I saw one in high school and had to know what it was, it was just gorgeous. Last week, I finally pulled the trigger on my first 2002. Photo below, it's a "20 footer". It's a 74 base with a 4 speed. It's black but original color is Amazon Green. It runs and drives but needs some work, both mechanically and aesthetically. I am a shade tree mechanic and not afraid to DIY, but also recognize that some things are better left to experience- like carb tuning and points, not my forte. But it is a running/driving project that I will make into a driver over time with your guidance/assistance. The plan is to baseline it mechanically and then work on aesthetics and power.
I took it for a spin after I got it home, ran and drove well. My kid was with me and said it feels faster than what we're going . When I returned I saw some smoke coming from the exhaust manifold. The next day, I had some time to investigate so I turn it on to see. Well before it could heat up, it started smoking from the blower motor area. I had turned on the switch the previous day but it did not work, so idling in the driveway for 2 minutes caused quite a stream of smoke! Electrical fire avoided... Looking at the blower motor, it was black and smoking. I switched off the control knob. Today, I removed the blower motor and will rebuild it. I did notice 2 holes under the blower motor housing, I am guessing it had AC at one point, it is not there now.
Here are some things it needs soon, in no order:
Fix blower motor
replace windshield, it's cracked badly and won't pass inspection
fix broken ODO
change all fluids
replace valve cover gasket
replace exhaust studs, 2 of them are leaking onto the exhaust manifold, so it has a smoke and odor
inspect carb, there is some fluid on the intake below it, guessing it's fuel. I will end up replacing the OEM one when I get to performance goodies. Maybe sooner if it's fuel and not an easy fix
fix leak on backside of the engine, unsure what this is but dripping onto the bell housing too. I'll have to get it on the lift to see
Once that is done, I will drive it for a couple of months, and enjoy getting to know it. Then put it into a body shop to fix the rust and get a new coat of paint, color TBD. Anyone recommend a body shop that knows these in Texas or surrounding states?
Am I missing anything?