit over time. Not so hard to upgrade.

The '69 likely has the early fender crumple zones.

Others will know more. Personally I like the early cars.

GL,

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I'd prefer the earlier car based on a design aesthetic.

Depending on when its build date was in 69, it may have a different clutch setup, single-line brakes, long-neck diff, absence of swaybar, etc. There is not any definitive crossover date on any of these parts, just gradual change-over at the factory. It's not anything you couldn't change to a later setup when necessary.

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I like my May '69 (part of the "second series") 2002 which has the smooth sides, 6-fuses, early shorty bumpers, flat turn signals, red-dot rear lamps, 3-piece dashboard with silver dollar gauges, short console, round shift boot, etc. It also has the updates found on 1970+ Roundies (hydraulic clutch, short neck differential with CV joints, dual piston front calipers, remote fluid reservoir, multi-speed wipers, etc.)

You'll have to search a little harder to find an early car that is still in good shape (depending on your location and available funds).

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I have early cars, but for daily driving duty, I'd find a 74-76, you'll appreciate the larger bumpers, easier seatbelts, and possibly even AC. Daily drivers will suffer some wear and tear, the bodywork on an early car is disposable due to the jewelry like bumpers. On the other hand, if you find a nice 69, buy it and try to keep it nice as they are only going up in value!

Ben

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Thanks for all the feedback, fellas! I was a little iffy about going very early, but you have assuaged my fears (for the most part). Keep the notes coming, please!

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Guest Anonymous

Style to die for, sortin to drive u crazy, have had a 76, everything worked and rolled like a qween, a 70, everything needed rebuilding and thinkin like a German, ie the wiper moter {google it}, now a 76 that sat for 23 years, more German thinkin but so much easier. Bottom line I loved my 70 and crave a 69 but for daily useage the 76 will have to get my vote. The build times tell the story, first 76 took 2 months which included a engine swap and a paint job, the 70 took 2 years to sort and now the latest 76 I bought in May and its close but am swappin head gaskets this weekend and hope for the best. Some cars are easy but remember in the end the love you recieve is eqwal to the love you give.......JL

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It's all down to rust, rust, rust, overall condition and rust.

There's nothing wrong with the early cars- if they're low rust and not sun- baked.

There's nothing wrong with the late cars- if they're low rust and not sun- baked.

That said, I agree about the bumpers for a city car. But if it's always got

a garage space, then it's up to you.

t

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Thanks for all the input. RE: the 76ers, I live in California, and I get the impression that smogging them is a giant pain, so I've been looking at cars 75 and older. I'm fortunate to have a decent garage at home, and will only drive a few miles to work a few days a week (plus some fun runs on the weekends), so I'm hoping I can avoid rust and the risks of city living.

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I drive a '67 1600 as my daily, which has a few more unique features to the early 02's. Much prefer the style and in my experience there's no reliability issue - any car of this age, whether it a '76 or a '69, is a reflection of it's care more than it's years.

If it's a good car I say go for it.

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It's all down to rust, rust, rust, overall condition and rust.

There's nothing wrong with the early cars- if they're low rust and not sun- baked.

There's nothing wrong with the late cars- if they're low rust and not sun- baked.

That said, I agree about the bumpers for a city car. But if it's always got

a garage space, then it's up to you.

t

+1 Eloquently and accurately stated! My '67 was a great daily driver, my '69 was a great daily driver, and my '76 was a great daily driver -- but that was back in the day. Today I would only concern myself with rust and overall condition.

Steve

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There were actually two variants that year, "early" and "late," and a couple of changes on the late cars...

Cars built prior to 1 Jan 1969 (VIN 1664760) have two piston calipers, a two speed heater blower, use a different master cylinder and have the 6 bolt flywheel and coil spring clutch pressure plate. They also have long neck diffs and inboard rear axle U-joints vs the CV joints of later cars.

Those built after that VIN have the more common 4 piston calipers, 3 speed heaters, CV-jointed axles and short neck diffs--same as the later cars, thus making parts easier to find. However, the 8 bolt flywheel and diaphragm clutch didn't make an appearance until VIN 1665200, along with an improved clutch M/C pedal linkage. Also, most '69s don't have the little ridges on the dashboard package shelf...that was a late year addition.

My '69 falls between 4760 and 5200, so only has the clutch plate and linkage problem parts.

cheers

mike

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